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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Year. New Financial You.

First and foremost Happy New Years! May 2015 be your best year yet!

As we start taking strides into the New Year we typically spend quite a bit of time setting ourselves goals or new year's resolutions relating to fitness or family matters. Very rarely though, do we pay REAL attention to goals relating to our personal finances. 

Let's make 2015 that year. That year that we decided to take control of our personal finances and set ourselves up for success.

Here are a few steps you could take to achieve the above:

Step 1:

Draw up a budget
A budget is one of the most important tools when it comes to taking control of your finances. Sit down, draw one up and you will soon start reaping the rewards.

Step 2:

Meet with a Financial Advisor. 
It is not as daunting as one might think. A Financial Advisor will be able to help you identify pro's and con's in your current financial planning and could assist you with making decisions on how to improve this plan going forward.

Step 3:

Set yourself a goal.
No one has ever achieved anything without intention or without making the decision to try. The same will be true when it comes to your finances. 

If you are in a situation whereby you are currently in debt, pick a credit card or loan that you are owing on and pay it off as quickly as possible. Don't allow yourself to spend recklessly or continuously but instead use that money to pay off the debt. Your future self will thank you!

Or if you are in a situation whereby you are looking to save or invest, do so and make sure you invest appropriately. This is something you could discuss when sitting with your Financial Advisor in Step 2 above. 

Step 4:

Improve on your understanding of the Financial Industry or Economy.
There are a myriad of options available when it comes to books on the economy or relating to the financial industry. Spend some time finding one that will help you further educate yourself whether it be at beginner level or at the highest level. 

If you are not an avid reader there are 1000's of videos available on the internet that will help you further your understanding and allow you to make more informed decisions regarding your finances in the years to come.

Step 5:

Commit to the New Financial You.
As with most new year's resolutions we are going to have the urge to, at some stage during the first half of the year more than likely, give up on these goals. But I am challenging you to not do that. Give your New Financial You a real opportunity to flourish and I can assure you that in the many years to come you will be glad you did.

Good Luck!

Yours in finance,

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Houses - Transfer Trumps Intention

“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward” (Vernon Law)

Never assume that you have any rights to a property just because the owner says that he/she intends to give you ownership, even if a sale agreement is signed. Make sure that you actually do take ownership via registration in the Deeds Office.

That’s the hard lesson learnt recently by a mother and her children who will now be evicted from “their” home.

The relationship that soured

  • Mr A intended to marry Ms B, who lived with her children in a home owned by Mr A’s company
  • Mr A it seems intended to donate the home to Ms B and he accordingly signed a sale agreement (the “first agreement”) selling it from his own company to Ms B’s Company C (she being the sole director and shareholder)
  • Transfer was never effected to Company C
  • Mr A then left Ms B and married someone else instead
  • Mr A signed another sale agreement (the “second agreement”) in terms of which he sold the home from his company into his own personal name.  The property was duly transferred into Mr A’s name
  • Mr A died, leaving the home in his will to his new wife
  • Ms B, still living in the home but threatened with eviction by the executor of Mr A’s deceased estate, asked the High Court to order transfer of the property to her Company C per the first agreement.

A hard lesson from the law

The High Court held against Ms B, confirming that ownership of immovable property only passes on registration of transfer in the Deeds Office.

The parties must both have had the intention of respectively passing and accepting ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer, and on the facts of this case Mr A’s intention was clearly that ownership pass in terms of the second agreement, i.e. into his personal name.

Moreover Ms B had failed to prove that the first agreement was in existence or enforceable (in cases of “double sale”, the second sale can be set aside if the second buyer is shown to have had prior knowledge of the first sale).

The mistake she made

Ms B should have pushed for transfer to her Company C as soon as the first sale agreement was signed. She seems to have assumed that the agreement itself was all she needed – a fatal mistake.