ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to invest Cradle to grave (almost)! A personal perspective!

Updated on July 9, 2011

Your Investment plan?

Investing - my way

This is another topic that I had some difficulty with seeing as I had recently done a hubmob hub on this very topic None the less it struck me that by chronicling my investment history, it may serve as a guide to others on what to do and certainly what not to do in the investment arena.


MY parents did not believe in insurance in any form. Come to think of it they did not believe in saving either. So I did not have a policy taken out at birth for future education or simply as a nest egg for a gap year as parents now do.


My first Policy


My first exposure to investment was when I stated working. I was approached by a smooth insurance salesman – literally the man from Pru. He convinced me that setting aside a small amount monthly (I was only 17 at the time) would provide handsomely for my retirement at age 65. Now putting in perspective I only earned about R90 per month (about $90 then) and hi should provide the princely sum of around R150,000 at retirement (illustrative value only mind). My father found out that I bought this policy and went ape shit. In my lifetime I rarely saw his lose his cool. This was one of those occasions He phoned the agent, cancelled the policy and demanded my R7.00 initial payment back as I was not 21. Two years later I go a letter from the insurance company saying that my initial two year advance payment was about to expire and asking me if I wanted to make another advance payment or pay monthly at R7.50. I was puzzled as I was sure this policy was cancelled. At any rate, I opted to continue paying, puzzled but happy I had insurance and Dad was none the wiser


The Scam


I later read about my agent in the newspaper and found out he had been imprisoned for defrauding the Pru for a considerable amount of money. What he did was to sell low premium value policies to Students and young school leavers. Most being under age had these policies cancelled or et them lapse. He in the meanwhile would pay two years premium up front which then qualified the policy for commission on the estimated total value of he policy which by far exceeded the value of the premiums he had paid. The scam had come llight because of he inordinate number of policies lapsing after two years had expired.


At any rate I had my first investment and I subsequently took out additional endowment policies for low premiums a way of saving for the future.


Land investment


I also started to put small monthly amounts into savings so that I would have some cash.


Once I had around R100 ( bear in mind this was the 60’s) I decided that I should buy a vacant plot of in a residential area. I bought a quarter acre in an outlying area of Johannesburg. The deal was that when the area was developed, the land would serve as a deposit in a development with the capital growth in the land to offset the building costs and serve as a deposit on the mortgage.


Marriage and children


At around 22 when I got married I had a reasonable bank balance and could afford a wedding with all the trimmings. Like My parents I did not buy policies as the children were born. The only policies at that time were educational policies. Life or endowment policies on children’s lives were illegal at that time. It has all changed now of course.


We moved into a one bed roomed apartment in Sandton which was fine until the children arrived. Now we needed something bigger. The nest egg with children and all was down to zero.


Scam 2


I thought now is the time to leverage my plot of land. But guess what the developers had gone bust. No development, no township, all I had was a piece of un-proclaimed land un-saleable and I could not build on it. It appeared that the ‘developers’ had no intention od of developing but just enjoyed the payments for the land and ultimately declared bankruptcy and enjoyed the fruits of my and others labour.


Our home and mortgage


In themeantime we were house hunting in earnest. We finally found what we wanted but did not have the deposit. It was a newly built house in a new development (which is what my investment should have been).


I pondered how to find the deposit. I offered the developers my undeveloped stand as a trade for the deposit. Surprisingly they accepted and lo and behold we had a new home and a mortgage.


The advantages (and disadvantages) of a mortgage.


Now having a mortgage meant we received all sorts of solicitations. We were of course now officially “credit worthy” We were flattered at being offered the dreaded “CREDIT CARD”.


Our lesson in how not to manage credit had begun. Kids need school shoes – credit card. a night out for dinner – credit card. Pretty soon the cards were maxed out. We had a couple of painful years paying back the credit card company. In future no credit!


Once we again qualified for credit cards, we always paid back the full amount every month. Extended purchases were done using the budget plan with a fixed repayment period and an ascertainable interest charge. If we had spare cash we paid up early. This was a tough lesson to be learned.


The Stock market


I invested small amounts into established companies on the stock market that paid regular dividends. I used the dividends to buy additional shares and built up a portfolio over the years. I only used surplus cash to invest in the market. I also paid amounts extra into credit cards as a means of savings and build up a credit balance which I use for holidays or unexpected expenses.




I sold off some of the share gains to buy vacant property (I lways ensured that no payments were due and the properties were fully paid up).These properties have appreciated over time. But bear in mind that these gains are only of value once you sell the properties. Likewise the stocks only have a real value when they are sold.


The current situation.


All my investments over time have diminished by half in the current scenario. The lesson here is not to sell. Hang in until things improve (If I live that long).


So this is a my particular scenario of how to build wealth over time (or not). Incidentally my biggest windfall was a credit insurance policy the ensured against death and dread disease, so the upside of getting cancer was a cash payout which paid for my car. So although I would hope you don’t get seriously ill or die, I would seriously recommend that you take credit insurance that covers these events when you buy a high priced item such as car on terms.



Another great hubmob from Sixtyorso


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      CW By all means send a mail. You have my details.

      Hi Rodney Once again thanks for your support. your oments are much apreciated

    • Just_Rodney profile image

      Rodney Fagan 

      9 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Hi Sixty, Yes that is very sound advise, especially in watching ones back with unscrupulous insurance and also housing developers. Great hub once again.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 

      9 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Thanks.  And I agree, I have little - or no - faith in banks.

      Also, I'd like to ask you something more in depth, pertaining to investing, but am not comfortable doing it in a public forum. Can I email you via your profile contact?

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Hi CW in view of the fact that markets are considerably down, a mutual fund is a great long term strategy. Of course ypu cannot guess when markets are at bottom, but if you have spare cash this investment will over time beat the banks. Banks are at best dodgy at present anyway.

      CW thanks for stopping by.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 

      9 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Sixty, what do you think of Mutual Funds in the current, and near future, market?

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Ag Thanksfor your great comments and added advice which add immeasurably to the hub. I hope you guys give NZ a hiding!

      G-ma yes certain types of insurance are vital and I hope the younger people reading this hub take heed. Hugs and kisses back.

      Yes Misty There but for fortune... In the days before my divorce and while trying to keep the farm going, I could easily have cancelled my poilicies to improve my cash flow. I opted to sell shares instead, Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing and I am so happy you survived and your life has taken a turn for the best. LOL

      Thanks allfor stopping by and commenting

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      9 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Fab advice and a fascinating story Sixty. My first Husband was diagnosed, and died two weeks later, from Bowel Cancer, just 4 months after he cancelled all his life insurance policies and declared himself bankrupt. It left me not only penniless in a rented home and with no job, but of course I also barely got a chance to grieve. In two weeks my life was turned upside down. If he had kept those policies going I would have been secure, as the total return would have been over £300,000 UK pounds, and I could have grieved without the added worry of keeping a roof over my own and my pets head. Needless to say this worry added hugely to my stress levels and many times I felt like simply 'topping myself' rather than keep battling on.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Boy I know it can take nearly a lifetime to learn...I do have some insurance coverage that is truly worth the money...but unlike my mom I don't have Longterm care Insurance and to me now that is way important...Glad the one was big help for you though...and hope the rest gain...G-Ma :o) Hugs & Peace

    • agvulpes profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      G'day sixty, it wasn't the losing to SA ( they were the better side in Test and One Day) . Hey IT is only a game!. You can say that when you lose.

      Winners a grinners, losers just cry in their beer. LOL

      We don't have time to cry, we have to play NZ today and not be humiliated.

      Great Hub on investing. This is definitely not the time to be selling if anything you should be buying. (only with your own money though) There are some bargains around. I would only be buying bricks and mortar.

      My advise to anyone who asked ( and I am no expert , only from the hard school of knocks, something like yourself I'm guessing) is to put any SPARE cash into your house mortgage.

      Sixty, good advise for the inexperienced. There always has been and always will be scammers out there trying to separate trusting people from their money.


    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      ilovehubbing Thanks for stopping by and commenting. much appreciated

    • ilovehubbing profile image


      9 years ago

      interesting hub

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Ag I am doing fine thanks. How goes it in Oz. after our cricketers sorted you lot out, I thoght you may not be too kind to correspond (LOL).

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks Ag Try gain now!

    • agvulpes profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      G'day sixty, The video has not been embedded? How are you going?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)