I started investing in University. My first stock purchase was a bank stock. Before then, my dad used to give me news papers with stock quotations to calculate different valuations. I didn’t understand it then, and I typically never completed the work. Anyways, I took to stock purchases more seriously many more years after. I fundamentally buy businesses I want to own stocks for 10-20 years. I buy to hold not to quickly make money and sell. That’s my fundamental investment principle. I also work with this principle with my partners in my investment club.
Why? I set my eyes on being a billionaire when I was 16. That’s my financial goal. I’m very far from it.
Lessons: I haven’t made so much money yet but I increase share ownership in the key companies I identify every year. I didn’t set out to make money immediately, to be honest, I want to buy and own chunks of businesses. Ultimately, making investment decisions can seem confounding. So “stick to your strategy”, I would also say, invest your ‘investable’ income and define your class of investments. Decisions are made easier and quicker if u are clear exactly what u are after.
Ozue is a partner @midascapitalng
I got motivated to start investing when a classmate of mine shared his impressive net worth. What was even more impressive was the fact that he had built it from savings while working a regular job similar to mine before b-school. Later, I got introduced to a financial planner who sent me a 5 page document with loads of questions. This made me realize I had to be very clear on my risk appetite and financial goals.
Prior to this, my only financial goal was to “make money”. My financial planner asked me ‘why’, ‘for what?’. This forced me to think about what wealth is supposed to do for me.This has also helped me make better investment decisions. Our culture does not prioritize financial planning enough. We either wait for a big break or worst case, fall back on our community/family to sustain us.
Lesson – Financial planning is very important when you want to start investing. Financial health comes from finding a balance between your cash flow vs balance sheet and only taking risks you’re comfortable with. Why buy a car or purchase stock when your 3-6 month emergency fund is not secured? Everyone needs a financial plan. Force yourself to set aside something no matter how small.
Yvonne is the Head, Strategy @firstbankngplc
I started my investment journey during my NYSC (mandatory service) year in a Stockbroking firm which was my place of primary assignment. In that firm, I saw firsthand how you could buy shares and in 24 hours, make 5% appreciation in value. I quickly began to understudy how to pick shares to buy and know when to sell. I bought and sold continously and by the time I finished my service year, I had made enough money to buy my 1st car! Wohoo!👏🏽 Subsequently, I started co-ordinating “Ajo/osusu’ (savings contributory schemes) with people I judged as credible. We evolved into investment clubs and together we have invested in real estate, contract finance, company shares, opportunistic one-off investments, mutual Funds and agriculture.
Some of my key lessons on my investment journey are;
1) Build partnerships – One key thing that has really helped me in my investment journey is partnerships (I have my investment squad and Investment club). I believe in partnerships – It helps you take on things you would ordinarily not be able to do on your own due to limited knowledge on an investment idea, limited finances or fear. I lost money when I invested alone
2) Network. Network. Network. – It opens you up to opportunities, new paradigms and people to outsource your weaknesses too.
3)Sometimes, you have to take risks – no pain, no gain
4) Finally, be flexible and embrace change – The fact that it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Embrace change
I started out as an Investment Banker but I have always had the passion to start my own business. After being divinely inspired to start making socks, I started with two things in mind; top quality products and advocacy/excellent customer experience. I knew both were enough to make me one of the best sock makers in the world.
My first investor saw a unique offering after an experience with my product. In his words “ There is something about the socks I purchased from you that makes me want to have them on daily. Even after washing them without adhering to the care instructions, they still come out great!”. Looking back after two and half years, I’m having the greatest time of my life running and growing my business. Like i said in a recent interview with The Huffington Post “ In 10 years, N&G would have birthed one of the greatest brands in the world”.
Lessons – As an entrepreneur, focus on what makes your brand or product different. You just might have a customer become an investor in your business.
Instead of chasing investors, be excellent and different enough for investors to get interested in investing in your business.
Segun Abiona is the CEO @nicoleandgiovannisocks
My father taught me 70% of what I know about investments. My very first lesson was in treasury bills and books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Cash Flow Quadrant and Richest Man in Babylon were our texts. That’s why It was a no brainer to begin an investment portfolio when I started my career. I started with a N100,000 which was my portion of a group contribution aka ‘ajo’. I realized that I could discipline myself to save, invest in a fixed deposit account and earn compound interest. From then on I’ve invested in a few start ups, stock and money market instruments like treasury bills.
My lessons: (1) Understand the difference between intuition and fear. I failed to listen to my intuition once and I got my fingers burnt but I have missed out on fantastic opportunities because of my ‘what if’ fears (2) Ignore people. I have had people ask me if I wanted to build a house in my village because I channel most of my income to investment. It’s your cross, not theirs.
@okwuchinyarko is an entrepreneur who teaches others how to master their finances