Month: July 2018


Caring for clients finds new expression at Chartered

I recently attended my 30-year high school reunion – what a bittersweet occasion.

I enjoyed reconnecting with former friends, reliving some fond memories and valiantly joking about those I would rather forget. What I did note is that time stands still for no-one, and the passing of time is evident in our hairlines (mine silvering, others gone!) and faces.

What has not disappeared is the very real sense of camaraderie that humans somehow create and sustain when they care about each other.

It put me in mind of the changes that are happening at Chartered Wealth Solutions … and the carefully considered rationale behind them. As always, our relationship with our clients is at the centre of them.

Here is a brief summary of developments that you, our clients, will be seeing:

New reporting

If you have been a recipient of the weekly Interest statement from us, you can expect to see a new and improved version, entitled Navigating the Tides, from 1 July. Our goal with this updated format is to ensure that you are informed regarding weekly market highlights, especially as they influence your investments.

“This new format is much more reader-friendly.”

For those who have previously unsubscribed from this communique (possibly because the method of reporting was too convoluted), we have resubscribed you in the belief that you will find this new format much more reader-friendly. Should you not wish to receive this communique, you are welcome to unsubscribe by clicking on the ‘Unsubscribe’ button.

In addition, we are developing a consolidated reporting statement on your investments – with the same rationale: to make potentially complex information much more accessible; this will comprise quarterly statements. You will be updated about this in time, but, you may chat with your RetiremeantTM Specialist in the interim, should you have any queries.

In-house suite of services

Many of our clients have engaged the services of our legal team over the years, in meeting their Wills and Trusts needs, and in resolving any Estate issues. Our Legacy and Trust team has grown and continues to give our clients excellent service.

In the latter half of last year, we welcomed Charmaine Prout and her team as Chartered Tax. As those clients who have worked with them can attest, they certainly go the extra mile … but you can read about them yourselves in the interview with Charmaine in this newsletter.

I have mentioned Chartered Invest in a former communique, and will continue to keep you updated on this part of our offering in the course of the year.

Finally …

In keeping with our mandate to help clients retire successfully, this issue of The Beacon includes a client story of Alex Isaakides, who, recently retired, has found meaning in a whole new area of interest. You can also read about our most recent client functions around the country.

Warm regards


Enhancing the client experience

Take a moment to imagine your stereotypical tax practitioner: possibly a grey suit, conservative manner and serious expression, meant to communicate a disciplined approach to life. Then, take Charmaine Prout, Managing Director of Chartered Tax – outspoken, flamboyantly stylish, always with a sparkle somewhere (mostly on her nails!).

But don’t be fooled. Beneath this unconventional exterior resides a very savvy businesswoman, one who, in a very short period of time, has brought tremendous value to our Chartered Wealth Solutions clients.

It’s a family matter

“My son-in-law, Devlin Ross, has worked at Chartered Employee Benefits for six years. He had been urging me to engage with Chartered Wealth Solutions regarding my personal financial planning. In the process, it became clear that my tax business and Chartered would be a great match,” explains Charmaine.

“Within this business are three generations, and they extend the family caring to their clients.”

Together with her family, Charmaine had established her tax and accounting practice 35 years ago, and her clients include a range of businesses and individuals: restaurant-owners, doctors and dentists, garages, swim-schools, car dealers, farms, emergency medical services … spanning locations from Gauteng to Nelspruit to Cape Town.

Within this company are three generations: Charmaine’s mother, Lucy Groenenstein, manages reception and administrative tasks, bringing a motherly warmth and welcome to the office; Lucy Nel, Senior Bookkeeper, is Charmaine’s sister, and also, according to Charmaine, her anchor and her sage; Charmaine’s daughter, Tannith Ross, started her High School teaching career in Maths and Science, and is now also a Senior Bookkeeper and Junior Tax Consultant; Janine Urwin recently joined the company as General Assistant and Charmaine’s PA.

Their Office Assistant, Siphilisiwe Ncube, has become a member of the family, so long has she been working for them. The relationships within the family are reflected in the caring service that they extend to their clients.

Each brings an attention to detail and commitment to serving their clients with excellent service and extensive expertise. “We have up-to-date tax knowledge and vast experience with a variety of clients,” Charmaine comments, “and Chartered clients had been asking for tax services as part of their financial planning.” And the rest, as the cliche runs, is history.

Chartered Family focus

Working with clients from Chartered Wealth Solutions has resulted in mutual benefit for both planners and tax practitioners. “Imagine how much more holistic planning can be with knowledge from both a financial planning and a tax perspective,” says Charmaine. “We go through their financial affairs for a second time, from a tax perspective, and this often facilitates a client’s greater understanding of their own Retiremeant™ plan. We help bring order to their finances.”

The serious implication of not having up-to-date tax affairs becomes obvious in Estate Planning. The new tax legislation requires you to have all your tax affairs in order before an Estate can be wound up, and this can cause mammoth delays and administrative wrangles. “Now we are working with Chartered Legacy & Trust, rather than having to rely on a variety of different legal companies. We meet once a week with Kerryn and her team, and so have shortened the process for our clients considerably,” adds Charmaine.

She also loves the fact that clients are being empowered to understand their own tax. “A client received a large inheritance, and, suddenly had to register for tax – daunting but we took her through the process step-by-step.”

The reason why we are such a natural fit with the Chartered Family,” concludes Charmaine, “is that we share values, with the end goal of serving the client with excellence.” Clients have appreciated the service offered by Chartered Tax. You can read the testimonials from appreciative clients in this newsletter.


Rising Strong


Living a brave life is not easy. It is impossible to be perfect; life itself is not perfect. Brené Brown’s book Rising Strong has inspired me in so many ways to keep trying, to give ‘living’ a chance, despite the inevitable challenges and setbacks that life brings.

My journey to rising strong has not been a once-off event – learning and growing is a process. Brené’s book is a very personal and practical guide to embracing fear and failure and living a more courageous life. It often gives me courage when I find myself at a crossroad.

Those curve-balls life sends us

If we truly want to live and embrace life in its entirety, we have to be prepared for the eventuality that everything does not always work out exactly as planned. Setbacks are inevitable, and at times, we all get stuck in a place of fear, self-doubt and regret. It may just seem easier to accept defeat and retreat into a space that feels safe and secure … but Brené’s message is one of hope, of perseverance and strength.

It is in the acceptance of our vulnerability that we recognize that we are not powerless. In the space of vulnerability, we Brené Brown quote – Rise up with renewed power and strength to rewrite your future have time to accept our setbacks, time to reflect on our experiences, embrace them and practice the art of gratitude for the opportunity to learn from them. This gives us the power to rise up with renewed hope and strength to rewrite our future.

This was so true for me when I entered the financial planning industry. I have always believed that you cannot separate people from money and that a financial plan should support a person’s unique and personal life plan. With this perspective, I brought a new conversation to the traditional financial planning industry which predominantly only focused on investment returns. I knew intuitively that conversations about the client, the life the client wants to live and what their relationship with money is, were equally important.

When swimming upstream, remember your purpose

Re-thinking and challenging the way that financial planning has been done for decades, brought its fair share of criticism. I was constantly questioned by planners in the industry who referred to life planning as the “softer” issues and felt that these did not belong in the world of finances and investment strategies. I had moments of self-doubt and uncertainty and had to remind myself every day to persevere, to stay true to my beliefs and to keep on swimming – even though I was swimming upstream!

What made my journey worth it, and motivated me to keep on following my purpose, were the clients. Every time I had a courageous conversation with a client and saw how they embraced the fact that money can indeed enable a life of meaning, I felt inspired. And watching how clients design their RetiremeantTM as a fulfilling and meaningful next chapter, encourages me to keep rising strong.

I came to coin the concept, RetiremeantTM and define it as having the freedom to achieve your yet unfulfilled dreams and goals, on your terms and in your own time. Despite the challenges along the way, I am truly grateful that in my small way, I have made an impact on people’s lives. I am constantly moved by the stories clients share in Life Planning meetings and have come to realise that our combined knowledge and experiences are powerful stories and lessons that need to be told. This inspired me to start writing a second book, with our relationship with money as its central theme. I am also busy writing a series of e-books, a compilation of stories and lessons that our clients share around unexpected life events in – the RetiremeantTM What If’s.

We find strength together

This newsletter contains snippets of client stories and learnings shared in their journeys to rising strong – more of those in my upcoming e-books! Kate Turkington recently visited us at a Chartered Wealth Solutions and gave an insightful talk on her life in Retiremeant™. For me personally, Kate is a role-model on living Retiremeant™ to the fullest and I hope that you find appreciation and inspiration in her story. If you do have any spare time this weekend, I recommend that you see Brené Brown quote – we don’t have to do all of it alone.“Finding your Feet” which is showing in cinemas now.

By sharing these stories, my wish is that you find comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Just maybe, one of these stories will touch you in some way, inspire you to live a brave life, through all your stumbles and falls, and give you the strength to rise bravely and strong.

Johannesburg Office
Tel: +27 11 502 2800
Eastern Cape Office
Tel: +27 41 001 1026
Western Cape Office
Tel: +27 21 001 0048
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