Podcast: My first investment

In Latest, The Fat Wallet by Kristia van Heerden

fw_251119Whenever I hear from someone about to make their first investment (or take their first yoga class), I get a pang of nostalgia. I’ll never forget my first investment — the thrill, the terror, the sense of achievement, the self-rewarded grown-up badge. 

Fear was definitely the biggest part of it. True to form, I made it as hard as possible on myself by doing a single lump-sum investment. It was the biggest amount of money I’d ever had. Sending it into the unknown was nerve-wracking. When I finally made my first investment, an RMB Top 40 product via etfSA.co.za, my money disappeared for five days. Nobody had warned me this would happen. “Great,” I thought. “I lost all my money in the stock market.”

We dedicate this episode of The Fat Wallet Show to those about to take that leap for the first time. We hope to ease you through some of the scarier parts without robbing you of that first time feeling.

The bleeped version is here.


I am able to save R10k a month. I have no clue where to invest. Seeking any tips to help me invest?

Win of the week: Brendon

I am currently debt free after three years of a hell ride trying to free up all my debt.

I am now at a point in my life where my partner and I have a combined amount of 21k a month to invest.

I am thinking about an emergency fund before investing as well as going the ETF route in a TFSA.

Do you think this is enough fuel in my investing engine?


Should one rather invest in a low volatility ETF like the NewFunds Govi instead of a money market type portfolio with similar annual returns because of the tax implications. Are you investing in an asset which is subject to CGT instead of income tax? 


I invested in six different ETFs in my tax-free account. I also mistakenly bought Woolies shares through my normal online trading account before I heard about the tax-free account.  

The brokerage cost more than doubled the cost of the three shares I bought. It was a rookie mistake but I know better now. 

Last week I received a tiny dividend on those three Woolies shares (a whole R2.69). I also own CSTOP50 ETFs, and Woolies is one of the shares within it. Should I not have received dividends on that?

Is it ok to use my online trading account as a savings account as it gives me 8%? I’ve been told that’s what I need to get on my investments to reach my financial freedom number.  

I’m not getting 8% on my ETFs, so I thought it better to put some cash into the online account instead of investing in flat lining ETFs.  What do you think?


I was listening to  the “Keep your expenses low podcast” and I laughed because I know I’m a hoarder, I keep things because I always think “One day…” . 

I have this pair of jeans I bought with my first “hard earned money” when I worked over school holidays during my A Level holidays in 2005. Because I had been home for a while, I wore a size 34. A couple of months later I went to varsity and I have been size 30 to size 28 since. I kept my near-brand-new jeans because “one day…”. Finally last Christmas I gave up and took them home to my mum to give away because clearly I was never going to be a size 34 in my life. 

Guess what, I’m a size 34 right now and am laughing at myself. But still, keeping that one pair of jeans would not have made much difference I guess.


I have a dollar investment offshore in some sort of a Momentum insurance/endowment wrapper. I opened it years ago through ‘financial advisers’. At that stage it was too daunting to do it myself. 

It has done nothing but lose money for the last five years and it has very high fees. I’m just trying to figure out how to move it to a low-cost tracker fund without incurring too many expenses. 

Needless to say they are not going to help me and I just want to be free of them. I’m getting pretty desperate! I do have a UK bank account, if that helps.


If one has bought the same share every year for a number of years, does SARS use the average price to calculate your capital gains?

OR do you have to work it out in the bundles in which you bought them at that bundle price. This seems a messy and complicated way of doing it, especially if you have been buying the same share every month for the last 20 years. 


I find the concept of buy-to-let properties is quite attractive. I recently had a discussion with a friend who wants to do exactly that in order to generate some basic passive income in about five years time. He’ll pay off his first small property, then buy a second one, supplementing it with the income from the first, etc. up to a point where the passive income is enough to cover basic living expenses (hopefully this makes sense).

What are good ways to generate passive monthly income from investments only. Right now buy-to-let properties still seems pretty good for this.

I’d like an apples vs. apples comparison between investments & buy-to-let properties for passive income generation.


I have attached an EAC calculation that I received from Discovery for a client. 

If Discovery’s EAC over the term of the policy is – 0.10% (notice the negative sign, as per attached doc) shouldn’t we all be investing with them as they are essentially paying us for the privilege of having our RA with them? 

I’ve been through the notes and it states that if a client sticks with their Life Cover premium and RA premium until retirement they will receive a bonus which basically reduces their fees to less than nothing! 

The problem is that Discovery have a stipulation that all RAs must increase the premium by a minimum of CPI+3% pa (under the age of 30) and this increases to CPI +4.5% above 30 years old. 

I take it that Discovery realise that most people won’t be able to afford this increase in the long term. If the client makes any changes to their life cover OR to their RA contributions they won’t receive this magical bonus. They also need to keep their life cover in retirement when they probably don’t need it anymore. 

When I come across smoke and mirrors like this it just makes me so frustrated. I would love to hear your comments and point out anything that I have overlooked. 


My wife and I are opening an RA to contribute up to our 27.5% of our salary and TFSA which we intend to max out every year.

We are pretty set on investing in the TFSA and RAs with the low-fee operators in the market.

What are the risks of both of us using the same providers, not in terms of performance but of the companies going under, or doing a Steinhoff? 

Should we diversify suppliers to avoid these risks? If a provider defaults, what happens to the investment, ETFs, unit trust etc that might have been bought throughout the years?


I currently stay with my parents, but have been property hunting for a while now. I’ve set myself a savings target for various things, including a comfy emergency fund, a fund for household items like furniture, as well as helping my mom with whatever I can. 

I have been disciplined enough to contribute to this target, I haven’t met it yet because the time I have set to achieve the target has not elapsed.

I recently found a property that appears to check a lot of the right boxes. I am yet to view the property itself, I have driven around the area once ( and plan on taking a few more drives around the area). I’ve done Google Maps Searches around it, as well as checking the kind of internet they have in the area (they have fiber, which is huuuuuge plus for me).

While I am willing and ready, I have not “gotten my money right”. I know exactly when my money will be right but I worry the property might be gone by then. 

Is there a way I can buy the property now and start paying and move in at a later date of my choosing? 

I’m aware that buying a property is not an overnight thing (a friend told me that his purchase could take 3 months to finalize). What are the costs and possible penalties I could face from trying to do this sort of thing and is there any reason why this might be a bad idea?

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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