Thursday, January 26, 2006

Who wants to save?

I have been seriously shopping for a Bank because the account i have with Co-operative Bank of Kenya is a student account.Not that i am complaining about it considering

NO LEDGER FEES

So what is my problem. My bank (Co-operative Bank of Kenya)has this habit of letting me down anytime i am in serious need of money. Their ATMS are a disaster sometimes. And that sometimes is when i need my money most!.I have talked to ATM'S,prayed by their sides,asked God why He has decided to abandon me and quite frankly, I am tired!

So in my shopping i went around calling the Banks stating my current Employer's name to ensure i got first hand information.

Standard Chartered Bank
Safari Account
More than 10M- 5.5% interest
Below 100,000(which is where i squarely belong)- 2.5%
I felt a sense of loss.

Savings Account
A minimum balance of Ksh.30,000
For less than 50k- ledger fee of Ksh 350
Below 30k-Ksh. 450
Below 10k- Ksh.650

Barclays
Savings Account
Minimum Balance of Ksh.50,000
The ledger fees were something on the up of Ksh. 600 per month (which i won't pay)

Those were the only banks i was shopping for. I am a disappointed customer to be of the major banks in Kenya.The rest of the banks (Equity, KCB et al) won't help me as i am sure they are worse than what i already have.

I have however found a very interesting profitable way to save (I am a Kikuyu) and my money has to earn interest not several deductions. Why should i put Ksh. 50,000 in a bank to give me 2.5%? And when they lend me their money they charge me obscene figures like (38%)?

Banks in Kenya do not even appreciate Symbiosis as a principle of life. You scratch my back,i scratch yours harder. You give me 12% and above, i might just borrow at 14%. They truth is they won't.

I then started shopping around for mutual funds. I tell you ignorance is not bliss my dear friends.

Zimele Asset Management is currently giving a 8.5% for their Money Market. You can even save from Ksh.2,000

African Alliance (their lack of website bothers me a lot) is yielding basically the sameinterest for their shilling fund around (8%)They have funds ranging from 10,000 to Ksh. 100,000.

Old Mutual has different rates for persons who have invested in their funds depending on the period of time.
Though their minimum investment is Ksh. 500,000, they also have a different arrangement for persons who can afford at least Ksh. 5,000 bob every month to build up to half a million bob.

Madison Insurance have a policy called SMART INVESTOR to which they give interest of 12.5% and above. Premiums range from Ksh. 3,000 bob for a month and the policy is quite flexible.

So why does a bank think i will save with them. I have decided to maintain my free student account (for expenditure purposes) and save wisely.

Read The Richest Man in Babylon-George S. Clanson
My friend Wangu gave it to me to read; it is a classic! I was even considering giving it a review. Tiny but worth it.