Bitcoin: The good, the bad & the ugly

– By Thiart van der Merwe 


Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are a hot topic at the moment. Everyone wants to know whether they should invest in Bitcoin. It is not surprising given that $100 invested 18 months ago, would be worth $1000 now. This kind of growth attracts attention. What is Bitcoin and what is the fuss all about? This YouTube video explains this complicated concept in simple terms:

Bitcoin: How Cryptocurrencies Work

A few facts

  • Bitcoin is the best known of the digital currencies that is traded on a peer-to-peer network.
  • One can send Bitcoin to someone anywhere in the world as payment for goods or services.
  • Instead of a bank that facilitates the transfer of money – you have a public ledger that records every transaction that takes place. This public ledger is referred to as the Blockchain.
  • Transactions are captured on the ledger in what is known as a block, which is then verified by volunteers (called miners) all over the world.
  • These miners (using computers) figure out complex mathematical problems and are rewarded with Bitcoin for every block of transactions verified.
  • The reward started at 50 new Bitcoins for every block created – but this reward halves for every 210,000 blocks created.
  • This means that there is a limit of 21 million Bitcoins that can be created. In this way hyperinflation is avoided and is a key driver behind the value of Bitcoin.
  • Bitcoin is decentralized as there is no government or authority that can make more coins or keep track of fraud.

There is no denying that Bitcoin is one of the most interesting and brilliant inventions of our time.

Let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to Bitcoin:

The Good

Bitcoin, like many new technologies is revolutionizing the way that we can transact and interact with the world. Disruptive technology such as this can improve the efficiency and speed of transactions and lower costs. A globalized currency means less interference from central banks to drive the value of their respective currencies up or down.

Cryptocurrency has the potential to reach the poorest countries to improve lives by making transactions easy and accessible to all. In many emerging economies access to money is limited to black market trading and inflated to much higher rates than it should be sold at. Whether Bitcoin will reach and impact these poor communities is something that we will have to wait and see.

As an example, Project Ubu (Universal basic unit) is an initiative from South Africa aiming to create the world’s first, fully-fledged decentralized currency targeted at the country’s lower income group. Read more about this here: Project Ubu

The Bad

Financial institutions have certain rules and acts that prevent the fraudulent transfer of money. With Bitcoin, there is no regulatory body and therefore coins can be used for criminal activities – although the payments themselves seem more secure than most bank transactions. We have already seen North Korea set up a massive mining plant to generate Bitcoin and exchange these for services and products worldwide. This means that sanctions may become ineffective.

With the recent Ransomware virus, the hackers asked to be paid in Bitcoin. This is an example of how criminal activity can take place electronically without zero verification for the actual account holders. It may be difficult to stop money laundering and illegal transfers with a currency that has no central regulator. This is why China banned the use of Bitcoin. How many more governments will follow suit?

When it comes to fraud, it is important for Bitcoin investors and users to know that there is very little protection by regulators or laws anywhere in the world. Users have lost money on exchanges of cryptocurrencies operated by fraudulent schemes.

The Ugly

Generally, when stories reach headlines, become topics on investment shows and get analysts predicting “massive growth”- it indicates a “bubble” or overvalued and hyped up asset.

“Technology has advanced greatly, but human psychology is still the same,” Robert Prechter. This has happened many times in history: investors get so excited about the prospects of super profits that they invest their life savings into a “bubble” that ultimately bursts.

A few examples:

  • Tulipmania in the 1600’s: At its highest value a single tulip was worth an entire state and at its lowest it was worth the same as an onion.

Is this the latest “bubble”?

It’s hard to tell, especially because this is a new technology and we do not know how to value it. As a payment method, it looks secure. However, investing in Bitcoin looks far less certain. Bitcoin is created as a payment method like a US Dollar or the Euro. It is not a company with profits or prospective projects. It will be driven purely by supply and demand of the currency itself. Traditional currencies are impossible to forecast other than perhaps the general long-term direction. Completely new payment methods with new uncertainties make it even harder to predict.

Should you invest?

As a payment method, cryptocurrency is a brilliant concept and is likely to change the future of payments and the financial industry. However, the investment merits are questionable.

A major risk for investors is potential future regulations. We have already seen the impact that China’s decision to ban Bitcoin had on the value of Bitcoin. In addition, Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency out there with only 49% of the market cap. New entrants will increase the supply of cryptocurrencies which could drive demand away from Bitcoin.

As with all new technologies, it is likely to run a different course than initially anticipated and there are risks. It is not certain that Bitcoin will be the Amazon or Apple of the cryptocurrency world.

We would not advise anyone to stash their life savings in Bitcoin. At best, Bitcoin is highly speculative – there are simply too many unknowns and at worst, it could be disastrous.

To leave you with a quote from Warren Buffett, “Never invest in a business you don’t understand.”


Foundation Family Wealth is an Authorised Financial Services Provider

Words Worth Reading

Why Your Morning Ritual Is So Important To Your Success

“There is a reason that most successful people have routines. It’s not because they’re OCD or eccentric. Successful people develop routines for a simple reason: they want to reduce friction in their lives so they can focus on what they do best.

As you become successful, whether it’s financially or in mastering a craft, you realize that time is your most precious commodity. There is simply never enough time. There is always too much to think about. So you come up with routines, rituals, and habits that simplify your life and save you time.”

Read more here: Morning rituals and your success


We loved this read: This Morning Routine Will Save You 20+ Hours a Week


“The traditional 9-5 workday is poorly structured for high productivity. Perhaps when most work was physical labor, but not in the knowledge working world we now live in. Although this may be obvious based on people’s mediocre performance, addiction to stimulants, lack of engagement, and the fact that most people hate their jobsnow there’s loads of scientific evidence you can’t ignore. The most productive countries in the world do not work 8 hours per day. Actually, the most productive countries have the shortest workdays.”


Read the full story here: Save 20 hours a week

The Cost Of Old Age Care

– by Michelle le Roux


It’s fun to be young and have big dreams. We leave school and the security of living under dad’s roof; we start working and have a lifetime of salaries and bonuses ahead of us. Retirement is far into the future – after all 40 years is a long way away. But between building family, pursuing a career and starting businesses, those 40 years sneak up on you fast.

Most people would like to continue with the same level of income when they retire. It’s a good indication of what one needs to aim for in terms of retirement savings. But this is life, and uncertainty is something you can bank on.

While it’s reasonable to assume that you will more or less carry on with the same lifestyle between age 65 and 80, you will reach a final life stage where your expenses change dramatically. For some it means less travelling, or not replacing your car again, or lower household expenses because your health limits your lifestyle. If you think about it today, you probably expect to spend less on your lifestyle at 80 than you will at 65 – although medical costs could increase significantly.

For most people aged 80 or thereabouts, this phase also involves going to that scary place called “the old age home”, where our grandparents believed they were sent to die. Except that today most people live there happily for another 10 or 20 years, long after frail care became a necessary part of their lives. This season brings financial uncertainty: it’s a second wave of “have I saved enough”? This is especially true if both partners enter frail care at the same time.

At Foundation Family Wealth, we face these scenarios and questions more and more frequently. For this reason I decided to investigate the actual costs of the final life stages. There are many different types of retirement facilities in our country and monthly costs vary substantially. My aim was to determine the cost of a reasonable option, where one of Foundation’s clients would receive adequate care and happily live out their last years in comfort (but not necessarily exorbitant luxury).

I assumed that the requirement is the rental of a one bedroom apartment in an old age home (in the assisted living category) in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg and surrounding areas. The costs for this area compare well to popular retirement areas in the Cape, such as Hermanus.

The monthly cost for such a unit (60 – 69sqm) starts at R19 000 – R22 000. It includes all meals and refreshments, laundry and cleaning of rooms. It also includes water and electricity usage and any applicable rates and taxes.

Frail care is suitable for patients who are either physically and/or mentally frail. The monthly cost (in a private room or ward) starts at R21 000 per month, which includes full accommodation but also 24 hour nursing assistance. If a patient develops dementia or Alzheimers you may expect the cost to increase, although there doesn’t seem to be an average cost for this added service as many facilities view this on a case-by-case basis. In certain instances there is no additional levy for mental frailty.

Frail care at home is likely to be upwards from R18 000, because at least two live-in carers are required. This monthly cost can be considerably more expensive where the patient suffers from dementia or Alzheimers.

Cheaper options for more basic accommodation in the same area does exist. Most retirement villages have a variety of care units, from independent properties and assisted living, to old age care, semi-frail and frail care, and there is a significant variance in cost amongst these different categories. Facilities and personal preferences differ. Your circumstances will determine the best option for you and your partner.

Now that you have a ball-park idea of what is potentially waiting for you after age 80, the question remains whether you will be able to afford this cost, most likely for an extended period of time?

At Foundation, we strongly believe that cash flow modelling is imperative to help our clients understand their financial outlook. Speak to us if you have immediate concerns. Planning ahead is important, knowing the numbers empowers us to face any fears we might be facing about the future. We’re never too young to start either. Just yesterday I was 40 years away from retirement, and this morning I realised I am already more than a third of the way there!

Foundation Family Wealth is an Authorised Financial Services Provider


The Good News You’re Missing

– Sunel Veldtman


Recently, I have noticed how many conversations about the world lead to a conclusion that the world is a mess. We seem anxious and insecure about the future. If I look at my social media feed, it is no wonder. Bad news abounds. Korea is angling for war. Trump plans to block immigration. Europe’s migrant crisis isn’t over. After Brexit, the UK will never be the same.

While all the bad news dominated headlines, global markets have been reaching all time highs.In fact, an investment in a developed equity index would have returned around 17% in US Dollars over the past year.

Somewhere there is a disconnect. The truth is, the numbers show that the world is not a mess. At least not economically speaking. All the major economic centres are growing at a reasonable and sustainable pace.

Let’s look at some numbers.

  • In Europe, economic sentiment is high and rising. Retail sales are strong and on the up.
  • German business confidence is at record levels.
  • European growth has been revised upwards to the highest level in two years.
Euro-area Retail Sales Source: Stanlib & Keving Lings


German IFO business climate index. Source: Stanlib & Keving Lings


In China, consumer confidence is the highest ever:

  • The Chinese government has succeeded in spurring the Chinese to spend.
  • In addition, manufacturing is growing, not at previous record rates but still growing.
  • Economic growth remains high at 6.9% in the second quarter.
  • Even if you question the official growth number, other indicators like electricity consumption shows a healthy upswing in economic activity.
China consumer confidence.
China: Growth in electricity consumption
China: PMI index (manufacturing vs services)


In the US, consumer confidence now exceeds levels prior to the 2007 financial crises:

  • US employment is at record levels – US business creates around 150 000 to 200 000 new jobs a month! In fact, US unemployment is at 4.3% and has shown a steady decline for the past ten years.


United States consumer confidence


Despite Trump’s attempt to claim credit for this, unemployment has been declining right through the Obama terms.


While the mainstream media has nothing good to say about Trump (and we love to criticise him), business seem to love him. Business confidence has shown a remarkable recovery since his election because Trump promised tax cuts and less regulation. Even industrial production and exports have picked up over the past year.

United States small business confidence index (NFIB)


United States monthly growth in exports


Monthly net job gains


There is nothing on the horison to indicate that this economic growth rate is not sustainable. Inflation remains low and there is plenty of economic capacity to absorb the growth.

To steal a phrase from a famous movie, “this is as good as it gets”.

In South Africa, there is plenty to be negative about. The government’s policies have resulted in business confidence reaching a 30 year low. However, even in the current negative environment, we are missing the good news.

Here goes:

  • This year’s maize crop will be the largest ever. Already economic growth has turned around because the drought has been broken.
  • Inflation is low and falling making room for interest rates to fall.
  • Exports have picked up and the trade balance is healthy.
  • As an open economy, South Africa is benefitting from the favourable global environment.


We are not trying to paint a rosy picture. There are challenges, particularly in South Africa and there are risks like the North Korean situation.

However, the kind of overriding pessimism that seems to draw us all into a black hole, is not justified. And it’s not good for our investments. People are wary about investing money, choosing to ‘sit on the sidelines until things feel better.’ That day is unlikely to arrive again. It seems social media has changed that world forever – the world is likely to stay an anxious place. We have to look for the realistic picture, not get sucked in by the negative.

Even if you are pessimistic about South Africa, there are plenty of reasons to feel good about the world and even more so to invest for the long-term through global investments. Don’t let your investments suffer because of the world’s angst.

Acknowledgement for content from a presentation by Kevin Lings, Stanlib Economist.


Foundation Family Wealth is an Authorised Financial Services Provider

Bubbles and Ice

By Elke Zeki


I’m a bit of a wine snob so I almost had heart failure the first time I saw a couple putting ice in their champagne! I thought I knew about wine trends, but watching this pair pour a R700 bottle of Moet Chandon over a large pile of ice was just too much for me. Little did I know that this is in fact the perfect, new summer drink and that these global pioneers actually make a champagne specifically to be enjoyed this way.

These Champagnes are mostly crisp, fruity and slightly sweeter than my preferred brut wines. Interestingly though, when wines are served chilled it is perceived as less sweet and more enjoyable!

These refreshing drinks can be savored in various ways. Much like gin, one can add fresh fruit, vegetables, teas or herbs. So, move over Pimms, this summer drink looks like it’s here to stay!

Some Ice Champagnes to look out for:

  • Moet Chandon Ice Imperial
  • Veuve Cliquot Rich
  • JP Chenet Ice Edition

All of these have a Rose version available too.


The next champagne-inspired summer trend to enjoy is undoubtedly one of my favourite beach treats. The homebrewed alcoholic PJ Pops from Haute Cabriere. Launched in 2016 theses ice popsicles took the market by storm. They come in two wine-infused flavours made form the Pierre Jourdan Brut MCC and Pierre Jourdan Tranquille, a still wine made from a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay. These will definitely bring the kid out in you.

I like these two summer drinks because they challenge the status quo and help us let our hair down, take ourselves a little less seriously and have some fun. Something we should all do a little more of. Come on summer.


What is it with women and money?

By Sunel Veldtman


Almost one out of three women believe that men are better at handling financial matters than women are. This is according to The Old Mutual Savings Monitor (2012) – one of the few surveys that have studied the attitudes of South African women towards money. Even worse though, is that 65% of men agreed with the statement.

I was no different. Even though I held three post-graduate financial qualifications, had over a decade of work experience in insurance, stockbroking and investments; and had advised some of the wealthiest families on their investments: I still somehow managed to convince myself that I could not read a bank statement and that my husband knew better when it came to our finances.

How had I gotten myself into that position?

I had all the theoretical knowledge but could not put it into practise for myself. Women might be wondering at this point – if a financial guru cannot get this right, how on earth can I? However, I am proof that it is not only about financial knowledge as much as it is about our relationship with and attitudes towards money.

What is it about our relationship with money that stumps us?

1. How we were raised matters

I grew up in a very traditional home. My dad was the breadwinner and took care of all the financial matters. My mom ran the home and took care of us. I was looking for a partner to take care of me in the same way. I never realised that my husband’s home background was very different to mine (and very unusual for that time). We both had a picture of being taken care of, but in his home, it was his mum that took care of all the financial matters.

I still find that many women have this picture – a sort of ‘Cinderella’ idyll. You want to feel safe and secure – taken care of. You want someone else to take the responsibility for the hard stuff. You want the prince on the horse to make it all happen.

You may think that we have come a long way; that women now take care of themselves. However, I find that even professional women and self-made entrepreneurs have little appetite for taking care of their personal finances. In so many cases, they still outsource it to their spouses or financial advisors. I see them in my office regularly – the self-made millionaire shifting all their financial matters across the table to make it all happen and be taken care of by someone else.

The pictures and words of our childhoods are seeds that sprout when watered. If these pictures and words are repeated and especially if they co-incide with traumatic experiences, they form deep roots and develop into trees that bear fruit in our adult lives. They become money messages that dictate our thinking and actions even subconsciously. Think of some of the sayings of your gran or your parents: “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “Choose a man that can provide for you.”



A good exercise to do is to write down all the money messages you’ve received over time. If you think about how you manage your money now, you’ll notice that many of those messages stuck – maybe even subconsciously? If so, are they helpful and should you continue to follow them?

2. Get familiar with your money

Why is it that we women don’t relate to our money, talk about money or learn about the world of money?

We don’t discuss the stock market at braais. We do not, in general, have a natural curiosity about financial matters. I blame the financial industry for talking to women in ways that simply alientate us. Putting pink branding on products designed primarily for men, and then marketing them to women, also does not help. However, we cannot completely shift the blame.

It’s time that our attitudes to our personal finances match our attitudes towards our careers and the rest of our lives. Just as we need to learn about our bodies, we need to learn about and take control of our money.

There is another element to our distant relationships with money. It feeds our insecurity. A 2006 survey by Alliance Capital found that nine out of ten women felt financially insecure. This insecurity seemed uncorrelated to the level of income or total wealth of the women surveyed. It seems like a primal fear.

One proven way to overcome this insecurity is to get clarity around the facts. When you know your situation, even if it is bad; at least you can make a plan. If you do not know, you just continue to fear!

Research indicates that women find it difficult to make time to look after their money. Women still spend more time organising their households and caring for their families, despite the majority of us now working outside the home. We leave very little time for ourselves and even less time for our money.

It’s not easy, even for me, even now, to sit down and familiarise myself with my personal finances. It’s the last thing I feel like when I have worked hard and taken care of my family. However, it’s the first step to being responsible for my own finances, and not relying on others to manage my money and my future.

3. Your money and your life

If those numbers on your investment report leave you cold, you are not alone. It appears that there is a fundamental difference in how women see their money and that’s not bad. As women, we see our money as a tool to reach the goals of our lives – money is not the object but the means by which we attain education for our kids, health care for our families, the retirement we dream of, or the security we need.

If you can think about your money in these terms, it may spur you on to do something about it. I grew up on a farm in the Karoo where I watched the gardener water the vegetable and fruit garden. Around the garden, there were little cement channels separated by small sluice gates. He would channel the water to the dry areas by opening and closing the sluice gates. Years ago, when I first started planning to start my own business, I put a plan together, to channel money into my dream project. Every month before anything else was paid; I put money into an investment account for this purpose. Now I look back and I know that if it had not been for that fund, I would never have been able to start my business.

Ask yourself the question. “What is the money for?” Perhaps the answer will inspire you to get stuck into your money matters.

Right now, I am planning for my own Encore years – the years after fifty. It has inspired me to take a good look at our finances. It has motivated me to rechannel the money to our future dreams, to review our retirement savings and our monthly budget.

Women and the financial world

The financial world has been dominated by men and despite more recent conscious effort to change this, this remains the reality. The result is that this world still does not speak to women. Unsurprisingly, most women find it foreign. In addition, research shows that women relate differently to services providers – they want to be educated and informed, not patronised and kept in the dark. They want their time resepcted and appreciate efforts to make interaction as easy and simple as possible. They want to feel part of a community so that they can relate to the financial services provider through that community.

What makes Foundation a place where women thrive?

Unlike most financial instiutions in South Africa, Foundation Family Wealth puts empasis on creating an environment where women feel at home.

  • We focus on needs based, holistic financial planning, which resonates with women because it relates our advice to their key questions. For example, will I have enough money to send my kids to overseas universities? Will I have enough money to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams?
  • We listen. It is part of our DNA to ask questions and to listen. We strive to ask the questions that will help our clients verbalise their concerns and thoughts.
  • We have empathy for newly single women – those going through divorce or the death of a spouse. In addition, we have spesialised expertise in dealing with these, sometimes complicated issues.
  • We provide learning opportunities for women through our regular courses
  • Our clients (especially the women) always comment on the sense of community they feel at Foundation Family Wealth. Through our regular functions and sometimes, direct introductions, they are able to share their journeys whether it be as entrepreneurs or through widowhood.

Behavioural Finance: Investors are their own worst enemies

By Elke Zeki

I heard a great analogy the other day from world-renowned researcher and storyteller, Brene Brown. She explained how often Thought and Behaviour sit in the back while Emotion drives the car. There are few things in life that stir up emotion the way money does. Even experienced investors are at risk of letting their emotions overtake their judgement – often without even realising it.

This behaviour can have a significant impact on long-term investment returns. The world’s biggest study in this field, The Dalbar study (, shows that the average investor in the US gets much lower returns than the market/index. Why is that?

Research in psychology has identified a range of decision-making behaviours called biases. These biases relate to how we process information and how that leads us to making a decision. Without realising it, these biases can lead to poor investment decisions that destroy value over time. The only way to combat this is to understand what biases there are and the effects they may have on your decision-making. By doing this you may be able to reduce their influence and learn to work around them.

In times where markets are in turmoil and returns are low, we as financial advisors, often see strong influences from these biases when dealing with clients. These are some of the most prominent biases to be aware of:

Anchoring or confirmation bias

This is when you are fixated on one salient point and you ignore all the other information available to you. Or you only pay attention to information that supports your opinion.

Any of these look familiar?

  • Looking at past performance.
  • Only reading articles or research that supports your view.
  • Only considering the cheapest option.
  • Still holding an underweight equity position due to the financial crisis in 2007/08.
  • Believing that you predicted the low market return because of your political view.

Confidence bias

Most people tend to be overconfident in their own abilities. Just ask anyone if they think they are an above average driver? This is particularly prevalent amongst investors. Any investor that enjoyed short-term success based on their own decisions will claim the credit. However, if something goes wrong they see it as bad luck or blame someone else. This bias deeply entrenches perception and therefore may cloud your judgement. Interestingly, research show that men are often more overconfident than women.

Any of these look familiar?

  • Trading often.
  • Believing that you can pick winning investments and therefore keeping a high exposure to a specific stock or investment.

Familiarity bias

You have preference for familiar investments despite being “expensive” – or your portfolio is lacking diversification.

Any of these look familiar?

  • Holding Naspers at 25% of the portfolio because it has done well and you’ve had it for 10 years.
  • Not wanting to invest in hedge funds or international shares because its unknown and outside of your comfort zone.

Loss aversion bias

This bias refers to our tendency to avoid losses over acquiring gains. We feel the pain of loss more deeply than the joy of gain. This often leads to investors being too conservative.

Recognise any of these?

  • Not wanting to sell a losing share to avoid confronting the fact that it was a poor decision, despite the fact that funds can be reinvested into a share with a potentially better future.
  • Preferring money in the bank over investments where there is a larger potential gain such as equities.

Bandwagon effect or herding bias

Humans are social beings and there is a deep desire to be part of a group or community. This behaviour drives investors to follow trends or other peers. This is a powerful bias as it can impact investments more than any other bias – due to the momentum it creates. Following the crowd often means buying when prices are high and selling when prices are low.

What about these?

  • Buying IT shares during the bubble (2001)
  • Taking large portions of your wealth offshore at R16/$1.
  • Investment returns that are too good to be true but all your friends are investing in it.
  • Invest in Bitcoin, it’s the next best thing! (We aren’t against this – just beware.)

Recency bias

With this bias, investors have the tendency to assume future events will be similar to their current experience. Thus, they attach more value to recent information than any older information. This is bias can be especially risky during bull markets when there is an assumption that markets will just continue going up.

Any of these look familiar?

  • Wanting to go with overweight equities because the markets have rallied well recently.
  • Investing in Bitcoin because its returns have been so strong.

How do you avoid these biases?

Here are some important things to take into account when making investment decisions:

  • Make sure your investments are well diversified.
  • Take a long-term view. It is time in the market that matters, not timing the market.
  • Be disciplined with your investment approach and rebalance regularly. Rebalancing protects you from judgement errors.
  • Fundamental bottom-up research helps avoid expensive/bubble assets.
  • Identify your specific goals and objectives – this will help identify suitable investments.

It’s true that these biases also affect investment professionals, not only investors. However, in most cases investment professionals put processes in place to combat potentially destructive behaviour. Investors don’t always have the same awareness, knowledge or infrastructure to protect themselves.

We therefore believe it’s crucial to work with a trusted financial advisor. As objective and independent advisors at Foundation Family Wealth, we help clients stick to their financial plans so that they achieve their long-term goals. We hold up the mirror when making investment decisions through uncertain times so that they can see when they are falling prey to biases. Sometimes this means doing something against your natural bias. Sometimes it just means doing nothing. Our advice is backed by sound and sophisticated research and most importantly it is always done with our client’s best interest at heart.



Words Worth Reading

“Can fairness really exist for women in the workplace?” – Business Day

A brilliant read by Prof Anita Bosch – a registered master HR practitioner and associate professor at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) where she researches women at work. She also teaches in the human capital management and leadership tracks of the USB MBA programme.

“In a world of uncertainties, salary disparities and glass ceilings, what can really be considered “fair” in the working environment?”

Bosch has some hard-hitting truths about women as mothers in society and the workplace – women are valued as mothers or good corporate citizens but seldom both.

Read more here:

Words Worth Reading

Sometimes The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself Is Nothing

 The brilliant author, coach and mentor Judy Klipin writes about taking time-out, to take stock.  

“Next time you are feeling over-worked, over-committed and overwhelmed, take some time to stop. To breathe. To come back to yourself.”

Read more here.


-By Sunél Veldtman

Our first Encore workshop was a huge success given the positive response from attendees. We covered all aspects about planning for the second half of life, including emotional well-being, purpose and health and we took a thorough journey through the financial preparation for retirement.

We hope that the workshop contributed to new plans and dreams for many for the final stretch of their lives. I found Dr Motara’s presentation on holistic health and aging specifically enlightening. He highlighted the importance of holistic well being and our ability to control the aging process. He put the power of aging well in our own courts. His approach underlines our own thinking about the Encore years – that we need to plan for all aspects of our lives to be in balance. Enough money is not enough.

Many of the attendees have asked for the presentation slides. Click on the links below to read these – and feel free to share with any friends who may have missed out this year. We hope that you can all make it next year.


Session 1: Sunél Veldtman’s presentation

Sunel Veldtman

Session 2: Elke Zeki’s presentation

Elke Zeki

Session 3: Dr Riaz Motara’s presentation

Dr Motara