In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight we explore how to build a culture of saving and investment in SA.

To unpack the topic, our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Nicholas Riemer, investment education head at FNB, to talk about the pros and cons of saving and investing.

July is “Savings Month” in SA and the Covid-19 crisis has exposed how ill-prepared many South Africans are financially  to weather a difficult time.

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The discussion begins with Riemer talking about the importance of the July initiative. He says SA is regarded as a country of spenders, not savers. Savings Month aims to change that culture and encourage South Africans to save money.

Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI
Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI

Riemer explains that Covid-19 has presented opportunities and threats for those looking to save and invest their funds. On the one hand, the crisis sent global markets downward while technology companies, whose products and services have enabled remote working, have seen their market values rise.

Opportunities to grow one’s money have followed the same trend. Part of the difficulty is staying invested as many have sold off their investments due to the downturn,  but investment is cyclical and bound to experience some uncomfortable periods, he says.

Riemer says the lockdown has provided a practical case study for the importance of having money set aside. He says  the bank has seen more engagement for their online investment education services as people try to figure out how to grow their money.

South Africans are likely to be more discerning about how and what they spend their money, Riemer says, which will be good for reducing future financial difficulty and increasing overall savings.

The discussion also explores the importance of savings to the country, what tools are available to get started with investment and what it takes to create a culture of saving and investment in SA.

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Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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