Giving yourself a gift

Reward for achieving goalHave you ever considered giving yourself an annual gift?

Or maybe a monthly one (on a smaller scale)?

I have a relative who has a very limited budget, but once a month when she achieves her goal, she treats herself by driving to the beach and ordering the biggest ice cream cone she can find. She savours every mouthful while listening to her favorite Gospel singers. If she feels really good, she will even sing along with the noisy gulls while they beg for food. Two slices of bread encourage them to stay close by.

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Detailing our Fees-Based Model and Upfront Fees

Members in the financial planning and advisory industry have two different means of earning an income.

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The industry standard – appropriated by most financial planners – is a commission-based model. With this, the financial consultant meets with the client, assesses the client’s needs requirement and then suggests and sells various policies to them. As the financial consultant works on a commission-based model, they will not earn an income in the event that no sale is made on behalf of the client. With this, there is a more aggressive approach to the selling of policies, and more often than not, the client will be heavily encouraged to buy a policy.

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Dealing with the Financial Implications of Divorce

Getting married and starting a life with the person you love is a marvellous new chapter to begin, unfortunately, most marriages do not last. The divorce rate has increased by 5% and statistics from 2012 show that of the 161,112 marriages that took place in South Africa, 22,000 of those marriages resulted in divorce.

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In most instances, the wife almost always ends up in a position of disadvantage. After experiencing a divorce, she will be forced to deal with emotional trauma and extra financial implications, and too, face the challenge of dealing with getting herself back to where she used to be and figuring out where she wants to be. Continue reading

South Africa’s Best and Worst Insurance Companies

The Office of the Ombudsman for Long-Term Insurance is an independent body to which consumers can complain if they believe they have been treated unfairly by their insurer. In the latest annual report, it is stated that the Ombudsman had recovered R184.4 million in the form of lump sums for consumers from long-term insurance companies.

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The Ombudsman said it had received 9,815 written requests for assistance – which is an increase of 6% from the previous year. Of these complaints, 5,018 were chargeable complaints, with 3,491 cases full cases finalised. Three in 29.8% cases were resolved in favour of the complainant.

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Is all debt bad?

Is all debt bad? To answer that question, we need to consider two concepts:

  • What is the cost of debt?
  • What is the reward to be gained as a result of that debt?

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If you are prepared to enter into debt to purchase a pair of shoes valued at R10 000, the reward will be that you are the envy of many of your friends. Is this reward worth R10 000, plus interest on the debt? Continue reading

Frustrations with a Local South African Bank

I have held a Private Banking account with a large South African bank for the past 24 years. Although this is an expensive account to have, I am provided with a Private Banker – which is one of the main benefits of private banking. However, after a long time of holding the account, I have come to the conclusion that for me, this is no longer good value for money.

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My main concern is the overall lack of communication with my Private Banker. Whenever I try to phone her, I am met with a voicemail message which instructs me to contact her assistant. When trying to phone the assistant, who also doesn’t answer the phone, I am redirected again to the Call Centre. Here, after spending very long periods of time moving between the switchboard and related prompts, I am told to contact my Private Banker.

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