Stokvel like a millionaire: Sky's the limit for Goodfellas club
After starting out as a social club, a group of colleagues in and around Pretoria have turned their groceries stokvel into a vehicle to enter the property market.
Founded three years ago, the Goodfellas Brigade Investment Club was established with the aim to "uplift ourselves as young people", says founding member and chairman Thabo Masemola.
"As colleagues working at different parastatals, we decided to start a social club to bring some cohesion among us, to share ideas and develop one another financially. We also have a member in Bloemfontein.
"There were five of us when we started, the number has since doubled to 10 members and we are not taking any more because we want to keep it manageable," says Masemola.
Their initial contribution was R100 saved towards buying and sharing groceries for Christmas. Later that amount was increased to R500 but they quickly abandoned the grocery savings idea, opting to invest in property.
"We are now investing with the aim of buying each member a piece of land or a property that would generate income for them in the near future.
"The property ownership project is big. We've already identified two pieces of land that we want to develop for the accommodation property market. That's where we want to go.
"We meet on a monthly basis to make contributions into the special Alexander Forbes account we have named Goodfellas Brigade Enterprise.
"It is an investment solutions account meant to create, grow and protect our wealth and assets."
Masemola says they want to leave a legacy for their families.
"Each one of us must own properties, they can decide which area of the property market they want to venture into. That's every member's prerogative.
Masemola is ably assisted by secretary Tebello Mokiri and treasurer Mahlatsi Motshwane in the day-to-day running of the investment initiative, with a membership of an average age of 34 years.
"By discontinuing the groceries stokvel we wanted to do away with consumerism to become investors.
"It's all about empowerment. The property stokvel investment project instils financial discipline in every member."
"We are focussing on generating income. We are using the stokvel concept to empower ourselves financially.
"Most of our members are fairly young but when we retire, we want to do so comfortably."
Masemola says the long-term goal is to generate enough income that will replace the monthly contributions and have the properties pay for themselves.
"Once we have done that, we will change the focus and invest in something else, including buying company shares and trading on the stock exchange, buying or continue with developing land."