An Introduction to Around The Money
Hi, this is the introduction to Around The Money, a series on financial education. Let us start with a story.
Fred gets a new job
So, Fred moves to Lagos because he got a new job. The pay is four times what he used to earn when he was in Makurdi. Fred thinks that he has enough to settle down, and he gets to work with vigor, putting token sums aside to rent a house.
Suddenly, the COVID-19 pandemic happens. Fred hears rumors of an oncoming recession, and then a weekly increase in the market prices begins. Fred continues to save money nonetheless, cutting costs here and there. After a year, Fred takes the money he has and wants to go and rent a house. However, the rent of the house he planned to get has doubled. To Fred, this is just bad luck.
Do you think there was a way Fred would have saved the same money and rented the house of his dreams?
Let us skip to another scenario.
Esther’s business is booming
Esther has been nurturing her small business for a while, and soon, she starts to pick up well-paying clients in Abuja. This sudden influx of income inspires Esther to put some funds away. A friend of hers tells her to pay the money into a dollar investment. Esther is initially skeptical of this, but she is finally convinced. Then you know what happened; the pandemic came along. A year and the doubling of market prices later, Esther’s investment matures, and what she had put down earlier has grown by 35% of its value. To Esther, this is good luck.
The common thread in both stories is that neither Fred nor Esther was in control of anything. We cannot attribute their failure or success to something they did. As far as they are concerned, life happened.
But that is not the entire truth.
This is what has been happening…
In the past two years, many Nigerians have been impacted by the results of the economic depression. The general sentiment is that the citizenry lost wealth, but we have also seen that some of them got richer. Due to economic pressures, the average Nigerian has either grown wealth or lost some of it within the last two years. Those who gained wealth did so because they were privy to opportunities that enabled them to multiply their money. We can attribute this to those who lost money to their participation in investment schemes that went awry or their inaction towards their finances. At the end of this, it all comes down to how financially conscious and knowledgeable you are.
Why is the knowledge of finance essential?
Today’s technologically-driven world provides increasing access to investment opportunities. While the internet can grant anyone access to a world of financial instruments, people can lose a lot of money if they do not know what they are doing (financially). To manage your money correctly, build wealth, or preserve the value of one’s capital, one must have some basic knowledge of finance and employ the lessons in every aspect of life that deals with money.
And this is what this Around The Money is about; translating complex finance knowledge into simple articles that everyone can understand and apply to their lives.
In this series, you will learn simple concepts about finance. Then we would progress into the much tougher concepts so you can build and preserve the wealth you gain over time. You will also understand how the financial markets operate and learn how to protect yourself when the inevitable inflation creeps up on you.
Learning about finance doesn’t just help your money grow; people who know about finance tend to be happier than people who do not.
In the next issue, we will be discussing how money is created.
Question of the Week
What areas of finance do you want to know? You can answer with anything; stocks, foreign exchange, cryptocurrency, personal finance, etc.