Podcast: Things you should know about the end of the tax year

In Latest, The Fat Wallet by Kristia van Heerden

This time of year is like Christmas for money nerds (or maybe it’s just me). Everyone’s tax situation is unique and there are so many variables to tweak. It’s truly magical. 

In this episode, we take you through some tax basics. We explain why the end of the tax year is significant, even if you don’t file a provisional return. We help you work out why tax-free savings are so important and discuss some of the similarities between tax-free investment products and retirement products like annuities and pension funds. 

If you don’t find tax exciting yet, it’s only because you don’t know enough about it. Let us change your mind in this episode.


The beeped show is below.


Win of the week: Janesh 

In 2016 I moved to CPT and started renting. I was busy with my Masters and working at the same time. I went from a fairly decent Department of Health salary through 2017 with poor cash flow. I still managed to get by, even after getting married in the year.

In 2018 – cash flow improved and I could start thinking of buying a house, which we did in April 2019.

I started a new medical practice in July 2019, so cash flow came to a screeching halt and my emergency fund dried up due to the purchase of the house.

I’m also sitting with a hefty tax liability as the people previously doing my tax hashed it a little bit.

I was just listening to the episode on financial planning. My plan is to pay off some of my debt and at the same time build an emergency fund again.

I think i just need somebody to say, it’s okay – these situations are part of starting your own business.


Pascal 

Since I asked my question referencing TD Ameritrade there has been an escalating fee war between major US brokerages. Most of them now offer no account minimums, no maintenance fees and zero commissions. What a time to be alive!

Why wouldn’t you want to invest directly through a US brokerage that allows it, now that they’re so damn cheap? I’m still new to this game. Is there something I’m missing? Obviously foreign exchange fees and international wire transfer fees are unavoidable. 

I want to support local companies as much as possible, but when it comes to offshore investing, how can you say no to zero commissions?

TD Ameritrade seems to be the only one that welcomes South African investors. They even provide a digital “Ben10” form on your profile to reduce your dividend withholding tax through the platform without using a third party company (Interactive Brokers does this too). 

The funny thing is, I personally can’t even use them, because my Standard Bank offshore account happens to be in the UK channel islands which is on TD’s list of restricted countries. Something you can only learn by going through the process of opening an account and trying to fund it. What fun. I now invest my USDs with Interactive Brokers. It’s not free, but still cheap! Thanks Patrick!

If it interests you at all, after MONTHS of intense reading and research, I’ve settled on this simple equity-only offshore portfolio:

  • 80% VTI – Vanguard total US Stock Market
  • 20% VXUS – Vanguard Total World Excluding US

Together these 2 ETFs make up your well-mentioned VT – Vanguard Total World, but I’ve weighted more towards the US Market for now for a number of reasons, most importantly because it’s the economy I’m most comfortable with, and not least of which, in your own words: If the US is fucked, then we’re all fucked 🙂


Vivesh

I opened a TFSA with Standard Bank this month. I bought a third each of PREFTRAX, NEWFTRACI and NEWFNGOVI after watching Simon’s webinar on TFSA on OST platform.

I understood that the distributions are reinvested in the TRACI and GOVI. The TRACI price chart goes up annually by 7.1% due the reinvestments, but I don’t see this with the GOVI. 

I thought maybe the quantity of the GOVI ETF held would be adjusted upwards but that did not happen at last distribution.

I can see the money received and reinvested in my cash balance history. How and when do you actually realize the growth/yield from this bond ETF if there is no capital gain from price appreciation due to distributions. The GOVI MDD puts the yield at about 8.65% ish, higher than TRACI. 

Secondly, the PREFTRAX for example pays out quarterly dividends which could be used to supplement income, but how would one use the TRACI/GOVI for income purposes? Do you keep investing in TFSA to R500K limit and then when you need the income you sell the ETFs that reinvest distributions and go to cash or ETF that pays distributions?


Guillym 

I stopped investing when I lost my life savings in 2012, when I was 25. 

I had close to R200k in my current account. I knew I should do something with it, so invested it all into a single scheme, and lost every cent. Simon may remember when the owner of RVAF Trust Shares shot his partner and then himself.

As you can imagine I was rather jaded after that, even though I was mainly burnt due to being an idiot. So I started on properties.

Actually, first for about three months I spent every cent I earned and partied like a rock star. I was used to saving two thirds of what I earned. All of a sudden I could afford to go to the pub/club every night. 

After that I saved for a while and bought my first flat in Cape Town in Jan of 2014. Now I own three flats (the bank owns like one and a half) in Cape Town.

Since finding your podcast, I have started diversifying away from property. I put some money into a trading account and then took it out to see that it wasn’t gone. 

Have like 6k in there now, all over the place. Will probably move R33k in before the end of the financial year for TFSA. I hear all the merits you guys mention on investments over properties, and have done a lot of the math. I am not sure how much better off we would be if I hadn’t gone the property route, but I understand it is now time for ETFs and the like. 


Marius

My parents just sold a property to finance a badly planned retirement.

They have R1.4 million to invest and can take care of their monthly expenses, but they cannot do anything more. What would you recommend?


Candice

When you speak of being over-diversified, what difference does it make if I put R10 into the Ash1200 or R5 into the Ash1200 and R5 into the Satrix  MsCi World? 

I know they are very similar but one will outperform the other one day and is it not better to dabble a little in both? 


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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