Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How I learned focusing too much on saving money isn’t always right

Elvin Khama has served as the Investments Operations Officer at Orient Asset Managers.

I was a seasonal equities trader before joining Orient Asset Managers. I got into the markets at a time when the economic outlook was quite uncertain; mainly the interest rate environment and volatility in the equities market.

At that time, I was given a role by my supervisor to oversee one of the biggest funds at the business. I had a lot on my plate. I had to be up to date with the market movements, fund operations, and also had to keep the fund performing above its benchmark return.

Currently the fund has grown by 2.5 times. It hasn’t been an easy journey. Besides having the key skills and value system that revolves around integrity, prudence and teamwork amongst myself and my colleagues has played a key part in overcoming the obstacles to be where I am today.

Money mistakes that seem small right now can snowball into larger problems down the line. In the past, I focused too much on saving money and only dealt with finances when something went wrong. What I learnt from that experience is to always view money as an access tool and not only focusing on money management when things are falling apart. Also, always deal with your personal finances with a calm headspace.

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Financial management on a personal level has been a key lesson for me over the years. In the past, I did not have a clear financial plan. I never used to set aside time for my finances. If I could start all over again today, I would make spending time planning on my finances a big priority.

I save my money in unit trusts. This is one of the most effective ways of saving money and growing your wealth overtime by just letting your money work for you. This can be achieved by taking advantage of the power of compounding, better known as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’.

Previously, I used to stick around with cash money, which is the equivalent of putting your money under a mattress. This exposed me to over spending and often left me nothing to save.

In asset management, I am tasked with handling our clients’ wealth and investments by mitigating risks and maintaining capital preservation. The current evolving business and technology requires most asset management firms to take a 360° approach to transformation.

This includes reinventing the client experience, data flows across the company and integrating technology into investment decision-making. This has been part of our strategy and we are about 86% to completion.

There have been many sleepless nights, hard work and persistence that was and is still being put into this. In my daily work routine, the best part of it is getting positive feedback from both our retail and institutional clients.

There are major differences between the way entrepreneurs approach their careers and the way employees do. Anyone out there debating entrepreneurship vs. employment should ask themselves which side they feel more inclined to. Being an entrepreneur calls for the willingness to take risks and sacrifices as part of your life in order to make things work.

If you are an employee seeking to venture into entrepreneurship, are you willing to go without a steady pay check or health coverage over a period of time? In the end, there is no right or wrong but only what feels right or wrong for you.

Your actions breed more clarity to your life than thoughts. You can never think your way into a new life. You have to act your way into one by having consistency and discipline.

A version of this profile feature on Elvin Khama was also published in the Saturday Magazine. The Saturday Magazine is a publication of the Nation Media Group.

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