“Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes easily disappears and destroys; however, wealth from hard work grows over time” – Prov. 13:11 (New Living Translation).
“Recently, I was intrigued by a study done on those who had won lotteries. Of the hundreds who had become instant millionaires, most went broke again and very fast too, after having foolishly blown away such money. Just a year or two after winning the lottery, they were in worse shape than they had been, before winning the lotteries. They mostly ended up with no jobs; had alienated many friends and relatives, and many had even lost their homes. Of all the people researched, no single one had a happy ending; not even the Christians among them, who had won. Overall, it seemed that winning the lottery is one of the worst things that could happen to anyone” – RICK JOYNER.
Five days to my usual appointment with my Billionaire Friend, we had a conversation over the phone. He agreed to receive feedback from you (my readers) so that you too could have a HD view of our conversations.
I set to work immediately and sent off the notices to some of the persons who had contacted the column. I made arrangements to contact my Billionaire Friend to brief him on what I had gathered. Unfortunately, a deep sleep fell on me. It was like my body planned a coup against me. I slept and did not wake up until about five hours later.
By the time I woke up, my Billionaire Friend had called 6 times on my WhatsApp. I was alarmed!
I called him back several times. He did not respond to any. And it was already midnight. What should I do? Fortunately, just as I was about to give up on reaching out and retiring to sleep, I received a message on WhatsApp and the conversation went thus:
I am waiting for the questions ooo.
“Good day sir. I slept off while I was trying to send it… I just woke up. Sorry sir”
So I sent the questions I had gathered from readers coupled with my own to him:
1. A lot of people believe it is impossible to build wealth working for others as an employee. What is your position given the fact that you became a BILLIONAIRE even while working for others?
2. What does it take to build wealth working for others?
3. I have been working for years, yet I don’t seem to be building anything. My strength has been used working for others. What do I do?
4. What are the practical steps to take to achieve this?
5. Is there an age limit to achieve this wealth-building after which it might not be possible again?
6. Most people are not earning well in Nigeria. How will they be able to build wealth?
7. Is the mindset required to build a billion wealth different from the one to build a million worth of wealth? That is the question he was trying to ask
8. For most employees making ends meet is a struggle because the pay is small and something people are owed salary. What wealth-building practices can such people employ to get out of the rat race?
9. What investment principles can employees apply to build wealth?
10. Employees Vs Entrepreneurs, who has the higher chance of building wealth?
“Sir, the column is getting the attention of people already, and I am getting feedback from ministers, bankers, Christians, Muslims, free thinkers, regulators, and students. Thank you for your selfless service. The universe will reward you long after you might have gone.”
Our job is to preserve part of your legacy…and that is what we are doing on a weekly basis. Together we win, and God takes ALL THE GLORY.
A short reply came from my Billionaire friend after that:
“Okay, my boss. See you on Sunday”.
I was in my friend’s place at the appointed time, all security protocols duly observed.
He was already waiting at our usual corner in his garden. And the business started with no more time to waste.
“Well. I have studied all the questions you sent in, it is obvious that most, if not all the questions, are from employees and workers who want to learn how to build wealth while working for others. So our topic is appropriate, but I need to let you know that we will have to spend a couple of weeks dealing with the issues raised. I will just kick off with some introductory thoughts to start off and we shall then deal with the rest, in our subsequent meetings. Please, be rest assured.”
Very well sir.
As I was waiting for him to fire, he pulled out two small sheets of paper containing two figures and asked me to look at them very well.
On the first one was a figure N10 million. The second one had N5 million on it. He then posed a question to me. Those figures are real balances in the accounts of two bank workers, who came to me about five years ago, for counselling.
“Here is the question: who between the two of them is better off?”
That is a no-brainer, sir. Obviously, number 1 is better off.
“Really? Since you are a churchman, let me frame it differently. Assuming two of them are fired by their employers today, which of them would go to the church to do thanksgiving? It depends, sir.
On how they interpret the situation. Then shortly, he pulled out another two sets of papers and showed me with the same numbers on top, but broken down this way.
QUIZ: WHO IS A BETTER EMPLOYEE?
TOTAL TAKE-HOME PA: N10M
• Basic: N5M
• Housing: N2.5M
• Dressing: N1.0M
• Leave allowance: N0.5M
• Upfront: N9.0M
TOTAL TAKE-HOME PA: N5M
• Salary: N2.0M
• Dividend from shares: N1.0M
• Rent from tenants: N0.5M
• Delivery from Okada business: N0.5M
• Deposit in Treasury Bill: N1.0M
“Let me pose the question again: which of these two gentlemen could go to do thanksgiving?”
It is obvious, sir; the second.
“So what made you change your mind?”
I could see that if they are both fired, the second guy will simply continue his investment business. The first guy might be in trouble if he does not quickly get into paid employment again.
“Good. Good observation.” But that is not even the point I wanted to make. As someone who is learning to build wealth in the billions realm, you must never jump to any conclusion about any investment information shared with you. The question I expected you to ask is: please, give me more information before I can better answer the question. This is because, if you do not do that, you would enter into the same trap, as with people who want to invest N100,000, and someone is telling them they can get 50% returns in the next one month, without asking questions, such as: which investment instruments would they be investing in, which is expected to get them such a high return, within a month. Because they do not ask such an important question, they then become victims of Ponzi schemes, about which they end up regretting for life.
“I have encountered individuals who sold their businesses to invest in such Ponzi schemes, and who ultimately lost both their businesses and their invested funds. Some have ended up committing suicide, as a result. Hitherto happy marriages have also been dissolved on account of this type of financial indiscretion of one of the spouses.
“That is just by the way. It is another way of telling you that in this approach I am sharing with you, you need to invest in acquiring relevant and applicable knowledge first. It would save you years of sorrow, depression and heart-breaking tragedies.
“Ise alase jeun, owo alase la”. This is a misleading Yoruba proverb, which holds that when you remain in paid employment, you can only earn enough to feed yourself. But on the other hand, if you choose to do business, it is only then, that you can acquire wealth. Unfortunately, this proverb is far from reality, in the modern world. The building of wealth is possible while in continuous employment through the process of being frugal at living, living below your paid income and planning with a focused mind at always making continuous savings from your salaries and emoluments towards building wealth.
This is achievable from a well-planned investment of your savings in wealth-building instruments. Given that your savings at the beginning of your post-graduation employment are expected to be small, you need to start building wealth by putting your little savings in blue-chip, financially stable stock market instruments, just as I did. But I must warn that choosing the stock instruments to invest in, requires taking time to acquire knowledge about the stock market. I chose those blue-chip stock instruments with a history of high capital gains but low dividend options, at my start. You must be acquainted and conscious every time of the inherent speculative market risk and capital loss nature in stock market instruments. But, if well-chosen as I did, the returns can be very fulfilling.
This should continuously be combined with those of other available investment instruments of principal guaranteed and predictable nature as you grow, but of usually less gainful returns to those obtainable from the stock market, as I did. The reason for this is to ensure the availability of some funds when necessary to take advantage of some sometimes suddenly available [options] better than one’s portfolio investments to key into and to selectively cover for the various different unique risks of each investment head. Those others apart from stocks are investments in the money market, such as high yields saving accounts, mutual funds, short-term certificates of deposits, short-term governments and corporate bonds, etc. The whole essence, as I did at my beginning, is to build and accumulate funds for some say 10 years into the future investments of high capital natured investments.
“The process of building wealth from earned incomes in paid employment is a long-term process. It is not a process of acquiring wealth within a short time; it is a gradual process of continuous devotion to converting savings into wealth, by using the adage of “little drops of water makes a mighty ocean”.
“Earning salaries and emoluments while being employed for this process involves living below one’s income, ensuring that one’s total living cost is managed continuously to be much less than one’s earned incomes and having one’s wealth-building goal in mind, all the time.
“Indeed, the process of building wealth under gainful employment must be backed by having well thought out annual plans, at the beginning of every year, in which salaried wealth builders, must pre-determine what they intend to achieve at the end of every year, via using the savings made from earned incomes and salaries on a continuous basis and thus cumulatively build wealth. Of course, the success of this process would not and cannot happen, where one’s lifestyle is not properly positioned and planned to create room for the flow of savings, on a continuous basis, for investments in wealth-building instruments. This is the core of the process required in building wealth when fully employed by others.
“Hence, it is not wise for people to believe that it is not possible to build wealth while working for others, as an employee. You could build wealth working for others as an employee if well informed, knowledgeable, frugal, committed and focused. Over the years, you can become a billionaire, investing first in those investment instruments earlier listed and then gradually and methodically investing in land, properties, joint venture and angel investments.
Indeed, you can considerably raise the value of your wealth by so doing, after starting with growing some wealth from investing in stock instruments, treasury bills, sovereign and corporate bonds, etc., as I did. Starting with investing in the secondary market of monetary instruments at the beginning of your employment life, after graduation, one would be able to afford to buy small units of such instruments, and then eventually grow and graduate into being able to invest in higher capital investment instruments. And thus, as time goes by, you will be able to gradually invest in larger capital demanding investments.
“One very major mistake and goal-destroying behaviour of many people is allowing their high living taste to catch up with their rising economic positions. As an executive director at the early beginning of my post-graduation career in a multinational company, I chose to live in a low rental cost accommodation for 12 years, notwithstanding earning hundreds of thousands and later, millions of Naira, in annual housing allowances, and other emoluments and salaries. I thus succeeded in investing my annual humongous savings into stock and money market investment instruments, from which liquid assets, I took some percentage to buy land in a choice location in Lagos for N125,000 and on which I built a multi-storey building, without borrowing. That property fetched me four times its cost of building, in annual rental income on its completion.
I had put part of my savings in the cooperative society which I helped establish. The cooperative society loaned me a significant part of my building cost to which I added my housing allowance. The total cost of the five-story building in 1989 was N 1.2 million. However, the first annual rent I received was N4 million. Mark you, while doing all this, and investing in wealth building in real and liquid assets, I still kept on living in my low-cost rental accommodation and continued doing so, until my various multiple streams of income, could conveniently accommodate and justify the building of my own befitting living residence. This is only one of many living examples of others, at different levels of salaried incomes, but focused, frugal, determined, and knowledge-driven, wealth-building people, who have built wealth gradually, with integrity, while being continuously in paid employment.
My Billionaire Friend noticed I was quiet, and he asked:
Anything wrong? Not really, sir.
“I think we shall stop here today. The day is almost gone. We will continue next week. And I can assure you that I will spend quality time with you in this area”.
“But just before you go, I want to give a parting shot for you to pass on to your readers who asked those questions. One of them said he has been used by his employer. Whatever that meant!”
“Please tell them that what they should do from today in their churches, mosques, shrines, or synagogues, is to lift up the names of their employers in prayers. Anyone who can run businesses in Nigeria and make enough money to pay workers is a star, a hero, actually. He is the NEPA. He uses his own generator. He has to battle with so many elements to stay in business. Upon all, the tax people pounce on him to collect what is left. Only a few people can remain sane after such experiences. Have they found out how many times their employers had cried in the lonely places wondering how to pay salaries while you are busy enjoying yourself? So they need to pray for their employers for God to give them the wisdom to navigate the challenging times we are in and protect them so they can continue to pay them no matter how small or irregular the salaries may appear.”
At this point, I was already developing a rumbling stomach. I bade my friend goodbye, and once outside, I told my driver to go off to allow me to cool off. I went to a nearby restaurant where I ordered a bottle of room temperature water and biscuit.
I was deep in thoughts. It was as if my friend put me on something like a financial scanning machine dissecting all the errors I had made. And to now cap it up, he even said I should be praying for my employers. At that point, I wanted to consider doing what the disciples of Jesus did when he was preaching on issues that were above their heads. They turned back and followed him no more.
But I can’t afford to leave this man. In a short while, the Uber driver I ordered came in. I joined him. I had got into the car before I knew I did not even take the water and the biscuit I had ordered.
The Uber driver warned that he would be branching at a petrol station to top up. I did not even answer him. He branched anyway, and what happened shortly after that woke me up from my deep meditation.
I discovered at the petrol station, there were many people carrying jerry cans to buy petrol and they had been there for hours. But suddenly and for no reason the owner of the petrol station had instructed his attendants to stop selling for people with jerry cans. It was at that time that the Uber driver came in and insisted that they sell for him. The crowd went hysteric banging on the car anyhow, and they were ready to go violent. I woke up from my slumber, and once I realised what was happening, I told the driver to leave immediately and get to another comfort zone.
That was how we escaped.
This was too much for one day. It occurred to me that many people you see on the road are walking explosives that can be detonated at any time; carrying so much frustration on their heads.
The devil, you are a liar. You will not stop me from this process. My friend had told me once or twice that we were in a ministry together. I did not quite understand what he meant.
Anyway, I was home safely and hit the bed without bothering to say much to the people at home.
I must confess, I am not excited about seeing my friend next week.
QUOTABLE QUOTE 1
“The process of building wealth from earned incomes in paid employment is a
long-term process. It is not a process of acquiring wealth within a short time; it is
a gradual process of continuous devotion to converting savings into wealth, by
using the adage of “little drops of water makes a mighty ocean”.
QUOTABLE QUOTE 2
“I was deep in thoughts. It was as if my Billionaire Friend put me on something like a financial scanning machine dissecting all the errors I had made. And to now cap it up, he even said we should be praying for our employers. At that point, I wanted to consider doing what the disciples of Jesus did when he was preaching on issues that were above their heads. They turned back and followed him no more”.
Read the entire book of the week: THE RICHEST MAN IN BABYLON and do a self-assessment of your current financial reality. If you don’t like what came out, then stay glued to this column every week. The solution is on the way
See you next week!
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