News Column

Oteh Woos Investors to 'Attractive' Mutual Funds

June 30, 2014

Obas Esiedesa



Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh has described Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) as very attractive, urging Nigerians to invest more in it.

Oteh who spoke at the Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting in Lagos, said there are several benefits inherent in investing in CIS, one of which is that the investor gets the benefit of expert advice.

According to her, "first and foremost you get the benefits of people who are experts. If you are doing your day job, you can take advantage of the knowledge of somebody else. If I have N10, 000 and I invest in a mutual fund that invests in banks, I have the opportunity of investing in several banks rather than just expose to what happens to one bank.

"It allows you to diversify your risks. One thing that am very excited about is that the Fund Managers Association of Nigeria have put together a strategic plan which we believe with the Capital Market Literacy Committee is doing too to have people better understand what it means to take advantage of the capital market, then we will see more Nigerians participate in mutual funds".

A statement by SEC, in Abuja on Sunday quoted Oteh as saying "there is no reason why we should not have more. When I see what is happening in India or what is happening in the US where 40 percent of Americans even after the crisis invest in mutual funds either for their children's education, for health challenges in the future, there is no reason why it should not happen here.

"So I think what is standing between us in Nigeria is just knowledge and that is why I am excited about what some of these sub committees are doing which is to look at the tools like mobile phones so that we can better distribute these mutual funds. We don't want situations where people will miss-sell or misrepresent the market. It is good that as stakeholders we are thinking about these issues together".

The DG admitted that it is true a lot of retail investors got their fingers burnt during the 2008 market crash but believes that given the rebound that has been seen in the market, the market presents a good opportunity as an entry point for people to come in.

She also spoke of the need to understand that the market has inherent risks, which are as high as the reward they promise, hence the need to find a way to manage such risks in the quest for promised rewards.

"For retail investors that do not have the capacity in terms of technical understanding of how the market works, we would advise them to seek the advice of professionals or use collective investment schemes because you can't put money on the table and look away.

"You have to continue to monitor the market; you have to continue to do either fundamental analysis or technical analysis and do stock picking. You are a retail investor, you just don't have enough fire power to do that. As a retail investor also, there has to be a lot of work done with education and there is a financial literacy subcommittee of the CMC that is taking the lead to make sure we educate investors, policy makers and other stakeholders on the major characteristics of the market and how they should access the market generally", she added.


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Source: AllAfrica


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