The ultimate dream for most chamas is to buy large chunks of land preferably in the outskirts of big towns or cities and wait for prices to shoot upwards before selling. If not to sell, then they dream of using that land to build units for selling or renting.
There is nothing wrong with this approach. However, it is not the only option available to chamas looking to grow their wealth. Where else can they get comparative returns?
1. Investing in Money Market Funds
Money market funds are the perfect option for investors who want low risk, want to stay liquid and preserve their capital. They tick all the boxes for chamas. More importantly, they offer a higher return than bank deposits.
The areas where money market fund managers invest in are: fixed and demand deposits, alternative investments, government securities, and commercial papers.
The Cytonn Money Market Fund offers the best returns in Kenya, with an average of 11% p.a in the past one year.
2. Investing in High Yielding Funds
These are specialised collective investment schemes which invest heavily in real estate. The reason many chamas want to buy property either to sell or develop is that real estate tends to outperform traditional investments. What many people don’t know is, purchasing land is not the only way to access returns from property.
High yielding funds invest in vehicles such as real estate to give their clients high returns. They are, therefore, a great alternative to selling or developing, which is quite tedious and capital intensive. Cytonn offers the Cytonn High Yielding Fund, which targets to offer 14%-15% p.a, which is compounded on a monthly basis.
In Kenya, one can buy shares from publicly listed companies though the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Before buying shares, one must do thorough research and due diligence. Shares are suitable for long-term investors who have a high-risk appetite. The prices of shares are usually determined by various factors, for instance, market volatility, which can be an advantage to the investor because one can get quality shares at a bargain.
Chamas can benefit from the dividends earned when they buy shares. Cytonn offers the Cytonn Equity Fund and Cytonn Balanced Fund which offers access to investing in shares for chamas
In conclusion, before investing, chama members must do their due diligence and thorough research on the area they wish to invest in. The chama should also decide on the investment strategy, goal and aim to stick to that and they should avoid changing the objective mid-way.
Lastly, no money is too little to invest. Start with whatever amount of money you have in your hands and let that money work for you.