Podcast: Should I get married?

Kristia van HeerdenLatest, The Fat Wallet

Clean swearing bleeped out show is below.

Marriage is a long-term commitment to build a life with someone else (among other things). A wedding is an expensive party. This week Dr. Woofington Von Barkshire wants to know if we think it’s a good idea to spend money on an expensive wedding when you have debt and not very much money. We don’t.

  1. I have to buy a ring of the engagement type due to the expectations of my 6yr girlfriend (the time we have been together, not her age). I don’t think it’s the right time to get engaged. But she is a year older than me and feels that is a life imperative to get engaged. I estimated the cost of a ring to be like R25,000.
  2. I need an emergency fund.
  3. I need to start saving for retirement. (RA and tax-free savings)
  4. I need to save for a wedding which I need to finance myself. Her parents are poor and my mother needs to save for retirement. She also has study debt (R110 000) and car debt (R120000).

My options are:

1. Defer the engagement until I am in a financial position to afford a wedding. Save on the engagement ring insurance and earn interest on the cash (savings of R30 000). And endure the fights about not being married/engaged.
2. Sell all my shares and try to do a budget wedding. He has R45k in shares.
3. Get debt to finance the wedding. I hate this option. But it is an option.

If I chose to defer engagement, should I sell all my shares and rather invest them in ETFs? Should I, instead of saving for wedding etc, assist my girlfriend in paying off her debt? Which will then quicker enable her to help me save for the wedding? Should one still get married, even though it is a bad financial decision?

Win of the week: Roland made a commitment to paying off his debt.

I am starting to pay off my debt and aim to make use of 2% of my increase to pay off more debt. I am planning to pay off one account and roll over that amount into the next account and so on. This is what I did. It’s a great strategy because of the immediate feedback.

Based on my calculations I should have all my debt excluding a car loan paid off by Jan 2019. Would it be best to pay off the car loan and close off all debt or should I keep some accounts to keep my credit score up?



Justin sent a message about cutting his losses. At the end of the message he says, “It was great being able to type swear words. Sorry to Sean for the extra work!”

A couple of years ago I started investing in shares. I was in my late twenties and having accumulated some money to invest I thought I would be brilliant at choosing my own stocks.

I got input from the team at the trading desk, but mostly my own decisions. Two years later I’m not even dreaming about growth in the investment, and rather sitting at around 25% down.

A large portion of this is due to Steinhoff (thanks Markus, you doos), but most of my shares are firmly placed on shit street. I have a knack of buying when shares are at their peak.

I have done waaaaay more research and know that ETFs are best for me. If fancy private bank traders can’t beat the market, it’s a lag that I thought I could.

But now I’m stuck with the predicament of actually realizing the loss. Does it make sense to take it on the chin, sell it all up and buy ETFs now, or should I ride the storm a bit? I would of course not like to sell at the bottom either!

Some of the shares include: Mediclinic, aspen, Steinhoff PSG and Steinhoff African retail (GREAT combo!), reinet and Ascendis.

I’ll probably hold on to the Steinhoff just to keep me humble. But also – who are the madmen who would buy this share from me?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I know I am young and can at this stage afford the knock. But holy fuck id like to minimize it.

Chris has a question about dividends tax on offshore investments within his TFSA.

I managed to pay off my debts recently and now have an investment portfolio which still small but starting to grow. My current strategy centres on maxing out all saving incentives which SARS gives and thereby minimising the tax payable on my salary and investment returns.

I’m currently able to put 27.5% of my salary into my company pension scheme and max out my tax free savings allowance every year. Any further savings is put into a global equity etf investment.

I would like to increase the portion of my portfolio in global equity, however from a tax perspective, I believe it’s most efficient to buy a top40 or local property tracker in your TFSA since you get the double bonus of no capital gain, and no dividends tax, whereas a global etf will still incur dividends tax abroad (I.e. in whatever country the underlying companies are registered in).

Is this thinking correct, or shouldn’t I be worried about foreign dividends tax in a tax free account?

Note: my underlying assumption is that the top40 will return roughly the same as a global equity tracker in the very long term (20+ years).

Jaco wants to know what we think about cows as an investment strategy.

You can invest into a pregnant cow, a calf or a portion of a cow (I think this is called steak). You earn income from the sale of the calf and help cover its feeding, medical and insurance costs. You can pick on which farm do you want to raise your cow and it looks like you can even go and visit!

I’m curious if anyone who listens to the podcasts is dabbling in this? It certainly makes much more sense than “investing” in bitcoin…

This is from the Take Charge of Your Money blog:

Invest in a calf (or in a portion of a calf if you cannot afford the full cost)
Help it grow by paying an all inclusive fee for feed, insurance & veterinary expenses
Share in the rewards. On maturity Livestock Wealth buys back the grown cow and you will receive an annual payout based on the collective sales on the farm.
The current projected ROI (return on investment) is 12.4% and is fully explained in the FAQ page.

You need to pay fees twice a year and receive a payout once a year.


Christoff made an excellent point about Margaret’s question last week. She was worried about counterparty risk and the potential pitfalls and benefits of diversifying by supplier.

As you and Simon stated, the probability of a big, well-known RA company to go bust is very small, plus your holdings there will just be moved to someone else to continue administering your investments.

The one thing not mentioned was the sliding scale for fees by a lot of these RA providers. If you have all your investments at one specific company, you can end up with much lower fees (for example first million is at 1% annual cost, the next million is at 0.85%, etc)

Rakgomo wants to know how to invest in ETFs.

I want to invest in ETFs but I don’t know where to get them, or even trade them. may I get some guidance in getting access to ETFs and where I can trade them?

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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