This week, The Finance Gym is focusing the spotlight on a vanguard in the financial sector. If you missed him at our Defining Your Financial Future event with Allan Gray earlier this month, do not be dismayed. We got the opportunity to hear from Mr Tinashe Kunaka about his career and his passion for all things finance.
Tinashe has obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree specialising in Economics and Finance (University of Cape Town), to which he added a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree specialising in Financial Analysis and Portfolio Management (University of Cape Town), and last but not least a Post Graduate diploma in Financial Planning (University of the Free State).
Today Tinashe is a Certified Associate of the Institute of Bankers South Africa, and works as a Client Relationship Manager in the Strategic Markets Team at Allan Gray, which he joined in 2012,
1. What is the earliest childhood memory of a personal finance lesson that your family taught you?
My father is a Chartered Accountant by profession, and he was my greatest influence in learning how to spend money wisely. At a very young age, whenever I asked for pocket money, my father would give me the money but he would also make me write down a budget that showed how I planned to spend that money. This was an important lesson in planning ahead and knowing that the money can run out.
2. As you went through university, what were some money habits that you had that were not so great and emphasized the importance of good money management?
During my first year of varsity, I joined some clubs and societies only because my friends joined them, or because I thought they would be “cool”, but they were just short term interests and I never fully utilised my memberships. The problem was that joining these clubs and societies cost money. So, it was a waste of money. In my second year of varsity, I only joined two societies which I was very interested in.
3. Who helped you shape your perspective on financial literacy?
When I was still young, my parents and later my academic studies while in varsity.
4. And so, you went to UCT to study for a BCom, Economics and Finance degree. What inspired this decision?
Whilst I was in high school, my big sister had ordered a UCT prospectus, so we had this well laid out, beautiful document in the house that showed how advanced the university was and how beautiful Cape Town was. I knew I was very good at maths and I wanted to learn about how to make money hence I ended up studying Economics and Finance.
5. From the clients you have interacted with and looking at consumers in South Africa, what are some of the money habits that we’ve formed that you rate as a detriment to our economic prosperity?
Some of the poor money habits that I have seen include: not keeping control of and managing your debt, not doing your homework before getting into an investment or business opportunity, avoiding honest conversations about money with your loved ones and not starting to save and invest money early enough to take advantage of principles such as compound interest.
6. How do you hope that your field of work at Allan Gray will transform the economic prosperity of South Africans?
I believe that the work that I do at Allan Gray helps ordinary people realise that there are many investment vehicles that they can access that will help them to turn their financial goals into reality.
7. Your top book on personal finance?
There are several different beneficial books one can read on personal finance, but I particularly enjoyed reading “I Inherited a Fortune” by Paul J Meyer. My father gave me this book when I was a teenager. In the book, Paul J Meyer shares his wisdom and experiences on how he became a successful businessperson.
8. Who are some of your mentors/role models when it comes to wealth building?
Some of my role models are Dr Matthews Tichaona Kunaka (my father), Warren Buffett, Dr Allan Gray and Shawn Carter.
9. What legacy do you want to leave?
I want to be known as a person who helped others achieve their full potential in life. And my role in doing this is through sharing information about how they can invest their money wisely so that they have the financial resources to achieve their dreams.
It can surely be said that Tinashe’s dream of a legacy is one shared by the finance gym for our community and throughout the nation. This is why we’re dedicated to shining a light on living examples of the people and characters we want to see more of in society, through our weekly blogs and events.
Be sure to never miss a beat, as we build a legacy for 100% financial literacy, by subscribing to our newsletter below, and finding us on our social media where we daily build toward that legacy. With that said, Happy Heritage day South Africa!