An investment analyst, Mr Alhassan Mahama Iddrisu, has warned the public against investments in monetary investments that yield more than five per cent above a prevailing treasury bill rate in the country.
According to him, considering the nature of the economy, treasury bills could only be the safest benchmark for calculating interest on investments adding that “anything above the T bill rate plus five or maximum six is risking your money which you may never recoup”.
Sharing some perspectives with the Daily Graphic on how to safely invest money in the country, Mr Iddrisu, who is also a chartered accountant, said “for a one–year note, the maximum any credible investment institution can quote as interest should be between 20 and 22 per cent at the maximum per annum because the one year-note is about 16 per cent”.
He said should any company quote anything above that rate, there was the need for the potential investor to be cautious because “it will be too risky to be promised above that percentage”.
The caution comes at a time when many customers of investment companies in the country are facing serious challenges of recouping what they invested. In many instances, customers whose investments have matured are being turned away for lack of funds.
Some customers constantly rescheduled whenever they went for their matured investments, a situation which is beginning to send wrong and suspicious signals about the whereabouts of their investments.
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Many of these companies have engaged the services of many unemployed youth in the system who go anywhere and everywhere soliciting funds for the companies they work for in return for high commissions.
Many, including the rich, gullible, knowledgeable, the poor and ignorant have fallen victim to the ‘sweet talk’ of many investment companies all over the country.
Mr Iddrisu said many investment companies that had mushroomed all over the country were running without any proper certification or experience in their area of business.
He said such a phenomenon posed a dangerous risk to investors and noted that there were few questions that potential investors needed to ask before they entrusted their monies with those companies.
Mr Iddrisu said, for instance, that it was necessary for the people who invested with companies to demand regular statements, ensure that the companies had the requisite certification from the appropriate regulator; and also the letterheads of the companies were genuine and had the names of the directors list beneath.
He said due to the exigencies of the time, there was the need for people to conduct some due diligence on the companies they entrusted their funds to and check the backgrounds of the board of directors.
While recognising the harsh economic conditions in the country, he warned that the present situation rather called for people to be extra vigilant and wise to ensure that they protected their monies.
“The economic conditions should make us protect our monies and not chase quick returns which is not realistic”, he cautioned, adding that it was equally necessary for people to live within their means to avoid the temptation of being swindled”.