Where to Invest Money in Saudi Arabia?

April 23, 2022

Are you wondering what are the best investment options in Saudi Arabia? This article will list the best investment options.

Areej M Alturki
Founder, Nakla

Are you wondering what are the best investment options in Saudi Arabia? According to the current trade trends, Saudi stocks are virtually outperforming other major markets. This article will list the best investment options in Saudi Arabia.

Top 11 Investment Options: Where to invest money in Saudi Arabia? 

There are numerous popular investment options that one can make in Saudi Arabia, which are listed below:

  1. Stocks: A stock is nothing but an organization's fractional ownership of equity. One can invest in two types of stocks - Dividend and Individual stocks. These stocks can be bought and sold on stock exchanges and are usually regulated by a regulating body (Government). 

Dividend stocks - These are known for their stability and ability to provide fixed income and growth on stocks and stock funds. Shareholders of this stock get regular payments from the companies. However, please note that some dividend stocks may not fetch profits or rise (in value) immediately.

Best for - The stocks can be bought by newbies to retirees depending on their investing journey.

Individual stocks - As mentioned above, individual stocks illustrate the company's share and have the highest potential to offer significant returns. However, it is also highly volatile in nature, so that one can expect a lot of fluctuations. This is one reason why people prefer mutual funds over stocks. Nevertheless, one can always invest in stocks based on their risk appetite.

Best for - These stocks are for everyone who can handle a risk and market volatility. As a word of advise, it is better to limit the individual stock holdings to 10% or less in the overall portfolio.

  1. Mutual funds: Unlike stocks, mutual funds are diverse assets. Investing in mutual funds is one of the best and most inexpensive ways to diversify your investments. It offers a way to spread your money across various investments against a single investment.

Best for - Mutual funds are best for long-term goals and retirement. It is a perfect opportunity to get exposure to the stock market investment returns. 

  1. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs): ETFs are similar to mutual funds as they use the investor's money to purchase a collection of securities. However, the difference lies in how ETFs are sold, which is similar to how individual stocks are bought and sold.

Best for - Ideal for investors who do not meet the minimum investment criteria of a mutual fund as the share price of ETFs is a lot cheaper than mutual funds. Additionally, these are a good option for a long time horizon. 

  1. Index funds: This is a kind of mutual fund investing in stocks from a particular market index. The main goal of these funds is to produce investment returns equal to the underlying index's performance.

Best for - This is ideal for long-term saving goals, and it is favored by those who search for cost-effective and less volatile investments. Moreover, these funds have lower fund management fees.

  1. Sukuk and bonds: Sukuk is the Islamic financial certificate that is sharia-compliant and is primarily used in Islamic finance. These provide direct asset ownership interest, unlike bonds that are indirect interest-bearing debts.

Best for - Investors who wish to diversify their portfolio while adhering to sharia rules can utilize these bonds.

  1. Government bonds: These are known as fixed-income security and are risk-free compared to other funds or equities. Government bonds are a type of loan that people provide to the government for which they get a certain amount of interest over a specified period. However, one main drawback is that - there's no high return on these bonds. 

Best for - Perfect for conservative investors who dislike risk and volatility in their investment portfolio.

  1. Corporate bonds: These are very much similar to government bonds, except that investors invest in private companies rather than the government. Thus, these are not backed by the government. However, unlike government bonds, these give high returns. 

Best for: Investors seeking fixed-income security with possibly greater yields than government bonds and ready to accept risk in exchange. 

Note: The higher the yield on corporate bonds, the greater the company's likelihood of failing. Bonds issued by large, reliable firms, on the other hand, would often have a lower yield. The investor's responsibility is to establish the risk/return balance that works best for them.

  1. Saving accounts: Banks in Saudi Arabia provide a range of bank accounts for their residents. One can open current, deposit, and savings accounts depending on their monetary goals. Usually, having at least one savings account is helpful for everyone to manage their money. Furthermore, banks also provide opportunities to invest in fixed deposits and recurring deposits for a specified period. 

Numerous banks, such as Riyad Bank, Alawwal Bank, SABB, Arab National Bank (ANB), etc., help people open an account. You can contact any bank and seek their assistance in opening your account.

Best for - Everyone who wants to store their money safely and earn a certain amount of interest. 

  1. Certificates of deposit: Banks mainly offer a CD or certificate of deposit. The standard term length for these deposits may range between one, three, and five years. Apart from these, they may also make provisions for Murabaha Deposit which is a safe way to make healthy profits. These deposits are Shariah-Compliant, and the investment period may range from months to years.

One can always explore the various deposits available in the nearby bank and choose the one that suits their goals.

Best for - It is a good investment option for a fixed timeframe. Deposits are a good investment idea if you want to save for a future purchase or event.

  1. Money market funds: These are investment solutions to help you meet your financial requirements (short-term). It may include high-quality but short-term government, bank, or corporate debt.

Best for - This is a good option for short-term goals

  1. Real estate Investment Traded Funds: REITs or Real Estate Investment Traded Funds are financial entities that enable all types of investors to have investment exposure to the real estate market. It is accomplished by shared ownership of constructed developed real estate capable of generating periodic and rental income. 

One can invest in REITs locally, regionally, and globally, as long as the total asset value outside the Kingdom does not exceed 25% of the total asset value of the fund. REITs are units representing ownership of the underlying real estate. During trading hours, REITs are traded on the Exchange alongside stocks. Furthermore, REITs are required by the Capital Market Authority to return at least 90% of the fund's net profits to unitholders on an annual basis (CMA).

Best for - Investors who already have a well-diversified investment portfolio and want to diversify further or are willing to take on greater risk to achieve higher returns. Because real estate investments are highly illiquid, investors should not put money into them that they will need to access fast.

In terms of governance and supervision, all the investment options discussed above must adhere to the 

CMA's rules and regulations. 

FAQs

Which is the best place to invest money right now?

Nakla is the best place to make your investments wisely. It is a specialized platform that provides automated investment suggestions based on your preferences. The platform uses mathematical algorithms and advanced technology to make relevant suggestions. Furthermore, they have a user-friendly interface and helpful tools that help the investors make an informed decision.

What are some excellent investment options for short-term and long-term goals?

Mutual funds are an excellent choice of investment for long-term financial goals. They cover a range of stocks and provide good returns over 3-years and 5-years of investment. On the other hand, there are money market funds that you can try if you are interested in short-term investments. Apart from that, there are government bonds that mature in a few months to one year.

Conclusion

Investing in Saudi Arabia is slightly different from its western counterparts. Nevertheless, the basic principles of investment remain the same everywhere. Before investing, one must consider their financial goals, risk appetite, and other security and financial concerns.

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