As one of the larger medical schemes in the country, Fedhealth’s vision for this coming year is geared to maximising member value through innovation and by managing the risk pool. The Scheme announced yesterday that though there will be an overall average annual increase on the Maxima range of 10.6%, the benefit structure remains unchanged. […]
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- Q: How did you get involved in financial services - was it always something you wanted to do?
- A: My father, John Field, established FedGroup in 1990. As such, financial services have been a part of my life for a very long time. My decision to enter the business, however, had to do with how this industry had the potential to transform the lives of South Africans. I studied for a CA degree, indicating my interest in finance from a relatively young age, but the understanding of the impact investing can have in people’s lives is what provided the impetus to build a career in the financial services industry.
- Q: What is wealth and how can we build it?
- A: Wealth is a very simple concept. The less one spends, relative to one’s income, the greater the wealth. A high earner, driving a luxury vehicle, but who is in deeply indebted to the bank, holds less wealth than the individual living within their means. The concept is so simple, yet more than half of all economically active South Africans are in debt, and many are battling with bad credit records. Most of the time, we don’t slip into debt through calamity, but rather through a lack of understanding or discipline to save.
- Q: What is one thing we can do to boost savings - and one thing we need to stop doing?
- A: The key is education. If people understood the power of compound interest, we would go a long way toward instilling a savings culture in South Africa. As the adage goes, “Those that understand it, earn it; those that don’t, pay it”. Again, we go back to the question of wealth. Most people will apply for finance to buy a vehicle, and pay it off over five years – rarely do they consider that if they saved the instalment amount for three years, they could buy the car for cash. This is perfect example of how compound interest can work either for and against you. A key point of concern is something being addressed currently in the retirement reform: the practice of withdrawing retirement savings before retirement age. Again, this highlights the power of compound interest – where a critical element is time. Nothing can replace the value of consistency and time. People believe that they will make up for lost time by investing a windfall at a later stage – that they have time to make up the earnings. Reality does not pan out this way. We need to stop delaying.
- Q: What can the industry do to alleviate the poverty cycle?
- A: Education is paramount. While there is no silver bullet, education is, in my opinion, the most critical factor in breaking the poverty cycle. Less than 40% of our population has a matric certificate or some form of tertiary education, and it is shown that a combination of tertiary education and some work experience provides significant advantage to job seekers. This is the reason FedGroup has initiated the Iteke Learnership programme. We provide learners on the programme with education, mentorship, and work experience, and select candidates from our beneficiaries, who are graduating from matric. I strongly believe that if every business where to incorporate a learnership programme into their business model, there would be a tangible impact on the socio-economic outlook of the country. As individuals and organisations, we need to start taking responsibility for the well-being of our youth.
I have really enjoyed Gill Marcus as our Reserve Bank Governor – I think she has not only done a superb job, she has said what needed to be said about the SA economy – without getting emotional, and her credibility as a professional, cool, inclusive leader is high. I was very sad to hear […]
Genesis Medical Scheme is confident to announce that its 2015 average contribution increase of only 5.3%* will once again lead the industry as the lowest average increase coupled with substantial benefit increases for the third consecutive year. Genesis Medical Scheme’s 2015 average contribution increase of only 5.3%* will once again lead the medical aid industry […]
By Nazmeera Moola, economist and strategist, Investec Asset Management Consumers should be able to sleep somewhat easier in the next few months, as we have most likely seen the last interest rate hikes for 2014. This is partially due to the weak economic outlook. We expect the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to keep rates […]
In the wake of African Bank’s collapse, the focus should shift to the size of unsecured loan books as a percentage of total loans at all banks. That’s the view of Farzana Bayat, Senior Portfolio Manager at Prescient Investment Management, the quantitative fund manager in the Prescient Group, who noted that unsecured loans – South […]
The Investec Top40 Accelerator (“the product / Accelerator”) presents an opportunity for investors to invest in the performance of the FTSE/JSE Top40 Index (“Index”) in a geared fashion whilst limiting the downside risk. The new product, which is open for subscription until 17 September 2014, has a three and a half year term and is […]
Africa’s resource wealth has long been viewed as a key to unlocking potential economic gains, but the reality has so far fallen short of the created expectation. However, even though the continent has not yet capitalised fully on its potential underground riches, African growth will be underpinned by rising commodity quantities in the coming decade. […]
South Africans have seen exceptional investment growth in the recent past, but the benign market environment is not likely to continue, according to Coronation Fund Managers. As valuations appear stretched and the risk of volatility increases, the focus for investors close to retirement should be on managing risk, says Charles de Kock. He co-manages Coronation’s […]
Latest statistics from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Report, which maps gender equality progress in South Africa, show that women outnumber men in higher education with females making up 55.2% of postgraduate enrolments. While this increase is positive, it is important that these women are protecting themselves and dependants through sound financial planning. This […]
Road crashes are the single greatest annual cause of death nationwide. According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, road traffic injuries predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030. According to Lizette Erasmus, Head of Insurance Services at IntegriSure, most accidents on our roads are as a result of human […]
Be sure to account for the full term of an investment ahead of the upcoming MPC rate announcement A year ago, when deliberating the interest rates, pundits expected a steady and quick rise. In reality, the climb proved to be slow. FedGroup CFO Scott Field’s investment approach begins with an evaluation of some hard numbers. […]
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