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Wednesday, 29 April 2020

All My Favourite Products

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Opening some of my boxes. 
I am often asked which companies and products I use. So in this post I will dig into them and my reasoning behind choosing them.

Right, here we go... For my face I find that Nivea is a lot more gentle on my pores and compliments the pineapple lip balm I apply twice a day. Haha I’m kidding! I usually apply that 3 times a day.

Nah I’m kidding again, I am obviously gonna be talking financial products!

Now please note, I am not saying you should be using any of the providers or products I mention below, because these are just what works for me, my family, our priorities and our goals. Do your own research and find what works for you.

Okay, enough of the lawyer talk, let’s go (for real this time)!

Banking

Home Loan (Investment Property) – FNB
We used a bond originator when we bought our first apartment back in 2011 (and which has since become an investment property). They got us a really great rate for a home loan at FNB, and so we signed the home loan with them.

Home Loan (Primary Residence) – FNB
We again used a bond originator and we also went direct to the banks when we bought our current house. This time, going direct resulted in a better rate than what the bond originators could get, and again the best rate was at FNB (which was great because it is also super convenient having everything in one place!)

Transaction Account – FNB Gold Cheque Account.
I know FNB don't have the cheapest bank account or the one that pays the best interest, but I needed to get an account to link our FNB home loan's access facility to.

I was initially on FNB's bronze cheque account even though I was told I “qualify” for the gold account (as if paying a higher account fee for the exact same functionality is some sort of achievement). But they since discontinued that account type and moved everyone onto Gold.

Savings Fund – FNB (Home Loan Access Facility)
I stash all our savings in our primary residence’s home loan access facility at FNB. This gives us a great rate, it’s highly liquid, tax free, fee free and risk free.

Credit Card – Virgin Money
I got a Virgin Money Credit Card way back in 2007 when I started working, and I haven’t looked back. There is still not a credit card out there that can beat it (unless you one of the 7 people in South Africa who are able to sweat the coins out of some of the rewards programs and come out ahead).

Zero annual fee, zero card fees, zero swipe fees, zero account fees, zero online banking fees. It just doesn’t get better than that. They like the EasyEquities of the credit card world :-P

Insurance

Medical Aid – Discovery Classic Core
Discovery Classic Core is a hospital only plan (I don’t bother with medical aids plans which include a medical savings account). We moved onto the more comprehensive Classic Core plan for the birth of Junior v2.0, but once he is a few months older we will move back onto the really good value for money Classic Smart Plan.

Life Insurance – PPS
I have the majority of my life insurance through my company as a non-negotiable. But after checking how much life insurance I need I realised it could do with some topping up, and PPS has been unbeatable.

Now there are two reasons why no one can beat the premium I pay at PPS:
1.       PPS is a mutual society (instead of a for profit company). Because they don’t operate like a normal company trying to maximise profits, they instead offer a good value for money product, and distribute any profits they do make back to the policy holders. Despite the already low premium I pay, I also get some money put into a special profit share account for me every year.
2.       PPS membership is exclusive – you need to be a 4 year degreed professional before they will sell you a policy. This means that their risk pool is somewhat better than average, because in theory degreed professionals are less likely to lapse on policies and less likely to get certain diseases. That’s the theory anyway…

Car and Household Contents Insurance – PPS
For many of the reasons above, PPS short term insurance is also really competitive when it comes to short term insurance. We currently have our car and household contents insurance with them, and until recently the premium could not be beaten.

But that was until Naked Insurance* arrived with their streamlined, efficient and online model of car insurance. I got a quote from them and, for the first time, someone came in lower than PPS! I used that quote into bullying PPS into an even lower car insurance premium, but didn’t move over to Naked as I still needed household contents insurance which Naked was not offering.

But as of a few months ago, Naked is now offering that too!

So once lockdown is over I will be getting a new combined quote from Naked, and then taking that to PPS to see what they can do. If they cannot beat it, I will be moving over to Naked (rest assured a blog post on the move will follow).

*While all other links in this article are plain vanilla, this one is chocolate a.k.a an affiliate link

Investments

TFSA – Easy Equities
Both my wife and my TFSAs are with EasyEquities. No ongoing fees, no minimums, super cheap stockbroking charges and the full collection of eligible ETFs. *Drool*

Preservation Fund – Sygnia
I used to have this with PPS, but around 2 years ago I moved it over to Sygnia because, in my opinion, they have the best preservation fund in South Africa.

Note that since then, Outvest has launched a really competitive option, but to get the really low fee, you need to have R2 Million invested. The value in my Preservation fund (circa R300k) means I will pay 1.5% per annum at Outvest which is significantly worse than what I am paying at Sygnia (circa 0.5%). (My apologies about all the circa’s, but it does make me sound really sophisticated don't you think?)

Discretionary Investments – EasyEquities and Standard Bank OST
Back in the days before EasyEquities, I opened an account with Standard Bank OST because they were the cheapest stock broker around. But that's no longer the case, and they have even bumped up monthly and stockbroking charges way faster than the beers in my house have been depleted during lockdown inflation since then. I would love to move this money over to EasyEquities, but due to legacy/marriage contract issues etc. it is unfortunately staying put. No new money going in though, that’s for sure!

Everything else is with EasyEquities for the similar reasons I mentioned above.

Investing For Tertiary Education – EasyEquities
Again no surprises here - EasyEquities for the win! I have an account for Stealthy Junior and Junior 2.0 into which I put money away every month to save for their Tertiary education.

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Right so now that you have peeked under my hood, are you willing to open yours?

Any suggestions or great products and providers you know of, please let me and the Stealthies know in the comments below! Sharing is caring :)




Till next time, Stay Stealthy!
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