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Stabroek News

Investment 2006 - Deepening your portfolio mix
published: Sunday | January 8, 2006

Paul Taylor, Contributor

  • Determine goals and objectives

    One of the first things an individual should do, before making a decision as to where he or she will save or invest, is to determine his or her financial goals and objectives. This determination is important because the information arising therefrom will assist the individual to choose the financial assets (portfolio mix) in which to invest, and ultimately, the financial institutions to approach and when.

    Here is a financial planning consultation, which takes a comprehensive look at one's current financial position in light of one's current goals and objectives, is in order.

  • Research financial institution

    Having decided which financial institution will most likely play a role in helping you to achieve your financial goals, research or investigate the institution. Ask your friends and acquaintances about the institutions and solicit their ideas on where best to invest, considering your needs and goals. Use advertisements appearing in both the print and electronic media, to identify possible institutions.

    Moreover, assess the technical competence of the management of the institutions being considered, since management's achievements, education and experience can provide useful insights into the institution's credibility, success and longevity. Additionally, call around and make time to visit the institutions; leave nothing to chance. Don't take it for granted or just take it from someone. See for yourself how the institutions in which you wish to invest your hard earned resources operate. Are they customer friendly and proactive in meeting customer requirements and needs?

  • Examine financial products and services in line with needs

    In the money market, for example, there are a range of financial instruments including, but not limited to, repurchase agreements, treasury bills, local registered stocks, commercial paper, debentures and a range of bonds denominated typically in U.S. and Euro-denominated currencies. Some of these products offer tax-free advantages, stable income streams, and the opportunity to invest in hard currency, thus reducing one's exposure to exchange rate and inflation rate risks.

    Given the range of product offerings, it is critical that one examine available product offerings in line with one's personal needs and pre-determined goals. Are products flexible, and do they come with a bundle of services that make it hassle-free and convenient to do business?

    In other words, get intimate with the products of the financial institutions you are interested in doing business with. What are the services available that are in line with your current and future needs? How are returns determined and applied? What are returns like? How do they compare with the market for similar asset class or investment?

  • Choose wisely

    Choose investment vehicles - savings and investment accounts for example - that are in line with your risk tolerance or your appetite for risk, as well as provide the kinds of returns that will propel your achieving your financial goals. Money market institutions, banks, building societies, credit union, and stock-brokerages are but some of the financial institutions that can be explored for excellent products.

  • Seek out and follow sound investment advice

    As with any investment decision, be sure to get relevant financial advice from available financial advisors. Do not be afraid to call on the expertise of the financial institution(s) you are looking at to not only explain benefits and features of these products, but more importantly have the experts outline for you how these products can be tailored to support you in achieving your goals.

  • Develop & nurture your financial relationship

    Once you have made the investment decision(s), build a relationship with the entity in which you have placed your funds. All financial institutions welcome hearing from their clients on a regular basis, while many are increasingly employing sales and accounts executives to the service their clients in what has become a competitive marketplace.

  • Monitor the markets

    You may have heard from time to time, the expression: "monitor the markets". It's an important advice, as the lack of of access to updated corporate information on a timely basis, is a reality of the current local environment. It is, therefore, important for the investor to follow the general financial happenings by listening to and reading the business news provided by the local and international media.

    In a real sense, it is your hard earned resources that we are talking about here and you need to ensure that you are aware of the environment in which you do business, so that you can continue to make sound and informed decisions.

    Paul Taylor is Corporate Sales Manager at Jamaica Money Market Brokers Ltd and a member of its Senior Management Team.

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