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At least once a week I’m asked, “How do I start investing?” Without fail, I always advise the aspiring investor to check out EasyEquities. The CEO and founder Charles Savage always remarks that one of his main reasons for starting the platform was to democratise investing.
He’s done just that. For many (myself included) the world of investing is an intimidating one. There’s complicated jargon, confusing names, and too much to choose from. As someone who doesn’t know anything about investing, it can be off-putting and rather menacing.
However, I still use the platform for investing and cannot sing its praises enough. Not only is it easy to use, but it allows you to invest as much as you can afford. One share in Naspers, for example, is trading now for approximately R3,000 – give or take. For a budding investor in their early 20s, that’s a lot of money. However, EasyEquities allows you to invest what you can afford. So, if you want to invest R20 into Naspers, you’re able to.
That’s what I find so great about it – the platform is getting people interested in shares and learning about investing – something that was once the reserve of the well-heeled. If you’re not ready to play around with your own money, EasyEquities provides you with a demo account. You’re gifted (it’s a simulation) R100,000 and allowed to practice investing on the platform. This allows you to learn how shares perform and what they react to.
Registering or signing up for an account is surprisingly easy. The process is fuss-free and easy to go through. What’s more, you can do everything from your smartphone via the app. What I would recommend before actually investing with your hard-earned cash, is that you play around with the trial account. ‘Invest’ in the stocks that have piqued your interest and see how they perform. Remember, there aren’t just listed companies to choose from. Numerous ETFs are on offer, too.
Once you’re ready to start investing, it’s as easy as choosing what you want and buying as much as you can afford. While all the JSE-listed companies are available, EasyEquities also allows you to invest in hallowed stocks like Tesla, Apple, or Amazon. This is done through your USD Equity Account.
What’s more, there is plenty of learning material to dig into if you’re still unsure of how everything works. So, what are you waiting for? The world of investing awaits – and no, it’s not intimidating anymore. Trust me.
Last week, I asked you to send me your finance and investment queries. Here, Leslie Greyling* of Brenthurst Wealth Management shares expert advice by providing answers to your questions.
I turned 60 in March 2021 and must retire at age 65. I want to retire at age 63 because there would be no penalties applied to my pension payout. However, I still have a bond of R250,000 to pay off.
Is it a good idea to still be paying off a bond when on retirement?
With the information you have provided, and assuming you don’t have any other significant debts, my advice would be to pay off your bond before retirement (whether that is at 63 or 65). Your monthly mortgage payments may represent a significant monthly expense and the goal must be to reduce your monthly obligations, like a bond repayment, to give you better cashflow when you retire. It is a good idea to start thinking about what you plan to spend (your monthly budget) for retirement which will guide you about settling the bond.
Keep in mind that if you retire at 63/65 you will have to provide for an income from your retirement fund/s for the next 25-30 years and the less debt you have going into retirement, the longer your money can last whilst in retirement.
You also don’t want to use a portion of your retirement money to pay off the bond as this will reduce the capital to provide you with retirement income. Read more about retirement planning. Also consider consulting with an accredited, qualified financial advisor who can review your entire financial situation and devise a financial plan, especially for retirement, suited to your particular circumstances.
- Leslie Greyling is a financial advisor at Brenthurst Wealth Management.
Have a question about share investing? Write to me at [email protected].
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