People are scared of investing their money into stocks and shares related assets so they save the money with their banks in a traditional banking account because they don’t want to lose any of it. Yes, holding cash in an account makes it liquid and will give you easy access, your money too is guaranteed to sit in your account awaiting your further instructions whether to withdraw for shopping or to fund ‘an all whites party’ where we go shopping to buy new white clothes for the celebration. What we tend to forget is that, your money will not accrue much interest and will lose value because inflation will eat into it. The purchasing power of that money decreases by percentage of the inflation. What you were able to buy a year before with the same money will not be enough in today’s real terms.
Traditional savings is supposed to be for short term like saving an emergency funds for that rainy day. Because of the easy access nature of traditional banking account, there is the temptation of spending all your money in the shorter term rather than leaving it for the longer term in an investment account.
Apart from properties, if you want to save for the longer term, consider investments linked to the stock market whether in the UK, USA, Ghana, Canada etc. Investment accounts will combat inflation, however before you start investing you should do your own research into the company or companies you want to invest in, what products or services do they provide, how do they make their money, their investment strategies, skills and beliefs of the management.
People have made money on Crypto Currencies, Bitcoin and Dogecoin but these investment are highly volatile in nature, they come with high risk and it is like gambling your money away. Whilst some people made huge money on Crypto and Bitcoins, it is important to point out that investments should be long term in nature and with these risky assets, your hard earned money is not safe. During the high performance of bitcoin, few people even borrowed monies from the bank to invest and most lost it all during the downturn.
A good investment strategy is understanding the nature of the asset you are buying into. If you don’t understand it’s features, it is not for you. Investment accounts are built for our future with even our children, or retirement in mind. Investing in good assets builds discipline, character, patience, good behaviour, learning, humility, teaching, consistency and understanding as you patiently build wealth or see your money grow for you and your family.
Getting involved in get rich schemes, Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes and some types of multi-level marketing is not a wealth builder. Wealth building takes time and needs strategies. Do not be fooled by people or institutions promising big turn around of your cash in a shortest space of time. Good investment is for the longer term and not for the shorter term.
Most governments sells Treasury Bills which is like a loan to your government at a certain percentage of interest which normally is more than what your bank is able to offer you. You can also leave your money in Treasury bills for the longer term in order to take advantage of compound interest to build funds.
There are few good investment products in Ghana such as Bonds, Mutual Funds, Collective Investment Schemes, Fixed Deposits and even the Ecobank EDC which has always performed well. In the UK consider investing in ‘Investment ISAs’ (Individual Savings Accounts) from major banks and financial institutions or other trading platforms like Hargreaves Lansdowne, A J Bell, Fidelity, Vanguard, E-Trade etc. And with all other investments, prices fluctuates so leaving it untouched and adding more monthly if you can will build more funds over time for your retirement, to cater for your children’s education, buy property or as a business capital.
AUTHOR: MARY AYISI-BOADU
AUTHOR OF: FROM DEBT TO WEALTH, THE STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR, BE POSITIVE BE GREAT, THE GLOBAL ENTREPRENEUR
INVESTMENT BANKER, FINANCIAL COACH, PUBLIC SPEAKER
ACIB, MSc INTERNATIONAL FINANCE AND BANKING UK