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TIPS FOR A BEGINNER INVESTOR

You are a young person looking to venture into some form of investment to make your money work for you. In a competitive economy, it is an excellent choice to consider channelling a fraction of your funds into investment to make room for future contingencies and grow your money along with the economy. That’s great, but you are unsure of what specific area to invest into, what to look out for and what to avoid to maximise your gains and reduce any losses. This article is the right start for you. 



PRE-INVESTMENT

First, this is not something to rush into. Note that investment returns take a while to accrue depending on the type and scale of your investment portfolio. This would mean that in the interim, you would be unable to retrieve those funds for immediate use. A person who is ready to invest then, is someone who can comfortably deduct funds for their immediate and emergency needs with quite a decent amount left to spare. Note also that you need to be abreast with immediate trends in your local financial market. This includes checking out the most lucrative investment areas at that point in the economy and predictions for which areas will stay profitable or pick up in the near future. This is very essential as markets differ across locations and it helps to know where your money will be safest. Sometimes, some traditionally lucrative investment options may have become shaky due to new government policy that has an impinge on them or some market shocks which may have heightened fluctuations in that market. In determining which specific option to invest in as well, consider the business or area you would like to invest in, in terms of trust, profitability and scalability. If your investment is into a specific existent business for example, look out for the following: How profitable has that business been recently? Has its margin of profit faced an upward trajectory overtime? How has it previously fared with maintenance of its debt portfolio? These would enable you to determine the safety or otherwise of your funds should you decide to invest in that area.


OPTIONS FOR INVESTMENT

The areas you can invest in are numerous and this list cannot provide an exhaustive view into those options. These are however popular options which have gained prominence overtime and are likely to engender success for your investment. 


  1. Food and Agriculture/ Agribusiness: You can barely go wrong with food, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. This is an area with lots of virgin arable land and increasing demands for food. Recent indications show fears of food security challenges on the continent in the coming year, with Zambia being the most recent country to be struck with drought and famine. To this end, the demand for food production continues to increase as there is a cross-border effort to sustain the agricultural system. Investing in farming, cash crops or agricultural production is a critical area worth considering with very high likelihood of return. 

  2. Architecture and Urban Development: With tons of emerging towns and growing cities, Africa continues to expand its path of urbanisation. That comes with a growing demand for housing (luxury and affordable) including a variety of home needs and home solutions. This means, it is a good idea to invest in architecture in emerging cities and towns, to create needed residential options for potential occupants. It is important to note that this sector is not a monolith since clients demand along a spectrum of home needs to suit their financial capacities. It is thus prudent to identify which kinds of architectural developments would thrive most in your location to determine where your investment should be prioritised in that sector.

  3. Public & Private Financial Investment Channels: This area of investment is two pronged, delving into existent investment portfolios that have been set up either by governments or private financial institutions. For governments, some of the most popular options are bonds and treasury bills, which enable the government to ‘borrow’ money from the public for investment-returning ventures, so as to pay back to lenders with predetermined interest. Private financial institutions such as banks set up their own investment programs for similar purposes, to pay back to their clients with interest over a period. The areas where such investment funds are channelled cover a vast pool, dependent on financial intelligence on profitability, thus creating an indirect approach to investment. This is because in this instance, you do not determine where exactly your investment funds should go, but you trust your funds with that investment provider and contribute to a larger pool of funds that is invested on your behalf for future returns. 

  4. Cryptocurrency and Stock: Options such as these are not as widespread as the traditional investment options as they require more technical information and knowledge of how such cross-border markets work. Cryptocurrency for instance has faced some resistance from a number of governments and regulatory institutions due to its decentralised system and the difficulty in regulating such markets. The profitability of this system thus largely rests on trust and public buy-in, which shores up the value of these digital currencies. That notwithstanding, lots of success has been recorded in crypto markets and it has become a path to financial liberation for lots of persons who were hitherto cut-off from the traditional financial market system. Stock works in similar ways but is monitored and traded through fiduciaries such as brokers and trading institutions, to reduce the risk of loss and determine which markets are most desirable for investment. 


For what it’s worth, there is almost always some margin of risk across all financial markets. With the right information and approach to investment as this article attempts to outline, investment can be used as a great tool towards enrichment. If you’re ready, take that giant step towards prosperity today! 

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