Starting a Business While You’re Young and Not Having to Unlearn with Louis van der Merwe [Ep41]

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Welcome to episode 41 of The Innovating Advice Show. 

I’m joined by Louis van der Merwe, co-founder and Director at WealthUp in South Africa, which he started when he was in his mid-20’s.

In this episode, we’re chatting about how Louis gained the confidence and skill to start a financial planning business so young. We also discuss how it’s grown to have four employees – all on salary, Louis’ thoughts on whether business owners should be worried about advisors leaving and have strong non-compete’s in place, and how much of Louis’ success has come from stumbling across great ideas and opportunities.


  1. Louis’ LinkedIn

  2. Louis’ website

  3. WealthUp website

Guest Bio

Louis van der Merwe is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional and the co-founder and director of WealthUp (Pty) Ltd, an FPI Approved Professional Practice™. He completed his B.Comm degree at the University of Stellenbosch as well as the Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning (Stellenbosch University) (cum laude).

Louis has a passion for technology and entrepreneurship and enjoys spending time trail running in and around Cape Town.


00:26 – Introducing Louis van der Merwe

01:50 – The advantage of starting your own business in your mid-twenties

04:25 – Looking at the worst-case scenario and considering your expectations

05:25 – Getting the confidence to start your own business

06:35 – Un-training yourself

07:50 – Why building a business and being an advisor require different skills

09:04 – Setting up your business

10:11 – Finding employees that are the right fit

11:54 – Learning how to adapt

12:30 – The benefits of having everyone on salary

15:35 – WealthUp’s fee model

17:53 – Should you worry about employees leaving?

21:10 – Why being and employee may be riskier than starting your own business

23:40 – The importance of building your own brand

25:45 – Finding (and knowing) your audience

28:17 – Giving employee advice

35:01 – The future of the profession