The Head of Wealth Management at Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited has advised the public to assess their risk appetite before they sign up for any investment product.

Setor Quashigah said more than often, people signed up for investment products without first checking their risk profile and are found wanting when investment outcomes deviate from their expectations.

“We found out during the financial crisis that people, who probably were risk-averse, had put their monies in high-risk instruments,” she revealed in an interview on Investment and Wealth Creation.

She added, “Everyone who wants to invest must check their risk appetite, for example, how much drawdowns one can accommodate when markets get volatile? Because the higher an investor’s investment return expectations, the more likely they are to invest in riskier instruments.”

The banker explained that this was why at Standard Chartered before a client signs up for any investment package, it is mandatory to first check the customer’s risk appetite.

“At Standard Chartered, even before we start investing for you, we will check your risk appetite and after checking that we will also make sure that the product we have displayed matches that risk appetite,” she stated.

Mrs Quashigah, also noted that investments were great as it was one of the ways of creating wealth and therefore urged the public to invest.

“Investment is great and it should not be just the typical treasury bill all the time but other investment products as well. You should be able to stretch your money or make it work for you even while asleep”.

“At Standard Chartered, we have lots of other investment products both in foreign currency and local currency. We also have both local currency bonds and foreign currency bonds which our customers can invest in,” she said.

Mrs Quashigah also admitted that level of understanding of financial market investing was pretty low in the country, something, she said had contributed to people taking investment decisions which were not in their best interest.

She said this is the reason why Standard Chartered continues to engage the market actively through financial seminars and other face-to-face means such as the Bank’s trained relationship managers and wealth advisors, going out to meet and engage clients on investments.

She said the Bank also organizes financial seminars to guide clients through their investment journey.

According to her, financial literacy is one of the Bank’s community engagement initiatives where staff volunteer to take young people through financial education programmes.

 “There is still lots of room for improvement but it is a journey we have started and we will continue to engage our clients and non-clients about financial services,” she stated.

Commenting on how to boost the confidence in the investment environment she said, “we are trying to win back confidence in the sector by engaging clients about the opportunities in the market and the need for them to continue believing in the market.”

“The good news is the people who lost money are recovering because some payments are being made and these people would not do anything different as they will still want to keep their monies somewhere and we will encourage them to come to Standard Chartered,” she said.

The Head of Wealth Management also suggested that the investing public considered adding governments of Ghana local currency bonds and Eurobonds.

“We have a tall list of securities both local currency and foreign currency. For the local ones, they are mainly government bonds, the ESLA bonds and cocoa notes.

She said the country’s Eurobonds were very attractive and therefore urged the public to approach Standard Chartered to find out how they could invest in them.

“There is a lot of confidence in the country out there and this is reflected in the massive oversubscription of our Eurobond issuances by investors globally. I am therefore encouraging Ghanaian investors who have an appetite for bonds to consider diversifying their portfolios with our highly demanded Ghana Eurobonds.,” she noted.

 She said favourable inflation analyses and the relative strength of the cedi against major trading currencies so far this year make real returns on local currency bonds attractive and asked especially people who are invested in treasury bills only to stretch themselves to the longer ends of the yield curve to maximise their returns.

“I encourage every Ghanaian who wants to invest to maintain a well-diversified portfolio by buying securities with different maturities, some in local and some in foreign currencies if possible in order to avoid exposing themselves to the credit of one or few institutions,” she stated.