ABC about Investing and the never ending rat race

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It’s been months since I pulled off my heavy hat which is protection, protection, protection. A friend of mine has just made my day by saying that money has escaped from the economy. ”Pesa imehepa economy’ those were his precise words. That was a tickling realization. Even after expanding working hours with a 24/7 economy things are not quite clear. Leadership jargon calls for current day leaders to put their eyes fixated on certain specific balls. Amassing, Accumulation, Distribution and Retirement. Period. You juggle the wrong balls you get burnt. That explains why it’s taking donkey years to pull off my hat. Seven months old baby Michelle is an unforgiving boss. Dare you go home without two packs of fresh milk. It’s biblical and no man should complain. The day your mum announced the birth of a bouncing baby boy, the leadership yoke was put on your shoulders.’Kaa ngumu’ is all my buddy has to say.

To many people, amassing is easy as it sounds since all it takes is reading hard and passing exams, but problems arise when someone reaches the accumulation stage. Philosophers would term investments as a means to an end but not an end in itself. It has been used for years as a means to accumulating wealth in the attempt of liberating ourselves from our money and letting it work for us. The truth of the matter is that other people (not our money) are the ones who work for us while we relax. Money like machines or donkeys have to be driven in a certain direction. Without the intervention of a human mind, money would remain the way it is. Same position same size.

This it has been explained is the main reason why most people nowadays do not invest at all anymore.They have resigned to fate and manage their recurring bills from one pay month to another. And the number is growing every other day. Probably due to the risk exposure on investments brought about by our loosely designed Lego-investment framework. A sure recipe for the systematic collapse of brokerage firms and investment funds in the recent past. Others have fallen into the awful hands of pseudo investment banks operating in the dubious premise of pyramid schemes offering returns in the ceiling of even 75%. The savior of the day that time was ‘offshore’ accounts. Even if it was a fund buying goats in Embu for resale. Funny enough the returns were guaranteed and they were magical thanks to the first recruits(relatives to scheme owners) who were ambassadors of the magical scheme due to their positive experience with the fund. They invited droves and droves of thirsty and money hungry investors.

Others, the NSE did all the energy damage. NSE could give a young aspiring millionaire enough reason to wail till morning or go without migingo for months. Honestly, value has been wasted in the bourse. My buddy rails at me for speaking like a foreigner to these problems but the honest truth is that we are all burning inside but you cannot make it known to your environment. We are all ‘kaaing ngumu’ till God knows when. ‘Usidhani uko peke yako.”

To others, lack of time, enough money,intuition, patience, mathematical intelligence,negotiation skills, risk appetite, ambition, high demands for money, big goals, did them in. Summarized in one concept called Limitation. That’s why the mention of the words ‘ unsecured loans’ can water mouths enough to fill a town like Lodwar. Members of Equity Bank have the luxury of getting credit as early as 6am. especially during IPO’s. Thanks to their social security system. Intention? To use what you do not have to obtain what you do not own. Borrow KES 2M, make KES 4M, return the KES 2M and walk away with KES 2M. Michael Joseph never made things happen and that’s why there was widespread acrimony. The promise was to happen in a month.

Some other reasons found were previous bad experiences with investment handlers and customer service officials, dwindling hopes of a market rebound, an advisors poor grooming, market analysts who could not foretell markets ever going south.etc.

So what ought to be done to salvage the rather lopsided investment environment. Life coaches advise us to keep jumping till we get out of the hole we are in. No matter the size, our legs will one day master enough stamina to get us out of the hole. Mind you investors have ravenously mopped up the 15b 10 year Kengen Public Infrastructure Bond Offer. Currency to chase the 12.5% p.a simple interest being offered. That explains why money has ‘hepad’ the economy. Such guys are no longer buying cars, clothes, beer from your shop so as to gather the 12.5% first. Investment priorities of some sorts.

Could it be that the reasons that influence how you chose where to invest are your worst enemy? Do you invest in order to outpace the current inflation rates, pay recurring bills and stay liquid till retirement? Do you often have surpluses monthly and any place that offers high return is investment home for you? Do you wait for TV adverts to jolt you into investments? Do you fear running out of money in old age and hence despise low but guaranteed returns? Do you loathe the reality of having to depend on your children for financial support in old age?Do you get investment psyche after reading a R. Kiyosaki series, listening to an investment analyst, reading articles, an investment journal, or after attending an investment seminar? Does color in an investment brand inspire you? Red colour warms up emotions in ladies and blue color brings out the assurance of reliability in a company’s services and promises. Are you late in the investment life cycle such that investing is a must for you? Have you just found a new pass time at the NSE after quitting the bottle? Do you require high returns in order to stay afloat? A yes answer to the first question at the beginning of this paragraph sums it all. That’s the ultimate reason for investing. D not buy IPO shares just because all your colleagues have turned it the staffroom pass time in your school.

Anyway life has to continue. Broken strings do not mean broken music……even if you are down to one string, music can still come out of you. Minimum but guaranteed returns are what the market is offering currently. Use them to bounce back to reality. There is a Kikuyu song that goes”Things will get better for those who believe.”

What is your opinion on the topic?
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