The future is difficult to predict; perhaps the solution for entrepreneurs to stay afloat is to create it.
This is when high-growth asset classes, in the form of stocks, bonds and their cash equivalents, are something that entrepreneurs should enjoy having in their personal portfolios. They make it more comfortable for an entrepreneur to take risks. If an entrepreneur’s business venture fails, an asset class will act as a soft cushion for them to fall upon until they are able to rise again.
Real estate is a safe but overrated investment option. Even celebrities are given this clichéd investment option to safeguard their future. An advantage of real estate is you can choose whether to invest your money in commercial buildings, like office blocks, shopping centres and industrial buildings, or residential buildings, which includes apartments or houses, in the form of holiday houses or rental properties.
But, this is advice anyone can find on Google, or the first thing your financial adviser will tell you. The problem is some of these properties have an annual growth rate that is comparable to leaving your money in a savings account at the bank. Basically, any financial adviser who talks about property as a core investment is an amateur.
Successful African entrepreneurs need to spread their wings and invest in multiple asset classes.
Passive fund management is quickly taking over from active fund management, which charges high management fees, yet rarely outperforms the market. When you claim your money back, the money reflected on paper at the time of payment will be deducted to leave you an amount that will not make you smile.
Larry Fink, Founder of BlackRock, the largest global fund manager with $4.3 trillion in assets under management, noted an emerging trend of massive amounts of money that are flowing from active management to passive management.
Low-cost passive indexation fund managers are not yet popular, but they are the future, with undeniable value proposition. Entrepreneurs who want to secure their family’s future should consider passive asset managers, with guaranteed returns and the option to tailor your indices to those that are performing best in the market.
My advice is to consider becoming an angel investor of about 10 funds in start-ups, and small and medium-sized companies. They can be risky, hence the small percentage, but if you make it, the rewards are huge. This will also be an exciting experience for an entrepreneur to help other entrepreneurs grow, similar to what Peter Thiel did with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. It proved to be the best decision he made after co-founding PayPal with Elon Musk and Max Levchin.
Many billionaires become angel investors in start-ups around the world, from China to Germany, Kenya, the United States and India. They claim the experience is more rewarding than just trading on the stock exchange.
Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, is a small angel investor in Quora, which has built an online community of intellectuals. Steve Case, Founder of AOL, funded dozens of start-ups through his investment firm Revolution LLC, where he focuses on growing them.
Depending on how big your bank balance is, you may consider investing in art, antiques and vintage cars, like Aston Martin, which is one of the few cars on the planet to appreciate with time.
However, paintings and other vintage items, is a game only the rich can play. If you have really made it as an entrepreneur, it will suit you to have these types of items in your portfolio. China’s millionaire art collector, Li Guochang, is preserving his wealth this way.
If you don’t have piles of cash, you need not worry. As an entrepreneur, you don’t need to be it to start participating in asset classes to secure your financial future.