Ever tried to insert an emoticon, smiley or symbol in your Outlook email or reports? Then you are going to love today's post.

It is way easier than you think and I have even made it a lot easier by showing you the full spectrum of what you can do.

The magic tool that makes it all possible is a font type called Wingdings, Wingdings 2 and Wingdings 3.

Wingdings font type changes the regular characters (A - Z & 0 - 9 & other characters) into expressive icons.

The real work is in knowing what character corresponds to what symbol. And I have made life easy for you by listing below the character map to the emoticons. Below is the list and you can download the actual file here.

So next time you are on Outlook, you through in some of your favorite smileys.

Culled from: https://www.weforum.org/pages/nominate-a-young-global-leader
Apply at: https://toplink-v1.weforum.org/community/young-global-leaders-0/nomination/2019/nominate

The Forum of Young Global Leaders has established a comprehensive selection process for identifying and selecting the most exceptional leaders. Every year, thousands of candidates from around the world are proposed and assessed according to rigorous selection criteria. Only the very best candidates are selected and all efforts are extended to create a truly representative body. Reflecting the diversity of stakeholders, the Young Global Leaders include leaders from politics, business, civil society, academia, and arts and culture across seven geographic regions.

The deadline to submit nominations for the Young Global Leaders Class of 2019 is 31 May 2018.

Selection Criteria:
· To be eligible for the Young Global Leaders Class of 2019, the candidate must have been born on or after 1 January, 1980.
· He/she has a recognized record of extraordinary achievement and a proven track record of substantial leadership experience. Typically, this means 5-15 years of outstanding professional work experience and a clear indication of playing a substantial leadership role for the rest of his or her career.
· He/she has demonstrated a personal commitment to serve society at large through exceptional contributions and a deep ethical fiber, and has earned significant trust at both local and global levels.
· He/she has an impeccable record in the public eye and good standing in his/her community, as well as show great self-awareness and a desire for learning.
· Candidates from the business sector must be responsible for the full operation of a qualifying corporation or division and must hold one of the following titles: President, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director, Managing Partner or Publisher, or equivalent of any of the above. If the company is a Member or Partner of the World Economic Forum, the candidate requires the approval of the CEO or Chairman of the Board of the respective company.
· Companies, organizations and entities can only nominate one candidate from the qualifying company every two years.
· Kindly note that self-nominations are not accepted.

Nomination and Selection Timeline
· 31 May: Close of nomination period
· Summer: The World Economic Forum shortlists candidates for further review
· Fall: The shortlisted candidates are reviewed by Heidrick & Struggles, recognised as one of the world's leading executive search and leadership consulting firms
· Winter: A Selection Committee reviews the top candidates and selects 100 to be honoured as Young Global Leaders
· January of subsequent year: The candidates are informed of their selection as Young Global Leaders*
· March of subsequent year: The press announcement for the new Class of Young Global Leaders is released
image: 30btc.com
Here is a table by Wikipedia, chronologically listing the historical performance of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin value history (comparison to US$)
DateUSD : 1 BTCNotes
Jan 2009 – Mar 2010basically noneNo exchanges or market, users were mainly cryptography fans who were sending bitcoins for hobby purposes representing low or no value. In March 2010, user "SmokeTooMuch" auctioned 10,000 BTC for $50 (cumulatively), but no buyer was found.
Apr 2010$0.003On 25 Apr 2010, the now-defunct BitcoinMarket.com exchange is the first one that starts operating.
May 2010less than $0.01On 22 May 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz made the first real-world transaction by buying two pizzas in Jacksonville, Florida for 10,000 BTC.
July 2010$0.08IncreaseIn five days, the price grew 1000%, rising from $0.008 to $0.08 for 1 bitcoin.
Feb 2011 – April 2011$1.00IncreaseBitcoin takes parity with US dollar.
8 July 2011$31.00Increasetop of first "bubble", followed by the first price drop
Dec 2011$2.00Decreaseminimum after few months
Dec 2012$13.00slowly rising for a year
11 April 2013$266Increasetop of a price rally, during which the value was growing by 5-10% daily.
May 2013$130Decreasebasically stable, again slowly rising.
June 2013$100Decreasein June slowly dropping to $70, but rising in July to $110
Nov 2013$350 — $1,242Increasefrom October $150–$200 in November, rising to $1,242 on 29 November 2013.
Dec 2013$600 — $1,000DecreasePrice crashed to $600, rebounded to $1,000, crashed again to the $500 range. Stabilized to the ~ $650–$800 range.
Jan 2014$750 — $1,000IncreasePrice spiked to $1000 briefly, then settled in the $800–$900 range for the rest of the month.
Feb 2014$550 — $750IncreasePrice fell following the shutdown of Mt. Gox before recovering to the $600–$700 range.
Mar 2014$450 — $700IncreasePrice continued to fall due to a false report regarding bitcoin ban in China and uncertainty over whether the Chinese government would seek to prohibit banks from working with digital currency exchanges.
Apr 2014$340 — $530DecreaseThe lowest price since the 2012–2013 Cypriot financial crisis had been reached at 3:25 AM on 11 April[149]
May 2014$440 — $630IncreaseThe downtrend first slow down and then reverse, increasing over 30% in the last days of May.
Mar 2015$200 — $300DecreasePrice fell through to early 2015.
Early Nov 2015$395 — $504IncreaseLarge spike in value from 225–250 at the start of October to the 2015 record high of $504.
May–June 2016$450 — $750IncreaseLarge spike in value starting from $450 and reaching a maximum of $750.
July–September 2016$600 — $630DecreasePrice stabilized in the low $600 range.
October–November 2016$600 — $780IncreaseAs the Chinese Renminbi depreciated against the US Dollar, bitcoin rose to the upper $700s.
January 2017$800 — $1,150Increase
5-12 January 2017$750 — $920DecreasePrice fell 30% in a week, reaching a multi-month low of $750.
2-3 March 2017$1,290+ IncreasePrice broke above the November 2013 high of $1,242 and then traded above $1,290.
April 2017$1,210 — $1,250Decrease
May–June 2017$2,000 — $3,200+IncreasePrice reached an all-time high of $3,000 on June 12 and is oscilating around $2,500 since then. As of August 6, 2017, the price is $3,270.
August 2017$3800 —$4600+IncreasePrice reached its maximum in the history of bitcoin, an all time high of $4,600 on August 30.

And a historical trend chart below, from Investing.com

So obviously, Bitcoin has had a very high return rate for its owners.

Right now, though, the question to consider is that "Will it keep going up forever?" Well, the answer to that is "No". Nothing goes up forever. Then, again, it doesn't need to go up forever for you to make a nice gain from it. Afterall, none of us is going to be around/alive forever. So a fine-tuned version of that question to consider will be "If I buy Bitcoin now, should I expect to make the type of returns it has historically being giving?"

Now that is a very hard to answer question. If you had asked me this two months ago, I would have said NO. But then it has risen over 100% in just the last one month. It has a way of proving critics wrong. It might again double in the next few weeks. No one can reliably say what it would do in the future.

Then what is my advice to anyone considering to invest in Bitcoin now?

My advice is very simple and straightforward. Avoid the herd mentality! The Bitcoin fever is now a global one and even people who don't know how to create an email account by themselves are now into Bitcoin. That's to say it is now what's in vogue. Its recent rise is due to the huge public interest it now has. Buying into Bitcoin now would be likened to getting in at the top and expecting it to keep going up. Yes, it can happen that it'll keep going up but that likelihood is statistically smaller than the reverse.

Only one thing is worse than missing an opportunity to make good money, and that is losing money on your way to make good money.

I am telling you what I tell myself. Nothing goes up forever. Bitcoin will come crashing soon and that would present a good opportunity to buy in. But now when it's at its peak is definitely not the right time to get in.

I am currently doing one of the two major assignments for my online MBA Financial Management module. I am to write about the economic impact of United Kingdom (UK) on the world and itself. So I have been reading a lot on United Kingdom, their entire economic history from as far back as the 18th century. It was a big eye opener. 

United Kingdom is a country with big problems. Maybe not as big as ours but big nonetheless. They used to be the global power, controlling the quarter of the world directly (via colonialism) just about a 100 years ago. They were devastated by the two world wars though they won. Their global power status waned and never recovered. Then the rise of other economies especially the Asian ones killed their manufacturing and physical goods export economy.Took them decades to adjust properly to that global shift as they were no longer a comparative advantaged producer of many physical goods, from steel to clothes. By the time of Margaret Thatcher, they successfully compensated for that drop in manufacturing and agricultural sector with a phenomenal rise in their financial services sector. UK became the global financial services HQ. House to the international arms of over 500 banks, and the foreign direct investment that came along with that status was huge. It became like what crude oil is to Nigeria. Unfortunately, it made them very vulnerable to every financial crisis even in other parts of the world. The same way we are at the mercy of global crude oil price as 80% of their GDP come from services and financial services is a significant component of that with over-sized national importance due to its FX influx/gateway role. All these grace to grass global significance of UK has been the source of their never ending political revolution. The leading party is always being ousted by another party taking the advantage of these problems. And all recently came to a new head when they politically decided to quit the EU.

After reading all these deep insights into the UK's transition from a global power to a shadow of its former self with greatly reduced global influence, I took out one key lesson. That all countries have their own bags of problems and opportunities, and I am better off picking where I feel most at home and learn how to max out the opportunities there rather than being obsessed with a search for greener pasture.  And one practical decision I made immediately was to buy a book on how to profit from high inflation.

The developed world live in an entirely different financial world than us. They have very low inflation rates, usually less then 2%. And that makes a  universe of difference between what you can attempt there and here. It is why their governments can afford to borrow money crazily since the interest payments are very low when you borrow at 1% to 3% rate compared to the rate our dear Nigeria borrows at. Also, the special credit facilities like mortgages and educational loans will have a tough time working in a high inflation environment like ours. Finally, if one doesn't learn to manage his financial resources well he will see inflation lay its corrosive hands on everything.

I bought The Return of High Inflation: Risks, Myths, and Opportunities by Wolfgang Hammes.

It has been a very interesting read though I am just one-tenth into the book. It explains what assets to avoid and which to buy into if one hopes to retain the purchasing power of his money. It explains how high inflation changes the rules for all financial games/investment.

I am sure that by the time I am done reading the book I would be a lot more prepared to take advantage of the unique opportunities that lie in our high inflation country.

Culled from: http://newvoicesfellows.aspeninstitute.org/Nominations
Apply at: http://newvoicesfellows.aspeninstitute.org/Nominations

The Aspen Institute's New Voices Fellowship is a year-long media skills, communication and leadership program designed for standout development professionals from the developing world. Candidates for the Fellowship are expected to have both a record of significant professional achievement and a desire to share their perspectives on global development with a broader international audience. The Fellowship is open by nomination only.

While the fellowship is non-resident and not full-time, it does require a significant and sustained time commitment as fellows write opinion articles, participate in interviews with local and international media, and speak at international conferences. All expenses related to the fellowship are paid, including certain media-related travel costs.

Ask someone to nominate you. This person could be a mentor, supervisor or professor. We ask that this person know you and your work well.

We will review your nomination. If you pass through the first round, we’ll be in touch with you directly, asking you to submit an application. This application involves two essays and a series of questions.

Once the New Voices team has reviewed applications, we will ask a small group of finalists to participate in an interview via Skype or phone. From this group, we will choose the final class of Fellows.
I have been registering for the electronic dividends (e-dividends) mandate since 2012 for the shares of the companies I am invested in, and somehow it has never worked. They keep mailing me the physical dividends cheque rather than automatically credit my account. And it is worrying because they use NIPOST to post the dividend cheques and I don't trust NIPOST very much ever since they didn't deliver some clothes and belt and cuff-links I bought online and shipped through them in 2013. Also, they don't put much work into getting the parcel to the addressed owner. It's always my neighbours, sometimes three houses away, who receive the parcel and then notify me. I worry that there would have been cases where the receiver didn't even know me and down the drain goes my dividend.

Anyway, this past week I got a credit alert from GTBank. It was a NEFT transfer payment from Zenith bank for the sum of N3,600. I was confused. Who paid me N3,600? Is this another type of scam? But the alert looked genuine and I later got the email version. Then I read the description slowly and suspected it must be the recently issued 25 kobo per share dividend from Zenith bank. But the amount looks too small for owning 16,000 units of the shares. So I took out my calculator and did 0.25 x 16,000. It equaled N4,000. I then deducted 10% withholding tax, N400, and it came to exactly N3,600. I was very pleasantly surprised. So this is how the e-dividend was meant to work. Instant payment. The dividend was just declared this month. And I am used to getting dividend cheques four months after the declaration. Last month, I got Dangote Cement dividend of about N15,000 and the declaration was many months ago.

I hope the e-dividend mandates I filled for all my shares two months ago, which undoubtedly led to the Zenith bank dividends direct account payment, works for all my other shares. Especially Total, since the price has been heavily depressed for no identifiable reason and they usually give good dividends. 

It is a good thing as I often tell myself to forget about the dividends portion of my stocks return as I can't reliably expect to receive the posted dividend cheques.

Culled from: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16WccUrGN3JolemIKR5wrvPXKKfoCjh58dsBb5w5aluo/viewform?edit_requested=true
Apply at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16WccUrGN3JolemIKR5wrvPXKKfoCjh58dsBb5w5aluo/viewform?edit_requested=true

This program is designed for hardware entrepreneurs that have an existing product or idea and want to learn how to manufacture it or components of it in Nigeria using 3D printers, instead of importing it.

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, at GE’s regional headquarters.

In 2017 GE will continue 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 and bring their wildest ideas to life.

The 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. The Garage also provides access to advanced hardware and Nigeria’s greatest mentorship network, supporting entrepreneuralism with an aim to drive growth across all sectors of industry.

APPLY NOW by filling in and submitting this application form.
There is no fee for the application or the program. The deadline is midnight Sunday, August 27, 2017.
Please note: The program does not provide funding for your ideas. You are responsible for all transportation, housing and expenses related to attending this free program.

GE Nigeria Headquarters
Mansard Place – 2ndFloor, Plot 927/928, Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island

Demilade Adesiyan
Associate Program Manager

If you missed the live broadcast of the webinar, below is the link to the YouTube recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE1yV9RNIko

We covered the following:

  1. How to use Goal Seek to plan towards achieving a specific target/goal. I used four different examples to demonstrate the power of Goal Seek, from business loan planning to product break-even quantity analysis.
  2. How to handle different scenarios and plan more proactively using Scenario Manager. I gave an illustration of how the Nigerian budget office creates scenarios around the crude oil price. The benchmark price they publish in the annual budget that is approved is just one of the many possible average prices of crude oil that they have run the budget through. It helps them put in place the processes and plans that might be drawn on if prices go too far off the benchmark value. Then I demoed how I use it for training planning, to measure the profitability of any training class based on best case, likely case and worst case scenarios.
  3. How to use Data Table to plan more flexibly. It allows you to monitor the results for multiple combinations of changes in two input variables/parameters. I demoed how it would help with determining the profitable price and number of participants combination for a training class idea.
  4. Finally, I showed us how to enable and use Solver for optimization analysis in business. Maybe you want to make the most of your shift workers or run your factory machines more productively or maximize profit margin or minimize costs, once you can outline your business in numbers in Excel linking the inputs to outputs, Solver will do the rest. I demoed how an FMCG uses it to determine how to supply its distributors from their warehouses in such a way that they minimize the freight cost.
You should watch the recorded session: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE1yV9RNIko 

I have been able to overcome my PayPal issue with receiving payment for my Udemy online Business Data Analysis with Excel and Power BI course. Udemy has given an option to use Payoneer, which I have now switched to. 

I plan to completely remake the videos and update the practice files. My technical and presentation expertise has greatly improved since 2014 when I created the training content. Now I have more interesting stories to share, more tricks to squeeze in and a better sounding presenter's voice. The voice still has a heavy Yoruba (foreign) accent but more pleasant now.

It is going to be a lot of work to recreate about 10 hours of video content. Each hour of video content requires over an hour of setup and video recording, then about two hours of editing and some minutes for uploading. In all, that would be like 36 hours of work. And from experience, one can only optimally do about 1 to 2 hours content per day and 3 days per week. So I am looking at some 6 weeks of work, if I am able to shutdown most other things.

My MBA assignments/exams for the current module I am doing is coming due in a few days and it has been using up too much of my time. The whole research and writing and falling asleep in between.

I will have to be more aggressive in limiting my activities to just the most productive or I won't make much progress with the video content creation. And I have already emailed my students to watch out for the new contents.

Yesterday, I went to LIRS to find out how to do my own income tax and set-up a PAYE tax account for UrBizEdge Limited full-time employees. The tax official I met with was a very kind person. He took out time to thoroughly explain how it all works and gave me guidance on how to put in the necessary applications and fill required forms.

In today's posts I will be sharing with you all you need to be aware of if you are a consultant or self-employed person as regards handling your own tax and then if you run a business, how you should go about handling your federal and state taxes.

 Consultant or Self-employed
If you work for yourself or hold a consulting role with another company where they expect you to handle you own tax, then you'll find the following information very useful.

Your gross income, which is a combination of earned income and investment income, is taxed as follows.

A consolidated relief allowance (CRA), pension contribution, life insurance, health insurance and eligible gratuities are deducted from your gross income and the tax rate is applied on the remainder, so you don't pay tax on all your taxable income. The consolidated relief allowance is N200,000 from your annual income (which translates to about N16,666/month). But if you earn more than N20 million a year, that relief allowance becomes 1% of your gross income (so someone earning N25 million a year will get a relief of N250,000).

After the deductions, the remainder is taxed as follows:
The first N300,000 is taxed at 7%, the next N300,000 is taxed 11%, the next N500,000 is taxed 15%, the next N500,000 is taxed 19% and the next N1.6 million is taxed 24%.
But if that remainder is more than N3.2 million, you get a flat tax rate of 24%.

For your tax filing, you'll use form A (assuming all the states in Nigeria call it same name as Lagos call its) and you'll do the filing once a year. Between January 1 and March 31, after which you get a late filing penalty of N50,000. This tax filing is called Direct Assessment. And when you've done for the last three years, you are eligible to request for your tax clearance card. I have one from my consulting work in year 2011/2012.

This tax is handled at the state level. You pay to the state tax authority.

 As a Registered Company: VAT, Income tax, Education tax and Payroll tax etc.
If you run a registered company in Nigeria, at the minimum, you will need to file the following taxes:

  • Value added tax (VAT) monthly. It is 5% of all your sales. It is the single largest source of penalties/fines for most companies. A senior friend once had his company fined many millions of Naira for not filing his monthly VAT, it almost wrecked him. Another I once consulted for deeply hates tax people for the hell they took him through for VAT sake.
  • PAYE tax monthly for your staff. I hear the PAYE tax calculation is also same as that for the direct assessment (posted above), just that it's broken down to monthly payments and not one yearly payment. It also benefits from the same eligible deductions.
  • Income tax, education tax and others depending on your industry. Via a tax advisory firm you'll file your corporate tax and submit your audited annual reports. And sometimes, like us, you'll pay more to the tax advisory firm than you'll pay as tax. So factor that biggerly in.
VAT and Income tax goes directly to the federal tax authority (FIRS) while PAYE tax goes to the state tax authority.