To sustain our lifestyles, meet our commitments, and save for our retirement, we need to generate income constantly. Most people's active source of income is the cheque they receive from their employers. But that cheque cannot be absolutely guaranteed, and the possibility that it might not come one day is always looming. That is why every employee should look to have an income-generating investment.
Income-generating investments are types of investments that will help you generate passive income to supplement the income you receive from your employers. This article explores some of the investments you should have if you are looking to generate regular income in the long run.
Also read: What Does Paying Yourself First Really Mean?
There are several investment schemes you can choose to generate income in the form of Interest and Dividends, depending on your risk tolerance. The gain is remitted to investors depending on the vehicle you select. It can be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Some of these investment schemes are;
Also read: How To Turn Your Savings Into Investments
Treasury Bonds: These are government-secured investment schemes that pay interest bi-annually until maturity. The CBK auctions these bonds monthly, and you start investing with as little as Ksh100,000. With maturity periods of up to 30 years, treasury bonds can guarantee you a source of income for decades.
Treasury Bills: These are government-secured investment plans that can provide a safe income-generating vehicle. Treasury bills offer attractive returns in a short period of between 91 and 364 days, and you can get started with Ksh50,000. Since the CBK auctions them weekly, you can keep reinvesting after every maturity date creating a recurring source of income.
Saccos: Saccos have been around in Kenya for decades now and over 20,000 of them are registered countrywide. They provide attractive saving plans, paying members interest on their savings and dividends on their shares, generating two income sources. Saccos also provide members with access to loans they can use to start a business or get a mortgage. They’re attractive and relatively safe investments to generate interest and dividend income continuously.
Fixed Deposit Accounts: Also referred to as Certificates of Deposit, fixed deposit accounts offer a savings plan with higher interest rates compared to traditional saving accounts. They involve saving a fixed amount of money over a specified period, with a guaranteed fixed interest paid at maturity. Financial institutions such as Saccos and banks offer this type of investment.
Buy Dividends-Paying Stocks: The Nairobi Securities Exchange lists over 60 companies that are classified into 11 sectors. Some of these companies have a good history of paying attractive dividends to shareholders. You can choose such companies and buy their shares, and at the end of every financial year, you will receive dividends. This investment will create a predictable source of income for you. You should note that stock trading can be a risky investment, and dividends will be dictated by how well a company has performed. As such, you may require the services of an expert stock trading adviser or take some time to become an expert trader yourself before putting your money on the line. What’s more? You can trade international stocks too.
Real estate has been the go-to for most Kenyans looking for a low-risk and high-return investment. Real estate has a good potential of guaranteeing constant income, and your initial investment's value typically keeps increasing.
There are two ways to generate recurring income when investing in Real Estate.
Renting out of properties can be a very lucrative investment. The first step you need to take is buying land. Depending on your budget, you can purchase one in an urban area or the countryside. There are two ways you can use the land to generate income.
The first option is renting it out as it is. Depending on the location, you can rent out the land to the individuals who will use it for their economic gains. They can be farmers, garages, and even county governments looking to set up a parking space.
Alternatively, you can develop housing units on the land and rent them out if you have the capital. If you lack the capital, you can get a Real Estate Development Company to develop properties on your parcel. They will collect rent for some years, then hand back the property to you after a couple of years, and have recouped their investment.
Your tenants will be paying a fixed amount every month hence continuously generating income.
Income REITs, Better known as I-REITs, involve a trustee pulling together investor resources to invest in long-term income-generating Real Estate. Mostly rental houses and commercial Real Estate. The government mandates REITs to distribute 80% of profits after tax to their investors.
After deducting all expenses at the end of a financial year, the trustee distributes the income generated to investors. Income REITs are meant for investors who want to create recurring income from real estate but don't have the capital to buy and develop properties directly. Investors also gain when the property they invested in appreciates.
You can invest in I-REITs through the Nairobi Securities Exchange. NSE lists two issuers, ILAM and Acorn Holdings Limited.
Demand for education has been proliferating over the last few years. People are turning to the Internet to learn skills from experts. You can leverage your knowledge, share it online and generate income with little effort.
You can choose to share your knowledge free on platforms like YouTube or by starting a blog and making money via ads. Your YouTube viewers and blog readers will have free access to your content, and in the process, they will view Ads. Google Adsense, Media.net, and PropellerAds are some of the advertising networks you can utilise to generate income while sharing knowledge for free.
By producing trustworthy, unique, and educational content, you can create trust between your readers and become an authoritative voice in your niche. You can leverage this trust and promote products your audience will find beneficial and generate passive income through affiliate marketing.
The second option is charging customers for the knowledge you share with them. You can create an online course on internet learning platforms like Udemy, write and sell an e-book, and post your videos and blogs behind a paywall. Depending on the volume and quality of content you are selling, your audience can pay a one-off or recurring fee.
Popularly known as Knowledge commerce, selling knowledge is a great must-have investment for generating passive income.
Unit Trust Funds (UTFs) are a type of investment vehicle that pools together resources from investors and invest the money in securities like bonds, stocks, and money market funds. UTFs are regulated by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) in Kenya.
UTFs are managed by professional fund managers who find the best investments to put the money in. Depending on your risk tolerance, you can choose a UTF that will invest in high-risk investments like stocks or low-risk options such as bonds.
UTFs provide investment diversification and attractive returns. They allow investors to earn income through dividends, interest rates, and capital gains. You can reinvest the dividends and interest you earn back into the fund, and benefit from the power of compounding interest.
You can invest in UTFs through Insurance companies or banks starting with as little as Ksh2,500 and a monthly top-up of Ksh1,000 to grow your investment. Some of the most common UTFs in Kenya you can get into to generate income are:
Also read: How Do Unit Trust Investments Work in Kenya?
Money Market Funds (MMF): MMFs invest pulled resources in short-term high return security with little risk exposure like certificates of deposits, treasury bills, and commercial papers. Investors are paid dividends on the maturity of those investments.
Fixed Income Funds: These fund types invest in low-risk investments that can guarantee capital gains over a more extended period. Their assets can range from treasury bonds, corporate bonds, and REITs. Investors who choose these types of UTFs earn income in the form of interests and dividends until the maturity of the funds.
Not everyone is cut out for high-level investments. They may appear complicated and too much of a risk. Because of this, most Kenyans choose to start a business as the best way to generate guaranteed income. Starting a side business is the first step to self-employment, self-reliance, and financial freedom. Here are types of business to look at:
Start an SME: Small and Medium Enterprises can be anything from a butchery, barbershop, construction firm, processing plant, agribusiness, the difference between the annual turnover and number of employees. Here we are generally looking at the sale of products and services for the consumption of general masses.
You'll then hire people to work for you, and as time goes by, your business can grow and generate constant income. Note that, combining a side business with a full time job can be quite challenging; may require you to hire a manager etc. and spend an incredible amount of time monitoring, marketing and generally ensuring profitability.
Consultancy Business: Suppose you are a certified expert in your field. In that case, you can start a one-person business offering advice and guidance to companies and individuals dealing with issues they have no knowledge of.
For example, if you are a lawyer, you can offer legal consultation to individuals on legal matters. If you're a financial expert, you can advise clients on investment strategies and how to build their wealth.
You can start small, and as you gain a foot in the industry, you will be in a position to generate income constantly.
The Internet has made it easy for anyone to generate income. Most investments will require little to literally no monetary investment to get starte. Let us look at three examples:
When choosing investments that will help you generate income, always choose those with low risk and high returns, this way, you are cushioned from inflation and loss. To lower your risk exposure, you should diversify your investment portfolio.
You are always at risk of losing your active source of income. If you want to be able to mitigate the effects when that happens, start investing in schemes that will generate recurring income for you. You want to have investments that require minimal active involvement from you.