How To Multiply Your Money Like a Sing’anga (African Wizard)

As recent headlines in Malawi may show, some people with all their faculties intact believe that you can use “magic” to make money. To be honest, what do I know? Very little, to be frank. Maybe it’s working for somebody somewhere. Unfortunately, one such individual (allegedly) managed to get swindled out of 317 Million Kwacha (about US $ 432,000). I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of things, you never know. However, if you want to, you can read the news story here.

Anyway, I digressed. Back to the topic: it seems strange that often times people with great ideas aren’t always the people with great money. If I had a relative that had 317 Million Kwacha and wanted to try “magic” to multiply it, I would sit them down and gently suggest that instead they try other ways of multiplying money.

Granted, I can see my imaginary rich relative’s disbelief in my reasoning. Let’s call her, Auntie Bernadette. She would disbelieve that I could tell her anything worth listening too regarding spending that amount of money, after all, I’ve never made that kind of money — therefore what could I possibly tell her. However, I suspect, underlying that, would be the following concerns:

  1. Time for acquiring returns on investments
  2. Size of Investments
  3. Risk associated with said investments
  4. Ease of Managing said investment
  5. Ease of Liquidating such investments

I’m no guru and just to cover my bases please note: I am no financial adviser either: these are simply my thoughts as an adventurous Malawian entrepreneur — seek actual financial advice if you need it. Back to my imaginary Auntie Bernie. These are the suggestions I would give her for her almost half a million US dollars:

Money Multipliers:

1. Invest in Publicly Trading Stocks (on the Malawi Stock Exchange)

2. Land, partially develop and sell

3. Invest in SACCOs

4. Invest in Private Businesses (Start-Ups)

5. Money Market

6. Bitcoin

1. Invest in Publicly Trading Stocks (on the Malawi Stock Exchange)

The Malawi Stock Exchange has less than 15 publicly trading companies listed on it. The value of stocks does not jump erratically. However, for people like me and my auntie, the fact that it is very slow moving means it’s a great place to stow away our money and let it grow. I would compare this to trying to grow an oak tree from seed. It’s going to take a number of years to have a mighty oak. The good thing is you can always liquidate whenever you are ready. I’ve personally noted this to be a genius method for saving for retirement (if you’ve got a good 20 plus years until then). Additionally, if you are self-employed like me, this makes for a worthy retirement package. How does Auntie make her money? The increase of the value of the stocks she purchases and dividends (yearly and half-yearly) that are remitted to the stock owner. I wouldn’t suggest she does any intricate trading, in fact, I would suggest she uses a brokerage firm that would walk her through the whole purpose and trade on her behalf for a reasonable fee. Though there’s a company I use, I would suggest she does her own shopping around and refer her to the article that I used myself when I was trying to figure things out. It’s very helpful and gives a step by step approach to it: here.

I would also suggest she thinks carefully about which sector and specific businesses she would want to purchase stocks of listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange . I personally risk peanuts but my go-to sectors for her would be: finance, telecommunications, tourism and one specific commodity. Let’s look at these further, even-though I skim through the financial statements they send (there’s not a lot of pictures ;) ):

Finance:

Since Malawi is underbanked (as of 2016, 81% of her people do not use formal financial services, according to Times Malawi ), and addressing this market seems to be an emphasis for Malawi’s development partners and the financing institutions, my top recommendations would be: National Bank of Malawi and FMB (FMBcapital — which was registered for their international expansion).

Tourism:

In addition, Malawi’s tourism industry is not doing half bad with Prince Harry’s trips and it featuring on their honeymoon itinerary, international festivals, and other attractions. So, Auntie would have been advised to invest a percentage of her hopefully hard-earned money in the following in the likes of Sunbird. However, not to embarrass myself too much, I did a little research and found that not much was mentioned on its performance here .

Telecoms & Commodities:

Sugar. Sugar. Sugar. I once saw an in-flight magazine article that stated that Illovo is one of Africa’s 100 best-performing businesses. That’s outstanding from a continental perspective.

In addition, worth noting is Press Corporation Limited which also invests in several telecommunication companies (including MTL). I am particularly impressed with the value of these shares. In May 2016 I bought just 100 shares at MWK535 per share. As of today (21st June 2018) each share is now MWK 772. Now if this isn’t worthy — low-risk witchcraft, well then I don’t know what is. This would be great for Aunt Bernie and her 317 Million kwacha investment. .

For this blog, I’ll have to stop here. The other investment opportunities that I did not look at might be further explored later. I’m not going to lie: it depends if enough people say they want to read the rest. Again, here they are:

2. Land, partially develop and sell3. Invest in SACCOs4. Invest in Private Businesses (Start-Ups)5. Money Market6. Bitcoin

Thank you for reading. I could be wrong. Please: teach me and my fellow entrepreneurs at Afrineur. Like I said: we want to learn. Leave a comment/thought below. (If you are investor or veteran entrepreneur, we would love to have you on our upcoming podcast or vlog.

Want to discover more about Maclean Mbepula? Find her on Linkedin or here on Medium. She’s written 3 books (one in entrepreneurship from a grassroots perspective (“Challenge Accepted) and 2 poetry books which are available for purchase on Amazon or you can sign up and get the kindle versions 100% FREE.

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.

Author. Tech-Entrepreneur. Web Designer, Artist / Creative/ Poet. Stand-Up Comedian. Founder of Afrineur, Creative Africa Space & Shekinah Invest. ENFP. :)