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If you have N1m today, how would you invest it?

21-year old Ade, was gifted N1m by his rich aunty. He wants to save this to fund his wedding in 10 years. How should he deploy this fund? Find out via the link below…



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This question is really asking how you would allocate N1 million amongst different asset classes. But before we consider that, let us start from the basics.

What are asset classes?

Asset classes are securities that exhibit the same characteristics. For instance, Fixed Income as an asset class, will include all financial instruments that pay fixed returns. They will range from “risk free” securities like Sovereign Bonds, to risky junk Bonds issued by the private sector. Look at asset classes as cars that take you to an investment destination.

Variable income as an asset class group will include all financial instruments whose return are not fixed, but variable in nature. These asset classes range from Equities, to include Real Estate Investment Trust (REITS), and even Derivatives.

Rule of thumb, Fixed Income Assets are less risky than variable income stock.

So, how would you allocate N1 million?

Well, it depends on:

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  • your age,
  •  how much risk you are willing to take, and
  • how long you want to wait before you need your principal.

[Read Also: Does one’s fat salary automatically guarantee wealth?]

To be clear, we are investing, not saving. What is the difference? Saving is simply the act of putting money away, while investing is the act of putting away money with a specific objective in mind, and the expectation of a return. When you invest, you expect a return.

First consideration: how old are you?

Age is a very important factor because the younger you are, the more risk you can take. Why? If you are younger and you lose all your investment capital, you have a better chance of starting over and replacing lost income. Also on a positive note, age in finance means more compounding periods i.e., age means that your investments have more opportunities for earning to be ploughed back to grow.

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If you are younger, you should invest more in variable income securities like shares, because over time they offer greater chances of higher returns, but with a higher risk. If you are nearing retirement, then you should not under any circumstance invest more than 20% in variable income securities like shares, no matter the return potential.

Second consideration: What are your objectives?

If your investment objective is to grow your investment capital with a Capital Appreciation Goal, then you want to invest in variable income asset classes like shares. This is because variable income securities have a higher propensity to beat inflation than fixed income securities. Keep in mind that more variable investment means more risk.

If, however, your objective is to protect your principal from loss with a Capital Preservation goal, then you should invest in fixed income. The risk here is that your returns may not beat inflation.

Last Consideration: How long do you have to stay invested?

If you have a long investment horizon, meaning if you can keep your investment capital in the financial market without seeking it back in more than five years, then you want to stay in variable income; specifically equities. This is because equities as an asset class have a high propensity to beat inflation.

[Read Also: Why you should measure the performance of your investments]

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However, if your will want your investment capital back in say less than 24 months, it is advisable you invest in fixed income because you can determine exactly how much you will get back in 24 months.

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Let us look at scenarios:

  1. Recently-employed 21-year old Ade, was gifted N1 million by his rich aunty. He wants to save this to fund his wedding in 10 years. How should he deploy this fund?

I recommend:

  •  70% in Variable Income, specifically mid and large capitalization stock
  •  20% in Fixed Income, specifically 2yr Saving Bond
  • 10% in Cash as Money on Call with a Bank


  1. Objective is long term capital appreciation.
  2. He may need cash before 10 years, so I invested 20% in safe government bonds payable every 24 months. This is also diversification to protect the portfolio.
  3. He may need good old cash to buy his engagement ring, we put 10% in a bank to prevent breaking any invested principal before maturity.

2. Okoro, 64, about to retire, received N1m as gratuity advance payment. How should he deploy this?

[Read Also: Investment options for salary earners]

I recommend:

1. 80% in Federal Government Bonds. However, we will “ladder the investments as below:

a. N200,000 in 2-year bonds
b. N200,000 in 3-year bonds
c. N200,000 in 4-year bonds
d. N200,000 in 5-year bonds
2. 20% on “call” in a bank?

2. He is a retiree; investment objective is capital preservation. He has zero risk capacity. Variable income is a no-go area. However, even within fixed income we have done tactical asset allocation within the fixed income asset class.
3. We have “laddered” his investment so that his principal investment comes due every year for the next 5 years. This allows flexibility to invest if rates rise, but also carry the risk that if rates fall, he is not locked.
4. 20% as cash in a call account ensures that he has cash for emergencies and does not break his tenured investment

These case studies have picked both extremes of investors. You may find yourself with similar objectives as either examples, e.g., low risk profile but seeking capital appreciation, which then means that you need a balanced portfolio.


Whatever you do decide, keep in mind that when choosing where and how to invest, you must consider the variables of:
1. Your age
2. Your investment objectives
3. Your risk profile



  1. Jude Onuoha

    April 15, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Hello thank you for the insightful article. Please can give a scenario for someone between 40-45 years. I am with on this age range.

  2. Adeyemi

    April 15, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge about short term and long term investment plans.

    How can an average person get access to government bonds?

    Through banks?

    • Alfred Akuki

      April 16, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Adeyemi, yes you can buy FGN bonds from your bank.

      • Taire

        April 17, 2019 at 12:43 pm

        Hello Alfred,
        What is the minimum amount required to buy FGN bonds from the Banks?

        • Alfred Akuki

          April 17, 2019 at 4:02 pm

          For FGN bond N50 million is the minimum but FGN savings bond the minimum is N10,000

  3. fillipo

    April 18, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Hello Kalu,

    Great idea on apportioning percentages of the capital into several investments plans.

    If I were to add to it:

    I will assign 20% of the N1m gift into learning any craft of interest that has the ability to make returns within 12 to 24 months.

    By so doing, depending on the other investments could virtually reduce over time if the business picks up.

    I will definitely share

  4. Chinedu Maurice Ukaegbu

    April 26, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    I am to happy to read this. Thank you.

  5. Dabs

    April 30, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    So happy for you investment advice.
    How can one buy FGN Treasury bill.

    • Alfred Akuki

      May 2, 2019 at 10:20 am

      Hi Dabs, you can buy Treasury Bills from the Primary Market Auction by visiting your bank if you have the minimum of N50 million but you also buy through your bank’s pooling system, some banks offer as low as N100,000 to be a part of their pooling system.

  6. Dabs

    April 30, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    What’s the difference between FGN saving Bond and Treasury bill.

    • Alfred Akuki

      May 2, 2019 at 10:18 am

      Hi Dab, while both are fixed income instruments/securities, Treasury bills are issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria while Bonds are issued by the Debt Management Office.

  7. Adedapo onafadeji

    May 27, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    This is very insightful.. I wish I read this few months back when my dad collected his pension and gratuity after 18 years of service.. but I’ll ask, for an SME Owner between 30-40 seeking to invest outside my business.. what do you recommend?

  8. Apostle Sola

    August 27, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Great ideas !
    But after investing the entire N1m,what do you advise that the investor do to keep his family upkeep intact and secure?

  9. Daniel Adeyemi

    August 27, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    This is really good. Thank you for sharing

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Personal Finance

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!

(READ MORE:If you had $100,000 in cash, where would you invest it in US markets?)

  • 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.

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Personal Finance

Top 10 financial planning tips for newlyweds

Here are the basic steps to take to help you set your post-wedding finances on the right track as a couple.



Financial problems are a major contributor of divorce by 36.7% according to Shelby B. Scott’s research. Before you work down the aisle, it is important to have a conversation around your finances. Start with the financial aspect of planning a wedding. Every female’s dream is to have a fairy tale wedding, but it is to the detriment of your finances, for those who cannot afford it.

Though your dream wedding can be achievable when planned and budgeted wisely, a lot of couples still make the mistake of spending money on extraneous things just to have a big and a fairy tale wedding, without having an upright plan for their future.

No wedding has won an Oscar award for being the biggest and no matter how glamorous your big day is, another person’s wedding will surpass it. Furthermore, taking a loan for a wedding is one of the financial mistakes some people make. They take a loan to impress people and end up starting their union on debts. It is important for one to cut down on expenses as weddings are mere events, while marriages are the main journey.

Congratulations! Your wedding was successful, you are ready to embrace each other’s outstanding qualities, unconditionally accept each other’s plight, and set plans on how to manage your finances to have a blissful union.

Here are the basic steps to take to help you set your post-wedding finances on the right track as a couple.

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Have money discussions

Before you walk down the aisle and commit to spending the rest of your lives together, you need to talk about how you will be spending your money as a couple. A lot of people are married but unhappy and the cause has to do with financial dilemmas.

Money has a huge role to play when it comes to having a happy and healthy union, so couples should dedicate time to discuss how they are going to manage their finances to avoid having money problems. An example is having a discussion around your salaries, savings, debts, spending habits and also discuss if you both want to merge your bank accounts or have a separate account.

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Be honest with your finance

Honesty has to do with having an open and honest discussion about your financials – both past and future, and it is vital to your financial success as a couple. Everyone has their own money habits, which have been shaped by their past experiences. Approaching money issues honestly and openly gives you a much better chance at having a strong, healthy financial relationship.

Make commitments to each other

No one cares more about your financial security than the two of you. Make a promise to each other to take joint responsibility and take steps to better your overall financial position by paying down debts, establishing a savings habit and investing in viable investment source for healthy long-term returns.

Have a budget

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Setting financial goals together should be your top priority. It is important that the goals are specific and achievable. Set goals that are equally rewarding, so that you both will be motivated to achieve them. Depend on each other for support and encourage one another to stay focused.

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Financial goals need budgets, as it enables you to manage your finances. Set a budget on your variables and fixed expenses. Review your budget regularly to identify problem areas. When you encounter challenges, try not to get discouraged and adjust as often as needed to ensure financial success.

Embrace your differences

The most important money move you can make for your relationship is to embrace your differences. Understand that you cannot change feelings created by a lifetime of experience; instead, try to nurture the positive aspects of each of your lifestyles. There is no one “right” way to handle your finances, so managing your money styles may be the perfect solution.

Here are 10 quick tips for planning together

  • Set priorities and specific goals and discuss them. Do not assume you both have the same goals without discussing them.
  • Discuss values. Sometimes different values make goal-setting difficult. An example is when one person wants to spend now and one wants to save for later, it can be a source of disagreement. The same is true when one spouse tends to be less risk-oriented than the other about investments.
  • Plan in five-year units. When planning for five-year blocks, you can set both intermediate and long-range goals without feeling you are being deprived forever.
  • Budget together. Set up a manageable system for your cash flow together.
  • Know where your money is going. Keep records of your spending.
  • Do not assume that because you are both working, that you have a lot more to spend.
  • Save regularly (emergency funds). Set up a savings account in both of your names and either set up an automatic transfer through your online bank app or take turns putting money into the account monthly.
  • Ensure you evaluate insurance. Getting insured is a vital part of adulthood, especially as a couple. Discuss the best insurance plan to go for.
  • Sit down together and discuss finances at least once a month.
  • Consider how many kids you want. This will help you come up with at least an early-stage financial plan.

Bottom Line

Some of the best marriage advice you can follow is to always be honest about your debts, income, and budgeting history. Marriage finances are a tricky topic, but it’s important that you discuss them regularly with your partner.

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Personal Finance

How to enter retirement with financial confidence

To enjoy retirement, you must create a structure around the work you love and surround yourself with the right people.



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There is a big disparity in the quality of life of the average salary worker in active service and in retirement. This gap between a luxurious life made possible by the borrowed wealth of the employer. And the miserable life made possible by the neglected wealth of employees is the reason why many people dread retirement.

The big question though is why does this gap exist?

Today I will show you the one reason why this gap exists, and how you can approach retirement with financial confidence.

So why does this gap exist?

There is only one reason. And this reason is the presence or absence of a Personal Money Making System

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What is a Money-making system?

A money-making system is any system that produces income enough to take care of bills, sustain living standard, and seize opportunities

Every organization has its own money-making system that generates income for the organization. Organizations use this income to pay bills, seize opportunities, and fund their luxurious lifestyle. It is also the income from this system that pay salaries and fund employees’ lifestyle. Employees get to benefit from this system and eat from it as long as they are connected to this system. And Employers reserve the right to choose who joins and leaves the system. Retirement is one of the ways employers refine and rejuvenate the system.

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The problem however is that most employees are oblivious to this system even though they work in it every day. Over 95% of them do not know how to create their own money-making system or even create one before retirement. They are carried away by the trappings of wealth produced by their employer’s system and neglect their own money-making system. At the end of their career, they are thrown out of the system and cut off from the wealth supply.

It is at this point that employees realize how ineffective their own money-making system has been. For the majority, the only system left to fall back on is the Government system-Pension. Unfortunately, pension is woefully inadequate to sustain employees’ living standards at the same level.

So If you are reading this article and the retirement bell has already begun to ring for you. And if you have not yet created your own money-making system. Now is the time to do so. Be rest assured that you will elevate your pain, suffering, and embarrassment in retirement. If you do not create your own money-making system.

So how do you create your own Money Making System and maintain the same quality of life?

There are three things you need.

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First, you need a Money-making seed. Second, you need the right Money Making Investment vehicle. And third, you need a Profitable work to retire to. Let’s look at each of these points in detail.

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The Money Making Seed.

One of the basic things to do while working in another man’s system is to create a certain seed that you can use to create your own system. All seeds are not created equal and certain seeds carry more value than others. Nevertheless, without a seed, you cannot create a money-making system to depend on.

So what are these seeds?

There are generally nine seeds you need to create your own money-making system. You do not need to have all nine seeds. But the more seeds you have the stronger will be your money-making system. Let’s look at the seeds.

The Nine Seeds for a Solid Money Making System

  1. The First seed is Savings or Cash Reserves- You need solid cash reserves to build a money-making system.
  2. The second seed is Income Producing Real Estate. If you have income-producing real estate with accessible funds you can also use this as the seed for your money-making system.
  3. The Third seed is a Large Pension Funds- Although a large pension Fund is a seed. It is one of the least viable seed. This is because pension is based on the cumulative contribution of just 20% of your income. This means that you will have to shrink your life downwards to depend on pension. Although pension can be diversified to create a lifetime income. Your living standard will still be stuck within 20% zone. The truth is Pension as of today is not a lifetime income and pension’s income is adjusted downwards the longer you live. So depending on pension alone is not wise.
  4. The Fourth seed is Liquid Investment- Your Liquid Investments depending on the size can serve as the seed for creating your own money-making system.
  5. The fifth is Lump Sum Payments. Lump-sum payments like Gratuity, 13th-month salary, or special Bonuses can be channeled to create your own money-making system.
  6. The Sixth is Life Insurance. If you have life insurance investment of any sizable cash value. This can also be used.

These are the six seeds to use if you have money stored up in any of the above options.

But If you have little money the rest three Options are what you can explore.

  1. The Seventh Seed is High-Income skills. To make money quickly there are certain skills you must have. I call them the Rich skills and there are only three of them. The First is problem-solving skills also known as innovation or creativity skills. The second is Relationship Building skills also Known as Networking skills. And the Third is marketing skills also known as sales skills. These three skills are the skills you need to make money from scratch.
  2. The Eight seed is Valuable Relationships. You need other people to deploy your skills and that is where valuable relationships come in. Without the right relationships, you cannot make any money.
  3. The Ninth seed is Opportunities to Earn Side Income: Even with the right skills and valuable relationships, you cannot earn income without the right platforms and opportunities. Thus finding income opportunities is key to creating a strong money-making system.

If you do not have any of these nine seeds, please know that your only other option is to shrink your life to fit into the 20% budget of your pension. There is no other way.

So what happens after you get the seed?


After you get your seed the next thing to do is to get your Money Making Investment Vehicle. The Goal of the Investment Vehicle is to create a look-alike income for you in Retirement.

2.The Money-Making Investment Vehicle.

One of the worse things that can happen to you is for you to put all your years of hard work inside an Investment vehicle and lose it to thin air. When you are planning for retirement you need Certainty and not gambling. And there are only a few investment vehicles that fit these criteria. These investments are suitable Investments that can create a look-alike income like your current salary.

So how do you know these Investments?

There are 11 characteristics Investments that qualify as Retirement investment should have. Let’s take a look at them

The 11 Characteristics of the Right Investment Vehicle for Retirement.

  1. They have the capacity to produce consistent and regular income and can perfectly replace salary.
  2. There are Passive in nature. Passive income gives you the allowance to focus on other income-generating activities.
  3. There do not fluctuate, reduce in size, skip, or miss.
  4. There last for a Lifetime and cannot Run Out on you.
  5. There are strong enough to cover your Bills, living standard, or lifestyle whichever you choose.
  6. There have Zero to little maintenance once set up.
  7. There are difficult to Lose.
  8. The risk inherent in them has a low likelihood of occurrence.
  9. There are a Proven Investment Option
  10. There require Zero ongoing expense once set up
  11. Your Principal investment is not destroyed even in the worst-case scenario

These are the eleven Characteristics of the kind of investment that is suitable for your Retirement Income. If you need help understanding which Investment is right for you at this time send an email to [email protected].

So what happens after you replace your income?

The next thing to do is to find a replacement for your work. The other part of your job that brings meaning to your life.

3.Profitable Work

One of the reasons you go to work every day besides income is the satisfaction you get from your work. Idleness is not in our DNA and your life becomes meaningless when you are Idle. Retirement is thus not an express ticket into a life of idleness and laziness. You must preserve the satisfaction you get from your work.

But how exactly do you achieve this?

To achieve this you need to export the structure that produces productivity, Value and Income in your current work.

Your current job brings you satisfaction because there is a structure to everything you do. There is a big agenda that runs the organization. There are processes and systems. You are told what to do, when to resume and how to make each hour count. And you work in collaboration with other people each thriving in their areas of strength. Retirement marks the end of this structure. You will be practically thrown out from a structured environment into your own unstructured environment filled with idle days and idle time. If you do not plan ahead to create a structure for your day and around the things you love. You will descend from a life of happiness, productivity and meaning. To a life of depression, demotivation and anger. Creating structure in your day, giving meaning to time and surrounding yourself with the right people are the three ways to preserve the satisfaction you currently get from your job.

The problem is while most people can work in a structured environment, only a few people can create their own structured environment. To enjoy retirement, you must create a structure around the work you love. Make the work profitable and surround yourself with the right people.

These are the only three things to do to approach retirement with financial confidence.

Perhaps you are thinking to yourself, how do I start and where do I begin. We can help you get started. To get help send an email to [email protected]/

The best way to enter retirement with Boldness is to create your own money-making system, carry along the things you loved about your job and leave the rest behind.


About author

Grace Agada is The Senior Financial Happiness Director @ Create Solid Wealth. She is an Author, and Column Contributor in Six National Newspaper. She is a contributor at BellaNaija, Nairametrics and Proshare and she is on a mission to help working-class professionals and CEOs become more financially successful. To learn more about Grace and how she can help you send an email to [email protected]

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