Most people on a small paycheck wonder how to invest in Kenya with little money, and to their point, it’s not easy. That, however, doesn’t make it impossible, as all it takes is a great idea and a thought-after plan to execute it.
According to finance and investment expert Aya Laraya, ‘When you invest, you buy a day that you don’t have to work.’ I’m sure this is something you would want. After all, no one wants to work forever in a job they probably dislike or pay peanuts.
But as mentioned, you don’t have to have a deep pocket to start investing. Start with your small saving, and as renowned author and business coach Grant Cardone puts it:
‘Investing puts money to work.’ He continues by saying, ‘The only reason to save money is to invest it.’
So, you can’t despise the little you are making. What matters is that you can put it to work wisely. And when you do it, you buy a day and many more that you won’t have to work.
Here’s what I’ll discuss!
- Why invest?
- When is the right time to invest?
- How to start investing in Kenya
- The best investment opportunities for low-income earners
Let’s dive in!
In a rush? Below are ten brilliant ideas for investors on a low income in Kenya
BEFORE YOU CONTINUE…
Allow me to show you how I reclaimed my financial life from drowning in a sea of debt and trapped in a never-ending cycle of financial despair with over Ksh 3.5 million weighing me down.
Every day was filled with sleepless nights, anxiety, and constant fear of losing everything I had.
But then, against all odds, I discovered a life-changing path to freedom which helped me shatter the chains of debt in just 1.5 years, created a solid financial foundation and started building wealth.
And now, I have packaged all this knowledge in this SIMPLE e-book called Cent Warrior 10-Steps to Financial Freedom for you because I want you to WIN with money and change your family tree.
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10 Smart Investment Opportunities in Kenya for People with Little Money
- Launch a profitable blog
- Invest in agribusiness
- Buy stocks
- Buy REITs
- Invest in money market funds
- Join investment-driven Chama or SACCOs
- Try government bonds
- Consider YouTube monetization
- Open a high-yield savings account
- Contribute to your retirement fund
Why Invest Even with Little Money?
It’s important to know why you are investing before getting into it. You can’t do it because everyone else is doing it. Overall, here are the benefits of investing:
- Extra income streams – By taking up an investment, you create an additional source of income for yourself and your family. The more investment you take up, the more income streams you create. ‘Never depend on a single income,’ American Business Magnate Warren Buffet advises. ‘invest to create a second source,’ he continues.
- Regular income – Most investments pay interest income or dividends regularly, like stocks, REITs, money market funds, and bonds. In the end, that ensures you always get something from your investment.
- Long-term returns – The end goal of an investor is to build wealth, which means taking an investment that pays you for the long term. That is just what you get when you invest wisely.
- Early retirement – The earlier you start investing, the earlier you start building wealth and enjoying regular income from your investment. Before you know it, you’ll have enough to live on and start your retirement early.
- Build wealth – The more you invest and reinvest the returns, the more wealth you hold. So, building wealth through investments is easier than any other way.
- Beat inflation – The ever-increasing cost of living can negatively impact your financial well-being. You can, however, beat its fierce paws by taking up an investment with a high prospect of capital growth.
- Meet other money goals (sooner) – An investment can help you meet other goals, such as saving up for your child’s college, building a house, buying land, or starting another business.
The above advantages don’t mean that investing is flawless. It has its downsides, which you must weigh on a case basis.
For example, there is the risk of loss, the compounding process can be slow, and it may take time to get your money back and make a profit.
Having said that;
More advantages come with investing than disadvantages, and that’s what makes it count.
When Is the Appropriate Time to Invest in Kenya?
According to Mexican Business Magnate Carlos Slim, ‘Anyone who’s not investing now is missing a tremendous opportunity.’
Truth be told, there is no right time to invest age-wise. Some start in their youth with mentorship, while others still make it during retirement.
So, you don’t have to wait until you get to a certain age or you go to retirement before you can start investing. The earlier, the better, as that means the earlier your retirement will come and the longer you’ll enjoy the returns on your investment.
You’ve to settle a few scores before investing. For example, you shouldn’t start investing when you are still struggling with debt or don’t have an emergency fund set up. If you do, you may use all your returns and even withdraw some of your investment to pay your debt and fund financial emergencies.
That’s why personal finance expert Dave Ramsey recommends doing it after Baby Step 3 in his 7 Baby Steps Guide to Financial Freedom. Baby Step 1 is about setting up a starter emergency fund which equals $1,000 (100k) if you earn that much or more per month or twice your monthly salary if you make less.
On the other hand, Baby Step 2 involves paying down all your debt (besides mortgage), while Baby Step 3 is fully-funding the emergency fund you started in Baby Step 1. In this case, you must inject more cash into your emergency fund to equal 3 – 6 months of your household’s running/living expenses.
In short, the emergency fund should be able to sustain your family for at least 3 – 6 months in case you lose your job.
Once you complete Baby Step 3, which means you already have a fully funded emergency fund and are out of debt (except for mortgage debt), you can take up investment.
At this time, the investment will help you quickly climb the baby steps and get to the ultimate stage, Baby Step 7, where you build wealth and spare some for charity.
How to Invest in Kenya with Little Money – 5 Key Steps
Below are the critical steps for starting to invest in Kenya on a low income:
Step 1 – Set A Goal (Be Objective)
‘An investor without an investment objective is like a traveler without a destination,’ once warned the late investor Ralph Seger.
The truth is that goals are essential when taking up investments. They are the driving force, and so you should set them beforehand.
For example, your goals can be to start a company in 5 years, own a house in 7 years, or save up for college in 3 years. Once you have that in mind, making a sounder investment decision becomes easy.
Step 2 – Technical Analysis
Every intelligent investor researches the market before investing. So, it’s vital that you do. Understand what it takes to invest in a given venture, the risk involved, and how soon you can expect returns.
Consider Warren Buffet’s words: ‘Never invest in a business you cannot understand.’
Step 3 – Seek Advice
You can’t just settle on what you’ve gathered from your market research. Talk to someone who understands a thing or two about the investment you are interested in.
Step 4 – Budget for It
You’ve to budget for the investment you are planning to take. It may mean cutting down on some expenses or postposing some luxuries from now to raise the investment money.
Step 5 – Start Early
If you dream of becoming rich in Kenya someday, you must start investing early. As mentioned earlier, age shouldn’t be a factor. You can start investing as long as you are debt-free and have an emergency fund.
Extra Tips on How to Invest Little Money in Kenya
Also, consider these nuggets if you want to make your little investment count:
- Value investing – Investments are not the same. Some have better returns than others. So, while doing your technical analysis, pursue those investments with a higher return.
- Diversify your portfolio – You can’t put all your eggs in one basket. That’s a considerable risk. You need to spread the risks, and that means taking multiple investments.
- Buy and hold – Investments always appreciate over time. So, you don’t have to be in a hurry to sell your stocks and only do it when the price is right.
- Invest ethically – For your conscience, you don’t have to invest in a company that supplies harmful products because the returns are great. Target companies that don’t destroy the environment, exploit their workers or endanger the users’ lives.
- Momentum Investing – It may help to aim at stocks currently enjoying stability and those whose market curve has been rising steadily. That improves the prospects of making meaningful returns.
- Stay informed – The stock and property markets keep changing, and what might be marketable today may not be so tomorrow. Therefore, strive to know what’s happening in your target venture line, and you’ll make a wise investment decision.
- Think towards retirement – You should invest while focusing on retiring earlier and living off your investment benefits. If possible, invest in something that’ll continue paying the bills in your retirement.
- Curb your emotions – You can’t invest in something because you feel sorry for someone or are emotionally attached. Don’t let your insecurities cloud your decision-making.
- Weigh your risks – All investments are risks, but that doesn’t mean you take just about any blindly. You’ve to weigh your risks and take the one with the highest prospect of making a return.
10 Best Investment Opportunities for Low Income Earners in Kenya
Now that you know what to do to start investing, here are some brilliant investment ideas you can start with little money:
1. Start A Profitable Blog
I started this blog (Cent Warrior) for two reasons. One is to educate, which I’m currently doing, and the second is to generate income. So, I believe you can do the same, even in another niche.
You can explore many niches– from health and fitness to travel and business. Once you set up your blog, which shouldn’t cost you more than Ksh 7,000, if you factor in the hosting and domain, you can monetize it with ads or affiliate products and start earning passive income.
Consider Bluehost or Name Cheap web hosting services for affordable blog hosting packages. With Bluehost, for example, you get a free domain on them, which means you only pay for the hosting 1st year.
2. Venture into Agribusiness
Kenya is an agribusiness country. Gone are the days when agriculture was perceived as work for the unschooled and those in the village. Nowadays, even the most educated venture into agribusiness for commercial purposes, and it’s such an attractive venture because people must eat.
Some pursuable gold mines in the agribusiness include:
- Avocado farming
- Fish farming
- Poultry rearing
- Vegetable gardening
- Tree tomato farming
- Pig farming
- Animal feed production
3. Invest in Dividend Stocks
Dividend stocks refer to publicly traded companies that allow you to buy shares, hold them, and sell for profit when it suits you. These companies usually are listed by the NSE (Nairobi Securities Exchange), and some of the best dividend-paying stocks in Kenya have a dividend yield rate above 11%.
That includes Carbacid Investment, Bamburi Cement, Williamson Tea Kenya, NCBA Group, I&M Group, and Standard Chartered Bank.
4. Buy REITs
Realistically, owning a physical property with little money is nearly impossible. The real estate sector is costly, and the ones calling the shorts are the money bags. But does that mean you can’t invest in real estate with a small paycheck?
Of course not, and I introduce REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts). These companies let you buy stakes or units in real estate without tangibly owning the property and earning a regular income. You may start with as little as Ksh 1,000 to buy REITs in Kenya.
5. Invest in Money Market Funds
Money Market funds are low-risk investment schemes that invest in high-yield money market instruments like Treasury Bonds (T-Bonds), Corporate Bonds, Treasury Bills (T-Bills), Bank deposits, Fixed Deposits, and Commercial papers.
These investment vehicles enjoy an annual yield rate of about 8 – 11%, more than most savings accounts pay. They also require a small investment, some as low as Ksh 500, and enjoy a 1-3-day withdrawal period, which is terrific.
Overall, there are many money market funds in Kenya, so you must do your homework to pick the best.
6. Join an Investment-Driven Chama or Sacco
You can also invest in a local investment-driven Chama or Sacco. Most Chamas are now registered and motivated to take up investments and share the returns among their members.
Alternatively, you can join the best SACCOs in Kenya, especially investment-driven ones, and earn from your investment. So, Chama and SACCOs are not only for when you need a loan but also when you want to grow investment-wise.
More Ideas On How to Invest with Little Money in Kenya
7. Take Up Government Bonds
Government bonds refer to ways the government borrows from the public to run itself or fund some of its projects. Bonds generally pay higher interest up to 14.5% annually (For infrastructure bonds) and are not expensive.
With a minimum investment of Ksh 3,000, you can take up government bonds (M-Akiba) and start growing your money.
8. Sign Up for YouTube
YouTube is one of the most lucrative ideas for content creators. Anyone can sign up for a YouTube channel for free and monetize it. With 100K subscribers, you can average $2,000 (or Ksh 200k) monthly on YouTube.
Yes, it’s not easy to hit such a threshold, but that doesn’t make it impossible. All it takes is good content, which can be anything from educational content to entertainment.
9. Open A High-Yield Savings Account
A high-yield or high-interest account is a savings account with a better-than-average return rate. These savings accounts earn up to 7% annually, much more than traditional ones.
Some notable high-interest savings accounts in Kenya include:
- PureSave by Stanbic Bank (up to 7% p.a)
- EazzySave by Equity Bank (up to 7% p.a)
- Digital Savings Account by Absa Bank (up to 7% p.a)
- Premier Savings Account by NCBA Bank (up to 6% p.a)
- Diamond Saver by Consolidated Bank (up to 6% p.a)
- MRADI Savings Account by Rafiki Microfinance (up to 6% p.a)
10. Contribute to Your Retirement Plan/Fund
Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to start investing for your retirement. On the contrary, it’s an opportunity to dive into retirement earlier.
You probably know about the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). You can join its voluntary option and contribute at least Ksh 1,000 for the best interest.
And if your employer supports the pension scheme, you can expect them to match your contribution. Who knows, you could have saved just enough to own your dream house by the time you retire.
Concluding Thoughts On How to Invest in Kenya with Little Money:
There’s no doubt that you don’t need to be rich to become an investor in Kenya. You can start even on a small paycheck. All it takes is a brilliant investment idea and perfect execution, as I mentioned earlier, and the above guide answers that.
And if you’ve any questions, talk to us on social media. The Cent Warrior fraternity will be happy to respond to your query.