Podcast: What The Fat Wallet taught me

Kristia van HeerdenLatest, The Fat Wallet

Like many of you, I have listened to every episode of The Fat Wallet Show. I’ve learned so much over the years, but I find it interesting that some lessons keep repeating. This week, Simon and I spend our last episode together reflecting on lessons we keep on learning. Think of this as the TL;DR version of 245 episodes of this incredible show. 

Here’s what we know for sure:

  • Many people who listen to the show think their biggest financial decision is ahead of them when actually they’ve already made it: being an active participant in your own financial life is the best financial decision you’ve ever made.
  • Emergency funds are more important than any other product we ever discuss, but you can’t tell because it’s boring.
  • A bad plan is better than no plan.
  • Time matters more than money. Lesegisha pointed this out using a kota as an example, so I also learned what a kota was.
  • Fees matter at least as much as returns, if not more. Grant Locke explained why this is when OUTvest introduced its Onefee product. 100 years worth of market data support this.
  • Because there are so many variables in the market, it’s worth being suspicious of people who sell certainty. Cash offers certainty. Fixed interest bonds offer certainty. Aside from that, forget it.
  • “The best investment” doesn’t exist (but bad investments do). Taking positive action, keeping a close eye on things and learning as you go is the only way to do this. Start with what makes you comfortable and build from there. If that means a GIANT emergency fund and one fixed-interest bond in addition to your work RA, that’s as good a place to start as any.
  • The habit of setting money aside matters more than where the money goes.
  • There is no single right answer. In fact, there are as many ways to get to financial independence as there are people in the world. 
  • ETFs are the market. When ETFs try to beat the market, they are no longer the market.
  • The harder they shout, the farther I run. Wealth building is either silent and slow, or extremely hard and slow. 
  • Just because someone says they’re doing something in the media doesn’t mean that’s what they’re doing. 

Bleeped show below:

Win of the week: Tim

I feel like you are both good friends due to the millions of hours of the Fat Wallet Show I have listened to. I have been there from the beginning when I discovered your show in 2016 during the start of my financial obsession ( don’t judge me for not writing, I’m an expert procrastinator).

Although living in Germany since 2018, I have been listening to your show religiously and a lot of what I have learnt is the bedrock of my financial strategies. In October last year, my world changed forever, when in the week of the birth of our first child, my partner and I both got Corona which was a complete nightmare. Now 5 months later, a healthy beautiful boy, 2-3 hours of sleep a night, I am emerging from the haze of these challenging last few months to get back to old habits. I turned on the Fat Wallet Show and was shocked and saddened to hear that you are leaving Kristia.

I just wanted to thank both of you for the amazing job you have done over the last 240 something episodes. You have taught me so much and done it in such a fun and enjoyable way. As a teacher myself, I hope that some of my students could have such an enjoyable learning experience as I have had with the two of you over the last few years.


It’s worth looking into the bottom-of-the-range Discovery card. 

The Gold credit card, on its own, is R60pm. If you want, you can add R15pm for Vitality Money. I would recommend adding the Vitality Money for the extra discounts and rewards it gives you. I’m attaching the Discovery brochure that explains the “dynamic discounts” (it’s almost impossible to find this on their website, and almost impossible to understand the product without it, which is why I’m attaching it) as well as my spreadsheet showing how much I “make” out of Discovery Health and Card each month.

Some things to note about the spreadsheet (there are two tabs):

All my calculations are based on Diamond Vitality money status. (Also Diamond Vitality Health status, but I’m not sure that has any effect on the cashback calculations). A lower Vitality Money status means lower Vitality Money cashback percentages. I got to Diamond Vitality Money status without really trying – you should be able to as well.

I’m a single person and generally a low spender. About 90% of my food spend is on “Healthy” food at Pick n Pay. I don’t spend much on HealthyCare or HealthyGear, so the extra monthly cost of the Platinum credit card, or taking out a Gold transactional account, isn’t worth it for the extra percentage discount on HealthyCare or HealthyGear. 

I battle to hit the R12500 monthly credit card spend in order to hit the maximum Vitality Money extra cashback percentage on HealthyFood, fuel, and exercise points to miles. And I put *everything* on my card – even a chocolate for R15! Of course I pay it off in full every month.

 Even at my low spend levels, I’m netting R450 to R650 per month (and that excludes my gym savings). 

Download Ros’ Discovery cashback spreadsheet.

Discovery dynamic discounts

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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