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5 key steps to a successful investment journey

A great place to start as an investor is with the i-invest App.

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5 key steps to a successful investment journey

Becoming a successful investor doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and effort to learn the ins and outs of the investment world. Your personality as an investor also plays a major role as you have to be patient because any good investment takes time.

In this article, we would guide you through 5 key steps to note in your investment journey and tell you what exactly you should look out for along the way.

1. Understand that this is a journey

As any good investor will tell you, to be successful in investing you have to understand that it is a journey and not a one-time event. You need to be in the right mind frame to prepare yourself for the long term and know exactly where you are headed i.e. your destination. This will help you plan your investment journey accordingly. For instance, when are you looking at retiring? 20 or 30 years from now? When you are 60? How much money do you need to have to make? You need to ask yourself these questions and know the answers. This will help come up with a well-detailed plan for your investment goals.

READ ALSO: Fresh out of YCombinator, CowryWise launches iOS app

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2. Know the market and what works

Investing is a combination of different things; knowledge of the market, financial fundamentals and qualitative factors. The great thing is that we live in the tech age and you have unlimited access to investment guides and resources on the internet that explain high-level finance ideas in a way that is easy to understand. So it is very important that you read books, take an investment course or two and understand the modern financial market and topics such as portfolio optimization, diversification, and market efficiency. Once you know what works in the market, you can come up with simple rules that work for you and guide your investment efforts.

3. Be willing to learn

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Predicting the market is an impossible task, it can be hard because of a single certainty, it mostly proves to be volatile. But this shouldn’t deter you from it. The investment journey is often more than not, a long one and learning to become a successful investor is a gradual process. Sometimes your predictions about the market will be wrong but instead of dwelling on it, acknowledge it and learn from your mistakes. A successful investor is one that always keeps an open mind to learning.

READ ALSO: 10 Actions That Can Make You a Succesful Investor

4. Be in It for the long term

When most people hear ‘long term’ they get discouraged. Any good investor understands that investing isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ scheme and would tell you Rome wasn’t built in a day. Understand that your chances of success will increase if you are in it for the long haul and you stick with an optimal long-term strategy. It may not be the most exciting investment choice but remember you have a goal and it is important to stay on course without letting your emotions get in the way.

5. Get on the right investment path

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Your personality, access to resources and level of knowledge should determine your choice. It is important that as an investor, you do not put all your eggs in one basket. The keyway of investing is to diversify your portfolio and make tactical decisions. The most successful investors usually start with low-risk diversified portfolios and gradually grow by learning from their doing and actions. As investors gain greater knowledge over time, they become better suited to taking a more active stance in their portfolios.

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READ MORE: Tips to help you launch your own business in 2020 (Part 2)

 

A great place to start as an investor is with the i-invest App. An investment application that enables you to securely purchase and manage Treasury Bills, Eurobonds and Equities from your mobile device. This is a great option for you as you are always on-the-go and can monitor your portfolio 24/7 right from your mobile device.

READ ALSO: Gold futures reach two-months high over rising COVID-19 cases  

The mobile app broadens the choice of money market products available to new and experienced retail investors. Potential investors require only a smartphone with which they can download the i-invest app. The app eliminates entry barriers such as lack of education and information to make smart investment decisions as the app guides users all through their investment journey, enabling them to trade from the comfort of their homes like professionals. You also get to choose from three investment options which are Treasury Bills issued by the Federal Government making them low-risk, Eurobonds issued by foreign governments, companies, and international organizations and Equities from top traded Nigerian companies.

What makes the I-invest app functional by anyone is that irrespective of the financial institution they bank with, they can access the product offerings. More so, the app is risk-free and super secure as it is directly regulated by the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Additionally, the BVN and bank account details provided at the initial registration, seal off any possible security breach. Users can monitor their money or investment at all times to ensure that nothing is lost.

The I-invest app is available for download on iOS and Google Play stores and you and can learn more about i-invest on https://i-investng.com/.

Whether you are just getting started or want to improve your skills, i-invest is the way to go as it guides all investors irrespective of their level of skills.

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ICIT Solutions Nigeria builds 9Business Cloud Market in partnership with Microsoft, 9Mobile

ICIT Solutions Nigeria has announced a partnership with 9Mobile to launch 9Business Cloud.

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ICIT Solutions Nigeria, a business technology solutions provider and tier-one Microsoft partner, has announced a partnership with 9Mobile to launch 9Business Cloud, a top-notch e-commerce platform where all cloud-based software packages can be purchased. The cloud storage business platform is designed to enhance enterprise productivity in the fast-growing Nigerian market.

ICIT (Internet, Communications & IT Solutions) headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, is an experienced information technology solutions service provider with commitment to efficiently empower businesses to achieve more with less using automation. ICIT, provides both SMEs and Enterprise level businesses with affordable and trusted managed IT services and business process automation solutions to help them operate effectively. The company’s primary goal is to help clients build systems where business productivity is optimized, profitability is increased, and peace of mind is guaranteed.

Mr. Kamar Oyenuga, Managing Director, ICIT Solutions Limited noted that, “We are excited to announce our partnership with 9Mobilie Nigeria to launch this first-in-class cloud solutions e-commerce platform 9Business Cloud for organizations of all sizes. Whether you are an organization of 1 or 10,000 employees, we have something for you to enable you manage and run your business from anywhere.”

Kamar in his statement mentioned that, “the 9business platform https://cloudbusiness.9mobile.com.ng/, caters to anyone, whether a 9Mobile subscriber or not, looking to purchase cloud-based products and solutions. The 9Business Cloud market place has affordable software products like Microsoft 365 which helps you to run your business from everywhere in a cost-effective manner, Microsoft teams for improved productivity and employee collaboration, One Note, One Drive for data and file storage online with up to 1TB worth space. Also available are SharePoint, Dynamics 365 for customer engagement and personalized service on any channel, recruitment, employee development, financial management, improved customer experiences, and improved marketing, and many more.”

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He further stressed that, “This is an innovative way for modern businesses to cut-away unnecessary cost while also achieving optimal results for a more sustainable business operation. It’s simple, quick, secure, stress-free and affordable. Having identified that the core need of any organization is to ensure that every stakeholder has peace of mind which emanates from the profitability of the company, ICIT Solutions has positioned its offerings to support such businesses that aim to attain profitability that will in turn, increase their value.”

For over a decade, ICIT Solution has been creating sustainable and highly secured automated business solutions for companies, by engaging the businesses to understand their processes and help them break processes to measurable workflows that are automatable with the necessary support. It’s services include delivering End to End intelligent Managed IT services, fully-fledged business automation process support like software license sales and renewals, design and customization of process flows that will efficiently empower businesses to achieve more, data migration and protection, staff training and support and much more. It has also brought great value to the cloud solution offerings of 9mobile Telecommunication in Nigeria.

For more information, visit icit.ng today.

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COVID-19’s impact on cybersecurity and securing the remote workforce

Examining current cybersecurity challenges due to this pandemic as well as tips and recommendations on how to address them.

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We live in exciting times, COVID-19 has taken the world by storm, and as part of efforts to curb the spread of the disease, the pandemic has forced organisations to adapt to working remotely quickly.

Currently, working from home has become a new reality for organisations and their employees. As convenient as this may sound, it is fraught with its challenges.

From a cybersecurity perspective, working from home presents significant risks to organisations because cybercriminals around the world are capitalising on this crisis, and that makes the need to secure the remote workforce an ever-growing concern.

Since the outbreak began, there have been spikes in cyber-attacks as cybercriminals are using COVID-19 as bait to trap organisations and their employees.

To avoid falling victim, organisations must address these challenges without introducing new flaws by implementing and evaluating cybersecurity safeguards/controls.

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In this article, we will be talking about some current cybersecurity challenges due to this pandemic as well as tips and recommendations on how to address them.

Phishing

Phishing is a cybercrime, with phishing, targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, credit card details and passwords. Cybercriminals know we desire more information at this time, and they are using that as bait to get people to click on malicious links via emails and text messages.

These messages often have an appearance of legitimacy and designed this way to pull you in, getting you to click on links that redirect you to malware-infested sites that could steal your personal information, money, or both.

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There have been numerous cases of criminals targeting governments and organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO reports a fivefold increase in cyberattacks directed at its staff and email scams targeting the public at large.

In another scenario, due to shortage of health-care-related products such as PPEs, test kits and ventilators, cybercriminals have impersonated sellers and manufacturers of such products and duped not just people and organisations, but also States, out of millions of dollars.

Business Email Compromise (BEC), a specialist type of phishing attack is becoming increasingly prevalent too. BEC attacks are designed to impersonate senior executives and trick employees, customers, or vendors into wiring payment for goods or services to alternate bank accounts.

How can you protect yourself? Here are five things you can do:

  1. Always verify the source of the message – never swallow anything hook, line and sinker. Pay attention to spellings or grammatical errors in emails or text messages.
  2. Never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for personal or financial details.
  3. When entering sensitive information on a website, always verify that you are on a secure and legitimate website. A quick tip is to look out for the lock icon in your browser when you need to enter login details or other sensitive information such as your debit card details.
  4. Do not click on links from sources you do not know. Act by reporting them. Email service platforms such as Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Outlook, give you the ability to report phishing emails, this helps to protect other users from spam and abuse.
  5. Question everything. Always remember the adage, “if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”

The Not-As-Secure Home Environment

As mentioned earlier, one of the fallouts of the pandemic is the shift from traditional working models to remote working. This has led to many individuals using their personal computers to conduct business and carry out work-related duties. These computers might not have up-to-date operating system patches or useful antivirus software, and attackers can easily exploit these vulnerabilities.

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It is essential organisations get employees on approved and secure devices to protect not only themselves but also the firm. Also, it is vital to know that while employees work remotely, they are not behind the typical corporate security perimeter. They are not protected by firewalls, no intrusion detection or prevention systems, no proxies etc. and with employees connecting directly to the internet with personal modems and routers, their visibility to attackers increases.

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What can be done to prevent this?

  1. Always ensure your operating system and security software is up-to-date with the most recent patches.
  2. Avoid free, unsecured, public WiFi.
  3. If you must connect remotely to your organisation’s network, maybe to login to a corporate application, use a VPN. It reduces your visibility on the internet by creating a safe and encrypted connection known as a tunnel.
  4. Use Multi-factor authentication. Authentication deals with validating the identity of individuals. It requires users to prove they are who they claim to be. There are three factors of authentication: the knowledge factor or something you know such as passwords, the possession factor or something you have such as tokens, access cards, keys and the inherence factor or something you are such as biometrics – fingerprints, retina.

Consequently, when we talk about multifactor authentication, the idea is having at least two of these factors present when proving your identity to a system. Use cases when logging into emails, corporate applications, and internet banking platforms.

Cyberattacks are nothing new, but in recent times, they have increased in frequency and magnitude. Cybercriminals are not letting this crisis go to waste, and they are working overtime, so organisations must take steps to protect themselves.

Governance and risk management functions must conduct and drive comprehensive risk assessments and business impact analysis for critical functions and processes within the organisation.

Policies around information security, cybersecurity and acceptable use of devices should be up-to-date and disseminated to all employees.

Organisations should test and update their cyber incident response, business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Operating system updates and security software patches must be mandatory.

Critical systems such as servers, core business applications should be monitored. Logs and security events from such systems should be reviewed daily. This will help to identify anomalies or suspicious activities quickly.

Finally, do not forget your people. Humans are the weakest link in the security chain. It does not matter if you have the best technology or the most efficient processes. If your people are not informed, they put the entire organisation at risk.

Now is not the time to cut down on information and cybersecurity training and awareness. Learning interventions such as videos, newsletters, pictures, even games and quizzes go a long way in building a security-conscious culture in an organisation.

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These recommendations if implemented, can strengthen the security posture of your enterprise, enabling you to build and maintain a cyber-resilient one.

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Stanbic IBTC educates preteens, teenagers on financial literacy

With the initiative, Stanbic IBTC aims to improve and deepen the financial knowledge of Nigerian children.

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In a bid to increase financial literacy amongst the younger generation, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, recently held virtual sessions to educate preteens and teenagers on how to develop a savings and investment culture.

Through its New School Money Initiative, the organisation aims to improve and deepen the financial knowledge of Nigerian children. This year’s event which was held virtually, is the fourth in its series and was themed “The Art of Money: Earn, Save and Invest”.

Representatives from Stanbic IBTC shed more light on subjects to distinguish between wants and needs, assets and liabilities as well as the importance of making the right financial decisions. These were communicated using simple relatable videos and illustrations.

The wealth certified professionals demonstrated different ways of achieving financial goals and meeting unexpected needs such as emergency savings, budgeting and investing, amongst others.

A total of 703 participants attended the sessions in the three age categories. 53 wealth facilitators selected across the group from various regions of operations also delivered to the exciting sessions cut across 18 virtual classrooms. Interactions recorded through the sessions were a total of 2,166 comments.

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Obinna Lewis-Asonye, Zonal Head, Micro Pension and Agency, Stanbic IBTC Pensions Managers, who anchored one of the sessions, emphasised that earning money is the first step towards financial freedom, followed by budgeting and investing.

He stressed that participants should inculcate a savings plan to enable them to keep their money safe while it grows with interest. He said: “To get more money, you must limit your withdrawal so that your interest can grow.”

Other representatives of Stanbic IBTC emphasised the need to cultivate the habit of saving and investing as a guarantee towards becoming financially independent. According to them, it is important to consider the kind of investments that suits your needs, be it long, medium, or short time. They added that a better future is assured by investing in government bonds, treasury bills, mutual funds and commercial papers, amongst others.

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The hosts described the initiative as essential in imparting financial education in the younger generation while strengthening their financial management skills and enhancing their understanding of financial matters. They further encouraged Nigerian children to engage in meaningful ventures to generate income as a first step towards making money.

150 winners emerged across the sessions from the various tasks which were completed and were all awarded with Stanbic IBTC Mutual Funds as prizes.

Speaking on the continuity of the initiative, Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami, Head, Marketing and Communications, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, said that the session will be an annual event as part of the organisation’s goal to continually increase the number of financial literate individuals across the country.

Oyefeso-Odusami highlighted the importance of the initiative, noting that financial literacy should begin from an early stage for easy attainment of financial freedom.

She emphasised the importance of the customers’ journey with respect to the offerings of the organisation being an end-to-end financial services provider.

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“One way to build a well-rounded adult is to catch them young. If we can inculcate financial literacy and investment culture into these young ones, we know that we will have financially enlightened adults tomorrow. At Stanbic IBTC, we want a future filled with smart, intelligent and financially enlightened leaders, hence we took this initiative,” she added.

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