“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein.
I am a comedy fan and my favourite stand-up comedian is Trevor Noah. Why do I admire and love him? I have two answers to this question.
Firstly, I am in love with his jokes and secondly, I admire Trevor because his life experiences mirror my own life experiences. Today, I am going to explore more on the second reason.
Whenever Trevor Noah takes to the stage for some inspiring talk, there is one lesson that is omnipresent and that is the power of imagination.
From an early age, Trevor was taught that imagination has the power to change not just one’s life but also the world at large.
The same lesson that was taught Trevor by his father was also taught me by my own father.
He used to tell me that whatever I wanted I can achieve if I visualize it, mentally store it and accept that one day it won’t just be in my head but also in my hands.
Having studied the life of young people and entrepreneurs in Morocco and drawn conclusions on official figures from renowned international and regional bodies (Rand Merchant Bank ‘Where to invest in Africa Index’, World Bank ‘Ease of Doing Business Rankings’ etc.), what I have seen is that Morocco in particular and Africa, in general, are places where imagination has the potential to reward generously those who go all out in its pursuance.
Gone are the days when securing a ‘good’ job, owning your residential home and driving a family car defined success, nowadays, success is measured by one’s investment and this investment is as a result of imagination.
What do you envision?
Making an investment in Morocco is relatively easy. This is due to an abundance of tools that one can make use of in eliminating the risk, which comes with investing.
Below are five tools that every potential investor or entrepreneur should utilize in Morocco.
A Savings Account is the most basic investment tool readily available to every citizen in Morocco. The beauty of a Savings Account is that every bank in the country (24 in total) offer this type of bank account.
In a country with a stable economy such as this, a Savings Account is essential to anyone willing to save money.
The supreme law of the land in Morocco recognizes savings account.
The law also empowers savings companies to offer Savings Account to the public.
A number of savings companies have sprouted in most towns in the country.
A Savings Account is flexible; one has access to the account 24/7 through online and mobile banking. It also provides the least risk and the interest accrual rate is very little.
Buying shares is another investment tool that comes with a low risk in Morocco.
The Casablanca Stock Exchange is one of the biggest exchanges in Africa and continues to list the biggest IPOs on the continent.
The beauty of buying stocks and shares for dividends is that anyone can start buying no matter his or her status in society or the level of education.
Though trading stocks or shares on the exchange is not very difficult and is rewarding in an environment that is economically and politically stable like Morocco, it is wise to engage with a stockbroker for bigger deals as the business can get volatile at times and expert opinion will become crucial.
These short-term debts are issued and backed by the Moroccan government. They have fixed rates and low risk in nature.
Morocco’s treasury bills have three maturity dates. These dates include the 91-day, 182 days, and the 2-year note.
The 91-day Treasury bill accrues a 25 percent interest, the 182-day Treasury bill yields 22.5 percent interest while the 2-year note accrues an interest of 23 percent.
The interest and principal on all bills can be rolled over after maturity for higher returns.
Fixed deposits are the banks’ equivalent to the government-backed treasury bills.
One has to deposit money into this ‘investment account’ for a set period before withdrawing. The interest remains the same during the entire set period.
Most banks in Morocco offer fixed deposits covering a 30 day, 60 days, 91 day, 182 day, one year and two year periods.
Interest on the fixed deposit depends on the bank one chooses but the average interest rate across all banks in the country is 15 percent per annum.
Fixed deposits have a low financial risk and their beauty lies in the fact that you can negotiate your own interest rate with the bank of your choice depending on the period you choose and the amount you would like to raise.
In addition, you can discount your fixed deposit that is you can withdraw your funds before maturity but at a fee.
Bonds or fixed income securities are a form of debt investment whereby an investor lends money to a business.
The bond is issued according to a defined period and fixed interest rate.
Bonds offer an easy way for businesses and startups to raise money.
The issuer has to return the bonds according to the terms agreed by the issuer and the investor.
When there is bankruptcy, debts are paid before equity thus they have a low risk.