Friday, November 24, 2017

Dear clients and associates                                                                                           December 2017

We are almost at the end of 2017 and would like to reflect on the highlights and challenges of the past year. A warm welcome to all our new clients who joined us this year. Most of our new clients are referrals which makes us proud and thankful towards our existing clients and associates for entrusting us to oversee your family, friends and business associates’ financial planning. To all our clients: you can rest assured that we are commited to compiling a personal financial needs analysis for every client to ensure it reflects each individual’s personal goals.

Our mission is to continue assisting you on the road to the creation and retention of wealth 
and protection against financial risks.

Investments and creation of wealth
Initially, markets performed poorly, but stabilised very well during the third semester, emphasizing again the importance for investors to keep with long-term planning and refrain from making short-sighted decisions based purely on emotions. This ensures worthy fund performances over the long haul. We expect volatile markets in December during the ANC’s leadership congress, but we trust it will only have a short-term effect.

Risk insurance: Life-, Disability- and Severe illness cover
We were grateful we could finalize a severe illness claim successfully earlier this year. This was in spite of confirmation from other insurers they would not have settled the full claim. It confirms again the importance of working only with trustworthy product providers who have proven their reliability with a good claim and payout history.

It is very important to review your risk benefits annually to ensure you are sufficiently covered. Please ensure you keep to your annual appointments.

 We receive regular concerns regarding temporary disability benefits. What happens when you are unable to earn an income for an extended period due to injury or illness? Certain employers do offer temporary disability cover as part of your employee benefits, but unfortunately this is very seldom. Luckily there are numerous products on the market that offer this cover. Feel free to contact us for an evaluation of your personal situation and advise on suitable cover.

Thank you to all our business partners for your expertise and personalized service to us, as well as our clients.

Short-term insurance
Over the past year we have seen some devastating fires in the Western Cape, especially in the Garden Route region. 
The value of sufficient insurance was again highlighted. The negative impact of under- or overinsurance can be underestimated at claim stage. With underinsurance, it is important to note that only a portion of the claim is paid. For example, if your house contents is insured for R100 000, but the true replacement value is R200 000, the insurance company will only pay 50% of the claim value. Therefore, if the claim is for R50 000, only the amount of R25 000 will be allowed. The same applies to overinsurance.  Only the replacement value will be paid and is therefore not in the client’s best interest to overinsure their items.

With the fires in Gordon’s Bay during the month of November, it was heartwarming to see the community coming together to help those in need.  Thankfully we had no loss, but clients have suffered significant damage. Our empathy is with you. We are doing everything within our capacity to finalize the claims as quickly as possible.

We are also proud of our village, Gordon’s Bay and its people for their swift action when our local animal welfare sent out a distress call for the animals in need. The animals were quickly evacuated and taken to safety at different locations. We also fostered a loveable rottweiler until the fires were contained. Thank you to all the firefighters, community members, businesses and everyone else for your speedy assistance and selfless service.

With the purchasing of a new short-term policy, please ensure all info is accurate and true as stipulated in the schedule. Please take time to read the summaries/schedule carefully and take note of any excess amounts as well as additional benefits added.

 It remains the responsibility of the client to ensure you understand the product and the insured amounts are correctly disclosed.

We receive various complaints with the annual renewals when short-term premiums increase, in spite of vehicle retail values declining. Unfortunately there is a number of factors that determine the premium increases, for example:
-      The weakening Rand which contributes to the price increase of vehicle parts and repair costs.
-      A significant rise in theft claims, which increased the cost to insure vehicles.
-      Claims due to severe weather patterns, for example flooding or the Knysna fires.

Please contact us if you are not satisfied with your current premium or service. We would like to have the opportunity to address the problem rather than have you change to a different service provider without our knowledge. In most cases we will be able to provide a solution.
Kindly contact us in advance if you want to add an item to your short-term insurance, especially with the purchasing of a motor vehicle, to allow us sufficient time to do all that is necessary.

For enquiries during the festive season when our office is closed: (Have the policy number or I.D. number of the policy holder ready when you call)

OM Insure      
Tel: 0861 247 365       Claims, emergencies, Swiftcare: roadside assistance, household emergencies and medical emergencies.
Tel: 0860 637 373       For general enquiries about adding or removing items or any other amendments.

Tel: 0860 505 911       Claims, emergencies, SOS: roadside assistance, household emergencies and medical emergencies.
Tel: 0860 726 826       For general enquiries about adding or removing items or any other amendments.

Auto & General                                 
Tel: 021 527 8666       All claims, enquiries and amendments.
Tel: 0860 104 210       Emergencies after hours.

Well wishes and inspiration
Congratulations to our clients who earned a sporting achievement. A grandson of one of our clients has previously earned provinsial colours in rugby, and has now also received SA colours in Hip Hop dancing. Another client’s daughter is a provinsial Netball player. There were also clients who studied part-time and completed their degree with distinction.

We would like to congratulate everyone who earned a significant achievement, you are our inspiration. You are most welcome to share your and your family’s achievements with us, we want to share in your pride and joy.

Tax assessments
A significant amount of grievances were mentioned in the news towards SARS for their reluctance to pay out refunds due to income tax payers. However, it is remarkable how e-filing has simplified tax submissions the past few years. Mostly the processes are easier and quicker than 10 years ago. Take this in consideration if you experience any frustrations. SARS has intensified requests for submission of supporting documentation and in some cases more detailed evidence, to ensure only true deductions.
You are welcome to forward your tax documentation upon receipt for safekeeping. We store all documentation electronically until the tax season commences to prevent endless searches for misplaced documentation when in a hurry.

It remains the client’s responsiblility to ensure we receive the relevant documentation in time.

Please take note deductions allowed for retirement savings has increased to 27.5% this year. We would like to encourage you to make use of this opportunity to maximise your tax deductions. Please contact us for more info regarding this tax allowance.

Best wishes to everyone who is recovering from a serious illness, operation or accident. We trust you will have a speedy recovery. Our thoughts are with the Walker and Agenbag families, who lost a loved one.

Masthead, the biggest network for Independent Financial Advisors, still assess and handle our compliance. Our compliance is up to date and we are proud we received a clean audit from Masthead once again. Thank you to everybody at Masthead ensuring we comply to the regulations of the industry.

Our practice behind the scenes
Our office hours are Mondays – Fridays from 8:00 till 16:00. We have however experienced some power outages in the Gordon’s Bay region recently which affected our internet and phone systems. We do apologize for any inconvenience if you were unable to reach us. Please rest assured that we have put systems in place that will ensure no call goes unanswered during office hours. You are also most welcome to visit us at our premises.

Our son, Marco joined our business in January and he has already taken a significant role within the practice. The extra member comes in handy especially when individuals are on leave.

The success in our practice is determined solely by the support of our clients. We are humbled by this and would like to sincerely thank all our clients for your continued support.

2017 was a busy year and we look forward to the break. We are excited about 2018 and what it has in store for us. Our office will close on 22 December and re-open on 8 January 2018.
Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year! Travel safely and enjoy this special time with loved ones.

Kind regards

From all of us at Toni van Zyl Financial Services 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dear clients and associates,                                                                                                                                              July 2017
The last quarter has certainly produced plenty of political noise, all of which had a significant impact on our economy. Despite the countries’ credit downgrade and low economic growth, our currency and stock exchange have managed to stay afloat and not crash like many have feared. Inflation has decreased and some economists reckon there is still scope for a slight interest rate cut. However, our economy is still under severe strain and we as individuals need to do whatever we can to protect our financial well-being.
The below table is a comparison of the exchange rate and JSE All share index in February 2017 and June 2017.

28 Feb 2017
30 June 2017

Investments, creation and retention of wealth
Not much has changed in the last quarter in terms of economic outlook. As mentioned above, although we have faced major blows in the last 3 months, the markets and currency managed to keep firm. It is important to remember that it is normal and necessary for markets to go through peaks and dips. During the 2008 market crash, the JSE fell by 46%, but within 6 months grew by 26% again and continued to grow. We therefore maintain that the only way to create and retain wealth is through:
-           sufficient diversification,
-           the use of recognized fund managers with outstanding track records over the long term,
-           sticking with your investment strategy/plan through the good times as well as times with weaker growth,
-           not making emotional decisions.

Furthermore, we should be focussing on reducing expenses, debt and saving more in order to secure our financial well-being.
-          Cancel gym contracts and subscriptions that are hardly used
-          Pay off debt as soon as possible to avoid paying high interest rates.
-          Avoid creating more debt like credit card, retail store accounts and personal loans.
-          Stay away from dodgy dealings. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
-          Create a budget and stick to it.
-          Make use of technology. Apps like 22seven or easy budget tracker are great budgeting tools. Majority of the investments houses,    banks and insurers have apps available that are aimed to assist you with your financial needs.
-          Cut down on luxury expenses.
-          Start saving up a emergency fund for unexpected expenses.
-          Start saving toward retirement as early as possible.

Studies show that 94% of South Africans are unable to retire comfortably. Although the millenial generation might have more information at their disposal in the digital age, a large percentage still has no idea about the importance of retirement planning and could be making the same financial planning mistakes as the generation before them.   

Risk cover: Life-, Disability- and Severe illness cover
During tough times, life insurance is usually one of the first expenses we look to cut. This however can be a grave mistake. It is ipmortant to remember that getting life insurance is not always as easy as you think. You might not be as healthy as you once were and the insurers could decline your cover or load your premium, making it even more unaffordable. Without the right cover, you and your family could be left with a massive financial burden in case of death, dissability or severe illness. We therefore recommend that you try and keep your life insurance at all costs or consult with us for advice on how to keep your life insurance and still meet your budget demands.

Short-term insurance
The last quarter has seen its fair share of devastation, especially in the Western Cape. It is estimated that the big storm in June and Knysna fires could cost the insurance industry up to R3 Billion. In our offices, we have recently increased our short-term team to keep up with the growing demands of our clientele. We aim to have continued discussions with our insurance partners to ensure our clients’ get the best service at the best rates possible.

As you are aware the tax season opened on 1 July 2017. SARS have put in a few additional procedures this year to combat fraud and minimize errors. Please note that SARS requires copies all medical aid, retirement annuity and welfare contribution certificates when submitting a tax return.

During a recent study, we found that many our clients’ next of kin, friends or family does not have a financial advisor assisting them with their financial planning. We urge all our clients to feel free to refer anyone who they think are in need of financial advice to us for a free consultation. We have recently expanded our offices in order to take on the growing number of referrals we receive on a monthly basis.
Please feel free to visit our website,, or Facebook page for information regarding market conditions, news of the insurance industry or to comment.

Kind Regards,

From all of us at Toni van Zyl Financial Services 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Newsletter March 2016

Dear clients and associates,                                                                                                                                               

We are thankful 2017 has been very positive so far in comparison with the previous year. In February 2016 South Africa’s economy was still in shock after the “Nenegate” debacle, a shock that put our currency and markets under enormous pressure.
The Rand exchange has since achieved outstanding growth against the major world currencies and the markets is steadily recovering. Many economists have predicted inflation has already started declining and interest rates will be reduced by the end of the year.

            The below table is a comparison of the exchange rate and JSE performance over the last 2 years.

28 Feb 2016
28 Feb 2017
JSE ALSI 1 Year performance
(27/2/2015 – 26/2/2017)
(26/2/2016 – 13/1/2017)

Budget 2017  
This year’s budget speech was slightly more optimistic compared to 2016, but a few tax increases were announced which could have a direct impact on the consumer’s disposable income. The Treasury is also determined to continue cutting government spending, thus there is speculation that certain government employees might soon be offered severance packages. If you have been or is aware of anyone else who have been offered a severance package, please contact us urgently for advice, as the wrong decision now can have severe negative tax and other implications in the short and long term.

Please see below a few important increases as announced by Minister Gordhan:
  • Individuals earning more than R1.5 million per annum will pay 45% on income tax.
  • The general fuel levy will increase by 30c/Liter and 9c/liter for the road accident fund levy. 
  • Dividend withholding tax has increased from 15% to 20%.
  • Consumers of alcohol and tobacco products can also expect to pay 6%-10% more.
Luckily there is also a few tax benefits that can be utilized to your advantage :
  • Properties to the value of R900 000 can be purchased with no transfer duties payable. 
  • The limit on tax-free investments have increased from R30 000 to R33 000 per annum. Please feel free to contact us for more information on how you can utilize this benefit to its full potential. 
  • Up to 27.5% of all retirement contributions can be claimed back from tax. Taxpayers that fall in the highest tax bracket can claim up to R350 000 back of their retirement contributions from tax. The social grant for pensioners was recently increased to R1600 per month for persons over 60 years and R1620 per month for persons over the age of 70. This amount falls far short in comparison with the real cost of living in South Africa. Thus, retirement planning is not only a smart way for tax relief, but also a necessity.  
  • Majority of taxpayers can expect to pay less income tax in the next financial year. 

 Below table shows what taxpayers in certain brackets can expect to pay in the 2017/18 tax year.
Taxable income
2016/17 Rates
2017/18 Rates
Tax adjustment (R)
% adjustment
R150 000
R13 500
R13 365
R300 000
R49 780
R49 348
R500 000
R116 460
R115 824
R750 000
R213 431
R212 490
R1000 000
R315 931
R314 990
R1500 000
R520 931
R519 990
R2000 000
R725 931
R744 990

Please remember the tax year commenced on 1 March 2017, so be sure to keep your logbook up to date, save all invoices/receipts and keep record of all medical expenses to ensure that the tax return process is as smooth as possible with the onset of the tax season.

Investments and creation of wealth
2016 was truly a unpredictable year for the markets, but as mentioned before, it seems that things are turning around. Below tables indicate how unpredictable the markets were in 2016. Both tables indicate funds with high equity exposure which performed well over a long period, but completely under performed in 2016.

Top 3 fund positions over 3 year up to Dec 2015
Position in 2016
Nr 1

Nr 102
Nr 2

Nr 92
Nr 3

Nr 98
Top 3 funds in 2016
Position over 3 years up to Dec 2015
Nr 1

Nr 103
Nr 2

Nr 101
Nr 3
Nr 78 (*fund inception was 1 Nov 2013)                             

Above just again emphasizes that no one can accurately predict market performance. Along with top fund managers, we at TVZ are convinced wealth creation can only be achieved through
  •  sufficient diversification,
  •  the use of recognized fund manager with outstanding track records over the long term,
  • sticking with your investment strategy/plan through the good times as well as times with weaker growth,
  • not making emotional decisions.

Risk cover: Life-, Disability- and Severe illness cover
We can not emphasize the importance of risk cover enough: thus we encourage all our clients to consult us about proper death, disability and severe illness cover for you and your loved ones. We recently handled a client’s severe illness claim who was diagnosed with cancer. Luckily the cancer was detected and treated early. The severe illness claim was paid to the client in full without delay. As of 1 April 2017 new regulation will be introduced to limit medical gap cover policies. Thus, besides the emotional impact that severe illness can have on you and your loved ones, it can also have a devastating financial impact without the correct cover. Please feel free to contact us for a comprehensive financial needs analysis.

Short-term insurance
2016 was a great year for our short term division. 90% of all claims was paid out, the claims that were declined were for items that were not insured. We want to remind clients to check that all necessary items are covered. If you are under-insured, the insurance company will not pay out the full amount. We are approached regularly by clients wishing to leave direct insurance companies. One big reason for this is poor service from call centres. Sometimes the premium might be lower than what the larger insurance companies offer, but there are various excesses that are added to the policy that can easily be overlooked. At TVZ you know exactly who you are dealing with and we act as your intermediary, thus you don’t have to speak to a different person every time you make contact.  Also the insurance companies we partner with does not add unnecessary excess fees. It is our duty to ensure our client understands the policy contract in its entirety. Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries regarding short-term insurance.

Let’s aim to save in 2017, think twice before adding unnecessary expenses; work towards reducing debt; save for retirement, unforeseen circumstances, and also our dependents and very important, let’s save water, our most valuable asset.
Please feel free to visit our website,, or Facebook page for information regarding market conditions, news of the insurance industry or to leave a comment. We are well aware that “word of mouth” is still one of the most effective methods of marketing, so you are welcome to refer your friends, family and colleagues for a financial needs analysis, free of charge.

Kind Regards,
From all of us at Toni van Zyl Financial Services