Monday, October 24, 2011

Amedco invites you to join on Facebook

Hi there!
Amedco is proud to invite you to be part of a revolutionary project. It is called and if you have dreams to share, then is for you.
For now, the actual site is under development, but that does not mean we cannot start having fun.
What will be is still our secret, but suffice to say that anyone who feels between 16 and 35 will want to be part of the revolution. Travel. Music. Parties. Photo's
In the mean time though, we thought you might be interested in something cool.
Go to our facebook page. A few things await you:
  1. Listen to Foster the People, Pumped up Kicks
  2. Submit a black and white photo before tomorrow midnight and stand a chance to win cool Aerial7 Tank Midnight hearphones worth R900. (you may also e-mail your cell pic to
  3. Just like the page and be informed.
All the best for the week!
PS. Don't worry, we are still in the investment business, just without the tie.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Starting on the wrong side of investing

In little less than two months from now, which will feel more like a couple of weeks due to an overdose of office parties and alcohol, South Africa will arrive to their annual economic stand-still. On the 15th of December, the traditional pilgrimage will start to holiday homes, over crowded caravan parks, under-capacity coastal shopping malls as well as blocked toll gates and highways.
For the better part of the work force, it is time for bonuses and beaches. It is also a time for reflection and resolutions. Since I have done a fair amount of traveling this year, I would like to reflect on the article I wrote in January (8 Easy ways to help you save R500 per month to pay for your vacation) to see how we have measured up.
The benefit of doing this exercise now is that the year is not over yet and psychologically, one can still put some measures in place. If you are able to at least start, then you have something to build on in 2012. Here we go. These were our eight tips in the beginning of the year to save money for a vacation.

Tip 1: Buy in quarters

No one will argue against the fact that buying meat in bulk should save a lot of money. The reality however is that in order for you to buy in bulk, you need a freezer almost the size of Makro and if you stay in a glorified pigeon hole like me, then that option becomes very unfriendly. Therefore, I have yet to employ tip no. 1 [Score: -1]

Tip 2: Make your own biltong.

Sorry, I didn’t do that either – blame it on a lack of expertise and no invites for hunting this year. Maybe next year. [Score: -2]

Tip 3: Compare brands

Here I have some bragging rights, but sadly it is not me that is so clever but my fiancé. She is a very sparing shopper and therefore I can report that we have always been buying the best value for money brands. Unfortunately, I cannot provide any examples, since I am not the shopper. [Score: -1]

Tip 4: Buy generic brands

This one too is an established habit in our household, unfortunately I cannot take the credit for that. What I can say is that we have established beyond any doubt that generic brands are just a good, apart for toilet paper. [Score: 0]

Tip 5: Re-price your short term insurance.

This is something that backfired on me. In fact, our short term insurance has gone up more than 100%. That is in part due to a change in our asset structure but never the less, it is due for a review. The good news is that there is still time to change insurance companies and get on track for next year. [Score: -1]

Tip 6: Replace expensive life insurance

I reviewed my life insurance and can report that I still have the best option to suit my needs. The needs of many of our other clients however have changed, and we were able to save them a few rand on their life policies. [Score: -1]

Tip 7: Eating in

While eating in and getting together for a braai is fairly common practice in our group of friends, they will agree with me that we have - in financial terms at least – this bad habit of drinking expensive wine. And as I am writing this, I am sipping on a glass of 2009 Allesverloren. The problem with the wine habit is the frequent regularity that the corked is pulled. A blessing in disguise however is that some value-for-money restaurants like Mimmos does not charge corkage for wine not on their wine list. Spur also do not charge any fee for bringing your own wine. But eating in these days can be just as expensive as dining out - and you have to wash the dishes. Therefore, I conclude that there is no real financial benefit in eating a burger at home. The opposite might even be true: our bill at Spur one Monday night for two burgers, own bottle of Durbanville Hills and a milkshake were a mere R55. [Score: -2]

Tip 8: Go to the movies on Tuesday.

To be honest, I have not been in the movies this year. The days of a film being “better on the big screen” is over. Let’s just say I have been irritated by a ringing cellphone one time too many. Watching a blue-ray DVD in the comfort of your own home outweighs any benefit of going to Ster Kinekor, unless you’re at school and want to make out with your girlfriend. I can honestly say that I have saved money on the entertainment side only to spend it on wine. [Score: -1]
I can conclude that I have not saved any significant amount of money this year . I further conclude that the real starting position for a vacation fund is not by cutting back on spending of saving money here and there, it is by the act of committing money on a regular basis to a fund.
Unless you make a conscious decision to put money away for travel and vacation, cutting back on other expenses is pointless. It is only when you have committed to a regular investment amount, that small changes to your lifestyle matters. Otherwise the changes (savings) you effect on the one side will finance the habits (expenses) on the other.
With the indefinite suspension of our investment club earlier this year I am yet to start the second act of which is the founding of a vacation fund, but fear not, the year is not over, just yet.