Namibians should focus on saving

By Philani Nkomo
October 2015
Prime Business

There is an apparent need for Namibians to adopt a culture of saving rather than taking out numerous loans to fund current assets.

This comes as a realisation that most people invest in current assets such as vehicles that depreciate and are of no significant value compared to fixed assets (houses etc).

Sales advisor at Bank Windhoek Neil Dyason shares how people can save money and invest in fixed assets and property.

“Looking at current assets like cars and personal loans is not a bad thing, but do not over expose yourself to that. If the bank says you can buy a house for N$100 000, do not go for it if it is not necessary. It is the same with personal loans. If you qualify for a personal loan of N$10 000 and you only need N$5 000, just use the same money and pay it off as soon as possible,” Dyason says.

He emphasises that the less people pay expenses, the more money they can save. “People just need to become more financially literate in Namibia, but the government is doing a lot in educating people to use their money wise. The bottom line is to save, and you can buy what you want in cash. Do not over expose yourself to debt,” he says.

He says people need to be educated and make sure they know where they are financially and know where they want to go.

According to the Strategy of the Financial Literacy Initiative 2012 -2014 report, one of the five goals set out in the Namibia Financial Sector Strategy 2011-2021 is to increase financial inclusion.

This entails that all consumers need to have access to appropriate financial services (payment services, savings, credit, and insurance), provided at affordable cost, in a fair and transparent manner. Financial services are delivered by a range of providers, most of them private, and should reach everyone who can use them, including low-income, poor, young people, disadvantaged, and rural populations.

Dyason believes that to be a successful advisor, one has to have these three attributes; honesty, respect and to not discriminate against anyone. He says if one is honest he can develop a better relationship with clients. One should listen to what the customer wants and after that do an analysis on what can be offered to the client.

“I had a meeting with an old man who wants to take his pension and invest it to get maximum interest from it. I got satisfaction from being able to know that I gave my client honest advice. Sometimes it is a lot of work, because in every bank there is some administration work to be done and being able to give the client what they want that is what fulfils you,” he says.

After having worked for the bank for so long, one of the achievements that Dyason is proud of is the German embassy account, which is one of his biggest accounts.

“They were not happy with their previous bank and they came to me and told me their problem. That is money coming from Europe, and that makes our bank look so much better. However, I am not only looking at the big achievements. If an ordinary person comes to me and he explains that he does not have a lot of money but wants to start saving, if I can help that person, I give my best and my job is done,” he says.

Dyason started his career at NedBank where he joined after having just completed his grade 12. He did several marketing courses when he joined Bank Windhoek and is now doing his honours degree in marketing.

Before the banking sector he was working at Cycle Home Sellers just after matriculation in 1996. “At that time I was just a normal counter sales man. I met Mr Thila and he asked me if I wanted a job in a bank, and I gave him my Curricula Vitae and he got me a job as a collateral officer at Nedbank,” he says.

He adds that at that stage he worked more like a filing clerk and he later became vested into the banking industry.

“I worked there until 2001 and then I moved over to Bank Windhoek. At Bank Windhoek, normally you start off as a teller then you do enquiries and they train you in most departments. I also went to collateral at Bank Windhoek which was a lot more difficult than it was at NedBank. Now I get contact with clients on a daily basis and enjoy every moment of the day,” he explains.