The Great TFSA Race Investor Profile – Thabo Sanyane

Mayo Twala
By Mayo Twala March 30, 2016 09:23

The Great TFSA Race is raging! We’re profiling one of the entrants every week, culminating next month in an announcement of the winners who will each get R5,000 to add to their savings. Find out more and enter here.

Thabo 2Raised by a street-savvy single mom, Thabo Sanyane knows the value of hard work and responsible spending. Thabo started work as a golf caddy at an early age to supplement his tuition fees, and is now hoping to give his children an easier start with his tax-free investment, which he will be using to fund their education.

A public servant, he’s been managing his own investments after undertaking some research and reading. While he may have made mistakes along the way, Thabo feels he’s learned valuable lessons, the most important being to look at the long term and not be rattled by short-term losses.

We spoke to Thabo to learn more about how he will be using his tax-free investment to enhance his financial wellbeing.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how your childhood influences shaped your views on money and saving?

I’m a public servant in the diplomatic service, so I have been away, in Sri Lanka, for some time. Growing up, we were three boys raised by our very streetwise mother. Although she was a single parent, all three of us ended up in tertiary [educational institutions]. She worked at a golf course and taught us at an early age that we needed to earn our keep and pay our way through life. I worked as a caddy at that golf course and was able to save and help pay for tertiary [education].

Why is investing  so important to you?

If you remember Sasol Inzalo, I had wanted to buy those shares but then someone asked me why I wasn’t investing directly on the JSE? That is when I started developing an interest in investing. My interest in investing is something that came from research and reading, which led me to ask myself why I needed to ask others to keep my money.

Why did you decide to go the tax-free route?

It is very cost-effective. When you look at the tax-saving side, everyone hates paying tax, so when the opportunity came for one to make tax-free gains, it just made sense to invest in a tax-free account.

What are you hoping to achieve with your tax-free savings account and how have you structured your portfolio to ensure you meet your goals?

I have two kids who are still in primary school and I am also studying myself, so I would like to afford my kids a good education through my investment. I have split my investments into short- and long-term investments. Both my unit trust and ETF investments are tracker funds which track the performance of major companies on the JSE.

What, would you say has been your biggest mistake when it comes to handling your finances and what lessons did you learn from it?

One thing I’ve learned is not to be swayed by speculation. At the beginning I would listen to speculators and sometimes end up cashing in on some investments based on these speculations, so I’ve learned that you have to understand how markets work. When investing one has to learn to look at the long term as opposed to the short term.

Finally, is there anyone or anything out there that has had an influence on your decisions when investing? 

I normally read Moneyweb as I find that I learn a lot form their articles. So, what I normally do before I even take a shower in the morning is log into Moneyweb and check out the headlines, which help give me an overview of what is going on in the markets.


Mayo Twala
By Mayo Twala March 30, 2016 09:23

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