THE reason I am writing about this subject again is that I am horrified about so few individuals having taken up this offer.
The greatest gift we can ever give our children or grandchildren is the best education that we can possibly afford.
So often one hears the statement: "If it sounds too good to be true, it often is." But here is an offer in the form of the Fundisa Education Fund, which is one of those "too good to be true" schemes that simply cannot be ignored.
Here is the perfect product and yet there is total apathy towards it.
The total amount invested so far, as well as the number of investors, is negligible. With the total number of investors standing at 4 912 with a combined total investment of only R5 853 478, the statistics beg the question: "What is wrong with people that they are not piling into this?"
The Fundisa offer has been on the market since November 2007. Fundisa is a three-year government and unit trust company pilot project aimed at -tivising South Africans to save for education and rewarding them.
A bonus is allocated to the account each year, depending on how much was saved during the year. This bonus can be as much as 25percent of the money saved in that period, but is limited to R600 a year a child.
This effectively means that R2400 was saved in that year. Though a bigger amount can be saved, the bonus will still be limited to R600.
There are a number of conditions attached to the bonus: it can only be used by the person whose education you are saving for (or another pupil nominated by you), and if you have to access the funds or the person chooses not to study further the bonus amount is forfeited.
This fantastic concept is open only to South African citizens who would like to help educate a child, provided the child is a South African.
The account holder does not have to be related to the child and can sponsor any pupil of their choice.
The money is invested in income unit trusts and the interest, income, growth and bonus adds to the capital amount.
Once the person is ready to study (before they are 35 years old) the unit trust company will arrange for an award certificate to show the value of the funds available to the person.
The pupil takes this certificate to the college or university where they have chosen to study and the institution claims the money from the Fundisa Fund on behalf of the student.
Payment is made directly to the public college or university where the student has enrolled.
The cost involved is an annual fee of 1,25percent, which is taken from the income earned in the fund, of which the minimum monthly investment is R40.
For more information, visit the Fundisa website at www.fundisa.org.za
l The writer is a director of Pioneer Financial Planning. Visit email@example.com