If romance means reading, writing and working, I am the most romantic man on earth. Unfortunately, it isn't. And worse, it involves more of the opposite of those three, especially working.

So now, I am reading two books on being romantic. I don't know whether they will succeed in making me romantic but one has got to try. 

The number one book is Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. Interestingly, my girlfriend has mentioned him before so I was pleasantly surprised when I searched on Amazon and his book popped up as one of the most highly recommended.



I have read through a few pages already and I think it's a book I will like and be able to apply the teachings in it. He says everyone has his/her primary love language and that you can't be romantic if you are speaking Chinese while she only understands English. Makes sense. I only hope learning another love language won't be as hard as learning French.

Then I bought 1001 Ways to Be Romantic: More Romantic Than Ever. I haven't opened the book yet but from the description and reviews, it seems to be filled with romantic ideas one can implement, especially for the blockheads like me. Ideas that range from hiring a helicopter + pilot (according to one person's comment) to simple inexpensive letter writing. I hope drones pass as an helicopter, 'cos I have one and maybe this will finally solve my lack of ideas of what to do with it.


Do you have any romantic advice for unfortunate ones like me? Do please share. 😀


Early this year I was at the Data Science Nigeria Bootcamp, it was a wonderful experience and I got the special privilege of handling two sessions. You can read what I wrote about it here: Having A Wonderful Time At Data Science Nigeria Bootcamp

Next month there is another one and looking to be a hundred times more robust and impacting than the first edition I attended in January. You should check it out and start the registration process if you want to jump start you data science knowledge in a practical and professional way: http://www.datasciencenigeria.org/ 









image: thrivent.com

1. Buy Only Necessities
It is very easy to feel you deserve whatever you suddenly want. And I completely agree that you deserve anything you believe you deserve. The only problem I want you to tackle is the "want". You have to stop wanting too many things. Try as much as you can to only buy the things you absolutely need.

Every month, I know that I deserve a new car; a sleeker, newer model and more reliable one than I currently have. Even my girlfriend and parents join me in that belief. Then everyday I want get a new laptop. I see those new touchscreen, core i100 and metal body laptops, and can't let go of the reality that my current laptop is three years old and not high-end enough. And those are not all, I regular catch other "I need this and that" flu. Some days, the attacks are severe and I have to sacrifice something to ease the feeling. I have recently spent some good money on my car and that has helped greatly reduced the severity of the "new car" flu. I tell myself that no one genuinely uses two laptops, one laptop will just completely go unused after a while, and that I would set aside money for the new sleek laptop I want and buy it the very moment I am sure I no longer can use the current one. The sacrificing some money by setting it aside as new laptop fund makes the "new laptop" flu manageable. And I have other similar ways I manage the other flus.

You also have to find a way to manage your own, sometimes child-like, wants. You can't just pamper yourself with everything you feel you deserve. That is like paving one's road to financial destruction. Warren Buffett once said, "If you keep buying everything you want, you will end up selling what you need." Meaning, it will lead to financial ruin -- where you not only lose the very luxuries you bought but also have to dispose of some necessities to survive.

2. Don't Have Expensive Hobbies
It is very easy to justify paying hundreds of thousands annually to join social clubs. They will pay off in terms of the network/connections and opportunities you'll get. The trouble is that some people overdo it. They make themselves a social pest, doing speed networks across the nation at exorbitant prices. If you ask my advice, it'll come in form of one word: don't. Don't find the most expensive way of achieving things -- whether social connections or personal development.

3. Put Money Away In An Investment Account Regularly
Don't just save, invest.
Every month, I try to invest as much as I can. A little this month and a little next month all add up to a substantial amount at the end of the year. Most especially bonus-like money. There are some money I get that I am not expecting, I often move them to my investment account before I get any funny idea of buying some fancy gadget. And as a business man, there are times business is very good and I get a bumper harvest. I make sure to splash on my investment account rather than on something more temporal.

4. Lastly, Be Part Of A Financial Intelligence Community
There is nothing as edifying and motivating as being a part of a community of investors and highly financially literate people on the same journey to financial abundance as you. I am a part of at least five such highly edifying communities.



Yesterday I hit 500 subscribers on YouTube. It made me feel very happy. I have worked deliberately to grow my YouTube subscribers, doing even YouTube adverts. In the beginning I felt the YouTube ecosystem unfairly treats technical content providers. People would rather watch comedy and movies on YouTube than a training related content. 

I would upload videos and very few people would view them. And it was like that for me from 2012 to 2016. This year, things really changed for good for me, the numbers started going up. Viewership numbers, subscription counts and even the YouTube adverts revenue I earn. My monthly webinar has also greatly helped, many of the people who participate enjoy it so much that they subscribe to the YouTube channel.

Now I am gradually becoming a YouTube influencer in the tiny Excel and Data Analysis niche.

😀


I use Excel a lot for my investment planning, stocks analysis, personal budgeting, savings goal calculations and business financials. Then, I use it for corporate finance projects I get from both local and foreign corporate clients (companies).

In this webinar, I will be taking you through the formulas, templates and tools I use in Excel for personal finance, investment planning and other financial calculations.

You will be learning how to use PMT to plan your savings towards a goal (buying a property or your child's ivy league university education fee). 
You will learn how to create a personal or business loan schedule. 
You will learn how to determine how much your monthly savings in an interest bearing account will amount to in 5 or 10 years from now
You will learn how to calculate the interest rate the microfinance bank is giving you that 6 months loan at (you'll be surprised at the figure, I'll use a live example)
You will learn how to calculate how long to finish paying for a car or home loan (mortgage) if you pick your own monthly/yearly repayment amount
You will learn how I analyse stocks and get access a special tool I built and made freely available for Nigerians
You will learn how to make some common business financial calculations

Don't miss the webinar!

Date: Today, Thursday, September 21, 2017
Time: 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: YouTube Live --  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOJ9hEgDlA4   (just click on the link to join on the webinar day, you might want to set a reminder too)

To always be in loop of our monthly helpful webinars for the busy business professionals, join our webinar directory.

To view the recordings of previous similarly useful webinars, visit the YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/MichaelOlafusi


😀 
To all those who think I don't watch movies, ta-daa 😜

Once in three months I subscribe to Netflix and once in six months I buy a one month ExpressVPN subscription which allows me to watch US Netflix, Canada Netflix, France Netflix, Germany Netflix and UK Netflix (I don't bother about the other countries and I think Canada has the most interesting movies).

This month is the one I do both the Netflix subscription and the ExpressVPN subscription, so I have been watching loads of movies this month. 

And being the nice me, I will be sharing with you the movies I found very interesting -- well worth both the time it took me to find them and the time spent watching them. By the way, you have to pardon my  one-sided (action movies laden) lists and also that it's probably filled with old movies most movie lovers have watched already.

1. Captain America: The First Avenger
This one came as a real pleasant surprise. So Captain America was originally a very skinny constantly bullied boy-man. If you haven't watched it, you should even if you don't like action movies. This one is not like the crap story gun cracking from start to finish action movies out there. It has a very romantic side to it and the story line makes sense.



2. The Adjustment Bureau
This is the most unusual love story movie I have ever watched. It is one of the movies that are so good that you can't wait to forget it so you can it watch again like for the first time. It is about how angels and higher powers tried to keep Norris from Elise because Norris is destined to be the US president and Elise is destined to be a celebrity but the love they have for one another if allowed to blossom will kill all the ambition in them and they will live quiet insignificant lives. So the authors of their destiny deployed a lot of resources to keep them apart. Again, you would love it.




3. Matrix, Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolution
I know I am late to the party on these ones, but if you are equally late or have forgotten a significant chunk of the movies then you should watch them. Follow the white rabbit.







4. 21
This is a very interesting movie about a 21 year genius student at MIT trying to, at first, get a scholarship to Harvard then upon being told his chances are slim, decided to save up for it. He joined a professor led team of professional casino blackjack hackers. Everything about the movie's storyline is totally unpredictable and interesting till the end. And as usual, they threw in an above-his-league girl he's got a crush for. He gets the girl (I think too early into the movie and too easily too) and gets more than the money he wanted.




5. Total Recall
I can't totally recall the movie as it's been weeks ago I watched it but I do very well remember that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has a great mind twisting story line and beautiful fighting ladies. Maybe I will watch it again before my subscription runs out.



6. Rush
This is hands down the most motivational movie I have watched this year. And I hear its based on a true story. I watched it with all seriousness that the effect it had on me are still fresh. You too should watch it and learn the live lessons it teaches us all.




7. Thor
Probably the third time I am watching it. Great movie and stunning perfect looking main actor. I still think he was videoshopped.




8. Hitch
One of the best romance movies out there. Though it is centered on the falsehood that women are predictable and you can get any woman you genuinely want, but if you overlook the unreal assumptions you'll thoroughly enjoy the movie. Last week was my second time of watching it. The first time was years ago.



9. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Not a very great movie but the story line is a solid one and enjoyable one. It is about a man who hasn't done much all his life and then forced to go on an adventure. And with some love angle thrown in.



10. Hellboy
One shouldn't watch a movie with hell or devil in its title except the series Lucifer and this movie, Hellboy. I don't think I remember well the story line to coherently describe it but I do remember that it was a movie well worth the time spent watching it. I have also watched it thrice, which means it's a thoroughly enjoyable movie.




11. Salt
I only have a vague memory of what the movie is about but the rating is extremely high and I remember thinking its a great movie.



12. Jack Reacher
If you love a thrilling action movie, then this is that movie. An action thriller. Excellent story line too. 



image:tradingqna.com
I see too many people get the whole concept of interest rates wrong. They look at two investment options, look at the quoted interest rates and still pick the lower rate one while thinking they've picked the higher one.

Let's find out if you are one of them:
Which would you pick -- 6 months Treasury Bill at 16.67% or 1 year Treasury Bill at 17.20%?
Which loan is cheaper -- N5 million to pay N6 million in 6 months or N5 million to pay N6 million in one year?
Which loan is cheaper -- N1 million to pay back N1.2 million in 6 months or N1 million to pay back N1.4 million in one year; and like most personal loans you pay back in equal monthly chunks.

The last one is a trick question.

The correct answers are: pick 1 year Treasury Bill at 17.20%; N5 million to pay N6 million in one year; and N1 million to pay back N1.2 million in 6 months.

If you got the first two right, you have no problem. If you got all the answers, you should stop reading this article and go do something more productive with your time. If you got only one or got none of the answers, you should read this article with all seriousness.

Rule No 1
Interest rates should be considered over same time period whenever you are making comparison. Helps answer question number 2.

Rule No 2
Treasury bills, bank savings interest rate and all standard investment return rates are quoted in annual rate. This explains the answer to question number 1. Beware, though, of loan companies, they like to quote monthly rate and daily rate (in Nigeria).

Rule No 3
In the real world, all interest rates are compound interest rates. So when doing the calculations, always use compound interest rate calculations. That is the explanation for the answer to question 3.


If you always observe these rules in picking investments or loans, you will not make the mistakes I see people fall into.
image: pulse.ng

I have stopped reading what people post on social media about why we are where we are and what is wrong with everything. And the main reason is because it is an energy and time black-hole.

If the people who are elected to move the country forward aren't doing their jobs but spending all their energy diverting national resources for private benefits while feeding us with petty issues to brawl about, why should I waste my time trying to fix their mess or even discuss their mess. I am not God. You are not God. I don't have unlimited resources. You don't have unlimited resources. It's time you do what's good for yourself and forget about fixing divisive national issues.

IPOB.
Nigerian Army.
Boko Haram.
Lai Muhammed.
North Agenda.
South Agenda.
Ultimatums.

This past weekend I was in Abuja and tried to follow-up on a training project we are pursuing with one of the government agencies. I spoke with our inside man. He told me a lot of things. Last month, I was in same Abuja and discussed another long-tail training projects targeted at government ministries, departments and agencies. Again, I heard a lot of things. 

You want to know what was obvious from all what I heard?

Everyone in government is like a man with a hoe just trying to heap as much of the good things to his own side. They talk all sorts and argue in different directions publicly but right there in the offices they hold they all do the same thing -- that which personally favours them and not what they say out loud as good for the nation on the pages of newspapers or in public discussions.

Then there are those who waste away their lives on the temporal pages of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And some won't even stop there, they seek out real physical harm to themselves and others. They burn houses. They put themselves in harms way.

The people with the mandate and national resources to fix things are not, they are rather fanning old flames and starting new ones. Then some people have made themselves Captain Nigeria but without the right/authentic information and a proper avenue to fix things, they end up making bad situations get worse.

To you my friends, whom I care about, I will advice that you act like our politicians and government office holders, do what's good for you. Forget about fixing the country or making things fair for everyone. At least for now. With all the false information flying around and heavily reposted on social media, you might end up committing a greater crime than the one you seek justice for. Rather focus on yourself and your immediate family, then do what's good for you and your family.




I use Excel a lot for my investment planning, stocks analysis, personal budgeting, savings goal calculations and business financials. Then, I use it for corporate finance projects I get from both local and foreign corporate clients (companies).

In this webinar, I will be taking you through the formulas, templates and tools I use in Excel for personal finance, investment planning and other financial calculations.

You will be learning how to use PMT to plan your savings towards a goal (buying a property or your child's ivy league university education fee). 
You will learn how to create a personal or business loan schedule. 
You will learn how to determine how much your monthly savings in an interest bearing account will amount to in 5 or 10 years from now
You will learn how to calculate the interest rate the microfinance bank is giving you that 6 months loan at (you'll be surprised at the figure, I'll use a live example)
You will learn how to calculate how long to finish paying for a car or home loan (mortgage) if you pick your own monthly/yearly repayment amount
You will learn how I analyse stocks and get access a special tool I built and made freely available for Nigerians
You will learn how to make some common business financial calculations

Don't miss the webinar!

Date: Thursday, September 21, 2017
Time: 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: YouTube Live --  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOJ9hEgDlA4   (just click on the link to join on the webinar day, you might want to set a reminder too)

To always be in loop of our monthly helpful webinars for the busy business professionals, join our webinar directory.

To view the recordings of previous similarly useful webinars, visit the YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/MichaelOlafusi


When you invest for the long-term (to cash in after five or more years) you need to have a different mindset to what most people have.

I know people who work fully in investment banking and stock brokerage firms, but I don't ask them for advice. The ones I get from their (and their bosses') interviews on CNBC Africa and the research articles their company's research team send me hasn't been of significant use. And the problem is that they focus purely on the daily ups and downs of the stock market. They are too obsessed with the short term while I am investing for the long-term.

Practically, investing for the long term means that you will have to watch your stocks go down and you do nothing. Sometimes, you'll even feel happy about it as it presents a bargain hunting opportunity -- opportunity to buy more shares cheaper.

Currently, all but one of the stocks I am invested in have been hammered lately. Down significantly. I am not worried, and I intend buying more of the ones hardest hit. 

Why?

The fundamentals of the companies haven't changed. In fact, they've been making more money than ever. All the market oscillations are purely noise or foreign investor fears. I don't care too much about it because as it is with all noise, they will die down.

Benjamin Graham famously said, "In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine."

image: pinterest.co.uk