LIFESTYLE: Motoring: Mercedes-Benz CLA 200

After successfully reincarnating the A-Class from a mum’s taxi into a hot hatch, Mercedes have gone further by creating a hot four-door coupé sedan. The CLA looks like it is built off the same platform as the A-Class but, in actual fact, the two are very different. The test car had the optional Edition package,…

VIEWPOINT: Habitual overconfidence

One of the most common behavioural biases is the tendency to be overoptimistic. Like the children in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon who are all above average, we tend to overestimate our own skills and chances of success. This overestimation, in turn, leads to overly positive self-evaluations, which are often unrealistic – resulting in overconfidence. Confidence…

INFLUENCE: Monetising big customer data

Senior finance executives are taking increased responsibility for analysing big data in ways that produce actionable insights into the customer base. Their involvement marks a shift from a traditional focus on reporting what happened in the past, to forecasting what needs to happen in the future. The motivation to do this is simple: to boost…

VIEWPOINT: Stepping ahead by stepping aside

An unexpectedly shrewd observation I heard from Lord Sebastian Coe at the Discovery Leadership Summit held recently in Sandton really got me thinking. Considered one of the best middle-distance runners of all time, the British Olympic champion set 12 world records over four distances, achieving four gold and three silver medals in the Olympics and…

VIEWPOINT: Is offshore best?

Offshore equities are looking increasingly attractive: the MSCI World Index returned 39,7 per cent in rand terms during 2013. However, with the rand’s recent depreciation, emotions are once again running high, with fear and greed rampant and herd behaviour becoming evident. And to compound the excitement, it’s election time again. At the start of 2014,…

Special Report – Education nation

Education is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university”.1  Former president Nelson Mandela put it more simply by declaring that education is “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. At the moment South Africa is definitely not…

Special Report – It’s not just about the numbers

So you’re a CA(SA). You’ve studied for years and you’re a highly qualified professional with lots of workplace experience to boot. Why on earth would you consider adding a notoriously expensive and demanding MBA to your already impressive qualifications? Well, for starters, you’d be learning to apply management concepts, enhance your consultancy skills, advise businesses…