Financial Planning for Women: the challenges and solutions

During an article published in May 2014, Forbes Magazine asked the question, “Where are all the women financial planners?”northwood-womens-finance

Reflecting on the number of Financial Planning Conferences which I attend, I can best describe the financial planning industry as pale, male and old. Typically, the only women present at these conferences are often the waitresses. In this male-dominated industry, there has been very little transformation across gender roles, and even less so across cultural lines.

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Applying for a job? Make sure that your CV is up to date and meets the employers’ requirements.

Someone once asked me what my least favourite job was as an entrepreneur…

northwood-cv-job-searchRecently, I had advertised a job listing for an accountant to join our team at Northwood Financial Services cc. Through the advert, I’d asked the job applicants to include a number of attachments along with the CV and cover letter. Of the prerequisites and attachments received, I’d conducted an analysis of the first ten Graduates who had applied:

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Changing your banking service provider

At some point or another, some of us will be faced with the decision to switch bank accounts and banking service providers.

northwood-piggy-bankRecently, the Trade Union Solidarity urged its 150,000 members to switch from ABSA (which it rated as South Africa’s priciest bank) to First National Bank (FNB). If only 25% of the members had followed the request, ABSA would have felt a considerable blow to its business.

There are numerous reasons for wanting to change banking service providers:

  • Maybe the bank has become too expensive?
  • Maybe the level of service quality has decreased?
  • Maybe you’ve had a bad experience and feel like you have been treated badly?
  • Maybe bank’s rewards programme only gives free holidays to Mauritius during typhoon season.

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New cash and card free payment services offered by SnapScan and Zapper

Most of us have visited food fairs or farmer’s markets and realised that we don’t have enough cash on us to buy all of the goods we’ve selected. As not many of these stall holders have credit card machines, we’re left to scurry around to find an ATM.

Gone are the days of scrambling in our pockets and purses for spare change, as a new payment service is available. SnapScan and Zapper are two very clever apps that have revolutionised the average payment process.


Harnessing the power of innovative technology and digital innovation, both SnapScan and Zapper have developed platforms for card and cash free payments. By simply downloading the respective apps from the various app stores, consumers are able to use their smartphones to make quick and convenient payments for various goods.

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Government offers housing subsidy through FLISP

The South African government is allowing concessions for citizens to purchase homes with assistance from the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP)

northwood-housing-blogAccess to social housing has always been a pressing issue in South Africa, with the backlog of required housing units having increased from roughly 1.2 million units in 1994, to over 2.1 million units in just over two decades. Despite the progress in supplying quality housing since 1994; with roughly 3.7 million subsidised housing opportunities offered to roughly 12.5 million people; there is still a strong demand for affordable housing opportunities.

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Northwood Financial Services cc now offers payment through SnapScan

To make our client’s processes even easier, we are now offering payment via SnapScan.



SnapScan is both easy and convenient to use, and allows you to make quick and easy payments wherever you are without having to log into your internet banking service provider for an EFT transaction. SnapScan is available for free download and is free to use in a WiFi zone (standard data charges may apply when outside of a WiFi hotspot).

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Upcoming increases to the cost of electricity, and the effect on your pocket

Nersa (the National Energy Regulator of South Africa) has granted Eskom approval to increase its tariffs for the 2016/2017 year. Initially, in November of last year, Eskom had requested a value of R22.8 billion from Nersa to recover costs lost over the 2013/2014 period. In trying to balance the interests and cost implications of both the energy producers and South Africa’s general consumers, Nersa granted half of what was initially requested – roughly R11.2 billion. Thus, consumers will face a 9.4% increase to the standard electricity tariff, effective from the 1st of April 2016.

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SASRIA offers cover for accidental or deliberate damage to property

northwood_financial_services_broken_car_windowMr. Jones arrived at work in his brand new BMW and proudly parked it in his designated parking bay. During the course of the day, a dispute broke out at work, and before he was aware of the risks, the workers began to destroy the premises. All the vehicles, including Mr. Jones’ new car, were set alight.

After the incident, Mr Jones queried the incident with his insurance company. To his dismay, the insurers informed him that he was not able to lay a claim due to the fact that no insurance policy covered damage caused by any person or group taking part in a riot, strike, lock-out or civil commotion.

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