Smart Investment Strategies for Conservative Investors in 2018

As we enter 2018, investors are reflecting on the investment decision that made in previous years. Several considerations are in place especially with several unknowns based on the domestic and geopolitical realignments that could have an adverse impact on investment portfolios.In a season of low-risk and long-term investments, here are some of the smart investment strategies for conservative investors in 2018.1. U.S. Savings BondsThe ultra-safe and smart conservative bonds from the U.S. Treasury offers an inflation-adjusted fixed-rate savings bonds. As a government-backed investment, U.S Savings Bond are offered at market rates and guarantee against default and hence are perfect investment strategy for conservative investors.2. High-Yield Savings AccountsThis alternative savings product provides a safe and slightly higher yield on cash over a mid-term period. Investment in high-yield savings earns the investor a fixed interest rate for returns at a very competitive market price.


3. CommoditiesCommodities such as precious metals offer a smart alternative to hedging currency as a protection measure against inflation and other adverse economic uncertainties. Consequently, commodities such as agricultural products provide an excellent alternative for diversification and hence are considered to be smart and conservative investment strategies for 2018.4. Individual Corporate BondsCorporate bonds are issued by companies as debt financing from investors to raise capital to meet the company’s financial needs. Corporate bonds are competitive, depending on the company and its financial position and hence have higher returns compared to treasury bonds.However, investors should perform due diligence on the respective company’s risk status based on the various tools for financial analysis to ascertain the risk and probability of default. Consequently, it is good investment practice to invest in investment-grade bonds as opposed to “junk” bonds. International stock funds5. Individual StocksInvesting in public companies over the long-term offers the investor an opportunity of being a shareholder and getting equity in the enterprise. Buying into a company at the right share price offers the investor a chance to grow with the company. Consequently, individual stocks not only yield returns on the share price but also dividend on their equity.However, there is still the possibility of the company slowing down because of internal or external forces that affect the market.6. Fixed unit trusts


Fixed unit trusts are a mutual fund investment scheme that offers fixed return based on units held on a certain investment. The mutual funds are managed by investment trustees who divide the gains from the investments. Investing in fixed-unit trusts is a smart and conservative investment strategy because it guarantees returns annually.7. Lifecycle or Target-Date FundsThis is equally a mutual fund managed by trustees for smart conservative investors who want to ensure access to their money after a particular period. Consequently, the funds yield fixed returns for the investor. For example, a target-date fund with a three years maturity period could yield an interest of 5-7%, and this is what the investor will get on their investment.Despite being conservative and smart, all Investment decisions should be made based on an individual portfolio’s risk profile.

Positive Change in the Management Will Change the Organization Positively

Management was considered a skill and art. People said leaders are born. Then people said leaders could be inspired. Now people say that leaders could be trained. It is true that we could be trained and taught to become leaders. Management is a leadership skill. The best leadership ever is the leadership by example. If the example is right then the understanding will be full. If the example is not right then the understanding will not be right.

Companies and organizations have managers and management levels. Smaller companies might have only one level of management and there might be only one individual as a manager. Larger corporations have different levels of management. There might be junior managers who directly deal with base level employees. There might be middle managers who interact between the junior managers and the senior managers. There might be a higher management team which would be at the top of the organizational structure.

If an organization is established to be bigger, the management would have been planned and structured beforehand. Most organizations that are worldwide and famous now, were not planned to be so when they were initiated. If you take any of the gigantic businesses, corporate companies or organizations, most of them were not meant to be grown into worldwide entities. In fact, some of the current successful and worldwide businesses were opened up for fun. We can consider the United Nations Organization as one of the very few organizations which were meant to be worldwide as they were established.

The change becomes necessary when the organization transforms from a small group of people having fun to a larger entity of importance in the society. When Facebook was launched, it consisted of only one manager; the founder himself. Now it has over 10,000 employees with different levels of management. Google was started with two people. Now it has more than 57,000 employees worldwide. This is the transformation that takes place when a company or organization grows.

All companies had to face the issue of transforming from a smaller stage to a bigger stage. Once they transform, the organizations which changed their structure of management accordingly were able to survive. The management of whichever organization was resistant to change had to pay the price of losing the organization. If an analysis is done on the organizations, companies or corporate businesses which were closed or sold, then the management would be held responsible for ending up in such situations.

The most effective mode of management is to lead by example. A military is a controlled system that runs by orders. One of the most important aspects in the military is that the leader who is giving an order also carries out that order. For example if a soldier is required to wear a uniform, then the chief of the battalion is required the same. If a soldier is required to carry out training exercises, the commander is required too. In other words, militaries are successful organizations not because the leaders or managers have much authority but because they lead by example.

As a simple fact, if a manager keeps his table clean all the time, he can ask his subordinates to keep their table clean. There will be no opposition. Since the subordinates know that their manager always keeps his table clean, they will have no excuse or reason to give him. The leader gets his authority through his example behavior and not through shouting at people.

Since management is essentially leadership, it should lead by example. The duty of higher management is to make sure that there are example leaders in the middle management. The middle management consists of the most sensitive links with most critical positions. The middle management of any organization is the bridge between the workforce and the managing force. If the bridge is not right, then the journey wouldn’t be fulfilled.

As organizations transform from small to big, the gap for a middle management arises. The top managers might be able to manage 10 staff but not 100. If the top management decided to manage all staff without middle management, it is like building a suspension bridge without any poles in the middle. It will work for up to a certain length. If the bridge exceeds the optimum length, then the strength would be in question.

It is the same with a growing business. There have to be changes to address the needs of tomorrow. Most organizations fail because they try to address the problems that took place yesterday and they forget to think and make a plan to avoid problems tomorrow. In the long run, this kind of organization will have problems piled up from the past and will be facing problems in the future as well.

The aspects of the management should change in a way that the management should be able to think, anticipate and identify potential problems in the future. They should then be able to get ready to face and solve the problems before the problems hit the organization. If this is not considered by the management, then the day to day problems will keep all the staff occupied in problem solving. While everyone is busy trying to solve the problems, the intended regular tasks will be missed. The missed tasks will seed for new problems in the future. Since the management is not willing to change, the same will take place in a loop.

A few managers don’t consider themselves as examples. The manager might not think that he is not supposed to be an example, but the employee will always look at the manager as an example. If the manager is not punctual, then the employee will either become like the manager or will not like the manager. If people don’t like other people, it is hard to take tasks from them. If you are a manager and your employee doesn’t want to take tasks from you, then you are in trouble.

Every single aspect of the manager is critical to the organization. If there are five different managers in an organization, all of them should be together and be leading by example. The employees who look at the managers should get an impression to become like the managers. In a few organizations the founders or the owners make sure that the staff will like the management. If someone in the management is spoiling the name of the entire management, that person would usually be fired.

Some say that the only job of a manager is to hire staff. I strongly disagree. The only job of a manager is to manage. Managing is a leadership aspect. The best leadership is to lead by example. To be a positive example, the manager has to be positive in all qualities. If the manager is positive in all senses, the employees will like the manager. If the employees like the manager, then they will listen to the manager. If the manager asks them to do something, they will do it. A positively qualified example manager is going to ask only something good for the organization. At the end, a positive change in the management will change the organization positively.