Posted by by Akeem Lasisi on
Last Saturday, a multitude of Lagosians shunned their usual schedules of leisure, merry making and other different forms of weekend businesses.
Last Saturday, a multitude of Lagosians shunned their usual schedules of leisure, merry making and other different forms of weekend businesses. They trooped to Excellence Hotel, Ogba, not to attend a social function, product launch, or what has become the favourite diet of many nowadays: endless spiritual retreats. The people had heeded the call of some financial experts who had advertised a seminar on personal finance and investment. Quite unlike many Nigerians who would rather put their money on what some disciplinarians will describe as frivolities, the crowd had paid N 2, 000 each to learn about four streams of income, which was the theme of the seminar.
The facilitators, the arrowhead of which was Pastor Tony Olukoyede of His Purpose Church, made money-making look so simple that a doubting Thomas could be tempted to ask: Is it this easy to create millions? But, largely, the principles treated were those that had worked for them (the facilitators), as well as for many moneybags the world over. And they are those that you too should know and apply if you want to cross over to the realm of custodians of millions and billions. But, first, two quick investment quizzes for you.
Whenever the name, Bill Gates, is mentioned, what come to mind are the computer and the billions of dollars he has amassed. When Henry Ford is mentioned, automobile and billions of dollars come to mind. When Holyfield is mentioned, people remember boxing and wealth. Mention the name, Ronaldo or Okocha, soccer and fortune come to mind. And whenever you mention Cosby, comedy and wealth come to mind. Now, the question: what comes to people’s minds whenever your name is mentioned?
It was a sobering quiz for most of the participants at the seminar. The question made them look small, much smaller than they really were physically. Suddenly, it occurred to them that they had yet to have any identity, not just in the race for fame, but also in matters of business and investment. And that was part of what the questioner, Olukoyede, wanted them to realise – that the bane of many wealth-seekers is that they dream in isolation of ideas, invention, planning, talents, and conscious investment.
“The mistake that many people make is that they chase money. This means that they are chasing a shadow, because money is not real. Those who command wealth know that money is a shadow. It is not real. Only ideas, businesses, goods, services, opportunities etc are real. That is what many wealthy people have realised. They strive to establish those real values, knowing that money will always trail the ideas and concepts,” Olukoyede explains.
The second quiz: Someone wants to do you an uncommon favour. He wants to give you what you have always desired and toiled to get. Money, that is. But the fellow gives you an option. You get either N500 million now, or one kobo that doubles itself every day for 45 days. Which one would you choose?
The question looked too simple, if not simplistic, to many members of the audience. And your likely option was the answer they went for. They would rather grab the half a billion naira offer than go for any ‘outdated’ kobo that doubles itself for 45 days, probably making a miserable 90 kobo at the end of the day. But they were wrong! The value of the 45 kobo at the end of the day is so huge that it makes accepting the N500million a silly option. According to a financial expert, Mrs Kunbi Wuraola, who broke down the arithmetic, using the law of compounding interest, while on day one the value of the little cash will appreciate to N0.1, by day 30 it will be N5,368,709.12. On day 44, it becomes N87,960,930,222.08. On the final day, the value is well over N175billion! It is the principle of compounding interest at work, the type that you need to master, and exploit whenever the option arises.
On the subject of streams of income, all the facilitators, including Pastor Dapo Ogunnowo, a senior official at Union Bank, and a devout stock market player, notes that for any person who wants to make it to the top, a stream of income is never enough. According to Olukoyede, over 70 per cent of man’s thoughts has got to do with money, while most of his activities require fund to get through. As a result, his needs are always more than what a single stream of income can satisfy, hence, the imperative of exploring other legitimate means to boost his finances.
The first stream is what he describes as The Core. This can be a job, career or business that will harness one’s potential, with which one must catch a vision, and which must be fully embraced.
“To make a successful job of The Core,” he adds, “ you must pursue it with vigour and piety, because it is often a stepping-stone to other streams. Be patient, know everything, and be information-driven about it.”
The second is the Overflow Stream, which describes every talent you have. All the talents must be discovered and harnessed for investment purposes. One good thing about these is that a success in one talent aids the success in others.
Thirdly, there is the need to build a System, which demands that a business system/structure is important if your business must grow beyond you. Lastly, there is the Investment Stream: the act of ploughing back and multiplying one’s earnings.
The seminar not only taught people principles of investment, it also generated a pool of investment ideas, and the establishment of an investment club, the type that you equally need to join.
The Punch, Thursday, June 09, 2005