Ways to Invest Money in Bangladesh

While saving money is indeed crucial, it should not be the sole focus of your financial strategy. Savvy individuals initiate their financial journey by directing funds into a savings account or considering investments like a money market fund to cater to unforeseen expenses. Investment serves as an effective means to grow your wealth and potentially generate higher returns. Prudent investment choices can even outpace the rate of inflation, increasing the value of your money significantly. While many tend to associate investments with banks, it’s worth noting that in Bangladesh, there are diverse avenues to invest your funds and potentially yield returns. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that all investment opportunities carry inherent risks. Therefore, before diving into any investment, it’s wise to seek professional guidance and opinions.

Stock market

Trading of public company shares takes place in the stock market, often referred to as the secondary market, where both individuals and institutions engage in transactions. Private company shares, on the other hand, can be traded before they are listed on this secondary market. While only a limited number of individual investors have access to buy and sell these shares, private companies utilize this avenue to raise capital by selling new shares. The Initial Public Offering (IPO) marks the process of offering shares to the public. In Bangladesh, there are two prominent stock exchanges: Dhaka and Chittagong. The stock market policies are overseen and regulated by the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC). Additionally, investors have the option to directly acquire stocks. To facilitate this, one can initiate share trading by opening a Beneficiary Owner (BO) account with any stock brokerage.

Mutual fund

Another option apart from engaging in the stock market is investing in mutual funds. These funds are overseen by a fund management firm, which pools investments from various investors and allocates them into stocks, bonds, IPO shares, and more. Fund managers oversee the operations of mutual funds, charging a fee for their services. Historically, well-managed funds in Bangladesh have yielded returns in the range of 7-15%. Mutual funds come in two primary types: open-end and closed-end. Open-end funds don’t involve trading, while closed-end funds are traded on the stock market. When considering investing in mutual funds, it generally refers to acquiring open-end funds, as closed-end funds are exchanged in the stock market. Open-end funds offer diversification without the need for direct investor engagement. Additionally, certain mutual funds adhere to Shariah-compliant principles.

Start-ups and SMEs

Startups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are gaining traction as attractive investment avenues. These ventures primarily capture the interest of seasoned and astute investors. However, in these scenarios, investors need to exercise heightened caution due to the lower success rate associated with startups and SMEs. The business model of these enterprises deviates from that of conventional companies, requiring investors to commit to a more extended investment horizon. In Bangladesh, angel investors often invest individually or come together to form angel networks or investment syndicates.

Savings certificate

Chances are, you’ve heard your parents mention ‘Sanchayapatra’ in casual conversations. A Sanchayapatra, also known as a savings certificate, is a low-risk investment option. Opting for a savings certificate, like the Bangladesh Sanchayapatra, allows you to invest your money. You have the choice between a Bangladesh Sanchayapatra with a return on investment every three months or one with a return on investment every five years. Investing in a savings certificate over a five-year period can yield returns of up to 11.28%, making it one of the most lucrative options among various financial investments. The government’s support in this endeavor makes investing in savings certificates particularly attractive, especially for individuals with moderate to low incomes.

Bonds

In recent years, there has been a notable rise in investments in bonds. Multinational corporations and banks are increasingly offering various types of bonds to boost their capital growth, attracted by the relatively cost-effective and manageable nature of bonds. The enlistment of Treasury bonds in the stock market last year led to a surge in their value, simplifying the investment process for individuals. Previously confined within the Bangladesh Bank ecosystem, this move widened accessibility for investors. To foster greater bond activity, the government has taken steps like reducing investment caps and relaxing investment regulations for financial institutions. Despite the challenges and inherent risks in the market, bonds continue to stand as a compelling tool for investment.

Presently, the market offers four distinct types of bonds with varying term lengths: five, ten, fifteen, and twenty years. Each of these treasury bonds holds a face value of one lakh Bangladeshi currency. Interested buyers can acquire these bonds through either participating in Bangladesh Bank’s auction, purchasing them from the capital market, or engaging a commercial bank. Potential returns on these investments can range from 7 to 12% annually. However, it’s noteworthy that bonds are typically designed for significant investors.

Another investment option is government-issued prize bonds, introduced in Bangladesh back in 1974. Each series of prize bonds features 46 prizes, each worth Tk. 1.6 million. The prizes include a first prize of Tk. 600,000, a second prize of Tk. 325,000, two third prizes of Tk. 100,000 each, two fourth prizes, and 40 fifth prizes of Tk. 10,000 each. Unclaimed prizes within two years are then redirected to the government treasury.

The recipient of the prize obtains a pay order within a two-month period from the draw date upon application with the original bond. The government deducts 20% from the prize money as withholding tax. Approximately 50 million prize bonds are estimated by the central bank. Redeeming a prize bond allows the return of the invested money. Redemption and purchase of these bonds are facilitated at all Bangladesh Bank cash offices, commercial banks, and post offices. The Tk. 100 prize bond draws occur quarterly on the following dates: 31 Jan, 30 Apr, 31 Jul, and 31 Oct.

Real estate

Real estate investment naturally comes to mind when contemplating investments, often encouraged by our elders due to its potential for financial flexibility. Real estate typically yields higher returns compared to other investment avenues. You have the option to rent or sell the property to maximize profits. Renting is a secure choice, providing regular income at fixed intervals. Presently, the demand for housing is soaring, making real estate a highly practical option for long-term investment, also benefiting from lower tax returns.

Agriculture

Agriculture approximately accounts for 15% of our GDP. Amidst the pandemic, it has showcased its resilience. Regardless of circumstances, the necessity of having food on our plates remains constant. This underscores that investments in agriculture carry relatively low risks, as long as they are not affected by adverse weather or crop-related challenges.

Small-scale investors seeking alternatives to traditional investment avenues and lacking substantial funds can explore investment prospects presented by Dhaka-based agri-fintech startups like iFarmer. iFarmer employs a diversified portfolio strategy, ensuring investors achieve their desired profits. Furthermore, the platform offers investors the option to purchase third-party insurance. This innovative approach can potentially yield a return on investment up to 20% higher within just six months compared to many conventional investment opportunities available today. Additionally, iFarmer facilitates wealth growth for individuals with modest incomes and savings ranging from Tk. 10,000 to 30,000. These individuals often face challenges accessing a majority of the conventional investment options due to their financial situation.

In the current unstable economic climate, opting for investment is a pragmatic way to grow your financial portfolio. The significance of having an additional source of income cannot be overstated. Bangladesh has seen a surge in investment prospects, indicating a stable growth conducive to attracting suitable foreign investments. If you’re contemplating investments, now is the opportune moment to take action. Choose wisely and proceed with your investment endeavors.

Source: https://www.thedailystar.net/tech-startup/news/alternative-ways-invest-money-bangladesh-other-banks-3093161

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