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Retirement Savings - No Need to Panic


Retirement funds were this week urged to allay fears among members about retirement reform, including the changes to the law that come into effect in March next year...

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10 Worst Financial Mistakes You Can Make - Part 1


Markets tumble, interest rates spiral, motor cars are stolen ... it seems that our financial well-being is at the mercy of forces beyond our control. But as damaging as unforeseen events can be, our own bad choices are often an even bigger threat to our finances. We show you how to avoid 10 all-too-common mistakes.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings,” Cassius says in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. One interpretation of these lines is that it is not fate that creates misfortune but the weakness of human behaviour. And this is true when it comes to our finances. Many people would be decidedly more financially secure if they followed the basic rules of financial planning. Even though the best-laid plans are buffeted by external shocks, such as the stock market crash in September 2008, the most costly mistakes are of our own making.

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10 Worst Financial Mistakes You Can Make - Part 2


Too many young and fit people think that they do not need to belong to a medical scheme. They argue that they will pay more in premiums than they will receive in benefits.

They have a point. According to research by Discovery Health Medical Scheme, if you live to 90 years, 62 percent of the total amount you will spend on medical treatment during your lifetime will be spent after the age of 60, and 58 percent will be spent after the age of 85. The average value of the claims submitted by Discovery Health members in the 50-plus age bracket is greater than the average value of the claims submitted by members of all age groups combined.

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10 Worst Financial Mistakes You Can Make - Part 3


Too many people use the “plastic safety net” to cover their basic living expenses. Till assistants at retailers, even at food stores, routinely ask, “Straight or budget?”. In other words, South Africans are surviving on plastic. A budget facility on a credit card is a misnomer. In fact, “budget” in this case is a banking industry euphemism for “often unaffordable debt”.

Rajeen Devpruth, the manager for research and statistics at the National Credit Regulator, says there are 22 million credit cards, stores cards, garage cards and bank overdrafts in the hands of consumers, who owed R140 billion (R57 billion on credit cards alone) as at December last year. Of this debt, more than 25 percent had been outstanding for over 30 days and almost seven percent for over 120 days.

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Avoid These 5 Mistakes


Research by Alexander Forbes shows that the average South African retiree is expected to have generated savings that will purchase a pension of only 30 percent of the salary they were earning before retirement.

"These statistics are a cause for concern. South African citizens are either not informed, not getting the right advice or are constantly doing something wrong," says Linda Sherlock, Head of Advisory, Alexander Forbes Retail Holdings.

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Common mistakes and misconceptions


Yes, admittedly the assurance and investment sector had some dodgy people in it, leaving a sense of distrust towards brokers and FAs, but since the FAIS Act (Financial Adviser and Intermediary Services Act) in 2002, there are so many regulations and stipulations in place protecting YOU, that there is no room for error or misdirection. YOU ARE NOW SAFE!!!
Also, I know that some people believe that you either need a lot of money in order to have a FA (Financial Adviser) or that it will cost you a lot...these are the very reason I didn't sit down with one 4 years ago...but I can gladly say that NEITHER ARE TRUE.

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Getting to the heart of your financial decisions


BrightRock executive director Suzanne Stevens plots the connection between our emotions and our money decisions.
If you’ve ever indulged in a little retail therapy to remedy the blues, you already know there’s a close relationship between our hearts and our wallets. In the 18th century, the father of modern economics, Adam Smith, wrote about the predictable forces of supply and demand...

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How much are you worth to your loved ones?


With all the Women’s Day celebrations taking place this month, now is a very good time to highlight the financial role that women play in their families. Whether they are the breadwinner, or contribute equally to the household, don’t underestimate the value the woman provides.

In fact, many couples don’t fully realise just how reliant they become on each other financially, falling into an almost false sense of ‘financial security’. However, perhaps now is a good time to ask what would happen if a household that shares salaries suddenly lost one income?..

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Survey reveals habits of effective pensioners


The results from Sanlam’s fourth annual retirement benchmark survey were made available this week, and offer valuable insight into the saving habits of 50 affluent pensioners compared to an average core group of 250 participants.

For the first time, a core group of participants from across the spectrum was measured against an additional sample of participants representing the affluent sector with incomes in excess of R25 000 per month.

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The Risks of Risk Profiling


How effective are current risk profiling techniques? Do they achieve their aim (to determine a suitable investment strategy) or are they being undertaken simply to tick the boxes in terms of compliance? Patrick Barker, Private Client Portfolio Manager at Cannon Asset Managers, explores these issues and looks at alternatives.
There has always been a strong debate around the effectiveness of risk profiling, with protagonists claiming that it is a necessary step in the process of measuring risk tolerance and helps with asset allocation decisions, and the opposers stating that it should not be considered at all as the investor’s risk tolerance should be defined by the outcome they expect given their goal. In other words, they should be informed of what risk tolerance – and therefore asset allocation – they have to accept given their needs...

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You can't wait until something bad happens before you consider putting things in order.


I am constantly stunned at the blindness that a large portion of people display towards protecting themselves against the financial devastation that is a result of some of the main problems faced by all of us. We are all going to die at time, we are all going to incur debt, we all know someone that has been struck down by a life threatening illness, yet there are still some people who believe it VITALLY important to protect their car through Car Insurance yet they leave themselves and their closest family members at risk.

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