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Chamas: Wealth, health and happiness

By - | December 30th 2012

As we cross over to the New Year, it is time for chamas to stop and reflect on their financial and social

Many people will answer ‘health, wealth and happiness’ when asked to name the important things that matter to them.

 It is interesting that many, however, end up neglecting the ‘wealth’ bit of the equation.

As we cross over to the New Year, it is time for chamas to stop and reflect on their financial and social status. Interestingly, many groups do not seek financial planning advice.

We all want to be financially stable in retirement and the sooner the journey starts, the ‘healthier, wealthier and happier’ we shall be.

Fail to plan

Make as your resolution this year the commencement of a plan for your chama’s future. A common saying goes, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. These are some of the planning actions you can adopt as you take the first steps in securing a bright future:

• Some chamas will get into new investment ventures — something they have probably held as a long-term plan. Invest wisely and seek diversification where possible. Many chamas have fallen for investment fads, posing a danger to their prosperity.

Develop a disciplined investment plan that is diversified and stick with it. Browse social media sources and Internet to see what people are saying in terms of investments. Whenever there is an investment opportunity, seek references.

• Ensure that you are dealing with?credible?financial organisations and investment advisors. Don’t forget to ask for investment portfolios and other credible resources.

• Watch out for any bait and switch. If you thought you were investing in one company but later learn it was a different investment altogether and not the one you were keen on, change and invest in something else. Do not be in a hurry; take your time. Fraudsters always want you to make quick decisions.

• Insurance: Do your due diligence. Many people have the notion that, ‘It won’t happen to me’. Why accumulate wealth if it is not protected from life changing events? Insurance is paramount in protecting your investments.

• Retirement: As you retire from gainful employment or a business venture, always remember that it is your money. At some point in life we ask ourselves, “Have I got enough in superannuation to retire on?”

Superannuation is important for securing a financially independent retirement but many people ignore it or find it difficult. Review your options and be sure you are maximising opportunities that exist including for your chama.

• Holiday: Do you plan to take a trip out of town of out of the country as a group — just to unwind? Start saving up for it now so that by the end of the year, you have accumulated enough for your transport and accommodation. A trip to Mombasa, Uganda, Dubai or even China will be memorable.

• Other than just discussing investment during your meetings, take time to bond and know what is going on in each member’s life. Organise for a chama family outing where your spouses and children attend.

•Register your group if it is not registered and come up with a credible constitution. This way, many doors are bound to open in the New Year.

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