- Before you disregard this story because your bank balance currently sits at R267 let us tell you this: You’re actually the best candidate to add zeros to your account. We’re not joking.
- If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t think twice about dropping your hard-earned cash on the latest handbag or killer pair of heels, you could just be the perfect person for investing and making your first million in the process. It’s all about “making sure your money works for you”.
- There are three different avenues for you to consider when planning to build wealth: investing in physical assets such as property, investing in paper assets like shares, bonds or managed funds; and, finally, starting a business.
Don’t freak out at the finance speak – these three options are much easier than you would ever imagine. All it takes is a decision to become more savvy, a focus on educating yourself and a bit of solid action to make it all happen.
“For women in their 20s, they really should be thinking about it now,” says Barbara Turley, wealth strategist and founder of Energise Wealth (energisewealth.com). If the money game has always seemed too scary, it’s time to change your frame of mind because Turley believes that in as little as five years, anyone can become a millionaire – you just need to be very prepared to put in the hard yards.
“Most women see money as an ugly thing and associate it with The Wolf of Wall Street, but we need to change that. It’s a tool that we can use to bring our greatest dreams to life,” says Turley.
Equip yourself with the right information and you’ll be ready to walk the path to wealth. So, don’t let a lack of cash hold you back anymore.
PATH ONE: INVEST IN PROPERTY
When it comes to making money in property, there are two ways it can happen: from the rental income and from the increase in the property price. Often, it’s a bit of both. For instance, if you’ve got a R50 000 deposit and get a bond of R500,000 and the property price goes up by 10 per cent – voila! You’ve just doubled your own R50 000 investment.
“But before you consider investing, you need to get educated on the property market, how interest rates affect property prices, and the property cycles,” advises Turley. Remember that property prices can also go down. Chatting to your bank or a good broker is the best place to start. You’ll get a picture of how much you can borrow and what your repayments will be before you start falling in love with that adorable one-bedder you found online.
Before diving into it, Turley says it’s also wise to have some extra cash in the bank as a buffer and to not stretch yourself too thin with your mortgage. You should aim to pay it off ASAP so that you are the one building wealth from it, and not the bank! “Often, it’s much better to go for a cheaper property and pay it off faster so you avoid paying too much interest over the life of the loan,” says Turley. A mortgage doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be in debt for the next 25 years – it’s possible to pay it off in five years, says Turley. You will need to pump every penny into it, but then you’ll see the money beginning to roll in.
PATH TWO – SHARES AND BONDS
Not sure what the difference is? “Shares are when you buy a percentage of a company and become a part owner so you literally share the ownership with lots of other people,” says Turley. “The reason you would buy a share in a company is to have access to their growth and profit.”
A bond is where you can lend money to someone, like a government or a company. “They pay you an interest rate and then pay you back the money after a certain term.” So, if you buy a 10-year government bond, the government is basically saying they’ll take your money, put it to work, pay you an interest rate and pay you back the lump sum in 10 years’ time.
PATH THREE: START-UP BUSINESSES
Want to be super rich? Of course you do. “The majority of the self-made billionaires in the world are entrepreneurs,” says Turley.
If you’ve always wanted to start your own business, the most crucial first step is to find a gap in the market, or a need that a particular person has, and then work to fill that gap or need. For instance, if you want to open up a new clinic because you are a nutritionist, you need to consider why someone would come to you – what’s the need you’re going to fulfil?
“You want people to stampede to your office. Once you have got this right, the money will start to come in,” Turley says. “Just don’t jump the gun and start investing in beautiful offices – you need money to be coming in first.” Often in the first year, you won’t make any money, so having savings is crucial. “The reason most businesses fail is because the money runs out, not because the idea wasn’t good enough.”
So, how do you work out which option is best for you? “You need to consider how much time you have and the amount of interest you have in getting involved,” says Turley.
Property and running your own business are not as passive an investment as shares. It’s all about finding what suits you.