For many would-be investors, the question of how to invest in Nigerian mutual funds still presents a very daunting challenge. As part of our process to provide tangible value for our customers, we had a tweet chat with Kalu Aja. Kalu is the CEO of AfriSwiss Capital Assets Management Limited.
Kalu is quite popular in the financial space being a leading voice in areas of financial planning and personal wealth management. This blog post is a summary of his experience with mutual funds. The following statements highlight questions we asked about his experience with investing in Nigerian mutual funds. You’d love his brilliant answers!
You’re quite popular in this space, but we’d love you to share something many of us don’t know about you.
I’m a Chelsea and Enyimba fan and I have visited all 36 states in Nigeria.
That’s quite an interesting mix! How would you describe mutual funds in simple English?
Mutual funds are pooled investments managed by a professional asset manager.
Apt! When did you first try out mutual funds?
A long time ago, in the early 2000s (yes!) and the fund is still existing.
You’ve been in the game for long! Can you share any notable lessons from your first experience?
Yes, quite a while. A few lessons I’ve learnt:
- I should have set up a direct deposit to invest periodically and buy more units.
- I should have bought more units when the markets ‘crashed’. I separated value from price; when markets crash, usually the price not value drops thus buying more means I buy value stocks in the fund at lower unit prices.
- Naira cost averaging is buying every month a great investment whatever happens to the price.
Amazing breakdown. What would you describe as your big investment goal with mutual funds?
My big investment goal is saving for retirement. I want to grow my passive income. Retirement is not an age, it’s when your passive income exceeds your necessary expenses. Mutual funds are a means to take my active income and convert it to passive income. Passive income is money earned with little or no effort.
Sounds like a goal everyone should have. We love it! What is your investing strategy for mutual funds?
- Get a clear objective.
- Research for a fund that meets that objective. There are lots of funds that set out to achieve different objectives.
- Start investing with a set direct debit plan.
- Reinvest dividends.
Really smooth! Now, what would you describe as the biggest hurdles faced by the everyday person who wants to invest in mutual funds?
There are a lot of hurdles that exist for individual investors from a lack of financial knowledge, no access to financial markets and stockbrokers to irresponsible fund managers that unnecessarily buy and sell investments they manage to ‘churn’ holdings and incur expenses.
Well said! What solutions would you suggest?
- Increase your knowledge and interest by studying investments.
- Technology means you can buy assets without physically seeing a stockbroker, I know a great app called Cowrywise.
- Attend AGM of funds, ask questions, ask what is ‘expense ratio of the fund’.
Don’t ignore investing because of it’s just 1 Naira. Start early, invest consistently and watch inflation.
What has your experience with mutual funds been like? Share your lessons and hurdles with us and suggest your solutions!
Cowrywise helps you invest in mutual funds with as low as NGN1000 and we provide a fine mix anyone can choose from.