Financial experts have offered choices on investments in the digital era that its customers can tap into and grow further financially.
In a Twitter Space held under the theme “Making Viable Investments In The Digital Era”, Robert Nyehangane, the Head Treasury at Housing Finance Bank (HFB), said investments largely rely on two parameters; return and risk.
“What that means is that the level of return also moves with the risk of whatever that you go with. It also starts with saving. We (Housing Finance Bank) on-board whoever is saving. With Shs100, 000 for “omuntu wawansi” (ordinary person), you can open a bank account, save and build a capital base,” Nyehangane said.
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He further explained: “Let’s push ourselves into a saving culture. If you have built your savings, we give you an option to buy government securities. These are almost risk free assets. You are investing with the government. The returns are really high. It’s an asset that you can invest in. You have to complete a form (available on our website) and take it to the branch but you must open a CSD account (an asset account) with Bank of Uganda.”
Nyehangane says corporate bonds are another opportunity Ugandans can invest in.
“You can invest in that bond. It’s an investment vehicle,” he said, adding that investment in the real estate sector is the other option worth considering.
He however said that all these investment vehicles have different levels of risk.
According to Nyehangane, HFB has the capacity to take on a customer and walk with them.
“The Bank takes a customer through the pros and cons in whichever decision they choose to make,” he said.
He asked potential investors in the digital era to carry out due diligence.
“Make sure the entity that you are going to be dealing with is a legal company. That entity must be a regulated entity. That means that the liquidity that you put in has some kind of security. You must understand the products and services of what you are getting into. If you don’t understand what you are getting into, you are shooting in the dark. You are the first line of defence. Do a bare minimum to protect your investment,” Nyehangane said, adding that Housing Finance Bank is a partner to look to in terms of investments in the digital era.
Patience Bayenda, Head Products at HFB, said that it is not the richest people that are making the most savings.
“It’s not that the person earning the most is saving the most. You have to make a deliberate decision to put aside some money. The money seems to be calling for problems and all sorts of expenditure but it’s not how much you have. Make a decision, stick with it and educate yourself,” Bayenda said, adding that the bank is very passionate about creating awareness.
Bayenda advised investors to ‘take care of themselves’.
“Even if you are with the right entity, take care of yourselves. Don’t share PINs. Protect your financial information and guard it against people who can hack it from anywhere in the world,” Bayenda said.
She noted that COVID-19 has changed the way in which “we do our business” and that Housing Finance Bank has made it easy for customers to access products and services online, despite boasting 17 branches and over 500 agents across the country.
Xeno Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Aeko Ongodia, said that investments are being challenged by the myth of quick returns.
“It’s not a get-rich-quick thing. That’s a myth. Anything that comes to you and there is quick money is really speculation. You are not investing. You have to invest for a reason to the extent that you can articulate that reason well. Sometimes people come to us expecting supernormal returns. You have to know what a normal return is. It’s a return of an asset that is accessible to everyone in that space and it has little to no risk. A normal return would be a return on a one year treasury bill. People usually want to have a very high return with little or no risk,” Ongodia says.