BY: HELENA AMA CROMWELL
Investment is a word that describes an asset or item acquired with the goal of generating income or appreciation. In economics it is the purchase of goods that are not consumed immediately but are used in the future to create wealth. Finance, looks at investment as a monetary asset purchased with the idea that the asset will provide income in the future or will later be sold at a higher price for a profit.
It can also refer to any mechanism used for generating future income. In the financial sense, this includes the purchase of bonds, stocks or real estate property. Additionally, a constructed building or other facility used to produce goods can be seen as an investment. The production of goods required to produce other goods may also be seen as investing. Investment is therefore the act of financing an endeavor by acquiring assets with the aim of gaining an additional income or profit. The income gained as a results of investing can come in many forms, including financial profit, interest earnings, or the appreciation of the asset.
Therefore investment is a long-term commitment as compared to savings. Also, the benefit an investor gains from the venture is known as return which could either be profit or loss. Generally, investors expect higher profits from riskier investments.
Investment banks as their names depict provide a variety of services designed to assist their clients or businesses to increase their associated wealth.
However, this does not include traditional consumer banking, instead, the institution focuses on trading and asset management. Nevertheless, financing options may also be provided for the purpose of assisting with these services.
Investments in Ghana are often made indirectly through intermediary financial institutions. These intermediaries include pension funds, banks, and insurance companies. They accrue money received from a number of individuals and investors into funds such as investment trusts, unit trusts to make large-scale investments.
These banks are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which is also responsible for overseeing all mutual funds in Ghana and ensure that the investment banks in the country conform to the rules and regulations governing them.
SEC was established by the Securities Industry Law, 1993(PNDCL 333) and was replaced by Securities Industry Act 2016 (Act 929) with an objective to regulate and promote growth. It was also intended to develop an efficient, fair and transparent securities market that protects the integrity of the market as well as investors.
This Act has mandated SEC to register and license investment banks. The Commission also acts as an investment advisory to the government and the general public. They make known which investment bank is viable; compliant to the laws and those that are unable to pay withdrawals.
SEC also scrutinizes the Fund’s processes to ensure investment decisions are well thought through and also conduct custodian inspections to confirm the investment position of the funds.
The investment industry just like any financial institution also face certain challenges like competitive market and adjusting to the changing and innovative ways of handling operations in the financial sector.
Though investing wisely is a fundamental method of amassing wealth, it comes with its own risks, where the investment company could devalue or even close down completely.
Hence, it is important to be diligent and conduct all necessary research about the organizations before transacting businesses with them.