Bizna Kenya spoke with Shiv Arora, the Chief Operating Officer at Cytonn Investments, on the secrets to investing, saving, and creating wealth that you should follow:
How to make it using investments: Investing anywhere requires detailed market research and thorough analysis, before committing any capital. For example, in real estate, before investing we consider yields, uptake, capital appreciation, sales made and the potential to generate returns. To make something out of an investment, you must first build a good team with diverse views for you to test any investment idea. You must also be guided by data, research and analysis, and know how to carefully monitor any investment, and know when to exit. Investing in any economy, sector or asset class requires patience. However, an urge to make money all at once has seen many end up making hurried and poor investment decisions.
Entrepreneurship, investments and employment: which is the best way to make money and get rich: All of these options have the ability to create wealth, which is where everyone should be focused. Entrepreneurship requires unnerving commitment, a focus on execution and getting things done, and an understanding that you have to grow others in order to grow yourself. Even in employment, ensure you have alignment so that your performance and that of the company move in sync, and you operate with an entrepreneurial culture. From there, no matter your choice, working hard with a focus on your client will pay at a personal level in the end.
Secret to building wealth: The true secret is that one has to make sacrifices and maintain focus, which will allow you to achieve your goals. Start by laying out your goals and financial objectives, then a plan to achieve those goals, either through employment, entrepreneurship or investment. Work hard every day, with a clear mind that is tuned towards delivery and execution, and you will achieve your financial goals. It is important to keep revisiting your goals for wealth as times change, with new objectives and a change in your work or personal environment.
My biggest money mistake: My biggest money mistake was continuing to invest in Nigerian banking stocks during the time the Central Bank of Nigeria increased the Cash Reserve Ratio on public sector deposits in early 2014. Banking stocks took a huge hit as their margins reduced and liquidity tightened. However, I learnt to stick out times of policy decision that affects a sector, as we are seeing now with the Kenyan interest rate cap, while believing in the fundamentals of an economy.
Biggest financial milestone: For me, the greatest financial milestone is not a personal one, but one that I have achieved with a great team, which is growing Cytonn to be a leading alternative investment firm in Kenya and the Region. This has been both rewarding to me personally, as well as created jobs for over 300 staff, provided fulfilling careers to university graduates, delivered aspirational homes to Kenyans and attractive returns to our clients. It has been a mix of teamwork, dedication, focus on the client and a drive to always execute, with no excuses.
Biggest career loss: My biggest career loss was jumping into banking at a time when I was just looking for a job. It happened after I had just left Wealth Management and Investment Banking, and moved to retail and commercial banking to just get a job. It set me back a year and I really didn’t enjoy it, and added no value to my career aspirations and personal development, which were all geared towards Alternative Investments. I learned though that it’s never too late to start again, and left a permanent job to go back as an Intern in Alternative Investments, and have loved every day since.
How I save: I’ve now changed the way I save to actually not save, but invest. Every month I invest first, and then spend later. Previously, I would spend first and then invest later. However, by laying out my goals and objectives, I’ve been able to plan better and create a realistic path to financial security.