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Financial Independence

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By Agbai Ina Obasi

FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE

Sycophancy is a disease (arguably more harmful than corruption in our Nation building) which had not only made the people hero worship their corrupt leaders but has also turned the citizenry into a docile lot willingly accepting the atrocities committed by the said leaders.

Encouraged by the wide spread reverence and praise singing towards their unacceptable behavior, the corrupt leaders persist in their primitive accumulation of wealth.

A major cause of this abnormal behavior (sycophancy) is financial insecurity and poverty of the mind. I therefore believe that as more people become financially independent, the level of sycophancy among our people will be greatly minimized.

Below is my attempt once again to refocus our people on the need for financial independence.

Financial Independence (FI) starts with a simple decision to set a goal and pursue it with consistency, focus and determination. The important thing to note here is the passion with which the goal is set and pursued. Dream:

FI begins with a dream. The bigger your dream, the better. Desire fervently to achieve the dream. The more passionate you desire, the better. Goal:

The goal must be specific, measurable, challenging and achievable. I recommend that it be shared with loved ones for effective buy in and support. Action the Goal:

This entails taking specific steps to achieve the set goal. Most times, this will involve CHANGE, UNCERTAINTY AND RISK. Always remember NO RISK NO INCOME; Feel the joy of achieving the desired goal and abhor the pain of failure. Investment Opportunities:

‘Financial Independence is like a three legged stool resting on Savings, Insurance and Investments’.

Insurance:

There is no better way to protect your assets and loved ones against unforeseen circumstances than Insurance. While there is positive trend in savings and investments, most people still lag in insurance due to the presumption that most insurance companies in Nigeria are not forth coming in claims payment. However, this trend is changing with more people engaging in comprehensive insurance policies as opposed to the general third party policies. So it should be with Life Insurances more so with our people in diaspora with good track record of Insurance Companies performance.

Savings:

The Richest Man in Babylon prescribed that we save at least 10% of our earnings. What is important here is developing the habit of savings. Many hide behind the excuse of low wages not to save. However, it has been proven over and over again that with determination, you can save notwithstanding your wage size. But note also that savings alone is insufficient; you must invest those savings in a more profitable investments to be FI.

Stocks:

To invest in stocks you need information on the company, the management, the trend in the company and in the industry. You must also know about some calculations like simple interest, Return On Investments (ROI)/Return On Equity (ROE), Earnings Per Share (EPS), Etc. It is always advisable to use the services of a professional stockbroker or investment analysts to guide you especially at the initial time.

Real Estate:

To be financial independent, you must own your own house. It’s even better when the house brings income into your pocket. Good credit supported by cash flow, an understanding of the mortgage stipulations and Location of the properties are all key ingredients in buying or building a property. Remember to engage the services of professionals- real estate Agents, Attorneys etc. as documentation relating to land must be in writing under the law.

Your own business:

This is one of the most challenging of the investment options as most businesses fail within the first five years of their existence. Therefore, to own your own business, you must research on the business, review the funding options, location, find a gap in the market to be filled, know and delight the customer, know what competition is doing, grow your income and if you cannot, you must cut cost, and reinvest your profit; and above all, grow your passion in the business. •THE ABIRIBA EXPERIENCE: From time immemorial, the Abiriba man has been a famous entrepreneur known for his shrewdness in managing his business. However, in the past decade, as the business environment changed, many of our people were unable to change along with the times. What happened? Many were stuck to their lines of business ignorant of the changing business world and skills; some invested wrongly in non-income yielding assets; a few were outright extravagant living well above their incomes; others were over leveraged and got smothered by the high cost of fund and bank charges; some were ignorant of the ever changing government policies; while some others just refused to move on to other businesses or to reinvest and /or diversify their investments. I keep asking myself ” how can a man who had 2 to 3 four flat buildings in Aba end up being a tenant in the same city when he could have stopped importation somewhere along the line to become a land lord?” Notwithstanding the above, some gallant sons and daughters of Abiriba have kept faith with the rules and ethics of business; constantly renewing their business skills and diversifying their investments and thereby continuously contributing towards making Abiriba retain its “Small London” status.

The Family:

A lot of families fail in their pursuit for FI because the couples have divergent goals. While one spouse may be inclined to live by the day, the other may be propelled to save and invest. For some, they want to buy the latest models of cars etc. even when they cannot afford those. For others, they are concerned about living comfortably for the rest of their lives and would invest in assets today that would earn income to support their expenditures tomorrow. While the FI couple are happy when they achieve their set goals aimed at a better tomorrow, the non-FI couples’ happiest moment is when they are spending money they have not earned. Therefore, a FAMILY is more successful when both spouses love each other and share the same financial independent goals.

Take Action:

Love a lot, Develop yourself (knowledge is key; without it, my people perish),Think positive, Seek God’s favors and Take Action today on one thing you believe can aid you to be financially independent.

God bless.

Agbai Ina Obasi

Curled from my award winning book titled “Financial Independence” published by Xulon Press. Available online at Amazon or goggle Agbai Ina Obasi/financial independence.

If you are interested in further details of the above, please get a copy of my book.

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