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Understanding Optional Dividends

An optional dividend is a dividend where shareholders have the ability to choose between two or more forms of payment.

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Revenue Reserves and Dividends, Using Earnings to Select Stocks, Dividends

Stanbic IBTC recently notified its esteemed shareholders of the intention of its Board of Directors to pay an interim dividend of N1 per share.

According to the said notification, shareholders are given the option to choose between receiving all the dividend in cash, or in additional shares, or even a combination of cash and shares.  This is a case of optional dividend.

What is an optional dividend?

An optional dividend is a dividend where shareholders have the ability to choose between two or more forms of payment.

How optional dividend works

The way optional dividend works is pretty simple but it entails that the shareholder should make an election and communicate the election to the company or its registrar. Unlike regular cash dividend, where every shareholder on the record or ex-date automatically “gets credited” with the cash value of the dividend, optional dividends are not so automatic because they are elective and as such, the registrar or custodian will only act upon the election or decision of the shareholder.

[READ MORE: 2018 FY: Flour Mills’ shareholders unanimously endorse N4.92 billion dividend]

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As noted in the release by Stanbic IBTC, elections are made by completing the requisite form and channelling same to the appropriate quarters within the allowed time.

What choice should I make?

No matter what choice you make as a shareholder (either to receive cash and/or additional shares), you should receive the exact same amount of dividend you are entitled to. The only difference is that those who elected to be paid in cash would receive cash, while those that elected to receive additional shares will receive additional shares that are worth the cash they would have received.

Dividend

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In the case of Stanbic IBTC, each share is being given to those who elect to receive their dividend in shares at a price of N35.86 per share. This means that if you held 36 shares of Stanbic IBTC shares as at the record date and you opted to receive your dividend in cash, you will receive cash of N36, but if you elected to receive it in stock, you will receive one share valued at N35.86, and you will receive what is called cash in lieu of N0.14 to make up for the difference between the stock value received and the cash dividend forgone.

Fractional shares

Alternatively, the company may decide to issue fractional shares. In that case, you will not receive the cash in lieu, rather you will receive a fraction of a share to make up for the difference.

Cash Vs Stock

Now, having known that you will not be short-changed no matter what payment type you choose, the question then is, should I choose to be paid in cash or additional shares? If you are an income investor, a retiree, in need of cash and you want the peace of mind that cash offers, then choosing to be paid in cash should appeal to you. One advantage of receiving your dividend in cash is that it offers you the freedom of using the resulting cash however you want.

[READ MORE: Difference Between Interim Dividend and Final Dividend]

On the other hand, if you are a risk lover, growth or value investor, electing to receive additional shares should be your thing. An advantage of opting for additional shares is that it enables you to participate in the company’s future growth by way of increased market value per share. The disadvantage, however, is that, should you need cash, you will need to sell the shares and incur the trading commission that goes with it, an expense you would avoid if you choose to receive cash dividend.

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In addition to that, depending on the market, you are not guaranteed to sell the shares at a price that will amount to the cash dividend, but it could be more if the company does well after the dividend corporate action.

Stanbic IBTC

Stanbic IBTC

Conclusion

If you are risk-averse, a choice of cash dividend should be good for you, but if you are a risk lover, additional shares could appeal to you, especially if you are ready to hold the shares for the long term. However, given the price trend of Stanbic IBTC Holdings company, which indicates that the share had seen more downs than ups, since around October 2018, a choice of cash dividend may be more optimal, especially, if you can invest the cash elsewhere.

Note that nothing in this article should be construed as investment advice but a mere expression of personal opinion. If you need professional advice on the topic or on Stanbic IBTC optional (Scrip) dividend, consult your broker.

 

Uchenna Ndimele is the President of Quantitative Financial Analytics Ltd. MutualfundsAfrica.com and mutualfundsnigeria.com (both Quantitative Financial Analytics company website) is a leader in supplying mutual fund information, analysis, and commentary on African mutual funds. We provide reliable fund data; and ratings information that will add value to fund managers, the media, individual investors and investment clubs.

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Personal Finance

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.

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How to avoid debt despite economic challenges

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

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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

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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.

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Stick to your budget

Stanbic IBTC

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.

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(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.

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Personal Finance

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.

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CBN begins dialogue with industry stakeholders on USSD charges , Legit Ways to Make Money With Your Phone

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.

(READ MORE:10 side businesses to sustain your professional career)

  • 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)

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  • 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.

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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.

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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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