It’s Time To…

image of thinkdirect logo

According to ASISA, only around 10%[1] of consumers bypass advisors, brokers, and tied agents and save for retirement by investing directly with the provider of their choice.

While this stat might be a little surprising, there has been an upward trend in the 10 years ASISA have been publishing their records[2]. This growth in direct clients is the future of retirement saving – and is exactly where thinkdirect fits in.

an image of ASISA preservation fund and retirement annuity funds direct investment
*Source:  Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA)

“It’s not very often that you get to be part of something a little different – and a lot important. And that’s what we believe thinkdirect is,” co-founder of the new investment platform thinkdirect Allan van Zyl explains. “The idea might not be a new one but to an industry, like the financial services one, it’s a breath of fresh air.”

thinkdirect, the brainchild of van Zyl and his business partner Paul de Beyer, is simple, easy to use platform displaying the best, low-cost retirement savings options in South Africa.

The consumer can view all the Regulation 28 compliant, global balanced index funds, see how their total fees compare, how that total fee comprises of, and then simply choose to speak to the provider of their choice – directly. “Price comparison sites have become prevalent for traditional insurance products,” Daniel Acres, CEO of Prescient Life said. “We believe that thinkdirect is one of the first providers to bring such a service into the investment space in South Africa.”

thinkdirect concentrates on low-cost index funds that can be invested in directly with a provider, therefore lowering overall costs. The less you pay in fees over a long-term investment, the less of your growth you lose over time. It is the long-term nature of retirement saving, and the structure of Regulation 28, balanced funds, that allows for such clear synergy with index funds.

“Index funds are, by their nature, perfect for long-term, retirement investing,” van Zyl, who is a certified financial planner, says. “While most South Africans are invested in active portfolios,  few realise that, according to SPIVA[3], a vast majority of them will under perform the average market return that an index fund would give you, after fees, over a longer than 5-year term.”

The platform currently showcases three providers – Old Mutual, Prescient and Sygnia – with plans to add more this year.  “ThinkDirect is an easy to use solution,” Elize Botha, Managing Director of Old Mutual Unit Trusts said. “it provides South Africans with access to indexation investing, and is one of the ways that assists clients to invest for a better future.”

“thinkdirect offers a simple and effective means for investors to access a comprehensive range of passive investment products,” Acres added. “At Prescient, we are proud to offer a cost-effective and transparent range of life and retirement products. Our Prescient Balanced Fund has delivered inflation-beating returns at low-cost since inception, and we believe that thinkdirect has developed the right

[1] September 2017
[2] June 2008


About thinkdirect:
thinkdirect (TD) is an authorised financial services provider, with a Category 1 FSB license. TD offers consumers the chance to view low-cost, Regulation 28 index funds, compare their fees, and connect directly with the provider(s) of their choice.
Our aim is to help South Africans live their best lives: both now, and when they retire. By removing complex jargon, confusing fund options, and reducing costs, we hope to reshape the way people approach retirement saving.
It’s retirement, on your terms.
Launched in November 2017, TD currently has three funds for comparison: the Sygnia Skeleton Balanced 70 Fund, Old Mutual Core Diversified Fund, and the Prescient Balanced Fund.