Before I proceed with the list, please permit me to stress that this is not an investment advice and I have not been paid by any of the of providers mentioned here to write about them. The information I give is a product of my experience as a small investor in Nigeria.
Every investment comes with some measures of risk. Even those described as riskless investments like Treasuries, there is the risk of inflation that can make a mess of your returns.
So it is important that you conduct your own due diligence before investing your money in any financial product or business.
If possible seek the help of a professional adviser. This may be an accountant, a lawyer, a stockbroker, or financial adviser.
Best Investment Options in Nigeria
#1 FGN Bonds
Government Bonds offer the best investment options for people who seek security and safety of their money while creating enduring wealth.
The Debt Management Office issues FGN Bonds in Nigeria on behalf of the Federal Government. The tenor of FGN bonds is long and range from 2 to 20 years.
The government issues the bonds to raise money to finance projects such as roads, railways, housing, power, and other infrastructures, etc.
Minimum subscription to FGN Bonds is usually NGN10,000 and multiples of NGN1,000 thereafter.
Interest is paid semi-annually until maturity date when the principal is paid. An investor who does not want to wait till maturity can sell the investment at the secondary market.
The secondary market for bonds in Nigeria is the FMDQ OTC platforms and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
DMO does primary auctions for FGN Bonds on a monthly basis while the secondary trading takes place on a daily basis.
To invest in the FGN Bonds, contact your stockbroker for guidance.
#2FGN Savings Bonds
The Federal Government of Nigeria launched the FGN Savings Bonds in 2016. The FGN Savings Bond is a retail investment programme. Its purpose is to provide Nigerians of all income levels the opportunity of contributing to national development by lending to the government.
It is also intended to make savings attractive to the average Nigerian.
Minimum amount you can invest is NGN5,000 and maximum is NGN50,000,000. FGN Savings Bond tenor ranges from two to three years and primary auctions are conducted on monthly basis.
Like the FGN Bonds, there is a secondary market for Savings Bonds at the Nigerian Stock Exchange which means that if you don’t wish to hold to maturity, you can exit by selling at the NSE.
FGN Savings Bonds is one of the best investment options for low income earners who want to build wealth over time with a good measure of safety and by earning reasonable returns on their investments.
Interest payable ranges from 11 to 13% which is far above what you can get from a regular savings account in a commercial bank in Nigeria. This is tax-free and the bonds can be used as collateral to obtain loans from the banks.
Want to invest? Contact your stockbroker.
One of the best investment options, Treasury Bills are short dated instruments issued by the government through the Central Bank to control money supply as well as provide short term funding for the government.
In Nigeria the CBN auctions Treasury Bills bi-weekly in tenors of 91 days, 182 days and 364 days. There is also a secondary market for this security existing in the money market. The money market comprises of the banks and other financial institutions dealing in short term instruments..
Treasury Bills are the most liquid and safest investment instruments you can find in the money market. They offer guaranteed returned and are risk-free because they are backed by the full guarantee of the Federal Government.
How does it work?
A Treasury Bill has a face value which is the actual amount the bill is worth at maturity. However, the bills are usually sold for less than their face value.
For example, if you buy a Treasury Bill for NGN100,000, you may pay NGN90,000. On maturity of the investment, you will receive NGN100,000, meaning you have earned a NGN10,000 interest on your investment or a 10% return.
The unique thing about TBs is that you earn your interest up front which effectively increases its true yield.
The interest you earn on Treasury Bill is called the stop rate and this is determined by the Central Bank of Nigeria on every auction day.
The CBN determined the stop rate by selecting the bids that fall below the marginal rate.
Wondering how you can invest?
It is very easy to enjoy this investment opportunity in Nigeria.
Simply work into your bank and collect the necessary forms. The rest of the whole process is easy as your bank will guide you through the process. You can also approach your stockbroker .
Before March 6 2017 you didn’t really need so much money to invest in Treasury Bill.
They were sold in units of N1,000 and in multiple of N1,000 thereafter at the primary auction, though banks usually would prefer to sell in units of N100,000 and in same multiples thereafter.
However, from March 6, 2017, the CBN increased minimum subscription to NGN50 million.
This effectively pushed retail investors away from accessing the TB primary market and leaving that segment to the banks, stockbroking houses, other institutional investors and high networth individuals.
But the secondary market still provides a window for retail investors. The secondary market is where investors who bought from the primary auction resell to enhance liquidity.
This segment of the market is now active as it has seen a lot of institutional investors accessing it for liquidity management.
Your bank or stockbroker will guide you if you want to buy Treasury Bills from the secondary market.
What you may find is that minimum investment requirement may differ and the rates could be lower with a lower maturity date. Most investment houses will require a NGN200,000 minimum investment on their Treasury Bills products.
Treasury Bills remain an easy way to grow your income. It is safe and secure. It is a guaranteed way of letting the money you have work for you with peace of mind.
#4 Commercial Paper (CP)
With the establishment of the FMDQ OTC platform in November 2013 the Commercial Paper market in Nigeria became active again after a long period of lull.
Commercial papers are short dated money market instrument issued by corporate organizations to borrow money from the investing community to finance working capital needs.
Commercial paper is more or less a promissory note and approximates Treasury Bill in the sense that:
its is a short term instrument with a minimum tenor of 15 days and a maximum tenor of 270 days (two weeks – 9 months);
it is discounted, meaning that investors receive their interest upfront.
However, commercial papers offer higher returns than Treasury Bills perhaps because they are riskier as they are issued by private sector organizations unlike Treasury Bills that are issued by the government and has the full backing of the state.
But commercial papers are also safe because they are issued by companies that have sound credit rating, good reputation, companies that are profitable and have good record of corporate governance practices.
To give an assurance of security, the issuing company may get the bank to guaranty the CP.
Once a bank guarantees a CP, the commercial paper, becomes a Banker’s Acceptance. What this means is that if the issuer fails to honor its promise to pay on due date, the bank pays.
Some of the companies that are active in the commercial paper market in Nigeria include: Nigerian Breweries, Guinness Nigeria Plc, UPDC, UBA, Access Bank, Skye Bank, Ecobank, amongst others.
Interest payable on commercial paper usually vary. A review of previous issues and those trading on the FMDQ OTC shows rates between 15% and 25% per annum.
Who Can Invest in Commercial Papers
According to the guidelines, only Accredited Investors can invest in Commercial Papers. Hold on, don’t run yet. For yo to be reading this post you are qualified to be an accredited investor.
An accredited investor is any person or institution who has the knowledge to understand the risk associated with investing in an unregistered security like a CP.
There are two classes of AIs, the Qualified Institutional Investor (QII) and the Eligible Individual Investor (EII).
An EII is any individual who has an aggregate net asset of N2 million or whose aggregate family earnings (you and your spouse) is up to N500,000 annually.
How to Invest in CP
To invest in Commercial Paper, walk into your bank and tell them you are interested in investing in CP’s.
You will be given a list of CP’s in the market, the minimum subscription of each issue, the interest rate and tenor. Take your decision and proceed to fill the necessary papers.
Mutual Fund is certainly one of the best investment options in Nigeria for retail investors and any one with limited knowledge of the stock market and not having the heart to bear the level of risk associated with investing in the stock market.
It is a collective investment scheme under the management of a professional fund manager.
Mutual funds invests in different instruments such as stocks, treasury bills, bonds, real estates and such other assets in line with defined investment strategies.
Profits made are distributed as dividend to unit holders.
If you are a beginner investor or you are one who is averse to risk or do not understand how to navigate the murky waters of financial market, mutual fund may just be what you need.
How to invest
There are more than 50 investment firms in Nigeria operating as mutual funds. Some are strictly equities; others are money market focused while a good number of them operate mixed funds.
There are funds that appeal to ethical and religious beliefs, in case you are such a selective investor.
The most popular companies with the most thriving funds include Stanbic IBTC, ARM, FSDH, Afrinvest, UBA group and FBN Capital, amongst others. You can contact these companies and discuss your investment choices.
These funds have reported Net Asset Value of over between 15 and 20% while some others have even beat the broad market in the past. For more information on approved funds, visit the SEC website.
Gold is making my list of best investment options in Nigeria. It is golden to invest in Gold.
Gold is one commodity whose intrinsic value never falls. A 15 carat gold today will still be 15 carat in 20 years time. But the worth may have increased ten thousand fold over that period.
It is a store of value.
Many ways you can invest in gold include buying gold jewelries and storing for a period of time.
Or buy gold plated items, wait a while and then offload at a higher price.
Abuja, Kano and even Lagos are some of the places you can buy gold jewelries and plated items.
The returns can be amazing.
Other gold commodities include bars, coin and bullion.
To be able to trade in gold products, you must first learn a few trick like how it is measured, weighed and valued. You must also know where to source and identify original gold.
With less than NGN200,000 (as at the time of writing) you can start investing in gold. However, if you do not have the time to source for the products or you want to remove the risk of buying fake products from your shoulders, you may consider investing with gold based network marketing companies.
I have seen people make 2 times their investment over a period as short as 90 days working with these companies. I have seen people who became millionaires using this model.
But before you join any of such companies, you must do your due diligence, ascertain its credibility and understand its systems and policies.
Another way of investing in Gold is to trade in its derivative. I however, do not recommend this model if you are not financially savvy. It is highly volatile and you can burn your fingers if you do not do things right.
If properly done, you will make more money trading gold derivatives than you will ever make trading in foreign currency.
Many will wonder why stocks is making my list of best investment options in Nigeria. Afterall, many Nigerians are yet to forget the shock of 2008.
This was when the market crashed and so many people lost money.
But the fact remains that stocks remains a strong vehicle for people who desire to build long term wealth.
If carefully done, investing in equities can offer incredible return. Returns on investment is in three folds. These are capital appreciation, dividend payment and bonuses.
Research supports the assertion the only investment that beats equities over a long period of time is real estate.
However, you don’t need as much capital outlay to invest in stocks as you will need for real estate. Most importantly, stocks are more liquid and come very handy in times of emergency.
The secret is to develop a winning system. Conduct your research very well and do not speculate.
Invest in quality stocks with sound fundamentals and pay attention to market developments.
Of equal importance also is to carefully choose a stockbroker and other investment professionals to work it because to some extent your success or otherwise depends on the quality of the stock broker you use.
Real Estates will always be one of the best investment options in Nigeria. You can make a lot of money by investing in real estates. If you say it requires huge capital to play in the property market, you are right.
However, I have discovered that there are places for different income group to make money in real estates. With as little as N500,000, you can buy a piece of land in an area that has potential to develop. Hold it for a while and thereafter sale when demand for property in the area rises.
You can also use the piece of land for open space rental. This will guarantee you steady cashflow over time.
You will need to be careful so that you do not deal with crooks – there are so many of them. Develop relationships with property lawyers and land owners
It may also pay to relate well with the charlatans that call themselves sons of the soils (or omoniles). You truly cannot avoid them!
If you have the resources you can invest in already developed properties like apartment houses and hostels. It is possible to get mortgage financing to purchase investment properties.
Real estate investment may not be as liquid as other investment discussed here. But one thing is sure, investing in real estates provides you with cash flow over a long period of time.
Besides, prices of properties will always appreciate.
#9 Digital Farm Crowd Funding Platforms
You may not know it, new set of millionaires are emerging in Nigeria from farming. The trend will continue as government at all levels continue to drive agriculture as a way of diversifying the economy.
Farming will continue to be viable in Nigeria because of its huge population and the growing number of industries.
Sub-sectors that are open to investment include produce farming such as rice, cassava and plantain. Other crops include beans, maize and pineapple, etc;
Livestock production such as poultry, pig and snail; fish farming as well as vegetable farming or horticulture are also viable.
But I hate farming, yet I want to make money from it.
It is possible!
Simply invest in digital crowd farm funding platforms.
Digital farm funding platforms are relatively new in Nigeria and is part of the technology disruptions in agriculture.
These platforms provide a bridge between farmers and investors. The organisations provide a digital platform where people who have the resources go and put their money down to help fund small holder farmers who do don’t have access to regular banks to fund their farm projects.
Funding farm projects through these platforms can earn returns as much as 40% depending on what you are funding.
The money you invest is used to sponsor various kinds of agricultural projects or different stages in a particular project. This may include: land acquisition, cultivation, planting, harvesting and marketing of the products.
You get an agreed return on your investment periodically, say quarterly, half yearly or annually.
On maturity, you have the option of exiting with your principal or reinvesting for the next farming round.
One of the platforms you can explore to invest in lucrative farm projects in Nigeria is farmcrowdy.Sponsor a farm project with minimal amount and earn up to 25% returns on your investment.
Buchi provides small business owners with strategic, financial, and digital support to help them build strong, successful and profitable enterprises. He is a Blogger at night and by day, Team Lead at Stalwart Investment Partners Ltd, a research, business and investment advisory firm.