Hello and welcome to my blog. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read about me and hear my story. My name is Casper du Toit. Starting my own personal finance blog is something I’ve always wanted to do. But, somehow I just never got around to it.
While in lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, I decided there’s never been a better time to get started. I’ve always been passionate about personal finance, and helping people. Unfortunately, my first attempt at helping people as a financial advisor left me disillusioned.
My story started 25 years ago in 1995 when I joined an insurance & investment company. I worked very hard and was soon certified as a financial advisor. It was an exiting time. I had no idea the excitement wouldn’t last very long.
I discovered the company I worked for didn’t put their clients first. It wasn’t about giving clients the best possible financial advice. It was all about making the company more successful. I was encouraged to sell expensive life insurance products, and only those investment plans that gave the company the highest returns.
It was only when a client didn’t have a lot of money to invest that I could offer them a cheaper solution. I guess the company figured that getting some money from a client was better than nothing.
My short career as a financial advisor ended when I had a screaming match with my boss. He complained that his region didn’t didn’t achieve their target that month. He said it’s the high commission sales that pay the bills. It wasn’t about offering financial products that were right for clients. It was all about selling those products that paid the highest commission rates.
It was only then when I realized why the company spent so much time teaching selling techniques, and how to overcome objections. They had good products. It’s just that they were more focused on selling, rather than helping people.
I decided to put my bad experience behind me and, to some extent, forgot all about it. I entered the corporate world, and decided to further my studies. I received my MCom (Business Management) degree in 2000.
Many years later in 2014 I read the excellent book by Tony Robbins, called “Money – Master The Game.” In the second chapter of the book, he covers nine financial myths. My jaw dropped when I read the first one: “The $13 trillion lie: ‘Invest with us. We’ll beat the market!’”
In this chapter Tony mentions that 96% of actively managed mutual funds fail to beat the market over any sustained period of time. By “market” he means an index, such as the S&P 500.
It reminded me of my time at the insurance & investment company many years earlier when they were pushing managed funds. Funds that would pay them a much higher commission than pure index funds. It would seem not much has changed since I left them.
The Goal Behind xUSD
My goal behind xUSD is to provide high-quality, well-researched, and comprehensive content on every topic covered.
I want to make it easy for you to find exactly what you’re looking for, right here on xUSD. You shouldn’t have to read any other blog that has an article on the same topic.
In addition to the above, the content should be easy to understand. It shouldn’t read like the fine print in an insurance policy! Reading about personal finance topics on xUSD should be fun, interesting, and hopefully profitable.
Wherever possible, I’ll publish unique content by other authors who are experts in their fields. For example, I’m not an accountant. I would rather watch grass grow than balance a balance sheet. I know how it works but I’m not a qualified CA. So, if there’s a demand for an article on how to balance a balance sheet, I would rather get an expert to write it.
The final, and perhaps the most important goal is that every blog post should help you to put more money in your pocket. Your time is valuable and should not be wasted reading something that’s not helpful.
How Does xUSD Make Money?
Maintaining a blog like this requires a lot of time, effort, and money. It’s simply not sustainable to put in a huge effort for zero return.
Where relevant, I’ll suggest products or services from merchants. These merchants will pay me a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you click through to them and make a purchase. I’ll also consider sponsored ads that don’t compromise your user experience on the blog.
More About Me
Want to know more about me? Okay, you’ve asked for it 🙂
My favorite color in blue.
My favorite mammal is a dolphin.
In my free time, I enjoy reading. Both fiction and non-fiction books.
I love to travel, and experience new cultures. I still have a couple of places I want to visit on my bucket list, such as the pyramids in Egypt, and the Great Wall of China.
I hope I can get to know you better as well and invite you to become an active participant on my blog.