My Investment Journey As A Nigerian Living In Nigeria

My investment journey started in 2006. It was the period of the stocks investment craze in Nigeria. Everybody was talking about stocks the way people talked about multi-level marketing in 2011 and MMM in 2017. There were billboard adverts, TV adverts and radio jingles of companies raising money through shares sales (public offers). I bought into Mutual Benefits Assurance initial public offer. I was in my third year in the university then, so it was all the spare cash I had that I used in buying into the public offer. By the next year, I got a dividend warrant that equaled 10% of what I invested and I felt motivated to invest in stocks again. So I took my Mobil scholarship money in my final year and bought heavily into First Inland Bank public offer. Till today, I am have been unable to get the shares certificate or get any useful help from the registrars despite going to the registrars with evidence of the purchase and getting bounced around from one department in one location to another department in another location. It was painful and it was all the money I could have used for myself or do something tangible with.

Hence, my start was not a good one. But it fueled my desire to learn to do investment right and also make back the money I lost.

I bought lots of books on investing and spent my NYSC year and the year after reading all I could lay my hands and money on. It was from there I learned about all the different types of investment assets/vehicles/options and that if one had age on his side with a good analytical skills, but not much money, stocks/equities investment should be his pick.

In 2011, I restarted my investment in stocks. I opened an equities mutual fund with ARM (Discovery fund), set up a direct debit mandate to move money from my bank account to the investment fund monthly. Then when my company sent me on field work with extra monthly income of N360,000 as out of station allowance on top of my monthly salary, I opened another equity mutual fund with Stanbic (SINEF) and started a brokerage account with ARM for trading stocks directly.

While trading stocks myself, I learned the following:

  1. Avoid companies that are not actively traded
  2. The concept of penny stocks does not apply in Nigeria, by all the main criteria for calling a stock "penny stock" only just 2 to 4 stocks on the entire NSE are not penny stocks
  3. Always read the news about the companies you invest in. Not following the news cost me a lot on Oando shares.
  4. Always do your own analysis. Reading the analysis and recommendations churned out by the pro investment houses' analysts is just an exercise in learning their high sounding lingo and things you could have gotten from the news while their forecasts/recommendations change every week (so what was a sell last week becomes a buy this week and what they put a fair value price of N3/share on last week suddenly have a fair value price of N6/share this week; and no significant fundamental has since changed).
  5. Investing is picking the best of your options after analysis, and not looking for a stock that will double every year.
In 2014, I resigned my job and started my own consulting business. I underestimated the amount of time and money it would take to get my feet steady. So I ended up using up all my savings and investment fund in the first year of business. So I effectively started building back my investment funds from near zero in year 2015.

From 2015 to 2018 (now), I have found the stock market a lot more rational than I originally thought. Once you factor in all the main variables that affect our own market (which are widely different from what you read in the books about US markets) you will have a higher level of confidence in your analysis and decisions. 

Currently, I have 90% of my investments in stocks. They amount to a couple of millions. I sleep very well regardless of what I read on Newspapers. Occasionally, I take from my stocks to fund my business expansion (we are expanding to building mass market subscription/direct-sales based products). And I dream + work towards building Nigeria's first truly online stocks brokerage platform that will allow for algorithmic trading, take profit settings, stop loss settings, technical analysis, APIs, shorting, in-house inverse indices and have workarounds to coming as close as possible to day trading or even high frequency trading (abolishing brokerage %age fee and giving a monthly flat fee, and finding a way to overcome the still too-high for HFT statutory charges). I am already taking steps towards registering with the appropriate professional bodies and other requirements to start a brokerage firm in Nigeria.

So that's my own experience and journey. My expertise is purely in the stocks area of investment. 


  1. Thank you for this article. I also started investing in shares from my university days and I have learnt alot by investing in shares. In the process, I have gained some money and also lost a few too but all in all it is a worth while journey. Investing in shares is good and should be encouraged but it is an art which should be learnt.

  2. Delightful to have gained such meaningful lessons. I just what to know your take on the IML Forex Trading as an investment option.

  3. Hello,

    But the story of your investment journey in Nigeria is not complete until you talk about 2008. The Global Financial Crisis.

    How much did you lose? Did your shares take a nose dive? How did you survive?


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