This is the part of the site where I invite other writers to contribute their thoughts on savings, their insights into investments or describe their dealings with debt. My guest post section gives a different perspective on personal finance and also gives tips on everything from how to lower you energy bills to Getting the best deal on your train fare.
Dealing with our finances is not something many of us relish and for people with little experience or inclination, it can be doubly taxing. However, getting a basic structure in place to monitor your expenses is of huge benefit. Knowledge is power and creating a budget puts you in control. You’ll be able to plan for future holidays, put away some savings and even clear debts if they are an issue for you.Read More
When investors think about investing in markets with high growth potential, they often focus on the BRIC Nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China). However, the economic performance of countries such as India has been poor of late – witness the precipitous decline of the rupee – and stock markets in China are not seeing the explosive growth that they were a few years ago. Given this changing landscape, what are some of the other markets that may offer investors profit opportunities?
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One market that no investor can afford to ignore is West Africa, and particularly the powerhouse of the region, Nigeria. In comparison with other populous African nations, GDP growth in Africa is particularly strong. In 2012, the economy in Nigeria grew at a rate of 6.6%, and 2013 growth is shaping up to be similar. In comparison, South Africa’s GDP grew at 2.5% in 2012, and Kenya’s economy posted 4.3% growth. Coupled with the fact that the population of Nigeria is in excess of 160 million people – almost rivaling the population of Brazil – the investment potential starts to become obvious.
Of course, a significant proportion of the Nigerian economy is tied to oil production, with entrepreneurs such as Kashim Bukar Shettima leading significant growth in the sector. However, Nigeria also has strong positions in a number of other commodities, including cocoa and coffee, and it is one of the largest producers of palm oil in the world. Overall, agricultural production is increasing at 5.9% a year throughout West Africa, and Nigeria accounts for a significant proportion of this growth. In fact, production of agricultural commodities in Nigeria accounts for more than a quarter of its GDP, exceeding $100 billion every year. This large and growing market is also driving demand for agricultural equipment and tools, providing further opportunities for investors in the country.
However, growth in Nigeria is by no means limited to the agricultural and oil sectors. For example, construction in the country grew by a very impressive 12.3% in 2011, a growth rate which is significantly in excess of that in China. There is also increasing focus on information technology, with Nigerian companies setting up ICT outsourcing facilities there, as well as developing specific software technologies for the Nigerian market. The Nigerian banking sector is also experiencing significant growth, and is one of the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.
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It appears that investors are starting to get the message. In a recent report put out by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the primary organization within the UN dealing with investment, trade and economic development issues, Nigeria was the number one foreign investment destination in Africa in 2012, the second year in a row that it achieved this distinction. The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow to Nigeria in 2012 was approximately $7 billion, compared to approximately $4.5 billion for South Africa. That is made all the more impressive when you consider that the GDP of South Africa is approximately 50% more than that of Nigeria – when this is taken into account, foreign investment as a percentage of GDP in Nigeria is over twice that of South Africa.Read More
If like many of today’s drivers, you’re feeling the pinch and need a new car, buying brand new is not always a viable option. However interestingly, it may not always be the best option either. When you drive a brand new car off the forecourt, it loses around 20% of its value right away, and by the fifth year of ownershipRead More
Having to choose between petrol or a diesel vehicle is a difficult choice to make. Generally speaking, the petrol vehicle will be more affordable to buy than the diesel one. However, what’s important is that you consider the long-term running costs of both vehicles before you commit to purchasing one.Read More
For some of Britannia’s sons and daughters, whinging about old Blighty has no more substance than the affectionate grumblings of a well-worn couple winding each other up. For others, however, that grousing describing that grousing as ‘affectionate’ is a bit like describing a pub brawl as ‘playful’.Read More
Homeoners loans or mortgages are generally easier to obtain than unsecured loans. The main reason for this is that the property in question is charged against the loan as collateral. This reduces the risk for a lender to extend a loan, and so the type of loan, interest rate charged and length of repayment become vital factors when an applicant gets offered a contract.Read More