Financial freedom means different things to different people. Some commonly listed components of this coveted liberty include being debt-free, gaining financial independence and/or feeling a sense of financial stability.
The reality, however, is that most South Africans will never experience any of these comforts. Research Unisa conducted in collaboration with Momentum shows that 60% of the nation is unable to afford an emergency expense of R20 000, and only 6% can retire comfortably one day.
In anticipation of Human Rights Day, Jeanette Marais, CEO of Momentum Investments, shared that the financial services industry has a responsibility to educate and inform clients and the broader public on the steps required to reach financial freedom.
Marais believes that South Africa must continue to try and break down the barriers that are holding people back from reaching their financial freedom. “The low minimum wage, high rate of unemployment, and restrictive historical financial legacies, for both race and gender, are all major barriers that still stand between many South Africans and their financial freedom. Today, of all the asset managers in South Africa, only 18% are women and 16% are black. The more inclusive the society is, the better it will be for the economy.”
“Many people think that only so-called rich people have financial advisers, but this shouldn’t be and isn’t the case. The job of a financial adviser is to take the mystery out of financial products and services. An adviser will help you to identify your goals and advise you on the best solutions to help you achieve them, so that you get the most financial benefit from your savings and investment vehicles. Lastly, they will help you to remain focused on the outcome and to stay invested – one of the most important ways to get South Africa closer to reaching financial freedom,” Marais concluded.
Click here to read the Momentum media release.