I have problem with saving money. If I have more than N300,000 in my regular savings account, in 24 hours I will have a dozen different ideas of what to do with the money. Trying to permanently solve this problem was what motivated me to become a professional stocks investor some years ago. The only account I allow more than N300,000 in is my emergency account which I don't touch except there is an emergency.
And my regular savings account? One good side of being a data geek is that I am excellent at budgeting. I have my expenses perfectly modeled and I always keep just what is sufficient for three weeks in my savings account. My income cycle is two to three weeks, being an entrepreneur in the consulting space. From what is due me, every extra above what is sufficient for four weeks, I put in my investment accounts which house a mix of Nigerian stocks, Nigerian bonds, US stocks, US bonds, Gold and two Nigerian equity mutual funds.
So what stocks am I invested in?
Nestle Nigeria: Over my investing years, I have analysed intensely the financial records of all the investment worthy companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange from as far back as 2005 and none has an impressive one as Nestle Nigeria. Excellent cash flow management, lovely mix of debt and equity funding, satisfactory revenue growth rates and strategic positioning in their industry. Every year, I go through their annual reports and as long as the story has not changed for bad, I close my eyes to all the price fluctuations it is forced through on the stock market.
Total Nigeria: Last month I sold Mobil and bought Total. I had made a good profit off the price surge in Mobil shares after the NIPCO acquisition and Total looked like a bargain in comparison. Total is the largest downstream oil company by revenue in Nigeria. Now they are trading at a deep discount compared to Mobil. So I saw more potential returns in deploying to Total the money tied in Mobil.
Dangote Cement: It can be very difficult to love Aliko Dangote after hearing all the special perks he got from government to build the Dangote empire but one thing I can't deny is that he is a result-generating business man. I read the annual reports of many listed companies but none is as interesting and less generic as Dangote Cement's. I have learned some business strategies from reading the chairman's report while other companies' tend to have the usual soul-less talk about the macro economy and vague talk of their impressive performance (even when they make a loss). Reading last year's and the intelligent analysis of the African cement market with the company's detailed big strategy, it was like Dangote Cement is just getting started. He is the quintessential owner-manager who goes all length to make his business successful.
Zenith Bank: I bought it after I panicked and sold my First Bank shares when they were taking too long to publish their last year annual reports. Now I am planning to buy First Bank shares again and try not to panic anymore. But I don't intend selling my Zenith shares either. Zenith Bank is doing impressively well, like GTBank but without the terrible customer experience GTBank is sharing. One almost sure way of ruining my day is having to do anything in a GTBank branch and if you ever need to get an issue resolved you can be sure that you'll get more inhuman policies thrown at you than the feeling of having another human being helping you. They've got solid walls between the employees and customers. See how easily I veer into giving damaging remarks about GTBank. That's how powerful the negative effect their lack of good customer relations leave on me. So I won't touch their stocks even with free money.

My non-stock owning

  1. US Bonds: I sold off my S&P 500 ETF last year December and put half the fund into US Bonds. I believe the US stocks are close to experiencing a market correction.
  2. Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund ETF: This is where I put the other half. It is a collection of non-U.S. dollar-denominated investment-grade bonds.
  3. Gold ETF: Two months ago I panicked and sold my Emerging Market Stocks ETF, putting the fund into Gold ETF. The Emerging Market Stocks were getting too positively correlated with the US equities market this year. So I decided to put it in the negatively correlated (to US equities) Gold ETF.
  4. Nigerian Bonds: Through Stanbic IBTC Bond mutual fund, I have some money invested in Nigerian bonds. I avoid the Money Market funds as I believe I will get better long term returns elsewhere.
And how is my strategy of not saving but investing working out? I think very well. At least, I am more prudent in managing my income and immune to binge spending. Also, I have made some good gains in the stock market.
What tools do I use in my Stocks analysis? Well, the annual reports of thelisted companies which I have nicely archived here; this lovely Power BI stocks analysis dashboard and the Nigerian Market Data office app.

image: everythingetsy.com
On Saturday three things happened that depressed me and made me feel like I wasn't making good enough progress. The first was that I came across an article online, http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-fi-farms-immigration/, about how farmers in the US are begging unemployed people to accept $16/hr to pick grapes on their farms and are still unable to find people willing to take up their offer. Why should that make me sad? That rate is equal to N57,600/day for a 8 - 5 work at N400/$. For the type of job you will get someone to do for you here at N3,000/day. It then made sense to me why their graduates expect $40/hr upwards for the same job an American company in Nigeria is paying the equivalent of $10/hr for same or even better skilled graduate. 

I was sad, though, for a more selfish reason. I have been offering my services at a ridiculously low price and need to do something urgently about it. I have to charge way higher than I currently do, for my professional services or I will always be earning the equivalent of an uneducated unskilled labourer's  salary in the US and be worse of than everybody who emigrates to USA.

The second was that I seem to be getting the short end of most consulting deals I get. My terrible negotiation skills. While other people go into consulting and make huge money from it, I seem to be barely making enough from it. I am going to have to force myself to make very difficult decisions to get out of that rot.

The third was that I met my gym friend again at night in the gym. He is trying to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for his startup. He has gotten the attention of over a dozen investors and had been doing a lot of investor pitch/meeting lately. I do not envy him as I avoid external funding and would like to grow my business purely from getting customers to pay services I render (profit). But that Saturday discussion we had made me realise how far I still am from a scalable product and how slowly I have been progressing. I have my hands into too many tasks for other people. Too many people are trying to bring me into their business as technical partners and it is sucking my time and taking me away from my own big plans. 

So now I am taking small daily steps in fixing it all. I am slowly getting rid of the wrong attentions. Then I am daily upping my skill in the areas required for building scalable products. And finally, I am trying to get out of partnerships that are not doing me any good, opportunity cost wise.

It is the only way I can prevent being irreparably demotivated. Rather than looking for big radical changes, I can take small steps everyday in the direction of where I really want to be. 
I am working on uncovering interesting economic and financial trends to write a long overdue promised article on. To find the story to build the long overdue promised article on, I decided to look through all the economic data I have.

And below are the charts I made from them. Enjoy. Unfortunately, I cannot write too much about them here as I am planning to pick a couple to craft out an article for a news media organization and it must be an original article. Luckily, the charts are self explanatory and worth paying attention to. 

NSEASI stands for Nigeria Stock Exchange All Share Index (measure of stocks performance in Nigeria).

Most people use Excel for just descriptive analysis and are even unaware of its predictive analysis capabilities.

For this month's webinar, I will be showing you how you can use Excel for predictive analysis.

I will be walking you through time series prediction, regression and other predictive analyses you can carry out in Excel. And their application to sales forecasting, better planning and budgeting.

You shouldn't miss it!

Date: Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Time: 3:00pm to 4:00pm

To make it easy for you not to miss, you can set a calendar event for it with reminder notifications. To join in, click on the YouTube live link and you would be in on the day+time of the webinar. No need to install anything and it works even on phones. That is the amazing power of YouTube live broadcast.

As usual I will be using practical real-life mirroring examples. At the end of the webinar you would have taken your data analysis skills and Excel knowledge forward. You can also ask questions live during the webinar and benefit from the answers to other people's questions.

To always be in the loop of future webinars, you should sign up to the webinar directory list at http://eepurl.com/bKwoaT 

I have started publishing daily Nigerian Stock Exchange trading statistics. It shows for each trading day the Ref Price, Last Trade, Qty Traded, Day's Volume, Open Price, Close Price, High Price, Low Price, Price Change, Change %, Bid Depth, Best Bid, Offer Depth, Best Offer, Weighted Avg Price, 52 Week Low and 52 Week High.

You can access the entire Excel file here: NSE Daily Trade Data

And you can follow the daily publication at http://www.investmentng.com/forum/13-research-and-analysis/

I get it directly from the NSE market terminal available my ARM stock brokerage and Meristem stock brokerage accounts.

And if you are on LinkedIn, if you add me (https://www.linkedin.com/in/olafusimichael/) you will see the same daily updates as I also publish it as articles on LinkedIn.

Culled from: https://youngentrepreneursawards.unilever.com/

Apply at: https://youngentrepreneursawards.unilever.com/signup

Celebrating young sustainability innovators

The Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards are all about supporting and celebrating inspirational young people from all over the world with existing initiatives, products or services that are tackling some of the planet’s biggest sustainability challenges.

Guidelines & Criteria


  • The competition is open to founders or co-founders, aged between 18 and 35 (as of 30 June 2017), of initiatives from any part of the world with the exception of those based in Russia, due to local data protection laws.
  • Initiatives must relate to one or more of the categories: Farm to Table, Opportunities for Women, Waste and Water.
  • Entries must have grown beyond the conceptual stage to include actions the applicant has already taken – whether through informal networks, via an existing institution, or by creating a new enterprise.
  • Entries cannot be accepted from current Unilever employees, nor can entries promote Unilever or its products, however, the entrepreneur may have worked with Unilever in the past or may be working with Unilever currently as a third party supplier.
  • Entries must be submitted in English.
  • Entrants must be available to attend the Accelerator Programme in Cambridge from Friday 27th October, and subsequent events in London the following week.


Entrants will be assessed on:
  • Initiative summary: You should describe your initiative succinctly, and communicate a compelling narrative that makes it stand out from the rest.
  • Team: We are looking for founders / co-founders who are aspirational as well as inspirational, demonstrated through their dedication to making their venture work. Show us how you will, or are already building a team who can support your venture now and in the future.
  • Impact: Explain how your solution measures impact through both quantitative and qualitative data. The best solutions will demonstrate social, economic, and environmental impact.
  • Business model, including:
    • Financial plan and growth: You should describe how your initiative is currently financially supported, as well as your vision for growth and scaling up. This should include a plan for how you will fund your initiative’s growth, and how you aim to achieve a sustainable financial model. The strongest entries will outline how your solution can be sustained without reliance on philanthropic donations or aid for core funding when established. Entries from for-profit, non-profit as well as new units of existing organisations will be considered.
    • Innovation and competitor awareness: We want you to show us a degree of novelty, whether an existing initiative in a new context or delivering a different outcome, or a different approach to a known problem. Innovation is distinct from invention by progressing from the lab into a real world context with market applicability. This means your entry must demonstrate an awareness of competitors and alternative solutions and how your approach differs.
Entries will also be evaluated on:
  • How the Awards process and prizes would impact the success of the initiative.
  • How effectively the entrepreneur is able to engage with relevant communities and stakeholders to realise the potential of the solution.
  • How the level of ambition is underpinned by the capability to deliver.


Applications must be submitted online through the Awards website. The competition opens on 18th May 2017 and closes at 11:59 BST on 30th June 2017.
Only individual entries are accepted. If your initiative has multiple founders, only one person can enter the competition. Prizes will be awarded to individuals only and we cannot accommodate co-founders in the competition process. Co-founders may, however, take part in the on-going mentoring process if the winning individual agrees to this.
Finalists will be announced in September 2017. They will then be contacted by the Awards team to review their learning needs for the Accelerator Programme.
There are a number of events to which all finalists must commit: Attendance is required at the Accelerator Programme in Cambridge from Friday 27th October, and all finalists must attend the Awards Prize Event in London, UK, at which the ‘HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize’ will be awarded to the stand-out entrepreneur across all the categories.
As part of the amazing opportunity offered to finalists, the cost of travel to the UK and accommodation during your stay in Cambridge and London will be covered by the competition.
Support is provided to all Award winners and will be designed and structured around individual requirements through the online programme and for the 12 months following announcement of the prizes.
You can view it on the Microsoft office store here: Nigerian Market Data app and you can watch my demo video of how to install and use it here: Nigerian Market Data app video


This Excel add-in allows you to insert into your Excel worksheets:
-Nigerian states,
-Stocks prices,
-Stocks analysis,
-Nigerian GDP Growth rate,
-Nigerian Unemployment rate,
-Nigerian Population,
-Nigerian Oil Production data,
-Nigerian Inflation rate,
-Nigerian CBN Interest rate,
-Nigeria Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI),
-Nigerian Names,
-Stock indices across the world, and
- Currency exchange rates with base in Nigerian Naira.
It would particularly be useful to investment analysts interested in the Nigerian market, financial planners who work with foreign purchases/sales and people who like to do everything in Excel.
image: quora.com
Too many people have just company skills. Skills that only sell within an existing company structure. It makes it very difficult for them to strike out on their own or earn extra income. All they do provide value only when there are others to complement.

What type of skills fall within that category? All skills.

What type of skills fall within the standalone sellable category? Again, all skills.

Then what is the difference? I call it the "extra mile". Some people are willing and used to going the extra mile, doing everything needed to make their value shine forth while others would rather leave other people's tasks to other people.

The main difference between me and another Excel guru finding it hard to strike out on his own is that I do, in addition to my Excel work, marketing and customer management and website development and everything necessary to get me a paying client. But the other guy is waiting for a ready made opportunity, one in which someone else has done those other tasks and he just has to do Excel.

The main difference between the sales guys who build successful consulting companies and the other sales guys who can't cope without getting a corporate job is that the former takes out his time to learn some bit of the technical work and is ready to go all lengths, covering for other people's lapses, while the latter will rather not use Panadol for another man's headache. The latter is an expert at drawing clear lines of where his responsibilities start and stop.

The main difference between solo consultants earning big bucks from their technical skills and the other technical experts who must look for a regular employment is the level of risk they are willing to take on. The consultant is more willing to tolerate the time wasting crap the business people fill meetings with, is okay with taking blame for what isn't his fault and going extra length to manage the client, while the latter can't bear someone else not doing his assigned job right.

Anytime you feel you don't have skill enough to strike out on your own, remember that it means that you are just less willing to do more than you are paid to do. Remember that it means you are less willing to take on risk. Remember that it means you are less willing to work without a structure. Remember that it means you want someone else to do all the unplanned work while you focus on just what you signed up for.

Any skill you currently have can be made sellable if you will go all the length to sell it. If you will do the marketing, the client management, the receivables managing and every other task needed to achieve successful sales.

image: youtube.com
I have a simple strategy that helps me get things done, probably more easily than many people. And that strategy is to just do it. 

image: huhmagazine.co.uk
I don't do elaborate analysis or implementation plans. They are like magnifying lens. The more you analyse what you are going to do the more of a big deal it becomes and the more resistance you face in doing it. 

The same way I just went out last month and paid for a daily French class without thinking out how I was going to make time for the classes or juggle it with my overwhelming work schedule, was the very same way I quit my job to start my business without thinking about where the clients would come from or what business plan to draw up. I would rather make the first step and let the other steps reveal themselves to me.

One of my favorite bible passages while in the university is Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path". My understanding of it was that even when under an unmistakable guidance of God, He would only show you as much as a lamp would in the dark. Just enough for you to take the next step. And just like your car headlamp illuminates your path on a journey, you don't see end to end, from start of the road to end of the road. You only see just enough to complete the journey. So I was never the one to question a miracle or want to know the end from the beginning. I am perfectly okay with knowing that this is the direction I want to head and then build the confidence to take the first/next step.

Luckily, I took that mindset into all I do -- at work, with cooking, writing, and even French. I just do it. Knowing it is what I want to do and having an idea of the first/next step are all I need. I don't need a fail-safe plan or thorough thinking.

Culled from: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScdV1Doy7KQHXUyy47ShGPtdTwEWemME3gvPI4qgxrsV2eaYQ/viewform

Apply at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScdV1Doy7KQHXUyy47ShGPtdTwEWemME3gvPI4qgxrsV2eaYQ/viewform

This program is designed for hardware entrepreneurs that have an existing product or idea and want to learn how to apply cutting-edge manufacturing technology like 3D printing to their product development process.

GE created the Garages program in 2012 to reinvigorate America’s interest in invention, innovation, and manufacturing. In 2014, Garages went global with three weeks of workshops amidst a fully equipped fabrication lab in Lagos, Nigeria.

In 2017, GE continues the program dedicated to accelerating the impact of Nigeria’s most promising entrepreneurs. Working with a variety of world-class instructors, investors, technical experts and partners, participants will build a culture of collaboration and innovation while translating their creativity to potentially viable ideas and businesses.

The Garage Entrepreneurship program’s select participants will directly interact with the latest manufacturing technologies - including 3D printers and laser cutters - that enable innovation through rapid prototyping, which will transform Nigerian industries, particularly, SMEs in creating value. The Garage also provides access to advanced hardware and Nigeria’s extensive mentorship network, supporting entrepreneurial spirit with an aim to spark ideas that drive growth across multiple sectors of the economy.

APPLY NOW by submitting this application form. The deadline is midnight May 22, 2017. There is NO fee for the application or the program.

May 30-June 24, 2017. Time: 4pm-7pm weekdays.

GE Nigeria Headquarters
Mansard Place – 3rd Floor, Plot 927/928, Bishop Aboyade Cole Street,
Victoria Island, Lagos

Demilade Adesiyan
Associate Program Manager
Not to ruin it with a long commentary. I came across the advice in 2013 at https://www.slideshare.net/reidhoffman/startup-of-you-visual-summary/190. I have extracted as images and displayed below. Enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed it!