How many times have you had to bite your finger at the disappointment of passing up a business opportunity for which you were financially ill prepared to take advantage of? Occasions probably too numerous to count I am sure.
Compounded to your seeming frustration might also have been the fact that a purposeful walk into any of our Nigerian banks lends no reprieve as most would gladly dance naked in the simmering Nigerian heat or unforgiving torrential downpours than take a second look at your well prepared business plan. Your savings just won’t cut it, plus, it also seems, unfortunately, like other avenues of independent fundraising in a bid to benefit from that seemingly ‘hot’ business opportunity looks abortive from every angle.
Well, maybe there is one angle you failed to consider, and guess what, it’s one that enjoyed huge popularity at some point in the Nigerian business space. A casual discussion about it with a friend once lent the near heated response, “Investment Clubs are dead abeg! Let’s think of something else…” he said to my utter wonderment. Really? I mused, are Investment Clubs really dead or did we just see it as a passing fad which we were only too glad to drop at the first sign of ‘bump ahead’ we came by?
And now we scratch, unsuccessfully so, too far down the ‘well of opportunity’ for fundraising solutions that stares us right in the face? Hmmm, maybe it’s one or the other or it’s neither, but did you know that the Paris Club for which Nigeria and several other African and global nations always enthusiastically run to for financial aid is actually an informal group of 22 creditor nations, with no official global statues, who give concession–based loans to mostly poor nations.
And are today owed monies to the tune of half a trillion dollars by more than 50 global nations? I can’t even begin to imagine what could happen to the global economy if this group ever decided they needed all their monies, plus agreed interests, back. In other words, it would be bad news for the world, and good for the creditor.
Believe it or not, the Paris Club is one of the highest forms of Investment Clubs there is in the world today, and though there may be others, such as the London Club – a private group of creditor banks that also loan monies to countries and other banks, the Paris Club is one of the oldest, most successful and popular Investment Clubs in the world.
Of course, there might never be anyway that you or your entire village could together ever match the kind of investments that has seen Paris Club rise to the pinnacle of global financial prominence as it has today, however, might the idea be one channel to reach your goals of financial independence without the hassle of loan repayments, displeased shareholders, a greedy creditor and/or some form of indebtedness for which you could have future regret? Maybe…
Alright then, let’s delve a little deeper into this financial crevice and reeducate ourselves about this once forgotten money spinner and see if it could have some exploitable hidden gems.
What is an investment club?
An Investment Club is a group of individuals who come together to combine funds mostly for the purpose of investments, and with positive returns as an outcome. These members typically meet on a periodic basis to make investment decisions, mostly through, a voting process and then proceed with their investment objective(s). Investment Clubs are an excellent way of reducing the risk of financial losses, in the case of a bad investment decision, and are also good ways of meeting new friends and learning of new investment opportunities that exist and having a means of easily taking advantage of them.
Although people have been investing in groups for thousands of years, the world’s first investment club was allegedly established in Texas in 1898 back in the Wild West when few investments could be considered safe. Investment clubs were seen as an ideal way of spreading the risk away from just capitalizing in cattle farming, the popular business at the time. And one of the major reasons people, particularly Americans come together in investment club is to learn how to or other ways of investing their own personal monies outside of the group.
It is important that each Investment Club have ground rules, strict laws that must be abided by each and all members, a solid strategic business direction and firm investment objective and procedures otherwise its objective could be defeated from the get–go. Usually Investment Clubs do not have to be legally registered or offer or sell membership slots to interested persons, but most do and since each club is unique, each should, for best practices register at least as a private entity, a social club or find ways to abide by some statue governing the laws of the land which it finds itself.
Investment Clubs can invest in next to anything, both legal or (believe it or not, illegal). But the most popular, legal, vehicles are shares (stocks), mutual funds, bonds, treasury bills, property, junk bonds and direct investment in ownership of companies. However, other Clubs have been known to stake in big oil and gas deals, farming/agricultural projects, next–generation pharmaceutical and/or medical solutions, weapons manufacture and sale, to mention but a few.
How to join an investment club
Joining an Investment Club may require a connection to an existing member or a vacancy in the club, but any group of individuals may start their own investment club. The process includes finding a group of like-minded investors, registering it with state and/or federal government, obtaining a taxpayer ID, and holding regular meetings. The investment club should also open a brokerage and banking account and maintain organized and strict banking and accounting procedures.
Investment Clubs are commonly formed as partnerships or limited liabilities, and investment income and/or losses are consequently passed through to its members through monetary or physical terms as agreed by its members.
Contributions into investment clubs
Some Investment Clubs are gender or age specific and members may be required to make an initial minimum investment and then make regular contributions as agreed in its membership terms and conditions. Often, but not always, each member of the investment club contributes the same amount of money and is expected to do so periodically. Members are often always free to invest outside of the club, which makes an investment club a good way to diversify a portfolio.
Club meetings are usually held monthly but some Clubs meet more frequently, and most meetings involve reviewing existing investments, taking deposits for new investments, selecting new investments opportunities, and on some rare occasions, as a festive gathering. Members personally research existing and potential investments, and the group is often able to conduct more thorough research as a team than each member could do individually. A majority vote is normally required to buy or sell an investment, making it one of the safest investment options known to man…
To be continued…
About the Author
Whenever he is up nights, faffing around the internet gathering material for detective novels he is not sure when he’ll ever publish, Brain Essien, likes to play investment and brand strategist in the mornings and website architect/builder in the afternoons. On the weekends he likes to throw on a few bouncing apparels and gadgets and go bounce people out of their own parties if they become a handful. Besides that, he loves reading detective novels, building muscle, daredevil racing, video games, shad
9 Brilliant ideas to pay off debt fast in 2021
While debt repayment can be excruciating, this article will give you nine (9) brilliant ideas you can use to pay them off.
The coronavirus pandemic has left the world’s economy in shambles. Banks, private and government-owned, have recorded an increase in loan requests. Loads of employees have become unemployed. Entrepreneurs who took loans to support their businesses were affected by the lockdown measures. Even global conglomerates took a hit, and stock prices dropped.
Debt does more than just reducing your spending power. Constantly defaulting on your debt repayment agreement, could buy you time in jail. Debts could give you anxiety-related health conditions. Regardless of the amount you possess, debt could ruin any financial statement without proper management.
In the post-pandemic period, there had been more people in debt, compared to the previous year. Don’t let the anxiety stall your debt repayment process.
While debt repayment can be excruciating, this article will give you nine (9) brilliant ideas you can use to pay them off.
- Stop payment using your bank cards
One of the villains of debt repayment in this technological era is the e-banking system. Mobile transactions, Debit and Credit Cards, they cause more financial crises, especially for people with poor management skills. When trying to fasten loan repayment, try to go traditional with your banking. It helps to avoid unnecessary spending.
(READ MORE: Growing concern for Nigeria’s ballooning debt profile)
- Pay off the smaller debts first
Paying the smaller debts increases your chances of striking items off your list and also motivates you to continue. This method is commonly referred to as the snowball method, which involves making a list of your debts and their financial values. This list helps you keep track of your debts and also helps to determine their worth. Thus, you would be more inclined and motivated to pay off each debt eventually.
- Pay off loans whose interest keeps accumulating
In cases where there are loans with high-interest rates which aren’t the smallest loans, the snowball method might put you in more debt. The method, commonly referred to as the avalanche method, helps you save more off interest rates. Create a list of your debts with their interest rates then commence either a monthly, weekly or daily payment method on the one with the highest interest rates. Do this consistently till you have cleared all your debts.
- Budget your resources
The key to financial independence oftentimes is budgeting. Budgeting helps you manage your resources according to your needs. In periods of economic depression or debts, you should work to eliminate insignificant expenses. Your budget should begin with a scale of preference, your needs in their order of significance. Then draw a method to allocate money to only the needs that are very important within that period.
- Stick to your budget
Making a budget and failing to stay in-line with your plan, is like buying bricks and hoping that the wind does the construction. A budget is meant to be a guide. It is a means to an end, which is eventual financial freedom. Your intentions wouldn’t come out to make your budget work if you keep on buying burgers and shoes at every window stop.
(READ MORE: The economy may end up weaker if inflation rate is not controlled – CBN report)
Loans/Debts have timelines, and the fastest way to clear your debts is to beat the timeline and avoid the interests. Keeping to your budget ensures that you have extra money to avoid paying interest.
- Find an extra income source
Extra money at this time would help facilitate your debt repayment process. An extra hour or two could be the defining factor in keeping to the loan timeline. Yes, there are fewer jobs at the moment, especially with the state of the world’s economy. Freelancing is a viable option in this case. You get to work at your convenience and make extra money too. Fiverr, UpWork and LinkedIn, are reputable and safe platforms for finding freelancing jobs at low cost.
- Pay timely and occasionally
The mistake most people make is trying to accumulate the total money before paying. This is careless, as you are prone to spend the money before the given date. With every fresh income earned, pay your debt(s) gradually, it helps ease anxiety. Timely payment not only ensures that you clear your debt(s) on time, they also add to your credit score and ensure that you can borrow again if need be.
- Never borrow to pay debts
A debt is a debt, fresh or old. Never make the error of taking loans to pay off loans; it only leaves you in a fresher hole.
(READ MORE: Here are 7 ways to plan for the unexpected in your small business)
- Change your spending habits
Spending on unnecessary items or unbeneficial investments while in debt(s), leaves you at the risk of widening your debt gap. It would help if you modified your spending habit to suit your current situation. If you must make it through, every extra resource is valuable.
Aside from poor management, debt is one of the significant causes of bankruptcy in the financial world. If you must maintain your financial independence and wealth, after repaying your debts, you must stick to all the habits and skill you acquired during your loan repayment period.
Avoid spending on insignificant investments, save every extra money you acquire till you find a profitable venture to invest in.
Legit ways to make money with your phone
In today’s world, phones have become an asset, allowing one to do simple jobs that would have previously needed the use of computers.
One of the significant strongholds of technology advancement is the emergence of smartphones, which you can basically do anything on. The quality of smartphones has dramatically reduced the use of computers for basic tasks like browsing the internet or viewing a document. More importantly, jobs that would have otherwise be done on computers can be quickly done on mobile phones. This has made phones an asset, especially with the emergence of legit ways to make money with your phone from any location.
The fantastic thing about these jobs is the fact that they still allow you to keep your 9 to 5 job. You can smoothly run them on the side and get extra cash to pay your bills.
This article unveils seven legit ways to make money with your phone. Keep reading to learn about them, and choose the one that suits you best.
- Online tutor: Having a phone gives you direct access to the internet as well as online learning platforms that you can earn from. Are you good at something? Simply register on one of those platforms and offer your knowledge for a fee. These days, you do not even need a professional camera or studio. Instead, you can simply make a video with your phone’s camera, as far as it is decent enough. If your content is good, people will keep coming.
- Earn from YouTube: YouTube is one of the few social media platforms that pay the people using it. To benefit from this payment, all you need to do is open a channel and get people to watch your videos. Some of the videos that attract lots of views are comedy skits, fashion advice, how to do stuff, and even tutorials. Once again, as long as your phone has a good camera, you can simply make your video with it and expand as you earn. Many of these large YouTube channels started with mobile phones.
- Own your eCommerce business: eCommerce businesses is no longer as complicated as it once was. Today, all you need to start one is your mobile phone as there are platforms that offer everything else. Websites like eBay and Jiji simply allows you to take a picture of your good, upload it, and wait for interested customers to make a bid. You can sell anything on these apps, and the better rating and review you have, the more trust people would have in your product. All you need to start earning money is your phone and whatever you intend to sell.
- Freelance: Freelancing is basically offering your services on the internet for money. As long as you have a good internet connection and a decent phone, you are good to go. Jobs like writing, copywriting, and graphics designing can be easily done on a mobile phone. You can visit and register with popular freelance websites like fiver and Upwork to get started.
- Watching videos: Believe it or not, there are websites that pay you to watch videos. For most of them, it’s a larger scale of digital marketing, which you do not really have to get involved in. Simply stream a video, advert or clips, and get paid for doing so. One of the most common apps that do this is Swagbucks. They pay you for watching videos, shopping, and taking surveys, and offers different means through which you can redeem your payment. Swagbucks services are, however, restricted based on locations, as tasks to earn money are not readily available compared to other areas. Fronto is another popular app that offers the same services too.
(READ MORE: Budgeting on a fluctuating income)
- Taking paid surveys: Paid surveys is one of the easiest ways to make money with your phone. Like watching videos, taking paid surveys is part of a broader scope investigation that companies invest in to understand customers’ perspectives. They rate this so important that they are ready to pay you to complete surveys containing different questions. All you need to get started is your phone, and then open an account with the platform. Some of the websites that offer this are InboxDollars and Opinion space. The availability of surveys is based on your geo-locations.
- Virtual assistant: Although being a virtual assistant might hinder you from having a daily job, its pay is enough to cover your needs. As a virtual assistant, all you need to do is offer your services to individuals or companies with a lot of work to do. It could range from simple tasks using excel sheets to managing documents and compiling reports. Most of these works can be done on your phone. The difficult thing about virtual assistant jobs is that you would have to seek it like a regular job. You apply and go through recruitment processes like a regular job.
Although there are a ton of other money-making applications that you can earn from on your phone, most focus on some specific locations. The location favors those in Europe and the US and a little bit of Africa. However, the methods above are universal and work in Nigeria. You should try them out and start making money off your phone today.
Best ways to get free money with little or no effort
A good definition of free money with little or no effort is making money without a 9 to 5 job.
Being successful has always been the goal, and would always be, and a large chunk of it is often determined by how much money you have. This is why many seek both passive and active ways to make money and hold 9 to 5 jobs while making side investments. The best and most convenient way to make money is when you do so with little or no effort. Sounds too good to be true? Read on to find out the best ways to get free money with little or no effort.
A good definition of free money with little or no effort is making money without a 9 to 5 job. Working all day to make money is stressful and not what this article focuses on. With the right combination of skills and the processes listed below, you can make money and remain lazier than you would have been with a standard job. Here are some of the best ways to do this:
- Online sales: The emergence of e-commerce websites like Etsy means that you no longer have to go out there searching for customers. You can make a lot of money sitting at home by simply creating an account on the platform. The fantastic thing is that you do not even need to have the goods to sell stored in a warehouse somewhere. Instead, you can make a deal with store owners and put their products on your page. You can bargain commission on any product sales you make. That’s it, no much work, no investment, only profit.
- Drive people around: Believe it or not, driving is one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria. This holds especially for busy areas like Lagos, and you can make a lot of money by only driving people around. You would be shocked at how many people are willing to pay double or triple the regular fee to have the car all to themselves. An excellent example of this is uber driving. This is one of the ways that require little effort, just drive!
- Invest in high dividend stocks: To pull this off, you would need to invest a substantial sum. The plan is to invest in high dividend stocks and receive extra for it. Dividend stocks are when companies give shareholders additional stocks, which could be due to different reasons. Investing in one would see you earn more value in worth (which you can sell for profit) without literally doing anything. Simply wait and watch your investment bloom. However, understanding the stock market is very important, as a blind investment could see you lose a lot of money.
- Sell your photography: This process is simple. Just take pictures and sell them off on the internet. Picture giants like iStock and Shutterstock are always looking to purchase new images. Simply log in and follow their guidelines, as anyone can submit a photo to be included. When anyone downloads your photo, you get a commission. That’s all, simply take pictures and make a lot of money.
- Invest in real estate: Making money through real estate requires a large upfront investment, although it compensates with a large payout too. If you have the money, investing in real estate is one of the easiest ways to make free money with little or no effort. All you would need to do after investing is managing your property.
- Take online surveys and play video games: Sounds like the perfect life, right? It can actually be. Some sites would pay you to complete their surveys and play videogames for feedbacks. These data, so to say, are sold to research firms that are trying to understand consumer habits.
(READ MORE: Where to invest $10,000 right now)
- Open a high-interest savings account: This is another way to get free money by literally doing nothing order than paying a certain sum into your account. A high-interest savings account offers you greater interest compared to a regular savings account, as long as you leave your money for an agreed time. However, these accounts have a minimum opening balance that varies from one bank to another, and it’s usually not a small sum.
- Sell your old stuff: This is kind of straight forward. Do you have things that you no longer use? Simply put them up for sale on an e-commerce website. Selling them would see you kill two birds with a stone. This is because you would both declutter your home and make money in the process while doing nothing literally.
These are some of the best ways that you can make free money with little or no effort. They all work, therefore study them, and combine the methods that work best for you. With the right dedication, you can start making money in a day or two by only doing the barest minimum.