Why a Mutual Fund’s Like a Herd of Cattle

A mutual fund is like a herd of cattle.

Dear Ryan,

I have a unit trust that I track every day. One day it goes up R5.00 or more. The next day it’s lower. I fail to understand how that works. What makes the price change? Say I want to sell my units. What determines the price I will receive?

Sincerely,
Brenda from South Africa

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Africa Investor Insight: Robert Scharar

Robert Scharar, Lead Portfolio Manager of the Commonwealth Africa Fund

Robert Scharar manages the Houston-based Commonwealth Africa Fund, a $1.9 million mutual fund. As of the end of April 2013, the fund had appreciated 3.7% since its November 2011 inception.

Here he explains his investment process and what led him to launch the fund.

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Afrinvestor’s Journal: Witnessing the Kenyan Election

Photo by DEMOSH

Jan Schalkwijk is a Portfolio Manager with Africa Capital Group, an asset management firm that specializes in African stocks. The following is an account of his recent trip to Kenya and Burundi.

As the plane began its descent into Nairobi the evening of March 5th, I struck up a conversation with the KLM flight attendant. I always enjoy the opportunity to speak a little Dutch, which is not a daily occurrence for me these days.

As part of the usual small talk, I asked her where in Nairobi the flight crew was staying. She replied that KLM security had advised them to stay at the airport this time in light of security concerns surrounding the elections that had been held the day prior.

It was then that I mentally connected the news articles I had been reading about the Kenyan elections with the reality of being there, at ground zero of what could either be a repeat of the 2007 election violence or something more hopeful: a watershed moment for Kenya — a peaceful transition of power.

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11 Africa-Focused Mutual Funds and ETFs

Photo by Weesam2010

The US investment community is waking up to the African growth story. As a result, an increasing number of mutual funds and ETFs now boast significant African stock holdings.

But Africa is not a country. It’s a diverse continent with a myriad of different cultures, leaders, resources, and economies.

So, I thought it might be helpful to dig into these US funds’ portfolios to determine where exactly they are placing their bets.

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Africa Investor Insight: Jonathan Kruger

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Jonathan Kruger, CFA, manages the Africa Equity Fund for Prescient Investment Management in Cape Town, South Africa. Here he explains why he’s passionate about African stock markets, his investment process, and where he sees the most value now.

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Banking on Africa’s Unbanked

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Michael Abrahams knows banking. Since receiving his PhD in Economics from UC Berkeley, he has helped craft bank policy in Washington, analyzed bank financials on Wall Street, served on the boards of financial institutions, and advised a village-level savings and loan association in Uganda. Now he’s putting his extensive expertise […]

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