Seventeen days into the new decade and you are already backtracking from our new year resolutions? Come on now, its waaay too early! Making resolutions and decisions always seem easy, following up with actions is always the hard part. With the new year finally upon us, you may be aching to make some significant changes in your life. Maybe you want to start exercising more often, take better charge of your finances and taking better care of your health or perhaps you want to spend more quality time with your family.
And maybe, just maybe, you’re starting to feel like 2020 is the year you should finally start investing your money for long-term growth. You may have saved up a respectable sum of money in a high-interest savings account, but you know that saving cash isn’t enough and that money needs to reap in some more cash for you. The probing question is, where should you invest your money? This question bugs beginners just as much as it does pros.
According to Raj Sharma, a private wealth adviser who has been on Barron’s list of America’s Top Financial Advisors for 16 straight years through to 2019 and can also be found on Forbes’s 2019 Top 100 U.S. Wealth Advisors.
“The emerging consumer market is a very durable investment theme,” Sharma also notes that the developed world’s population is shrinking and getting older, but emerging markets like India and Africa hold huge opportunities given the vast numbers of younger people. It is worthy to note that Nigeria has over 200 million people and 55% of the nation’s population is under 35 years old. Investors can do well in this market by figuring out what those consumers need and how to improve their lifestyle with those needs. Although no investment is a guaranteed yardstick to successful returns, here are 5 of the best investment options for 2020.
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1. PAYING OFF DEBTS
Let’s start by reiterating the popular saying, Health is wealth. You don’t sleep well when you have huge debts on your mind, when you don’t sleep you are causing health complications for yourself. Like it or not, staying debt free is the best investment you can do for you in 2020.
Don’t forget that your wealth is determined by your assets and your liabilities. So, invest all you want, but don’t forget how your debts may be dragging you down. If you have some debts from 2019 on your books, it’s crucial to create a plan to squash those balances this year — or at least as soon as you can. Unfortunately, this isn’t always a simple feat when you consider the interests steadily pilling on your debts daily.
By paying off debt, you have increased your creditworthiness and helped put more money in your pocket now and later. Plus, there are additional benefits that come with paying down debt. Paying off debt can reduce your utilization and improve your credit score as a result. A better credit score can help you secure loans with the best rates and terms, which can save you money the next time you take out a loan for a home or a business project.
2. REAL ESTATE
In this part of the world, Housing Prices continue to go up and up with no end in sight. Fortunately for investors, this is a fertile industry to cash in on. With the expected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in the real estate sector put at 13.65 percent from 2019 to 2022, experts have advised housing professionals to take advantage of the 2020 budget to reduce housing deficit in the country. Out of the N2.14 trillion proposed capital expenditure for the 2020 budget, works and housing have the highest capital allocation of 12 percent. The federal government national housing and social housing scheme (Family homes fund) will gulp an estimated N17.5 billion and N30 billion respectively.
Despite the challenges of poor access to loan facilities, difficulty in obtaining property titles and high cost of building houses in Nigeria, analysts explained that Nigeria will continue to have strong fundamentals in the real estate industry. They urged professionals, especially estate surveyors and valuers to take advantage of the opportunities. Real Estate has the tendency to grow astronomically over a short period and there is no better news to an investor than that.
3. AGENCY BANKING
Agency Banking refers to a type of branchless banking, which comes with the benefits of risk management, product availability, improving financial inclusion and ensuring a wider customer base. It is a method for traditional banks to extend the network of their branches in a cost-effective way, via authorized agents in the rural populations. FinTech and Telcos have also keyed into the Agency Banking rave, with companies like Cellulant running their agency banking operations via their multi payments super app, Tingg.
Tingg supports various types of Agency Banking transactions, such as voucher-less prepaid top-up, top-up prepaid voucher sale, loan repayments, account balance queries, merchant’s services, cash withdrawals, cash deposits, transfers and bill payments of various types, such as fines, taxes, government fees, utility bills and more.
Tingg has been able to empower agents and the underserved population. Tingg agents can provide digital financial services via the Tingg app to the general masses. When structured and executed properly, agency banking helps businesses scale to a larger level, gives people easier access to digital services and provides a source of income for agents and investors.
4. PEER 2 PEER LENDING
Another place to invest your excess funds this year is one that has been around for a while — peer-to-peer lending. Peer-to-peer lending, also abbreviated as P2P lending, is the practice of lending money to individuals or businesses through online services that match lenders with borrowers. Some Lending platforms allow you to loan money to individuals as a bank does, and you get to receive the interest they pay in. While returns can vary depending on how risky the loans you choose to fund are, they can be upward of 6% or more. If you’re worried about loaning money to one person and having them ghost you, don’t be.
These Lending clubs allow you to spread your investment over hundreds or even thousands of loans in increments as small as NGN20,000.
If you’ve been considering investing in the stock market for a while, but haven’t yet opened an account and started contributing, make 2020 the year you turn intentions into dollars. Stocks can be very dicey and unpredictable which has led many to either opt-out or just view from a distance waiting on the perfect time to cash in. Although For many, it comes down to fear. There are so many choices today. It’s overwhelming for people, when you have too many choices and there are too many options, you end up just getting paralyzed and doing nothing.
But experts say even if the stock market conditions aren’t perfect, it’s worth investing, be it in a retirement account or a taxable brokerage account. Don’t waste time trying to get into the market at the perfect time.
If you don’t feel comfortable buying individual stocks, consider investing in globally diversified, low-cost index funds. If you need some help and guidance along the way, you can also use the services of a robo-advisor.
Patience is an important lesson to learn for young investors. Everyone wants to see quick results, we’ve been programmed to expect big returns from our investments, and if we don’t get them, then we’re disappointed. A lot of people lose confidence because they don’t get the returns as quickly and bountifully as hoped. Building wealth takes time, Aliko Dangote once said, A lot of people want to be like me, but they forget it took me almost 30 years to become Africa’s richest man. Success takes time.
If you happen to get maximum returns from your investments, don’t forget to reinvest the returns you do get. Reinvestment is one of the keys to growing your finances over time.