- Invest and let your money grow
Investing is putting your money to use so as to allow it to grow. An investment can be in form of property such as livestock (cows, goats, pigs), land (rental apartments, buildings), business (market stalls, grocery shops, boda bodas) or shares and bonds from which you can earn profits.
CMA is responsible for registering and supervising professional investment advisers and companies in Uganda. You can contact CMA on:
- A share represents part ownership of a company. If you have shares in a company you can earn some money from the profits the company makes. The price of a share usually changes over time. If the price of a share increases, it will be worth more than the price at which you bought it. But if the price falls, it will be worth less than what you paid. The price of a share depends both on the performance of the company concerned and on the general economic situation.
- A bond is usually issued by a credible entity such as a corporation, company, government or regional body to individuals or companies which are interested in lending money to them. The borrower (e.g. company or government) has to pay back the money which has been borrowed with a fixed rate of interest at a specific future date. You can lend money by buying a bond and benefit from the interest which the borrower will pay you. Bonds can be bought and sold from a regulated stock exchange such as the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE). Their value can rise or fall over time.
- Collective Investment Schemes (CISs) are private financial arrangements regulated by government through the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), where many small investors pool resources. Professional licensed and certified fund managers invest these resources in various ways such as shares, bonds, property, fixed deposit accounts and treasury bills with the main goal of generating high returns while minimising risk through investing in different financial opportunities.
- Government securities (treasury bills and bonds) are agreements where an individual or business lends money to government for a specified period of time (between 3 months and 10 years) after which they will get their initial money back plus interest. Government securities come with almost no risk of default and the interest is fixed. Anybody can invest in government securities as the minimum amount is only 100,000. Approach any commercial bank or Bank
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- Get started with your investment plan.
It is always good to invest some of your money. Save and invest at the same time. To learn more, read widely and talk to financial institutions or investment companies or individuals who are already investing, or get further information from the Capital Markets Authority, Uganda Securities Exchange, Uganda Investment Authority, Private Sector Foundation Uganda or Enterprise Uganda.
- Invest to employ yourself
You can invest your money in activities such as poultry farming, growing vegetables, running your own grocery shop or building apartments for rent. Smart investment can transform you into an employer and enable you to earn more income.
- Use your own funds or your group’s funds for investing
You can use parts of your personal savings to start an investment. Alternatively, you can pool resources as a group - this is common with friends and peers. A specified amount of money is collected from members at agreed intervals and later the members can do a joint investment. Individual members can also borrow (usually at a small fee) from the funds collected to start an individual investment.
- There is power in numbers
Small savings in a small group with your like-minded friends may give you the financial breakthrough you desire. Individually, you may be emotionally attached to a product that does not meet your financial goals. Be ready to let go of it and settle for bigger and better financial ideas as a group.
- Every investment comes with a risk...
There is a risk of losing money when your investments lose value, are stolen, mismanaged, destroyed or damaged. Use anything that goes wrong as a lesson learnt for the future. If you are investing through a bank or you use an investment advisor, find out from them how to best minimize risk of loss. Usually, the potential for higher profits carries with it a higher risk that you will lose some or all of your money.
- ...except for some
Some investments such as government securities, bonds and treasury bills usually have very little risks. Ask your financial institution about such investment possibilities.
- Invest according to how much risk you are willing to take
Riskier investments may earn you higher profits, if they are successful – but there is a greater chance that you can lose some or all of your money. Think about your own attitude to risk: do you prefer to keep your money safe, even if this may mean earning lower profits? Or are you willing to try to get greater profits but run a greater risk of losing money?
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Invest in different projects in order to spread the risk or earn from different investment opportunities: "Don’t put all your eggs in one basket" because if the basket breaks you could lose everything. It is a good idea to balance high and low risk investments or savings – this is like mixed cropping: if beans don’t germinate, then the maize could.
- There is no such thing as a free lunch in finance
Beware of investments that look too good to be true, as they will most likely end up in total loss. Don't get taken in by "get rich quick schemes" such as pyramid schemes (where you are promised payment if you introduce more members to a "business group") and gift circles – it might well be a scam and you could lose all your money.
- Get professional advice on large investments
If you have large amounts to invest, seek advice from an investment expert. You could contact the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) for a list of licensed professional investment advisors, or talk to a colleague who has been successful in business for advice. Most financial institutions also have financial advisors you can consult. However, do not blindly trust any "expert". He/she may be trying to sell his/her own products in order to receive a commission. Try to get various opinions and also trust your own informed judgement.
- When you buy, think about selling
Some types of investments may be difficult to sell quickly – or difficult to sell at all. Before deciding whether to buy an investment, seek information on how easy or difficult it will be to sell it at a later time.
- Understand the fees you will pay
Companies and individuals which buy, sell or manage shares or bonds on your behalf will charge you fees. These will reduce the profits you will earn. Make sure you understand the fees you will pay before deciding whether to buy shares or bonds.
- Have a SMART goal
Having a Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART) goal is the key to a financial breakthrough. Ensure that you keep an eye on your investments to see how they are performing. Do they still meet your goals?