Members of the public were provided with useful tips and advice on how they can achieve their money resolutions for 2022, at the Ministry of Finance and Public Service’s Wealth Summit, held virtually on February 9.
The series of free quarterly events is part of ongoing efforts by the Finance Ministry to improve the financial literacy of Jamaicans and equip persons to make wise money decisions.
It was live streamed on the YouTube and Facebook pages of the Ministry and the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).
Finance and Business Journalist, Kalilah Reynolds of KalilahRey Media, who spoke on the topic: ‘Putting your money to work – Making passive income’, said that persons can create wealth by investing in real estate, pursuing entrepreneurship and by investing in the stock market.
She noted that for many Jamaicans, the most realistic investment option is the stock market.
“Real estate investing will take up a lot of your money. Entrepreneurship…will take up a lot of your time and it is not for everybody; not everybody has the skills, not everybody has the desire to run a business. So, the most accessible form of wealth creation is stock market investing,” she said.
She noted that in 2021, the Junior Stock Market in Jamaica grew by 29 per cent, which meant that persons who invested in the junior market last year, saw on average, a 29 per cent return.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Point Global Marketing, Javette Nixon, in his presentation, provided tips to help entrepreneurs make the perfect pitch to investors.
His key advice was for persons to be authentic. “Tell a real customer story, tell your story – what you have done. Ensure that you know and outline your business model. Make the problem you are solving and the solution clear to any and everyone. Give the numbers behind your numbers. Ensure that you have a demonstration of the work by showing a prototype or a mock-up,” he said.
Well known medical practitioner, Dr. Alfred Dawes, urged persons to invest in their health, and to do routine screenings in order to detect non-communicable diseases (NCD) at an early stage and reduce the financial burden of treatment.
“Approximately 12 per cent and 33.8 per cent of Jamaicans are living with diabetes and hypertension, respectively. Amputations are costly to do and then there is also the cost of prosthesis. Dialysis is done up to three times per week and that is over $100,000 per month,” he pointed out.
“When you talk about cancer surgeries, depending on how complex it is, it can bankrupt a family. There is also radiation, which costs several million dollars. So, you can have your savings totally wiped out with the diagnosis of a cancer,” Dr. Dawes noted.
Meanwhile, Senior Manager of Sales and Business Support at Victoria Mutual Property Services, Allison Morgan, who provided advice on ‘Investing in Real Estate – Getting started,’ encouraged persons to go through the prequalification process even before they begin the house search.
Through prequalification, the potential homeowner will be able to have an idea about the house they can afford and the loan for which they could qualify.
“Many people think that the first thing to do when buying a house is to search for the house they want. It is usually after they think they have found the one they want that they start crunching the numbers. This is actually the opposite of what should be done,” she noted.
She said that persons should start saving for two to five years, before buying a home and take measures to reduce debt. Once they have saved up the deposit and identified the property, they can take the next steps.