Bertie Nel, Head of Financial Planning and Advice at Momentum
Every year, 21 March reminds us of our human rights and how hard those who came before us had to fight for them. Essentially, human rights exist to protect vulnerable groups from being abused and ensure that basic needs are met in the name of human dignity and common decency.
According to Bertie Nel, Head of Financial Planning and Advice at Momentum, much like basic human rights, everyone should be able to achieve financial success and wellness in their lives. In fact, he believes it could be argued that financial success should be a human right.
“If you zoom out just a little, you will find that financial stability is essential for meeting basic human needs such as food, shelter, healthcare, and education. Without adequate financial resources, individuals struggle to access these necessities, which can significantly impact their quality of life,” says Nel.
Nel says the current economic climate – including high inflation, rising interest rates and a cost-of-living crisis makes achieving financial success challenging. Achieving financial success requires planning, discipline, and – most importantly – expert guidance,” Nel says.
He says that financial advisers play a vital role in assisting clients on their journey to financial success. “There is a common misconception that financial success is based on how wealthy a household or individual is, but this is not true. Financial success is setting – and achieving – your individual, unique financial goals,” he says. Despite this, the latest Momentum Unisa Household Financial Wellness Index revealed that almost half of South African households do not have any financial goals.
Luckily, Nel says financial advisers have a roadmap to achieving financial success. But who are these financial advisers? They are skilled, qualified, and reputable professionals who provide financial planning and advice to their clients. They help them and their families with setting financial goals, managing their finances, and making informed decisions about their money. They also offer guidance on investment strategies, retirement planning, tax management, and risk management.
“It is important to note that your journey to financial success is unique to you and therefore, so is the financial advice you need. Financial advisers work closely with clients to understand their financial objectives, assess their risk tolerance, and then develop customised financial plans for their unique circumstances. They provide ongoing advice and support to ensure their clients stay on track to achieve their financial goals,” he says.
While financial success may not be a human right, Nel says the right to education, which includes financial education, is a fundamental human right protected by the Bill of Rights. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) found that South Africa has very low levels of financial literacy, which highlights the desperate need for financial education. Another perfect space for financial advisers to play a role.
“Financial advisers can educate clients and help them develop healthy financial habits. By guiding clients on managing their money effectively, financial advisers can help them build financial resilience and improve their overall financial well-being,” he says.
By promoting financial inclusion, Nel says financial advisers can create a more equitable society where everyone has access to the financial resources and tools required to achieve financial success.
“Working with financial advisers helps individuals and families build a solid financial foundation to support their well-being and quality of life for years to come, ensuring their journey to success,” Nel concludes.