Protect your cash: invest for growth

26 Apr 2021

Sean Jackson

Head of Sales & Distribution - Business Transactional Banking at Investec

Emerging markets generally thrive in a risk-on environment and South African businesses must have a solid cash investment plan in place to capitalise on the uptick.

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The global economy is likely to recover as vaccines are administered. Pair this with low interest rates and the huge fiscal stimuli injected into the world’s largest economies, and you have a solid recipe for risk-on sentiment.
 
Emerging markets assets, like those found in South Africa, bask under such circumstances. Despite the fact that the current market is currently evolving and difficult to plan for in the longer term, increased business activity has sparked renewed vigour and companies are now starting to look at ways to maximise their cash with the right cash investment opportunity, with strong yields.
 
As businesses start to stabilise, they should not back away from identifying growth and investment opportunities and should continue to think about their cash. In fact, businesses should always be thinking about their cash strategy - and how they can use this to get better returns.  If cash investments aren’t working for the business, it is a wasted opportunity and, in this market, opportunity is everything.
 
One of the most valuable assets to have during a time of uncertainty and opportunity is cash. We know that ‘cash is king’, however, understanding where to put it can be a difficult exercise especially as a one-size approach to customised liquidity doesn’t work. 
 
Of course, there are a variety of different products out there that perform differently in diverse rate cycles- which is why it is so important to shop around. What is essential though? In my view it is the ability to earn off of existing funds, instead of letting the unused money become an opportunity cost.  As such, look for a cash investment product that can help you get the best possible return on your cash - but more importantly, understand how to structure this investment to ensure you are able to not only get the best possible return, but also the flexibility. Of course, the rate you choose for a cash investment product will depend heavily on your business’s unique cash flow requirements. 
 
In a decreasing rate environment, it may also be prudent to invest in a money market linked account, for example, the MoneyFund Tracker for your business – which does all the hard work for you. It tracks the daily rates of an entire basket of qualifying money market funds - and gives great money market-related interest rate – as it approximates the average of the top qualifying money market funds without the volatility of being exposed to one single money fund.
 
Without a doubt, look for a cash solution that is as unique as your business. This means finding a banking partner that asks the rights questions and is willing to build a relationship that allows them to truly understand the business, its cash flow cycles and external market influences and then able to structure a portfolio correctly. This is what will give the business flexibility, security, guaranteed returns and critically, access to the funds when they are needed most.
 
Businesses will continue to face widespread disruption and to ensure continuity, cash is a critical component, which must be examined over the short and long-term. With a small amount of planning, and guidance, you can achieve the combined benefits of accessibility, a low-risk investment option, and competitive interest rates that can make a fundamental difference to your bottom-line, where your capital is protected. This is exactly what is needed today.

 
This article originally appeared in Business Brief.
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