30% of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals in South Africa are now women – a record high, according to The Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa. Women In Finance Network caught up with Demi White, as she graduated – second in the country – with her Post-Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning.
How did you come to choose Financial Planning as a career?
Career uncertainty following my schooling led me to register for a general degree, in the hopes that a broader education would open up a specific direction for me.
Armed with my degree, I applied to join a financial planning academy. I recall being unsure about being admitted to the graduate programme as I was only 19 at the time! I also needed to be able to provide for myself financially, so earning an income while being trained as a financial planner was very appealing.
After a number of gruelling interviews, I was accepted and this is where my financial planning career began.
How much exposure did you have to financial planning as a career during your education?
I first encountered financial planning at the end of my first year at university when I heard about the financial planning academy. I wasn’t looking for financial planning, it found me!
Why do you think so few women have entered and are entering this profession?
Just as I was ignorant of financial planning as a career when I left school, it’s possible that many other women are not aware of the opportunity to have a career in financial planning. I do believe that awareness is increasing, though, and so more women are entering the profession.
Briefly describe your current work day. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I am currently working as a business development consultant, enabling financial planners to provide their clients with better advice.
I typically spend my day meeting with the various financial planners in my panel at their offices. I enjoy using my knowledge gained through studying and my time as a financial planner to assist the financial planners to uplift their business. I am able to be creative and entrepreneurial to come up with ideas to assist them. I also learn something new every day and every day is different; it keeps me on my toes and is very exciting.
To achieve your CFP designation, you had to work and study at the same time – how did you manage this?
I have worked and studied at the same time for the past four years. It is not easy, but with good time management and planning I could find a balance between all my responsibilities. Keeping the end goal in mind helped me to remain focused.
What would you say to young women looking at a career in financial planning?
Financial planning is hard work and high pressure, but very rewarding.
What are you looking forward to in terms of your career going forward?
I look forward to expanding my knowledge and experience to become better at what I do. I don’t know what doors will open in the future, but I know the possibilities are endless!
Tell us something about you we don’t know.
I am a perfectionist, hardworking, and goal oriented, and when I am not working you can find me on the athletics track.
Women In Finance Network Cape Town hosts Debbie Goodman-Bhyat for our mindfulness event -Tuesday 23 May 2017.
Debbie Goodman-Bhyat BA LLB; Entrepreneurial Growth Forum (London Business School); ACC (Associate Coaching Course)
CEO, Jack Hammer
Debbie is the founder and CEO of Jack Hammer, rated one of South Africa’s top 3 executive search firms.
For almost 20 years she has invested in helping people get more out of life and work – building a team of impassioned professionals within Jack Hammer, and in finding great leaders for organisations throughout Africa.
Jack Hammer consults to some of the region’s top blue chip corporates, global multinationals, and private enterprises, with a focus on senior management, executive and board level appointments.
Her insights and stories have found their way into the media, where she appears regularly on television, radio and in print, and as a keynote speaker at conferences. She has recently published her first book, “IntheFlow – Taking Mindfulness to Work”, as part of her mission to share ideas around new ways of leading.
Debbie’s distinctive style and vision may come from her somewhat unconventional background. In her ‘first’ career, she was an award-winning contemporary dancer and choreographer…while completing her law degree.
She is also a founding member of the Cape Town Chapter of EO, a global entrepreneurship organization of 12 000 members – she currently serves on EO’s Regional Council for the MEPA Region.
She is married to Zaheer, a film producer. They have 2 young daughters and live in Cape Town.
Women In Finance Network in partnership with our partners for 2017: Old Mutual Wealth, Allan Gray and Investec Asset Management are proud to host Debbie for our first event for the year. Let’s start the year off more mindfully!
Don’t miss out book now
Tuesday, 23 May 2017, 17:30 for 18:00
Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Beach Road, Granger Bay, Cape Town
Fee: R350 per person, includes dinner and drinks for the evening
Click here to buy your tickets now through Quicket – Limited tickets available. Last day to buy tickets is Wednesday 17 May 2017
Financial Planner, Lynette Wilkinson, shares how she regrets accepting a commission from a client to create an estate plan – without being able to do a comprehensive review of their assets … and why she has resolved not to take on such an assignment again. She gives tips on how to make the most of your relationship with your planner.
Good intentions pave the way
One of the most satisfying things about my role as a financial planner is to guide clients in achieving their intentions with their money. One aspect is creating an estate plan that will give effect to their wishes, as their legacy to their family. This goal is difficult – no, impossible – to achieve when your client is reluctant to share details of his assets.
My clients were well-intentioned. They shared a vision of wanting to teach their children sensible money management and to leave a legacy for at least the next five generations. Some of their assets are businesses that could well provide both an income and employment for their children and grandchildren in the future.
Their aim in meeting with me was to devise an estate plan that included reviewing their existing trust. In the event of their simultaneous deaths, they wished their assets to be transferred into that trust. They brought to our first meeting their wills, their existing trust deed and their marriage certificate, to show whether they had wed in community of property or out of community of property, and whether the latter was with or without the accrual system – of course, this has a huge impact on the estate plan.
Disclosure makes the deal real
Unfortunately, while their goals were certainly noble ones, I was in no position to guarantee that those goals would be achieved. Why not? My clients simply did not want to disclose detailed and relevant information about their assets and liabilities. I did not know the values of the assets, or whether they were owned or ceded. In the absence of these facts, I was unable to give comprehensive feedback, as I was not able to understand the values of assets, and the cash flow and tax implications of any actions we might recommend.
Why does this matter?
Let’s take the strategy of transferring the couple’s companies into trust on death. Without knowing the values of the assets, I am unsure how much Capital Gains Tax would be triggered, and if so, how much liquidity (available cash) there is in the estate to pay that tax. In addition, Estate Duty is likely to be levied against the estate as a result of the transfer of these assets into trust. Were there to be insufficient funds to pay these taxes, the businesses might have to be sold in order to generate liquidity to satisfy SARS.
Were the business, however, to be sold rather than transferred, the monies could then more easily be placed in the trust, without attracting the same amount of tax. Alternatively, I could advise that, in the case of one spouse predeceasing the other, the best route would be to bequeath the companies to the surviving spouse, thereby taking advantage of the Section 4(q) deduction, which exempts spouses of any Estate Duty on that asset and defers the Capital Gains Tax to the second dying spouse.
Partner with your planner
Of course, you can go online or to your local bank branch, and obtain an off-the-shelf Will – there you will be asked no questions, and any complications that may later emerge will only then be able to be resolved … often to the detriment of the estate and its beneficiaries.
I am also aware of a local legal company that charged R40,000 to redo a trust deed, and who followed much the same superficial process of not even looking at the wills, but simply creating a trust according to the clients’ stated wishes but without flagging any of the potential pitfalls.
The result of this kind of approach is, ironically, that the intentions of the clients’ are not fulfilled.
Clients approach financial planners because we hold the expertise that they most often do not. It is therefore my moral responsibility to advise my clients in the best way possible … and that cannot be done with just a slice of the picture.
So, here are some tips on how to make the best of your relationship with your planner, especially regarding creating an estate plan:
Understand that an estate plan cannot be created without your planner understanding your financial plan – the two work in tandem.
Build a relationship of trust with your planner that will allow you to feel free to disclose the necessary information for her to devise your own unique financial and estate plan – she wants your intentions to be fulfilled, so help her to facilitate that.
Share your dreams for your family and the generations that follow with your planner:
Is the intention for your businesses to generate income or employment or both for your children?
How much of the family’s wealth will the children use?
What is the purpose for creating generational wealth? To teach your children money management? To enable your children to be educated? To provide capital for their own businesses?
Knowledge of these intentions will allow your planner to set up your affairs practically to meet your goals; for example, a drafting a ‘family constitution’ will communicate to future generations what grandmother or grandfather’s intentions were in creating the trust.
If you already have a trust, don’t allow anyone to review it unless they also want to understand your finances and to see your will.
Partners must be in agreement regarding both their intentions and understanding the role and value of a financial planner.
A review of either a will or a trust deed is of no value to the client (or the planner, for that matter) when done in isolation. You will understand then, my reluctance to take on any future requests to do so without an understanding of my clients’ assets and liabilities, and a broader view of their finances.
Lynette holds a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ® status and obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning from the University of the Free State in 2007. She completed an Advanced Post Graduate Diploma in financial planning, specialising in Estate Planning and Risk Management in 2012.
Lynette keeps abreast of the latest industry changes through her membership of the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI), the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the Kinder Institute of Life Planning.
Lynette believes in real relationships.
Her professionalism and empathy assist her in the discovery process to define her clients financial and lifestyle goals, allowing her to create a global and strategic financial plan for their unique needs.
This Kenyan woman won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts to fight environmental degradation in her country. She established the well-respected Green Belt Movement in 1977, and also champions human rights.
Head of Akwa Group, a distributor of petroleum products, and founder of Aksal Group, a Moroccan giant in luxury goods, retail, department stores, and shopping malls, her company has a 50% stake in Morocco Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in Africa. She holds the exclusive licence to sell high-end fashion brands such as Zara, Gap, and Massimo Duti in Morocco.
Wealthiest woman in Africa, worth $3.3bn, she accumulated her wealth in oil, diamonds, communications and banking. She is the chairwoman of Unitel SA, one of the country’s largest mobile network companies, valued at more than $5 billion.
What our WIFN community is saying about our events …
Thank you for hosting me – it was an awesome experience. I could so relate to Nicky, as my husband is also a stay-at-home dad. And I totally agree with her that, as females, we must never think of ourselves as ‘victims’ but rather be the best that we can be by exploiting every opportunity available to us! – Shuad Cornelius
Thanks for organising a great function the other night. Thoroughly enjoyed it! – Khumo Khaole
I just wanted to thank and compliment you on a fantastic event yesterday. Not only were we very well looked after, but we also left feeling inspired and motivated about the future of the country and the role of women in that future. Please keep us up-to-date about future events. We would love to have the opportunity to reconnect with the amazing people we met yesterday. – Roberta Eggers
Thank you, Alida, for organising such a fantastic evening. We loved it and are looking forward to the next. – Daniella Bergman
Thank you so much Alida for the awesome evening. It was such a great evening. Looking forward to more evenings like this. – Maryka Meldau
I just want to say thanks for the event. I REALLY enjoyed it and thought it was absolutely brilliantly organised and a high quality event. I will most certainly always attend the WIFN events when they are this inspiring and insightful! – Alba Brandt
I just wanted to say thanks so much for an incredible event; it truly was a fantastic evening, and I look forward to growing this network and making a real difference in this industry. –Tessa Lefrere
Thank you for inviting me to the JHB event. I truly believe that this is an excellent initiative in our industry and I must commend you on pioneering it. Well done. – Tanya Thompson
Thank you so much for the excellent event last night. – Renee Coughlan
Can’t wait for the next function—will be counting the days! – Erika Smit
This is just a quick note to say thank you very much for the wonderful breakfast last week. I enjoyed every moment, especially the surprise ‘best question’ award. I am really appreciating my rather fancy honey pot, as is my family! – Caroline Cremen
I wanted to thank you for inviting me to the WIFN breakfast event. It was an enormous privilege to be amongst incredible women and I was able to meet several great contacts. I have registered for a membership and I am looking forward to meeting up with you and the members of WIFN in the future.– Pebetse Tetelo Mabona
I thought Nicky was great – a lot more than I expected. I have to say personally I am just over the whole motivational professional speaker thing – but Nicky was very different and I thought the format was a good one – no wasting of time just straight up talking and answering interesting questions. – Patricia Holburn
It is wonderful to be part of WIFN. Nicky’s message of being true to oneself resonates strongly with me, and her attitude of making a difference in one’s immediate circle, be it personal or business, is truly inspirational. – Christina Forman
With three law degrees, being a Yale World Fellow and South Africa’s 2003 Business Woman of the Year, Nicky Newton-King secured the position of CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 2012. She is the first woman to lead this company since its inception over a century ago … Here are some nuggets from Nicky’s conversation with WIFN guests when she was the recent guest speaker at both the Johannesburg and Cape Town events.
Earn your place, make the space
Acclaimed business woman, barrier breaker, mentor, role model … these are just a few of the descriptions that apply to JSE CEO, Nicky Newton-King. Throw in wife, mother to two sons, cyclist, plus the occasional pilates session and you’ve got achievement and inspiration in abundance.
Nicky believes that we are all aspirational, and when you are a leader, many want to share a moment with you and learn from you. She gave the Women In Finance Network (WIFN) more than a moment when she shared her stories, her journey and her insights at their March 2016 Jo’burg meeting at 54 on Bath Hotel.
Strong, independent women have always been a feature of Nicky’s life. “For most of my life I knew about women who worked hard” (her mother ran a farm). From negotiating prices to dinner table conversations – there was no barrier for women. Women could do anything: they had a place at the table.
“You have to earn that place,” said Nicky, who has LLB and LLM degrees, “study hard, learn, work hard and put up your hand.”
Love what you do
But earning that place shouldn’t be a grind. Although there will be sacrifices along the way, the journey should be enjoyable.
Nicky is a firm believer in doing what you love. “I love my job. In the last 20 years I can count five days where I didn’t enjoy it.” One of those days involved retrenchments.
Making it meaningful also makes a difference. “Do what you do in a manner that leaves something for the next generation. That is how I was brought up,” Nicky observed.
For co-founder of Women in Finance Network, Kim Potgieter, this is about being authentic. It’s not status that drives, and will achieve, it’s believing what you do matters.
Create the space where more can flourish
When you have earned your place at the table – make sure there is space for the next achiever. Nicky said that as you climb the ladder, you need to make it easier for people to follow.
“It is tough being at the top, and you have a sense of responsibility to let other people know what it is like.”
Sometimes this takes the form of chatting to someone informally, sometimes it is networking events (note: Join Women in Finance Network!). Nicky shared that formal mentorship programmes can be tricky because of the commitment they require – but there is a lot that can happen informally that is of equal benefit. And don’t discard the energy inspirational women give and get in a networking event, at presentations and conferences.
One thing is clear for Nicky – along the way to the top there are compromises and sacrifices and late nights – that are made easier by a support network. “I have had lots of support in my career, I wouldn’t underestimate the value of support.”
“I think you make choices,” Nicky said. “I’m not the class mother, and I have a lot of support at home and work. But I do what I do and I love what I do.” Nicky has a househusband, with whom these kinds of choices and decision were discussed immediately after he proposed. And while work is one of her loves, she maximises her time and is clear on what she will and won’t do. “I don’t do dinners,” was a welcome sentiment.
Allowing your children to see a strong independent successful woman who flourishes in her career can be very inspirational.
The JSE has the enviable position of an exec that is more than 50% women and a workforce that is more than 50% women. The organisation employs around 500.
When it comes to diversity in the workforce, Nicky says this was a deliberate strategy – because the stock exchange used to be pale and male. It wasn’t a deliberate strategy to attract women, the goal was more diversity, but along the way more and more women saw the JSE was a place where they were more than welcome, and more and more women liked the idea of working there.
“You get to a tipping point where women say – this is a place I can flourish without having to do something bizarre,” said Nicky. So strong has the attraction been that the organisation now needs a few more men to balance the scales!
In the workplace women can also create an environment that allows women to flourish without asking too much. If you think the advice to sleep a lot, take time out for kids’ sports games and concerts is only relevant to women who have reached the top of the ladder – think again. According to Nicky, senior women can to create the right atmosphere where junior staff members would be able to ask for some flexibility that would allow them time for family commitments.
Strong support for South Africa
So, what about those markets and the state of SA Inc? Nicky had just returned from London where she was part of the Investor Roadshow. The team led by Minister Pravin Gordhan was “on top of its game.”
Sentiment appears low in many places across the globe, not just South Africa. Reading the London papers makes you think it is worse in the UK than here. “I think we create our own destiny. If we spend our lives saying it is all gloom and doom, this will happen. There are areas of excellence in South Africa and we need to give them our support. Let’s not make the mistake that the whole system is rotten. We have to give people a chance to succeed.”
Nicky believes that events over the last three months show a completely different mindset and belief, and there are many genuinely working together for a better country. What you read on the front page of the newspaper is not the whole truth.
And although a downgrade to junk status might be a wake-up call, it is not a good thing – a country can take at least five years before regaining investment grade status.
Be honest with your clients
But the economic climate is tough and market volatility looks set to stay for a while yet. “Tighten your seatbelts for a while; it’s an uncertain world, there is volatility and low growth.”
In this environment we need to be honest with our clients, and where we have influence we need to use it. “Get in there and make a difference.” And this is not limited to dinner table conversations – use your voice and be heard in more places that matter.
Below is a snippet of our Nicky Newton-King event that was held in Johannesburg:
In a world of work where women struggle to achieve balance, CFP◦ and Chartered Wealth Financial Planner, Tiffany Venter, draws on childhood memories to learn a valuable lesson.
Tiffany with her mom, Glenda De Wet
I could seldom resist. I would lean over, peer at the contents and feel that vague sense of unease that often comes with envy.
There they lay – symmetrical perfection: fresh white triangles filled with crisp lettuce, tomato and cheese, crusts carefully cut off, and neatly arranged in the lunchbox … evidence of the solicitous care of stay-at-home mothers. Whereas I, daughter of a working mother, rose early to make my own sandwiches, a rather rushed routine resulting in squashed blocks of jam and butter.
The contrast often made me reflect on the unfairness of life. As a young girl, I used to scrutinise those flawless families at school all the time, their perfection extending beyond perfectly prepared lunches … girls whose moms worked at the tuckshop; mothers cheering at every netball match without fail; peers who were fetched at 13:30 sharp, available for private after-school activities to which they were seamlessly ferried; and school projects that always trumped mine, having had hefty parental involvement.
My reality included solitary project efforts, aftercare in primary school and walks to and from high school as a teenager.
I was a child of a mother who worked … and this was a point of contention between us for many of my growing years. I recall often begging my mom to give up her job so that she could join the tuckshop troupe of volunteers, but she was unmoved and unmoving. I made my disappointment clearly known. But, there was never a moment when I did not feel loved.
With maturity comes insight and there came a time when my view started to shift.
I witnessed many of my friends struggling with the responsibility that comes with independence during our university years. They still had to learn basic lessons: tin foil cannot be used in the microwave; spilt milk does not miraculously clean itself up; laundry must be separated into darks and lights.
I started to realise that the independence that my mother encouraged in me from a young age was a gift: if I didn’t prepare my own lunch, I went hungry; if I left my project to the last minute, I had to make a plan. I was expected to help with dinner.
I learned from a young age that I was responsible for my own actions, work, health and, ultimately, my own happiness.
Mother as a Mentor
Another huge advantage became apparent when I was deciding on a career path.
I needed someone who had worked hard to make a success of her own career to be a sounding board, someone who understood the various paths I was considering. I had seen my mother’s dedication in her own career, and this experience stood me in good stead as I entered the working world. The challenges of a first job are inevitable; guidance and sound advice are invaluable.
All novice employees need to understand the behaviour expected in a working environment. My mother showed me when I was being unreasonable and always offered me the alternative perspective.
I have realised that my mother is my role model. Not only did she do a great job raising me and my siblings while holding down a full-time job, she also kept her life in balance. She makes her health and fitness a priority; she makes time to see her friends and family; she is open-minded, smart and dedicated. She wins the genuine admiration of those close to her, colleagues, family and friends.
A daughter’s dedication
So, with much gratitude, I would like to say this to career mothers:
Being a working mom can have such a positive impact on your daughters (and sons!). A woman who is empowered, challenged and has a strong sense of purpose is inspiring to younger women. She can help, mentor and guide them well into their adult years, resulting in a lifelong relationship of respect.
I recognise that it is difficult for mothers not to feel guilty when their children are young and those children demand more time and attention. Nevertheless, there are undoubtedly long-term benefits of having a powerful female role model.
Thank you, Mom, for your love and many sacrifices …
Jean Archary is a proud mum to her seven-year-old daughter, Taria. She is a specialist in the financial services field, a Certified Financial Planning Professional® and a certified workplace coach. Financial education is a topic close to her heart. Jean also holds a BA in Psychology and Communication, and a postgraduate diploma in Advanced Tax.
Raised in a single-parent home with three siblings, she was forced to learn many money lessons early on in life. This prompted her to start financial discussions with her daughter at a young age too. Even with an extensive background in financial planning, Jean found it challenging to explain financial concepts to her daughter and wondered if other parents were struggling too. And so through their money conversations, the concept of Mrs Spiggles, the flying piggy bank, was brought to life by both mother and daughter.
Mrs Spiggles hopes to share important money messages with children, regardless of their financial upbringing, with the hope that they are better able to manage their finances throughout their life journeys.
Like our Facebook page, Mrs Spiggles and her Money Tales, to keep up to date with future developments, information and practical tips on educating kids about money.
Series name: Mrs Spiggles and her Money Tales
Title of book: Taylor’s Birthday Surprise
The first book in the series “Mrs Spiggles and her Money Tales” is Taylor’s Birthday Surprise, where Taylor’s mum invites Mrs Spiggles to visit her on her seventh birthday to share some important money messages. Taylor learns about how her parents earn money and the importance of budgeting.
Cathryn Gordon (also known as Cat) is a 33 year old artist born in Somerset West, Cape Town. Cat is hearing impaired and has worn a hearing aid from a young age. She completed a three-year Art Studies diploma at the Andrew Owen School of Fine Art. This was the first book Cat was commissioned to illustrate. Communication occurred via whatsapp and email and all drawings were hand drawn.
There are some books you read that you know will change your life.
Kim Potgieter recently read Goddesses Never Age by Dr Christiane Northrup and was so inspired that she wants to encourage all women to read it.
Apologies, men, this one is for us women, but be assured that you will benefit as much (well, almost as much!). Having read it, watch for the materialisation of the ageless goddess before your eyes … Kim promises your lives will be much more pleasurable!
Christiane’s central premise in her book is this: age really is just a number, and agelessness means not buying into the idea that a number determines everything, from your state of health to your attractiveness to your value. You can beyounger at 60 than you were at 30 because you’ve changed your attitude and lifestyle.
Ageless living is courageous living
It means being undistracted by the petty dramas of life because you have enough experience to know what’s not worth worrying about and what ought to be prioritised.
Goddesses Never Age is not your run-of-the-mill self-help book. It challenges us to relinquish myths that we have internalised and that age us … myths about women, about our relationships with each other, about our bodies.
In this book, Christiane challenges us to grow older with gusto rather than to deteriorate with age. Then, she says, you won’t be old and you won’t be young: you will be something else … an ageless goddess!
“We are not proponents of long life. We are proponents of joyful life, and when you find yourself in joy, the longevity usually follows. We do not count the success of a life by its length; we count it by its joy,” says Christiane.
People with positive perceptions about ageing live on average seven-and-a-half years longer than people who don’t hold that belief.
Being vivacious and fully engaged by our experiences and enjoying our creativity protects our brain health … and keeps Alzheimer’s away.
Your thoughts and your beliefs are the single most important indicators of your state of health.
The anti-ageing prescription is to love life, to try new things and to savour your experiences.
Happy reading! The WiFN would love you to share your Ageless Goddess story with us.