Category Archives: Personal Finance

The African Real Estate Evolves and Becomes More Liquid

For the past few years, capital investors in the African real estate had been attracted by Central and Eastern Europe, but as the potential for further growth and earnings continues to slow, investing closer to home seems to become a much better opportunity.

real estate in Africa

Source: pixabay.com

Well-known listed funds and investors involved in major deals

During the first two quarters of 2019, there were at least ten significant transactions in excess of more than half a billion dollars across multiple sectors of the Africa Property Investments. According to Real estate expert Ofir Eyal Bar, also actively investing in the South African markets, major developments can be spotted in the region:

“The involvement of well-known listed funds and global investors shows that the African real estate market continues to evolve and becomes more liquid, which is a major sign of development.”

Among the most popular names involved in major deals, we should mention Centum Real Estate, Nedbank, Standard Bank, Growthpoint Investec African Properties Investment Fund (GIAPF), and Grit Real Estate Income Group, among others.

Between October 2nd and 3rd, the 10th annual Africa Property Investment Summit took place in Johannesburg and gathered well-known capital investors in the African real estate. Multiple senior investment officers, real estate agents, CEOs, and other important figures had attended the event, in a time when major stakeholders had been more active in the first half of 2019 than in the previous two years combined.

Real estate opportunities in Africa

With rapid urbanization, a rapidly growing middle-class and thus a wealthier population, business, re-location and travel to Africa for business or tourism purposes, the demand for new modern offices, hotels and retail malls continues to go up.

Although the development is not even across all Africa, the appetite for developers and lenders continues to become broader. Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya are some active jurisdictions, with the majority of the big real estate projects focused around important urban centers (Lagos, Accra, Nairobi, etc.).

The expansion of the population in Africa had pushed big local retailers like Shoprite, Game, or Pick’n Pay, to begin a major extension of their operation across the entire continent, building shops, warehouses, offices, and other major real estate projects. There’s a growing interest from international retailers like Walmart, Zara, and Topshop to continue their expansion in Africa.

Overseas travel to Africa had further aggravated the imbalance between supply and demand for luxury hotels. The African hotels’ development is considered to be one of the fastest in the world, with big players like Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Marriott International and others, targeting aggressively the big urban centers.

Like any other real estate market, Africa does have some major challenges which investors must face. According to ipe.com, the lack of transparency, poor infrastructure, political risks, cost control, the difficulty in obtaining permits and approvals, and currency risks are the most important issues. Future revenue projections for real estate developments are unsustainable due to a lack of investments in major infrastructure and power projects.

Luckily, real estate financing across sub-Saharan countries is generally dollar-denominated, which means international lenders can rest assured that facilities are dominated in dollars and there’s the ability to repatriate loaned amounts.

Summary

Favored by high yields and positive economic growth projections, African real estate continues to be appealing among developers and lenders. As we’ve seen, there are some major hurdles that need to be dealt with carefully, but the opportunity to generate substantial returns is present. With well-established developers like Atterbury, RMB Westport, and Actis, as well as increasing interest from international banks and financial institutions, the near future seems to be poised for growth in the real estate sector. Patience, careful planning, due diligence, and sensitivity to cost pressures, should suffice to overcome all challenges and profit from Africa’s potential.

What should you know about retirement stocks?

The phase of our lives when we are old should be free financial pressure and that is why a question that arises among people is how someone should invest in the long run in order to keep its savings safe and also generating returns. How ordinary people invest should be put into question since most of the time they do not manage to achieve the desired results.

With that being the case, in this material, we will give some hints on how someone should determine whether a particular stock should be a good investment for retirement.

Long-term investments

When it comes to long-term investment it cannot be treated like online trading. You are not constantly buying and selling things, so a different approach is required.

One of the first things to consider when picking up retirement stocks is to look after those companies that have the following characteristics:

  • They are the biggest in the sector of activity (the so-called“blue chips”);
  • They have a measurable performance in the past (you can notice that the way stock performance, in the long run, has a certain repetitive structure);
  • The culture of the company is focused on growth and constant improvement.

You must understand that when it comes to retirement stocks you are trying to aim a return of a few percentage points per year.

Diversification

In order to spread the risk across a handful of assets, you should not focus on just a single stock. Try to find at least five and if you have a bigger budget, you can expand your holdings to other asset classes, as well.

Monitor on a constant basis

Simply buying those stocks without constantly monitoring them won’t be enough. You should be updated with all the news related to those companies you have invested in. We know that some of you have jobs and might find it difficult to allocate time for this activity.

Do it at least on a quarterly basis, if you can’t once a month. Your portfolio should not be fixed and any time you notice something is wrong with one of your holding, shifting to other stocks could be the best decision.

Although you might work in other areas, keep in mind that a little economical background (which can be acquired without going to college) is necessary, so make sure to dedicate yourself as much as you can so you will learn all you need about stocks.

 

Beginners Guide to Online Trading

It is a fact that online trading could be a good investment opportunity, but in order to be successful in this field you have to do a lot of work. However, we do not want to start heavy on you and also, this material is designed for those who are at the beginning and are just starting to learn about online trading.

Without further a due let’s start and talk about some of the things you need to do as a beginner.

#1 Start with your mind

Education is the most important thing in online trading and most of the traders out there fail to understand that. Your mindset and the way you think will have a huge impact on the results you will have. And because of that, you must begin by laying a good foundation in the journey of online trading.

Try to understand yourself and decide what particular markets you would like to trade. Maybe you like the forex market, or the stock market, or the commodities markets etc.

#2 Master the art of technical analysis

If you want to be an online trader, understanding price movements using technical analysis is one of the most crucial skills you will need. There any many ways you could use it. Since you are at the beginning with online trading, price indicators are a good start. Bollinger Bands, Fibonacci levels, moving averages, etc. are all tools that can work in any type of market with proper education.

#3 A deeper understanding of the fundamentals

Economics are influencing the markets and thus you will need to master fundamental analysis. Each type of market has a certain set of indicators and you need to spot, understand, and monitor them on a constant basis in order to be able to anticipate the market moves.

You must be fully aware that the economic calendar affects your strategy and by ignoring the fundamentals you are going to face some unwanted situations.

#4 All about the mathematics

If you are interested in online trading you must also understand this is risky. Since you are dealing with risk, you must also be aware of some risk management principles that are crucial for your long-term performance.

By understanding the mathematics in the process of trading you can take measures and be proactive in order to avoid losses and keeping you capital safe in the long run.

How to Invest Online

Online trading is the most popular form of investing, and provides you with the fastest and most reliable way to execute your trade.  If you are old school and want to call your broker to place a trade, it will likely cost you more and it will definitely take more time.  Wait time for popular brokers can be 5-15 minutes, where online orders can be executed in seconds.  Here are some of the steps you need to take as you begin online investing.

Opening your account

  • You will need to register, supplying information such as your name, email, and phone number. In some cases you will need to supply your address, proof of address or even your social security or national identification number
  • Many brokers want to know about your trading experience to determine what types of products you are eligible to trade. Many reputable brokers want to avoid providing customers with tools that will allow that to lose all their capital.
  • Once you are registered, you need to fund your account. There are several ways to fund your account including a bank wire, a check, a debit card or even a credit card. This will depend on your domicile. For example, in the U.S. you cannot fund your account with a credit card.

Evaluating Trading Tools

Once you open your trading account, it’s important to evaluate the tools that are available to help you make your trading decision.  This could include evaluating the charting and graphical packages that your broker has available. In addition, many reputable brokers supply clients with economic research including a financial calendar that shows all the different important data points that will be released during the week or the month.

You also want to see if your broker has an education section. Here you might be able to find many different trading strategies and how to use them.  Check to see if your broker offers technical analysis tools and an explanation on how to use these tools to enhance your trading. Your broker might also offer news and analysis. The more information you know the better your trading decision will be.

Order Execution

Each broker will have a different trading platform. Before you risk real capital, make sure you understand how trades are executed.  Many brokers have demo accounts that allow you to execute traders without risking real capital. If your broker has this capability, give it a try so you become familiar with executing a trade. There is no harm with making a mistake with demonstration money.

If you plan on using your broker’s trading app platform, make sure you also take this for a test drive before you execute a trade. If you are on the go, you want to make sure that you can see your balances and position on all platforms offered by your broker. For example, the trades you make on your PC should show up on your mobile device.

Summary

Trading online is the most efficient and cost effective way to execute a transaction. After you register you should evaluate the trading platform before you deposit capital.  Test drive all the platforms you plan on using to make sure you understand all of the nuances of your brokers trading platform.