Thursday, 27 September 2018

Investment advice from a broke guy

I have developed a keen interest in investment and savings. Maybe because I’ve been broke too many times, or simply because I have finally come to a place in my life that offers me enough sanity to make smart financial decisions.

My thoughts regarding this are best expressed in a quote by Will Rogers, who said: 

“The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket"

This quote shows that if there is no clear way to invest properly, put it back in your pocket.
This reminds me of the TV show ‘American Greed’, which tells a story that highlights some of the things people do to get more money. Some folks looking for quick cash,  invest their money with crooks and scammers, only to lose their money in the end.

Many times a lot of these problems can be avoided if you just keep your money back in your pocket or kept it in the bank when uncertain as to what to do with the money. Instead of jumping at every given opportunity or need that presents itself in form of an ‘ attractive’ investment. 

If nothing ‘gives you sense’ in making smart financial decisions, a lot of ‘hunger’ will. If you’ve been as hungry as I have been, you will know exactly what I mean. Now, I don’t imagine that you have too much money just lying around to waste, do as you please. Even if you did, what is the guarantee that after buying that expensive bag or shoe, you will have satisfied that material itch enough to still have a regular income. Your wants or needs will never end, but your money will. Now, I am probably making sense to you, and you are beginning to think investments are not a bad idea after all.

Bear in mind, some investment ideas are just too good to be true. And you can easily spot these kinds out by how quick the opportunities for returns seem, or by how eager the investment advisor appears.

We have come from a period of ‘bogus’ network marketing schemes, and the notoriously famous ‘MMM’ scheme - which left a lot of Nigerians bankrupt, and crying foul of the failed bubble.

You see, while certain investors see risks levels as indicators of success - which might be true for well  - tested and well - researched investment opportunities, this size may not fit all. 


So, when in doubt, keep your money, until you find better use for it. Otherwise, put it in a fixed deposit account, buy treasury bills, government bonds, or simply ask a trusted investment banker for advice. 

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

The only thing worse than bad news is bad news late


In an organization, issues arise. And to tackle these issues, they need to be identified on time. If not, the company runs into more issues and may lose money if not handled properly. The quote shows clearly how a problem can be worse than it already is if not detected early enough.

When involved in the decision - making process in a company, it is quite important to identify problem areas way ahead of time, to avoid a future occurrence. This is called risk management. 

Say a beverage company plans to change the look of their cans after realizing that results of a market survey showed that customers are tired of the old can design. If they went ahead to make the change to the design without informing the marketing team, that would lead to a bigger problem. The marketing team would go for sales drives with the old design in mind, and therefore the wrong sales pitch. And that would lead to more losses for the company.


It is important for individuals and teams to communicate issues clearly and on time, so that issues can be avoided.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Truth and integrity as a bedrock for honest communication

Good communication is very vital to the success of any business and plays an important role in getting the job done. We often understand this importance when it comes to dealing with artisans. People often complain that some are not as reliable as they are expected to be.

In my experience with a few artisans I have encountered in executing contracts, I have come to realize the role of communicating needs and expectations goes both ways, and hinges strongly on how clear and honest it is. 

When false information is conveyed, it usually causes one to lose time, and eventually hampers trust. And that is a recipe for disaster. One should communicate clearly responsibilities, expectations and concerns, to ensure everyone is better carried along.

So, to make sure risks are mitigated, and the overall success of any task is ensured, honest communication is very vital.


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Free Investment Advice to help you afford 'Christmas Rice'

I know you decided to read this post, thinking it had some super-ground-breaking-tips on financial investment and all that jazz. But eeeeer, not really. 
It's about my state of mind right now, which is pretty much centered around making more money to take care of personal needs, and many other investments I'm considering dabbling into. 


Needs needs needs…They don't seem to end. The economy is bad enough as it is, and people are having a hard time meeting up with daily expenses. But I don’t want to be caught up with the groveling lot who waste useful and productive time on unproductive arguments and worries.

I have grand plans for December ;-) Which I’m really pumped about. And for that time of the year to be as awesome as I plan it to be, I have to start saving now!

It’s approximately 100 days to Christmas, and I got an idea from a broadcast message on whatsapp yesterday. I don't particularly like broadcasts by the way, but this one caught my attention. 

It simply read:

“Today is exactly 100days to xmas.

1) Get an empty milo tin
2) Put #500 or more daily
3) Open it on xmas day and you will be 50K or more richer.
It will be enough to buy Rice, vegetable oil & chicken. You see, you've been sorted out for the xmas.

FREE INVESTMENT ADVICE. THANK ME LATER”


Yo, I thanked the sender immediately! That's a brilliant idea. So I’m putting away at least one thousand Naira everyday for this cause, hopefully more when I’m more 'boxed up'. Not for rice and other items listed in the message above (my company gives us those at Christmas anyway...except for the chicken), but for my 'christmas groove'. Now I'm slowly but surely getting really excited about this!


Then again, I’m still worried about the increasing financial obligations, considering we just experienced a pay cut, and most of it goes to meeting the endless needs that are too numerous to mention. 

Hopefully, the economy gets better, and I get more compere and voice - over jobs, so boys can smile. And Nigeria can move forward.


So tell me, what are your immediate needs and how do you plan to take care of them without ending up broke in the process?

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The issue of men submitting to women

When I asked this question last night on Sharing Life Issues, it was greeted with so much concern and worry that we may be straying away from the biblical theology that "admonishes" all women to submit to their husbands as the head of the home, and not the other way round.

Christians are champions of this cause and hold strongly to it for dear life. As if the mere mention of it in my question could pose a major risk to the survival of MANkind. I made it clear, that this is not a 'gender equality' issue as it may be feared, but notwithstanding, bothers on such boundaries.

Asking women to submit to their husbands, in our culture and society today, is akin to expecting them to be 'doormats' - "as soon as the dowry is paid she has to be totally and completely submissive to her husband and that's final!". This is has been the general misconception over decades. I fear the part in the bible where Paul admonishes christians to follow this rule, has been quoted out of context for many years.  

The topic is introduced in Ephesians 5:21 and extends to Chapter 6 Vs 9. 

"25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. he who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband."


Instead of asking husbands to lead their wives, Paul instructs them to love their wives. For Paul, loving takes priority over leading.  The first goal of Christ's sacrificial ministry to the church was her spiritual growth and purity - her salvation and sanctification.  His second goal is divinely self - serving. So husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself (28). For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church (29).

It is important to note that being the head here is more of a spiritual /divine responsibility than a physical one. As the man is called to spiritual guide the wife in love and help in her sanctification. So this in a real sense should put men on their toes, as we would expect to be held accountable should our wives stray from true christian worship and love of God.

"The marriage manuals seem to equate loving your wife with making her happy, and so they encourage husbands to wash the dishes and to do the kinds which wives desire. This is not bad, in and of itself. We should seek to please our mate (see Romans 15:1), but our ultimate goal is to contribute to her purity and godliness.  This may require decisions and actions which are not welcomed and certainly not warm and fuzzy.  If our Lord has chosen to employ suffering for the purification of His church (see Romans 5;8; Hebrews 12), then surely the husband may also choose the uncomfortable way as a means to godliness for himself and his wife."

So if we choose the bible to be our manual in the interpretation of submission in its true sense, we must consider every bit of it, and truly desire to love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave His life for her. Let us not be blinded by the word itself, but truly understand the meaning and follow it to the letter.

Do you feel there is something about this kind of submission that crawls under your skin? Please share

- Val

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Expressing gratitude the right way

I am sitting on my bed writing this piece at 10:35am and I can hear the security man's voice singing some worship song , in a pitch loud enough to hear clearly from my apartment upstairs. And I can only wonder what amount of gratitude he might be feeling is his heart right now, singing: "what a marvelous God, he has done marvelous things for me..."

Some of us spend most of our time wishing we had more, while some just never stop chasing after new conquests, because of fear of ending up broke.  No one wishes to be broke or stranded really. It is what keeps body and soul together.

But we often forget that in gratitude, we do not just invoke that relieving feeling of satisfaction and contentment, but also open up our capacity to receive more.
Think about it for a second. If you tried imagining how it really feels to be worried, and then see how closed off and down cast it makes you feel. Nothing good will necessarily survive in that negative space. It's all about the type of energy you invite to your space, and sustain.

The scriptures, texts, psychological backgrounds all point to the simple fact that like energies attract. Also placing your thoughts, beliefs and convictions in the space of what you desire, very necessarily puts it there in reality!

Now, thinking back at the voice of the security man (who has stopped singing by the way), I would think to make it clear here that if you sing praises or worship, wishing for your situation to improve, but do not believe strongly in your heart, there's hardly a chance it will come. And definitely not when you become a nuisance in the process.

So imagine what you want so badly, hold it in your mind, breath in the thought deeply, and exhale with a smile on your face.

You will get it!

Monday, 6 June 2016

The 'Gold Digger' antidote

Is there anything wrong with a lady expecting a man to be financially capable of providing for her? 

This is question raised on "Sharing Life Issues" tonight.

The first half of the show was froth with men calling out the women for their financial misgivings and apparent quest to target their bank accounts.

A guy wants a lady who can cook, clean, give him children, and take care of the home, be physically endowed...
A lady wants a man who can provide for her and kids, and be a good husband to her.

These seem to be the required qualities from both genders, right? Well, why does the society immediately label ladies who are clear - minded and well informed enough to articulate the italicized needs above. Such women earn the title "Gold digger", "materialistic" titles.

She wants to get married to a man who can provide for all her needs, and she is immediately labelled a gold digger? That honestly makes me question what it truly means for a man to provide adequately for his wife and children. Is that not the basic responsibility of a man? 1 Timothy 5:8 says: "But if anyone does not provide for his relatives , and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever".

I'm not intentionally trying to defend women and their gender rights. I am trying to view issues objectively, and not from an angle of bias or prejudice. As some would easily perk up double standards in this matter. Wanting a woman who can cook and clean and not have expectations from her man would be absurd. Almost like asking one to eat whatever they are presented, without having a choice or stating it thereof.

Of course it will be totally wrong for that to be the primary reason why a woman would fall in love with a man - his money. We should find ways to make love present in many aspects of our lives, regardless of whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, and it is because of this that love should never be underestimated in its importance to our overall happiness and well being. 

It could be seen as misplaced priorities and expectations, if the need for wealth should take precedence or when it becomes a criteria for love. This is the cause of many divorces these days, as this prompts most to go the route of drafting prenuptial agreements.

Are men becoming lazy these days, or am I too old fashioned or naive to be asking these questions?

Have you been labelled a Gold Digger for verbally stating you want  to date a rich guy? As a guy, do you have a problem with this?