Money Talks: One size does not fit all in investment opportunities

Piggy bank

A woman depositing money in a piggy bank.

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What you need to know:

  • There is no investment opportunity that is right for everyone.
  • Your financial planning, expected returns, age and financial circumstance determine your asset class.

Q. I have Sh8, 000 extra cash every month, how do I make Sh5 million in 12 years?

This past week, three regular readers asked me the same question in three different ways, but alluded to the same thing. 
In a nutshell, they asked me to tell them which profitable investment opportunities they could put their money in and expect quick and high returns. Last week I wrote extensively on how you can 'start today by clearly defining your financial vision with at least two numbers: the level of investment at the end of a defined journey and the amount of monthly income you desire to flow out from the investment.'
A financial plan is a basis for isolating an opportunity from the numerous opportunities available either for direct investment or business. A properly thought through financial plan will have a defined expected sum at the end of the investment journey (planning period) and an expected average rate of return along the journey and at the end.
A simple case would for example be to raise Sh4 to Sh5 million shillings over a 12-year period to meet high school fees and university education for a child who has joined kindergarten in January 2022. The owner of the plan only has Sh8,000 available monthly.
Is there one simple investment idea that someone with this kind of monthly cash flow surplus can take to arrive at this goal quickly? The absolute answer is no.
After developing a statement for the end (vision) you then “review with clarity your current situation to determine how much money is regularly available for your goal. In the example above, the parent of the five-year-old has only Sh8,000 available regularly. This is the amount available for triggering the initial investment steps towards raising Sh5 million over 12 years. If the parent is young (say aged between 30 and 35 years) he or she can consider an aggressive asset – one which pays well in the long-term, promises a good rate of return but has an equally high probability of missing the target of return when the factors supporting the investment market move significantly. 
This could be achieved through direct investments into a stock (aggressive earner) or saved and then put in a business opportunity which may be short-term but promises a good return. If the person knows how to read good opportunities. It may also be invested in a running business for a small share of the profits. Are these opportunities suitable for everyone? The answer is absolutely not. 
Every individual has a diverse set of financial circumstances sustaining for a prolonged period which may cause them to abstain even from the most lucrative opportunity.
For example, when Covid-19 was identified in Nairobi in March 2019, the demand for sanitisers and masks shot from zero to 100 percent. Only a very small percentage of people who were already in the business or could read the opportunity fast were able to participate in the super-profitable early phase of demand. This is one of the business lines you could go in for a brief period and bolt out when the profits begin to decline rapidly, which requires some experience. 
The circumstance of the investment is usually a factor of the age, family circumstances and the resultant net disposable available. Clarify your opportunities for multiplying the 8,000 into a significant lamp sum including direct investment opportunities or intermediate savings with sum tidy returns that help build the lump sum. Challenge every item in life competing for the resources on a short and continuous basis. Items such as loans being repaid will release money in due course to add to your monthly available lump sum for investment. Identify each challenge and prepare for the funds released when the challenge ends, so that it does not get lost in your regular lifestyle cost. There is no investment opportunity right for everyone. Your financial planning rate, expected returns, age and financial circumstance determine the asset class you can carry.
Patrick Wameyo is a financial literacy coach at Financial Academy and Technologies and an entrepreneurship coach at The Entrepreneurship Center EA. [email protected].