Networth update February 2018

So overall networth has been growing well. This was driven by a combination of strong equity market growth, savings and improving political situation in our country.

In terms of overall NW we’re sitting at R11.2m of liquid net worth or $950k with 80% in listed equities.

The focus has now shifted from maximising networth to optimising income. The focus is to get as much tax benefit through optimally placing the investments into the correct taxable vehicles. So my waterfall looks as follows:

1. Max out interest allocation, thats R23.8k per person and at 7-10% interest rate is about R240k-R340K of interest instruments. Ours are fixed deposits, loans and bonds here. DONE

2. Max out Tax free saving account (TFSA) a small r33k per annum allocation that attracts no tax on after tax income. We invest these into high income instruments like property and bonds. DONE

3. Max out retirement annuity, tax free savings but hesitant since a growing balance means more money stuck in SA till we’re 50+ age and big slant towards SA and the income tax rates start to exceed other tax rates once the balance is higher than R1m which it is. Anyway whilst I’m working its better than marginal tax at 40-45%

4. Pref shares, I like these since can get dividends at high rates but am able to get them at 0%-20% tax depending on vehicles

5. Global property – decent returns at 3.5% yields but am avoiding SA property for the foreseeable future post the expropriation discussions that started in December.

So there you have it. Increase income, probably not with more local or global equities for a while until all expenses get covered by passive. Plans had to change because local property is no longer an attractive option so will instead generate it from preferred shares, fixed income and global property REITS.


New business

Critical to any new business idea needs to be the concept that it wont require me to be present on a day to day basis or even at all. Strategic direction is fine but key man dependency is undesirable.

I want a business to function, I may have a role in the org but it needs to be replaceable by another employee with suitable skills. Also I cannot be the CEO/MD since then I’m unable to get out.

Perhaps while the business is small and starting say in property I could manage them until they reach scale. The plan though needs to be to reach scale as quickly as possible. It also requires to put in my capital into a business that exhibits good steady margins and cash flow. Hence acquiring an existing business is preferable. Or just stick with property rentals…

November 2016 net worth update (+0.74%) 50.37% ytd

That’s not me kite-surfing, although I wish it were!


November’s increase was pretty non-descript. The majority of the increase came through an increase in cash savings getting us up to the R8.7m ($626k) mark in investment assets. Still hope we can push through December and get to the R9m mark.

Savings wise it wasn’t a bad month, we didn’t have any large expenses although as per the graph below you can see we were a bit above our average. Pretty standard month also on the earnings side.

I’m enjoying see the average expenses and 4% Safe Withdrawal rate lines converging steadily, particularly after our big boost earlier in the year.

Perhaps 2017 will be the year of the crossover?



Till next time, 2016 is a wrap!

May 2015 net worth update (+0.40%) 15.65% ytd

We haven’t done an update for some time, in fact since November 2014, oops!

First of all, 2014 ended up being a reasonably good year with ~24% net worth growth in Rands, about 9.5% in US$. The difference? Rand currency and Dollar strength did not help the cause here.

Anyway, so far 2015 has been a good year, we’re up 15.6% YTD in Rands, ~11% in US$ so it’s been going well.

Onto the actual figures:

Assets: R5.7m (+13% ytd)

Cash: R400k

Property: R1.8m

Retirement annuity: R500k

Shares: R2.9m

Vehicles: R100k

Business investments: (not recorded)

Liabilities: R922k (-1% ytd)

Home loan: R884k

Tax: R38k

Net worth: R4.7m (+15.6% ytd)

On to what the individual accounts represent:


Primarily just cash sitting in savings accounts for planned expenditure for the house, or vacation. However, a decent chunk of this (bit more than half) is sitting in the share trading accounts as we rand-cost average recent cash received. I haven’t pulled the trigger as I still feel the share market is quite high, but it isn’t enough cash to justify buying a property or business. I will probably invest this over next 2-3 months, depending on what happens with additional cash coming in from side business ventures.


This consists of our investment property (house) and our personal residence. Not much has changed here in ages. I grow these by small amounts each year from their original value, but they’re still tracking over 30% below current market prices, so it feels quite conservative.


Decent split between international shares and local shares. I’ve been steadily buying shares over past 10 years.


Two cars, 3-4 years old each now. I am writing these down to zero over 5 years.

Business investments

These are not recorded at a value. They may or may not pay off, but we did receive a reasonable amount of cash from them this year so far.

So overall it was a good month of May. Most of the growth this year has come from savings and cash received, growth has been approximately 1/3 from capital growth and 2/3 from savings/dividends.Next few months should be interesting as to whether we get some more cash from the business investments. Still on track to achieve the target of R5m by year end.

Net worth update August 2014 (+0.76%) 16.30% YTD

Most of the return for August was driven through contributions to RAs and share investment accounts. August savings rate was lower than prior months at ~25% of take home pay. This was primarily due to pre-purchasing a few items for year-end at decent discount rates (around 50% off on travel fees), so my savings rate will pop back up for the rest of the year. For the year to date, savings still at 50% of take home pay. Goals are still on track for the full year, it will be good to reach a 20%  growth in net worth by year end. With quite a significant portion of wealth now stock-market linked, it could be a bit bumpy.

In terms of discounts for year-end, it seems in SA you can get very good deals if you plan and shop around. The only problem is my wallet is getting too fat with all these loyalty cards. Hopefully the iPhone 6 will make NFC payments a reality in the US, then in a few years we’ll be using our phone or back to a single card for everything again.

August wasn’t an exciting month for dividends, especially after the bumper one in July.

I have some cash that is building up from the savings and not too keen about any investment ideas at the moment. Stock market is still high (locally and offshore) so not too fond about putting my savings every month in there, but am still doing my quarterly investment for cost-averaging. Haven’t bought the JSE for quite some time, and am currently just managing my offshore exposure with my contributions. Anyway at least trying to automatically invest every quarter and not think too much about it. Am getting close to my target allocation – quite excited to start looking at property or fixed interest again, especially once interest rates have gone up a bit more, maybe we’ll even have a stock market correction… Anyway, for now am just staying with target asset allocation and saving as much as possible – time will do the rest.

Net worth update July 2014 (+2.67%) 15.43% YTD


July was a good month – total net worth grew to R3.8m ($360k). Still on track for the R4m target by year end.

Growth this month came from some cash back on tax return filing, savings towards shares and RAs – this pushed our savings rate to just under 65% this month. There was little growth in the market value of existing shares in July and the exchange rates were mostly flat.

Have managed to increase savings for the future due to finally switching to Discovery Insure and its excellent 50% cash back on fuel expenditure from BP (capped based on their points system, go read about it on their site if interested). So that’ll probably drop our expenses by a further R600 ($55) per month with the aim of increasing this over time.

Also, made some changes on life policies to reduce the monthly expenses here slightly and hopefully switching to annual cash back rather than every 5 years. Based on our Discovery Vitality status we could get back to 50% of our premiums which always helps.

Net worth update June 2014 (+1.62%) 12.42% YTD

Net worth now at R3.7m ($345k). June was a reasonable month, with savings at around the 50% mark of pay. The net worth increase was primarily as a result of these savings channeled towards RAs and shares, with little overall movement in the stock markets to affect us.

The goal is to reach R4m (+-$400k) of net worth before year-end.