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Everything posted by Esther.Dumbiri

  1. If you haven’t heard, universities around the world are offering their courses online for free (or at least partially free). These courses are collectively called MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses. 200 universities, including Harvard, Stanford and the University of British Columbia have announced 600 such free online courses. The list has been categorized according to the following subjects: Computer Science, Mathematics, Programming, Data Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, Education & Teaching, Health & Medicine, Business, Personal Development, Engineering, Art & Design, and finally Science. Many of these are completely self-paced, so you can start taking them at your convenience. Some of the courses includes Business Start–Up: From Idea to Launch from IOC Athlete MOOC Grant Writing and Crowdfunding for Public Libraries from University of Michigan Risk and Return and the Weighted Average Cost of Capital from Columbia University Federal Taxation I: Individuals, Employees, and Sole Proprietors from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign E-Commerce from Peking University Microeconomic Principles: Decision-making Under Scarcity from Arizona State University Trade, Immigration and Exchange Rates in a Globalized World from IE Business School Long-term Financial Management from University System of Maryland Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): A Strategic Approach from University of Pennsylvania Personnel Management for Public Libraries from University of Michigan Accounting for Decision Making from University of Michigan Valuing Companies from University of Michigan Budgeting and Finance for Public Libraries from University of Michigan Strategic Business Management – Microeconomics from University of California, Irvine Strategic Business Management – Macroeconomics from University of California, Irvine Introduction to Business for Analytics from Georgia Institute of Technology The Free Cash Flow Method for Firm Valuation from Columbia University Introduction to Corporate Finance from Columbia University Formal Financial Accounting from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Entrepreneurship I: Principles and Concepts from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Global Impact: Cultural Psychology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Marketing in an Analog World from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Modern Empowerment in the Workplace from The Open University Managing Public Money from The Open University Introduction to Accounting from The University of British Columbia Organizational Behaviour from The University of British Columbia Business Foundations from The University of British Columbia Marketing Analytics from University of Virginia Entrepreneurship for Global Challenges in Emerging Markets from Delft University of Technology From Brand to Image: Creating High Impact Campaigns That Tell Brand Stories from IE Business School Entrepreneurship Strategy: From Ideation to Exit from HEC Paris Financial Management in Organizations from University System of Maryland Financial Accounting for Corporations from University System of Maryland Financial Decision Making from University System of Maryland First Steps in Making the Business Case for Sustainability from University of Colorado System Sustainable Business: Big Issues, Big Changes from University of Colorado System Six Sigma Principles from University System of Georgia Six Sigma Tools for Improve and Control from University System of Georgia Asset Pricing from University of Chicago Booth School of Business Budgeting essentials and development from Fundação Instituto de Administração Business Communications from The University of British Columbia Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving from Rochester Institute of Technology Excel Skills for Business: Essentials from Macquarie University Excel Skills for Business: Intermediate I from Macquarie University So here is the link. https://qz.com/1120344/200-universities-just-launched-600-free-online-courses-heres-the-full-list/amp/?__twitter_impression=true Happy learning.
  2. 4. "The Richest Man in Babylon" (2004) by George Clayson The Richest Man in Babylon is a collection of parables about money. These are the type of fairy tales one could imagine Warren Buffet would tell small children about his road to wealth. The book may be overly simplistic for the taste of those already well acquainted with the principles of personal finance. For the majority of readers, however, the parables provide a new perspective on financial decisions, and will help instil good financial habits as purely common sense. 5 "Think and Grow Rich" (1937) by Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich was written during the Great Depression. Hill conducted extensive research based on his associations with wealthy individuals during his lifetime and published 13 principles for success and personal achievement from his observations and research. These include desire, faith, specialized knowledge, organized planning, persistence and the "sixth sense." Hill also believed in brainstorming with like-minded people, whose efforts can create synergistic energy. This book conveys valuable insights into the psychology of success and abundance. 6 "The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America" (2001) by Warren Buffett and Lawrence Cunningham In his essays, Warren Buffett—widely considered to be modern history's most successful investor—provides his views on a variety of topics important to corporate America and shareholders. Buffett's essays include discussions on corporate governance, finance, investing, alternatives to common stock, mergers and acquisitions, accounting and valuation, accounting policy, and tax matters. Although Buffett seldom comments on his current holdings, he loves to discuss the principles behind his investments. The book is the definitive work summarizing the techniques of the world's greatest investor. 7. "Dangote's 10 Commandments on Money" (2011) by Peter Anosike A motivational book designed to build the entrepreneurial spirit in the youths, Dangote's 10 Commandments on Money is a fitting tribute to one of the most remarkable businessmen of this generation. The book analyses the strategies which Dangote has used to achieve what some other persons might have considered unimaginable. It is a motivational book that seeks to build the entrepreneurial spirit in youths and a fitting tribute to one of the most successful businessmen of this generation. Through the strategies and principles described as “ten commandments”, you will learn how to make, manage and multiply money from one of the world’s richest. The amazing thing is that Dangote built his business empire from the scratch, starting out as a small scale trader to eventually build an emergent global conglomerate, becoming, in the process, one of the world's richest men. Just how was he able to do this? That is the interesting question which Peter Asike tries to answer in this book. If you’re thinking wealth creation or shopping for an ideal gift for a younger one you care about, this could make a great gift.
  3. 6. Falling in Love with a Company Too often, when we see a company we've invested in do well, we easily fall in love with it and forget that we bought the stock as an investment. Always remember: you bought this stock to make money, so, if any of the fundamentals that prompted you to buy into the company changes, consider selling the stock. No sentiments! 7. Lack of Patience How many times has the power of slow and steady progress become imminently clear? Slow and steady usually comes out on top - be it at the gym, in school or in your career. Why, then, do we expect it to be different with investing? Many people like to refer to themselves as longer-term investors. But when it comes down to it, most investors want to see results in the first 12 to 24 months of owning a particular stock. Fact is, a slow, steady and disciplined approach will go a lot farther over the long haul. This means you need to keep your expectations realistic in regard to the length, time and growth that each stock will encounter. 8. Market Timing Successfully timing of the market is extremely difficult to do. Even institutional investors often fail to do it successfully. A well-known study, "Determinants Of Portfolio Performance" (Financial Analysts Journal, 1986), conducted by Gary P. Brinson, L. Randolph Hood and Gilbert Beerbower covered American pension-fund returns. This study showed that, on average, nearly 94% of the variation of returns over time was explained by the investment policy decision. In layman's terms, this indicates that, normally, most of a portfolio's return can be explained by the asset allocation decisions you make, not by timing or even security selection. So, timing should not really be a reason not to invest as long as the decision follows diligent research and investigation. 9. Waiting to Recover Loss Waiting to recover losses may just be another way to ensure you lose more or any profit you might have made because you are waiting to sell a losing stock until it gets back to its original cost basis. Dream on! Behavioural finance calls this a "cognitive error." By failing to realize a loss, investors are actually losing in two ways: first, they avoid selling a loser, which may continue to slide until it's worthless. Also, there's the opportunity cost of what may be a better use for those investment. 10. Lack of Institutional Knowledge/Research The relative lack of knowledge about future earnings potential, opportunities for growth, competitive forces, etc. can adversely impact investment results. In fact, a lack of knowledge is another major reason why many individual investors tend to underperform in their investment decisions. This is compounded by the fact that analysts can sit and wait for new information, while the average investor has to work and attend to other matters. This creates a lag time for individual investors, which can prevent them from getting in or out of investments at the best possible moment.
  4. Retirement happens whether you want it or not. Even as a business owner, you will not be able to run your business effectively at some point in your life time because nature will naturally rob you of your youthful zest, zeal and vigour. You may try to remain involved in your business but, except you want to use your hands to tear down what you have built, you need to peacefully and graciously retire to tea drinking and vacationing. Worse if you are an employee, at 65, or after at most, 35 years in service, you would get a letter and the content would be something like ‘thank you for your service, you deserve some accolades…’ summary, go home and rest! Unfortunately, many suffer heart attacks when such letter is received. Why not, nothing to fall back on, strength falling, probability of getting another job almost zero, how will the sundry bills be paid? medicals nko? And so on. Easy way out – heart attack. How sad. But this doesn’t have to be your tale. Imagine receiving the letter with pomp and pageantry and the next morning off to Zanzibar beach resort with madam (or oga) on a 10-day pleasure trip. Bills? No wahala, all sorted. Medicals? Insurance in place.. and this is not a fairy tale. It’s all about planning. But I’m too young, I just started work, I haven’t even clocked 5 years on the job… whatever your stage in life - relative youth (aggressive growth); middle age (moderately aggressive); retirement in the next 10 years (income and moderately conservative), retirement is only few years away! So let’s debunk some myths Myth 1. I’m too young to save for retirement. Actually, the younger the better. Starting early makes retirement better because you have a significant opportunity to become truly wealthy thanks to the power of compound interest. Someone who invests N25,000 by age 25, with a 12% rate of return, will have more than N2 million by age 65—even if he or she doesn’t add another dollar after age 25. If that same person waits until age 30, he or she will have to contribute more than three times as much to achieve the same outcome. So start while you’re young. Myth 2. I’m too old to save for retirement. Yes, you may be starting late, but not preparing at all is worse. While it’s true that you’re better off starting at age 25 than 50, it is also true you’ll be better off starting at age 50 than, say, 70. Then again, 70 is a better start than 90, isn’t it? The past is the past. We must stop peering at the rear-view and instead look ahead toward the horizon. As long as you’re still breathing, it’s never too late to start. It’s never too early, either. So no matter what stage you are, START. Myth 3. I don’t make enough money to save for retirement. Actually, there is no reason you shouldn’t retire a millionaire. Virtually everyone, even N18,000 minimum-wage earners, have the opportunity to be a millionaire when they retire. It sounds too good to be true, but the math proves otherwise: a 25-year-old who sets aside only N100 per week will retire with more than a million naira if the money is invested properly with just 12% rate of return. If you are above 25, well, set aside more than N100 weekly. You may try N1,000 or N10,000 depending on your age so you can catch up.
  5. So you want to be an Entrepreneur or you have been told to become one… good, but, do you have what it takes? Being one is not a mean feat. While some like it for the title – I am an Entrepreneur! – Others have been counselled to resign from their jobs and become Entrepreneurs because they look it. True, many have become rich and successful being entrepreneurs but many others have also lost out because they didn’t ask themselves - Do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Here are 10 characteristics that set successful entrepreneurs apart: 1. Passion Although there are many traits that make an entrepreneur successful, perhaps the most important would be passion. Is there something you can work on over and over again without getting bored? Is there something that keeps you awake at night because you haven't finished it yet? Is there something you have built and want to continue to improve upon? Is there something you enjoy so much you want to continue doing it for the rest of your life? 2. Adaptable and Flexible Being passionate is important, but being rigid about client or market needs will lead to failure. An entrepreneurial venture is not simply about doing what you believe is good, but also making a successful business out of it. Successful entrepreneurs welcome all suggestions for optimization or customization that may enhance their offering and satisfy client and market needs. You have to be adaptable and flexible 3. Risk Taker Entrepreneurs are risk takers, ready to dive deep into a future of uncertainty. Successful entrepreneurs are willing to risk their time and money on unknowns, but they also keep resources, plans and bandwidth for dealing with "unknown unknowns" in reserve. When evaluating risk, a successful entrepreneur will ask herself, "Is this risk worth the cost of my career, time and money?" And, "What will I do if this venture doesn't pay off?" 4. Product and Market Knowledge Entrepreneurs know their product inside and out. They also know the market. Most become successful because they create something that didn't already exist or they significantly improve an existing product after experiencing frustration with the way it worked. They are aware of changing market needs, competitor moves and other external factors. 5. Strong Money Management It takes time for any entrepreneurial venture to become profitable. Until then, capital is limited and needs to be utilized wisely. Successful entrepreneurs are strong money managers. A successful businessperson keeps a complete handle on cash flow which is the most important aspect of any business. 6. Exit Preparedness Not every business attempt will result in success. The failure rate of entrepreneurial ventures is very high. Sometimes, the best solution is to call it quits and try something new instead of continuing to dump money into a failing business. Many famous entrepreneurs weren't successful the first time around, but they knew when to cut their losses. 7. Leverage On The Right Connections Many people are happy to complain about the global slowdown, poor demand, or unfair competition and seek comfort in commiseration from friends, colleagues and neighbours. Sadly, that won't improve the bottom line. Successful entrepreneurs leverage on relationships and reach out to mentors with more experience and extensive networks to seek valuable advice. If they don't have the necessary technical or marketing skills, they find someone who does and delegate these tasks so they can focus on growing the business.
  6. Mutual funds are a good way for investors to build wealth but they aren’t completely risk free. With a mutual fund you get exposure to different industries without having to become an individual stock picker. But when it comes to mutual funds, not all of them end up being profitable. Choose the wrong one and you may face investment areas that erode your investment returns. With that mind, here are some mistakes to avoid when choosing a mutual fund for an investment. 1. Paying Too Much in Fees When it comes to mutual funds, investors are going to pay different fees depending on the fund they go with. Investors who don’t pay attention to fees could see their returns diminished as a result, even with a mutual fund. Some mutual funds pay brokers a commission for selling their product to investors. That commission, known as a front-end load can be up to 5% of invested assets and is usually charged upfront. A back-end load mutual fund is a fee you pay when you sell the fund. The longer you hold on to it the smaller the fee. A no-load fund has no commission associated with buying or selling the fund, and is often a good choice for mutual fund investors who want to minimize the fees they have to pay. 2. Chasing Past Performance For most people mutual funds could be a good way to build wealth but often investors will chase past performance in hopes of seeing the same returns. Far too often, investors will choose their mutual funds based on past performance without giving much thought to what the fund invests in and whether or not the exposure matches their risk tolerance and time horizon for investing. Sadly, past performance doesn’t mean future performance, and the fact that a fund did well one year or even over five years doesn’t mean it will continue to do so. While past performance can help narrow the playing field it shouldn’t be the only reason to choose a particular mutual fund. 3. Not Paying Attention to the Tax Implications Many investors will use take funds from their already taxed salaries and invest in mutual funds outside of non-retirement accounts, which could create a tax event if they are not careful. These tax events occur because if an investor chooses an actively managed mutual fund that has a high turnover rate, the investor could be on the hook for any gains. Typically, the mutual funds with higher turnover rates are going to generate more tax events of which investors have to be aware. Unfortunately, most mutual fund marketers would not tell you about this! 4. Holding the same investment via different mutual funds Many people think they can choose a mutual fund, invest in it and then forget about it without giving too much thought to the underlying investments in the fund. If you own only one mutual fund this may be acceptable, but if you have your investments spread out over different funds to get diversification then you are going to have to do some homework. You don’t want to hold the same investments in multiple mutual funds. The whole idea is to be diversified in different asset classes and industries, and if your mutual funds all hold the same stocks and/or bonds, then you aren’t diversified. A possible outcome is that if the market goes down, you are going to be positioned for a bigger blow without having your investments spread out.
  7. Investing and getting returns from one’s investments could be fun until one makes a very dear mistake which could spoil all the fun. Investing comes with its own problems but it is also not as difficult as we think. While there are a number of ‘ground’ rules for investing, here are 10 simple nuggets that would help in avoiding common investing problems especially if you are not employing the services of a mutual fund manager or advisor. 1. Investing in Something You Don't Understand It’s baffling how one would throw funds into a project without knowing how it works. Even one of the world's most successful investors, Warren Buffett, cautions against it. It is quite unhealthy to invest in businesses you don't understand. In fact, you should not be buying stock in companies if you don't understand the business models of the company and how it achieves its aim. It is highly advisable to make sure you thoroughly understand the company or companies before you invest - If you do, invest in individual stocks or better still, mutual funds can come handy. Even at that, seek to understand where your money is going and why. After all, it is your money! 2. Failing to Diversify Please, do not put all your eggs in one basket. How? Stick to the principal of diversification - spread their risk over a number of companies so that if one particular company, sector, industry or even country (depending on your financial weight) hits a rough patch, other investment holdings may pick up the slack. In your investments, kindly remember to allocate funds to all major spaces and allocate to all major sectors. If you do, you may have saved yourself from a total loss which may or may not occur but you never can tell. The best widely known investors own shares in lots of different public companies. 3. Letting Your Emotions Rule the Process Perhaps the major killer of investment return – in our part of the world, is emotions. It comes in two ways A – Investing based on relationship – in local parlance, ‘na my brother’. In this part of the world, it’s usually a taboo to say ‘no’ to a dear friend, or family. This emotion beclouds sound judgement and one ignores the red flags only to regret later. B – Investing based on Fear and greed. Do not let fear or greed overtake you. Just focus on the bigger picture and the hard facts. Be sure you are not driven by fear of losing out or losing all. Also, be sure it’s not greed because large returns would often burst after a while. Pull out when it’s time to rather than staying put fostered on by greed. 4. Copy-cat investing While some investors are trailblazers and do their own research, many attempt to mimic the portfolios of such well-known stock market successes with the hope of being able to cash in on their world-class returns. ERROR! Copying another portfolio, particularly an institutional investor's portfolio, can actually be quite dangerous. Why? You can’t wield much influence in the industry like the big gun. You most likely don’t have as much money as he does. Do you have inside information or the information he has? Do you even know his purpose in making such move or how long he intends to keep his funds there? My dear, do your own ‘homework’. (Read Real Money; 2005, by Jim Cramer). 5. Too Much Investment Turnover Turnover, or jumping in and out of portfolios is another return killer. Allow your seed some gestation period in order to have real benefits. You may be missing out on the long-term gains of good investments if you keep coming and going. Don’t be an investment ‘Abiku’. To be continued…
  8. When it comes to learning about investment, there are several classics on investing that make for great reading. The internet is surely one of the fastest, most up-to-date ways to make your way through the jungle of information out there, but if you're looking for a historical perspective on investing or a more detailed analysis of a certain topic, books will always come to your aid. You can read books with sound financial advice, but if you lack the mind-set to truly build wealth, it will be difficult to achieve financial success. These books are mind-changers! Here we give you a brief overview of these books to set you on the path to investing enlightenment. 1 Rich Dad, Poor Dad (2000) by Robert Kiyosaki This book has been around for a while now, but it’s quite possibly one of the best overviews on wealth building. It deals less with specific moneymaking strategies and more with the mind-set that is necessary to achieve great wealth. Rather than focus on concrete steps for what people can do to fix their financial life, the book presents an alternative mind-set about money. According to Kiyosaki, the rich teach their children a fundamentally different view of the financial world. Kiyosaki's view is that the poor and middle class work for money, but the rich work to learn. He stresses the importance of financial literacy, and presents financial independence as the ultimate goal in order to avoid the rat race of corporate America. The book is built on his early life experience as a child of a well-educated, high income, but perpetually broke father, in comparison to the father of his best friend, who was poorly educated, but a multimillionaire. Kiyosaki's message is simple, but it holds an important financial lesson that may motivate you to start investing: the poor make money by working for it, while the rich make money by having their assets work for them. Kiyosaki advocates investments that produce periodic cash flow for the investor while providing upside in terms of equity value. Real estate investments and stocks that provide dividends are viewed favourably. Real assets add cash flow to your wallet. For example, the book points out that working hard and even earning a high income are not enough to ensure financial success. Rather, the book emphasizes that the rich work smart and spend more intelligently. 2. The Intelligent Investor (1949) by Benjamin Graham The Intelligent Investor is the grandfather of investment strategy books. This book has been hailed by Warren Buffett as the best investing book ever written. Author Benjamin Graham is regarded as the father of the value investing. Graham delves into the history of the stock market, and informs the reader on conducting fundamental analysis on a stock through developing long-term investment strategies and avoiding significant errors. He discusses various ways of managing your portfolio including both a positive and defensive approach. He then compares the stocks of several companies to illustrate his points. The book stresses the importance of fundamental analysis and truly understanding your investments. By learning to analyse potential investments in depth, investors can learn how to spot under-priced stocks backed by robust companies which is determined through fundamental analysis. The central tenet of the book is that a scientific approach should be used when directing your investments. Reading this book, you will learn to keep your emotions out of your investments, and develop a sceptical stance towards anything resembling the type of hype that so often gets the average investor into trouble. The Intelligent Investor won't tell you how to pick stocks, but it does teach sound, time-tested principles that every investor can use. 3. Real Money (2005) by Jim Cramer Popular TV financial analyst Jim Cramer's "Real Money" has continued to sell well since its 2005 debut. The book provides a basic play-by-play analysis of the basic techniques that Cramer advocates for buying stocks. This is not the book for those who want set-it-and-forget-it investments. Cramer does NOT advocate "buy and hold" but rather "buy and homework" meaning that investors spend at least one hour per week analysing each position held. While this ‘homework’ can quickly become a large time commitment, Cramer recommends that investors remain diversified. This may not be the right book for every investor, but if you are interested in the types of things that a hedge fund manager thinks about all day, or if you hold a diversified portfolio, you will enjoy this book. To be continued…
  9. Diversification simply put, is just putting your investment in multiple stocks, assets, sectors that have no similar value added relationship to help you reduce risk of losing investment money. A diversified investment is a portfolio investment in multiple stocks, assets or sectors that have no correlation with one another that help you reduce the risk of losses. Have you come across the quote “Don’t put all of your eggs in one Basket”, pretty familiar right? It is apt to your role as an investor who wants to mitigate loses. For example, Mr David, as an investor, wants to diversify his investments. So rather than invest only in tech/communications, in order to reduce the chances of losing, he diversifies and invests in oil firms’ stocks, government bonds, and banks stocks, not still confident of his investment, he goes into commodities, agriculture and other areas of business to invest till he feels he’s running with minimal risk of losing all his investments. You see Mr David having channelled his investment on different sectors is safer because if there’s a crisis in the tech world and all the tech industry crashes, he’s got investment in oil, government, banks and way down to agriculture. The key priority of diversification is reducing risk of loss. Diversification can't protect investors entirely from risk. Sometimes, financial markets lose value at the same time, and nearly every stock, bond, or fund loses value. More often, though, a diversified portfolio will cushion the blow of a downturn and help you avoid the full consequences of making an unfortunate stock selection. There's also little chance that the entire portfolio will be wiped out by any single event. That's why a diversified portfolio is your best defence against a financial crisis. Although, diversification can help an investor manage risk and reduce the volatility of an asset's price movements. Remember, however, that no matter how diversified your portfolio is, risk can never be eliminated completely. It is never a bad idea to keep a portion of your invested assets in cash or short-term money-market securities in case of an emergency because short-term money-market securities can be liquidated instantly. In general, the more risk you are willing to take, the greater the potential return on your investment, remember, the higher the risk, the higher the returns and vice versa. Investors will usually go for bonds and stocks creating different assets allocation portfolio. Usually, an aggressive investor would go for 80% stock and 20% bonds while the conservative investors go for 20% stock, 80% bonds. With stocks, investors can choose a specific style, such as focusing on large, mid or small capitalization. Bonds also offer opportunities for diversification. Investors can choose long-term or short-term issues. They can also select high-yield or municipal bonds. While stocks and bonds represent the traditional tools for portfolio construction, a host of alternative investments provide the opportunity for further diversification. These include Real estate investment trusts, hedge funds, Fixed Deposit, Commodities, and Treasury Bills etc. Regardless of your intention, there is no generic diversification model that will meet the needs of every investor. Your personal time horizon, risk tolerance, investment goals, financial means and level of investment experience will play a large role in dictating your investment mix. You can build your own diversified portfolio by combining numbers of individual stocks, bonds, or other investments. In general, buying stocks that differ in size, industry, geography, and corporate strategy can give you more of the benefits of diversification. Focusing on similar stocks in the same sector adds minimal diversification to a portfolio. Start by figuring out the mix of stocks, bonds and cash that will be required to meet your needs. From there, determine exactly which investments to use in completing the mix, substituting traditional assets for alternatives as needed. However, if you are too overwhelmed by the choices or simply prefer to delegate, there are plenty financial services professionals available to assist you, usually, at a fee.
  10. New technologies are invented on a regular basis to give people the opportunity to help take stocks and enlighten them to become more informed investors. Investment forms one of the greatest ways to make money today. Being smart in business therefore is characterized through risk taking; smart investors are also known to lead the market. The earned money is used to create a retirement fund, however this is not always easy to do and a number of the Nigerian investors succumb to losses due to information shortage. Let's look at some investment apps in the market for android, with already established and growing large audience. Mobile Apps have helped in generating multiple leads and increase productivity in business. Here are a few of them: Whatsapp Business App Whatsapp Business App is available on android and can be downloaded via the Google Play Store. The apps are compatible with the services running Android 4.0.3 and above. Versions bearing similar features will be made available for IOS devices (I phone) in future. This App has been in use in other nations like USA, Italy, Mexico, Indonesia and UK and has helped investors greatly. Once downloaded and installed in your phone, it will display your business name, location and your site, making it easy for clients to find you. Personal Capital This is a terrific finance tracing tool that helps you manage your various investments. It also useful for those with multiple accounts with different firms. It features a trade mark “You Index” that helps track your accounts performance in all accounts comparing it to benchmarks such as S&P 500 and Dow. This App helps you connect with the assigned financial consultant at an annual fee; it also features a budgeting tool that keeps track of your investment. Yahoo Finance This App remains the best and most reliable in offering investment information. It provides news and a real-time data in the trading industry. Its ability to browse videos, view financials and read basic business charts makes it an amazing tool for businessmen. Expensify The App allows users manage spending transactions, process and upload receipts from their online sales. It also generates expense reports automatically to ensure your employees are spending business money wisely. Feedly The App comprises of news feeds from multiple online sources for one to customize and share to remain ahead in industrial trends. It allows you to subscribe to your favorite website giving you the latest RSS feeds. Tripit For an investor who travels a lot, Tripit forms an essential App to install on your Smartphone. It works like a travel manager by helping you organize reservations and plane flights confirmations by forwarding this important information to the App. It also allows you to share your itinerary with those who matter. Uber There is a newly added feature on Uber called Uber for Business. It was built to help companies manage their employee’ transportation. It features a central dashboard that tracks fares and trip.
  11. Helping Nigerians stay out of debt and gain financial independence is fast becoming a passion for many application developers who seek out better ways to help people save and motivate them to spend less. Here are two savings applications that have been designed to lead Nigerians out of financial slavery. ALAT Well, it is a digital banking service powered by Wema Bank Nigeria, which allows you to do all your banking transactions without being physically present at a bank. Alat digital bank allows you to open fully functional savings account using just your BVN and phone number in exactly 5mins. No paperwork required! At it’s core, ALAT by Wema bank is selling simplicity, reliability and convenience. ALAT digital banking will save you time with a simple account opening process that takes less than five minutes, help you put money away easily by automating your saving, make sure your bills are paid on time with its scheduled payments feature and deliver a free debit card (ALAT ATM card) you can activate, lock and unlock from your phone to use anywhere in Nigeria. You can open an ALAT account easily on from your phone. Install ALAT from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, open the app and sign up with your Bank Verification Number and a valid phone number. Thereafter, you will need to upload a photo of a valid means of identification (a government-approved ID card), a photo of a utility bill (not older than 3 months) and your passport photograph. Your account will be activated as soon as the ALAT team verifies your documents and address, usually in 24 hours. In the meantime, you can put money in your ALAT account but you can’t spend from it. Your ALAT account number will be emailed to you. It will also be displayed on your dashboard each time you log in to ALAT. Piggybank Piggybank is a Nigerian Financial Technology startup and they run a simple online savings scheme where they make periodic deductions for customers to save towards targets. Piggybank.ng securely makes saving possible by combining discipline plus flexibility to make you grow your savings & better manage your finances. Their mission is to make savings & investments more transparent and clear so that anyone can manage their finances. They promise that their clients can also earn interest income on the savings made. All that is required is to link a debit card to their platform online only. I was at first intrigued by the name. It is catchy and straight to the point. Try these apps today and leave your comments below.
  12. Phones have made it so easy for effective communication even without seeing the other party, sending messages, pictures and lots more but we fail to realize that our phones can do much more than we are used to. There are applications that can help manage our finances. Investors will find these applications interesting because they can trade virtual portfolios, draw on stock charts, get the real-time streaming price and economic data, and chart Fred data series, all from your smartphone or tablet. You will be able to track stock levels investing schedule on the real time basis and portfolio records amongst other things. uValue App: This app is available on iPhone and iPad and it is designed by NYU Stern valuation guru Aswath Damodaran, this app lets you do valuation modeling right on your iPad. Six models to work with by inputting the numbers on the application to get started. NetDania Forex: This app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android and it is designed to update quote on currency, stock exchange and economic data around the world of stock and investment. Options Wizard: This app is only available on iPad and it helps to calculate potential profit from strategies investment. It also has the buy and sells tools on the app to see potential gains and losses. Yochaa App: This app is a tool that helps to monitor stock performance on a delayed real-time basis and it also gives you access to an ocean of stocks to analyze for a better decision and its available on Android, iPad, and iPhones. Stock Twits App: This app helps us to spot the stock that has been tweeted the most for traded and made available for traded to connect with the social network for more discussion. Many applications are developed each day, with more exciting features, and I will be adding more very soon.
  13. Author: Nimi Akinkugbe Number of pages: 274 Whether you are just starting out and in your first job, financing your children's education, buying a property, approaching retirement, or somewhere in between, you need to take your personal finances seriously. In A-Z of Personal Finance the author, with a professional background of over two decades in banking and private wealth management, provides you with important practical information and useful tips on matters concerning you and your money. Personal Finance Expert & CEO of Bestman Games, Nimi Akinkugbe knows that a lot of people are worried about their personal finances. The A to Z of Personal Finance is a collection of words, topics and terms that are associated with the subject of personal finance. In this book, Nimi Akinkugbe focuses on some of the most significant principles used in her saving and investing philosophy. The purpose the book is to remove the mystique surrounding savings and investments, while dispelling the misconceptions attached to them. This book provides readers with concise information and tips on matters concerning the management of their money. A certified page turning book on money. The book seeks to empower people concerning their finances. In this book, she presents candid, useable insights and advice in understanding and managing personal finances and wealth. This book is highly recommended and won't amount to a waste of your precious time.
  14. . Author: Alex Becker Number of pages: 200 Found listed and reviewed on Amazon, the book, The 10 Pillars of Wealth: Mind-Sets of the World's Richest People, makes you think like a multimillionaire: and pushes you to leave the 9 to 5 behind. The world has led you to believe that financial freedom is not something you can willfully create in your life. You have been taught to view wealth as something that happens only to a lucky few who win a random business lottery or are blessed with unimaginable talent. The TRUTH is that creating excessive financial wealth does not come down to luck or talent. It comes down simply to your beliefs, understanding, and views--the ''pillars'' that reinforce your every action. Alex Becker not only breaks down the most important pillars for you but also shows you how to bring them into your life TODAY to begin generating lifelong financial freedom. Discover how to: Successfully quit your 9 to 5 and take back your life without taking massive financial risks, Separate your time from money so that you are constantly getting paid (even in your sleep), Understand the lessons multimillionaires have learned through years of trial and error, Map out the exact steps needed to build million-dollar businesses, Skip time-wasting mistakes and learn how to make money quickly by focusing solely on what gets you paid. In this fantastic book the author Alex Becker sets out to delineate the 10 most important concepts and mindstates behind getting rich in "Pillars" (that are the fancy equivalent of chapters). In each Pillar would find a notion to reject or except, or a mind-state, which then gets expounded upon in greater detail. The author is concise and to the point and incorporates a plethora of very good and relevant real-world examples. Pillar 1 ("Rejecting Getting Rich Slow") for example, refutes the glorified notion that the "right way" to be successful is to go to college, get a degree, work everyday for a salary; weekends off; spread out vacations, with slightly inclined pay raises and a good enough salary to eventually retire semi-satisfactorily later in life. Apparently, they say that it's "safer" to minimize risks (that the wealthiest self-made millionaires take) in your career and live just to insure a more guaranteed path to success and financial freedom. The author utterly rejects this notion. Pillar 4 ("Knowing Every Little Thing is 100% Your Fault") has to do with mind-state and as it's title states believing that every action you take is 100% your fault, and that when you take responsibility for all your circumstances; despite it's uncorrelated nature with your volition, you become more adept at manipulating your life situation. This as you may notice is a very common mindstate of the very successful. Pillar 6 ("Forgetting 'What If' And Focusing On 'What Is') is similar to Pillar 4 in a sense of the mindstate needed to endure, and most importantly get started. Many times in life we play hypothetical scenarios in our head of what will result in the actions we take rather than just taking them and calibrating, figuring out, and learning from them there and then. Pillar 8 ("Focusing Solely On What Gets You Paid") is a plan of action that states that you should put most if not all your efforts on the activities you undertake that ultimately get you paid. Other less profitable tasks should be outsourced and overall there will be a net benefit. There's a "Secret Pillar" that is very motivational. There's a bonus chapter that talks about the different kinds of online companies you can start and it outlines the details of each. Do you want to know about the remaining pillars? Buy the book today. If you want to get serious about changing your financial future, this is a MUST HAVE book.
  15. Author: Dave Ramsey Number of pages: 352 In this book, Dave Ramsey takes the time to address techniques for true wealth-building, not just the financial kind. He points to the strength in character and values. This book challenges us to look inward. Where do our true values and visions lie? When you find that answer, you know where you are. When you create that answer, you put yourself where you want to be. Mr. Ramsey's wise counsel will lead many to become prosperous, and his wife's tidbits made the whole book come together. They work as a team. Here is what Amazon review has to say: In his first bestseller, Financial Peace, Dave Ramsey taught us how to eliminate debt from our lives. Now in "More Than Enough," he gives us the keys to building wealth while also creating a successful, united family. Drawing from his years of work with thousands of families and corporate employees, Ramsey presents the ten keys that guarantee family and financial peace, including: values, goals, patience, discipline, and giving back to one's community. Using these essential steps anyone can create prosperity, live debt-free, and achieve marital bliss around the issue of finances. Filled with stories of couples, single men and women, children, and single parents, More Than Enough will show you: 1. How to create a budget that fits your income and creates wealth 2. What finances and romance have to do with one another 3. What role values play in your financial life 4. How to retire wealthy in every way And much, much more More Than Enough provides an inspiring wealth-building guide and a life-changing blueprint for a vital family dynamic.
  16. Authors: Thomas J. Stanley Ph.D William D. Dank Ph.D Number of pages: 273 Audible Book: Available “The Millionaire Next Door” was originally published in 1996 but was updated and republished in 2010. Many individual investors and entrepreneurs considered the book a classic must-read personal finance book. It is not the regular step-by-step “how-to-become a millionaire” book, rather it is a compendium of observations about how the thoughts and actions of self-made millionaires differ from the typical middle-class worker. The basis of the content emanates from a 20-year research of over a thousand real-world millionaires. Conclusions drawn from the study emphasized the keys to building high net worth. Millionaires Think and Act Differently The deductions drawn from survey responses confront pre-conceived notions of what it means to become wealthy. In particular, most people assume that being a millionaire means having enough money to never worry about how much you spend and that the keys to accumulating wealth are to: i. Inherit it from successful parents or relatives. ii. Earn advanced degrees at the best universities iii. Be smarter or more intelligent than others. In reality, the results of their real-world study showed that most millionaires live below their means and carefully plan their lifestyle expenses. They also showed that the keys to building a high net worth were more likely to be: a. The application of a solid on-going work ethic b. Application of consistent, long-term savings habits c. The enduring self-discipline to spend less than they earn and invest the balance The authors went into details — with examples and logical analysis — about the seven prominent characteristics millionaires have in common: 1. They have conservative lifestyles. 2. They are efficient in allocating resources (time, money, energy). 3. They place a higher priority on financial independence than on social status. 4. They made it on their own efforts without significant help from their parents. 5. They teach their own family members to be economically self-sufficient. 6. They focus on emerging market opportunities. 7. They choose an occupation where they can become self-employed. The authors assert — and their evidence seems to confirm — there is a direct relationship between controlling family expenditures and the accumulation of wealth. Under-achievers tend to let their household expenditure levels be determined by their annual income. Successful wealth accumulators, by contrast, have pre-determined annual budgets they operate within and carefully limit their expenditure to be less than their annual income. “Most people have it all wrong. Wealth is not the same as income. If you make a good income and spend it all, you’re not getting wealthier. You are just living high. Wealth is what you accumulate, not what you spend.” So, how do you become wealthy? “Most people get this wrong too. It is seldom luck or inheritance or advanced degrees or even intelligence that enables people to amass fortunes. Wealth is more often the result of a lifestyle of hard work, perseverance, planning and, most of all, self-discipline.” Summary “The Millionaire Next Door” is not meant to be a “how-to” become a millionaire. It is, however, an excellent book to get an inside look at the mind of a millionaire, based on a statistical study of 1,000 actual millionaires over a 20-year period.
  17. It’s time for you to wake up and be who you want to be! Take advantage of this piece of information to skyrocket your business ideas. #1. Nigerian commercial banks Individuals who wish to either start up or fund their businesses often go to banks to access their loan facilities especially when family members and friends cannot support this business. Nigerian banks often give loans to individuals for many reasons but not without collaterals. Collaterals are property or something given to the bank in place of money borrowed so that the bank can sell off that thing and recover their money in the event that the person defaults in payment. Also, bank loans often attract interests. Bank loans come in many forms – long term, midterm and long term loans. What determines how loans can be classified is the length or period of time in which the borrower is allowed before he or she repays the money and the amount of money involved. Banks are major sources of business funds. Short term lasts about 3 years while medium term lasts between 5 to 10 years, but this condition varies from bank to bank. Long term loans are based on your credit history and current income, and can last for a period of 30 years. Even though most commercial banks in Nigeria do not give loans without interests, Islamic Banks have changed that common practice. This is because they operate on the principle of Sharia Law which prohibits interests, riba or Usury. To access bank loans you must have a current account with them. And First Bank can lend up N500,000 if the applicant has operated a current account for over 6months and it is done on a corporate basis. Corporate basis in that the applicant should work in a company with a good reputation and they will sign an undertaking with First Bank to be deducting the money from your salary. Alternatively, you can visit First Bank Microfinance Bank for smaller sums of money. All applicants must operate current accounts with proven track record of credit-worthiness. #2. YouWin Program This is an empowerment Program put in place by the Federal Government of Nigeria. It empowers Nigerians but mostly the youths. It is a collaboration of the ministry of Communication Technology, ministry of finance, ministry of youth’s development and ministry of women affairs and social development – and is also supported by the department for International Development. One of the cardinal objectives of Youwin is to generate over 80,000 jobs in 3 years and provide a onetime equity grant for 1,200 selected aspiring entrepreneurs to start or expand their business concepts and mitigate start up risks. It is targeted at people between 18 to 40 years. Requirements for YouWin Step 1: • You must have a good business plan • You must be a Nigerian citizen between 18 and 40 years • You must have a valid ID card (International passport, driver’s license, national ID card or voter’s card). • You must have a post-secondary school qualification • You must prepare an innovative idea Step2: Go on https://apply.youwin.org.ng. After applying you will receive a confirmatory text. Step3: Complete New Business Application. Once you registration you will get an alert on your email. When you have successfully registered you need to log in and click the New Business Application button. It is only available once in a while. YouWin has given thousands of Nigerian youths the opportunity to source business funds and help themselves grow. Remember YouWin gives youths grants and not loans. #3. SMEDAN Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria was set up by the Nigerian government to support individuals who have great business ideas but may not have enough resources to execute them. SMEDAN is one of the sources of business funds in Nigeria. The offices are located in all 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria and the FCT. If you have a good business idea, just forward an application to SMEDAN on info@smedan.gov.org and await their response. #4. Bank of Industry The Bank of industry gives loans to small, medium and large industries, excluding cottage industries. They also lend to credit worthy promoters who will be required to prove their commitment to the project. Part of their objectives is to lend to clients with demonstrable ability to meet loan repayment. To access BOI loans, do the following: 1. Write an application letter requesting for the amount you will like to access 2. Complete the Bank of Industry questionnaire. Download their forms atboinigeria.com/downloadscentre Note that there are no limits to the amount BOI can lend to borrowers and a loan of about 75million can be approved in 2 weeks if all necessary requirements are met. Also, note that you can repeatedly apply once you meet all necessary requirements. For more information on BOI loans, please log on to www.boinigeria.com. #5. Bank of Agriculture Individuals who do not have money to go into agro-allied businesses may borrow from the bank of Agriculture. They provide credit to segments of the Nigerian society who have little access to the services of the conventional banks. Bank of Industry is owned by Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance and supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture. It’s obviously owned by Federal Government of Nigeria. Bank of Agriculture operates as conventional banks and they give loans to farmers who meet certain conditions. Remember, you shouldn’t be shy to seek help because those institutions and programs were established because the government saw the need to eradicate joblessness in Nigeria.
  18. Unemployment and underemployment have become a major challenge to both the Nigerian government and the people. Sadly, many youths have lofty ideas to start up and manage their businesses, but they are hampered by the fact that they do not really know how to fund their business ideas. They often walk from one point to another in search of white collar jobs which are non-existent. If you happen to fall into this category of unemployed Nigerian youths, worry no more because I can assure you that this piece will be an opener in the end. #1. Family and friends One of the sources of business funds is family members and relatives. Borrowing from friends, parents, siblings, uncles, is significant and good if you come from a family where there are able and capable people to lend you. Sometimes they offer such moneys without asking for interests and you don’t have to service the debt. In some families, they have meetings on how to collectively support one of their own. It is a common practice in Nigeria. Therefore, one of the ways you can generate business funds, be it capital or project money, is through friends and family members. Some people who are lucky to have parents who willed some properties in their names can decide to sell off some of the properties just to generate enough money to fund their business. #2. Personal finance One of the ways individuals can get loans is by funding it themselves. People who manage to operate a local account (mostly fixed deposit) can empty it just to fund their business. You can also sell your shares to generate money to fund your business. It is often said that, “If you save money, money will save you.” This is the most common and the best of them all because you don’t need to beg anyone for support. Traditionally, this is regarded as the best but it doesn’t mean other methods shouldn’t apply when you don’t have enough to start or support your business. #3. Local co-operative societies In Nigeria, people often join co-operative societies and borrow so as to generate business funds. They do money sharing in turns, in that a huge percentage of their savings are given to members to start business with it. To achieve this, join a local co-operative in your area and understand how they operate. When it gets to your turn, they will give you huge share of their savings and with the money you can use it to fund his or her business. Local co-operatives have been known over the years as one of the sources of business funds in Nigeria. #4. Nonprofits / Angel Investors Some Non-governmental organizations or nonprofits are established for the sole purpose of helping people have access to certain grants or loans. NGOs are often owned by High Networth Individuals, so these philanthropists dole out certain amount of money from time to time to help people. To achieve this, you can write to Emeka Offor Foundation on info@sireofforfoundation.org. In your letter, explain your business ideas and the need for them to sponsor your business. The challenge with nonprofits is that there are no guarantees one will get such funds. Better still; write a proposal to them seeking to award you a contract for a project in the Foundation. It must not be Emeka Offor Foundation; it can be any nonprofit or philanthropic organization in your area. Soliciting for funds from nonprofits is one of the sources of business funds because they often sponsor individuals. #5. Partnership When we hear names like PZ Cussons (Paterson and Zochonis) is a good example of how partnership can transform businesses. Partnership means two individuals pooling their resources and using it to fund their business ideas which may not be funded by one person alone because of the huge financial implications of such businesses. To form a partnership, the two parties must trust each other and each party’s contributions must be clearly defined. If you wish to get into partnership to fund your business, you must sign all necessary agreement documents with your partner. Verbal agreement is not the best for partnership. Do away with procrastination as time waits for no one. Go out there and explore any or all of these sources of business funds and believe that your efforts shall not be in vain.
  19. The daily decline that plagued the Nigerian economy early 2016 to late 2017, has driven the country to take agriculture more seriously than ever before. Irrespective of this public clamour for farming, a lot of farmers in Nigeria still have a large problem of getting access to agric loans, despite the fact that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has allocated about 200 billion Naira to fund the agricultural sector. While this may be a major mishap, it also means that funding is now available for every farmer or investor looking to expand or get into the sector. The first problem farmers experience is not getting the loan, but being informed on how to properly gain access to the agricultural loan. This has led to growing concerns in the country, with many farmers stipulating that they have no access to the agricultural loan facilities being disbursed. The purpose of this article is to show you exactly what it takes, what to do, and how to approach the proper financial and government institutions to secure a loan for your agricultural business. The first thing you need to know is the type of agricultural businesses that have access to the agric loans. While some do, others don’t. Some of the agricultural products that can give you access to agric loans in Nigeria are: cassava farming, fish farming, poultry farming, cotton farming, oil palm farming, pig farming, maize farming, rice farming, snail farming, and a lot more. The next step is you need to visit your state’s Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to know the full agric loan requirements, and how you can proceed with your application for a loan. Some things you need to know about the loan is; before you can gain access to the agricultural loan from your state’s Bank of Agriculture (BOA), you need to have banked with them for at least 6 months. You must also have saved at least 20% of the amount you intend to loan from the bank. Also, the loan rate for the micro credit agricultural loan is usually 12%. When you visit your state’s Bank of Agriculture (BOA), you can get more detailed information on how to apply for the loan. If you don’t have time to visit your local Bank Of Agriculture (BOA) branch, you can call the BOA on 07042262222 or 07040202222. It’s important to know that it’s not only the Bank Of Industry that gives out agric loans. Some commercial banks do too, but through the federal government and other bodies. Some banks that offer agricultural micro-loans for farmers in Nigeria are Union bank, United Bank For Africa (UBA), Stanbic IBTC, First Bank, and several micro-finance banks. These loan institutions will require that existing farmers present a financial statement showing their income statements so far. New farmers would need to present a viable business plan for the bodies to review. Being a part of FADAMA, and/or applying for Youth Based Initiatives loans are also a great way to get agricultural loans in Nigeria.
  20. Getting into the landlord business can be very challenging for first time investors. Real estate is a tough business that has its own hurdles, and if care is not taken, you may end up not making profit. Now what are the things that need to be taken into consideration when looking out for an income property? START YOUR SEARCH It is better to search for properties on your own rather than getting a real estate agent. This is because, getting an agent most times gives one much pressure and you end up buying a property that does not really suit you. But searching out yourself, you are more relaxed and able to look into every neighborhood within your investing range. A real estate agent may help you complete the purchase. Four major things to consider when searching for the right property. The first thing you should consider is the neighbourhood. What is the quality of the neighbourhood? The quality will influence the kind of people you attract and the price for rent. For instance, if you buy in a neighbourhood near a university, it is certain that your tenants will mostly be students and vacancies will not be on a regular basis. The second thing you should consider is school. For family-sized accommodations, you need to consider the quality of the schools in that neighbourhood. If a property is good but the nearby schools are poorly facilitated, people may not want to buy and such will affect the value of your investment. The third thing that should be considered is the level of crime in that area. Is it safe? No one wants to live in an environment where criminal activities are high. Ask people who live in that area how frequently a fight breaks out, robbery rate and how regularly the police visits the neighbourhood. The fourth thing you should consider is how social the place is - amenities. How social is the neighbourhood? Are there malls, parks, gyms, cinemas? Is the neighbourhood surrounded by places that attract people? Find out where the public amenities and private properties can be found. Are the roads good? Has electricity been connected to the houses there? GETTING INFORMATION When securing a place, talk to renters and homeowners in the neighbourhood. Renters will be honest in telling you about the negative aspects of the area, because they have no investment in it. If you have decided to buy in a particular neighbourhood, try visiting the area at different days of the week to see the behavior of your future neighbours. THE PHYSICAL PROPERTY After checking out the neighbourhood, look for a property that has appreciation and a good projected cashflow. Look for properties that are more expensive than you can afford and those within your reach. Most times, you will get a good discount for any property. Do a research and compare the prices. That is one sure way to know what anyone is willing to pay for the property. In looking out for appreciation potential, you are looking for a property that will attract tenants who are willing to pay higher rents. Such property may have some renovations you will need to make. This will serve you well, by raising the value of the property if you want to sell after a few years. So, what is the bottom line? There are good cities in every good state, and good neighbourhoods in every city, and good properties in every neighbourhood. It's all about doing a proper research. And when you find your ideal rental property, make sure your finance is in a healthy state so you won't be needing the income immediately, you can patiently wait to start generating cash.
  21. In 1983, when America experienced a boom in many businesses, gold and the acquisition of gold was trending because many people anticipated that currencies would crash. The key thing at that time was, buy gold in order to edge. Mr Stone gathered money from different people to invest in the golden opportunities but only few people understood the risks he was exposing them to. He was buying gold on margin. Many people had seen him make a lot of money in the past because he knew when to go in and when to step out of any investment, so it increased the confidence they reposed in his abilities. Sadly, the danger with buying gold on margin is the fact it was an unstable form of investment. This is why: If gold was sold at $50, you are encouraged to add 10% , which is an extra $5. This $5 was a lot of money for people at that time. But as the price of gold continued to rise, at $100, to retain your position, you had to keep up with your 10% by adding more money. This meant you needed to pay an extra $5 but if you are unable to keep up by a particular deadline, the $5 that you put in will be forfeited. In other words, buying on margin is similar to a situation where you borrow money but cannot pay. When the price of gold took a run in 1983, many people who invested everything they had into the gold business were left with nothing. For the Nigerian counterpart, prior to experiencing the stock market crash, many people went into debt to make more out of stocks. Seeing how well their stocks were faring, there were many who decided to borrow large sums of money just to double their ROI within a particular period. Sadly, when the stock market crashed, many people ended up with critical health issues and some even committed suicide. The extreme reactions to the crashed stocks was a result of them being caught in the downside of stock investment as debtors. For Mr Stone and many other Nigerians who fell victim to the crash, they learnt a truth the hard way; emptying your savings or borrowing for investment is not the wise way to go. Only excess money should be put in any form of investment; always keep the cash needed for sustenance aside. This is what turns many people into beggars because they are suddenly under pressure as they make frantic efforts to raise the cash needed for basic necessities of life. The blood runs hot when they begin to fail in responsibilities to pay the rent or other fees but runs hotter when the lender comes calling. Always cover the basic expenses needed for your day to day living as an individual or as a family before diverting funds into any form of investment; only use a part of your savings for investment. Never ever empty your purse no matter how juicy a deal sounds. Investing via exclusivity will also lead to problems later on; you must build a balanced portfolio concerning your investments. Look for investments on different platforms; Cash, stocks, real estate, agriculture, etc. So that if one fails, you have a backup plan. In the meltdown of 1992, people lost millions of naira when the technology market crashed. A more recent event was when MMM seemed the main deal for Nigerians in 2016. Many people, spurred by greed, emptied their savings, diverted funds meant for other projects and even went as far as borrowing. In the end, they got their fingers burnt. Wisdom for investment states that before you make the choice to invest, ensure that you have covered your daily expenses, then take out just a part of your savings. My dear friend, learn to diversify investments and never ever empty your savings for any investment opportunity.
  22. Most people believe that it is not possible to save with a low income. This is not true. For you to actually save at all, it starts with you making the decision to save. Any decision you want to take starts with the mind. It is the mind that controls you and tells you what to do. When you want something done, it all starts with you thinking and believing that it can be done. If you think you can do it; you will do it. If you think you can’t do it, then you can’t. So when you avoid saving with the little you make, it’s because you think it’s not possible. Saving is very important and it will help you a lot in the future. Your ability to save helps you become financially secure. Therefore, whatever money you receive, save from it. Your savings should be the first thing you put aside. Yes, your income may be meager but you can still save little out of it. You might think your monthly savings is too small; but it’s okay to start small. As long as you are saving something, it’s better than saving nothing. What you think is small today, in the next three to five years, it could amount to a lot of money. Saving is for everybody, irrespective of how much you earn. It is your decision to make. So, once you set your mind to do it, you can do it. For you to be able to save, you should assess your financial health. Know how much you get daily or monthly and how much you spend on a monthly or daily basis. You should monitor your income and expenditure. You need to know where your money is going. Do you know how much you spend on recharge cards, food, transport, fuel etc.? When you do this, you may realize you spend a lot on things that are not very important. It doesn’t mean you won’t spend money on these things, but you can cut down on the amount you spend on them. You can have it on records which could be on your phone or a note pad that you can easily access. This will help you save better. When you are able to assess your financial health, then you can re-examine your budget. You need to have a budget. A budget will show you the important things you need to spend money on and the things that are less important. You need to be ruthless in managing your spending. Get ready to make sacrifices. You can decide to spend less money by cooking at home rather than eating out. Have a budget on how much you want to spend every day; how much you spend on recharge cards, shopping, internet, health, beauty products, visiting friends etc. Write out all existing expenses, including the small ones, then list out each monthly expense. Also, set goals for yourself. This will make saving easier. When you have a goal; you have a plan. It could be a short-term or long- term goal. This will help you save towards it; you become conscious of what you want to achieve at that period and with that, you are mindful of your spending. It is also important to save for the unexpected. An emergency may occur in the future; planning for it will help you be prepared. A set-aside emergency fund could cover for an unexpected job loss, or a difficult health situation. Money should be set aside for emergencies to avoid going into debt. Remember that an emergency can actually be more than your income, so it’s best to start saving for it on a daily or monthly basis. One may need to retire in the future; the money you have saved will take the place of the income you will no longer receive from your job. The sooner you start saving for retirement, the less you will have to save in the future. In all, saving is very important. It doesn’t matter how much you are earning, you can do it and you should do it. It helps you avoid going into debt and you can secure a better life for yourself.
  23. There are many times I have wondered how we survived the era prior to civilisation and the internet. It sure wasn't a funny thing because sending a message to someone in another land was a sort of job on its own. How did people handle cash also? I laugh at the realisation that before the advent of commercial banks, people actually kept their monies in temples and by giving them to temple priests. Today, banking and managing money is a different kettle of fish. Though internet banking was not greeted with great zeal by most Africans, eventually, discovering the ease, the great ease attached to it, many more people have joined the wagon. I can't remember the last time I actually went to a bank to sort out a transaction. You can sort out financing a vacation without leaving one spot using your bank's mobile app. In spite of the slow internet penetration rate, banking applications are being embraced on a large scale. Every bank in Nigeria has a mobile application and have to grapple with satisfying their customers on a daily basis. Gathering this review, I noticed that it may not be an accurate reflection of the acceptability rate by customers simply because just a handful of people leave a review. However, we would work with what we have on the Google Play Store. So if you haven't downloaded the Mobile App for your bank, or you want to know how many more people share your frustrations, this should interest you. Let the battle of the apps begin: 1. Zenith Bank With over 500,000 downloads, customers are promised that the mobile app eliminates the need of funding your mobile wallet before initiating payments and airtime purchases. You can register as an Internet banking user or a non-internet banking user. What people are saying: According to Google Play Store, 6,169 people sent in their reviews. 5 stars: 3917 reviews 4 stars: 1044 reviews 3 stars: 647 reviews 2 stars: 189 reviews 1 star: 372 reviews A good chunk of people approve of this app but when 372 people complain so much, it means something needs to be corrected. 2. Ecobank With a satisfactory 1 million downloads recorded, this bank promises that wherever, whenever… with the Ecobank Mobile app, everyday banking becomes as easy as ABC! Let's see if the users agree; With a total of 7,218 reviews, 5 stars: 4,068 reviews 4 stars: 992 reviews 3 stars: 767 reviews 2 stars: 341 reviews 1 star: 1,050 reviews My thoughts: Though a large chunk freely donated 5 stars, a whopping 1,050 users are downright upset about something. We can't ignore this. Ecobank needs to sort this out fast. 3. Union Bank We obviously know how recently this bank joined the 21st century internet world of play. So this review shouldn't come as a surprise to many. Though they make 13 promises to the users including a weather forecast, from the number of downloads on the Google Play Store, it is either Users are wary of so many promises or they need a new PR agent. With 100,000 downloads they barely have 600 reviews, 5 stars: 418 reviews 4 stars: 71 reviews 3 stars: 54 reviews 2 stars: 18 reviews 1 star: 39 reviews While publicity of the mobile app should be invested in, this bank also has to take into consideration the things they need to put in place so they don't have a fast increasing amount of dissatisfied users. 4. Diamond Bank When users are promised that “The Diamond Mobile App brings excitement to the world of banking”, it is then no surprise that we have over a million downloads. With almost the highest number of reviews, the Diamond Mobile App has a total of 13,227 reviews on the Google Play Store. 5 stars: 7,854 reviews 4 stars: 2,239 reviews 3 stars: 1,380 reviews 2 stars: 587 reviews 1 star: 1,167 reviews With a high number of 5 stars, this mobile app has won my heart (sadly, I don’t have an account with them). They are rated high for monitoring credit, making payments, budgeting, linking bank accounts, managing credit cards, tracking finances, international transfers, etc. All ratings of over 80%. We can’t however ignore the fact that there are 1,167 dissatisfied Users and can only appeal to Diamond bank to make their experience as seamless as possible. 5. GTBank The first thing I see when I visit the Google Play store is “The GTBank Mobile App is finally here.” Not only was I disappointed by the lack of creative copywriting, I rolled my eyes many times because I expected more from them. Anyway, no beefs, over to the reviews. A closer look at the promise made and Users guaranteed seamless banking. Over one million downloads have been made by users and a whopping 14,135 reviews are recorded. 5 stars: 7,883 reviews 4 stars: 2,815 reviews 3 stars: 1,521 reviews 2 stars: 679 reviews 1 star: 1,237 reviews A laudable number of people praise this app but obviously, many people are highly dissatisfied and leave amusing comments. GTBank officials need to do something about this also. 6. UBA The upgraded mobile app has over 500,000 downloads and promises their users banking services that are easily accessible. 6,508 people dropped their reviews and over half of them are highly satisfied. 5 stars: 3,914 reviews 4 stars: 995 reviews 3 stars: 623 reviews 2 stars: 305 reviews 1 star: 671 reviews It is quite easy for organisations to forget the small number of disgruntled customers when compared with the happy ones, but that shouldn’t be the case. If one customer isn’t satisfied, his or her complaint is worth looking into. So UBA, there is work to be done. 7. Stanbic IBTC When someone tells you, “Experience Stanbic IBTC’s beautiful way to manage your money; all your money”, there is this satisfaction that comes with. However, when you look at how many downloads have been recorded, (over 100,000 downloads) and the handful of reviews recorded, (1.515 reviews), I begin to wonder if the promise for #appiness is really true. 5 stars: 942 reviews 4 stars: 203 reviews 3 stars: 118 reviews 2 stars: 66 reviews 1 star: 186 reviews For the number of 5 stars that they have, there are already too many people in the 1 star section. This is so much that one of the users who dropped a review told them how #unappy the app made his day. Stanbic, kindly step up to the table and clean up the mess. 8. First Bank The fact that their name bears a position resemblance, it doesn’t make them first in the battle of the apps because they didn’t exceed my imaginations. Users are promised convenient access to both financial and non-financial transactions plus other functionalities. With over a million downloads, 12,536 Users dropped their reviews. 5 stars: 8,129 reviews 4 stars: 2,034 reviews 3 stars: 1,179 reviews 2 stars: 406 reviews 1 star: 788 reviews Well, what can I say now? First Bank, please try to be the first bank who gets it right. Sort out the bugs and fix the errors. 9. FCMB The FCMB Mobile Plus app, recently updated, promises real time access to mobile transactions. With barely over 100,000 downloads, only 1,508 Users sent in their reviews. 5 stars: 875 reviews 4 stars: 238 reviews 3 stars: 140 reviews 2 stars: 50 reviews 1 star: 205 reviews There are a lot of complaints that arose after the app was upgraded. Usually, when an application is upgraded, it is meant to make the user experience a more pleasant one. This becomes defeated when more people keep saying they have not benefited from the upgrade. FCMB, please listen to your users and do something about it. 10. Sterling Bank Users are promised that the Sterling Mobile brings a whole new experience to banking from your mobile phone. Only over 100,000 downloads with 1,954 reviews. 5 stars: 1,217 reviews 4 stars: 184 reviews 3 stars: 148 reviews 2 stars: 105 reviews 1 star: 300 reviews This one customer bank needs to listen to its users. 300 dissatisfied users are too many bad reviews. Conclusion Though mobile applications are powered by phone work ability, network and a couple of other factors, our financial institutions need to listen to their users, more intently and make more efforts to reduce the discomfort experienced when the users interface with their various platforms. Reading through the various reviews will amuse anyone who has some time to spare. I know we haven't gotten there yet, but please and please, just in case, you reading this, know the person in charge of these apps, kindly tell them that Nigerians deserve the best and nothing less.
  24. Let's assume a finance detective approaches you and asks: "Who loves to have a dependable car?" "Who loves to own a house?" "Who loves to dress well and be the talk of the town?" I am certain he will get the same reaction from you as the one playing out in my head. The right question actually is, "Who doesn't?" We live in a materialistic world and it is absolutely normal for people to desire good things. However, when you live in a society where the economy is not friendly, it is crucial to be careful when sorting our priorities. The word 'Debt' is not new to man and has been the cause of some drastic decisions that people made in our society. Have you ever been in a situation where you were not able to handle an emergency due to lack of adequate finance? Or you had issues with your friends and loved ones because you owed them a lot of money and couldn't pay back? Or ever seen cases where people lose their lives owing to a build up of stress over accumulated debt? Very recently, the news of a major oil firm bedevilled by crippling debts was trending. Though the borrowed funds were meant for business expansion, the day of reckoning eventually arrived. That's what happens with debts; as the day of reckoning draws close, the heart of the borrower beats faster. However, there are practical ways to staying debt free. Let's discuss some. First, make a budget. Creating a budget helps you avoid overspending. Though you earn a great income, it is not wise to spend beyond your budget. It will only leave you with less money and your family gets affected. Creating a budget helps you to set your priorities right. It will enable you to make the right sacrifices to financial stability. You may have to cut down on some luxuries like taking a vacation abroad, eating out every weekend, going to the movies on Saturdays, wearing the latest designer clothes and shoes, and many more of that. You will learn to be more resourceful and seek our less costly luxuries. Instead of expensive vacations in a very faraway country, you can find equally luxurious ones less faraway and costs less. Parents should also re-orientate their children in being prudent with money and cut down on requesting for meaningless luxuries. In order to be debt free, know exactly how much you earn, how much you spend and how much you should spend. Monthly is most recommended. This will help you cut out unnecessary expenses and ensure you live within your means. Secondly, nurture self-control. In the society we live in, people feel pressured to keep up with the latest fashion and trends. I once heard a quote; "Don't try to live up to the Jones, the Jones are broke." Life is all about how you make most of what you have; so restrain your thoughts and focus your your mind on the things that matter the most. That's one sure way of escaping the trap of grabbing everything that appeals to you and accumulating unnecessary debts. Contentment is a must-have virtue; life is not all about expensive toys. Always remember that if you keep spending money on things you don't genuinely need, someday you will have to sell the things you need when the storm of life comes. But if you've been prudent in keeping your expenses low and your savings/investment fat, you are better positioned to weather the storms when the assuredly come. Lastly, save, save and invest. Set savings/investment goals and draft a plan on how to achieve them. You want your children to attend one of the best schools? Good, plan towards it; start saving in an education fund/account for it. When the focus isn't on immediate gratification, you make smarter decisions. You want to own a house? You want the best for your children? That's beautiful, all you need to do is to save for it. Saving for a long term goal also gives you the time to consider if you really want that particular thing. Always monitor your spending. For you to save better, trick your mind into believing you make less income. And in truth, there were years you made less income and lived well. Just don't let your mind get used to spending everything you earn. This will help you put more money aside -- the extra from the salary raise, the new side income etc -- for the long-term financial goals you want to achieve, for example, buy a house, take your family on a vacation. In summary, to become debt-free: change your habits and develop a healthier way of spending. Staying debt-free helps individuals and families to live happily. They are able to avoid unnecessary stress, achieve more and build better relationships.
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