NBK Capital CEO Faisal Al-Hamad shares his own experiences & habits that guided his career and strengthened his work ethic, along with advice for those at the start of their careers. In this article we cover his specific recommendations for people looking to improve their financial habits and begin their investment journeys.
While luck or coincidence can have successful outcomes, true success is a habit. You build a solid foundation, work hard, and establish positive habits, and eventually reap the rewards. This applies to a range of situations, from your job to your relationships to your financial situation.
The talk began with Al-Hamad explaining what NBK Capital’s role is and what it offers, describing that it is the investment arm of NBK Group and and is responsible for investment services for clients of the Group. This includes providing a range of investment products & services to address the needs of clients, investors, institutions, and high-net-worth individuals.
SmartWealth by NBK Capital is one of these services, aimed at bringing investment capabilities to both new and seasoned investors to help them build a better future. As an online investment platform, it offers global, comprehensive, long-term investment and saving services while providing financial advice, access, and exposure to global markets in a cost-effective manner. Al-Hamad highlighted SmartWealth’s digital-first nature and technological capabilities, which will help NBK Capital “cope with cutting-edge international levels in areas of artificial intelligence and digital investment solutions”.
Al-Hamad continued his talk by delving deeper into investment strategies and best practices. He covered three main points which we’ll break down in a little more detail:
Why is starting early important in investing? The main reason is the earlier your money is invested, the more time it has to build something called compound interest. Compound interest is the principle by which your interest earns interest. And then that interest can earn you interest and so on. As your balance gets larger, your interest payments can grow larger, and ultimately your money can grow even faster. Therefore, the earlier you start investing, the greater your money can grow since compound interest grows over time.
Being consistent comes back to one primary concept: dollar cost averaging. Dollar-cost averaging is a popular strategy for building investment positions over time. It refers to the practice of building your investment by investing fixed dollar amounts at equal time intervals, as opposed to simply investing a lump sum all at one time, as explained by Al-Hamad.
Setting up such a system of regular deposits, or a “systematic investment plan”, can save you from making emotional trading decisions or being highly impacted by market volatility. It also works when paired with compound interest over time. More generally, it helps build good money habits and discipline since you know a consistent portion of your monthly income will be invested for your future.
Invest for the Long-term
The first two pieces of investment advice work best when carried out in the long term. As outlined by Al-Hamad, the longer you leave your money to grow while gaining compound interest and the longer you maintain the habit of regular investment deposits, the greater your money can grow.
This long-term view of investing can help you make the most of your money. Time in the market is more important than timing the market, as it’s very difficult to accurately predict short term fluctuations. Investing for the long term can help you mitigate short term market volatility, as historically the market will always trend upward. Therefore, holding your investment for longer can help you get through these ups and downs and grow steadily over time.
The final part of Al-Hamad’s talk revolved around his own career experiences and advice for those embarking on that journey. The main point he conveyed was prioritizing the question “How will I learn?” over the question “What will I get?”.
Al-Hamad compared developing a strong work ethic and sense of professionalism to building a house. If you build that house on an unstable or incorrect foundation, it’s very difficult to go back and adjust it without having to break it down and start from scratch. For this reason, he encourages starting good work behavior early in life, turning these behaviors into strong habits that carry you through your career.
Both these points take us back to success being a learned behavior, instead of a reward. Success is not the final destination; it’s the process of continuing to learn and grow and develop skills and habits, eventually building enough to take you to the next milestone in your career journey.