Posted: September 20, 2017

Momentum: The client story

Over the past six years, Momentum has researched what constitutes Financial Wellness in South African households, in order to make good on its pay-off line, ‘For your financial wellness’. The data involves establishing the factors that affect, create or ultimately erode financial wellness. The research, which includes the comprehensive Momentum UNISA Household Financial Wellness Index, enables Momentum to speak with authority on the subject. Presented in collaboration with Unisa, the research is the first independent and credible research of its kind in South Africa.

Momentum has taken the time to clearly understand and define Financial Wellness. Four defined categories outline the concept of Financial Wellness:

Financial Well, which means that the individual can cover both planned and unplanned expenses both now and in the future;
Financially Exposed, which indicates how well the individual can cope with his expenses every month, however unplanned expenses cause them to have to juggle their finances or dig into long-term savings;
Financially Unstable is characterised by those who miss account payments on a regular basis, may need to go into debt to buy items and ultimately have to borrow more and more money to get by, and
Financial Distressed category, which is a condition in which a frightening close to four percent of South Africans live. They constantly borrow money to get by, pay rent, get to work or put food on the table.

For Momentum, the fulfilment of the brand’s purpose is to move people through the various stages to Financial Wellness, both now and in the future, and creates –enough money for life’s journey. Interestingly, the research revealed that the categories do not necessarily relate to income. In fact, an alarming number of households earning above average were among those identified as being Financially Unstable and Exposed. Mindfully managing income and having the courage to implement deliberate and disciplined behaviour changes can make the difference between prosperity and misery. Momentum is well aware that buying its products will not create Financial Wellness. Rather, it is something that the individual actively needs to plan for and manage. Over the years the company’s research has revealed certain insights and patterns that have led to the creation of a formula or framework for Financial Wellness.

Predominantly two traits are identified in the majority of people who are Financially Well. It starts with having a budget: people who are financially healthy or ‘well’ have a budget and they stick to it. Moreover, they know exactly where they spend their money and can answer yes to the question ‘if you had a sudden R20 000 emergency expense, would you be able to manage it?’ Secondly financial planning is another aspect that aligns to Financial Wellness and relates to having a competent and professional financial adviser who one is in regular contact with.

It’s also about having ‘financial courage’ – being brave enough to admit that you are actually living beyond your means: you cannot afford the SUV you’re driving, or the overseas holiday you have planned, for example, and take the steps to change the behaviours that are creating financial instability.

Ultimately, Momentum believes that Financial Wellness is a continuous process which allows people to become empowered around financial issues and become Financially Well. The company provides the tools to assist its clients with financial planning and managing their money, so that they’re able to afford their expenses and reach their goals over a lifetime.

With planning and management being key, Momentum has created the ‘Financial Wellness wheel’ which takes a view of client’s financial needs and how they can support these needs, even if unforeseen events such as illness, disability or death takes place. It also looks at how clients can protect their capital and assets: cars, personal belongings and homes, as well as how to plan for retirement and build a financial future that makes allowances for emergencies, debt management and the creation of wealth. In both a personal and professional sense, this is about developing tools that allow for the individual or a business to create a sense of continuity, a legacy of Financial Wellness.

Multiply, which is Momentum’s wellness and rewards platform, has been repositioned to become a helpful tool for daily engagement with financial plans; moving from a short-term tool as it has been in the past, to providing long-term benefits. It also offers rewards for effective financial planning that unlocks Financial Wellness. Ultimately, Multiply is an empowering tool which allows Momentum’s clients to execute their potential and give them the skills control their own Financial Wellness.

From a product perspective, the company provides a solid range of solutions that meet the needs of South Africans. Momentum was recently nominated in four out of 10 categories for the independent Financial Intermediary Association (FIA) Awards, for competitiveness, comprehensiveness and flexibility. Momentum Health walked away with a win, however it was noteworthy that Momentum was acknowledged in so many categories.

Momentum’s purpose is to enhance the Financial Wellness of individuals, families, businesses and communities in South Africa. It is a narrative that shows that with some effort and small behaviour modifications, households in the context of proper budgeting and financial planning, can reach their financial goals. It provides tools that empower clients to implement and stick to the solutions proposed in their financial plans, enabling them to control their own money and live a better life. The result: the creation of enough money for life’s journey.