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Danie Louw | Chartered Accountant
“I’ve always felt for people who get taken advantage of in the financial world, but I never had a place that I could refer them to".
Whatever you do, make your money work for you
Whether working as a Chartered Accountant in the corporate world, or at an NGO that sends young people on assignments to churches and orphanages around the world, Danie Louw has consistently saved for his retirement.
Danie spent around a decade in the corporate world in Johannesburg – with EY, Absa Capital and Siemens Healthcare – before moving to Jeffreys Bay to work for Global Challenge, an NGO that sends young people on assignments all over the world to work within churches, orphanages and the like.
Danie was happy in Johannesburg and says his move was less a case of moving away from something than to something. The assignments Global Challenge sends youngsters on are within a teaching and mentoring framework so, Danie says, “it ends up being a journey of self-discovery”.
He adds: “What we want to see is young people who are willing to make sacrifices for others, whatever that means in their context, or for their personality.”
He helps with strategic planning and fundraising, which he describes as “similar in a way” to his earlier career, “but not strictly financial”.
Danie says he has been interested in investments since he was young. He is careful with money, something he learned from his parents. He says both parents taught him key lessons about making his money work hard for him, lessons he is able to apply as a 10X customer.
“I’ve always felt for people who get taken advantage of in the financial world, but I never had a place that I could refer them to because I understood that ‘independent’ advice is a grey term in South Africa, which I find so sad.”
Danie says he learned this the hard way during a couple of experiences with “trusted” companies in the financial sector. He mentions one of the big, well-known companies by name, and says: “It took me 45 minutes of really direct questioning to find out that a close associate had no choice but to shell out about 4% of the value of an annuity that had matured just to transfer her savings to another product.”
Danie says he would like to see improvements to many aspects of the financial services industry. He believes financial education could lift many people out of poverty, for example “if the financial gears (compound interest) were working for them instead of exploiting them”.
His research into the industry and how to campaign against abuses within it brought him to 10X Investments. “During my first conversation with [10X retirement expert] Dewald I asked him straight-up how he gets paid and I was impressed with the answer. It was refreshing.”
Danie moved his investments to 10X, but remains interested in the wider industry. “I feel comfortable referring people to 10X, which is a high bar to clear.”