Podcast: End of year money reflections

In Latest, The Fat Wallet by Kristia van Heerden

fw_091219The end of the year is a good time to take stock of how things went financially. At the beginning of 2018, Simon and I discussed our money resolutions for the year. At the end of last year, we revisited some of our financial assumptions

To wrap up our 2019 Fat Wallet year, we once again discuss our personal finances and which assumptions we’ve come to challenge throughout the year. For me, learning to relax is always a challenge. I spent a lot of money on a holiday and it took me a while to realise that my financial journey is only for me. I don’t need to justify my choices to anyone and if I want to spend a fortune on a holiday, I damn well will. 

I’m also starting to be a bit more sceptical of smart beta ETF strategies. After three years of writing the ETF blog, I’ve looked under many hoods and heard many explanations of why a particular investment strategy is simply perfect—on paper. With a market trending sideways for an absurd number of years, these strategies should have come into their own, so why haven’t they? Colour me weary. 

We will record a few, short episodes to ensure that you get your Fat Wallet fix throughout the holidays, but this is the last full one for the year. With that, we’d like to thank you so much for your support and participation for another full year. This show is community-driven in every way and wouldn’t exist without you. We appreciate every single download, email, tweet and visit.

Bleeped version is here.

Win of the week: Anna

I finally decided to start investing after listening to your show. 

I am starting by maxing out my R33 000 tax free for this year. 

While researching tax free accounts I came across an article on Stealthy Wealth “what these 9 experts hold on their TFSAs

Simon holds Satrix prop 31.8%, Ashburton Global 1200 36.6% and sygnia itrix MSCI world ETF 29.5%.

I then decided to research the fund fact sheets of each one and noticed that the Ashburton 1200 and Sygnia itrix MSCI basically invest in the same companies just at different percentages. 

I’m totally new to this so what am I missing? Isn’t that then just investing in basically the same product if their holdings are basically the same? What would the reasons be in investing in both these options?


My parents are reaching retirement age. They mostly worked government jobs and have decent government pensions. 

They have a portfolio of properties which is supposed to be their retirement income along with the pensions.

They’ve kept the bonds maxed and used the allowable tax deductions through the years really well.

Getting closer to retirement age, larger chunks of the bonds are getting paid up, as they are going to need to start drawing an income from it within the next five years. They are finding it more and more difficult to find enough deductions on the property alone to cover the profit.

Should they take the money out of the access bonds and put it into a fixed savings? At Tyme bank they’ll get 9.75% for 100k and the remainder with African bank where you get 9.2% on a two-year fixed deposit. (5 year fixed at 10.75%, but wouldn’t want their money tied up for that long this close to retirement). 

By doing this they’ll minimising the profit made on the properties as the interest paid will be much higher with the bonds still being maxed. 

To wipe out the remaining profit made, calculate what’s needed in RA contributions to have enough deductions to get as close to making a loss as possible annually.

If they’re moving R2m out of the bonds/mortgages they’re going to be paying tax on the interest earned in any case. So they could then just take 200k odd out each into fixed savings, 30k each into TFSA, they left with R1.5m sitting in bonds/mortgages. Come retirement they could just take the money out of the TFSA and fixed accounts to pay off the bond. Should they put a lump sum into a RA to offset the profit made? What would be the best way to mitigate the tax payable?


My wife and I have maxed out our TFSAs (ASHEQ and Satrix MSCI) and we are looking for the next best thing to do with the extra income.

  1. What is your ideal framework for extra income investment after TFSA? 

Normal/discretionary long term investments (ideally for withdrawal between 40-55, if it is favourable) and RA

  1. Did you ever find the answer to the tax efficient way to invest in RAs? Is the 27.5% the best option assuming emergency fund and other needs are in place.

He’s currently building his DIY RA on Sygnia. Here’s what he has:


We systematically worked through our expenses and 30 minutes later, viola!!! A revised budget, with greens all around. The next step was putting the plan into action and one month later, most of the plan have been executed… which included amongst other things:

  • Cutting back on food budget (we don’t eat less, just buying more efficiently – Yes, 50% off Checkers meals is our thing now)
  • Changing bank account to Capitec – Full time (changing debit orders wasn’t as cumbersome as I thought)
  • Reducing airtime allocation
  • Reducing internet speeds
  • Paying up and cancelling ALL retails accounts
  • Changing to a cheaper gym
  • Driving less, reducing fuel allocation
  • Consolidating and changing insurance
  • Retirement savings remained the same (RA and TFSA for both of us)
  • Short term savings reduced by 80% (but we are still trying to save as much as we can, even with one income)

While the process is ongoing and it hasn’t been easy, what I’m most grateful for is that bloody complex-as-all-hell budget spreadsheet.  

If you lectured Budgeting 101 to the masses, how would that lecture go down? What do your budgets look like? How is it structured? Excel? Paper? What are the must have categories or line items and do you do your allocations down to the R1 like I do or is it a little more of an estimate. Would love to hear your take on this one.

The Fat Wallet Show with Kristia van HeerdenThe Fat Wallet Show is a no-nonsense personal finance and investment podcast hosted by Kristia van Heerden and Simon Brown. Every week we answer questions by a growing audience of finance enthusiasts. Submit your pressing money and investment questions to ask@justonelap.com.

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