Multiply It

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Is this a command? Certainly not. We are not in a military camp. A rebuke? Far from it. I am not a school headmaster. Besides, you are not a school pupil, and you have not committed any offence. So what is it?

An exhortation; a gentle advice to lift up your life by multiplying what you have. “So what do you want me to multiply Sir? I really don’t have anything.” “You have something to multiply, my dear.”

“So, who are you to tell me what to multiply?”

“My name is Mr Investor. And I am here to encourage you to begin to save and invest your money, any money you earn, please invest a portion of it. That is a highway to become rich.. When you do this, you will multiply.”

“But Mr Investor, your advice is okay for rich people who have more than enough to spend and invest. My monthly income is hardly enough to meet my needs. Cost of living has gone up sharply since the beginning of the year. I am still struggling to pay my annual house rent and the school fees of my children. So which money do you want me to invest?”

“There you go again. Very few people are born rich, if there is anything like that, anyway. People become rich by multiplying what they have, what they earn. And one good way to multiply your money is via savings and investments. The money and capital markets are offering plenty of savings and investments products for you to put your money, so that they can multiply it for you. You only have to do your homework and choose the products you want to invest in. That is one sure way to become rich. In any case, money is never enough to meet our needs. Even the rich also cry. So if you are waiting till you have more than enough money to meet your needs, before you can invest, then you will never multiply your earnings.”

“For instance, if you earn N25,000 monthly, you may spend part of it on basic consumer items (food, water, groceries, health care and all), and the rest on buying the latest fashion of clothes, shoes or cosmetics, or eating plenty of fast foods, maybe to look trendy and get plenty of male admiration. You may also end up having a wardrobe full of clothing, some of them designer labels, or even becoming overweight. Are you multiplying?”

“Becoming overweight and probably having plenty of sugar in your blood can create health problems for you. Remember diabetes has no cure yet. Besides, hypertension and heart problems are increasingly  afflicting many people today, young and old, and cost of treatment is rising. Even herbal medicine is costing more now. So where will you get the money to pay your medical bills?”

“And when this happens, instead of your money increasing and multiplying you, it is even decreasing and probably killing you. Why? Wrong choices! Remember what God told man in the Garden of Eden: Increase and multiply.”

“So what are you driving at Mr. Investor.” “Good, question, my dear, and this is my advice. Always set aside, a part of you earnings for investment no matter how tight your situation is. I know it will not be easy, but try. Every multiplication involves some temporary denial. Do not eat all of your earnings. The portion you eat is your bread; the other portion you invest is your seed.”

“Begin to think like a farmer. Every farmer knows there is seed time and harvest time. Every planting season, the farmer sows seed into fertile ground, and waits patiently for harvest time to reap harvest, which is a multiplication of what was sown. You see, even nature obeys the laws of increase and multiply. You have to increase and multiply by investing your money, no matter how little.”

“That N2,000 you spend monthly on junk food, drinking alcohol and smoking (this may even be  a conservative estimate), why don’t you invest it in buying the shares of viable companies that are quoted on the Nigerian Exchange and can guarantee you a good harvest in due season? When you do that, you become a shareholder of that company. It means that you are among those who own the company.”

“The company will use the money you and other shareholders invested in their stock to do business. At the end of every trading year, if they make profit, they will give you harvest on your investments by paying you what is known as dividends.”

“There you go again, Mr. Investor. The only things you talk about are shares, stocks, profits, dividends. So what are dividends?” “Another good question. Dividend is the share of the profit, every shareholder of a company gets at the end of its trading year. From the profits made, directors of the company set aside a portion of it which is paid to all shareholders in proportion to the number of shares held by each shareholder.”

“Let’s say you bought 10,000 shares in a company at N8 per share. That means you invested N80, 000. And the company has declared a dividend of N2 per share. It also means you will be paid N20, 000 in one year. This is your harvest for that year as a shareholder. And your shareholding remains intact to yield more harvests in subsequent years. You see how multiplication works. That is not all. Directors of the company may also offer shareholders what is known as bonus shares or scrip issues.”

“And what does that mean, Mr. Investor?”

“I will explain.”

“This is another form of multiplication of money invested in company shares. When a company declares a bonus of 1 for 4, it means that for every 4 shares you own in that company, you get an additional 1 for free. And if say you own 10,000 in that company, your new total would be 12,500 shares. This increased quantity is the number that will be used to calculate your dividend payout, next trading year. That means, multiplication continues.”

“Just like that?” “Yes, just like that my dear.”

“That’s fantastic, Mr. Investor. So investing in the stock market helps to multiply my money without any extra effort by me. Even if I invest that money in a business, it may not have as many multiplication potentials as in the stock market. How come you never told me all this?”

“I have always wanted to, my dear, but you never paid attention or listened.”

“Well I tried, Mr Investor, but I found terms such as stocks, shares, bonds, dividends, initial public offers, and stock exchange too technical, not interesting, and difficult to understand.”

“Now you understand them, my dear, and it is becoming interesting via our dialogue. If you continue to pay attention, you will understand how the stock market operates and be able to reap more dividends by investing wisely there. Remember the key word; wisely, if not you may burn your fingers.” “You mean there are hazards in this market too?”

“Of course, there are, my dear. Every market has its advantages and disadvantages. But if you understand the market, you maximise your advantages, and minimise the disadvantages. Besides multiplication, there are other advantages for investing in the stock market. I will explain more in our next discussion. Always remember to think like a farmer…sowing time…harvest time. You have to increase and multiply.

“Thank you sir.” “You are welcome.


Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, www.ezinearticles.com and www.writingcareer.com. He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at http://sallywantsahusband.blogspot.com

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