Best investments today mean financial peace of mind tomorrow

Investing, at its heart, is the trading of your money today for a lot more money in the future.

Unfortunately, many people do not think about where to invest money early on in their lives. It’s only when they are nearing retirement that the penny drops (pardon the pun) and they realise the importance of having extra funds at hand to supplement their pension.

Another stumbling block is education. Many people are put off by the thought of investing as they believe that it is only for high-rollers or those who have thousands of Rands to play around with on the stock market.

This is far from the truth. Investing is not complicated, nor is it only for those with wealth. The best time to start saving or investing is right now — each cent will help you gain financial freedom in the future.

No matter where you find yourself in life’s journey, now is the time to consider the best investments and how to secure the best return on your investment. They more time you give your investments to mature, the more time interest has to work its magic.

Before you can determine where to invest money, you must know how much money you have to invest. Scrutinise your income and expenses to determine how much you have to invest into an opportunity that will offer you good returns.

You should be putting away about five to 10% of your monthly income  –  so, if you are bringing R15 000 home, then you should be investing between R750 and R1 500.

There are many short term investment options available to South Africans seeking financial security for the future — you can invest on the stock market, in unit trusts, a stokvel, retirement funds, Kruger Rands or buy an affordable fixer-upper that you can flip for profit a year later.

African Bank has investment management experts you can talk to about alternative investments, such as a fixed deposit or notice deposit account, our Access Accumulator or tax-free investing products.

If you are a pensioner, for example, a fixed deposit account is an ideal choice. This five year fixed investment product is ideal because you receive monthly interest income equivalent to 10.25% for your investment.

It is exciting to daydream about the possibilities when you have some cash to invest, but this is also when you could be at your most vulnerable if you are ill-advised or duped into a bad investment. Remember, wise investments bring good fortune and unwise investments bring misfortune.

5 important tips which can prevent you from making a bad investment:

  1. Do your own homework, in addition to the advice of a financial consultant. Knowledge is power when it comes to choosing the right investment vehicle.
  2. If you do not understand what you are investing in, do not go ahead, especially if you are being pressured into it by a group of your peers. We do not always make the right decisions when we want to conform to the crowd.
  3. Ensure the bank you approach is regulated and has a good track record with investment products.
  4. When it comes to investment management, you want your advisor to exercise due diligence to minimise your risk of being exposed to fraud.
  5. Never overextend yourself with the amount you are putting into the investment. There is no point in taking food off your table at home today while pinning your hopes on something that will only bear fruit in the future.

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