Buying vs renting a property

Growing up, everyone always told me that one must buy property as soon as you can.

Like many things, I found out the hard way that this isn’t great financial advice. In fact, it’s horrible advice.

But like many things, we get so conditioned into believing something, that it’s difficult to question our own conditioned beliefs and take on a new view.

Well, today I want to break the news to you: buying property is a terrible idea.

For two reasons:

  1. In almost all cases, it’s cheaper to rent than to buy.
  2. It might not be the worst investment of all time, but it is definitely not the best.

Let me explain using a real-life example of one of my own properties:

In 2011, I bought a property for R2.1m, spend another R1m on renovations and another R400k over the next 8 years. My total cost: R3.5m.

In 2019, I decided to sell it. The market was bad, and I couldn’t get my price, so I rented it out. Listed it for R30k but eventually settled for a rental of R25k p/m.

Then late 2020, I got an offer for R3.4m. I accepted it. After struggling for 4 months with City of Joburg and Eskom, it was eventually registered in March 2021. Gone. Thank the Pope.

Let’s break down this experience in terms of “it’s cheaper to rent than to buy”:

The new owner of my property could have rented it for R25k p/m, instead, she decided to buy it. Her total cost now? 

Let’s work it out:

Complex levies: R1,300

Rates + taxes: R3,079

Insurance: R980

Security: R455

Garden Service: R1,400

Bond payment on a bond of R3.4m at prime over 20 years: R26,360

The total cost per month is now R33,574 – that’s R8500 more than renting.

But this excludes any maintenance costs or repair bills.

A quick look at my own costs over the last year owning this property was just over R90k.

That’s another R7500 average cost per month. Now, buying is R16k more than renting…

“But wait”, I hear you’re saying “but I’m now paying off my own bond and this will be my own property one day”. 

100% correct, which brings me to my second point: “It might not be the worst investment of all time, but it is definitely not the best.”

My total cost on this property was R3.5m, I sold it for R3.4m. A loss of R100k in 9 years.

What would have happened if I invested R3.4m just on a basic JSE Top 40 Index Fund? In 2020, I would have cashed out R6m – a profit of R2.6m. And let’s be honest, the JSE performed very poorly during these 9 years. The same investment in the Nasdaq would have tripled my money.

My point? If you take the extra cash that you pay on your property and rather rent and invest that difference in listed equities, you’ll end up with way more cash in your pocket. 

The JSE (and listed equities in general) has outperformed most asset classes consistently over the last 100 years, especially property.

And in closing off, owning property is a huge burden. It’s difficult and costly to buy: bonds, transfer duties, attorneys, time. It’s difficult and costly to maintain: repairs, maintenance, rates, taxes, insurance. It’s difficult to sell: paperwork, agents, costs, incompetent organisations such as City of Jhb and Eskom.

Renting is cheaper, less worries and more cash in the end.

My Naspers shares can’t call me on a Saturday afternoon to fix the geyser and they don’t require an agent and a lengthy sales process, I simply log in online and click on SELL.

Do that with your property today: SELL.

Ps. Will this argument be true on all property deals? No, it won’t. But on most? Most definitely.

What is one-way video interview software?

I recently invested in a great new tech company that does one-way video interview software, called Wamly.

If you’re wondering what this new trend is all about, then read on:

  • One-way video interview software allows organisations to interview a number of candidates without being present. 
  • A candidate would be sent a link, complete the interview, and a recording will be sent to the interview panel, who will be able to review it in their own time. 
  • One-way video interview software has saved small businesses hours in time, cutting down the hiring process from 3 months to 2 weeks. 

One-way video interview software such as Wamly, unlike two-way interview software such as Zoom, Skype or Google Meets, allows a candidate to record their interview and then send it back to the company to review their own time.

It allows a company to facilitate the entire interview process without being physically present, thereby saving companies time and reducing the need for a panel to all be present simultaneously.

The typical process for a one-way interview involves: 

  • The HR team creates a vacancy and receives a number of job applications. 
  • An HR team creates a digital interview guide with a set of questions and an allocated time limit for each question using one-way video interview software. 
  • A link is sent to potential candidates, who then complete a one-way video interview without the HR team being present. 
  • While the candidate completes the questions, the software records the candidate and uploads the video to the cloud. 
  • Once a candidate has completed their interview, the HR team or panel responsible for hiring is alerted. 
  • The HR team or panel reviews (by rating) the one-way video interview during their own time when it is convenient and independently from each other. 
  • The top candidate is either hired, or the top candidates are invited for in-person interviews. 
 A typical one-way video interview lasts between five and 15 minutes, compared to the hour a panel would typically have spent interviewing candidates out of courtesy.

Typically, the hour interview takes place often even if it is understood early in the interview that the candidate would not be suitable for the position.

Also read | What are the benefits of one-way interview software?

During one-way video interviews, it is up to the company’s discretion how many questions they would like to ask and how long they would allow a candidate to answer a question.

But, the typical one-way video interview has five to eight questions, with 30 seconds to one minute to respond to each question.

One-way video interview software has helped companies cut down their hiring process for a vacancy from 3 months to two weeks.

To register for a free Wamly account or to find out more, simply visit  

Survey: The Impact of COVID-19 on SMEs

What is the biggest challenge for SMEs during COVID-19? How are our staff being affected? How many believe they can survive if the lockdown ends in 21 days? How many can survive if it doesn’t?

Together with Sasfin, and in collaboration with Superseed, asked our SME community the questions that we all want to know the answers to, and compiled the insights into this infographic (click to open).

We might not know what the future holds, but we know we aren’t alone in this. Now, more than ever, we can learn from each other, to better prepare for whatever the future holds.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay hungry!


The Small Business COVID-19 Survival Guide

Welcome, fellow entrepreneurs, SMEs and small business owners, to our survival guide.

This is a ebook of ideas, all of which are relevant in almost any era. Some of these may resonate with you. Some may be valuable to you. All should make you think. Because, if we want to see tomorrow, we need to get stronger today, and the easiest way to do that is to get stronger together.

That’s what we hope this eBook will start. Feel free to share it with your friends, peers and colleagues.


The Myth of the Glass Ocean

I often hear people ask when ‘things will get easier’. We assume that when we’ve ironed out all the issues, things will be easy from that point onwards. If you can ever get to this point, and things are truly ‘easy’ after that, I’d like to write my next book with you. We’ll make a fortune. While the problems may be finite, the number of them is not. There is no end. Things will always be rocky. There will always be another hurdle to leap, or a pothole to patch. The ocean will always have waves, and that will never change.

If you ever get to the point of selling your business, that will be your end. You will hand over ownership of it and you will walk right out the door and onto the golf course.

There is no destination in entrepreneurship; it is a continuous journey for as long as you do it. Challenges will always remain. They may be constantly changing, but they will always be there. You’ll start out needing to raise money, then you’ll need to get clients and then to scale up. Once you scale, you will find it even more challenging to run a bigger business and you will have more compliance issues to deal with.

You need to embrace challenges and see them as part of business and as normal as breathing. Once you make this mind-shift, business will become easier and dealing with challenges will be part of your everyday hustle. Keep your eyes on where you are, not searching for some mythical, utopian future.

Work towards that destination but know that it will forever be changing. Chase it, but enjoy the ride and you will soon find out that there is no destination, no end point. The journey is it.

Taking a stand: Stop killing SME’s

Yes, it was my car that was parked at Rivonia Village since this morning. But it wasn’t (only) my message. It is the message of every single small business owner in this country. It is the plea from every entrepreneur trying to create a success against all odds. And of course, it was in support of Ubuntu Baba.

Everyone agrees that SME’s are the solution to many problems in our country. Entrepreneurs are the only hope in restoring economic growth. Everyone wants us to succeed, but no one has our backs.

And that’s fine… We’re used to it. You don’t need to support us but don’t try and intentionally kill us. What transpired in the last 24 hours is nothing new but at least this time it went viral and people could see what small business owners face on a daily basis.

Personally and through, we will continue the fight for SME’s. The message is clear: support small business South Africa, and if you are too pathetic to do that, just don’t try and kill it.

Entrepreneurs, the journey continue. Onwards and upwards.

What makes YOU happy?

11 years ago on 1 December 2007, I was travelling from Harrismith to Joburg in a rented bakkie with my mom next to me. It was the start of my new life. I just finished my articles and wanted to begin the hustle in the city of gold. If you had asked me then, what would make me happy, I would have told you “Money, money and more money!”

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Every day on my way to work for the past two years I’ve bought a copy of Business Day from a guy named Rodger.

Rodger knew me well, and every morning he’d spot me and run to me with my Business Day. There were some days that I didn’t have cash, but I’d make it up to him the next day or the next week –often paying him more. I must have been one of his best clients.

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Marnus partners with Legacy Education Alliance

Legacy Education Alliance has partnered with Marnus Broodryk to create a practical workshop for the aspiring & established entrepreneur. Based on Marnus’ bestselling book, 90 Rules for Entrepreneurs, this workshop provides students with comprehensive insight and knowledge to craft the perfect business plan and get to know what it takes to build a successful business.

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Your complimentary ticket to the Secrets of Scale…

I’ve managed to secure 25 complimentary tickets to the Secrets of Scale event series hosted in Johannesburg.

The Secrets of Scale series of events are designed to help entrepreneurs understand the dynamics and challenges of scaling a business and will empower attendees with the skills, insights and principles necessary to enable a business to scale their impact on their chosen market and ultimately scale on a world stage.

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