Podcast: Understanding returns

In Latest, The Fat Wallet by Kristia van Heerden

“Return” is one of those words that Finances Bros simply love to throw around. Good luck trying to have a conversation about investments without hearing all about it. This week, we discuss why return is something you can basically forget about, if your Finance Bro will let you. 

We explain what the word “return” could mean, depending on the circumstances. We help you figure out how to know whether a return is good or bad. This is important, because a positive return can be a bad return. It’s one of those, “how long is a piece of string” things that we so love. As always, you can rely on inflation to just ruin things for everybody. We also explain how you can work out the return on your own portfolio.

Beeped how is below.

Win of the week: Boitumelo. Jorge has some feedback for her.

Our Church recommends that we keep an “Admin File”. In this file we keep a copy of all the different accounts, investments, bank statements, credit card statements, Last will and testament, RAs, car papers, water & rates, telephone, funeral policies, copy of ID’s, passports, pay slips etc. for both spouses. We then advise the family members where we keep this file.

In the event of death, the person handling the estate will have a copy of everything they need to finalise the estate.

When an account closes or and investment pays out., the item is removed and replaced with the new one.

We don’t file the documents on a monthly basis as this would defeat the object of the admin file which is purely for information purposes.

It is a very traumatic time for the surviving spouse in the event of a death and this enables the person helping the family on this sad occasion, from the info in the admin file, to contact all those institutions to get things going without having to bother the surviving spouse.


You guys understand investments and are quick to point out how we get ripped off. You sadly don’t have the same understanding in medical aid. I wonder if a lot of the same thinking can’t be applied, since there’s lots of complexity, lots of fear, lots of fees.

Why in the world is it so complex that one can’t understand and compare the different options.

I have a family of 5 (well 4 + me) and I’m currently on a hospital plan at Bestmed for R4059 per month. It’s the best and cheapest medical aid I can get my hands on – probably increasing again in Jan.

I can get medical insurance for hospital-related stuff from Affinity for around R2,500 per month – much more palatable. However there are annual limits. 

The thing is, I don’t know what this means. I don’t know what amount of insurance you need to feel kind of covered. Also it seems in the States you get options with an excess payment that bring down your premiums, is there something like that in SA?

It feels to me that if one had some clear insight you could potentially make better decisions.


I’ve been recently diagnosed with a chronic illness. I am paying an unforeseen R4000 to R8000 per month for medical bills (a third of my salary). I have a Classic Saver with Discovery (I get a discount for Discovery through my job) of which the day-to-day savings have been exhausted soon after the diagnosis.

I need your expert opinion (or just some cutting through the medical aid bullshit). Do I continue to carry my expensive medical bills month-to-month? Is it maybe worth it to register as a PMB patient, and upgrade my plan with Discovery? Do I look for a different medical scheme? Do I invest my monthly R4000 and run fast (real fast) away from the doctor after each appointment?

I’m 24 and still have a long time for my investments to grow through the magic that is compound interest. I’m very proud that I still manage to invest my monthly R‭2750‬ into my tax-free (thanks again fat wallet), despite the increased medical burden.

Do you perhaps have someone in mind? I’ll pay a once-off consultation fee, but no monthly fees on top of fees (learned this trick from fat wallet 😉 ). Please, can you share your wisdom?

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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