If you drive a car in South Africa, you will understand the hassle of replacing it. Once you have decided on a make and model, the paperwork begins. Some dealerships will try and rip you off, by adding extra administrative costs to the transaction.
In this instance, I was told that the administrative costs would exceeded R8 000. However, the last time I bought a car, the paperwork cost just R1 500. While reading through the contract, I also noticed that the finance provider wants to charge me a monthly fee, just to manage the account. Continue reading
In 2011, the Financial Services Board (FSB) announced they would be launching Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) in South Africa. Last year, Northwood released a blog that noted a few instances of non-compliance from financial planners. TCF is a relatively new Financial Services requirement, and is meant to ensure that those who practice in the Financial Services Industry provide their clients with suitable products and services.
In the event of a dispute, it also requires Financial Service Providers to be able to prove they have delivered on the six TCF principals. Unfortunately, many FSPs are still in contravention. Recently I came across two such cases. Continue reading
Northwood Financial Services CC first opened its doors in 1990, with a complement of only two staff members. Everything was simpler back then, and processes were relatively easy to manage.
Twenty-eight years later, things are far more complicated. My regular radio broadcasts generate a significant number of queries. Daily emails and phone calls now number in the hundreds, and as a result, the Northwood staff has grown to six. Continue reading
The world is rife with criminals wanting to help themselves to your hard-earned cash or belongings. Crime can strike anyone at any time, and with cybercrime on the rise, banks often send out notifications warning us to be vigilant, lest we become another statistic.
However, nothing beats a good old fashioned mugging.
I was attacked in the street the other day. My wallet and mobile were taken from me by two thugs I can only assume were druggies looking for their next fix. Within a minute, my identity disappeared. Obviously, the cash in my wallet is gone, but they even used my stolen ID to cash in the points on my PnP Smart Shopper card. Continue reading
I have been in the financial services industry for a number of years now, and have encountered many different people, from all walks of life. Naturally, I have a few tales to tell. One particular encounter will remain with me forever. It was not a happy one.
I remember visiting an 85-year-old who had worked as a teacher. Her sole asset was her home in a rundown part of Goodwood. To make ends meet, she had sold her refrigerator, and on her kitchen counter was a tin of dog food. Continue reading
It always takes me by surprise when I find out just how long people manage to live with their money worries before seeking help. It’s almost as though they’re hoping their financial issues will be resolved automatically.
A financial advisor, or in more serious cases, a debt counsellor, should be able to help. After all, this is what they are trained to do. Naturally, as with any other service, there will be a cost involved. However, potential clients often balk at the cost, and choose to muddle on by themselves. Usually to their own detriment. Continue reading
As a somewhat public figure, I find myself fielding questions of a financial nature at the most random times. The latest one went as follows:
Question: Why is it so difficult to buy a second property? Continue reading
At a recent conference for self-employed accountants, someone asked, “Can you afford to live to 100?” Immediately they began looking up life expectancy figures, and concluded that the question was moot. What they did not understand is that life expectancy is increasing and in about ten years, the age in question may very well be 110. Continue reading
At a recent CCFM event, someone asked me whether I had ever been sued by insurers for my extreme statements.
Insurers do not always respond in a responsible manner when they first get a complaint and, over the years, I have taken about a dozen cases to the ombud. The outcome was favourable in each instance.
Here are some of my recent fights. Continue reading
At Northwood Financial Services CC, we encourage our clients to have a diversified portfolio of assets. One of these assets we refer to as an Emergency Fund.
An Emergency Fund, as the name suggests, is used to cover any expense that you haven’t budgeted for. Such as car or home repairs, holiday spending money, a deposit on your next property or even retrenchment. Continue reading