6 Passive income investment options in Kenya

1. Unit trusts

In basic terms, a unit trust is an investment that enables you to pool your money along with other investors who have similar investment objectives. Experienced investment managers then invest this pool of money in a wide range of financial assets. These assets include equities, bonds and cash, issued in both local and international markets. The total value of the pool of invested money is split into equal portions called units. When you invest in unit trusts, you are buying a portion of units of the total fund and you are referred to as a unit holder.

The Unit Trust is not the investment but provides access to different types of investments depending on what fund it is. The Unit Trust employs professionals called Fund Managers to make the everyday decisions regarding investments, in line with the specific objectives of that fund. There are different types of Unit Trusts that will then focus on investments in different areas. Equity Funds as the name suggests will provide access to the stock market. Money Market funds will provide access to money market securities such as treasury bills, bank deposits etc. Bond Funds or Fixed Income Funds will primarily provide access to bonds.

Instead of leaving your cash sleeping in some bank account, why not invest in unit trusts. The risks here are much lower but the returns are also low, ranging from 7% to 11% per year. In fact, with the money market unit trusts, there is virtually no risk of your invested amount losing value as the pool of money is invested in money markets such as treasury bills etc. With this investment, you can invest as low as Sh250 or Sh1,000 with some companies. Companies such as Zimele, CIC Insurance, Britam, Old Mutual, Genghis etc offer unit trust investment options. Many of these companies also allow top ups into your account so you can grow your investment as you earn returns, and you can also withdraw your money within a few days. Do your research and learn more about these companies and requirements to open an investment account and their rates.

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2. Shares

A share or stock is a financial instrument where one acquires ownership of a portion of a public limited company and owning one of these shares will give you some rights as a shareholder such as dividends.

In Kenya, individuals have to invest in shares of companies listed in the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) through licensed stock brokers and investment banks. There are many licensed brokers in Kenya.

The basic is to buy a share at a low price and sell at a higher price and make a profit. To buy shares, just open an account with any stock broker of your choice and instruct them to buy shares for you. Minimum number of shares you can buy is 100. You can start small and keep buying an amount every month. Within a few years, you will be surprised how the value of your money has grown. Returns of 50% or more are possible if you choose the shares to buy very wisely.

After buying the shares, you can either wait to get dividends from the company as a shareholder or sell when the price goes higher. If you are looking for investment options in Kenya in 2015, why not buy shares and make some passive income.

3. Saccos

Saving in a savings and credit co-operative society (Sacco) involves depositing money and getting returns in form of dividends. Your money deposited in the sacco is given out as loans to other members. This earns returns in form of interest charged on the loans. At the end of the year, members are paid a portion of the profits as dividends.
As a member, all you will need to do is contribute an amount every month and wait for dividends at the end of the year. There are saccos that pay returns as dividends of as high as 20% per year. Many pay between 6% and 10%. Some of the best saccos paying high dividends and are open to all people are Stima Sacco and Safaricom Investment. Please do your research well and choose the best that will give you maximum returns.

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Therefore if you are too busy to run a business and you want an investment option in Kenya for 2016, why not join a Sacco and make your money work for you.

4. Real Estate

If you are looking for another investment option in Kenya for 2016 then think real estate. Land is a scarce resource. With increasing human population, land available for agriculture or homes is shrinking. As an investment option in Kenya for 2016, real estate is a very profitable. Buy large chunks and divide into smaller portions and sell after a year or less. Returns can be as high as 100% or much higher within a few years.

You can opt to sell as undeveloped or choose to develop the land in whatever way depending on your target market.

5. Treasury Bills

Investment in treasury bills is a risk free investment option in Kenya for 2016. Investing in treasury bills is actually a loan you give to the Kenya government through the Central Bank. The government promises to pay you back with interest after a certain period. The government will always pay, so your investment is risk free.

To invest in treasury bills in Kenya, one must open a CDS Account with Central Bank of Kenya. Visit the Central Bank to get all the requirements for opening this account. You will need a minimum of Sh100,000 to invest in treasury bills in Kenya. Any higher amount must be in multiples of Sh50,000. The investment period is 3 months, 6 months or 1 year and rates vary from about 8% – 10% per year and are normally published in the local dailies.

6. Treasury Bonds

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Just like treasury bills, treasury bonds are also issued by the government to raise money. The difference is that treasury bills are longer term instruments over 1 year and the minimum investment amount is Sh50,000. Again, like in treasury bills, you cannot lose your money in Treasury bonds but the returns are equally low.
Investment in treasury bonds is therefore a good investment idea in Kenya for 2016 for those who are busy and want to earn some passive income without breaking a sweat.

The above six investment ideas in Kenya for 2016 are very ideal for those who do not have the time to set up and manage their own businesses but still need to earn some passive income from their extra cash. The most important thing is to do your own research and make wise decisions, understand thoroughly how the investment works and diversify your investment, and remember to start small and invest consistently with time and as you learn more and get more confident. Putting cash aside for investment every month works wonders. Stop piling cash in your bank account.

Finally, remember to compound your returns and you will be shocked how your investment grows. By compounding, we mean re-investing back whatever you earn, that is, re- investing your returns.

TheFounder Magazine

Made Of Founders

TheFounder Magazine is an online business magazine that focuses on starting, running and growing a business in Kenya today

2 Comments
  1. Wonderful ideas . Why doesn’t Central bank guarantee the safety of CDs in banks and cooperatives like they do in US ?
    Clem

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