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Firing Up Financial Success

What braai masters can teach you about financial planning.

Hesta van der Westhuizen

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When we celebrated Women’s Day, every man wanted to know why they can’t have a ‘Men’s Day’. So we obliged and gave them National Braai Day.

So what has The Braai got to do with Financial Planning?

First of all, braaiers and their followers around the fire seem to change into amateur financial advisers the moment the match hits the coals. “Have you heard about this fantastic investment opportunity? A friend of a friend is getting 25% return on his money.” Or “Now is the time to buy gold.”

That aside, here are some real similarities between The Braai and financial planning:

1.The Goal.Although it sometimes seems as if the main objective of The Braai is to donate a record number of beer bottles to recycling afterwards, the social interaction and having something to eat are also important goals. In the same way, when you engage in a process to put your financial affairs in order, you might have a number of objectives that you want to achieve, but it is of utmost importance that you have a goal.  This could be as varied as:

  • I want to make sure my family will be able to maintain their lifestyle if something happens to me.
  • I want to be able to send my children to university one day
  • I want to retire with a pension equal to my final salary
  • I have a bucket list and I want to know how I can afford it all.
  • I want to, for once and all, get my debt situation under control.

2.The Braaier.Around the braai everybody is an expert: about wood versus coals, how hot the fire must be, how long the steak should braai, salt before or afterwards. But if there is not at least one guy who knows what he is doing, then you are in trouble – and dinner might only be served when everybody has gone home, or it might end up in burned steaks or raw sausages.

In the same way, you need an expert who knows what he/she is doing when it comes to your finances. And fortunately there are professional financial planners that can take you by the hand, help unpack your goals for life, draft a plan for you and put in place the right investments or policies to help you make the most of your life.  (For the name of a certified financial planner go to fpi.co.za)

3. The Marinade.Even if you just throw the contents of a bottle over your meat, or go the whole hog by doing it yourself from the start, the marinade is an important part of the ritual of The Braai. The preparation is not complete without the marinade. In the same way, if you want to start getting your financial affairs in order, you need to do the prep work.  This is getting all the necessary documentation together, knowing where your money is invested or what policies you have – and very importantly, your spending plan and a copy of your will.

4. The safety measures.Most people will make sure the braai fire will not burn the house down or that broken bottles won’t hurt anybody – to ensure that the lasting memory of the braai is the good time everybody had, and not the tragic event.  In the same way, one of the principles of financial planning is to ensure that if a serious life changing event happens such as death or disability, the people who matter in your life will have the best of memories of your time together, and not only remember the hardship they had to endure afterwards.

5. The cost: fancy versus simple.Even if it is a bring-and-braai, you still have to shop for your part of the meat. But if you are the host, then your outlay would range from as little as the cost of a few sausages to the Full Monty: a snoek for starters, deboned leg of lamb or fillet steak and champion boerewors for mains.

The same applies for financial advice: you will be paying for the advice, in one way or another.  Because, do you really want to get the meat for your braai for free from the corner shop – you have no idea what they put in that sausage to be able to offer it to you for free – or if there is even any meat in the casing.

Enjoy National Braai Day – and hopefully the heros of The Braai also take care of the salads, pap, sauce for the pap, potato dish, braai broodjies and dessert. And of course, the marinade. Otherwise we’ll need another Women’s Day to recover from National Braai Day.

Hesta van der Westhuizen CFP is a Certified Financial Planner at Consolidated Financial Planning and has a BCom-degree and Advanced Post Graduate diploma in Financial Planning Law. She is also Chairperson of the Financial Planning Institute’s Risk committee. For more information please visit: www.consolidated.co.za

Personal Finance

(Infographic) The Financial Advice Millennials And Gen Zers Want To Know

Having a grasp on your financials is tricky, but it’s crucial if you want to be successful. And that starts with getting the right advice.

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Whether it’s saving for retirement or paying off credit card debt, money management can be a challenge. Of course, different people have different concerns – and that often comes with age. While a 60-something baby boomer might be organising their savings for retirement, your 20-something millennial might be focused on paying off student loans.

In a recent study, financial intelligence company Comet surveyed more than 1 000 people to uncover the top financial concerns of various age groups, as well as the financial advice millennials and Gen Zers want to know and what they hear instead.

Overall, saving for retirement was the top concern across all age groups, with saving for an emergency and affording monthly bills following in second and third. However, it’s no wonder these are some of the most pressing worries – according to the research, 23 percent of people admit they don’t have a savings account, and 43 percent reported not being on track towards their retirement goals. Perhaps that’s because they didn’t hear the right advice growing up. At least that might be the case for Gen Zers and millennials.

According to the research, these young people want to learn things such as how the stock market works, how to manage an investment portfolio, how to invest in real estate and how to build credit. Instead, they’re simply told how to create a budget, save for retirement and pay credit card bills in full every month.

Related: 7 Critical Things Your Financial Advisor Must Meet

Having a grasp on your financials is tricky, but it’s crucial if you want to be successful and comfortable. To learn more, check out Comet’s infographic below.

1532099434_2-cents-worth-infographic

Related: Financial Wellness Coach Nelisiwe Masango Shares Retirement Wealth Advice

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Personal Finance

14 Ways To Make Quick Cash On The Side

If you need money quickly, here are some solid ideas.

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Need to make some fast money on the side, whether it’s to pay off a credit card or to make your rent?

Keep in mind, making quick side cash isn’t about making a lot of money or getting rich. It’s about getting a shot of capital to help tide you over and put something extra in your pocket. However, some of these side-income ideas can build up your wealth over time. There’s many ways to accomplish this: By participating in the gig economy, the sharing economy, online sales networks, passive income techniques and more.

If you’re looking to make extra money in a relatively short period of time, check out these 14 slides.

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Personal Finance

Take Advantage Of Financial Democracy Made Possible By The New Stock Exchanges

Why should financial democracy matter to entrepreneurs?

Etienne Nel

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Because it creates a society able to afford products and services. Without it, even the innovative products and services that are entrepreneurs’ bread and butter will fail.

What is financial democracy, exactly?

It’s both the right and the ability of the (wo)man in the street and business people to make the decisions that affect their financial circumstances.

Financial democracy does not automatically follow political democracy. For almost 25 years after South Africa’s political transformation, the exclusiveness of our financial markets continued to deprive the vast majority of South Africans of the means to invest, save, and build wealth. South Africa has, therefore, never developed a retail stock exchange environment. So, it has deprived the majority of small and medium sized business of access to capital.

For entrepreneurs to truly flourish, they need a mechanism that easily and seamlessly connects the investor pool with every size of business. And, they need affordable ways to enter both the retail and institutional market.

In short, they need stock exchanges. Ones on which listing takes weeks rather than years, doesn’t break the bank for listing fees, and provides the shortest route to the largest possible potential investor base.

That’s not been possible in the stock exchange monopoly that existed for six decades. Now, it is.

What’s changed?

We now have four new stock exchanges. The resulting competitive environment will significantly reduce the cost of listing – and the cost for investors of buying and selling shares.

Instead of restricting share trading to people or organisations who already have tens of thousands of rands to invest or millions to spend on listing, by licensing four new stock exchanges, the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA, formerly the FSB) has recognised that most financial decisions do not call for high levels of education.

Related: The Role Of Foreign Exchange In The Economy

Most people know how to spend their own grocery money. Most know that it’s better to keep their R1 000 monthly income in a coffee jar than spend R50 of it on bank account fees. People who can barely read and write are immensely skillful at manipulating air time deals to their advantage.

There is significant financial savvy in all social strata.

In the same way, although the mechanics of bookkeeping and accounting may be unfamiliar territory to many entrepreneurs, most have a clear understanding of the difference between profit and loss.

The FSCA has therefore enabled democratisation of the financial markets by enabling the broadest possible spectrum of entrepreneurs and investors to use stock exchanges to participate in and contribute to the economy – on their own rather than prescriptive terms.

How do you take strategic advantage of this democratisation?

  1. Base your business strategy on people’s instinct for making decisions in their own best interests. Trust financial decentralisation, such as one sees in crowd funding and in digital environments such as block chain, where people would far rather trust one another than institutions and governments. This is democracy innately at work in the financial environment and it’s accelerating organically as digital technologies give people more means and the confidence to help themselves – to information and opportunities. Ride the wave.
  2. Tap into people’s desire to innovate. Consumer organisations have proved that letting people interactively help them develop products is a powerful growth engine. Apply the principle by letting people grow your business by buying shares in it, giving you capital and themselves a platform on which to build wealth.
  3. Remember, the ultimate loyalty reward is equity.

Your financial democracy business plan

Look to list on an entrepreneurial stock exchange; one that was founded by entrepreneurs on entrepreneurial principles.

That means: A stock exchange that is already built on financial democracy and decentralisation. One that has, at its core, a single operational concept that keeps things simple for you, automatically gives you an immediate competitive advantage, and, ensures that no matter what your business needs in terms of attracting capital, the exchange can provide all the options in the same, consistent way.

What does such an exchange look like?

It has fintech capabilities. So:

It slashes your listing costs. It achieves this, among other things, by enabling you to populate an electronic prospectus, demonstrating your financial viability, and self publish.

It gives you control by having the granularity and agility to impose relevant governance right down to the individual investor. You get to decide the types and quantities of investors you want to attract. This also enables you to achieve black economic empowerment in perpetuity.

It leads the world by clearing and settling trades in T+0. No-one in the value chain has to hold large sums of money for days following a transaction. Small transactions become profitable. Investors don’t have to risk their life savings on a single large trade. A retail market is opened. An investment and savings culture is entrenched. The economy expands. Your business grows steadily.

It enables anywhere, any time trading via a mobile app that allows investors to see share value in real time. See economy expansion point above.

It integrates processes and procedures, simplifying them and ensuring rapid onboarding of issuers and, therefore, speed to market with new concepts and alignment with the digital economy.

It operates a principles-based regime. So:

It treats you, as an executive, with respect. It’s not prescriptive. It does not insist on excessive oversight, allowing the Companies Act to guide you to sustainability.

It does not attempt to squeeze your company into a pre-defined business or listings format. It recognises and works with your uniqueness.

It obviates the need for expensive specialist listings advisors.

It focuses on financial inclusion and access. So:

Shares can be bought and sold for no more than R1 000. See economy building point above.

Related: 27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

The new world of stock exchanges is integrated, synergistic, holistic, organic, self-fulfilling

Decentralisation of financial control, democratisation of opportunity leads to a whole new economy. One in which, for instance, a taxi operator can finance a minibus through a company in which his purchase gives him shares. A single purchase gives him two benefits: a vehicle on which to found his business and a longer-term investment in shares that he can trade. The funding company gains liquidity through access to a wider base of investors while being able to control who buys and sells and the conditions on which trading takes place. Increasing black equity in business becomes an organic, natural, self-perpetuating process.

Everyone wins in a decentralised, democratised financial market. And it’s the stock exchanges that drive the process.

As an entrepreneur, can you afford to ignore the acceleration that listing could give your business growth?

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