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How do I invest N10,000?

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I’m a young lady. I have only N10,000, but I’m not aware of any investment that will accept such a small amount. I’d like to know of an investment I can venture into instead of just saving it.
Thank you for your response.
Sarah.

Dear Sarah,
I am very pleased that you are taking steps to grow your wealth by investing. Many people believe that they can’t invest with small sums and sadly they allow that to keep them from investing. Here are a few things to think about before you start to invest.

Your debt should be under control. If you have outstanding debt, you do need to take steps to at least reduce it. It is also important to have an emergency fund of about 6 months of your income readily available in an easily accessible account such as a savings account. This ensures that if you need money urgently, you will not be forced to sell your investment to meet pressing obligations. Ideally, you should have addressed your debt, and have emergency savings in place before you start to invest for the long term.

Investing for the future when you are so young gives you a great advantage – time! It is also one of the most important aspects of successful long term investing. For a new investor such as yourself, a mutual fund is a good place to start as the minimum entry point is N5,000 for some institutions. Mutual funds are investment securities that pool funds to invest in a portfolio of stocks and bonds etc. Here are some benefits of mutual funds:

Professional management
Most of us do not have the time or inclination to build an investment portfolio. Investing in mutual funds is easy is because they’re professionally managed. Rather than researching, analysing, buying and selling stocks or bonds yourself, a skilled asset manager is doing it all for you.

Diversification
One of the most important tenets of investing is diversification. To diversify means to spread market risk by holding a variety of several different securities in your portfolio. When investors buy shares of mutual funds, they’re pooling their funds; fund managers use the pool of funds to buy the stocks, bond and other securities across sectors that form the portfolio.

Variety
Investment objectives are unique to every investor and there are several categories of funds that suit various investment needs. There are money market funds, bond funds, stock or equity funds, as well as balanced funds. You can, thus, buy one or more mutual funds that are aligned with your objectives. The fund manager will look at your risk tolerance, and your obligations in determining the most appropriate fund for you.

Invest regularly
Investing is one of the best ways to create wealth and become financially independent. Although it may seem challenging at first, a strategy of investing small amounts regularly can eventually lead to significant growth due to the power of compounding. Don’t make this a one-off investment; if you are able to automate your savings by setting up a direct debit for an amount that you can afford each month, you will be surprised by what you can achieve over time.

As your mutual fund investment grows, so will your investment options. You will eventually be able to invest in a variety of funds, as well as individual stocks and other asset classes. The key to investing is having a strategy in mind with clear goals, discipline and consistency. Start small and commit to grow your investment periodically. A word of caution; all investments come with varying degrees of risk. Seek professional advice so the most appropriate choices can be made for you.


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