How to correct an investing mistake (#218)


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Often the fear of making a mistake keeps us from starting our investment journey. It feels like everything is on the line when we make our first investment, but missteps can be corrected fairly easily. Even the mistake of waiting too long and starting too late can be corrected. This week we think through some of the mistakes new investors fear most and how they can be corrected. Hopefully this episode will give you the courage you need to take the plunge.

Win of the week: Rory

I started learning about the investing world about two months ago and stumbled upon your website within the first week.

Most of the things you discussed in your podcast just flew over my head, but it did direct me to the things I had to go read up about. Two months later I realized I am able to follow your podcasts without any problems. I want to thank you both for that. If I didn't stumble upon your website it would have taken me much longer to actually understand the investing world.

I have a friend, he is 25 and about to get married. His plan is to move to New Zealand in the next ten years. I told him he should look at starting to put money away in his TFSA, then the question came up about what happens to that money when he emigrates?

I see EasyEquities opened a properties platform, where you can buy shares in buildings and earn your share of the rent. What are your opinions on this? Do you think it would be a good idea to invest some money there and what would the tax implications be?


I recently made my first attempt to begin investing using my TFSA. I have been listening to the Fat Wallet show whenever I can.

I decided to invest in the Satrix NASDAQ 100 and the Satrix S&P 500 hoping to acquire some international exposure. I did not realise the NASDAQ has some S&P 500 companies. Now I am wondering whether I have begun on the wrong note, making a mistake and overinvesting or spreading myself too thin in some of these companies in the indices.

Is there any way that way that I can correct this "imbalance" in my TFSA or should I even bother? Have I made a blunder in choosing both the NASDAQ and S&P 500?


Like many of my colleagues, I was hopeless with my finances for most of my working life. I had 2 RAs with my insurance broker that were fee- and penalty-laced products that underperformed my cash savings account. Four years ago, I started a tax-free and a discretionary investment with my bank which were both heavy on fees (2-3%) and did not perform as expected (annualized return of 20%), but I understand that this may change with interest rates over time, and may not reflect future performance.

Would the combination below in a TFSA wrapper be the best long-term bet?

  1. Ashburton Global 1200 Equity ETF (1/3)
  2. Ashburton World Government Bond ETF (1/3)
  3. CoreShares S&P SA Top 50 ETF (1/3)
  4. I have been looking at the RAs offered by EtfSA & their Wealth Enhancer RA seems quite attractive - it includes more commodities (gold in particular), local mid-cap and Africa ex-SA exposure than my current RA holdings. The fees though stand at 1%, similar to 10X. What are your thoughts on this RA & would you recommend adding this to diversify my RA portfolio?


With many companies transitioning to remote work and deciding to stay that way, it's becoming easier to find a location independent job for a foreign company.

If I earn a salary from a foreign company and then decide to do the nomad thing and travel around low cost of living countries for, say, a year but remain a tax resident in SA.

My understanding is the first R1m earned will be tax exempt- is that the cae? Am I missing anything and does this seem like a feasible thing to pull off?

Access the ETF comparison tool Edwin shared here:


My employer pays into a Liberty Provident Fund on my behalf. For the first time this month I requested my Provident Fund statement.

I saw, with disbelief, that Liberty is taking 12% of my contribution each month in fees! Given what I have learned about fees from your website and podcasts I am dumbfounded.

I queried this with Liberty and they said it’s because their fees are based on 0.02% of ‘payroll’ i.e my salary, rather than my contribution. I checked with our company CFO and she said these fees are in keeping with what is charged by other companies and I can’t go to another provider.

  • What do other reputable SA companies charge to administer Provident Funds?
  • Why is it so hard (for me, anyway) to find this out?
  • Do you know if my company can compel me to stick with Liberty under SA law? Why can’t I leave the company provident fund to go to another provident fund or RA of my choosing? If not, Liberty can just make up a number (as they seem to have done) and charge me what they like and there is nothing I can do about it except leave my job.

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