There are six major types of financial models:
  1.  Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model,
  2.  Comparative Company Analysis (comps) model,
  3.  Sum-of-the-parts model,
  4.  Leveraged Buy Out (LBO) model, and
  5. Merger and Acquisition (M&A) model
  6. Book value model


The Discounted Cash Flow model is built on estimating the lifetime net cash flow from operations (free cash flow) of the company and discounting it to present (today’s) value. It is the most popular model and most generally accepted.

The comparative company analysis model uses financial ratios to estimate the value of a company by comparing it with its peers (similar companies in same industry). This mostly used by investment banking analysts.

The sum-of-the-parts model is mostly used for conglomerates and companies with independent divisions, it considers the total value if the different divisions are sold. It is often used when some divisions are in a high growth industry and are not fairly valued because the other divisions are in a mature or declining industry.

Leveraged Buy Out (LBO) model is used to determine the value of a company and decide if it would have a return in excess of the cost of capital used to acquire the company. It gets its name from the term leverage which means loan in the business world. So a leveraged buy out is when a company borrows money to buy out another company. And the LBO model is used first to evaluate if the company is worth taking up a loan to buy out.

Merger and Acquisition (M&A) model is used to value a company based on the added synergy value it would have to the acquiring company. In real world, companies acquire other companies for reasons that vary from tax benefits to acquiring new technology to expanding to a new market to increasing market share. The M&A model is used to evaluate this benefit before the actual acquisition.

Book value model is used to value a company based on its net assets. Usually, analysts adjust for illiquidity in disposing off the assets. A company I interviewed with that was in M&A advising uses a model that takes capital assets at a percentage of their actual book value. The book value model is not often used except for companies that file for bankruptcy or companies that are to be sold off asset by asset.

In this training we will focus on the most used and generally accepted financial model type: Discounted Cash Flow (DCF). DCF is the best method for getting the intrinsic value of a company as it does not depend on comparison with financial ratios that fluctuate with market sentiment or book values that say nothing about the companies’ efficiency in generating net income from them. It is also the method with the most transparency as to inputs and assumptions.


More importantly, as a financial modeler it is the model you are required to know at the least. Other models are less complicated and can be figured out from their templates once you are sound in building DCF models.

(There are other model types like Options Pricing model and industry specific models which I do not consider as major types). In the next post in this series, I will be walking you through a practical creation of DCF model for Dangote Cement using real/actual Dangote Cement data.

Yesterday, I was innocently checking through my Facebook feed, taking a break from my no-break work. Was even in a good mood. We placed an advert online about our next month's training in Lagos and Abuja, and a lot of phone calls and inquiry emails came in. So I had been working crazy hard and just wanted a break. Instead of coming across relaxing posts and the funny videos Facebook is now becoming a fountain of, I came across this YNaija analysis of Linda Ikeji's income -- The Media Blog: Let’s explain to you how EXACTLY Linda Ikeji makes her millions
  It ruined my break and almost ruined my day. 

Logically, it shouldn't have. They did a very believable breakdown of how Linda Ikeji easily makes over N600 million naira a year and millions a day just from her blog. Logically, I should be happy and motivated by the knowledge that it's possible to make that huge amount from uncomplicated online activities. In fact, I have been a beneficiary of her blog success. That advert I talked about, getting us lots of phone calls and inquiries, was placed on Linda Ikeji's blog. And is the main reason we are confident that Abuja training will successfully hold. Lagos class is on course to being fully booked.

So why was I sad?

It was the other side to it. She seems to be sweatlessly doing extremely well. That amount is more than what even the CEO of Dangote Cement (paid in dollars) earn. Like over x10 of his salary. It made all my hardwork look like dumb work. I have always been proud of how much I am able to squeeze into one day and the tough daily drill I follow. But here is someone getting a lot more from her efforts without having to do any out-of-this world stuff (complex stuff).

Then I got lucky last night. I watched the movie Gridlocked on Netflix. 


image: teaser-trailer.com

It brought back my good mood and removed the jealous feeling the article gave me. One has to be himself, like who he is and what he does. Other things are secondary. If that bit isn't there, frustration is guaranteed. Just imagine how much media backlash and negative public attention Linda Ikeji gets. I wouldn't survive them. She seems to be thoroughly enjoying them 'cos even when people let her be, she goes and look for their trouble --  Wizkid, #SaveMayowa ...

I think I am myself. I love who I am and what I do. Maybe, working 24/7 is part of who I am. Truth is I feel sick if I don't work almost all day. It's like I have wasted a big chunk of the day. I also love the complex sounding things I do. I understand them very well and do them even when they don't earn me money.

I remember in 2012. I tried to be like Linda Ikeji. I started a news breaking blog. It did very well. Better than my own personal blog that had been in existence for three years then. Now the Twitter has over 72,000 followers. But I quit the blog in just four months. I couldn't do it anymore. I was doing it just for money. No passion or love for it. I was getting some results but I wasn't enjoying it. It just wasn't who I am.

1. PRICE


Going by price per data (GB), Swift is the winner. For each similar bundle plan, Swift's is cheaper than Spectranet's and way cheaper than Smile's.

Only Smile's N19,800 unlimited plan can be considered a rival. And that's if you don't mind the speed cap/limit of 4mbps for the first 100GB data usage, 2mbps for the next 100GB and 512kpbs for the rest of the month, then it might be your best plan. Currently, it is what I am using. I just got Smile two weeks ago and I have tried out its 5GB plan that gives you extra 5GB night data. Now I am on the unlimited plan and it seems to be doing great despite the speed cap.

Below is Spectranet plan:
Plan NamePlan CostPlan/DataAdditional BonusValidityAccess
Unified Value 7GBN5,0007GBNilMonthly24 x 7
Unified Value 15GBN7,00015GBNilMonthly24 x 7
Unified Value 25GBN10,00025GB*Free Unlimited Night browsingMonthly24 x 7
Unified Value 55GBN20,00055GB*Free Unlimited Night browsingMonthly24 x 7
Unified Value 110GBN40,000110GB*Free Unlimited Night browsingMonthly24 x 7
Unified Value 200GBN70,000200GB*Free Unlimited Night browsingMonthly24 x 7
Unified Nite Value 20GB N7,50020GBNilMonthly7pm – 7am
Unified Nite Value 40GB N11,00040GBNilMonthly7pm – 7am
*Free Unlimited Night browsing between 1am - 7am
*All Nite Plans have 24 hours access on weekend and Public Holidays
I currently use the 25GB that comes with free unlimited night browsing at N10,000 on my Spectranet. I might not renew when it finishes this month end as I am now on Smile unlimited plan.

Below is Smile data plan:

  1. N1,000 for 1GB with a 30 days validity and 2mbps cap
  2. N3,000 for 3GB with a 30 days validity
  3. N5,000 for 5GB with a 30 days validity
  4. N9,000 for 10GB with a 30 days validity
  5. N17,000 for 20GB with a 12 months validity
  6. N19,800 for unlimited plan with a 30 days validity and speed limit of 4mbps for the first 100GB, 2mbps for the next 100GB and 512kbps for the remainder of the month
  7. N36,000 for 50GB with a 12 months validity
  8. N70,000 for 100GB with a 12 months validity
  9. N135,000 for 200GB with a 12 months validity

With the exception of the unlimited plan, Smile has got the most ridiculously expensive data price. Glo most be smoking them out even it those states they've got coverage advantage over Spectranet and Swift.

Below is the Swift data plan:

  1. N500 (Swift Budget) for 750MB with 7 days validity
  2. N2000 (Swift Budget Plus) for 3GB (don't know the validity period but will assume it's also for 7 days)
  3. N4,000 (Swift Economy) for 6GB (should be for 30 days validity)
  4. N7,000 (Swift Essential) for 30GB with 30 days validity
  5. N10,000 (Swift Club) for 50GB with 30 days validity
  6. N15,000 (Swift Premium) for 65GB with 30 days validity
  7. N20,000 (Swift Elite) for 100GB with 30 days validity
  8. N25,000 (Swift ElitePlus) for 125GB with 30 days validity
I used to be on the N7,000 Swift Essential plan but it finishes too quick I began doubting if it's really 30GB it comes with. Now I am on the N500 Swift Budget. I plan to use it for my webinar streaming as Swift has the best speed (almost crazy high) speed in my location.


2. COVERAGE



Smile is the winner for coverage. It is in the most number of states in Nigeria and even within Lagos there are many places only Smile works.

After Smile is Spectranet. But if you plan going beyond Abuja and Port Harcourt then Smile is a better choice. Forget about Swift for beyond Lagos.

3. Speed

For speed, I think it is a tie between Swift and Smile. I have done speed tests and Swift has the highest speed among them all in the places it works very well. Smile ties with Swift because it's speed is also high and more consistent than Swift.


And that's my practical comparison among the three major 4G internet providers in Nigeria.
image: businessnewsdaily.com

Increasingly, people are rewarded and valued for knowing a lot about something than knowing something about a lot.

Even when you take a look at the world's most valuable companies, they are no longer the companies doing almost everything -- conglomerates. The top positions are now grabbed by companies who do mainly one thing and do it extremely -- Apple, Google, Samsung, Amazon and Microsoft.


image: pattayatoday.net

So how do you get an edge?

You start first with seeing what no one else is seeing, which then drives you to do what no one else is doing and by the time everyone else sees the opportunity you saw you will already be way ahead of them all.

Think about it. There used to be a time that just getting a university degree was a big edge. Now it isn't anymore. Everyone has one. 

There used to be a time that getting an MBA was a big deal. Now it's no longer that much of a big deal. Almost everyone is getting one now.

There used to be a time that being hardworking was enough to rise in one's career. Now, it is no longer enough. For every hardworking employee there are five equally hardworking unemployed people willing to take his position for less than half his salary.

To get an edge, you have to look for where everyone will want to be in a few years time. You have to position yourself for the future. Pick an area that will become hot in a few years' time. Put a lot of hard work into bettering yourself in that area. Start before everyone and put in a lot of dedication. Your progress will be slow because you will have much less resources than others will have when that field eventually blows up. So you must be willing to break through rock and make it work. That's how you keep your edge sharp.

Finally, when the world gets to see what you saw and start going for it, you will be the one reaping most of the rewards. You will be the go-to expert and highly sought-after consultant. And better if you can make a product to sell to them because that will be the equivalent of minting cash.

I slept at around 3:00am. I was busy working on creating the hardcopy/print version of my book for sale on Amazon US, UK and German marketplace. I had to reformat the book to a 6" by 9" book format and submit to CreateSpace for hardcopy publication. 

And what motivated me to do this?

Yesterday, I got alerts from Amazon for the payment for sales of my book across their global marketplace. A book I had forgotten I had on sale, and all the while I was busy doing other things the book was also busy earning me extra income. I felt motivated. I updated the book with new chapters and began working on the hardcopy version to be priced at $45 on Amazon.

Currently, the book is ranking as number 127 for Amazon Microsoft Excel book category and that is fantastic for a book I am not promoting, and considering there are probably thousands of Microsoft Excel books.



Now I am going to promote the book using paid adverts on Amazon and, hopefully, sales should rise. 

It has motivated me to complete my unfinished novel. I am now reviewing/reading the novel to bring myself up to speed with the theme and get back in sync to be able to write the remaining chapters. I have no doubt that it will also sell on Amazon.

That my book is doing well on Amazon is again a validation of my new strategy of building products I can mass sell. I am grateful to God and Amazon. Next would be to make into a published book from my Financial Modelling training manual.
image: spontaneousfinance.com
In 2012 I bought a book titled Building Your Network Marketing Business by Jim Rohn. Jim Rohn was one of America's best personal development experts and motivational speakers during the 1970s to the time of his death in 2009. He was often called upon to speak to management staff of large multinational corporations. In the book, he told a story of when he was called to speak to the management of Standard Oil at a time of economic depression and business was not booming. He told them that after every bust is a boom. The recession will pass and economic boom will come so the focus shouldn't be on the recession as it was temporal but they should position themselves for the next boom.

And that is what I want to tell you too as we pass through our own economic recession. It will pass sooner than you expect and there will be an economic boom. But for everyone of us, benefiting from the coming boom requires a new mindset. A mindset that is not fixed on the bust but seeking out the opportunities that will position one for the coming boom.

The way to doing that will vary for each one of us. It will depend on our specialised knowledge and interest. It will also depend on how well we can delay gratification. So I can't tell you how to prepare for the coming boom but I can share with you how I am doing my preparation.

I am heavily investing in the stocks market. Well, heavily is a relative term but it means I am putting all my money after deducting my living expense in the stock market. A lot of people scream when they hear me say that but stock investment is one of my area of specialisation and interest. I have my risks well calculated and my investment strategy well defined. The market is very depressed, I don't need a prophet to tell me that it will go up very significantly. So I have become greedy when others are fearful (as they say in the investment world).

I am positioning myself for domination in the IoT industry niche in Nigeria. I have my own IoT lab and have been studying and practicing consistently. My progress is slow but it is progress nonetheless and I am still on course to emerging a local champion in that area.

I am also reorganizing my business to be more of a consumer facing business. I am pulling out of all B2B models. I have stopped the consulting arm of my business and have stopped marketing companies. It's great when they contact us but we are not going to beg/chase them. It is a lousy B2B market here in Nigeria. They always try to get more than they've paid for and make you sweat unnecessarily for payment.


If you've used Excel consistently at work for a few months, you will be familiar with some errors Excel displays when it can't get you the answer you want. Oftentimes, we don't give some thoughts to these errors but the truth is they are not random or meaningless, they are trying to tell you something important.

Today, I will be sharing with you how to interpret those errors and uncover the gem in them. How to read the message they are trying to pass across to you.

There are eight error types in Excel:

  1. #VALUE!
  2. #DIV/0!
  3. #N/A
  4. ########
  5. #NAME?
  6. #REF!
  7. #NUM!
  8. #NULL!
#VALUE! Error
You get #VALUE! error when you do a calculation in Excel that doesn't make sense. Like Michael + 2. What is Michael + 2? Is Michael a number? What kind of answer are you expecting? Can you try it on your CASIO calculator? 


To be blunt, #VALUE! is Excel's way of saying someone is stupid. Someone has typed in a calculation that makes absolutely no sense. 

#DIV/0! Error
As the name implies, division by zero, #DIV/0! is the error you get when you do any formula that divides a number by zero.



Now, I have a trick question for you: what error do you think Excel will give you when you divide Michael by zero? #VALUE! or #DIV/0!?

#N/A Error
This is the error you get when you do a lookup function (VLOOKUP, LOOKUP, MATCH etc.) and Excel can't find what you are looking for.



####### Error
You get this error for two reasons. The first and more common one is when there is not enough space in your Excel cell to display a numeric (number) value. Excel doesn't want you to take 1,000,000 as 1,000 because space was only enough to show 1,000. So it puts in ####### in the entire cell and force you to expand/widen the cell to see the entire content.




The second and less common one is when you do a calculation on date and the resulting date answer is too large or too small a value to be shown as a valid date in Excel. Here's what I mean. In Excel you can do 26-Aug-16 + 1 and you will get 27-Aug-16 (the next date).

But when you try 26-Aug-16 + 999999999 you get ######## and no amount of expanding the cell will make the error go away. You are trying to calculate a post-apocalyptic date.



#NAME? Error
This is the error you get when you type a formula name that doesn't exist in Excel. Maybe you wanted to type SUM but mistakenly typed SUN. Well, Excel doesn't know about the solar system so t will tell you that it doesn't recognize that formula name.





#REF! Error
This is a very popular and troublesome error. It happens when you have a formula that picks value from a different sheet or different file and somehow the file or sheet becomes inaccessible (or deleted). When Excel tries to recalculate the formula, it gives you that #REF! error because it can't access one of the reference file/sheet.





Another funny case that causes it is when you drag a formula that depends on a cell above it too way up that it messes with Excel's cell reference system.



#NUM! Error
This is the error you get when you do a calculation that is too large or too small for Excel to handle. An example is 999 raised to the power of 99999



#NULL! Error
This is a very uncommon error. We are all familiar with the multiplication, addition, subtraction, division etc. operations. There is one not very commonly known -- the intersect operator. And it is simply a space. It gets you the intersect value of two different ranges.



So what happens when you select ranges that do not intersect? You get #NULL! error.




And those are the errors in Excel and their interpretation. Now you know what they are telling you anytime you come across them.

There will be many times you won't feel motivated to do anything. Either you are bored by doing the same things everyday or you are dissatisfied with the progress you're making in life or you just don't know why. And it's very easy to enter that demotivated mode because too many things can trigger it.

image: pinterest.com

You have to constantly challenge yourself. Keep yourself busy towards something that matters to you whether you are motivated or not.

How we feel are mere interpretations of what is happening to us and around us. Feelings don't amount to anything unless it moves you to act. And the worst types of feelings are the ones that make you want to do nothing. 

I know I have some unusual natural advantage in detoxifying my feelings. I am one of the few people who are not very emotional. I look emotional and talk emotional, but at my core is cold hard logic. Life is full of ironies. Still I have days I just feel like doing nothing, and sometimes for no identifiable reason. There are days I drag myself out of the bed, to do my daily work. 

In fact, there are days I don't want to do my daily writings. Maybe because I noticed people unsubscribe from getting my daily articles or I had passed across an incorrect information (like I did yesterday) or I feel I have been writing junks for the last six days or I feel I have taken this daily writing too far or I just don't know why. Still I write. Because creating something is always better than doing nothing. Today's crap might become tomorrow's raw material.

Everyday, I motivate myself to get up and do everything I have committed myself to doing -- praying, reading a chapter of the bible daily, writing, working on my business and avoiding people. When I say avoiding people, I don't mean specific people. I mean avoiding events and activities that will bring me too personally close to (new) people. I have found out that I am less creative and less focused when I have too many discussions with people. Chit-chats have negative effects on me. And I am 100% willing to live with the consequences of my isolative lifestyle. One cannot (in fact, should not) have it all.

Today, we have our monthly Excel and Business Data Analysis training class. Friday and Saturday. A few people are coming from outside Lagos. Surprisingly, despite facilitating training almost every week, I still feel nervous and have been praying that the training go very smooth. 

This post is again a selfish one, to challenge myself to rise up to the task and deliver a great training. Wish me luck!

image: quotesgram.com

We all know that the journey to greatness starts with small steps but the one thing some of us do not know is that the initial steps are not always perfectly calculated steps.

Yesterday, I read about Joe Mansueto, one of the richest people alive. A billionaire. He still drives his 1988 car; he lives in a one bedroom rented apartment and lives a very simple life (no longer correct, thanks to Solomon who brought this to my attention at the comment section of this post). But what drew me to him is that he is the founder Morningstar, the very investment research company I am trying to replicate here in Nigeria. For four years I have been working on my idea of creating a similar investment research service here for the Nigerian market. So Joe Mansueto, by founding Morningstar, is the source of my stock analysis and investment services ambition. And it was just natural that has I read more about the company, Morningstar, I want to emulate I would end up also reading about the founder and its founding story.

He started Morningstar as a series of many small steps and never intended to be a billionaire of it which is why he still lives like he did when he started the company decades ago. It is easy to look at him and his creation and consider them great but what is not easy to acknowledge is that it all began as a series of imperfect steps and a small goal.

I also read the story of Michael Bloomberg, who is the one sponsoring the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa training program I attend 3 days a month from April to September, and it is a similar beginning for him too. He was of out job but got a lot in severance payment (actually, the company sold out to another company and he was paid off). He felt very bitter about it and unfairly treated. Then he took his severance pay and started Bloomberg. He started with small imperfect steps. Now the company is the biggest in its niche globally and Michael Bloomberg is the 8th richest person in the world with a net worth of $48.3 billion. In the book, The Bloomberg Way, he admitted to not being sure everything will work out as great as they did. 

And that is it about life and greatness in general. You start with small unsteady steps and end up surpassing your expectations. 

So please don't stop taking small imperfect steps towards your goal. Start something small that matters in the direction of your big dream. God-willing, you too will achieve greatness.

Yesterday, during the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa class which we have for three days a month, we did a case study on Botswana.


image: operationworld.org

The title of the case study is Botswana: A Diamond in the Rough by Laura Alfaro, Debora L. Spar, Faheen Allibhoy and Vinati Dev published by Harvard Business School.

It deeply explained the history of Botswana as a country, going from a very poor country that gained independence from Britain in 1966 to Africa's best success story. Botswana is the indication that our problems are not color related or genetic but purely one of poor choices.

More importantly, I learned that the very problems and situations countries face are what we as individuals too face.

Some countries are blessed with natural resources and yet have nothing to show for them. Same with some individuals. Some countries make bad economic decisions. Same with some individuals. Some countries don't save up for tomorrow. Same with some individuals. Some countries don't invest in capacity development. Same with some individuals. Some countries always point to others (especially colonial masters) as the cause of all their troubles. Same with some individuals. Some countries only care about painting themselves good rather than making sound fundamental changes. Same with some individuals. Some countries only care about showing off, spending recklessly and importing everything. Same with some individuals.

I guess the very things we accuse nations of are also present in our individual lives. Everyday, I struggle to break free from the pressure/temptation to up my lifestyle. I am constantly trying to also not fall for the curse of the dutch disease (resource curse) -- letting a sudden increase in income decrease my diversified value creating activities and blow up my lifestyle. I try hard to not let success turn my head and make me consider the very works that earned me the success too belittling (or below me).

Like Norway and Botswana, I want to be one of the shining examples. Positive examples.