We had the budget speech that was delivered at the end of February 2020

23 March 2020 By Cluhein Trubshaw, CFP®

We had the budget speech that was delivered at the end of February 2020. There were no major changes and the Government decided to rather focus on constraining consumption spending relative to capital expenditure. One of the Government’s expense cuts proposed, was in the form of public wage bills, which caused concern as the Unions have not been approached, to negotiate this, before the Budget presentation. The Government will face an enormous uphill battle cutting public sector jobs. 

We had the budget speech that was delivered at the end of February 2020. There were no major changes and the Government decided to rather focus on constraining consumption spending relative to capital expenditure. One of the Government’s expense cuts proposed, was in the form of public wage bills, which caused concern as the Unions have not been approached, to negotiate this, before the Budget presentation. The Government will face an enormous uphill battle cutting public sector jobs.

As everyone knows by now, Coronavirus has affected the way the world works and how everyone does business. Our markets and the markets worldwide have suffered greatly by investors selling-off investments in higher-risk equities and countries and I hope we are not going back to the days of storing cash under our mattresses. South Africa’s rand declined from R13.99 to the USD at the end of December 2019 to over R17.00 to the dollar in the past couple of days as many investors pull their funds out of developing countries and prefer to rather hold USD. The Pound has also depreciated significantly to the USD during the past couple of days to the worst level we have seen in years.

Membership
We are nearing the end of our member renewal period at the end of March by which time I am hoping we will not be suspending membership come April. There has been some changes to the renewal process, with one the most significant being the generation of the invoice after completing your Code of Ethics declaration. You still have the option of paying via credit card, debit order or EFT. The FPI Renewal process is essential to remain a member, use your FPI designation and enjoy further member benefits. These benefits include but are not limited to:
In excess of 50 hours of free CPD via our webinar offering
International affiliation with the FPSB
Commissioner of oaths status as a CFP® member
Substantial discounts to events and on-line learning
Access to our member communities where you can interact and share with like-minded professional individuals  
Opportunity to enter for one of our coveted annual awards

CPD (Continuous Professional Development) remains one of the top queries coming through to the membership team so I would like to highlight some of the pertinent changes to the CPD policy.
The FPI CPD cycle runs from to 1 June – 31 May regardless of other “other” reporting
CPD is compulsory and cannot be transferred from one cycle to another 
One hour of CPD equates to 1 CPD point
FPI CPD requirement of which 20 CPD hours need to be verifiable
o 20 Technical CPD hours
o 10 General 
o 5 Ethics and Practice Standards 
Members must log CPD hours of FPI’s platform regardless of other reporting structures
CPD records may be audited 
Exemption deferral may be requested due to extenuating circumstances

Centre for Professional Development
The Centre hosted the Budget Trilogy together with SAIBA and SAIT with more than 900 attendees across three regions. Due to Covid-19 and social distancing we are re-looking at our remaining face to face events for the year and rescheduling our planned events. We will keep you informed of changes as they happen. We do however have a robust on-line offering to accommodate our current situation. 

We have a diverse member community ranging from a member turning 90 years old with our younger members of 24 years old.  There is no doubt about it our professional members come with a wealth of knowledge and should any of you want to join any of our volunteer programmes, become a speaker, or add value to our communities please contact us for additional details. 

About FPI
The Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI), a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) recognised professional body for financial planners, which serves the public by ensuring that people who carry the CFP® designation are qualified, experienced and professional. FPI has recently been approved by the South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) as a Recognised Controlling Body (RCB).

The Institute is also recognised internationally and is a founding, and a current affiliate member, of the international Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd (FPSB) based in the USA, along with 25 other affiliate member countries who offer CFP® certification, the highest recognised professional designation worldwide for a financial planning professional. For more, visit www.fpi.co.za or follow @FPISANews.