Tomie Balogun is an Amazon Best Selling author, who has successfully facilitated crucial investment interventions for businesses across core sectors. Her online investment club; The Green Investment Club has a record of raising 1.5billion Naira investment in credible investment opportunities in small businesses in Nigeria.
In this article, written in her own words, Tomie Balogun discusses five key things to be enlightened on before you decide to invest.
DO NOT INVEST BASED ON TRENDS
Despite being exposed to finance, I got to a certain point in my career when I realized being knowledgeable about finance was very different from having working knowledge on how to manage my personal finance and investment decisions. I had to learn to put my money to work.
After dabbling in a few investment experiments, I do not invest based on trends anymore. I reach out to experts to learn as much as I can about the trend and based on the information shared, I decide if it is right for me at that particular moment or not. If we study the stories of world’s richest men, you’ll find a common element in the way they make investment and business decisions as well. They invest in what they understand and stick with fundamentals that can stand the test of time.
IDENTITY A MODEL FOR YOUR INVESTMENT CLUB
“If you choose to take advantage of the power of many and hold yourself accountable to a few people on your investment journey, you can start an investment club”. Tomie Balogun Advices. My book shares the 3 models for investment clubs, they include; the financial model, the project-based model and the non-financial accountability model.
The financial model is the traditional model of investments clubs which is quite popular all around the world. In a financial investment club, members contribute an agreed sum of money on a regular basis towards investing in multiple investment opportunities as a group. Members agree on certain clauses such as the objective of the club, the financial contribution required by each member, the minimum return on investment required by each member, the legal structure of the club etc. Once these clauses are agreed and aligned, members create a constitution to guide the decisions of the club. The oldest investment club in Nigeria was established in 1977 based on this model and succeeded in creating wealth for its members which still exists for them in their 70s. This is also the model my friends set up when we started our investment club in 2013. It comes with its pros and cons, all of which I outline in detail in my book
The project-based model focuses on a particular industry or investment opportunity in one industry. This model offers a lot of benefits if you want to invest in an opportunity you cannot afford yourself or need to take advantage of the power of many. It is quite popular for real estate projects. I personally managed a project-based model for 2 years for 40 women who set out to invest in real estate in Lagos, Nigeria.
The non-financial model like the name suggests is simply an accountability group where members set goals, hold themselves accountable and share investment opportunities with each other. The green investment club www.thegreeninvestmentclub.com currently implements this model and we have seen the club grow to close to 1,000 members across 13 countries who consistently invest in multiple investment opportunities in Nigeria
UNDERSTAND HOW TO CREATE YOUR PERSONAL INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY
An investment philosophy is based on multiple factors such as stage of life of the investor, risk appetite, current investment portfolio, financial budget and personal goals. My personal investment philosophy as a millennial is also influenced by having a young family with needs that require consistent cash flow. All of these factors determine the investment decisions I make personally and the investment decisions we make as a family as well.
For instance, if I decide to invest in a risky investment opportunity today, it might mean that I have a high-risk appetite, or my current investment portfolio currently consists of 90% safe investment options. Someone else who has a personal goal to travel the world, as most millennials plan to these days, might decide to take advantage of safe liquid investment options or high-risk passive income investment options to earn more income. If he/she decides to stay safe, the person is most likely a conservative investor or already has a high-risk portfolio, if he/she decides to invest in high risk options, it might mean that he/she’s current income cannot meet the travel goal or he/she already has an investment portfolio that consists of safe investment options and can afford to take the risk.
Basically, when we have clear goals and a good understanding of the factors that influence investment decisions, we can make better investment decisions based on our personal philosophy. This is why our personal investment philosophies cannot be generic, they need to be specific and tailored to our lives. We all need financial education so we can make wise investment decisions based on our individual lives and lifestyle decisions.
DO NOT LET A BAD INVESTMENT EXPERIENCE STOP YOU
No investor worth their salt can say they have never lost money. When I and 4 other friends started our financial investment club in 2013, we were excited about the prospects of what we could achieve. We had read so many Silicon Valley investment success stories and I guess we were a bit naïve about what we could achieve in Nigeria.
We set out to invest in small businesses with great impact potential and the ability to scale. One of our very first investments was in a carpool service business for young working professionals. This was before the advent of Uber in Lagos. This service was in demand and we saw the opportunity to help the owner scale up his operations. We invested and as MBA graduates, we thought we had mitigated all the risks that come with investing in a small business. Apparently, we didn’t mitigate the risk of multiple bounced cheques. It was a great lesson for us to always make an investment decision based on the integrity of the person or small business owner first before we consider the growth potential of a business.
Did we lose money? Yes, but the lessons from this transaction have stayed with us, helped us make some more critical investment decisions after wards and teach others how to avoid these mistakes too.
I know a lot of people avoid investment risk because they are afraid of losing money, but the truth is we win some, we lose some.Find out and learn as much you can from those who can help you but be prepared to keep going even if it goes bad. The good investment experiences will pay off for the bad ones if you focus on learning how to be better.
BREAK THE LIMIT ON YOUR MINDSET
Our mindsets can limit us on our financial journeys. To fix a financial problem, sometimes you have to start with breaking the limiting mindset that you can’t earn adequate income to survive in Nigeria.I understand that the economy is tough, the dire economic situation and social media influence has contributed to a high level of greed and the willingness to do anything simply to make money but we still have some rare glimpses of opportunities for those who have the right skills in high demand.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
Popularly known as the Millennial Investor, Tomie Balogun is a certified Financial Education Instructor and the Founder of Green Investment Club. She is passionate about democratizsng investment opportunities for Africans, especially millennials.