When it comes to the rand – local is lekker

Have you ever wondered what causes the rise and drop in commodity prices? While there are several factors at play, the most significant cause is the fluctuating value of a country’s currency. We’ve seen this happen with our own rand in the past few months as our currency has tumbled and gained momentary reprieves, so has the price of certain commodities. As things currently stand our currency is doing better than it was in January of this year, but with the ominous threat of ‘junk status’ around the corner we can’t be sure what the future holds – and the […]

A woman’s will

Happy Women’s Day for tomorrow! In celebration of Women’s Month I wanted to share an article that focuses specifically on a financial planning aspect that is often overlooked for women. Recently, the Fiduciary Institute of Southern Africa (Fisa) discussed some important financial planning considerations for women that highlighted the need for an up-to-date will. It is estimated that at least half of the estates reported at the Master’s Office each year are of people who died intestate (without a will). This is largely due to the fact that South Africans often don’t see the need to draft a will, especially […]

The power of positivity and a good plan

Have you ever told yourself, “When I have more money, I’ll be happier”? How about, “I’ll never be able to pay off this debt”? These sort of toxic money thoughts are holding you back from financial success – and happiness! A good financial plan needs to be attainable and measurable, those expressions are neither. The first step to a financial plan is both the hardest and the easiest – it’s the starting point. The point where you measure how deep you are so that you can calculate what you need to do to get where you want to be. Measuring […]

Cancer claims reveal risk trends

Recent statistics made available by Liberty Life reveal that cancer is the leading cause of claims paid by the assurer in 2015. One in four claims paid by Liberty were for cancer, and the proportion of claims for cancer is increasing, even at younger ages. Motor vehicle accidents are typically cited as the reason that young people need disability or income protection cover, but cancer was a greater cause accounting for 12.3% of claims (motor vehicles accounted for 11.9%). Even more worrying is the fact that in young parents, cancer was the cause for claim for 22.5%. These statistics are […]

What happens after a market downgrade?

There has been much murmuring in the financial field as of late regarding queries with respect to investing locally, or shifting all portfolios offshore, specifically in the light of the widespread media coverage and speculation regarding South Africa’s credit rating and the likelihood of a downgrade to “junk status” – which could happen as soon as the third quarter. While there is some speculation about when it might happen the general consensus seems to be that it is no longer a question of “if”, but “when”. It is thought that South Africa’s sovereign debt rating will be cut below investment […]

Investing in your fifties

Many young people neglect to plan for their retirement during their early working lives, arguing that they will take care of it later in life when they are earning a bigger salary. However, on the flip side of the coin, as people get older they assume that they must rebalance their portfolios into more conservative investments. Luckily, most people are choosing to retire later in life. If you have left investing in your retirement until later in life, there may be a risk in investing too conservatively (not enough exposure to growth assets like shares and listed property) as your […]

Financial Fortifications for Forty Somethings

It’s often said that the best years are the forties – and for so many reasons! Whilst everyone is different, it’s good to state at the start of this article that this perspective is becoming even more prevalent. Some forty year-olds are in their first marriage with kids, others are in their second or third… with kids. Some have never been married and have no inclination of doing so. These situations place people in very different landscapes, but they all have one thing in common – over forty years of life behind them. It poses a unique opportunity to view […]

Common financial mistakes in your thirties

Saving in your thirties becomes increasingly difficult as your financial responsibilities increase. However, sound financial decisions during this phase of life can have profound benefits at a later stage. Here are some common financial mistakes to avoid: The first is failing to draw up a budget. A proper budget is the starting point of all financial discipline and should be physically written down for later reference. Include your partner in this process as it is important to ensure that you are both on the same page. The second mistake is do too much too soon. Before investing you need to […]

South Africans lack confidence when it comes to finances

Most South African consumers feel challenged by their finances, with relatively few saying that they are highly successful at sticking to their financial goals or are knowledgeable about financial matters. This was revealed when the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI) conducted a nationwide survey, in conjunction with the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) and a global research firm (GfK), to determine South African citizen’s financial attitude compared to that of the average global citizen. Both primary and shared household financial decision-makers were surveyed, 19,000 participants from 19 countries around the world, the results revealed the following key findings […]

Retirement doesn’t happen at 65…

Retirement planning is only one component of a holistic financial plan and although retirement has a higher probability than all the other risk areas, this is the area we find people being the worst prepared for. Retirement doesn’t happen at 65… it happens when you make it happen! Planning for retirement is much like planning a flight in a light aircraft. Before you embark on this journey you have to check if your aircraft is in a good enough condition to make the trip, what the weather conditions will be like so that they can be used to your favour […]