The phrase “BUY TERM AND INVEST THE DIFFERENCE” evolves around the concept of term life policy which is a basic protection policy and the endowment/ whole life policy which has protection and investment/saving features. To put it simply, the phrase means that instead of taking up the endowment/whole life policy, an individual should buy a term policy for protection and the difference between the premiums of the two policies is to be invested by the individual himself to earn some dividend on the investment. To agree with the phrase “Buy Term and Invest the Difference”, one need to have the conviction and will-power to invest the difference in the premium in an investment vehicle that can pay a return higher than that declared by an insurance company. Unfortunately, most of us do not have the capability to achieve the desired return over time. At times, one is lucky to reap a good return from the equity market but this is all short-lived when the downturn occurs, all gains will be wiped out and may even heavy losses.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) describes investment agreements as “the most important protection of international foreign investment.” They are creating more rights and powers for foreign investors – particularly the transnational corporations. In many African countries, the implementation of international and regional instruments is not as effective as one would expect. The causes of this hiatus are to be traced in various structural and institutional structures inherent to national legal systems in these countries. The topic under investigation relates to the state of effective legal protection of international investments in Eastern and Southern African countries, mainly within two regional blocs; i.e. SADC and COMESA. This article is the summary of a study conducted within the region, with the objective to identify and analyze international law instruments applicable in the region, as well as the national situation in Mozambique as a specific study case on the domestication and enforcement of international agreements.

Investment-linked life insurance policies offer more flexibility to the policy owners and they can choose when to top up or how much, or on what portion of their policy that is linked directly to investment performance. Considering the wide range of investment tools available, investment-linked insurance products may be linked to stocks and shares, property or real estate, cash deposits, fixed income securities, government bonds, corporate bonds, unit trusts, investment trusts, other life insurance and annuities. Investment-linked funds have been created to suit the client’s various investment objectives, risk-reward profiles and investment preferences.

With several insurers offering a variety of investment-linked insurance products, it is now possible for an insurance policy holder to enjoy protection and at the same time to invest solely in one fund or a combination of funds, subject to certain limitations, such as a minimum of 20% of his investment in each fund selected. An insurance policy holder may switch his investment between funds when his investment objectives change.

In their attempted efforts to attract FDI and determined to benefit from it to the fullest, the countries under review reformed their legal frameworks for a better protection of foreign investments. These changes are currently taking place in an environment characterized by the proliferation of investment rules at the bilateral, sub-regional, regional and multilateral levels. The resulting investment rules, numerous Preferential and Free Trade Agreements with investment components, Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) and Multilateral Investment Agreements (MIA) are multi-layered and multi-faceted, with a myriad of obligations differing in geographical scope and coverage and ranging from the voluntary to the binding commitments. They constitute an intricate web of obligations that partly overlap and partly supplement one another. This study is of actual interest for research, as it attempts to review this proliferation of legal frameworks for the protection of international investments in the Southern and Eastern African regions. There is real need to understand the policies, mechanisms developed in this very sensitive area, and to analyze the issues that are raised in the implementation of such intricate frameworks.

Commodities are another option for a diversified investment portfolio. Commodities represent certain items like corn, oil, gold, silver, and other such natural items classified as commodities. Commodities can often be used as a ‘hedge’ investment and have a safe and secure track record. Investing in commodities should be done with the help of an experienced investment adviser only or with much experience under your belt. They are not typical investments and should not be viewed as ones that are as easy to invest in as bonds or mutual funds. Typically, commodities investments can be used as a counter-trend type of investment, or in other words, as a protection against loss when other types of investments seem to be falling. Commodities will typically hold their value contrary to the stock market as a whole.

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