Money is not everything, right?

“Shareholders are referred to the announcement published on SENS on 14 August 2017 and in the press on 15 August 2017 regarding the sale by Purple Group of 30% of its shares in First World Trader Proprietary Limited t/a EasyEquities (“EasyEquities”) to Sanlam Investment Holdings Proprietary Limited (“SIH”) for a consideration of R100 million. Shareholders are advised that all the conditions precedent have been fulfilled and that the transaction is now unconditional.”

A few years ago this announcement – which went out on SENS on Friday – would have meant little to me. In fact, I didn’t know that SENS is the Stock Exchange News Service. And I suspect that the vast majority of you also didn’t know what SENS is (even if you work in a stockbroking firm) and still don’t care about a sale of shares in Purple to Sanlam. Well, here is why I care, deeply, and why I think you should also.

My grandfather, a hard-working dairy farmer, used to say that money isn’t everything. But it is very far ahead of the thing that comes second! He had a point I think. Health, family, friends and the ability to positively improve the world, are the most important parts of our existence. However, if you struggle financially, it is extremely difficult to focus on these. And hence money – and the financial dignity and freedom it brings – is essential. An important qualifier: I think that one must also have “just enough” economic resources to live a meaningful live – too much and you run a real risk of being a dick and living in a fool’s paradise with poor relationships.

I spend a large chunk of my time at the Purple Group – a valued client of CN&CO and a place filled with friends – some whom I have known since school and some who I have met over the past three or so years and whom I respect tremendously. It is also a place that causes me much frustration, irritates me, challenges me and sometimes brings out the worst in me. And I love every minute of it!

Some of the smart Purple Group people, a.k.a. Purplistas

Purple is filled with (very) smart financial types. And with people who “just” want to make a difference and help investors. And with people who think of new ideas every day. And with people who are strategically light years ahead of most others. And people who can trade stuff on exchanges in ways that make my head hurt. In short, it is an entrepreneurial, exciting, ride-the-tiger-and-hold-his-tail kind of place. If you want quiet, boring, predictable and comfortable – this is not the place for you. We are maturing and experiencing all the growth pains that go along with that!

My day jobs at Purple are head of marketing (for the three brands that make up the group – EasyEquities, and Emperor Asset Management) and joint MD of the trading platform Combined with my responsibilities at CN&CO and the many fabulous partners we have there, and my role at St Stithians, my days are full. Sometimes too full. But bloody exciting and rewarding. Always.

I have learnt a lot about financial markets, investment and trading at Purple. Mainly I have learnt that this world is filled with people who don’t tell the Emperor he doesn’t have clothes on (read The Emperor’s New Clothes for a refresh). And so I have loved being able to challenge and to, with the Purplistas I engage with, make investing more accessible for all. We don’t get it right always. We drop balls. We argue and debate. But we are always honest. We publish results where we expose all our dirty linen. And while it makes us uncomfortable, it keeps our consciences clear.

Some of the Purple Group’s highlights from the 2017 financial year, which ended on 31 August

The Purple share price is around 40c. We believe that it should be north of R1 and work hard at getting it there. I have no guarantee that it will get there, but in a week where the Business Day wrote about our growth into Australia and our impressive client acquisition numbers (amongst others), this may well be the start of the tipping point.

I was moved to write this blog because I hold myself and those around me to very high standards. Purple has much to live up to and to deliver on. And I am committing to another financial year of doing my damndest to deliver and to deliver hard.

So … money is indeed not everything. But if, like me, you want more of it to do more stuff with, I would advise you consider two things:

1 – Invest on the EasyEquities platform. Today. And get your family and friends to do the same. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t say you can’t. Don’t say you don’t have enough money. Don’t say you don’t know how to. Just start. And if you do – on a platform which, whilst not perfect (yet!) is easy, fun and engaging. Your money is sure to grow over the long term… there’s no doubt in my mind.

2 – Buy Purple shares. It has risk attached to it. You are not guaranteed to make money. Don’t spend all your resources doing so. However, by putting what you can into these shares, you’ll be backing me and some other pretty determined, entrepreneurial South Africans who are giving our all to making it possible for everyone to have their shot at financial independence. SENS announced today that this is what Sanlam has done – R100 million for 30% of our investment platform – EasyEquities. Who knows, you may just be backing the next Apple. Or Uber. Or Facebook. Or SA company that truly, despite many flaws, with good hearts and sound intentions, made the world just that little bit better.

Click here to buy Purple Group shares on EasyEquities – even if you only invest R5!

Carel is an investor in people and businesses, believing that 1+1 = (at least) 22. Working with a few basic concepts – best encapsulated in his believe that unless we are dead, anything is possible – Carel aims to build long-term sustainable value with like-minded individuals and companies, while having (a lot of!) fun.