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Monday, July 20, 2009

Who is Gill Marcus ?

President Zuma has appointed Absa Group's chairwoman Gill Marcus to take over from Tito Mboweni as governor of the SA Reserve Bank from the 9th of November 2009.

You may not recall who Gill Marcus is however she has held a number of executive positions in the private sector. She served as deputy finance minister from 96 to 99, and was deputy governor of the country's central bank from 99 to 2004.

Mboweni, whose contract ends on 8 August has said that he did not "want" to stay on longer. Stressful jobs will do that to you. Pres. Zuma has said the Mr Mboweni wishes to pursue "other interests".

It sounds all very civil, however there is an undercurret of "politics at play". While Zuma had only good words regarding Tito, it is no secret that the governor has been unpopular with key Zuma supporters, including trade unions and communists. These parties argue that Mboweni has focused too narrowly on inflation targeting at the expense of economic growth and employment. This combined with the last minute nature of the anouncement (Under President Mandela, markets were given a year's notice that then-governor Chris Stals would be replaced by Mboweni) makes people wonder.

However Tito has said of Marcus that: "It's a very good choice, she will do a very good job".

We all hope so.

From relative obscurity Gill Marcus has been thrust into our collective awareness and her voice will soon herald good or bad news for the interest rate watching consumer.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Which Money Personality Do You Identify With?

For most of us, money and our feelings toward it are dynamic
and intense. Some of us love money, others hate it. Some fear
it, others worship it. Whatever our emotions are towards
money, we certainly never ignore it. Which brings us to the
lead story in this month’s Chronicle produced by Crue Consulting.

Visit their site on: www.crue.co.za.


A psychologist who specializes in money related matters, Dr.
Kathleen Gurney (CEO of US-based Financial Psychology
Corporation) confronts these emotions in her practice on a daily
basis. She has worked with hundreds of men and women from
all kinds of backgrounds and income levels, and has learnt that
not only do we have a physical self, an emotional self and a
social self, but we have a financial ormoney self. This money
self is an integral part of our behavioral repertoire. However,
most of us fail to realize the extent to which it affects our
financial habits and the degree of satisfaction we get from the
money we have.

Dr Gurney believes that each of us falls into one of nine
money personalities. Each type has its own strengths and
weaknesses. By understanding the strengths and
weaknesses of your type, you can optimize your financial
planning to a style that fits you. Do you see yourself in any
one of these?

Entrepreneurs
The most male -dominated profile, driven by a passion
for excellence and commitment, which helps them
achieve their goals. Despite being the highest income
earners, they are workaholics who are not motivated by
money alone (it is used as a scorecard to measure their
achievements). They enjoy the power and prestige
money brings. They are proud and reward themselves
with the best cars, homes, wines, etc. Investing in the
stock market is their favored strategy.

High Rollers
Money presents infinite possibilities. They are thrill seekers who
enjoy the ride of financial risk but are only mildly interested in
where it takes them. They seek power. Money brings them instant
power and recognition. They are creative, extroverted, competitive.
They work hard and play hard; for them, money is an emotional
release. They prefer to risk their assets rather than sit back bored by
financial security. If they do not learn how to manage their styles,
they end up with low pride and contentment.

Hunters
Usually highly educated, with a live-for-today financial style.
They are often women and average- to above-average income
earners who make purchasing decisions with their hearts, not
with their heads. They use impulsive spending as a way they
reward themselves. They have a strong work ethic, like the
Entrepreneurs, but lack the Entrepreneurs’ confidence. They
attribute success to luck rather than ability and judgment. Once
they understand their traits, they canmake dramatic financial
progress.

Achievers
These are the second-highest income earners, usually college
graduates and mostly married. They feel work, diligence and
effort will pay off better than anything else. They are proud of
their accomplishments, but tend to distrust others’ honesty with
money. They are conservative and not interested in risking
assets they have worked hard to accumulate. Protection is a
primary consideration. Being take-charge types, they have a
strong need to control their money.

Money Masters
They balance their finances with the degree of
contentment and security they derive from their money.
They are the No. 1 wealth accumulators even though
they don’t necessarily earn the most. They rank first in
degree of desired involvement with their money and
enjoy participation. They trust the recommendations of
others and act on sound advice. Pure luck has little
chance here. Success through determination is their
philosophy.

Perfectionists
They are so afraid of making a mistake that they often avoid
making a decision. They forever try harder, but lack self-esteem,
especially about theirmoney. They have the least pride in
handling financial matters. They have tunnel vision, consider
every angle and find fault with the potential of practically any
risk venture. Finding suitable investments is difficult for them.

Optimists
These are the people to whom money has brought
peace of mind. They have the fewest anxieties and
tend to be proud and content. They are the least
reflective, and theirmoney decisions are somewhat
impulsive but not risk-oriented. Often in or near
retirement, they are more interested in enjoying their money
than making it grow. They are not highly involved with their
money, taxes or investments, which could cause them stress
and impinge on their enjoyment.

Safety Players
They score the lowest in self determination. They are average
earners, and most of their money goes into safe and secure
investments. They lack the confidence and motivation to reap
more growth by taking more calculated risk (even though well
educated). They take the path of least resistance, feel they are
doing just fine, and repeat whatever investment strategies
seemed to work for them before.

According to Dr Gurney, most people will identify closely with one
of the nine money personalities. It is important to remember that
your “money personality” or style is like a balance sheet - with
some traits serving as assets and some as liabilities. As humans,
we make the best use of our money when we are aware of how to
constructively use our personal assets and work with our style.

So Debt or not which one are you?