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 | Will Donald Trump trump again?

Sunél’s Blog | Will Donald Trump trump again?

October 23, 2020
On my return from a few days off-grid, I was assaulted by reams of research on the possible impact of the American election on our future. How will a Biden administration impact global growth? Will a Trump win spur financial markets on? Speculation clothed as research or expert opinion claim to answer these questions. The truth ...
Sunél's Blog | What have we learnt?

Sunél’s Blog | What have we learnt?

October 16, 2020
As we slowly emerge from lockdown, I wonder, what have we learnt? Are we taking a moment to let the enormity of what’s just happened to us, sink in? Are we taking stock of the impact it has had on our bodies, minds and souls? Or our money? Have we taken a moment to express ...
Sunél's Blog | What commitment means for your money

Sunél’s Blog | What commitment means for your money

October 9, 2020
Next week, Piet and I will celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary. It is somewhat surreal, thinking that I have been married for thirty years.  It is difficult to believe that all that time has passed. It feels like our lives have come full circle – we started our married life in the City Bowl in Cape ...
Sunél's Blog | The elegance of simplicity

Sunél’s Blog | The elegance of simplicity

October 2, 2020
I’m a fan of French elegance. I am drawn to the simplicity and minimalism of their style – the blue blazer paired with a crisp white shirt never dates. It’s timeless. If you build up this type of French wardrobe, daily dressing becomes easy and effective. The same is true for a property of good ...
Sunél's Blog | A chat with a friend, a stolen cell phone, financial independence and a pandemic

Sunél’s Blog | A chat with a friend, a stolen cell phone, financial independence and a pandemic

September 18, 2020
Three stories were woven into one experience for me during the past week. A friend shared his dreams with me, daring dreams that may cost him a big chunk of his capital, perhaps most of it. He ended by saying that he’ll be happy to live a simple life if it all fails. He will be ...
Sunél's Blog | What is the value of advice?

Sunél’s Blog | What is the value of advice?

September 11, 2020
When I was a young parent, my dad gave me a piece of parenting advice that probably changed the course of my life and saved me and my children from the trauma of helicopter parenting. It freed me to enjoy my children as unique humans. If I had to pay for that advice, I wonder what ...
Sunél's Blog | A lesson from historical romance novels

Sunél’s Blog | A lesson from historical romance novels

September 7, 2020
I read historical romantic novels in old fashioned paper format before bedtime. Life is difficult enough, so what I read before falling asleep must help me escape and switch off from screens and the day’s challenges. However, historical novels are often more than an escape.  They can be useful. They can expose ways of living ...
Sunél's Blog | Spring is in the air, or is it?

Sunél’s Blog | Spring is in the air, or is it?

August 28, 2020
From my office window I notice the dark oak branches sprouting delicate fresh leaves and the poplars’ twigs forming fat buds. The sun rises earlier and suddenly it feels lighter. The dark days of mid-winter and lockdown are behind us. Can you still remember what it felt like? How hopeless and dreary the future seemed in ...
Sunél's Blog | One way to deal with anxiety

Sunél’s Blog | One way to deal with anxiety

August 21, 2020
When I searched my previous blogs, surprisingly, I found the word anxiety in only one previous blog. It is not a reflection of how I have felt or how most of our clients seem to feel. If you are like me, at some stage during this pandemic, you have probably felt anxious about the future, ...
Sunél's Blog | What could happen?

Sunél’s Blog | What could happen?

August 14, 2020
What do you want? What will happen if you focus your money, time and energy on the thing(s) you want? It’s not complicated. It’s just very difficult. It’s difficult to choose what you want. It means saying no to a lot of other stuff. And then it’s difficult to apply focus and resources to that thing. Most people never ...
Sunél's Blog | Don't talk to me about Botox

Sunél’s Blog | Don’t talk to me about Botox

August 7, 2020
I dread women’s month because I become inundated with pink invitations to industry events on topics ranging from Botox, self-esteem improvement coupled with the money mistakes women make. What are we thinking? I would love to know if any of my male readers have ever been invited to a comparable financial industry event? The industry ...
Sunél's Blog | Why you need losers in your portfolio

Sunél’s Blog | Why you need losers in your portfolio

July 31, 2020
Everyone knows. You should not put all your eggs in one basket. You should diversify so that your wealth is protected against the unforeseen. What does this mean? It means that the prospects of your investments should be linked to different factors. If all your investments do well at the same time, then it probably means that your ...
Sunél's Blog | Dare to dream

Sunél’s Blog | Dare to dream

July 24, 2020
I believe in dreams. As a money expert, it is quite something to admit but my current reality exists because I dreamed: Foundation Family Wealth is the product of my dream to help people live their best life with their money; living in Cape Town is the result of my dream to live closer to ...
Sunél's Blog | What's on your mind?

Sunél’s Blog | What’s on your mind?

July 17, 2020
Just when we thought it could not get worse, it did. Now we have lockdown and load shedding, all without alcohol. Yes, the winter cold fronts have been welcome and there is the silver lining of nearly full dams (in the Cape), but the freezing cold in the dark has come at a dark time ...
Sunél's Blog | How scarce is money?

Sunél’s Blog | How scarce is money?

July 10, 2020
I spent the first few years of my life on a small Karoo farm. There was freshly baked farm bread with homemade butter every day, milk from our own cows, meat from our livestock, vegetables from our own garden and eggs from our own animals. Writing this now, I realise that for the reader this ...
Sunél's Blog | Poor prospects, poor returns?

Sunél’s Blog | Poor prospects, poor returns?

July 3, 2020
The return on an investment is determined by two factors – the prospects and the price you pay for those prospects. If you pay too much for the prospects, the total return on your investment can be as poor as an investment with poor prospects. Imagine there was an investment with great prospects, but you had ...
Sunél's Blog | Wealth built on inequality, is fragile

Sunél’s Blog | Wealth built on inequality, is fragile

June 26, 2020
Last week, I took some time away from my blog space. I needed some time to process what has transpired since the outbreak of COVID-19. While away, I felt compelled to send this blog – a version of it was waiting in my outbox. The world has never been a more unequal place. South Africa specifically, ...
Sunél's Blog | The long-term will not fix this

Sunél’s Blog | The long-term will not fix this

June 12, 2020
On the 13th of October 2000, I was standing at the end of a jetty on a lake high up in the Drakensberg selling my clients’ Dimension Data shares. I remember the day because it was my 10th wedding anniversary. My husband and I had gone to a remote guest house to celebrate – the jetty was the only ...
Sunél's Blog | You may acknowledge that you're sad

Sunél’s Blog | You may acknowledge that you’re sad

June 5, 2020
Emotion has such a bad reputation. The general belief is still that emotions should be ignored or repressed. Worse still, is the belief that emotions are signs of immaturity and should not come into play in decision making. Some emotions seem more acceptable, like happiness or surprise, whereas fear and sadness frequently leave us uncomfortable or are regarded as ...
Sunél's Blog | Put up your fences

Sunél’s Blog | Put up your fences

May 29, 2020
Most of us know how to take care of our physical security. We put up burglar bars, fences and walls. We raise the walls and top them with electric fences.  We install alarm systems. We have panic buttons linked to armed response. We belong to village watch groups. We may even have permanent bodyguards. We ...
Sunél's Blog | How confident should you be now?

Sunél’s Blog | How confident should you be now?

May 22, 2020
Correlation does not equal causation. Confusing the two is a basic error in critical thinking. For example, if there is a declining trend of COVID-19 infections in Italy at the same time that more people are wearing masks, it does not mean that the declining trend was caused by the mask-wearing. But let’s first backtrack to ...
Sunél's Blog | The last of the human freedoms

Sunél’s Blog | The last of the human freedoms

May 15, 2020
This week, as I digested President Ramaphosa’s speech, I was struck by the enormity of what we are experiencing. Not for the first time, an acute anxiety about the outcome of the Great Lockdown overwhelmed me. The economic consequences will be extremely difficult to deal with. Maybe you haven’t felt anxiety. Perhaps you have felt powerless, ...
Sunél's Blog | The stories we tell ourselves

Sunél’s Blog | The stories we tell ourselves

May 8, 2020
A blog by Carl Richards (they are the shortest, most impactful blogs on money and life that you do not want to miss) alerted me to the gap between facts and stories. And the potential impact of that gap. COVID-19 is a good example for illustrating this: the facts, the story and the gap.  Right now, there ...
Sunél's Blog | A different kind of capital is now

Sunél’s Blog | A different kind of capital is now

May 1, 2020
Most of us toil, throughout our lives to convert human and physical capital into financial capital. We derive income from our human and physical capital, and then we save enough to fund our future income through our investments, culminating in retirement. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have focussed on the demise of financial capital as a ...
Sunél's Blog | What I learnt about change through moving

Sunél’s Blog | What I learnt about change through moving

April 24, 2020
Note: I wrote this blog some time ago and then Coronvirus happened and it seemed more appropriate to talk about that. I guess by now, you’re also weary and perhaps heartsore from all the Corona stories, so I’m sharing the story of our move to Cape Town with you.  Because despite what we are living now, life will go ...
Sunél's Blog | Facing that big question

Sunél’s Blog | Facing that big question

April 17, 2020
As the lockdown continues, our realities diverge. Some are working hard to survive by revamping their business models or changing their products. Others are locked out of their shops and cannot do much about it. Others are trying to juggle home schooling kids and jobs. Others may already have lost their jobs or shut down their businesses. Some may ...
Sunél's Blog | The Wisdom of our Grandparents

Sunél’s Blog | The Wisdom of our Grandparents

April 10, 2020
During my childhood, my grandmother lived with us from time to time. Her presence had a lasting impact on my childhood memories. I remember how she scraped the bowl clean when she was baking, how she saved the leftovers of lunch for dinner and how she cared for her clothes. She wore a dress to ...
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. ...