Simon’s weekly wrap: Moving on up

This week MoneywebNOW looked at Famous Brands, the trend towards contract work, investing in a Bangladesh pharmaceutical stock, Tesla and gold.
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Famous Brands* results for the six months to the end of August saw a return to profit, but speaking to CEO Darren Hele it’s clear things remain tough. Lower lockdown levels help, but load shedding and a possible fourth Covid-19 wave mean it’s not yet out of the woods, even as we’re eating out more and ordering in more pizzas.

The US is witnessing a ‘great resignation’ and I was keen to see if it was happening locally. Georgina Barrick, MD of Network Contracting Solutions (a division of ADvTECH Resourcing), says while SA is not seeing this trend, there are certainly a lot of white collar workers looking for contract work as opposed to traditional permanent employment, as this gives them more flexibility and a better work/life balance.

As investors we often just focus on the easy markets: our home market, i.e. the JSE, and the largest, the New York Stock Exchange. But there is a whole lot else out there. A case in point, as Varshan Maharaj of Allan Gray discussed, is the great pharmaceutical stock listed in Bangladesh that benefits from that country being a lower-developed nation.

Tesla became the world’s seventh trillion-dollar listed company and I spoke with Viv Govender of Rand Swiss about it. He punted the stock back in July last year and he reiterates the point that Tesla is a technology and brand company more than anything else.

Also this week:

Chantal Marx of FNB Wealth and Investments discussed Sibanye-Stillwater and whether it’s time for some gold. “The fear is right now that [Sibanye] are starting to invest aggressively right at a time when we’re probably going to see some pressure coming through on commodity prices”.

The writer holds shares in Famous Brands

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