Do I really need an offshore will?
Who gets the precious family heirloom, or the offshore investment that you worked so hard to protect and grow? How do you ensure that it ends up where you intended?
Let’s take a deeper dive into this practical element of estate planning, namely having an offshore will.
Why you should think about your work
In the past financial planning has focussed on helping people protect and save their income or investments. We assumed a steady inflation tracking income in our retirement models and insured against disasters. However, we can no longer assume straight-line careers that will produce steady incomes. We must start to plan for frequent career changes, much longer working years and include discussions about career planning in our financial planning.
Look, Listen & Learn
In this month’s edition, we show how thinking about the ‘future-you’ can improve your financial planning and overall health. We share a futurists paper on seven great forces that will shape the 2020s. Lastly, we share a discussion on violence and whether it’s the best way to effect change.
Look, Listen & Learn
In this month’s edition, we discuss the Russian conflict and how to deal with uncertainty. We listen to a podcast on the complex issue of misinformation and censoring. We also share a classic article to help you define success and meaning in your life.
Topline: Q4 2021 review
Local elections, inflation and the threat of a new variant grabbed most of the headlines as we ended off 2021. Governments across the world diverged, and continue to, on their approach to both the Covid pandemic as well as their stance on monetary policy. The effectiveness of covid-zero policies in countries like China & Australia has been questioned as other countries start planning for a world where Covid is part of reality. Policymakers have also battled to curb inflation and the divergence across countries will only become clearer as the year moves along. Let’s have a look at some of the major headlines that are driving markets.
Topline Quarterly Review: Q3 of 2021
This quarter was defined by riots in South Africa which pushed the country to the brink of a total shutdown. Covid maintains its influence on our lives, we saw some major regulation changes in China that sent markets into a frenzy, and some headwinds ahead as rising inflation remains a contentious topic. Read more here.
What does it really take to divorce well?
When we enter a marriage, we hopefully know that it will take consistent, hard work to make it work. With the knowledge that sometimes, it just doesn’t. How should you then approach the initial phases of separation, so that you are able to protect your personal and financial well-being?
Topline Quarterly Review: Q2 of 2021 – Will the riots end the recovery?
When we planned this quarterly feedback, things were looking better in South Africa – business confidence was at an eight-year high boosted by significant gains in the fight against corruption, the South African equity market outperformed global markets for the first half of this year and the Rand was at its strongest levels in years...
Musings | Inheritance and the guilt that comes with it.
Money can only hold as much power as we give it and as humans, we have given it immense power. In such a culture, where our relationship with money influences our self-worth, what happens if you suddenly get gifted a lot of money?
How do I compare my investment returns?
The last year has given us a fascinating case study of how returns can vary over short periods. Let’s delve into the underworld of investment returns so that the next time your friends brag about their superior investment returns, you can challenge with sceptical realism.
Topline Quarterly Review: Q1 of 2021
Markets raced off to a good start in 2021, building on from 2020. The sustainability of the pace will, however, be determined by the continued global success of vaccination roll-outs. This quarter will be pivotal in determining whether we can achieve a Covid-free second half of 2021, at least in some parts of the world.
How to Rest
Rest has been a foreign concept to Western society during the past century. Even the use of the word in the English language has shown a steady decline. Until 2020. This year, the word occurred more frequently than at any other time during the last century.
What’s the story with prescribed assets?
For a while now, we have been reading with great interest about how the government wants to be able to control how our retirement savings are invested. This is usually referred to by its short name, “prescribed assets”, and advocates on either side of the argument have been keeping us glued to...
The truth about divorce
If your future depends on it, you should know about it. The lockdown has probably challenged most marriages. Some have been broken. Divorce attorneys are already dealing with the fall out as they report up to a 20% rise in divorce applications. The current economic climate will make these divorce...
How do you respond to fear?
Money is emotive. The reason for this is because of what money represents in our lives. It represents status, power, opportunity and limitations. For most, it represents a life they want to live. So, when the market goes into the fastest decline in recorded history, it threatens our life goals.
Cutting the budget “chop chop”
The Great Lockdown is likely to be the biggest disruptor of the upward personal and global trajectory since the Second World War. Most of us have had occasional setbacks but this upheaval will cause economic hardship for many people who have never had much reason to worry about money.
What do I do when my loved one dies?
The worst has happened. Perhaps it came unexpectedly, perhaps it’s been hovering for a while. The shock is the same…you’ve just lost a significant person in your life. Saying goodbye is traumatic. Apart from the emotional distress of the passing, there is the added anxiety of having to make funeral arrangements and handling personal affairs.
How much offshore is enough?
“How much offshore is enough? In this article, I’d like to share how we approach this pressing issue with our clients – an approach we have developed through our academic training combined with decades of experience in offshore investments.”
Topline Quarterly Review: Q4 of 2019
We believe that our clients’ needs regarding financial markets have changed. There is now so much credible information available about financial markets, that our time and energy needs to focus on where we can best add value within that context. However, we are also aware that our clients would like to know what our informed review and analysis is...
Time to reframe risk
Risk is something that can be measured, and we, regardless of understanding the measurements, use it to make investment decisions. The problem is, we think we are concerned about risk, but we are not. Humans are much more concerned about uncertainty!
Prescribed assets: by the numbers
Is it still worthwhile to invest in a retirement annuity, pension or provident fund with Prescribed Assets on the cards? Our numbers conclude that the tax benefit outweighs the negatives, even taking a big capital loss into account.
2020 – the next decade. What will it hold?
Celebration isn’t about our circumstances. We should celebrate the goodness of life while we have breath in our bodies, feet to dance, eyes to see beauty and arms to embrace our people. At the end of the year, take a moment to write down what you’re grateful for.
Topline Quarterly Review: Q3 of 2019
The third quarter of 2019 saw markets give up some of the gains made in the first half of the year. Oil jumped and retreated after an attack on a Saudi Arabian oil plant. Global markets are not sure what to make of the tit-for-tat trade war between the US and China. Locally, we...
How do we protect our wellbeing in disruption?
‘The first wealth is health,’ is a popular quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Whilst we are working, we need health in order to earn, so that we can build capital. We are converting human capital into financial capital. Without health, it is difficult to build capital.
Topline Quarterly Review: Q2 of 2019
South Africa participated in the global equities rally as the United States confirmed that there will be no more interest rate hikes in 2019. Equity markets around the globe cheered the news with double digit growth achieved in most emerging market countries for 2019. Uncertainty has become a part of our everyday lives with the developed world leading the ...
Bring the Tequila
“Life will always be uncertain and at some point, you will undoubtedly face hardship. Yet some people manage to deal with adversity much better than others. Some people manage to transform that adversity into success. In talking to clients and people, I have been struck by recurring themes within their stories that have helped them ...
The art of budgeting
“We strongly believe in creating Wealth for Life. But, to do the things you want to do during your lifetime you need to have the capacity to do so. Therefore, we believe you need to control your needs and wants and save the rest in order to truly tick the wishes off your bucket list.”
Topline Quarterly Review: Q1 of 2019
Recoveries, Buybacks and Politics The start of 2019 has seen most investors relieved by the recovery experienced on all fronts following a tough end to 2018. Markets bounced back sharply erasing most of the losses incurred in the fourth quarter. For investors that stayed the course the effects of 2018 are now negligible. For those that jumped ...
Taking Stock of Another Year
2018 was a tough year 2018 was one of the toughest years of my career. Not only did we see a decline in global share markets, but safe asset classes did not help portfolios either. Most asset classes declined in unison. But that wasn’t the difficult part – volatility is normal in markets. For our clients, ...
How do I know my advisor makes the best decisions for me?
“Qualifications and great track-records go a long way, but what happens behind the scenes – in the mind of the advisor? Specifically, how do we at Foundation Family Wealth make our decisions and how do we decide on what the best advice is?”
Topline Quarterly Review: Q4 of 2018
“Aren’t we glad that 2018 is behind us? That said – we’re all asking if there’s light at the end of the tunnel or if that’s actually a train approaching?”
The Finance Series for Millennials: #5 How to Manage your Finances over the Holiday Period
“None of us want to go on holiday and constantly think about money. We don’t want to stay home and miss out on fun activities either.” Our fifth article focuses on managing your finances over the holiday period.
Want to Make Drastic Changes to Your Financial Planning Strategy? Read this First.
“In my three decades of working in investments, I have rarely seen investor confidence as low and pessimism reign as we are seeing now. I suspect that many of our readers are questioning their financial planning strategies. We have identified three critical questions for making drastic changes to your strategy and even your advisor.”
Foreign Investment Allowances
“With the end of the year in sight, it may be a good time to get the administration in order for your tax clearance certificate…”
Topline Quarterly Review: Q3 of 2018
“The third quarter of 2018 was a tough one for emerging market economies. South Africa fell into a technical recession as economic growth contracted for the whole of 2018.”
The biggest financial risks in retirement
“Planning for retirement can be challenging as there are many unknowns and uncertainties that you need to consider. There are a few financial risks that can have a significant impact on your capital and your ability to draw income comfortably for the rest of your life.”
Treasury withdraws punitive unit trust tax proposal
“Treasury partially accepted the submission and the bill has been withdrawn. Government and industry has been given more time to find a solution that may have less of a negative impact on unit holders. These amendments will be considered in the 2019 legislative cycle.”
The finance Series for Millennials: #4 Smart Choice vs Popular Choice when buying a car
“Our fourth article focuses on buying a car. This topic is close to my heart as I believe this is the single biggest reason people are indebted for life with no material investments later in life.”
The Glass Half-Empty Syndrome?
“We should refrain from getting too negative. This can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. South Africa is not like Zimbabwe. We have an active civil society, free media and a world-class judiciary.”
Proposed Amendments to Tax on Unit Trust Funds
“Treasury recently published a draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, suggesting changes to the income tax treatment of disposal of assets within a collective investment scheme (CIS) or unit trust fund.”
The Finance Series for Millennials: #3 Debt and what to do with it
“Understand that there are various types of debt, some good and some bad. Applying for a bond to purchase a house can be considered good debt. Applying for a credit card because “there are just too many days in this month” – not good debt.”
EXCON and the proceeds of a deceased estate
“…as South Africans emigrate and move to all corners of the world, it’s becoming increasingly important to understand our Excon-legislation for estate planning purposes, and whether a bequest will be subject to exchange control.”
What will I do if my spouse leaves me out of their will?
Sometimes a will doesn’t blatantly contradict our law or good morals, but is still problematic for the testator’s survivors. We are taking a closer look at the Maintenance of Surviving Spouses Act.
Topline Quarterly Review: Q2 of 2018
Quaterly market review, Q2 of 2018.
What I Wish I Knew About Money…
-By Sunél Veldtman - I have been pondering what to write ahead of Women’s month. Today we welcomed a niece into the world and little Julia gave me a good reason to write about all the things I want her to know about money (and a little about life). She is too young now, but one day, ...
The Finance Series for Millennials: #2 Property Investments
Property has long been considered a safe investment. There is even a Victorian saying about it: “Safe as houses,” supposedly meaning secure, with no risk of failure. In a continuation of his series for millenials, Thiart van der Merwe examines the relative attractiveness of investment properties.
The Finance Series for Millennials: #1 Building your Financial Foundation
“In this series of articles, we’re giving you the advice you need on how to set yourself up for financial freedom. Our aim is to give you practical steps each month – action points that you can take immediately. “
Who gets Grandma’s ring?
“For those with massive estates, the implications of not having a will can be disastrous. But even the poorest of poor own a trinket or two, so let’s take a look at how an estate is dissolved without a will.”
Topline Quarterly Review: A New Dawn of Hope
“With all the political noise detracting from economic fundamentals, it is easy to think we are in a downward spiral. Compared to mid-December 2017, we believe we are on the right track building South Africa up to where it should be”
Make Sure You Have a Valid Will
“Sticking to the formalities doesn’t automatically mean that your will is valid. In addition, you must also comply with common law and the stipulations of your will must be practically enforceable. But first let’s make a giant stride to understand a few definitions and get the basics right.”
The Three Biggest Lies by the Passive Industry
“Very few investors have the time, knowledge or skill to invest their own money. To suggest that investors can merely go straight to a passive product provider, select the correct product for their needs and live happily ever after, is ignoring reality. Even when investors have the skill, they most often lack time.”
When to retire from your retirement fund
Deciding when and how to retire from your retirement products can be complicated. It should not necessarily determine when and how you retire.
When is a spouse a legal spouse?
This month we are recapping what we know about the different types of marriages and marital regimes in our country. It’s first and foremost important to understand the legal definition of a spouse, because it has various legal implications – in particular on an individual’s estate.
How Our Identity Shapes Retirement Plans
-By Sunél Veldtman - In our Encore years – the new term used for those in later life, which is anyone after fifty and now includes me – we are faced with new challenges. For the corporate professional it could be looming forced-retirement or even unexpected retrenchment. For the entrepreneur, it could be the sale of your business ...
Don’t Make These Mistakes When Planning for Your Retirement
-By Elke Zeki - Over the years we’ve often come across the same issues affecting retirement when dealing with new clients. These common mistakes are not always obvious. Unless you run the numbers and do proper cash flow analysis, it’s not easy to see how your choices will impact your retirement. We hope that these practical examples of ...
Topline Quarterly Review: Political Shifts and Renewed Optimism
-By Thiart van der Merwe - As we ended off 2017, the headlines were dominated by the ANC leadership race. It came down to two candidates who represented different factions within the ANC. In the end Ramaphosa edged out a marginal victory over Dlamini-Zuma. The Rand subsequently strengthened by more than 11% as investors welcomed a business-friendly ...
2017 and the case for a low return environment
-By Thiart van Der Merwe - A prolonged, low-growth environment and no real returns from our market were the main talking points as we entered 2017. With constant negative press on corruption and a deteriorating political landscape, one can understand the inclination to be pessimistic. Up to the midway point the pessimists were right. The stock market surprised ...
The REAL value of a financial advisor
-By Elke Zeki - Many people believe that financial advisors add significant value by fund & product choice, asset allocation and budgeting. What concerns us is that research shows (and has for a long time) that there are algorithms that can do this much better than any human being can. Yet advisors are slow to embrace this ...
The secret to happiness in retirement
-By Elke Zeki - Planning for retirement is one of the most interesting aspects of financial planning. Despite our vastly different circumstances and financial situations, we generally have the same underlying goal: to retire happily and in good health. The desire for happiness and health is not just exclusive to retirees though. In our later years these things ...
Topline: The Market This Quarter
-By Thiart van Der Merwe - Quarter 3 Review There’s been a rally in SA equities in the last quarter. Some sectors have done really well. If we compare the returns to the rest of the world however, we are lagging. Why? Own goals on the political front. Against our Emerging Market peers, we have underperformed by more ...
Bitcoin: The good, the bad & the ugly
-By Thiart van der Merwe - Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are a hot topic at the moment. Everyone wants to know whether they should invest in Bitcoin. It is not surprising given that $100 invested 18 months ago, would be worth $1000 now. This kind of growth attracts attention. What is Bitcoin and what is the fuss ...
The Cost Of Old Age Care
-By Michelle le Roux - It’s fun to be young and have big dreams. We leave school and the security of living under dad’s roof; we start working and have a lifetime of salaries and bonuses ahead of us. Retirement is far into the future – after all 40 years is a long way away. But ...
The Good News You’re Missing
-By Sunél Veldtman - Recently, I have noticed how many conversations about the world lead to a conclusion that the world is a mess. We seem anxious and insecure about the future. If I look at my social media feed, it is no wonder. Bad news abounds. Korea is angling for war. Trump plans to block immigration. ...
What is it with women and money?
-By Sunél Veldtman - Almost one out of three women believe that men are better at handling financial matters than women are. This is according to The Old Mutual Savings Monitor (2012) – one of the few surveys that have studied the attitudes of South African women towards money. Even worse though, is that 65% of men ...
Behavioural Finance: Investors are their own worst enemies
-By Elke Zeki - I heard a great analogy the other day from world-renowned researcher and storyteller, Brene Brown. She explained how often Thought and Behaviour sit in the back while Emotion drives the car. There are few things in life that stir up emotion the way money does. Even experienced investors are at risk of letting ...
-By Sunél Veldtman - Our first Encore workshop was a huge success given the positive response from attendees. We covered all aspects about planning for the second half of life, including emotional well-being, purpose and health and we took a thorough journey through the financial preparation for retirement. We hope that the workshop contributed to new plans and ...
Quarter 2 Review 2017
-By Thiart van der Merwe - A captured state exposed by a trail of emails in the hundreds of thousands. The #GuptaLeaks made headlines almost every day in major newspapers throughout the quarter. Shocking revelations of kickbacks received to Gupta-linked companies and generous gifts and holidays paid for to secure more lucrative deals just highlighted the corrupt ...
The New Old – Challenges and joys of longevity
-By Elke Zeki - This month we launched our Encore workshop, specifically aimed at people approaching retirement and the challenges the “New Old” face today. There is a distinct phase of life (we argue between 55-70) where many of the old are still young. They are active, relatively healthy, want to work (although flexibly) and spend money. ...
The randomness of returns
-By Elke Zeki Financial - planning is not an exact science, nor is it about getting everything right. It is about creating a plan that accounts for uncertainty and allows you to adjust quickly and easily. One such area of uncertainly, especially when planning for retirement, is expected returns. When doing a cash flow analysis, we always assume ...
YOU ARE INVITED TO ENCORE! If you’re thinking about slowing down, exiting corporate life or retiring, this workshop is for you! This is the new retirement and we’ve called these years – “The Encore Years” because they start long before you finally take your bow. The traditional picture of retirement looked like golf days, beaches and books, ...
Active, Passive or Both?
-By Elke Zeki -This debate is on-going and some are very passionate about it. In the South African market, quality active managers have been relatively successful in outperforming equity benchmarks over the long-term. However, recent low returns from the market (and active managers) has brought a renewed interest in passive solutions from investors. Why is this, ...
A quarter marred by political instability: First Quarter 2017 Review
A quarter marred by political instability: First Quarter 2017 Review.
Cry my Beloved Country
In a cabinet reshuffle that has been on the cards for some time, Zuma has finally pulled the trigger on Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. He also changed 18 other positions. Late Thursday night the finance minister was replaced with Home Affairs minister, Melusi Gigaba. The Rand has plunged 7.5% since ...
Ease the pain for those you leave behind. Plan for death.
Losing a spouse is always traumatic. What can add to the distress even more is the tying up of financial loose ends – especially if the deceased was the one who always handed those affairs.
Words Worth Reading
A few interesting articles that we have come across this month.
Budget 2017 – let them pay for their sins.
axes for the wealthy have been rising steadily in recent budgets. This year was no different. The budget had one overriding theme – make the wealthy pay. The top tax rate is now 45% for those earning above R1.5million and for trusts. In addition, dividend tax increased to 20% from 15% with immediate effect.
Divorce and money matters
Too many times I’ve sat across the table from a sobbing woman going through divorce. Divorce is always heart breaking – but divorce involving a woman who has sacrificed her career, her financial power and sometimes her identity is particularly traumatic.
Market Overview: Q4 of 2016
“There are decades where nothing happens, and then there are weeks where decades happen.” Vladimir Lenin.
Is your Financial Advisor CFP® qualified? Look for the CFP® mark
The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®/CFP® certification is the premier financial planning accreditation in the world and is recognised in 26 different countries.
Seven reasons why SA is in a better state than ever
As South Africans we tend to look at our glass half empty. We over-exaggerate the bad stuff and gloss over the good. In light of this, we decided to look at seven reasons why we are in a better place as a country than we’ve ever been. So pour yourself a glass half full (at least) ...
US Presidential Election 2016
We haven’t paid much attention to US elections in the past…Democrats, Republicans, Bush, Clinton or Obama – there has been a broad acceptance of neo-liberal capitalist policies supported by globalisation. Yesterday, that changed.
Fees and Investments
For many, investing can be intimidating. We tend to seek out people with more knowledge than we have, to sort out our finances and invest on our behalf. This is perfectly acceptable. But, why is it that people do not know what they pay for this investment advice?
Market Overview: Q3 of 2016
This quarter we faced unanswered questions on Brexit, entered a new era of politics in the USA, and changed guard at local, municipal level.
What’s going on with world growth?
Despite years of unprecedented stimulus from authorities all over the world, the global economy is sluggish. Global growth expectations are continually adjusted downwards and are still well below long-term averages. This year the World Bank adjusted its global growth forecast downwards to 2,4% from 2,9% in January. So, what’s happening with economic growth and why is ...
Unpacking the taxation of trusts
The taxation of trusts has been a grey area for some time. The proposed changes in legislation was published for comment recently.
Splashing out on a car or investing in your future?
Our Wealth Analyst Thiart van der Merwe writes the first article in our series on general financial planning for yuppies. Thiart is passionate about the everyday decisions we make, and how these affect our futures much more than our investment returns.
Market Overview: Q2 of 2016
“Every once in a while, the market does something so stupid it takes your breath away.” This famous saying by Jim Cramer pretty much sums up the second quarter of 2016, more specifically the last week of June.
Robo-Advisors: The financial planners of the future
There’s much talk about jobs like financial planning and wealth management becoming careers of the past. Futurists like Graeme Condrington are even suggesting that by 2025, these jobs, as we know them will be gone. Replaced by algorithms. Read more
Market Overview: Q1 of 2016
While it is always difficult to predict where we were heading at the beginning of 2016, we could feel a bit more optimistic than we were at the start of the year. The constitution held up and a big victory for our democracy as the message was clear, no one is above the law in ...
Tax Update: Property REIT Structures
Since April 2013 most listed property companies converted to internationally recognised REIT structures from property loan stocks and unit trusts. This move brought South African listed property companies in line with global standards which also offered certain tax benefits to the structures. How does this affect the shareholder? Historically income distributions from property shares were primarily declared ...
Budget Review – A Step in the Right Direction
Minister Pravin Gordhan managed to keep most parties happy with a sound budget that contained fiscal consolidation targets and suggested commitment to growth. While it is a step in the right direction, South Africa still faces a likely downgrade by a least one of the rating agencies by December. Treasury has opted not to increase top ...
The United States, a Declining Power or the “Indispensable Nation”?
PortfolioMetrix’s Brandon Zietsman wrote an interesting piece on the possible shift of power away from America to the likes of China, and whether you should look at size in isolation or is there more to a power shift than just the production numbers of a country. An interesting read. American exceptionalism has defined the way Americans ...
Market Review 2015
2015 was a tough year for markets around the world. The Rand crumbled to an all-time low. The currency lost 35% during the year and as at 31 December one dollar could get you R15.58 (compared to R11.56 at the beginning of the year). The only upside of this was that global investments held in dollars ...
Significant tax changes finalised in Taxation Laws Amendment Act
Earlier this month, the Taxation Laws Amendment Act was passed in parliament. The Act included significant retirement reforms. Although these reforms follow years of negotiations, it has still been met with resistance especially by labour unions. What do these reforms mean for high net worth individuals and families? We believe these changes go some way to simplify ... Read more
Capital Gains Tax on Foreign Assets
As the tax season is upon us and we see an increasing amount of assets being bought offshore we want to shed some light on the Capital Gains Tax implications of these assets.
Third Quarter Market Review: 2015
The third quarter of 2015 presented challenging market conditions. Global equity markets declined by 11% measured in US Dollars. According to the MSCI Index this is the worst performance since the third quarter in 2011, when markets declined by over 20%. South African equities declined by 2% in local currency terms but by 17% in ...
Look, Listen & Learn
In this month’s edition, we discuss the Russian conflict and how to deal with uncertainty. We listen to a podcast on the complex issue of misinformation and censoring. We also share a classic article to help you define success and meaning in your life.