It is difficult to get a clear picture of the savings behaviour of others. That is why conspicuous consumption is the financial ruin of many. Driving a flashy car and wearing expensive clothes and jewellery give the outward appearance of financial success, while in the background is a debt burden and no savings. Unless you are an MP. Then all of your assets must be disclosed. The members’ register provides a sample of the savings behaviour of South Africans, at least that segment of society who earn good salaries. Scrolling through the members’ interests provides some interesting reading. The good news is that many MPs hold a reasonable portfolio of investments, providing them with financial security. Many have unit trusts, exchange-traded funds or listed shares. Quite a few hold interests in broad-based black economic empowerment schemes like MultiChoice’s Phuthuma Nathi, Nedbank’s Eyethu and Sasol’s Inzalo. Several have interests in private companies.The bad news is that many have...

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