On this platform, we preach a lot about investing. It is a habit everyone must inculcate and nurture as route to financial freedom. However, investing can also lead to financial ruin if you make the wrong choices. Here are examples of investment decisions that can lead to financial ruin.
Speculative investing involves putting your money into volatile high yielding investments. Speculators as the word implies, rely on guts rather than fundamentals to invest in asset classes that they believe will produce astronomically high returns. Initially, these investments produce very high returns as more and more people join the speculative train.
However, as is often the case, such volatility don’t last forever and most speculators, especially the ones that came much later, get caught up in the eventually crash. An example, is the forex crash in 2017 where the exchange rate crashed from as high as N520 to as low as N400 within a space of one month. A lot of speculators who had bet that the naira will depreciate further and bought at above N500 lost millions of naira in the process.
Buying real estate
I knew some guy who felt the need to acquire landed assets and not lose out in what was called “the new Lagos”. He invested a lot of money buying up lands from land owners and communities without bothering to confirm if the lands in question had legal title. Years later, he found himself fighting with land grabbers and people who also claimed ownership to the land.
Real Estate is a great form of investing but only it is only as great as the title documents attached to it. If you do not have legal ownership to the land as represented by a certificate of occupancy then you are setting yourself up to lose all your investments
Investing in a Ponzi Scheme
Ponzi (Pyramids) Schemes or HYIP (High Yield Investment Programs) are one of the easiest form of making money and also one of the easiest at losing. Most times they are made known to us by friends and family members who may have made massive returns investing in them. Unfortunately, more people lose more money investing in them than they make from them.
They are mostly not backed by any asset or significant investment as such people only make money from them when other contribute. The money contributed by the last to get in is shared by those who contributed before them and so on. The scheme collapses and everyone losses when there are no more contributors. NEVER INVEST IN THESE SCHEMES
Investing money in the wrong fund
Recently, a well-known Discount house collapsed and innocent savers lost money. A lot of the of the victims had invested their savings with a company with a history for delivering good returns. Unfortunately, they believed so much in the Discount House they didn’t bother to diversify their portfolio and instead trusted all their savings with the House.
Most of the money lost to banks and other financial service providers is from investments in Fixed deposits, certificate of deposits, mutual funds etc. Whilst these are all good investment schemes, they carry quite some downside risk that an innocent investor might not know about.
Unlike FGN Bonds and Treasury Bills which are safer and guaranteed by the Government in full, Fixed income securities with Financial Service Providers is only as safe as the solvency of the provider. If the provider goes bust so goes your money. You should hence be careful and scrutinise the provider like you would if you were lending to an individual.
A retired civil servant invested his gratuity and savings in a business he thought was going to earn him a lot of money. Whilst the business was a good one, he unfortunately went in at the wrong time. He didn’t realise a cartel controlled the business and failed to grasp the immense need for good distribution network. By the time his goods arrived, the selling price had crashed 20% below his cost price. By the time he was done selling, he only managed to recover 50% of his investment.
When you invest in the wrong business, you basically have thrown your money away. Before making an investment decision in a business that you either own or don’t own, it is important to conduct proper research, feasibility study and due diligence before investing. Most people who do not end of losing their hard-earned savings.
Owing too much
Most times, people who borrow do so with a mindset of using the money for a purposeful investment. However, when you owe too much there is tendency not to save or invest. It is a vicious cycle that is hard to come out off. Your so-called investment may become a burden as you end up paying back your borrowers leaving you with little or nothing.
A startup in the business in the business of printing and stationery soon faced this problem after they found it hard to balance paying back a loan of N10million and reinvesting in the business at a stage where the business required more time. Soon the business closed shop.
PFAs investment in FGN securities rises by 3.7% in November 2020
RSA registration marginally increased by 0.17% to 9,188,475 as at November 2020.
The Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have increased their investments in Federal Government of Nigeria securities by 3.7% to N8.14 trillion in November 2020.
This is according to recent data from the National Pension Commission (PenCom), which revealed that the amount invested by PFAs on FGN securities including; Bonds, Treasury Bills, etc., increased from N7.85 trillion as of October 2020 to N8.14 trillion by the end of November 2020.
The breakdown of the amount invested on various FGN securities within the period under review are:
- FGN Bonds got the lion’s share of N7.38 trillion as of November 2020, accounting for 90.7% of the total amount invested in FGN securities for the aforementioned month. This indicates a growth of 4.3% Month-on-Month.
- Investment in Sukuk bond increased to N100.07 billion in November 2020, up by +6.9% Month-on-Month.
- Investment in Treasury Bills declined to N642.03 billion, down by -1.7% Month-on-Month.
- Investment in Agency bonds also declined to N6.03 billion, down by 50.9% Month-on-Month.
- Investment in green bonds declined to N11.8 billion, down by 10.6% Month-on-Month.
- Investment in state government securities stood at N150.59 billion, down by 2.5% Month-on-Month.
Upshots: The increased investment in FGN securities by PFAs within the aforementioned period might be attributable to an earlier order by CBN which prohibited PFAs from OMO Auctions. The order redirected the investment focus of most PFAs, with many opting for other low-risk FGN securities, possibly explaining why the increase occurred.
What you should know: Nairametrics had earlier reported that CBN had restricted OMO auctions to banks and foreign investors.
- The Net asset value of all PFAs in the country as of November 2020 stood at N12.3 trillion, marginally up by +1.98% Month-on-Month.
- Total RSA registration for the aforementioned period also increased by 0.17% to 9,188,475.
Nigeria’s pension funds continue to divest from treasury bills
Since the beginning of 2020, pension fund managers have moved out about N1.112 trillion of treasury bills investments into mostly FGN Bonds.
As the low-interest regime that characterized most of 2020 continues with no immediate sign of an increase, pension fund managers have also continued to rid their portfolios of treasury bill investments.
Analysis of the recently released September 2020 edition of Pension Fund assets, by the Pension Commission of Nigeria, PenCom, shows that pension fund managers reallocated their assets away from treasury bills to FGN Bonds.
In the month of September 2020, according to the latest report, pension fund managers closed out of treasury bill positions worth N0.224 trillion while loading up on FGN bonds worth N0.254 trillion. Since the beginning of 2020, pension fund managers have moved out about N1.112 trillion of treasury bills investments into mostly FGN Bonds.
At the beginning of 2020, total pension fund assets invested in treasury bills stood at N1.88 trillion, but that has fallen to N0.78 trillion as at the end of September 2020. Put in another way, as at the end of 2019, 18.4% of pension fund assets were invested in treasury bills but as at September 30, 2020, pension funds’ treasury bill investment stood at 6.7%
Implications for domestic borrowing and monetary policy
Treasury bills serve a whole lot of purposes for the government. They are used as a means for the government to borrow to cover short term budgetary deficits as well as a means for the Central Bank to manage the supply of money and its inflationary effects.
With the increasing and seeming lack of interest by pension fund managers, who, usually are big players in the treasury bill market, the government may find it a bit problematic raising the much-needed domestic borrowing from them.
In like vein, the Central Bank’s ability to implement monetary policies through treasury bills and others, open market operation, may also suffer. May be, fiscal policy may become a more potent instrument of economic management, if that happens.
Nigeria’s Mutual Fund asset value grew by 50% in 2020
2020 appears to be the year with the highest growth in the value of mutual fund assets in Nigeria.
While the year 2020 will go down in the annals of history as one of the worst years in the history of mankind, it was not so bad for the Nigerian mutual fund industry.
Interestingly, 2020 appears to be the year with the highest growth in the value of mutual fund assets in Nigeria.
According to data from the Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, the total value of mutual funds in Nigeria stood at N1.042 trillion as at the end of 2019. The same data source now shows that as at the end of 2020, the net asset value, NAV of Nigerian mutual fund had risen to N1.572 trillion, representing an increase of 50.79%.
A deeper analysis of the industry reveals that in 2020, mutual fund contributions amounted to about N0.903 trillion while redemptions amounted to about N0.42 trillion. The same analysis points to the fact that mutual funds gathered an estimated sum of N46.7 billion in gains.
Compared to 2019, the capital activities, comprising of subscriptions and redemptions were slightly far afield. In 2019, subscriptions stood at N0.52 trillion while redemptions came up to N0.14 trillion, resulting in a net inflow of N0.38 trillion. Net inflows for 2020 stands at N0.483 trillion. Unlike in 2019, when mutual funds made an estimated gain of N9.9 billion, the N46.7 billion made in 2020, makes Corona Virus a non-issue for the industry.
Majority of the funds ended 2020 in the black, as 15, out of the 118 mutual funds on the SEC’s NAV Summary Report. The good thing about it is that no particular fund group dominated in making gains.
Although most of the funds that recorded huge gains came from the Euro Dollar category, Bond and Fixed income funds were not left behind as a whole lot of them stood out with mouth-watering gains. Out of nowhere, Stanbic IBTC Nigeria Equity fund sneaked in with some sizable gains too.
On the downside, the two funds that recorded the greatest losses came from the Real Estate Investment fund category. Apparently, the Real Estate Investment Trust funds have not been doing good. Be that as it may, it is laudable that the Nigerian mutual fund industry stood out in 2020.