The Great TFSA Race Investor Profile – Dustin Quintini

Nonhlanhla Kunene
By Nonhlanhla Kunene April 19, 2016 09:59

The count down begins. The Great TFSA Race is drawing to an end. In just under two weeks time, competition judges will have the unenviable task of choosing three of the best, who will each walk away with R5 000 to add to their savings. Entries are now closed so let the drum roll begin!

Dustin QuintiniDustin Quintini’s goal is to save R100,000 in three years to enable him and his wife to finally put down a deposit on their dream house.

An architectural technologist by profession, Dustin admits to having been quite apprehensive about taking charge of his finances, believing he simply didn’t have the smarts for it. A brief chat with his wife’s uncle, however, changed that. It helped him realise the importance of having simple financial management skills along with a basic knowledge of the markets and investing. Dustin says this brief chat, coupled with the fear of being unable to afford his retirement, is what finally led him to face his fears and educate himself on money matters.

Although a relative newbie to investing, Dustin is gaining in confidence, so much so that he is now considering taking that bold step to a higher-risk equity investment.

We spoke to Dustin to find out if he’s still on track with his three-year, R100K goal.

Why investing is so important to you?

I have always been a bit intimidated by matters related to finance as I felt I had no formal knowledge or training on how to handle or manage my own finances. Last year, however, my wife’s uncle showed us what he was doing. He tried explaining his investments to us and why it was important to have some understanding of how to manage your money, which planted the seed for me to start learning as much as possible and being more actively involved in my investments.

Is your tax-free savings account your only investment or did you have other investments prior to that?

I already had other investments with a few blue chip companies like Alan Gray & Old Mutual, but I realised that these investments can be quite costly, when you take into account the admin and service fees. So I’ve actually started educating myself about investing, through online platforms such as Moneyweb, ETFSA , Savetaxfree and Financial Freedom University.

I made the decision in February to expand my financial background, and have opted for Financial Freedom University and PIMMS courses from the wealth chef, Ann Wilson and financial expert, Nerina Visser. Since then it’s been a remarkable and life changing experience.

You’re saving with the goal to buy some property. Why did you feel your particular account and provider?

Well firstly you don’t pay any monthly fees. Secondly, after having have looked at a few institutions, I felt the FNB Tax-Free Savings Account would offer me the highest interest rate, which is 6.75% at the moment. We’re aiming to save R100,000 in three years in order to put down a deposit on a house, so the interest rate was very important to us. And lastly, the tax saving aspect meant we could get maximum returns on our investment as we get to fully reinvest all the interest earned.

In your competition entry form you alluded to the fact that you felt the current annual limit of R30,000 was not enough. Why?

Personally I think the annual limit is too little. With tax-free savings having only been introduced a year ago, I think that we’re already behind when compared to counties like the UK. I think if we’re serious about encouraging South Africans to save, the limits should be higher to encourage people to save as much as they can.

I also feel that even though tax-free savings are meant to encourage South Africans to save, not enough has been done to educate people, especially the youth – who opt to join the working class after leaving school about the importance of saving and how you don’t even need lots of money to start, especially if you start early to reach financial freedom earlier in life

Finally, saving and investing is not always easy to do and often takes a lot of discipline, especially seeing as you only get to enjoy the benefits much later in life. What motivates you to keep going?

Probably the fear of not having enough to retire on, and the fear of not having achieved anything for my family. I don’t want us to be in position where the only way we can benefit financially is by being beneficiaries upon the death of a family member. I think most insurance companies make a lot from these types of policies and we spend so much on these instead of investing in passive assets for retirement and financial freedom.

Nonhlanhla Kunene
By Nonhlanhla Kunene April 19, 2016 09:59
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