Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Excerpts from my new book to be released on 13 December 2013, titled: Bulls and Bears: life lessons from the financial markets

Excerpts from my book to be released on 13 December 2013

I'm very excited that my book, titled: Bulls and Bears: LIFE lessons from the financial markets will be released in South Africa on 13 December 2013. The book is NOT about the financial markets but the inspirational life lessons that I have derived from the financial markets in general and the stock market in particular. There are some fantastic lessons from the book including, but not limited to:

1.    All trends eventually end. I have learned that there’s no economic boom that lasts forever neither does the recession lasts forever. If you are experiencing a “personal recession”, you must be comforted by the fact that, this too shall pass.
2.    In the financial markets, just like in life: nobody cares how good you used to be. Chief Executives will know this: Shareholders are ruthless – the fact that you have given them solid performance in the past 10 years, means absolutely nothing to them. If they start suspecting that the prospects of your company are not that great, they will sell their shares and move on. They don’t care how good you used to be. This is the same about life; we don’t care that you passed Matric with a distinction ten years ago or you whatever you accomplished in 1981; we don’t care. What are you doing today?
3.    Overconfidence is as bad as lack of confidence. In the financial markets, when people become overconfident, they stop doing the things that they used to do. They used to do a fundamental analysis to understand the value of a share and now all they do is speculate and base their investments on emotions. Never be overconfident, just do what you used to do. If you’re now in a position of authority, it doesn’t mean you’ve made it. Keep investing in yourself; attend leadership programs, you can just never know enough.
4.    Investing in yourself, just like investing in the stock market, is cheaper than you think.
5.    Exceptionally high earnings growth rates are unsustainable for long periods. There is no company that can sustain exceptional high growth rates for too long (I show why in the book). Even as human beings, steady growth rates are always better. Those who rise to leadership and prominence too quickly are in a risk of falling as quickly. You can’t always take the short and easy way out. Just like in the markets, what you earn in large numbers quickly doesn’t last long. There are no shortcuts to success, wealth, maturity or wisdom. All these require that you do certain things and therefore have to go through a process.
6.    Bull Markets last longer than Bear Markets – Be Bullish. In the book we trace certain scientific studies that prove that the good times (bull markets) last longer than the bad times (bear markets). I show why this should comfort any person. You maybe be crying now but this will not last forever.
7.    The job of analysts is to talk; the job of Chief Executives is to run a business. If you are the CEO of your own life then learn this now: leave the talking to the analysts and just continue to run your business.

  Ok before I reveal all my lessons here, let me stop. If you want more, pre-order your own copy
  of my book. Send me an email on: siphiwe@siphiwemoyo.co.za


Monday, 9 September 2013

Why you should book Siphiwe Moyo as an MC at your next event.

Siphiwe Moyo – Motivational Speaker, Facilitator Extraordinaire and MC.

Why you should book Siphiwe Moyo as an MC at your next event.


Booking an MC for your next corporate event is not an easy decision because everyone knows that an MC can either make or break an event. Imagine the following scenario:

You are organizing an Awards evening for a big organization, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and you want to book an MC and you want the following from an MC:

1.       Someone who understands numbers a bit because you will be awarding categories such as the division that has displayed efficiencies, as measured by the lowest cost to income ratio etc.

2.       Someone who is as comfortable with the Board and Exco as he is with junior staff members who are using three (3) taxis to come to the event.

3.       Someone who is extremely funny but who can still be prudent in managing time.

People tell you that this is too much to ask but you somehow believe that there is someone out of there who can meet the criteria and as you brainstorm with your team; you come up with the following options:

1.       Financial Journalist: A financial journalist would definitely understand the numbers and would not have a problem talking about things such as “quantitative easing” or “market capitalization”. You might have two potential problems though: Will he be able to connect with the junior staff? Is he not going to be boring? You wonder but you are not sure.

2.       Celebrity DJ: You think maybe I should get a celebrity DJ and you are right, the DJ would probably be very popular with the junior staff members but here is one problem – she speaks slang most of her life and might not be “believable” when she speaks the “corporate speak”. You know corporates have jargon right? I’m sure you do.

3.       Comedian: If you hire a professional comedian, people will have a lot of fun but you wonder; is there something called too much fun at a corporate event? Of course there is, some comedians do forget that your event is not a comedy show and therefore might make a lot of jokes and there’s always that risk that the event will loose the “dignity” it deserves as an awards function.

You are about to throw your hands in the air and give up; you think to yourself “I will never be able to find someone who is extremely funny, who was in Senior Management in Corporate SA, who is relatively popular with Junior staff members and who is very comfortable with numbers”. A friend calls you and tells you that you are not asking for the impossible; there is a guy called Siphiwe Moyo who meets your criteria and she explains to you why:

1.       Understanding the numbers: Siphiwe has an MBA and is a Certified International Retail Banker from the International Academy of Retail Banking. You tick this box and can’t wait to read more.

2.       Comfortable with Board and Exco: He is in fact Chairman of the Board at the South African Board for People for People Practices, a very big organization.

3.       Comfortable with Junior Staff: Siphiwe stayed in an informal settlement of Orange Farm for many years and therefore can relate very well with some of the junior staff members who might still be there.

4.       Extremely Funny: Every time Siphiwe MCs an event someone is bound to ask “are you sure you are not a comedian?” This guy is extremely funny but because he was in Corporate for 12 years before becoming a fulltime Speaker and MC, he understands the boundaries and does not go overboard.

You are struggling to believe this, you tell yourself “surely this is too good to be true” but it is not – try him you will never be disappointed; you will realize that the synonym for the term “value for money” is Siphiwe Moyo. Contact him on the details below:

Contact details:

Cell: 084 523 4029        



Thursday, 4 July 2013

Broad-Based Black Economic ENTITLEMENT


The chapter before this one I introduce the real meaning and intentions of BBBEE. In this chapter I would like to present the term I coined for BBBEE, namely Broad Based Black Economic Entitlement.

Dictionary.com defines entitlement as “the right to guaranteed benefits under a government program, as social security or unemployment compensation”. I would like to submit that BBBEE has had unintended consequences in this country, namely fostering a terrible culture of entitlement. People suddenly feel that they are entitled to get things from government even when they are unwilling to do any work whatsoever.

A few years ago my wife and I attended a funeral in Mmakgabetlwane, a village in which she grew up in the North West province of South Africa. We were driving a decent car then and so after the funeral someone who grew up with my wife whispered to her “my friend, please ask Siphiwe to give us tenders as well”. There were a few problems with this statement: First, the lady assumed that the car just had to be mine and not my wife’s car which is an incorrect belief but secondly here was a thirty-something year’s old lady who believed that the only way I could afford to drive that car was if I was benefiting from tenders.

This is unfortunately the unintended consequence of BBBEE – a bunch of people who believe that if they are to succeed there must be someone from somewhere who will come and offer them tenders. This culture of entitlement is so entrenched that many unemployed people in townships are obsessed with registering close corporations solely to benefit from the tender system. This entitlement mentality will cause a person to die in abject poverty and must be discouraged at all cost.

I usually tell a story of someone I knew when I stayed in Orange Farm. He had just been appointed as a local government official in the Municipality. We were talking one day about this culture of entitlement and he basically told me without even blinking that he and his comrades have four to five years in office and therefore they must loot the coffers as much as possible before their time is over. I honestly could not believe what I was hearing. When I told him how disgusted I was with his response, he told me that I must simply get over it because government officials in the Provincial and National offices share the same sentiments. What happened to the culture of selflessness in our country?

My friend you are not entitled to anything in this country. No one is coming to give you tenders; no one is coming to save you from your poverty. No one must give you a bursary; no one must give you a job. I’ve seen a lot of people in Orange Farm and other informal settlements complaining that they have been on a waiting list to get houses from government for 20 years. If you are reading this, please hear me, stop waiting for government, you will wait forever; do something for yourself. I often tell people that it is much easier to help someone who has started doing something. Stop planning; stop dreaming; stop promising and simply start.

As the famous Mandoza used to say Uzoyithola kanjani uhlel' ekhoneni which is loosely translated "You will get absolutely nothing if you are just sitting there and doing nothing".


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Contrary to popular belief the world owes you absolutely nothing

I was born in a two-roomed house in Mofolo South, Soweto. When I tell most of my friends now that I grew up in a two-roomed house, they often assume I mean a two-bedroom house but no, I actually do mean a two-room house. Most houses in Soweto are two-bedroom houses with a lounge and a kitchen so even amongst the poor people of Soweto, our neighbourhood was the poorest. For a very long time there was a huge open space next to our small neighbourhood until in the mid-1990s someone decided to build new, “bonded” houses in that open space. I had never seen such beautiful houses in my life; they were big and really looked amazing.

I was in my teens when the new occupants moved into their new homes. I had never seen so much hostility directed at a people in my entire short life. The people who stayed in the “new houses” as they were called were ridiculed, ostracised and were made to feel guilty for buying houses in a beautiful neighbourhood with their hard-earned money. Most people in our neighbourhood almost felt like these people owed them something; how dare they move into our neighbourhood and display so much opulence when we were dying in poverty?

My friend, if you still think like this, you must change your thinking; contrary to what you might think nobody owes you anything. If you are to succeed in life, it is up to you and nobody else. Those people in the “new houses” did not owe us anything, it was not their fault that we were poor and they should never have felt guilty about their achievements. I really love this statement by Bill Gates: ‘If you are born poor it is not your fault but if you die poor it is”.

I now stay in a good area that looks far better than the “new houses” which were next to my neighbourhood in Mofolo South, Soweto. Approximately five kilometres away from my home there is an informal settlement. I often witness the hostility some of the people who stay in this informal settlement have towards me and my neighbours. I can tell that somehow some of them feel that we owe them something. Somehow they feel that we must offer them jobs, money, food or something and I can see it in some of their eyes that they feel they are entitled to get these from me and my neighbours. According to the South African Police Service (SAPS) officials in our area, most of the burglaries in our area are committed by our neighbours from this informal settlement. This does not surprise me at all, in fact this was the thinking when I was growing up in Mofolo South, some people felt that they must go and steal in the “new houses” because they “owe us”.

Unfortunately many people who believe that the world owe them something will never get out of poverty until they change that mind-set. Until you own something, you cannot change it. If you believe that the reason you are not losing weight is because of your family genes, you will never lose the weight (note to self). 

My friends please get this and get it now: nobody owes anything in this world; if you are going to succeed it will be because of you and nobody else.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Ten Commandments addressed to the Matric Class of 2012

As I woke up this morning I felt compelled to write this as an advice to the young people who just received their Matric results yesterday, 03 Jan 2013. I have borrowed from the biblical phrase “ten commandments” hoping that it will inspire young people to read this, here we go:
1.       Thou art not educated – If you are in the township or a rural area; there might be a number of people who now say to you ufundile, loosely translated to “you are now educated”; this is not true – you have not even started. A study done for the Human Science Research Council conducted by Branson, Leibbrandt, Zuzu (in Cloete, 2009) analysed household data from 2000 to 2007 to establish clear, positive links between further study and access to the labour market (jobs). They found that obtaining a tertiary qualification compared to the group with a matric certificate improved the likelihood to be formally employed up to three times.
2.       Thou shalt study Maths If you have passed Matric without Maths or with Maths Literacy (which also means without Maths in my view) – make it a point that you study Maths. If you are going to University you may add this as an additional subject to whatever you will be studying. Maths will help any young person as they go forward in their life/career.
3.       Thou shalt stay away from those dodgy colleges in the CBD – Some young people think “as long as I’m studying it does not matter where I’m studying” – wrong it actually matters more where you are studying. If you can’t afford a University or a University of Technology, rather consider a Further Education & Training (FET) College.
4.       Thou shalt not look for a job – unless you really have to, please do not look for a job now. There are various reasons why you should not look for a job.
a.       It is very difficult for someone with only Matric to get a job.
b.      Most people who start working for companies when they only have Matric struggle to climb the corporate ladder, if that’s what you want.
c.       When people start working after Matric; they say they will study part time but they never do or if they do they never finish their degrees. Studying by correspondence is very hard.
5.       Thou shalt start a business – Starting a business is good for the economy and for you; Professor Nicholas Biekpe from Africagrowth Research found a few reasons why:
a.       About that 95% of companies in Australia are from the Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) sector;
b.      America has the largest number of SMEs in the world;
c.       After the second world war the growth of both Japan and Germany were SME led;
d.      More tax revenue is generated from SMEs in the developed countries compared to tax from big business;
e.      SMEs create more employment compared to big business;
f.        The above implies that SMEs are, truly, the engine of economic growth!!!!!
g.       In South Africa, SMEs contribute between 52 to 57% to GDP and provide about 61% of employment;
Contrary to popular belief starting you own business is a viable option.
6.       Thou shalt be obsessed with learning – commit yourself to life-long learning. This includes formal and non-formal learning. Never stop learning.
The last four commandments are taken from the book "Dumbing Down our Kids" by educator Charles Sykes. I have changed them to fit in with my “ten commandments theme”:
7.       Thou shalt change thine expectations – Sorry, you won't make R500, 000 a year right out of high school. And you won't be a Chief Operating Office or have a company car in the first year. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn't have a designer label.
8.       Thou shalt toughen up – If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. When you mess up, he's not going to ask you how you FEEL about it.
9.       Thou shalt get over it – You're offended? So what? No, really. So what? You are not a victim. So stop whining.
10.    Thou shalt remember – television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to work.