The saddest thing about life, if you ask me, is that we live in a capitalist world. I can trace the roots of so many people’s pain, suffering and anger to capitalism. On a larger scale, I can trace the failures of economies, inhumane historical injustices and world wars to capitalism. It is why I made a choice to always advocate for socialist policies. I don’t believe in communism because resources being in a minority’s hands is a bad idea. Especially when that minority is the patriarchal governments currently running the world.
Socialist policies are more of an anti-class distinction system intended to uplift people to create a more balanced and competitive field for free markets achievements. Socialist policies focus on building equality and economic security. They generally entail ensuring everyone has access to great, affordable healthcare, food security, standardized quality education including for higher learning and housing. I really do not even understand how it is okay that people are starving as others exploit resources for more power. Inhumanity and governmental uselessness at its peak.
Women, on the other hand are half the world’s population but own only around 30% of its wealth. What the above statistics point to is that women are the greater victims of the capitalist system. This article is a guide on how to cope with the hard hand we have been dealt and maybe join the few who beat the unfair capitalist system.
It is very impossible for most people to save although it is another activity rooted in capitalism. You cannot ask people to save when they can barely afford basic needs. It is unrealistic. For those who are privileged enough to, get a savings application from your Google play store and set a percentage to save every month. Needless to say, discipline and diligence are essential. Having money piled up somewhere in the name of saving is being ignorant of economic facts. The economy does impact the money you are not using that is lying around in the bank. It is reducing its value so when you finally use it after five years, the money is way more worthless on the market than it was previously; hanks to inflation and unfavourable fiscal and monetary policies. That is why you should invest.
There are many things one can invest in. Africans hold this belief that the only way to make investments is by starting a small business. This is not true. You can cruise through your life after putting your money in legitimate tangible and intangible assets and await your returns after a stated period. If you have enough money to acquire land and real estate, please do. Land is a resource that is always appreciating. Real estate can depreciate, although rarely, based on demand and supply factors, and financial instability. There are ways to verify the land and real estate ownership before purchase. Other ways to invest in tangible assets include buying artwork and waiting for them to appreciate before you sell. Purchasing trucks, sound and music systems, and heavy construction tools and hiring them out to firms. Purchasing real stones like gold, diamond and other gemstones and selling them when their prices scale up. Another way is buying vehicles and selling them at higher prices, among other things. Most of these require the individual to have standard resources.
Intangible assets are mostly financial products in the form of shares/equity and bonds/debt instruments. To be able to trade- buy and sell shares in most African securities exchange markets, you have to open a CDS account with the Central Depository & Settlement Corporation of your nation. The body keeps track of your shares ownership and transactional history. Investors who buy ordinary shares of listed companies get compensated in dividends that companies pay annually from their earnings, bonus shares and price appreciation depending on when you made an entry into the market.
THE MOST VITAL RULES OF INVESTING
- Source a professional to guide you if you can. That is, if you are making extensive investments.
- Investments always come with risks therefore, diversify; invest in more than one company so you never encounter the risk of losing everything at once.
- Check the numbers of internal investors of each company. These are the board members, directors, employees and other stakeholders. This information is made public by most firms in their annual financial reports. Internal investors always have inside information on the company and make their choices on this knowledge that isn’t yet public.
- Check for the stability of the company. What is their capital to debt ratio? Asset to liability ratio? What amount of dividends have they paid investors over the last 7 years? What is their return on equity? What percentage of that return in equity will be lost to inflation over the years you have invested? What are their earnings per share? How often do they pay dividends? Most of this data is in their annual financial reports. It is the age of the internet, learn to self-educate.
WHAT TO INVEST IN:
Bonds are divided into those issued by the government (government bonds) and those issued by companies (corporate bonds). The two types of government bonds investments are treasury bonds and treasury bills. Treasury bonds are stable long-term investments that offer interest payments every six months. Bonds have a fixed interest rate so your returns are guaranteed. It is a risk-free predictable long-term source of income. You can invest in treasury bonds directly through the Central Bank of your nation to avoid the additional transaction costs. Treasury bonds are secure, flexible, have good returns and are auctioned frequently – so they are very liquid. Most nations sell them at a minimum of $500. Treasury bills on the other hand are a short-term investment that matures in either three, six or 12 months. Corporate bonds in Africa are an unstable investment. If you want to buy bonds of other countries that you are not a citizen of like the US, then do your due diligence.
- Agricultural Investments
Agriculture is still the backbone of most African economies. Go for listed African agricultural companies that export agricultural produce. Especially those that are listed in your nation and on an abroad securities exchange. Make sure you are aware of the crops the company trades so you can be able to predict their stock movements based on the market performance of the crops. These companies that perform well in the stock markets tend to have an illiquidity problem. They consider investments of even $50.
- Money Market Funds (MMFs)
MMFs are mutual funds that invest in highly liquid instruments such as certificates of deposit, treasury bills and commercial paper. They are short term investments with high credit quality. You can invest as little as $50-100 into this. There is ease of entry and withdrawal and they rarely register losses due to their diversification strategies.
- Cigarettes Companies
Cigarette companies rarely register losses due to consumer loyalty but look out for the number 4 on the list of the most vital things to know. Even during the pandemic, most cigarette companies maintained their sales and returns.
- ABSA Bank NewGold ETF
This ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) is a listed investment product that tracks the performance of commodity gold. It’s an investment used for income generation and to offset risk in Investors portfolio. Due to the gold standard, countries set fixed prices for gold and sell and buy it at that price making it quite a stable investment that is not affected by price fluctuations. ABSA NewGold ETF is backed by physical gold and is offered by ABSA banks in the various African nations. The ETF has no fluctuation and liquidity risks.
- REITS (Real Estate Investments Trusts)
There are two types of REITS; D-REITS and I-REITS. D-REITS are real estate firms involved in construction projects while I-REITS are those involved in ownership and income generating real estate management. Invest with the best performers of REITS in your nations, check for their validity and reliability. A good amount has a high return rate percentage. REITs investments are highly liquid. REITS companies practice diversification as they invest in multiple units; commercial, rental, and for sale residential units.
7. Your Local telecommunications and technological firms. Plus technological start-ups.
Go with the start-ups based on how much knowledge you have on IT markets. Otherwise how will you predict their potential growth? There’s a lot of monopoly in the telecommunications sector in Africa so these companies tend to have an insane market share.They allow purchase of shares for as low as 50 dollars.
8. Buy Shares Abroad – Especially at the US S&P companies.
There are many ways to purchase these shares in African countries. Some use applications, others buy directly or use banks and brokers. Either way, most companies abroad obviously perform better than companies here because of the favourable economic factors. Check their history, the best are mostly firms in Northern America and Europe as they tend to have a lot of valid and updated financial reports. You have an endless list of possibilities to grow financially this year!