Pieter Kruger, 21, might make his friends super jealous about having mapped his path to financial freedom so early … that is if he wasn’t so determined to take them along on the journey with him.
The self-appointed financial guru of his gang of friends started saving for retirement when he was just 19. Determined to live by the principle of ‘pay yourself first’, Pieter started investing money for his retirement before he could even really afford the minimum required investment.
A true ambassador for starting to save from your very first paycheque, he says: “I see a lot of people my age kind of push the retirement thing to the side. I think there is a big gap and big opportunity for us young people to start investing at an early age.”
He urges others to start saving, even if it is just a few hundred rand a month, which is how he got started. “At the time, being fresh just out of high school, I needed to invest a little bit less than what the threshold was.”
Understanding the importance of “time in the market”, which refers to the compound growth that happens on investments left over time, Pieter made contact with 10X Investments and talked to an investment consultant about the fact that he didn’t have much to invest to start with.
“10X really makes you feel comfortable, they take your hand throughout the whole process. They lead you, they guide you, and it’s so simple. A couple of signatures here and there, a couple of forms, and it’s done.
“From there, there’s a debit order that goes off every month. You can track all your payments that go off, and they really just help you to make the investment process simple.”
Pieter says he is grateful to his parents for teaching him the basics, but adds that he has learned so much by being curious and doing his own research. Over time he has become the go-to-guy for some of his friends, with them asking him questions like “Is this a good investment?” and “How do you make money there?”.
He is happy to share what he knows, starting with the basics: budgeting. “Whatever route we choose, and whether we’re aiming to start saving for retirement, or to make more money, one important thing is that we need to know where our money goes, and what we spend it on a month-to-month basis.”
Another basic thing he advises people to do is to keep an eye on the fees they are paying. “People put money into an account, leave it, and hope for the best. We need to be proactive, dig into it. And also look at the fees, a lot of guys don’t look at the fees.”
With 10X, Pieter keeps track of everything online. He knows exactly where his money is going and how much he is paying in fees, which is one of the reasons he likes My10X, the client portal, so much. True to his generation, Pieter says he loves how interactive it is.
“I can see exactly where my money goes. When I have to submit my tax certificate, it’s easy to download.” Pieter adds that he also loves the calculator “that shows you if you’ve got this amount of money, this is how much you’ll have at retirement”.
“I love looking at that graph … how close I am reaching to my goal. The website really helps me make sure I am staying on top of my goal.”
The views expressed in this interview are Pieter’s opinion, based on his personal experience, and should not be construed as financial or tax advice. Pieter Kruger was not paid for this interview although 10X compensated him for time spent and expenses incurred on the day.