Fear of buying…
DEAR VIC, I refer to your report headlined “Buying shares yourself” (17 March). Being at the age of 67 with no pension income when I retire (see explanation below) I’ve been saving for the past six years and have accumulated an amount of R478 000, which at present is in a money market account earning very little interest. But I contribute to it every month by way of a stop order to continue building it up (so I don’t rely on interest only). The amount is growing steadily – but slowly.
Would you recommend I look at buying shares at this time of my life as this is all I have, besides the R123 000 pension (see below), I’ve saved for retirement? The reason I haven’t indulged in shares or the JSE is the fear of losing, as there always remains a risk and I have no experience with stocks, shares, bonds, etc. And I couldn’t trust any stockbroker to do this on my behalf, as the fraud, corruption and embezzlement today is rife, with so many older people being ripped off of their savings and income.
The reason for no pension income: I was employed for 10 years at a company and it made a bad investment with my pension. And when I wanted to intervene in it I was politely told “it’s being managed, so you have no need to worry about it” and also got stroppy and indicated to me to keep my nose out of it. There was an amount of R32 000 when I was retrenched!
The second mishap was that I got divorced shortly after this. In terms of my divorce agreement, my husband laid claim to half of it, which was R16 000. Four years ago he called for that amount to be paid to him, plus interest. I had to pay him R28 000. I never drew that pension money when I got retrenched and there’s now an amount of R123 000 in a preservation fund at present, also growing at a very slow rate as I opted for a low-risk profile. What can I do with R123 000 now? (Better than nothing, anyway!)
So I do have more than R100 000 and more to own a share account. BUT at my age and in my circumstances without any knowledge in the JSE I don’t think so. Or can you throw some light at the end of the tunnel for me and convince me otherwise?