Nairametrics: Before we get right to it, can you give our followers a brief introduction of yourself? Who is Oluwatosin Olaseinde?
Oluwatosin: Oluwatosin is a chartered accountant with 10 years of experience in finance, across corporate finance, accounting, and financial management. I’m the Founder of @themoneyafrica, a financial literacy platform.
Nairametrics: 10 years and @themoneyafrica? What led you to create Money Africa?
Oluwatosin: I got my first job at the age of 20 and earned good money but when I relocated to Nigeria after 4 years of work experience, I had zilch, just a suitcase of clothes and shoes. I asked my friends with decent jobs same story. I fixed it after another 6 years of working and I wanted to share.
Nairametrics: According to the Boston Consulting Group’s latest wealth report, the total amount of Personal Financial Wealth in the world is $206 trillion, with Africa and Asia showing the highest growth (for the wealthiest individuals) in 2018. What are your keys to growing wealth?
Oluwatosin: Risk Management, Risk Management, Risk Management. The first thing is to acquire knowledge. Once knowledge is on the list, start managing the risk of each investment option. People are either taking on too much risk or too little risk. To adequately grow, one should diversify, and be deliberate about the process.
Nairametrics: There was an article in the Guardian last month titled, “Why Nigeria suffers from a low savings-to-GDP ratio.” Do you think it is possible to save at any income level?
Oluwatosin: Realistically, some people are really just poor. It’s disrespectful to preach savings to people who are literally living from hand to mouth not because they aren’t prudent but because they earn too little. What they need first is how to earn more.
At the same time, there’s a large percentage of people who aren’t saving or who are saving too little. They literally miss out on the opportunity to strategically and deliberately build wealth because of poor financial habits.
Nairametrics: You’ve talked about earning more. Within the Nigerian context, are side-hustles only for making extra money or for chasing your passion?
Oluwatosin: It’s okay to have a hobby just for the sake of it. It’s also okay to monetise it. Side hustles create additional income. One could also invest in assets to earn passive income.
Nairametrics: As of March 2018, Nigeria had the highest pending asylum claims in Canada than any other country. Asylum aside, a growing number of Nigerians are seeking greener pastures overseas.
Oluwatosin: Yes, the number is growing. People are seeking greener pastures. Nigeria has 23% unemployment rate and 36% youth unemployment rate while Ghana has just 3% unemployment rate. People want a better standard of living and they’re willing to go any length to get it.
Nairametrics: With Foreign Exchange playing such a big role in Nigeria’s economic affairs, and rumors of a possible devaluation in the near future, would you advise Nigerians to save a portion of their income in Dollars?
Oluwatosin: Yes, Yes, Yes. It was an analysis and if you’d converted Naira to dollars when the exchange rate was N160/$, compared to investing in T-Bills, the dollars would have outperformed. Currency risk is real. Every investor should have an exposure (diversify) to the foreign market as well.
Nairametrics: Wow! It has been such an insightful conversation, Tosin! What’s your take on this piece of advice: “Stop worrying about how much you make, worry about how much you spend.”?
Oluwatosin: There are two ways to tackle it – how much you make and how much you spend. Both are critical. If you earn N100,000, no matter how prudent you’re, the ceiling is N1.2 million per annum, so why not concentrate your energy on both? Earn More, Financial Prudence. It’s a marriage.
Nairametrics: Earn More, Financial Prudence! That brings us to a close! Our final question is, what is more important than money?
Oluwatosin: Peace! Your mind is your greatest asset. From it comes the fullness of life. Protect your mind and peace. If that’s intact, you’re a winner. You can bounce back. You can conquer. You can strive. Guard it, jealously.