Investment Structuring

Be a successful investor by working with a fee based Financial Planner who understands the different tax and legal implications of the various investment options available.

Successful investment structuring & planning

Experience real growth and follow the steps below when starting your investment structuring.  Be a successful investor by working with a fee based Financial Planner who understands the different tax and legal implications of the various investment options available.

Growing your money is not as simple as making sure you have more this year than last year.

The difference between an Investor and a saver, is an Investor wants to generate REAL Growth which refers to an increase in your purchasing power of your accumulated funds. A saver wants to accumulate more money in Rand terms without being concerned if the purchasing power of their savings has increased.

In short, a true investment will give you a return that is greater than the rate of inflation.

One of the easiest ways to achieve above inflation growth is to avoid unnecessary taxes on your money by making use of Tax Efficient Savings which lets you keep more of your hard-earned money.

Remember money saved is as good as money made. It is also usually a lot easier to save money than it is to make money. The effect at the end of the day is the same, if you keep more money in your pocket or get to put more in, there is no real difference.

After all the greatest expense we all have is tax. The vision of not working your entire life makes a compelling case for smart efficient investing. In some cases, it is possible to make tax free investments, but you need to know how to take advantage of the incentives the government gives us to save and invest.

Steps when investing

Investing is identifying where you are now and where you would like to be. Then you must determine how and in what you want to invest. These 5 steps are critical to getting the best returns from your investment structuring:

  1. Assess and make a list of your long-term goals i.e.
    1. what do you want to achieve and?
    2. by when do you want to achieve it?
  2. Get your finances in order
  3. Decide who is going to do the work
  4. Choose the correct Investment Type / Structure
  5. Diversify

It’s important to remember that the minimum amount to save, suggested by the SA. Government is 15% of your salary. Unfortunately, most people don’t start early enough and waste their most precious resource …… TIME.

The later you start the more you have to save to reach your goals and the harder it becomes. Ensure that you have your debt management plan in place before you start working on your investment plan.

If not done correctly you could land up with more debt than savings. We highlight each critical step to make sure you don’t end up in hot water; here’s how to invest;

Step 1: Assess and make a list of your long-term goals

Setting your investment goals is a priority that only you can do and will differ from person to person. When setting your goals ask yourself, what is best for you in terms of;

  • Your current position in life. Consider;
    • Affordability
    • Current debt
    • Future purchases (Car, Home)
    • Future obligations / expenses (having children, supporting parents, medical expenses) etc.
  • Your time frame to reach the goal. This is vital since it will determine both;
    • The amount needed to invest and / or
    • how much risk you need to take with what you have available to invest to reach the goal you have set for yourself.

Your financial planner will be able to advise on this. Generally, the shorter the time available to invest, the more risk you must take with the limited funds available to the more funds you have to allocate to the investment with the time available.

Step 2: Get your finances in order

Don’t just jump into investment structuring without inspecting your current finances. A budget is the starting point of any financial plan. Take a look and review your spending patterns to make sure you can save on a regular basis.

By partnering with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) you will be able to identify how to save more and stay committed to your savings and investment plan by having regular reviews.

We always start by telling our clients that investing in your debt is one of the best returns you can get plus it’s tax free. Remember money saved is as good as money made. Whether you pay less interest by reducing debt or earn interest by investing, the effect is the same.

Except that the rate of interest you pay is likely to be higher than the one you earn, and you could potentially be taxed on the interest you earn. Just think of the difference between the interest you pay on your credit card vs the one you get in your deposit account.

There is good and there is bad debt, how you make debt can also make or cost you money. This is a vital conversation to have with your CFP® so that you know where best to focus your debt management strategy. “Good” debt makes more money than it costs you. “Bad” debt makes no money and usually funds consumption.

Step 3: Decide who is going to do the work

Making the right investment choice is crucial to attaining your goals. Managing your own investments take time. Ask if you can afford to dedicate the time you need to learn how to be a successful investor.

If you do not have the knowledge or time we suggest using a professional FAIS compliant fee based Financial Planner.

You can opt for them to do your investment structuring and develop a holistic Financial Plan. Using an Independent planner makes sure that they work for you, the client and not a product provider.

Working with a fee based Financial Planner ensures that your goals are aligned and not driven by a commission incentive. We strongly believe that fee based advice results in good quality advice, the same way you pay your lawyer or accountant.

If you only want to buy a product, then there is nothing wrong with the provider of the product paying a commission but then expect a transaction based relationship and not an advice based relationship.

The reality is that not every financial problem has a product as a solution, sometimes all you need is a partner to help you budget, manage your debt or keep you committed to a plan.

The decisions that your Certified Financial Planner will help you with when it comes to your Investment Structuring are the following:

  • Should you invest in your: Own Name, A Company or a Trust?
  • Should you invest using a: Retirement Annuity, Endowment, Tax Free Investment or Discretionary Investment?
  • Should you invest Locally or Offshore?
  • Should you use an Active or a Passive Investment Strategy?

Step 4: Choosing the correct investment type

Your investment style will influence and determine what your portfolio consists of. Always weigh up the pros and cons of the different investment types as well as features of the provider of the investment.

The specific tax profile of an investor will change the advice regarding how to structure your investments.

Two investors might have the exact same goals but very different tax situations. They could very likely use two completely different solutions to get to the same result.

Think for example of two people saving for the same overseas holiday, let’s say a father and son. The father is retired and over the age of 65 and the son is a successful self-employed businessman. They will quite likely have very different solutions even though their goals are the same.

Step 5: Diversify

Ever heard the saying: “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? Well, in a nutshell, that is diversification.

Why diversify? To increase your returns relative to your overall risk.

Due to the simple notion that there will be times during the various stages of an economic cycle where different asset classes;

  • Cash
  • Bonds
  • Equity
  • Property

Outperform relative to others.

The fact that geographically certain economies outperform others at different times also creates a need for diversification.

Diversification is essential. Especially for a small economy like South Africa which only represents 0.5% of global GDP and has a very concentrated equity (Share) market.

Make sure that you consider the following points when discussing your investment structuring;

  • Diversifying your investment across multiple asset classes
  • Investing across providers
  • Investing across different Strategies such as Active and Passive investing
  • Investing across different Styles such as Value vs Momentum investing etc.

Most importantly, in our opinion, diversify from a Geopolitical point of view. Get offshore exposure in your portfolio, either directly or indirectly. Our view is that as a local investor you should aim to have 50% of your net worth exposed to offshore assets

Speak to our independent financial planners and let us show you how and where to invest your money. Successful investors use professional advisors, most investors that “burn their fingers” usually listened to a non-professional that gave them a “hot tip”.

Research shows that the average investors receives a lower return than the average return of the market, this is usually due to being unable to separate personal emotions from your money.

The typical investor only invests once they see the great returns the professionals have already made and end up investing at the top of the market. The market then typically starts its inevitable downturn and the investor panics and sells near the bottom turning his “paper loss” into a real loss, forever convinced that investing is too risky for them and thus they become a lifelong Saver instead of an investor.

Lastly who do you think bought the investment from the investor near the bottom of the market?...... That’s right, the professional money manager that sold it to him near the top and who was making unemotional decisions for the clients he manages money for.

You can contact us to help you make an informed investment structuring decision.