How can I buy Netflix and Amazon shares in South Africa?
There are some investment platforms in South Africa through which you can set up an offshore investment brokerage account for the purpose of buying US-based stocks. You currently have R1 million allocation per annum to move offshore without South African Revenue Service (Sars) clearance, and up to R10 million per year by getting a tax clearance from Sars.
Many platforms require fairly high minimums. Investec’s, for example, is $300 000 (around R4.6 million), while PSG has an option for £5 000 (around R103 440).
FNB recently launched exchange-traded notes (ETNs) for as little as R10 where you can have fractional shares that track the likes of Netflix and Amazon.
There are also other options, like the Sygnia FAANG fund; it is rand-domiciled but gives you access to stocks such as Netflix and Amazon with a monthly debit order of R500 per month.
The art of investing is getting out the crystal ball and giving yourself the headspace to really think about the future and the trends that will shape the world we live in tomorrow.
Back in 2007, you may have been holding the first iPhone in your hands. It almost feels crazy to think that the smartphone revolution started just 13 years ago. In that period, the smartphone has completely taken over the world.
If you had invested in Apple back in 2007, you would now be extremely wealthy – assisted by the rand along the way! If you had invested in BlackBerry, you would be wondering why you ever dared to buy shares in the first place.
Picking the industry is so important, but picking the stock can be critical too.
These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself:
- What will happen in the next decade, or even the next five years?
- What megatrends should you be investing in to take advantage of?
- Which sunset industries should be avoided?
There are now three certainties in life: death, taxes and disruption
Growth in the 1900s was kickstarted by the introduction of the telephone, automobile and electricity around the turn of the century. The modern industrial age shaped economies and favoured resource-rich countries with the infrastructure to take advantage of these resources.
Then along came computers and the internet to turn the world on its head at the start of the millennium. The Dot Com Bubble in 2001 gave people cold feet about investing in tech and the real economy enjoyed another boom until the Global Financial Crisis shocked the banking world in 2008/2009.
Resources took ages to recover. Banking has arguably never recovered. Meanwhile, in the background, computing power increased exponentially and so did the rate of innovation.
Disruption is driving major market moves across the world. Megatrends currently in play include the likes of energy storage, robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain and numerous other areas of ongoing innovation.
Knock-ons: they exist outside of rugby
The great thing about breakthrough technologies is that they enable a plethora of other businesses to come into the market.
For example, podcasts have seen a meteoric rise in popularity in the past few years. Without the smartphone, this simply wouldn’t have been possible. The smartphone drove a need for apps, which allowed the likes of YouTube and Spotify to become huge global media players. The downstream impact was that content creators could produce podcasts and distribute them to the world.
Thanks to the smartphone, podcast star Joe Rogan is a billionaire.
As space exploration and tourism becomes a more important and profitable industry in future, which industries may benefit? What companies might emerge? And which companies might become obsolete in the process?
Nobody said it was easy
Trying to predict the future isn’t easy.
Luckily, applying basic investment principles to your portfolio will get you a long way down the road. Investment managers who take a long-term view and seek out truly sustainable opportunities should be favoured over those who practice short-termism.
A sensible allocation of your wealth to offshore equities will allow you to participate in these technological waves that are unfortunately taking place primarily elsewhere in the world.
Finally, where does this leave South Africa?
As we reflect on what the future may hold, it’s hard not to question what this could all mean for South Africa.
Our economy was underpinned by mining and resources for decades. These days, we are supported by growth in agriculture and a strong manufacturing base. Mining is still important but is no longer the leading light in our economy. Tourism is a major contributor but has disappeared under lockdown conditions – think of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
To take a long-term view of South Africa, one must establish not only which industries have attractive fundamentals, but which ones can survive a watershed decade of economic policy turmoil. Some believe we will be a failed state by 2030. Others believe we will be okay.
It’s worth ensuring that your money is prepared for either outcome.