How the Interest Rate Cap Affects Your Investments

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Other than the obvious effects of an interest rates cap on an economy, the government’s decision to reintroduce an interest rate cap has various effects on our investments. Additionally, the reintroduction of the interest rate cap has different effects on various members of our society.

To some, it is good news but to others, this may be bad news.

The Good News

Lower interest rates are good news for borrowers and people seeking to take up mortgages. It is expected that more and more people will take up loans to invest and improve their lives. However, it is also important to note that, since it is now cheaper to borrow money from local commercial banks, some banks will be more conservative. They will now lend only to their more solid clients. Making it even harder for many borrowers to have access to these funds without a solid credit history.

The Bad News

Lower interest rates overall is bad news for savers as lower rates give smaller returns to savings.  This is particularly so for retired members of our society. Pensioners will now have to spend less as their disposable income has slightly declined. For investors, they will now opt to invest more in:

a. Assets as the lower interest rates will make it more attractive to do so (this will cause a rise in asset prices).

b. Offshore investment funds in countries such as US or Singapore to get a better rate of return on paper assets. This is because it will become less and less attractive to save money in Kenya due to low-interest rates (this may, in turn, cause our shilling to depreciate over time).

Some of these effects may not be felt immediately due to the time lag in some assets such as the fixed interest rate assets in the market. Overall, I am hoping for the best with this decision to tame these banks. They have for years given very low returns to depositors and charged really high rates to borrowers (my view, however, is purely from a ‘mwananchi’ point of view).

Bottom Line

I hope the masses will gain from this, and the many investors who weren’t adventurous enough in the past will now take a moment to explore what the market has to offer and seek out the numerous investment options which they are currently not taking advantage of.

Happy Investing!

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Disclosure: This information is provided to you as a resource for informational purposes only. It is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal. This information is not intended to, and should not, form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax or investment advisor before making any investment/tax/estate/financial planning considerations or decisions.

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Irene Makanga
Irene has an MBA in Finance and is an avid businesswoman, passionate about financial literacy.

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