Are you looking for a way to boost your savings and build personal wealth? If you are - and why wouldn't you want to? - you may have heard about BOSS+ and had questions about what it is, how it works, and whether it's a good investment.
So, to help you as you do your research, here are the basics of BOSS+.
BOSS+ is a five-year Government security issued by the Central Bank of Barbados that pays 4.5 percent interest per year.
Anyone over the age of 18 can invest in BOSS+ bonds, either by themselves or jointly with up to two other people, and if you’re a parent with children who are minors, you can invest on their behalf. Financial institutions, businesses, churches, charities, and other benevolent organisations can also invest in BOSS+.
If you've invested in Government securities before, it might be useful to think of it, as Remi Holder, Banking Officer at the Central Bank does, as a hybrid investment, one that "pays interest as though it were a debenture or treasury note, but the maturity operates like a savings bond."
If you're completely new to investing, what's important to know is that BOSS+ pays interest in two instalments per year, and matures after five years.
The interest you earn from your investment in BOSS+ is not subject to withholding tax, a 15 percent tax that is normally applied on interest earned from savings at a financial institution or on your investments.
The minimum investment in BOSS+ is $500, and thereafter, you can increase that figure in $100 increments. That means you can invest $600 or $700, or $800, and so on. There is no maximum investment.
As we mentioned, BOSS+ bonds pay 4.5 percent interest per year, which is a very attractive return on your investment. According to Holder, “I don’t think you’re going to get that anywhere else right now.”
Data scientist and financial economist Quinn Weekes has actually done the Math on BOSS+, and calculated that if you invested $500 in BOSS+, you would earn $112.50 on your investment, an overall return of 23 percent.
But that's not the only thing that makes BOSS+ attractive. While the bonds have a five-year maturity, you do have the option to cash them in after 24 months. If you choose the early redemption option, you won't be penalised - you'll get back your principal (the initial amount you invested) and can keep all the interest you've earned. It goes without saying, however, that you'll no longer get interest payments.
You also have the option to sell your bonds at any point, either through a broker or directly to someone else. However, in that scenario, you would have to negotiate the specific terms with them.
Now that you’ve learnt about BOSS+ and how it can help you attain your financial goals, the obvious question is “How do I invest?”
You can get BOSS+ bonds directly from the Central Bank. You can download the application form from our website and complete it, including providing information about the account you want your interest payments paid to. You’ll need to have the form witnessed by an attorney-at-law, a doctor, banker, a member of parliament, or some other qualified person. Once you’ve done that, you can submit the form via email to BOSSPlus@centralbank.org.bb or you can bring it into the Central Bank.
Then, you’ll need to pay for your bonds, and you have several options to choose from:
Once we receive your application form and the payment, you’ll receive an allotment letter via email (or by post if you don’t have an email address) confirming your investment. And from there, you start earning.