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Stats: 2,992,367 members, 7,289,202 topics. Date: Friday, 03 February 2023 at 05:28 PM
|The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by BigCabal: 9:49pm On Aug 16, 2021|
Every week, Zikoko seeks to understand how people move the Naira in and out of their lives. Some stories will be struggle-ish, others will be bougie. All the time, it’ll be revealing.
This 23-year-old has an investment banking job and a couple of side hustles, but that’s not the most interesting thing about him. It’s how he makes much more money from his side businesses than he does at his 9-5, and how leveraging his privilege and connections got him there.
What’s your oldest memory of money?
I can’t think of a specific memory but growing up, my cousins and I danced for my uncles and aunts at weddings and other family events, and they sprayed us money. I liked balloons, and I understood that I needed money to buy balloons. I had to dance to get the money. It was that simple.
Haha. That makes sense. Can you tell me what growing up was like, financially?
My dad works in financial services and is a senior employee at a company he has worked at for decades. My mum did and still does a lot of business. I grew up comfortable although I didn’t understand how well the family was doing until I was older. A part of it was because I was too young to understand how money works. Also, I was exposed to a lot of kids who came from wealthier families, and that skewed my perception of money. At some point, I may have developed a bit of an inferiority complex.
For context: I went to a private secondary school and the kids there could spend $500 on an item when they go on vacation without blinking. There was no way my parents would sign off on such purchases.
However, once I started to get a wider perspective, I understood that my family was indeed doing well.
When did you come to this realisation?
That would be around 2014. I was 15 and about to leave Nigeria for uni. My dad had planned for me and my sister’s education and had a university fund for us. I had to go for my A-Levels first and I decided on a private college in Canada. The tuition was C$50k and my dad told me he couldn’t afford it at the time. Subsequently, I got a partial scholarship at the college and my dad still paid about C$30k. That was a lot of money, but he made it happen. Later that year, I moved to Canada.
At first, I was living on a C$100 allowance every month, but my dad always ended up sending more money before the month ended. When he realised that it was more expensive sending smaller sums of money to me, he started sending C$2k at a time. Now, it wasn’t a monthly thing. The money was supposed to last me for a few months before I could request more. On average, C$2k lasted me for three to four months.
I finished my A-Levels in March 2016 and got into a university in the US to study Economics. I moved there in May 2016
How did it go in the US?
Nigeria was in a recession in 2016, so I knew that my dad must have been stressed having huge expenses in dollars. He was sending $200 every month, and I was determined to make do with it.
In my first year, I lived in school housing and was on a meal plan which had been paid for. I wasn’t saving money or working, so the $200 was everything I lived on. I finally picked up a job at a call centre on campus in my second year but I wasn’t completely committed to it. Thankfully, the minimum wage was $14 in the state I lived in. On average, I worked 20 hours in a month, which brought in an extra $200-$300. At that point, I’d say that at least half of my income went into feeding. I managed to save some $100 a month if I didn’t party a lot in the month, but those were far and between. I partied a lot when I was in uni.
2018 was when I became intentional about making money.
I saw what was happening in the financial market in Nigeria, and I was like “Wait, this could be a gold mine.” Here’s what happened: the CBN decided that they were going to start a “promo” and would be giving between 13% and 15% returns on short-term government securities. I thought that was a sweet deal and went in.
With ₦100k, I started buying and trading treasury bills. The returns weren’t a lot but I started to understand how money compounds over time. I did the math and the ₦100k would compound into millions of naira in 30 years, and I wouldn’t even have turned 50 years by that time.
However, in the short term. I realised that to scale, I needed to increase my capital. The way I saw it, it could happen in two ways: I could work more hours to earn more money or I could convince people to let me manage their money for them and charge them a small commission. I went with the second option.
Mad. Tell me how it went.
I started with my dad. I pitched the idea to him and managed to get ₦1m from him. I bought a few equities and invested most of the money in treasury bills, and it did very well. I made about ₦200k in fees I charged him.
I managed to convince a couple of other people in my family to help me invest for them and I got small sums of money here and there. I put whatever money I made from them into my portfolio and by the end of the year, I had about ₦500k in it.
I had been coming to Nigeria every summer since my first year in uni to intern at investment companies, so I was plugged into the climate. This came in handy in 2020 when COVID hit. Prices of assets all around the world dropped like crazy. I reacted quickly and sold as many treasury bills as I could and started putting money in the Nigerian stock market, which was also pretty risky at that point. But when I was returning to Nigeria in August 2020, my investment portfolio was worth about ₦2m and I had another ₦250k in cash.
You want to know why I returned to Nigeria, don’t you?
Now that you mention it, please.
I’d been thinking about it since my second year at uni. For the most part, I got my summer internships in Nigeria through my dad’s connection. My privilege became clearer and I thought it wouldn’t make sense not to take advantage of it.
Also, something happened when I was in the US that solidified this decision.
What was it?
I tried to get into an internship program at a big investment bank. During one of the interview stages, I met a girl I knew from school and her dad was one of the managing directors at the bank. We were in the interview room when one of the analysts came and was like “This is so and so daughter.” They took her from the interview room and gave her a tour of the facility. It was very clear that she was going to get the internship. I felt like I had this in Nigeria, so it made perfect sense to return and explore the opportunities I have here.
That makes sense.
I knew getting a job here wouldn’t be a problem. I had an understanding with one of the investment banks I had worked with to return to work for them when I graduated. I reached out to them, took a few tests, and that was sorted. In October 2020, I resumed work. My salary was ₦100k.
That didn’t make all the difference though. What I did between August and October did.
What did you do?
A couple of my old friends had returned to Nigeria before I did, so they had their feet on the ground already. When I got back, one of the first things I did was reconnect with them. I realised how much money they were spending when we went out.
We could go to the club and by the end of the night, they would have spent ₦1m on drinks. They split the bill but each person chipped in at least ₦150k. For the first few times we went out together, they didn’t ask me to chip in but I knew it was only a matter of time. The first time I dropped ₦50k, I knew my cash savings couldn’t possibly sustain that kind of lifestyle. I figured that they must be making a lot of money if they could afford to spend like that, which was interesting because they weren’t working 9-5 jobs — they had businesses.
What kind of businesses?
They did everything they thought could work. Eventually, I spoke to a couple of my friends and asked about businesses I could do with little capital. They gave me a couple of ideas but the most viable one was pushing large volumes of commodities. In my case, it was finding a rice supplier who needed to sell their trucks of rice and a buyer who was willing to buy.
A truck takes 600 bags of rice. Now, if the supplier sells a bag for ₦24500, I could add my markup, sell a bag for ₦25,500 and make a profit of ₦600k. The good part was that I didn’t need capital to start — I was just a middleman. The hard part was finding a buyer, but I committed to it.
The easiest way to find the right buyer was by leveraging my contacts. I asked everyone in my family and someone linked me to another person who knew the right person to call. Ultimately, it was about my connections. Between August and December 2020, I was able to sell three trucks of rice, and I made about ₦1.8m from these deals.
This was also the period my perspective started to shift away from my job. It would have taken me 18 months to make ₦1.8m at my day job. Naturally, I started looking out for more business opportunities. The next one happened in January 2021.
In December 2020, I met someone looking to sell two plots of land in an upscale neighbourhood on Lagos Island valued at ₦350m. I told them that for a commission, I would ask around and see if I could find a buyer, and they agreed to it. I was pretty confident about it because a few of my friends’ families are into real estate development and are constantly on the lookout for properties. Within a week, we found a buyer. Less than a month later, the deal closed and they bought the land for about ₦340m. I got the biggest lumpsum amount ever in commissions.
₦20m. It was a complete dream. I mean, it was the kind of thing I envisioned would happen for me in Nigeria — being able to use my contacts for opportunities like that but I had no idea how it would materialise. Then this happened.
I was just looking at my phone over and over again, trying to take it all in. Once I got over the excitement, I knew I wanted to keep grinding. Now that I had some cash, I could afford to join a few of my friends in one of the businesses they were so big on — importing cars.
These moves. Inject it!
I wanted to see how it would work out, so I dropped ₦1m the first time when the total cost of bringing the car in was ₦4m. My cut on that was ₦100k when the car arrived and we found a buyer for it. Afterwards, I started increasing the amount of money I had in the business.
What types of cars were you bringing in?
At first, it was the old 2008/2009 Lexus RX and Toyota cars. We have a car dealer in the US who finds these cars at auctions and ships them to us. On average, it cost ₦3m or ₦4m to bring one of such cars in and we typically added a 30% markup, but it’s not set in stone.
Later, we noticed an uptick in demand for higher-end cars, so our focus shifted to the Highlanders, the newer Lexus RX, and Mercedes C-300 cars. We could make a profit of about ₦2m each on these cars. It’s only been a couple of months but we are growing and expanding the business.
I put ₦18m in the last batch of cars we imported from the US. They should arrive soon, and I expect to make about ₦4m in profit, which I think is very fair. Fingers crossed on their arrival.
Fingers crossed. I’m curious about what your earnings look like now.
Well, I still make ₦100k from my day job. But I make anything from ₦3m-₦4m every quarter from importing cars. Usually, I re-invest whatever I make back into the business and only take money out once every quarter.
What about your investment portfolios, how much are they worth now?
Most of my money is tied up in physical businesses, mostly car importation. The total value should be about ₦30m now. My other major investment is primarily in the Nigerian stock market and my brokerage account has about ₦10m in it. Because my portfolio is liquid and I can take money out any time, I don’t feel the need to save a lot of money in Naira. I have less than ₦500k in cash at the moment.
I’m very focused on opportunity cost and returns. If I think that I can make more money from my portfolio in the period it would take to ship and sell a car, I will pull money out of the business and put it into the portfolio.
Interesting. Let’s break down your monthly running costs, please.
How much do you think you should be earning now?
At least ₦600k at my 9-5. I’m underpaid at my day job, and that’s mostly because I haven’t done my NYSC yet. I love my job but I’m starting to value my time more than I value the work and the experience. The original plan was to work in the capital market for five years, then branch out on my own to start a business in fund management. Now, I’m not even interested in managing money for other people. I’m all about generating money from multiple businesses and pumping it into my investment portfolio. That’s always been the end game.
Nice. How have all your experiences shaped your perspective about money?
Working in the capital market where my job is to bring people who need money and the people who have it together has shown me that the best way to make money is to have money. It gets exponentially easier to grow wealth when you have some of it.
Also, the people around me have always been wealthy, and the more I see the way they spend and make money, the more confident I am to take risks.
Do you think there’s a part of your finances you could be better at?
Ah, yes. My investments are not as diversified as I’d like them to be. Most of my money is currently tied up in the car importation business. If something goes wrong — like if a ship sinks — it will wipe out most of my net worth.
I could be better with budgeting as well. Sometimes I need to make a purchase but can’t because I don’t have liquid cash around. For the most part, this wouldn’t happen if I’d budgeted better.
Speaking of purchases, is there anything you want right now but can’t afford?
It’s not a pressing need but I’d like a new car. I only started thinking about it when our focus shifted to higher-end cars. A Mercedes GLE-63 will be great but I need around ₦20m for it. As much as I want it, I can’t spend that much money on a car right now. My net worth has to be at least 10x what it is now before I consider it.
What about a purchase that significantly improved the quality of your life?
I paid for a one-year subscription to an online service that provides data in financial markets across Africa. It cost only $300, which was such a good deal and since I paid for it, it’s been way easier to do research. The quality of my life has improved because of it.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your financial happiness?
7. I’m not doing badly for a 23-year-old, and I acknowledge that I had a lot of help to get here. I know the role my privilege has played, and I’m proud of the ways I have leveraged it. My salary from my day job is only enough for my baseline expenses, and I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have people to help me get into these side businesses. I’m definitely in a better place than I was a year ago. However, there’s a lot of things I want but can’t afford yet but I’m taking it one day at a time.
27 Likes 4 Shares
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by Nobody: 10:48pm On Aug 16, 2021|
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by Henrolla(m): 1:25pm On Aug 17, 2021|
Nice effort. Bold steps in the right direction
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by wellmax(m): 1:26pm On Aug 17, 2021|
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by slawormiir: 1:26pm On Aug 17, 2021|
I swear....ain't gonna read this damnnn long story
1 Like 1 Share
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by Skoonheid(f): 1:27pm On Aug 17, 2021|
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by Prosperous111(m): 1:28pm On Aug 17, 2021|
Person wey no come get millions to take run things nko? I'm happy for you that your buisines is moving.
Abeg encourage us or tell us wetin we fit do with 100k
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by Bodmum: 1:35pm On Aug 17, 2021|
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by BecomeALandLord(m): 1:38pm On Aug 17, 2021|
This is insightful.
The wise invest in real estate and not luxuries.
We are your surest real estate plug.... Contact us for genuine lands and houses at various locations in Nigeria.
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by MANNABBQGRILLS: 1:44pm On Aug 17, 2021|
Very Very Good Thread.
4 Likes 3 Shares
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by Nobody: 1:45pm On Aug 17, 2021|
OK Oya do giveaway for boys na
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by Nobody: 1:45pm On Aug 17, 2021|
Wholesale in trucks is good biz.
Just people you know.
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by Zontage: 1:46pm On Aug 17, 2021|
I have to read today's own from A - Z. Make una play Dorime for me
But why is he still on the 100k job. You can also diversify and create another side hustle that can make up to that amount for you. Hence you have more time to run your other deals.
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by Inception(m): 1:46pm On Aug 17, 2021|
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by laryken14(m): 1:47pm On Aug 17, 2021|
This was so enlightening
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by BelieverDE: 1:50pm On Aug 17, 2021|
Zikoko, thanks for your educative interviews you always have with amazing people.
Few things I learnt from this interview that brings money:
* Pushing of Commodities (i.e pushing bags of rice, beans, etc to sell in a consumer location)
* Equities, Treasury Bills, Treasury Notes and Treasury bonds
* Real Estate (either investment or commission for looking for a buyer of properties)
* Importation of cars (although risky if not insured)
Congrats to that 23 year old champ!
Other investment tips as shared by Reno Omokri
"Nobody on Earth needs an iPhone13. Absolutely no one. An iPhone 13 is a status symbol. Don’t let peer pressure rob you off your real treasure. If your old phone works, use it. you don’t need a new phone. You need a new investment. Invest. Don’t impress!
Below are 10 Things You Can Invest in Instead of an iPhone13:
* A plot of land in a low cost area
* 40 bags of rice at a rural area to sell at a profit in an urban area
* Trade in forex
* Buy 3 Microsoft shares
* Buy 6 Apple shares
* Rent a one bedroom and use it for Airbnb
* Buy treasury bonds
* Start a POS business
* Join lendingclub and earn money lending money to people who are guaranteed to repay
* Invest in a course and learn an income generating skill
17 Likes 1 Share
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by DaddyGngeess(m): 1:54pm On Aug 17, 2021|
Nice one, my son will definitely see this, his own na to dey indoor they watch movie
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by Esseite: 1:54pm On Aug 17, 2021|
You sold a property of 350m and made 20m... that is the break point..
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by MMempire(m): 1:55pm On Aug 17, 2021|
Oil dey this boy head. Imagine at just 23 years of age.
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by temmypotter(m): 1:55pm On Aug 17, 2021|
23 year old with 50million naira in portfolio is on the right track and set for life.
I think every young man should try to hit that mark before 30, be worth at least 50million (100k USD). My next target Insha Allah
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by Eillyeillz(m): 1:58pm On Aug 17, 2021|
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by DrTee1(m): 2:06pm On Aug 17, 2021|
Here is the story of the rich making more money from the lopsided system we run in Nigeria where there is no social security net or structure for those in the lower socio-economic classes.
For one, this narrator had rich parents with 'connections' adequate to sponsor him/her for education in Canada and USA.
That's the upper 2% of the Nigerian society.
To invest a lot of hope in such story as this for those with beginnings outside of that socio-economic class may be a recipe for depression.
If opportunities like this were readily available for the average citizen, we would have less male internet fraudsters and female semi-prostitutes amongst our large youthful population. There would also be less interest in FG N-Power 15,000 or 30,000/month schemes. Even the National Assembly gets into huge rows over 1000 units of N20,000/month jobs in every LGA.
Here is a young person netting sweet millions and attending N150k Dorime parties. I wish!
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by infogenius(m): 2:06pm On Aug 17, 2021|
Information is power.
But more powerful is the right application of the information.
Thanks op for this piece of information
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by dettolgel: 2:08pm On Aug 17, 2021|
Na so one onion lady take start ooh.
She posted pictures of her various trip and the profits from her trades. Infact she was very popular then on NL ( I can't quite remember her monika).
Before you know it several people on NL started sending her millions to invest for them.
One morning like that the lady disappeared with their money uptill today.
No be today people begin run street for nairaland ooh. We know their antics, if the op is serious he can send it to his siblings and direct family members first. Once they all become bilionnaire genuine news media houses will pick the story and air it for us. You cant hide such success for long, the news will fine you.
I am just saying you people should be wise ooh.
|Re: The Privileged #nairalife Of An Investment Banker With Multiple Side Businesses by raphy(m): 2:22pm On Aug 17, 2021|
This is an ajebutter taik o..very helpful when u plan to invest. N u hv big money
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