I have been an advocate of portfolio diversification as a means to cushion your portfolio from adverse market conditions. As I have indicated in my earlier articles on portfolio diversification, diversification can be among asset classes, across geographical locations, or across industry types.
What is diversification?
You may have heard the statement, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In finance and investment and indeed in all walks of life, that statement is self-evident because by putting all your eggs in one basket, there is a greater risk of losing all the eggs, should something bad happen to the basket. On the other hand, if you put your eggs in many baskets, you still have other baskets to fall back on, should anything bad happen to one of the baskets. The investment term to describe putting your eggs in many baskets is portfolio diversification.
Analysts and experts believe that a well-diversified portfolio should include international or foreign securities. Unfortunately, many investors are suffering from what may be called home-country bias in their investment decisions. Home-country bias is the tendency for investors to invest in their home countries, rather than in foreign countries. But why is it advantageous to add international or foreign securities in your portfolio? Here are the major reasons or advantages:
One reason to diversify across the borders by adding international securities is the need to minimize portfolio risk. This risk-minimizing benefit arises from the low correlation that may exist between domestic securities and foreign or international securities. The low correlation is due to the fact that domestic and international securities are exposed to different economic and market conditions and as such, trend differently.
Adding international or foreign securities has the tendency to result in higher returns for your portfolio if the foreign securities perform better than the domestic securities.
What percentage of your portfolio should be allocated to foreign securities?
A study on the diversification benefits of international securities, conducted by Vanguard Advisors, found out that the maximum diversification benefit occurred when approximately 35% of a portfolio is allocated to foreign securities. There is no hard and fast rule on what the allocation to foreign securities should be because another study by Nationwide Financial noted that the allocation should be 40%. In spite of whichever study’s result you tend to be inclined to, the suggested percentage allocation by those studies may not be optimal for every portfolio, the optimal allocation to foreign securities should be dependent on the future performance of foreign securities relative to domestic securities.
Be Warned: Foreign securities come with added risks
Though the addition of foreign or international securities to your domestic portfolio results in a better-diversified portfolio with potential for higher returns, it also breeds additional risks. Firstly, the addition of international securities adds currency risk to your portfolio. However, depending on the relationship between the Naira and the currency on which the international securities are denominated, the exchange risk may be positive or negative. With a seemingly constantly depreciating Naira, the exchange risk is likely to add to the performance of your portfolio. Another risk to be mindful about in relation to cross-border diversification is a political risk.
So, in choosing which foreign securities to add, it will be reasonable to choose from countries that are politically stable. Yet another risk that adding international securities may present is that of inadequate information. You may not be able to know where to research the companies you wish to invest in, and such lack of familiarity to the foreign market information and data is a risk in itself. Securities laws differ across countries, especially in relation to taxation of capital gains. Addition of foreign securities implies that you should at least be aware of the basic securities laws in the country whose securities you want to add to your portfolio. That presents some challenges and risks.
The internet has made the world a global village, where you can buy and sell shares being traded in one country from another country. There are many online trading platforms worldwide that can facilitate cross-border diversification. In my next article, I will take a look at the major online platforms.
Retail franchise investment next gold mine for Nigerian investors- CIG
Retail franchise investment curbs unemployment and create buffer for people looking for side hustle
The Choice International Group (CIG) has tasked both unemployed and employed Nigerians to embrace retail franchise investment, as the initiative would curb unemployment in the nation and create buffer for people looking for side hustle.
In line with a recent FBDS Study, there are over 450,000 Nigerian career professionals with minimum investible funds of N1 million, looking out for investment opportunities.
In the majority, these funds are looking for franchise type opportunities for ease of venturing and minimal failure risk.
As far as CIG chairperson, Diana Chen, is concerned, such investor should look no further but consider the group’s retail franchise investment opportunity, which offers Nigerian community mouth-watering offer of owning Gree & Lontor retail stores.
According to him, Gree is the world’s residential air-conditioner manufacturer, while Lontor provides high-quality, energy-saving and convenient rechargeable home appliances and lighting products for global consumers.
He said, “Both brands have been built by the CIG into a world-class electronic retail chain in Nigeria opening no less than 20 brand shops in Lagos and Oyo over the last 18 months.
“The sales performance of its existing stores in the country makes Gree & Lontor one of the most profitable businesses in Nigeria with yields of an average return on investment of 50% and above per annum.
“CIG is offering investors the opportunity to own any of six regional logistics centres, or any number of Gree & Lontor brand shops in viable locations across Nigeria.
“It is the decision of the company to open up these opportunities to the investing public through a Franchise Retail partnership.”
He added that the company has mapped out two investment models it says are simple, transparent, and hassle-free.
“The first model involves only six regional logistics centres located across the geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
“Whoever invests in this will require a capital outlay of $1 million, and become a mega distributor partner of the Gree & Lontor brand, and service a network of brand shops.
“The second investment model involves the Gree & Lontor brand shops – retail franchise stores that require an initial capital outlay of N20 million.
“The investor will secure a store size of 120-150sqm at any choice location, shopping mall, plazas, high streets and even residential neighbourhoods.”
What they are saying
Nigeria is a growth market for franchising and franchise development services.
Gbenga Ajayi, an Entrepreneurship analyst, said, “The retail industry comes second to the food industry among sectors with best franchising opportunities.
“As with other emerging markets, one of the challenges of franchising in Nigeria remains the strengthening of intellectual-property regimes so that franchise companies can transmit knowledge and franchise system concepts with the confidence that such know-how will be protected.
Where to invest N500,000 right now
Nairametrics interviewed financial experts on what assets they would invest in if they had N500, 000
Since a full economic recovery this year is off the table, Nairametrics interviewed some investment experts, entrepreneurs, and corporate heads, on the assets they would invest N500,000 in. The responses varied from buying gold to investing in mutual funds or starting a business.
The world economy is projected to fall by 4.4% in 2020, an upward guide from an earlier predicted rate of -4.9% made in June. The IMF projected that social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic will linger till 2021, but the transmission of the virus will plunge globally by the end of 2022.
Temitope Busari, CFA
With fixed income yields at the current levels, my N500k in today’s market will go into a dividend-paying stock or alternative investments.
- Depending on whether or not I can afford to risk some capital and barring timing constraints, I would buy a stock that offers periodic cashflow in form of dividends.
- For alternative investments, I would explore high-yielding fixed deposits in the on-lending space.
Michael Nwakalor, Macroeconomist at CardinalStone Research
- The yields in the fixed income markets are currently on the low and producing negative real returns, the equities market provides a viable alternative to earn a total return above inflation.
- I like stocks in the banking sector, as a number of them remain undervalued by fundamental metrics. Several names are on the course to post near double-digit dividend returns by the year-end. A portfolio that includes the following counters – GUARANTY, STANBIC, ETI, FBNH, and ZENITH, should provide adequate exposure to the sector as well.
Adaobi Okonkwo, Currency Trader of a leading Tier 1 Bank
- With a few things to invest in, the most reliable investment that comes to mind is a mutual fund. The fixed income and money markets are currently experiencing a downturn; hence, investing in them could reduce my income spread.
- However, with a mutual fund, my portfolio of investment in the capital markets is determined by the fund managers with a decent return on investments certainly above the risk-free rate. Gold is a commodity that would yield a good ROI within a specified time frame if I wanted to invest by myself.
Silas OZOYA, President/CEO, SUBA Capital
Though quite a small capital, it might not do much if you want to play the long-term investment game. However, it can set the ball rolling.
- I would invest it in a high yield investment platform that pays at least 5% returns monthly to cover running costs.
- Put the money in a fixed deposit and leverage it as collateral to take a debt fund, with a 6 – 12 months moratorium from a commercial bank for a possible expansion of a profitable business. This way, you gain on the debt and still have your N500,000 intact.
Ugonna Thelma Ohiri-Anyanwu, CFA
With a gift of N500,000, my risk appetite and drive for higher returns,
- I would invest 50% of the funds (N250,000) on dollar and Eurobonds. This is mainly because of my future needs for FX and also as the need to hedge my currency risk.
- I would invest 25% of the balance (N125,000) in Ethereum, which would give me a steady cash flow with medium risk.
- The balance of N125,000 would be invested in Value company shares with low P/E and also stable dividend payments.
The overall investment portfolio allows for diversification, stable cash flow in both local and FX currency, and currency hedge. These would provide a solid mix between ownership of materially underpriced assets and high dividend-yielding assets.
Amid the rising COVID-19 caseloads prevailing globally, the financial experts interviewed above showed significant diversity on the assets they would invest in, coupled with their different appetite for taking risk reflected on their preferred choices made amid a blurry global economy era.
Where to invest $10,000 right now
Entrepreneurs, financial experts and investment analysts suggest what sectors or assets to invest in if you have $10,000.
The upsurge in COVID-19 cases around the world has kept global investors flocking the world’s safe-haven currency at an exponential rate, the high demand for the greenback is coming on the high geopolitical uncertainty prevailing in today’s financial market.
Also, it’s important to note at the currency market, the U.S dollar remains king. According to the International Standards Organization, 90% of currency trading done globally involves the U.S. dollar, most crypto assets, virtually the most liquid commodities are priced in the U.S dollar not forgetting about 40% of the world’s debt is dominated in the greenback.
So Nairametrics felt it paramount to ask a hedge fund manager, entrepreneurs, and financial experts, about what sectors or assets they would invest in if they had, say, $10,000.
Their responses were revealing and diverse as they were varied—ranging from; buying global equities, local stocks, real estate holdings to investing in digital assets.
Gavin Smith, veteran trader, and managing partner at Panxora Crypto Hedge Funds.
I would scale into BTC $2,000 now, $2,000 when it comes off to $10,000, then add $2,000 at $9,000 and another $2,000 at the $8,000 level. If BTC then breaks above $13,000 I would buy any of the above orders that had not been filled of the remaining $2,000. I would put $500 into each of these four DeFi protocols: LINK, COMP, KNC, and OMG.”
DeFi is an exceptionally volatile market and these would need active management, but they represent an opportunity with exceptional upside potential. This is a market our analysts are building a profile in, to advance our DeFi hedge fund later in the year.
Debo Adejana – Founder, MD/CEO – Realty Point Limited.
I follow the investment wisdom that says, ‘invest in what you know and understand’. I know and understand real estate probably more than any other investment asset class.
So, the decision as per what I will invest in with $10,000 which should be upwards of N4m is simply; Real Estate. I will either do rental income property as part of a properly organized shared-ownership structure or speculate on land depending on how much time I have with the money. The reasons are very basic, real estate investments have been known to survive and surpass any and every challenge.”
Darlington-Morsi Onyemaka, Co-founder Quba Exchange Forbes Accelerator Cohort ’20.
One of the main pointers to a good investment portfolio is diversified across multiple asset classes which should be according to the investor’s risk appetite. Looking at my long-term investment strategy, real estate fits in perfectly for Ten-thousand dollar investment. My portfolio is already jam-packed with high-risk assets and Real Estate will do a great job at hedging the risk factors without minimizing profitability in any significant way.”
Francis Obasi Cofounder and CEO of Lead Wallet.
If I have a spare $10,000 right now for investment, first, I’ll invest 55% of the funds into new crypto startups being run by professionals and backed by companies like Coinlist; LID Protocol, and Binance. Second, I’ll invest 20% of the funds into Lead Token as there is still potential for massive growth in the coming months/years. Third, looking at the situation of Nigeria, and not knowing where the current protest (uprising) on #EndSARS is headed, I’ll reserve the rest 25% in USDC/USDT to hold against a potential Naira crash. I’m confident that there is every possibility that the Dollar will become scarce again in the coming weeks/months due to the ongoing protest, thereby returning instant gains for immediate spending on basic needs.”
Dapo-Thomas Opeoluwa Global Markets analyst and an Energy Trader.
“There are so many ways to invest $10,000. The real question depends on the investor. His risk appetite, his investment horizon, when does he or she want to liquidate? The answers to these now limit the options of investments. So for safe and long-term investments, I always advise investing in index funds, Eurobonds or the Nigeria International Debt fund. This is with the caveat that says ‘low risk equals low returns’. Also, I usually would say, invest in investments that beat inflation so you won’t suffer negative real turns.”
Victoria Njimanze Investment Analyst at a Nigerian Investment Bank
Well, off my head I’ll go with Bonds, cryptocurrency, Stocks, and then alternatives. I would definitely make my findings first, but I’ll make a larger portion go into Bonds say 40%, 30% in cryptocurrency, 20% in stocks, and 10% in alternatives like commodity market so as to have a diversified portfolio.”
Akinsola Esan, a credit risk analyst at Nigeria’s Tier 1 Bank.
Basically, the goal is to earn substantial returns on investments – dividends, capital appreciation, and secondly, beat inflation in naira which is currently about 12.85%. With $10,000, I’ll spread my investments across foreign equities such as purchasing and holding stocks of companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, Fastly, Nio, Amazon, to list but a few, and also buy some top-performing dollar-denominated Mutual funds such as Vantage dollar funds and some other ones recommended by Nairametrics. Lastly, I will look in the area of cryptocurrencies by investing as much in bitcoin, Ethereum, and other recognized Cryptos. There are some dividend-paying stocks listed on the Nigerian stock exchange as well, I will consider holding a number of them.
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Due to the present fickle nature of global financial markets, most financial experts interviewed above are unsurprisingly keen on mostly U.S dollar-dominated financial assets, thus reflecting the greenback’s dominance in demand amid the COVID-19 infection exploding at an alarming rate.