KUWAIT: As part of the career readiness program “Tamakan” sponsored by it, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) held a seminar in which Faisal Al-Hamad, CEO of NBK Capital, gave a lecture and answered a number of questions raised by the participants.
In the seminar, Hamad stressed that investing in enhancing skills and developing capabilities through learning and training is the best investment with ever growing return and gains accumulating day after day, and never fails. In that context, Hamad advised the program’s trainees and all Kuwaiti youth, saying: “Be keen to learn and develop yourself, and do not rush in search for salary and position, as both will be attained at the right time.”
Most valuable resource
Hamad pointed out that academic qualifications are necessary to start a career, but that there are basic personal skills that must be met by those willing to join leading institutions. Hamad said: “At NBK Capital, we have our own school, as we require basic qualities in those willing to join our team, most notably ethics, professionalism, the ability to learn and one-team spirit.”
“We have a clear path for training our employees and enhancing their skills, in line with an unshakable strategy that aims to invest in our human capital, being the company’s key asset and most valuable resource,” he added. Hamad noted that NBK Capital is committed to performing its national duties and social responsibility by launching innovative initiatives all year round, which focus on training the Kuwaiti youth, developing their skills, and spreading the culture of savings and investment to help them properly manage their savings and invest them using up-to-date mechanisms and strategies.
Answering a question about the appropriate timing to start investing, Hamad replied: “Start from now, and do not postpone the decision. The best financial investments are those you start early, and diversify between stocks, sectors and asset classes, while continuing to pump money into them regularly, no matter how little, as this guarantees building good investment positions.”
On the importance of starting early, Hamad gave an example that the total return of an investment started at an early age of 20, with annual savings of KD 5,000 for 10 years is the same as that of an investment that starts at the age of 30, with annual savings in the same amount for 30 years.
Hamad highlighted the importance of diversifying investments and not concentrating them in any of the stocks, regardless how leading the company or strong its performance is, as changes in the operating environment come all of a sudden, and strike major institutions, noting: “We have a lesson to learn from the coronavirus pandemic.”
Hamad mentioned that “Digital transformation in the financial sector will not stop or retreat; that is why we are keen to provide investment platforms that cope with cutting-edge international levels in areas of artificial intelligence and digital investment solutions.” Hamad emphasized that SmartWealth adopts a prudent investment strategy offering access to international markets and ensuring the diversification of asset classes to be suitable for all levels of financial solvency and income, no matter how small.
This makes it suitable for the youth and an ideal solution for a hard equation, in case of starting investment with a small amount. “SmartWealth draws up a carefully designed investment plan according to your investment goals and your risk tolerance, regardless of the size of the investment or the level of income,” he added.
In response to a question about a possible contagion of the GameStop craze and the momentum of individual trading on the US stock exchanges to the Kuwait and regional markets, and how NBK Capital’s is ready for this phenomenon, Hamad said that the booms in stock prices are not a new phenomenon in the financial markets, but always occur, for varying reasons from one time to another.
“We are investors, not speculators. As long as your investments are diversified, based on sound financial grounds and you are keen to accumulate and increase these investments regularly, you will be safe from such sharp changes,” he added. Hamad warned against speculation in the hope of good luck and making a fortune quickly, saying: “There are more losers than winners from markets crazes like GameStop’s.”