Sunél Veldman is a veteran of understanding and strategically managing finances to build a wealth-enabled life. She is the founder and CEO of Foundation Family Wealth, the author of “Manage Your Money, Live Your Dream”, a recognised financial commentator in the media, wife, mom, and blogger.
Sunél's Blog | Do we care enough?

Sunél’s Blog | Do we care enough?

April 3, 2020
COVID-19 puts a spotlight on the plight of millions of South Africans who are living in poverty. They don’t have access to decent healthcare and sanitation. They live in shacks. The lucky ones have jobs far from their homes. Even the lucky ones know hunger intimately. Unless our country tackles this problem with the urgency ...
Sunél's Blog | So really, how are you feeling right now?

Sunél’s Blog | So really, how are you feeling right now?

March 27, 2020
When you read this, South Africa will be at the start of its lockdown, following our European and Asian friends who have been in lockdown for some time. We have been called to fight a war against an invisible and silent enemy, by staying home. And, even if we do not want to admit it, most of us are ...
Sunél's Blog | Corona and the human mind

Sunél’s Blog | Corona and the human mind

March 20, 2020
The COVID-19 virus fall-out is a great example of the flaws in human thinking. For a complex problem – like, what is the most appropriate response by a country’s government to the spread of a deadly virus – you need complex thinking. However, most people rarely apply the rational, thinking part of their brains. Most human ...
Sunél's Blog | On swings and roundabouts

Sunél’s Blog | On swings and roundabouts

March 12, 2020
The last week of February was one of the worst in the history of markets – global markets declined by more than 10% in USD.  Pervasive panic as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 virus from China to the rest of the world dominated the news and social media. The virus has already brought much of ...
Sunél's Blog | The risk of going it alone

Sunél’s Blog | The risk of going it alone

March 6, 2020
What goes through a successful man’s mind when he pulls the trigger a day after his retirement? From the outside, he had it all: an illustrious career, a happy family, a big circle of friends and the trip of a lifetime planned.   But he harboured a secret. He never told his inner circle that he ...
Sunél's Blog | You may not die from old age, but from retirement.

Sunél’s Blog | You may not die from old age, but from retirement.

February 28, 2020
Retiring is dangerous. Who would have thought?  While people may initially report improved health after retirement due to lower stress levels, studies show that the risk of death increases by as much 20%; and the risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke increases by as much as 40% after retiring. It is not ...
Sunél's Blog | Why Buffet is wrong

Sunél’s Blog | Why Buffet is wrong

February 21, 2020
You believe in yourself. You have done your homework. You go for it. Go big or go home, is what they say. After all, Warren Buffett said “diversification is protection against ignorance. It makes little sense if you know what you are doing.” You think it’s certain.  You are in control.  You are wrong. And so is Warren Buffett in ...
Sunél's Blog | You can't take it with you

Sunél’s Blog | You can’t take it with you

February 14, 2020
When babies come into the world, they are naked, vulnerable, all wrinkly and truth be told, ugly. Similarly, people typically leave the world vulnerable, wrinkly and yes, ugly. In a lifetime, we gather our possessions, properties, bank accounts, investments and all sorts of other links to the world around us. When we die, we die ...
Sunél's Blog | Managing money through the rearview mirror

Sunél’s Blog | Managing money through the rearview mirror

February 7, 2020
My eldest is learning to drive and I am becoming more conscious of my driving. Driving is one of those things that you do without consciously thinking about when to look in the rearview mirror. But I have now become aware of looking in the mirrors again. Although looking in all your mirrors is essential for safe driving, the most ...
Sunél's Blog | Habits of Small Things

Sunél’s Blog | Habits of Small Things

January 31, 2020
Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort (Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit).  They are the legs of resolutions and without them, resolutions typically fail. Research increasingly shows that they are worth pursuing (the good kind at least) and that it is even possible to change behaviour by making tiny changes to ...
Sunél's Blog | A year of intention

Sunél’s Blog | A year of intention

January 24, 2020
2020 is here. It has a good ring to it – a new year and a new decade. A blank page on which we can continue to write the story of our lives. If the 2010s didn’t work out well for you, here’s a new chance. A new chance for a new beginning. What will you do with it? I’m ...
Sunél's Blog | Sit dit af, sit dit af! (Switch it off, switch it off!

Sunél’s Blog | Sit dit af, sit dit af! (Switch it off, switch it off!

December 20, 2019
When Apartheid was at its height, Johannes Kerkorrel created the protest song, Sit dit af, sit dit af! against State propaganda at the time. It’s been ringing in my ears for a long time. It’s how I feel about news these days. The news media has become an endless source of negative noise. Almost every time I tune in, I ...
Sunél's Blog | What are holidays for?

Sunél’s Blog | What are holidays for?

December 14, 2019
This will be my last blog post for a month. Not only are we relocating to Cape Town from Johannesburg as you read this, but it is the holiday season for most South Africans. Many make the trek to their home towns, their families or their usual seaside resort. As we all do so, it might help to think ...
Sunél's Blog | What is the worst thing that can happen?

Sunél’s Blog | What is the worst thing that can happen?

December 6, 2019
Last week, I wrote about uncovering the root of anxiety about money, which starts with awareness. But awareness is not enough. When we worry about money, we often have vague fears about the worst thing that can happen. What if a global recession wipes out half of my capital just before I retire? Experts will placate you and say that ...
Sunél's Blog | How is your money anxiety working out for you?

Sunél’s Blog | How is your money anxiety working out for you?

November 29, 2019
You may be aware of the beliefs that you have consciously adopted or rejected but you may be completely unaware of the beliefs which drive your anxiety. What are your beliefs about money? How are your beliefs working for you and how are they affecting the most important relationships in your life?
Sunél's Blog | What is your number?

Sunél’s Blog | What is your number?

November 22, 2019
Worth is not determined a number. Worth is permission, from yourself, to treat yourself with honour and to require that from others, regardless of any monetary number that can be attached to yourself.
Sunél's Blog | About Changing Your Mind

Sunél’s Blog | About Changing Your Mind

November 15, 2019
Have you changed your mind about your money or your life principles? Ever or recently? Hopefully, you have because it will indicate that you are open to learning. A learning mindset is essential for building wealth and for a meaningful life. There are several good reasons for changing your mind: new data or research emerges; tax ...
Sunél's Blog | How to news

Sunél’s Blog | How to read…financial news

November 8, 2019
There has been a proliferation of financial news. You can drown in waves of it if you do not wear a life jacket. Most of it is badly written, poorly researched and aimed at selling you something…typically fear. We should know this by now. Fear sells. Most financial news is unhelpful to wealth creation because wealth creation requires optimism – optimism ...
Sunél's Blog | Trust your gut...or not?

Sunél’s Blog | Trust your gut…or not?

November 1, 2019
In my work, when I hear the words intuition or gut, my radars switch on for what comes next. When someone says, ‘I just have a good gut feeling about this investment or my gut tells me that the currency will be at 20 by year-end’, I listen up. Gut feeling or intuition can mean many different ...
Sunél's Blog | How we decide

Sunél’s Blog | How we decide

October 25, 2019
Have you ever paid attention to how you decide? What is your process when you make an important life decision and what information do you consider? Do you process data, or do you just go with your gut? What happens when you must decide as a team or a family or a couple? This year our ...
Sunél's Blog | Leave...or make a positive contribution

Sunél’s Blog | Leave…or make a positive contribution

October 18, 2019
This year an already depressed sentiment about the prospects of our country plunged to new depths. For some, anything from a potential IMF bailout to the NHI or the credit downgrade have been rational reasons for negativity. They are indeed reasons for concern, but it doesn’t necessitate that every real and social media conversation dive ...
Sunél's Blog | Lessons from the Camino

Sunél’s Blog | Lessons from the Camino

October 14, 2019
The Camino de Santiago was not on my bucket list. It never occurred to me that I might want to do it until earlier this year when I mentioned to a friend that I wanted to take some time out and she said, “You should do the Camino.” The Camino de Santiago is a network ...
Sunél's Blog|The importance of walking through the woods

Sunél’s Blog|The importance of walking through the woods

September 13, 2019
At the end of last year, after seven years of building Foundation Family Wealth, I was exhausted. I felt that 2019 had to be a year of rejuvenation.  I wanted to learn new skills, expose myself to new ideas and renew my life and business vision. I also wanted to take some time off.    We ...
Sunél's Blog | The value of loss

Sunél’s Blog | The value of loss

September 6, 2019
If you cannot stomach the loss or simply cannot afford the thing you want to do next because you bargained on obtaining the higher price, you must wait; but you may have to make peace with the fact that you will wait a long time. Or forever.
Sunél's Blog | What is it worth to you?

Sunél’s Blog | What is it worth to you?

August 30, 2019
As an adviser, I am frequently asked about the investment merits of lifestyle assets such as holiday homes, art, yachts or vintage cars. In South Africa, holiday homes are popular and a signal for some, of status and wealth. I married into a family with a holiday cottage at the coast and have been going there for thirty years. That ...
Sunél's Blog | 55%

Sunél’s Blog | 55%

August 23, 2019
That’s the ratio of people living below the national poverty line of R992 per month in South Africa. That’s 30-million people. I knew that it was bad. But that number hit me between the eyes again. These are the homeless and the unemployed. It excludes our domestic Mercy who worked 6 days a week at the local ...
Thoughts create reality

Thoughts create reality

August 16, 2019
Where I grew up in the Karoo everything was scarce. Water was always scarce. If the wind didn’t blow, we couldn’t even get water from the boreholes. I learnt to bath in a few centimetres of water only when the water tank was full. I learnt to keep the dishwater standing just in case ...
Measure it

Measure it

August 8, 2019
I have repeatedly seen how the angst literally dissolves away from clients when we show them the concrete steps they can take to make a comfortable retirement a possibility or better yet, that their retirement capital is already enough. By focusing on what they can control, instead of a distant disaster, they can control their ...
The world is a good place right now

The world is a good place right now

August 2, 2019
Last year when I mentioned in a speech that the world has never had it so good, people asked me afterwards whether I was trying to be funny. I don’t do funny well. My family are forever telling me that I should lighten up. The thing is, compared to the rest of history – the average ...
What will make this day great?

What will make this day great?

July 26, 2019
The year is speeding ahead. We pile on the busyness as our annual holidays become distant memories. But where does this busyness get us? What exactly are we trying to achieve? Are we trying to earn more money so that we can be happier? Add more achievements to our CVs? Boost our egos with a ...
The small steps matter

The small steps matter

July 19, 2019
“Small choices are the difference between health and sickness, loneliness or friendship, financial freedom or distress.”
Daily Dose of Gratitude

Daily Dose of Gratitude

July 19, 2019
As a wealth strategist, the space I occupy is a junction between the hard currency of how money structures clients’ lives and the softer side of listening to clients’ dreams, goals, concerns and hopes for their lives. I have many observations about this space. One of the most notable being how the contact point between money ...
The cost of recency bias

The cost of recency bias

June 12, 2019
2018 was a difficult year, one of the most difficult of my career. An overriding pessimism enveloped us: Trump was fighting with China over trade, Brexit turned out to a big mess, Europe stood, once again, on the precipice of a recession, the currency declined, South Africans learnt more about the extent of our leader’s corruption and financial markets tanked. ...