Summer of 2012
Almost 10 years ago, in my first festive season as a varsity student, my motivation levels were at an all time high. The world was my oyster and I was going to grab it with both hands. So there I was, I'd just written my last exam - first year done and dusted - and now it was time to sit back and enjoy my holidays right? Not quite. On the contrary, the real 'work' was only beginning. I went out and I did what any fresh student with that much motivation would do, I looked for a holiday job.
As luck would have it a local supermarket had a 'help wanted' sign on the window. So I briskly printed up a very short CV, submitted it immediately and explained I would only be available until end of January before I had to go back to university. I couldn't believe when I got called a few job days later for my first job! Fresh out of high school and on track to get my first salary. Strangely enough I didn't have plans for my first salary and it probably didn't help that I didn't know how much I would get paid for the time I was there. Fast forward about 4 weeks later and after an almost physical fight with one of the shelf-stacking staff, I decided the hassle wasn't worth it and quit. I didn't expect anything for the time I was there, but around mid-Jan a van pulled up to my house and I was handed a pink envelope with R2500 cash inside - I was rich!
Now at this point I'd like to pause and confess that I've never been much of a saver or, by extension, an investor. I told myself I was way too young to save or invest and I was more about living in the moment - big mistake! I wish I knew then what I know now: start saving and investing as soon possible, your future self will admire and love you for it. I'm proud that I've since learnt that very important lesson, but it also saddens me that most South Africans my age and even older have not.
So, back to my story. There I was in the summer of 2021 R2500 richer but not much to do except house chores. So what did I do? I did my favourite chore: I washed my mother's car, but for once it was for me, because I then took my mother's car and I took the smoothest drive to the mall. I'm too embarrassed to get into what happened next, but let's just say I regretted it later in the year when I needed textbooks, and when I had to take a girl out on a date, or when a group of friends went away for the weekend. Let's just say I wish I had made a more progressive choice that day.
Fun fact: The average annual return of the Satrix 40 ETF since inception is over 13%.
Now given that I didn't expect the R2500 anyway, had I invested the R2500 into the Satrix 40 ETF, accessible through Franc.app, at an average return of 13% p.a. my R2500 would be worth about R7500 as of today. Not millions I know but it just shows you the power of investing! So try not to be like the 19-year-old me, start investing today. At Franc, we can't help you with the discipline, but we can definitely help you with the knowledge and the tools you need to start building wealth.
Keep saving, keep investing, keep learning and keep well.