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Financial Literacy

How to move from middle class to upper class (Part 3)

The truth is you really have to choose between the fast way or the slow way of reaching the top.

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In the previous article, we examined the “Maybe path” to wealth. In this concluding section, we will examine the “Sure path” route to wealth and the upper class.

The Sure Path Section

The sure path is the most predictable path to wealth. It is how the majority of the upper class people got there. There are basically two paths under this section:

1. The Entrepreneur path

The Entrepreneur Path is the surest path to wealth. Starting, growing, and succeeding in business is the greatest and most noble way of creating wealth. This is because it is not focused on you and your family. It is focused on making a real impact, solving real problems, and making the world a better place.  The majority of the world’s wealth is created this way. And it is the most predictable path to joining the upper class.  Thus, if you want to speed up your journey to the upper class in ways that are noble, free of regret, and impactful, this is the path to follow.

READ: 5 business lessons from Elon Musk

Sometimes, starting a business may not be feasible for you, especially if you are still working in a job. Thus, the other sure path to take as a working professional is to join a relationship brokering path.

2. Relationship Brokering

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Relationship brokering is the best other option for creating wealth for those working in a job. This is because this path helps you leverage one of the most important foundations of a successful business – sales! Every successful business is built on the foundation of selling its products and services. Without the ability to sell, businesses die. Thus, selling and sales are important to every business owner. And as a high achiever who is looking to create success, selling is one of the biggest skills you must have.  You must have the ability to sell products and services. The ability to sell your dreams and ideas. And the ability to sell yourself to yourself which is the hardest part for most people. No matter what you want or who you want to become, the ability to sell anything—including yourself—is one of the most rewarding talents to acquire in life. Why? Because it is universal. It can never go out of fashion. And it gives you the opportunity to earn any amount of money that you want. This is the golden opportunity that our relationship brokering system offers. And here is how it works.

READ: How Cosmas Maduka moved from an Underaged apprentice to a multi-billionaire

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To broker a relationship, you simply serve as the middle man (broker) between someone that wants to solve a problem or achieve a goal (customer) and another person who can help them solve that problem (solution provider). This is most effective after you have used, tested, and trusted the product. This means that relationship brokering offers you two golden opportunities. First, is the opportunity to solve your own problem. And second, is the opportunity to help others solve the same problem and earn income from it. The first opportunity gives you proximity to the upper class. And the second opportunity gives you the privilege to share in the wealth of the wealthy.  If you seize these two opportunities you will become wealthy in no time.

The truth is you really have to choose between the fast way or the slow way of reaching the top. The fast way is to allow people at the top to pull you up with speed. And the slow way is to climb up all by yourself. The best way is to be pulled up by the upper class. And the only reason the upper class will pull you up is if they know you. And when you can solve an important problem for them. The most important problem to solve for the upper class is the sales problem. Thus the ability to market and sell will take you to the top faster than anything else.

READ: How to fund your business without a debt sentence (Part 1)

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If you need help moving from the middle class to the upper class. Becoming a person of value. And developing skills that can solve high-income problems for the upper class. We can help you. The typical people we help are ambitious working professionals that have high income, a strong drive, and the willingness to invest in their own financial transformation. To see if you are a good match send an email to [email protected]

There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going. If you must change your life, you must pay the price.


 

About the author

Grace Agada is a recognized leading Financial Expert on Nigerian Soil. She is a Renowned Speaker, Author, and Column Contributor in Punch Newspaper, This Day Newspaper, Vanguard newspaper, Business Day Newspaper, Leadership Newspaper, The Tribune Newspaper, and Online Platforms like Nairametrics, Proshare, and Bellanaija. Grace is the author of “The Financial Freedom MBA Program, “The Passive Income Retirement Blueprint” and “The Wealthy Business Blueprint” for Advisors, Consultants, and Coaches who want to get off the roller coaster of irregular income. Grace is on a mission to shrink the middle class and populate the upper class. Her ultimate goal is to create a tribe of professionals that are thriving in any economy. Grace has been featured on BBC Africa. Business Day TV. Inspiration FM. and inside Naijatv. She has consulted for Numerous Top Organizations, Company Directors, Senior Executives, and Top performing Professionals.

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Financial Literacy

How to invest for retirement

Planning for retirement means planning to reduce obligation in the future by investing today.

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How not to worry about money in retirement

“If you plan to retire in five years what should you be doing today?” That’s a question I got last week, and talking with the client, a lot came up which I have decided to share.

First off, What is retirement?

Nigeria’s public service has an official retirement age of 60 or thirty-five years of unbroken active working service, but in financial planning, retirement is a financial, not a chronological event. Retirement can occur when your passive income can meet your non-discretionary expenses.

You start to plan for retirement the day you start to earn an income. Your retirement plan will centre on how to generate passive income and reduce expenses. In Financial Planning, Four distinct stages are usually described in a so-called Lifecycle Chart. These are the Accumulation, Consolidation, Spending, and Gifting stages. Chart 1. Financial LifeCycle seeks to segment investing priorities, recommended asset allocation, and risk profile in a chronological timeline as the person gets older. I will take each of these stages and explain how they are linked to your retirement plan.

READ: How to choose the right Pension Fund Administrator (PFA)

Chart: Financial Life Cycle

Early years: Use Your Time and Make Money, (Accumulate)

The first stage is called the Accumulation stage. Imagine a 22-year-old who has just graduated and is a management trainee. He typically has a low credit score and assets and income are also substantially lower. What he has in abundance is time. So it’s important to deploy his time in the best way to make money. Hence in the accumulate stage, the goal is to generate cash flow either from a job, multiple jobs, working longer hours, saving, cutting unnecessary expenses, etc.

The key measure in the accumulation stage is the Savings Rate which is essentially how much of income earned or generated has not been spent. On average, the participants in the accumulation stage have fewer dependents and maintenance needs which should theoretically make it easier to save.

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READ: This thread exposed everything that’s wrong with Nigeria’s VAT

Mid Years Use Your Money To Buy Assets (Consolidation)

In the consolidation stage the focus shifts from saving to investing. At this stage, the income earned and credit scores have improved. This is when the talk of buying a home or starting a business takes concrete shape because, at this stage, those dreams can be funded. Hence capacity to take on debt is improved, and debt is used to invest in assets like a home. Remember debt is simply front-loaded consumption, which means we are taking our future income to invest today, intending to repay with future income generated from today investment.

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The key measure in the consolidation stage is the Rate of Return which is essentially how much has been generated from the investments made.

READ: How to choose the right Pension Fund Administrator (PFA)

Spending & Gifting Phase; Use Your Assets To Generate Cash Flow and Time (Spending and Gifting)

Why is it called the spending phase? Because that’s what the individual is doing, spending down accumulated investments. The spending will include buying annuities or perhaps relocating to another city, your dependant’s college needs, etc. At this stage, typically very few are still earning “new” income but are rather spending from the return of prior investments.

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The key measure in the spending stage is the Withdrawal Rate which is essentially how much of investment can be withdrawn as cash annually to ensure we do not outlive our investments.

READ: How interest rates impact your wallet

Retirement is All About Passive Income

Passive income, which is the income we are making from investing from the accumulation and consolidation stage is now sufficient to generate income and reduce expenses to meet our expenses in the spending/gifting stage.

To give an example, assume we took a mortgage to buy a house in the Consolidation Stage, in the Spending stage, we pay no rent, thus we save cash, which reduces our Non-Discretionary Expenses. In essence, retirement is planning to eliminate your future expenses to the point where you need less income when you retire.

What Should You Invest In Before Retirement Or In Retirement?

Our objective is simple, Income. In retirement, we invest solely to make income to meet our spending needs, Risk profile is also very low because there are fewer recovery options if your investments sink.

The retirement portfolio is an income-generating portfolio that will be overweight in fixed income products. First, determine what the risk-free rate is. In Nigeria, we can take the yield on a ten-year FGN bond as a guide, this means we can have a target of 10% as our huddle rate for the long term. Thus I will recommend an 80/20 portfolio with 80% going to Fixed Income consisting of long term bonds, REITs, and other top-grade commercial paper.

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However what happens if we lock in our funds for 10 years at 10% and rates jump to 20%, meaning a loss to our portfolio.  To avoid this risk we can create a bond ladder, where we break down the bulk sum and duration of our total bond investment outlay. Let us assume we have N10m in cash to invest, instead of one single lot investment of N10m, we split into 5 equal investments of N2m and place for 6, 7, 8, 9, and ten-year maturities. This means by the 5th year the first N2m will mature, if rates are higher, reinvest, if rates have fallen then reevaluate.

READ: 10 Side gigs to venture into while working a full-time job

What about Equities

Yes, equities also pay a dividend. In buying equities, we must ensure we are only buying stocks that pay a dividend above our huddle rate of 10% which is the 10-year FGN bond rate. Which Nigerian stock meet that huddle rate?

  • Lasaco
  • Zenith
  • GT bank
  • United cap

In closing, let us summarize. Retirement is not chronological age. The event occurs when our passive income pays our bills. Planning for retirement means planning to reduce obligation in the future by investing today. Investing in retirement is income-based with a huddle.

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Financial Literacy

Steps to take to bag international scholarships

Here are the steps you should take if interested in pursuing international scholarships.

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United Kingdom opens window of job opportunities for international students

Studying abroad gives you exposure among many other things, and that is precisely why many Nigerians have been looking for ways to study abroad. However, not everybody is privileged with the resources to study overseas and this is where the international scholarship option comes in.

If you are interested in studying abroad and don’t have enough funds, you should consider applying for international scholarships. This article lists the steps you can take to bag international scholarships but before delving into that, here are some types of scholarships available to you as an international student:

  • Location-based scholarships
  • Course or program-based scholarships
  • Sports-related scholarships
  • Research-based scholarships
  • University-funded scholarships
  • Organization-funded scholarships
  • Government-funded scholarships

Having discovered the types of international scholarships available to you, here are the steps you should take to bag any of these international scholarships.

Research: Research is vital if you don’t want to miss out on good opportunities or make mistakes during your application. Research scholarship opportunities available in your prospective college or location and be on the lookout for hidden scholarships.

Check your eligibility: Having done thorough research and discovered the available scholarship opportunities, check to see if you are eligible for them. Many international scholarships have their criteria and requirement, so you should confirm that you are the right fit first.

Get the required documents: After confirming your eligibility, you should get the necessary documents. If the scholarship requires you to write an exam, prepare for the exam, write a good statement of purpose and prepare all other documents.

Start your admission process: Some international scholarships require that you start your admission process and probably get the admission before starting your scholarship application.

Contact past scholarship winners: You might want to contact the previous scholarship winners to know what they did right and how you can learn from them.

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Apply for the available scholarships: The last step is to apply to every available scholarship.

The best way to get funds for your undergraduate, postgraduate, or PhD pursuits abroad is by applying for international scholarships. If you do thorough research, you can find fully funded scholarships that won’t require you to pay any amount. One of the essential steps to getting an international scholarship as a Nigerian is staying abreast of current information and this will require you to network with others.

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