Working my way to wealth


After reading lots of books on Personal finance and Investment, I decided to put my vast knowledge to work. 

I currently work at a job I love but which leaves me with little money at month-end. I daily take a record of all my expenses; I know where every single kobo of my salary goes. I know exactly how much I spend in a month.

The following are the Personal Finance measures I implemented –

1.       Pay myself first

In 2011, I set up a direct debit order in my salary account to transfer a certain amount of money every month to a Mutual fund account.

Now I plan setting up two others to transfer some cash monthly to my Brokerage account and quarterly to my Fixed Income fund account.

2.       Have an Emergency fund

I currently have the cash equivalent of my three months living expenses stashed away in a High Yield savings account. I have lost my job once and resigned from another too. In both situations, I encountered numerous unplanned expenses and ended up spending a lot. Having an emergency fund can greatly help to tackle unforeseen emergencies. I never touch it unless there is an emergency, and I replenish it as soon as I can.

3.       NSD, LSD and HSD

Increase your No Spending Days, never reduce your Low Spending Days and reduce your High Spending Days in a month. I try to achieve this by staying home on most holidays to increase my NSD, cut-back on unnecessary daily expenses like chewing gums and in between meal snacks to increase my LSD, and I only buy necessities to reduce my HSD.

Recently, my Sony VAIO laptop motherboard went bad and I couldn’t find a replacement. Rather than buy a new laptop, I bought a similar but dead Sony VAIO laptop and replaced the bad parts with the ones in mine that fitted and bought the other parts that needed fixing. I ended up with another Sony VAIO that cost a fraction of the new one.

Anything I can do without for a month, doesn’t make it to my list. For instance, a new suit, an iPad, another wrist watch and movies.

4.       70 – 30 investment rule

Since, I’m investing for the long term (over 30 years horizon), I put 70% of my investment cash in stocks and 30% in Fixed Income and bonds. As a small investor, I rely on fixed income fund. But I follow the stock market like a true Chelsea FC fan follows his club, I know nearly all the important figures and trends. I research stocks, burrow through financial statements from 7 years back and make some crazy financial calculations. I manage my own brokerage account without any professional help, I buy stocks of companies I’m convinced (after my calculations) will grow at over 15% year-on-year and sell the ones I believe have derailed (regardless of their stock price movement).

Result: Though, at first, I lost money after money, I have recouped all my loses and have found an investment style that works great (so far).

5.       Delay my big expenses

I don’t plan buying a car anytime soon.

6.       Create multiple income streams

Though I make money from my investments, I run 3 monetized blogs and have a part-time consultancy biz. Currently, my blog is yet to generate a profit and my consultancy biz is still in its infancy, but I know that with time and efforts invested I will be able to cover my living expenses from their earnings.

7.       I’m my biggest asset

The premium on skills (hard and soft) is huge. That is why our parents make us start school as early as possible, knowing that one day someone will be willing to give us a fat pay slip just to have us around him.

Though I consider MSc and MBA luxuries, I have been reading several MBA course materials. I spend a lot on books, very expensive books too, on everything that interests me – swimming, business analysis, java programming, php and sql programming, MS Excel and VBA, French, Linux, Personal finance, Investment, Self development, Spanish, German, novels…

Last year, I took an online diploma course in Stress Management by a UK school. And this year, I have already enrolled for a Finance course, Data Analysis course and History course via Coursera. I just recently concluded my video classes on History of the world since 1300AD, and learned that there was a time when skilled workers were kidnapped. This reinforced my decision to become skilled in as many things as I can.

While at the university doing my degree in Electrical Electronics Engineering, I spent most of my library time reading books on Psychology. I discovered that the brain doesn’t function like a bag, in which you’ll have to push some things out to make space for new things. The brain simply doesn’t get filled, the more you use it the logically bigger and more intelligent it becomes. That was why Leonardo da Vinci could become an expert in nearly all the known human disciplines of his days. He used his brain. Since I discovered this, I stopped trying to focus on only just one field of knowledge.

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  1. Beautiful and informative write-ups. Keep it up. Gbengus

  2. Stumbled upon your blog and not been able to get off and do some work. intrigued by a number of points you raised.

    How were you able to finish the courses on tried four times now and i am ashamed to say that i dont get past the first 3 weeks.

    Will definitely be back!

  3. Hi sonofphilip,

    Thanks for your kind word.

    What I do is, I download the videos and watch on PC and mobile devices. That way, I get to finish the week's lectures before the next week, and I even look forward to the next lectures.

    But what I think help me the most is that I go for courses that interest me a lot, ones I won't mind paying for. It makes the whole learning process fun.

  4. Michael, you are simply the 'missing link' in my life. I thank God for making me discover your blog (on the March 8 2014) and i thank you for making yourself available to be used by God to help someone like me.

    I still have a very long way to go but i will start somewhere and today.

    Thank you

  5. Hi Michael.

    My head is swelling already. Thanks for thinking my posts that very useful.

    Thank you too!


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