Our Methodology

At Beanstalk, it is our intention to make investing in unit trusts and retirement annuities easier than putting your money in a savings account. Why? Well chances are, you are losing real value by keeping your money in accounts or investments that don't offer inflation-beating rates of return.

To make the process of investing as simple as possible for you, we rigorously do the following:

  1. We select only top performing, consistent funds and allocated them to one of three major risk groups - aggressive, moderate and conservative.
  2. We update the list of funds available on the Beanstalk website on a quarterly basis to reflect market conditions, historical performance and other measurements we monitor to ensure our clients get the best value from their investment(s)
  3. We will recommend an appropriate risk profile for each of your investment goals. This risk profile recommendation will be based on your age, reason for saving, intended investment duration and a few other basic pieces of information.
  4. We will recommend a minimum of two funds appropriate to each risk profile. These funds will be recommended based on a proprietary algorithm that helps us rank funds that are fit for the purpose(s) we are recommending them for.

Striking an appropriate balance between potential returns and the risk of losing money is what we do best. You don't need to spend hours and hours analysing a bunch of funds using metrics such as sortino ratios, maximum drawdown, standard deviations, average annual returns, etc. We take all the guesswork out of the equation for you, by doing all this homework on hundreds of funds available in South Africa.

Some of the criteria we use to choose a top-performing fund includes:

  • Fund Mandate e.g. What is the fund mandate? What is the fund manager's investment process? What is the fund manager's investment philosophy?
  • Performance (track record) e.g. What average annual return has the fund enjoyed? How has it done relative to other, similar funds?
  • Risk Analysis e.g. What is the maximum drawdown for the fund? What is the fund's standard deviation? What is its Sharpe ratio (this is the fund's risk-adjusted return)?

The above fund metrics (and numerous others) are collated and applied to a Beanstalk proprietary algorithm which produces a risk score. All our selected funds have to fall within the top 10 available funds in each risk category to be considered for inclusion on this site. This process ensures that every Beanstalk client gets access to the best funds available.

The only restriction we place on funds that can be considered for inclusion on the site is that they must be available on the Allan Gray or Investec Investment Platforms. PLEASE NOTE: This does not limit one to investing in just Allan Gray or Investec unit trusts, but rather funds that Allan Gray and Investec have stringently vetted, and those that regular brokers have requested be included in their comprehensive and world-class administration platforms. This naturally excludes new and high risk funds.

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Beanstalk Recommended Funds

What is a Beanstalk recommended fund?

We will only recommend funds that we feel are most appropriate for your investment and savings goals. We are completely independent and have no incentive to recommend one fund over another - other than to delight our clients with the best possible returns. We receive no compensation for recommending one fund over another.

Why do we recommend funds?

Well, in short, because we want to make this as easy as possible for you to give yourself the gift of investing. We have done all the homework on hundreds of available unit trusts and retirement annuities in South Africa so that you don't have to; and we have selected only the top performing unit trusts for different savings and investment needs.