Cars of the rich and famous

 

Lifestyles of the rich and famous, oh, how we envy you. We love to see what celebrities are wearing, who they’re dating and where they go on holiday. We also want to know what cars they’re driving in the hope we can one day be like them and drive something similar. We’ve rounded up the cars driven by the local rich and famous.

 

Rapper Cassper Nyovest, well known for last year’s hit Doc Shebeleza, drives a BMW 4 Series. These normally sell for upwards of R500 000.

 

BMWs are popular among this crowd of local stars. Kwaito singer Chomee was lucky enough to receive a black BMW for a recent birthday.

 

Dance choreographer and brand new Idols SA judge Somizi Mhlongo can be spotted cruising around town in a hot red BMW convertible.

 

TV presenter, actress and model Boitumelo “Boity” Thulo was the very lucky recipient of a Jeep Cherokee – which sells for between  R500 000 and R600 000 – recently. She has also been spotted on a reality TV show tooling around in her Citroen DS3. These usually retail for between R200 000 and R300 000.

 

Award winning DJ and record producer, DJ Black Coffee was seen with a Bentley, which sells for more than R3 million. He also has a Mercedes Benz G wagon in his collection of cars.

 

Another local celeb who drives a Mercedes is TV and radio personality Minnie Dlamini. She drives a CLS 500 adorned with the personalised number plate, Minnie 23.

 

Yet another famous face spotted in a Mercedes is soul singer Thandiswa Mazwai who showed off her Mercedes Benz C Class not too long ago.

 

Bonang Matheba showed off her black Range Rover when she uploaded an image to her Instagram account. Queen B said she was pictured with her ride for a photo shoot.

 

DJ, music producer and radio presenter Themba Mbongeni Nkosi, better known as Euphonik, showed off a new toy on Instagram – a Rolls Royce Phantom.
You and I won’t be able to buy these cars and drive them off the showroom floor. But perhaps we could get lucky and find one hidden among other used cars for sale.

Time To Catch Up With New Crimes

The main feature of the Internet has been its ability to store, share and create new kinds of data. This has, however, meant new kinds of crimes and theft have arisen. It’s imperative, as modern users and creators of content and data ourselves, that we be aware of new kinds of threats that face new kinds of products.

For example, consider the celeb photo hacking scandal, that saw private digital photographs of people’s private lives stolen. This is not significantly different to someone breaking into the celebrities’ homes and stealing similar photographs; but with the internet, such a thief need never go anywhere near a celebrity or even leave his room.

Similarly, unlike physical photos, being digitised means there’s no actual way to stop the pictures from spreading. At least with physical copies, you can destroy them forever. Yet, storing data on various servers does reveal a problem we should recognise.

As Chris Harris notes:

“The nude photo leak was a painful example of how far people are willing to go to delve into and capitalise on the private lives of celebrities. For this reason, your average Joe probably shouldn’t fear falling victim to the same hacker. But it did highlight just how easily and readily our cloud storage accounts are broken into. And, as our personal data is becoming much more valuable and marketable, our cloud storage accounts are inevitably going to be targeted by hackers.”

You can have the latest in high tech control room installation, but for many other things we still need to be aware.

Consider, for example, doxxing. As Patrick Klepek highlights on Lifehacker:

“Dox is short for documents. The act of doxxing involves finding online documentation related to a person, typically their phone number and home address. This information can be used in a variety of ways and it’s often malicious. It could exist online as a scare tactic, a way of silencing someone through fear, or it could lead to other forms of harassment, such as swatting.”

Many might shrug at this. Who cares about your address and location? It’s public. Yet, as Klepek highlights, what matters is who has that information: For example, someone who wanted to harm you or steal from you, can use your details. Consider how we verify a person over the phone and how much of that info can be obtained with a simple click of the button. Or, worse, consider swatting – when police are sent to a home that a malicious person can claim is the scene of a hostage or suicide situation.

Klepek details various ways of eliminating and restricting information that should be the norm – not the exception.

These are dangerous situations to be in and we never know the kinds of things people might do with this information. It’s better that we know what the worst offenders can do and take action against them, then take the chance on becoming their victims.

 

 

How to have a great financial career

financeYou dream of fast cars and being a master of the universe while still in your 20s. You believe this is possible by entering the exciting world of finance. So you go to school, spend years studying, get the qualification, but then what?

What else can you do to make sure you land the finance job of your dreams?

Choose the right specialisation

Finance is a broad field. Two people can both study finance but end up with widely different types of jobs. Do you want the fast-paced lifestyle of being a trader? If you are the type of person who likes playing poker, that might be the right direction for you.

Are you analytical and studious? Perhaps you might thrive as an economist. The sooner you know which path you want, the quicker you can get on it and get the job you really want.

Go where the best finance jobs are

If you’re in America and want to be a day-trader, you move to where the action is: Wall Street, the center of New York’s financial district. Similarly, if you are in South Africa and want to really thrive in the financial market, look for financial jobs in Johannesburg. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to work in Johannesburg for the rest of your life if that is not where you want to be. Not at all. But spending a few years in the hotspot of your field, especially in the beginning of your career, will give your career a serious boost.

Never stop learning

Don’t think that you stop learning after you leave university or college. It never stops, and it never should. The financial market is constantly evolving, just as the economy is. How well you are able to stay abreast of current trends will have a direct impact on the success of your career. This doesn’t only mean doing extra courses. It could be learning from a mentor, subscribing to finance blogs or reading industry-related books and autobiographies of leaders in your field. Basically, just keep the mindset of being open to learning.

Make connections

This final piece of advice could just as easily apply to any type of career, but it is especially relevant to the world of finance. While you will be judged based on your own merits, making connections helps a lot. This means networking. Do you think you don’t have people skills? Acquire them.

Related to this point: don’t burn bridges. Treat everyone you meet on your way up the ladder with respect and don’t forget them, because you could meet those same people on your way back down.

Entertainment and technology tradeshow coming soon

An entertainment and technology tradeshow is set to hit Johannesburg later this year, bringing together all the biggest names in this sector.

The Mediatech tradeshow is to take place at the Dome at Northgate in Johannesburg from 15 to 17 July.

 

“Mediatech is Africa’s premiere trade show in this arena and many exhibitors in the live entertainment technology, AV systems integration, broadcast, film, production, post-production, animation and new media, studio and recording and pro DJ equipment sectors will have their wares on display.

“This creates an open platform to showcase new products and technologies and sets the stage for effective networking,” say Mediatech.

 

One of the exhibitors is Oculus Innovations which supplies control centre solutions.

With many years experience in providing these to the industrial environment, Oculus provides innovative and intelligent control room solutions which are suitable for a wide array of industries.

One such product is the tracwall video wall which allows users to display a number of monitors for an integrated wall display in a wide variety of configurations.

 

Other exhibitors include a wide range of audio, television and sound engineering companies.

 

The previous event, which took place in 2013, saw nearly 7 000 visitors walk through the doors during the three days.

A total of 424 of these were foreign visitors.

Of the total number of visitors, 37 percent were decision makers in their respective companies while 19 percent were in senior management roles.

A total of 49 percent of visitors had purchasing power while 30 percent had influence over purchase.

Nearly 700 different brands were represented by 136 companies.

Stellenbosch killing shocks South Africa

The killing of three family members in Stellenbosch this week has captured the public’s imagination.

Martin van Breda, 55, his wife Teresa, 54, and their son Rudi, 22, were found dead in their home.

Their daughter Marli, 16, was in a critical condition in hospital and son Henri, 20, was apparently slightly injured.

Initial reports have indicated that the younger son was questioned by police.

They were apparently hacked with an axe.

The family lived in the high security De Zalze Winelands Golf Estate.

 

Concerned people, particularly those in the Cape Town area, were initially shocked by the incident which at first seemed to be random.

 

De Zalze Homeowners Association chairperson Eben Potgieter told News24 there was no breach of security which had been found.

He said there was fence surrounding the estate and there were security cameras surrounding the property.

Photographs of the front entrance of the estate indicate there are boom gates which cars must stop at before entering.

Potgieter said it was unclear if anything was missing or stolen from the family’s home.

“Forensics will be on the scene for three days,” he said.

There are apparently three companies which manage security on site in addition to a neighbourhood watch.

Potgieter told EWN a neighbour’s domestic worker saw one of the sons bleeding and on the phone, which triggered concern, and led to the police being called.

Jobs which aren’t as popular as they used to be

jobs

These days it can be difficult and overwhelming deciding what you want to study after school. The choices are limitless with so many pros and cons to each.

The internet has also opened up a realm of information about careers, making it difficult to know who or what to believe.

With that also comes a changing world which no longer offers the same career opportunities as it used to.

We’ve listed some of the professions which no longer offer the same financial benefits to those who study in these fields which they used to.

 

Lawyer

Enrollment at law schools across the world have plummeted. That is likely due to two reasons – it is known that the prospects of finding a job after completing school isn’t great and because of the crippling debt most people will have racked up during that period.

 

Family doctor

While some doctors do earn excellent salaries, family doctors aren’t well paid. They face a similar problem to that of lawyers. While they do earn quite a good salary, they face large amounts of debt after the years of studying which comes with medicine.

 

Travel agent

This is something which most people are doing online and for themselves. There is a wide range of website and apps available which makes it possible for us to figure out for ourselves where we should be travelling to, how to get there and what to do once there.

 

Stockbroker

Part of what stockbrokers used to do can also be done online. We will all need some financial advice throughout our lives. But, chances are most people aren’t going to have the big bucks needed to invest in the stockmarket. What money they have, we’ll likely invest it ourselves without needing to call in a stockbroker.

 

The job market isn’t the same as it used to be. Both the internet and ever-increasing education costs mean that earning potential isn’t what it used to be. These days you’d be better off studying a diploma in business management which will teach you the skills to excel in commerce and industry.

Keep your startup’s finances in the green

financeAs anyone who has launched their own business venture can tell you, financing a startup is not for the faint hearted. Whether your plan is to employ bootstrapping methods, i.e. self-financing the initial capital, or to take out a loan, you inevitably risk major money problems if the business performs poorly.

Although all new business ventures carry an element of risk, there are multiple methods of limiting the possibility of accumulating massive debt. Doing extensive market research, for instance, should help you foresee certain setbacks.  You could also limit outlays in your leading years by working from home and renting equipment (in lieu of buying) until the business reaches stable fiscal ground.  

However, at some point or another, you and your bank account will have to go out on a limb.

Where does financing begin?

First of all, having a clear cut business plan should provide you with enough insight to estimate how much initial capital you’ll need . In general it is better to overshoot slightly and ensure you have enough to cover unforeseen expenses and maintain a healthy cash flow.

Once you have a figure in mind, your financing options become clearer.  Do you think you could reel in one or more investors? Are you willing to report to them about growth and profits once the business has taken off?

Generally, as long as your credit record is positive and your business plan sound, a bank or alternative registered credit provider is your best access to sound financial assistance. Opting for corporate finance means you’ll have more freedom when it comes to making decisions, but it also means you’ll carry sole responsibility for debts.

The dos and don’ts of starting out with a loan

The golden rule of business financing is to incur any and all debt in the name of the business. You may be tempted to delve into your personal credit, but beware of this slippery slope.

Using your personal credit card, or even a business credit card  means your limit on expenses is compromised. The difference between a credit account and a loan might not seem significant, but your credit limit might be more than what you need, making it very easy to abandon your carefully set-out budget and business plan. To keep your financial decisions frugal, stick to your initial capital and wait until you can use profits to purchase the indulgent extras.

If you do find that your initial capital is not sufficient, and you have already cut expenses down to minimum, speak to your bank.

Once things are on the right track, it is time for you to purchase the assets which you have been renting. Perhaps you need to consider getting a mechanical warranty in place, should something unfortunate happen and you need in later.

Whichever form of financing you choose to kick-start your business, your success is largely determined by your ability to plan, adapt to unforeseen challenges and hang in there during the challenging times.

What technology is being phased out

Consider the poor VCR. Many young people today have no experience with video cassette tapes or the players that ran them; there was no struggle to calibrate the impenetrable settings to make a tape play properly. Progress means moving forward so it’s important to consider what will no longer exist and what we should start reconsidering.

The stethoscope, that classic symbol of the medical profession, might no longer be in use. As The Daily Mail reports:

“Doctors will soon be hanging up their stethoscopes for good after almost 200 years, according to a new report.

A medical mainstay since 1816, they are being elbowed out of the way by new technologies such as ultrasound which has only been about since the 1950s.

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular, accurate, smaller to the point of being handheld and cheaper to make.”

Even iconic symbols fade as better devices, cheaper devices and more mobile and integrated technology come to exist.

GPS systems are another example. These days, most phones come with apps linked to major networks or software. Google Maps is a popular and high quality navigation tool, used by millions every day. It’s simplicity and that it’s on devices we take with us anyway, as well as being free, means it makes GPS systems redundant.

Or consider digital cameras. While, obviously, professional photographers have high-end ones, low-end were quite popular for the average person and proved a great investment for companies. Now, with the ubiquity of smart phones, digital cameras for non-professional photographers are useless: camera phones are perfectly adequate, makes the need to carry another gadget pointless and serves exactly the same purpose.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the story of Kodak. As Pete Pochal write in Mashable:

Kodak has finally formalized what had been expected for years — it’s gone bankrupt. In the past 15 years, digital technology changed photography dramatically, and Kodak, a former heavyweight in the analog film business, got left behind.

[But] Kodak missed the boat on digital not once, but at least three times. Besides never capitalizing on the digital-camera tech it helped create, Kodak also gravely misunderstood the new ways consumers wanted to interact with their photos, the technologies involved, and the market forces surrounding them.

“It’s sad because they still have good people there,” says Jeffrey Hayzlett, who was Kodak’s Chief Marketing Officer from 2006 until 2010. “Overall the company has made a bunch of bets on technologies and business models that needed a longer runway than they had.”

Another key area is examining the kind of tech that you can only find in pre-owned cars or airplanes. Think about the last time you saw cassette radios in cars; Mental Floss has a list of 11 things you no longer see in planes – some of which you didn’t know we even had.

Tech is always moving forward, but it’s important to view these technologies being left behind with a positive, not negative light; it shows we improved and we are improving.

 

 

Jewellery store robberies: Nightmare becomes reality

Imagine you are out shopping, looking at a lovely necklace, when robbers burst into the store, guns waving around and screaming at everyone to get down.

You don’t have to imagine. This is not a nightmare.

This scene has played itself out a number of times recently in Cape Town jewellery stores.

So, stop for a minute before heading into a nearby jewellery store to scope out all the sparkly bits and pieces.

A string of jewellery stores in Cape Town have been hit by armed robbers in recent weeks.

And you would not want to be there when that happens next.

Shops in Hout Bay, Somerset West, Franschhoek and at the Blue Route Mall have been targeted.

The most recent incident took place in Camps Bay in mid-January when robbers entered the store and held staff at gunpoint.

It’s not clear yet how much jewellery was taken.

They fled in a white BMW which was reported stolen from Kirstenhof earlier this month.

 

The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed concern at the robberies.

“We’re very concerned because it seems as if it’s a regular occurrence instead of an irregular occurrence. Our businesses need to jack up their security,” said the chamber’s Janine Myburgh

 

Perhaps jewellery stores should look to 90s television for the answer to their security questions.

We’ve all seen that ancient Friends episode where Phoebe gets caught in a mantrap inside a jewellery store.

She’s trying on loads of different types of jewellery while she’s supposed to be keeping an eye on an engagement ring Chandler picked out for Monica.

Phoebe’s so distracted by her tiara and revolutionary war musket, she ends up locked inside the “little jail between the doors”.

A mantrap is a security device which monitors two interlocking doors which can never be open at the same time. If it was enough to trap Phoebe, surely this could be the answer for jewellery store robbers?

What you should start doing when you start earning a steady income

cashA steady income is essential to modern living. Having a large sum might seem preferable, but a steady, stable and consistent income can actually allow you to make better decisions. The question is what should you be focused on.

 

Income versus lump sum

If you had a lump sum – like the total you would earn in your life – there is a high chance you would struggle to portion it out so that you obtain maximum benefit from it. We are not very good at delaying gratification. Having a steady income allows us to plan out our purchases, so that we can save and store and focus on doing what’s best of us – this is forced because our income amount is not a lump sum of all our hard work at the end of our lives.

But the distinction isn’t as sharp as many imagine. After all, you could just consider the income as being your lifetime’s earnings being divided by your employer(s).

 

Vehicle purchase

Independence isn’t just a state you acquire upon getting your ID, your senior certificate, diploma or degree. Just having an education doesn’t tell anyone whether you’re independent: you could still be on your parent’s dime due to the demands of study. When you finally get around to making a steady income, this can give you the opportunity to break free by, for example, getting a car.

Most people can’t afford to pay a one-off sum for a car. This is why dealerships and auto-traders allow for instalments and deposits, via various tools such a vehicle repayment calculator, bank agreements and so on. You can lower your monthly fee by making a large lump sum deposit. But overall a bank will agree to foot the bill as long as it can see that you are making a steady income.

 

Property

Once you have a car, it doesn’t say much when you’re still under your parents’ roof. We all want to be outside their grasp and be able to live as adults. Yet, this means paying bills like rent, water, electricity.

Once we know how much we’re earning monthly, with a fixed income, we can work out whether we are able to buy a home. Use a home loan calculator to find out how much you could afford to pay on a bond. You’ll find out the values of the property you should be looking at, the deposit which will be required and the monthly bond payments you’ll be required to make.