Know your (marital) status

I’ve been exploring the 2007 Census data for South Africa, mostly just to see what is available. I was checking the reasonability of some marital status assumptions for pensions valuations, which got me looking at the marital status info from the Census. Some interesting descriptive graphs. First, let’s look at the total population. (Note this […]

Uncapped Wordsmiths

There have been major developments in the broadband internet space in South Africa in 2010. Several major ISPs have started offering so-called “uncapped broadband” at surprisingly affordable rates. The immediate astonishment and disbelief at the low prices was soon replaced by sulking and disbelief at the application of “fair usage policies” that restricts the speed […]

Why hotels should charge high prices during soccer world cup

They should charge more.  Hotels and B&Bs, your uncle’s Seapoint flat, airlines and taxis and the guys polishing shoes at the airport and garden services mowing lawns should all charge more during the world cup. “But they’re profiteering” you cry!  Well, yes, in a word. But if the incredible expense of building stadia in the […]

How responsible is socially responsible?

Socially responsible investing, according to wikipedia, “describes an investment strategy which seeks to maximize both financial returns and social good.” This typically includes not investing in tobacco, breweries, defence  contractors, gaming companies, those with poor environmental records  or operations in countries known for human rights abuses and so on. There are clear similarities with many of […]

How to spot competition

photo credit: richardmasoner It’s been widely reported that the Competition Commission has been proving an alledged bicycle cartel. Retailers alledgedly agreed to increase prices to improve margins. This is not a strongly competitive market, which makes it quite an attractive market and good margins and profits should be available. photo credit: shareski Vodacom  and Cell […]

Profit margins on ice

Profit margins are being squeezed by decreased spending power of consumers. That is true, but it is also not the full story. Competitive pressures, buyer and supplier power dictate sustainable margins in the medium to long term. photo credit: abooth202 Fin24.com has a story this morning around Shoprite’s results and pricing strategy going forward. The […]

How not to do SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an unfortunately necessary part of driving traffic to discover a website. Good content is necessary but not sufficient. Why SEO is necessary A large percentage of web traffic is directed by search engines. After all, this is how Google has become the giant company that it is. I tried to […]