Category: Money

How to invest in the stock market for beginners

Investing in stock and shares for beginners can be a bit daunting. This is because of various terminologies that beginners find confusing.

I started investing in stocks and shares during my undergraduate degree program at the university. At that time I was 20 years old.

I bought my first share when a financial institution launched an initial public offer (IPO). More about IPO later in this article.

In this post, I want to give you a beginner’s guide to investing in stock and share. Stay with me.

Why invest in the stock market

The main reason why it is important to invest in the stock market is the opportunity to grow your money. Over a long period of time, if your money is left in a savings account, it will lose value because of inflation.

As well, investing in the stock market gives you the opportunity to be part of exciting projects happening worldwide. The majority of companies producing products and services we use on daily basis are listed on stock exchanges worldwide. Every human has the opportunity to own a piece of the biggest companies in the world.

Think about the number of people using social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc. these social media companies are listed on the stock exchange.

Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the world. Many people use the Amazon marketplace to buy their everyday items. Amazon is on the stock market.

Apple and Microsoft who make computers and mobile phones, Johnson and Johnson who produce consumable products, automobile companies like Tesla are all on the stock market. I can go on and on to give you names of companies across the world who are valuable companies.

To learn more about why you need to invest in the stock market, please read an article I wrote specifically about this topic by clicking here or below.

What you need to get started

It is important to first go through what you need to be able to start investing in the stock market.

Brokerage Account

A brokerage account is different from a normal bank account. In other to buy a share of any company, you need to go through a stockbroker. Stockbrokers are like middlemen between the company you want to own their share and yourself. Without stock brokers, you cannot buy a share of any company.

There are stockbrokers in every country. Some stockbrokers will charge you some fees for using their platform while some do not charge any fee. The most popular stockbrokers in the UK are

Stockbroker NameChargesStock & Share ISAIndividual SharesIndex Funds and ETFs
Trading 212NoYesYesYes
FreetradeNoYesYesYes
VanguardYesYesNoYes
Hargreaves LansdownYesYesYesYes
AJ BellsYesYesYesYes
FidelityYesYesNoYes
IG IndexYesYesYesYes
eToroYesNoYesYes

ISA Account

For people in the UK, it is important to consider a Stock and Share Individual Saving Account (ISA) when you open a brokerage account.

A Stock and Share ISA is also called an Investment ISA. It is a tax-efficient account that enables you to invest in a wide range of shares, funds, investment trusts, and bonds.

The major advantage of investing using Stock and Share ISA Account is that your investment is exempted from capital gains tax (CGT) whenever you decide to sell. 

As well, you will be exempted from tax on dividend income.

How to own share in a company

There are two major ways to own a piece of a company you are interested in.

Initial public offering (IPO)

An initial public offering (IPO) refers to when a private company makes its shares available to the public for the first time on a stock exchange. Private companies go public mostly to raise capital that will enable them to grow bigger.

You can choose to buy shares in a company when they go public for the first time. There are advantages and disadvantages to this.

Existing shares in the stock market

The second way to buy a share of course is to buy shares of companies that are already available in the stock market.

The stock market is open all year round and they have opening hours depending on the country. You can buy shares through a stockbroker.

 

How much should you invest in the stock market?

You can get started investing in the stock market with as little as £1. However, £100 and above might be the ideal amount to start with.

You can invest as much money as you want in the stock market but it is important to diversify by buying a variety of asset classes.

Some stockbrokers will allow you to do regular investing if you choose to. Regular investing enables you to set up a standing order whereby a certain amount of money leaves your bank account every month into your brokerage account.

This enables you to be disciplined with your investing.

Investing in the stock market should be approached as a long-term investment. Adopting a long-term investing strategy will help you to regularly set a certain amount of money aside monthly to put in your investment portfolio.

 

What are the asset class in the stock market?

Asset class simply refers to the type of investment. The three major asset class are;

Stock and Share

A share of a company or shares of multiple companies. These have sometimes also been referred to as equity.

Bond

In plain English, a Bond is a way of lending money to a government or a company, and by doing that you get interested.

Fund

This is a type of asset class where shares of a variety of companies are put together to become a product called a fund. It could be Index Fund or Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).

 

What is the cost of investing through stockbrokers

There is a cost to investing in stock and shares which comes from the stockbrokers. It is important to know stockbrokers are businesses that also need to make a profit.

They have a number of charges depend on the broker. Some of them do not charge any fees while the majority of them will charge you fees to manage your stocks and funds.

Below is a table that shows the brokers who charge fees.

Stockbroker NameAccount feeDealing fee
Hargreaves LansdownYesYes
AJ BellsYesYes
VanguardYesNo
FidelityYesYes
Trading 212NoNo
FreetradeNoNo
eToroNoNo

 

Individual Shares vs Funds

There are two major ways to invest in the stock market. You can either buy individual shares of companies or buy funds. For experienced investors, you can diversify by having both funds and individual shares in your portfolio.

Individual shares

This is when you buy a share of a particular company. For example, you can invest in Apple by buying one or more shares of Apple. When you have more money to invest in the stock market, you can buy more shares of Apple or look for another company listed on the stock exchange and buy its share.

Buy buying individual shares, your portfolio will grow over time and you will have multiple shares and companies in your portfolio.

Advantage – The benefit of individual shares comes with an opportunity to buy shares of companies that have the potential to grow. When their share price increase in the future, you make a lot of profit if you decide to sell.

Disadvantage – The major disadvantage can be if the company or companies you own their share are not doing well or go bankrupt. In this case, your investment can significantly reduce in value.

 

Funds

Fund is almost the opposite of individual shares. The simple way to explain ‘fund’ is this. If you want to buy fruits, you can decide to buy only apples or bananas or grapes.

If there is an option to buy a basket of fruits that contains a variety of fruits inside the basket, it might be better to buy the basket of fruit instead of going about choosing various types of fruits.

With the example of individual share above, so instead of buying a share of Apple and Amazon separately. You can buy a fund that has Apple, Amazon, and other shares of various companies inside it.

Funds generally are diverse and hold a variety of companies shares. A fund can have shares of companies in various sectors like consumer goods, utility, energy, automobile, Technology, etc.

Advantage – Fund has less risk than an individual stock. If any company in the fund goes bust and out of business, in most cases, the fund will still be there as the impact of that company going out of business might not be greatly felt.

Disadvantage – Funds are not without disadvantages. The main disadvantage comes from the inability to control it. If you go for a passive fund, It mainly tracks an index and the performance of the index is what determines how it performs. If the overall market is down, the value of your investment will be down and on the other side, if the overall market is up your investment will be up.

 

Final thoughts on Individual Shares vs Funds

As someone who has been investing in the stock market for a long time, funds are what I think is better for a beginner to invest in. There are passive index funds and ETFs that help you to reduce the risk of investing in the stock market if you are a beginner. 

Investing in the stock market can be overwhelming, by investing in index funds and ETFs you will save yourself from buying individual shares that might not perform well.

This does not mean you cannot buy individual shares. You can surely invest in individual shares but you need to research properly on any company you want to invest in if an individual share is a route you want to go.

When you get to a stage that you have properly educated yourself about the stock market, it is important to diversify and have a variety of asset classes in your portfolio. 

By this, I mean invest in bonds, index funds, ETFs, and individual shares.

 

Should you invest in shares?

Investing in shares is the right thing to do for various reasons. Investing in shares is one of the investment types that has lasted for hundreds of years and has been tried and tested by the richest people in the world.

There are times when the stock market might be volatile. However, if you invest for the long term, it will be very hard to lose money in the stock market.

These are the reasons why you should consider investing in the stock market.

  • Investing in shares help you to own a company. It might be just a tiny piece but you are part owner when you invest in a share.
  • Opportunity to increase your wealth. Money saved in the bank will worth less over time because of inflation.
  • Historically, over time the stock market goes up if you invest for the long term.
  • The stock market can help you earn tax-free income if you invest in shares through a tax-efficient brokerage account.
  • Through investing in share, you become a producer and not just a consumer. As a shareholder, you join companies that are providing valuable products and services in the world economy.
  • Buying a share can help you to keep the money for retirement.
  • If you invest in dividend stocks, you can earn passive income.

 

What should you invest in?

The choice of investment usually depends on your stage in life. To reduce risk, people that are close to retirement are better off not having too many growth stocks in their portfolio. Bonds, Index fund and ETFs are good options for people close to retirement.

For young people who are just starting their career and people perhaps before age 40 can consider individual stocks that have the potential growth in value over time.

As a beginner, it is wise to consider Index Fund and ETFs as the choice of stock market investing. If you choose to invest in individual stocks, you can consider the following.

Growth Stock

There are companies that have a bright future ahead of them. These companies might be new in the stock market or they might just be scaling up their business. It can be risky to invest in such companies but if you are able to choose the right company, your investment can increase significantly.

Amazon was once a growth company. When it was first listed on the stock market in 1997, each share was sold for $18. As of the time of writing this article, each share of amazon is over $3000, which is a 3000% increase over 10 years.

Dividend stock

If you are thinking about earning passive income from your investment. You can consider investing in shares of companies that are on the list of dividend aristocrats.

Dividend aristocrats are companies that have consistently paid a dividend over a long period of time.

Sectors to consider

The common-sense approach to choosing companies to invest in is to consider the various sectors of the economy. It is important to do due diligence and research before buying any shares. In some cases, a financial adviser might be required before you make a decision.

The logic I use is to consider companies that are producing products and services we use regularly. In some case products are service that we almost cannot do without.

Below are examples

Consumable – A company in this category is Johnson and Johnson. This company produce consumable packaged products. There are other companies like Unilever, PZ and some other ones that produce consumable products like detergents, beverages and other food items. These are products that we cannot do without. As long as there are human beings these companies will continue to strive as long as they are innovating.

Medical and Pharmaceutical – We all need medical care at one point or the order in our life. Companies that are manufacturing medical equipment and medicines do well over time. The likes of Pfizer and AstraZeneca can be a good company to invest in because they’ve been around for a very long time.

Renewable energy – In recent time, renewable energy has been a hot topic. A lot of companies are investing heavily in this sector.

Utility – We all need to use water and electricity on daily basis. Some of the companies who provide these services for us are in the stock market.

Tech – Think about the number of people who use Facebook for business or just social media. Amazon is not just an eCommerce company, Amazon is also a technology company that provide a lot of tech services. Apple and Microsoft are giants in computing. These are few examples in the tech sector and there are a lot more. Think about millions of people who use these technologies these companies provide. This is the reason why it is difficult to go when you consider companies producing services or products you use.

 

Final Thoughts

Investing in the stock market can be overwhelming for beginners. Especially due to various numbers of terminologies and technicalities involved. But what I have come to realize over time is that there is nothing in life that doesn’t seem complicated to a beginner, it only gets easier with practice.

Another factor to consider when considering investing in stock is that most usually require a long-term mindset. If you want an investment that will make you significant profit in a month or two then do not think about the stock market. Whether it is stock, shares or funds, it is best to have a long term mindset.

 

 

 

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Adebayo Ogunlesi: Influential Nigerian Billionaire Entrepreneur

“As I dey hustle like Adebayo Ogunlesi, no go talk say me I too lazy.” Like is quickly becoming the case with some of Burna Boy’s recent music releases, upon hearing this verse, people started searching for Adebayo Ogunlesi. And he was in fact a trending topic on Twitter for a while.

For someone so wealthy you’d think most people would have heard about him. So it was somewhat surprising that the average Nigerian didn’t know much about Adebayo Ogunlesi before Burna Boy’s verse in Wonderful. I guess that is the difference between wealthy Africans in Diaspora and the ones living in and making their money from Africa. Can we call it relevancy?

I think we can call it relevancy. Because this Burna Boy’s song wasn’t the first time his name has been thrown into the limelight. Many may not remember it but he was once appointed by Donald Trump in 2016. He was a member of his Strategic and Policy Forum. Yes really, Donald Trump. The forum was disbanded around August 2017.

Short Biography of Adebayo Ogunlesi

Ogunlesi was originally from Makun, Sagamu, Ogun State in Nigeria. He is the son of Theophilus O. Ogunlesi and was born on December 20, 1953.

He would later go on to attend King’s College, Lagos, Nigeria for his secondary school.

Adebayo Ogunlesi has been married to a British-born optometrist, Dr Amelia Quist-Ogunlesi since 1985. They are blessed with two children.

In 2012, He was appointed to the Board of Directors at Goldman Sachs and he became their Lead Director in July 2014.

Since 2013, Mr Ogunlesi has made over 10 Goldman Sachs trades according to Form 4 filed with SEC. As of 2020, Mr Ogunlesi owned about 5,889 units of Goldman Sachs stock which is worth over $1,930,179.

On May 13, 2016, he made his largest trade by exercising 13,012 units of Goldman Sachs stock. It is believed to be worth over $4,264,813. As of 2020, he still owns about 66,677 units of Goldman Sachs stock.

Anyways, let’s get on with some facts about Adebayo Ogunlesi, our underrated Billionaire. Let’s get familiar.

  1. He was appointed by the former American president, Donald Trump, as part of his Strategic and Policy Forum.
  2. Mr Adebayo Ogunlesi is a proper scholar with an impressive array of academic accomplishments. But that is really just a trait that runs in the family. His father, T O Ogunlesi was the first Nigerian professor of medicine at the University of Ibadan. B A in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MBA from Harvard Business School are just some of Ogunlesi’s academic highlights.
  3. He is the Chairman and Managing Partner of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). It is a New York-based independent investment fund with more than $35 billion in assets under management and investments.
  4. He first became a household name in 2010 after GIP bought Gatwick Airport. Gatwick Airport happens to be London’s second-largest airport. It is because of this accomplishment he now popularly referred to as ‘the Nigerian who bought Gatwick Airport.’
  5. In 1983, Ogunlesi worked for a New York law firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore. He would practise law for only nine months. He was invited for discussions and offered a job by First Boston, an investment bank. His years at First Boston would later become the foundation for his growth. It was where he was well-groomed into the man that is now highly sought after.
  6. Credit Suisse bought First Boston in 1997 and renamed it Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB). He was once spoken of in glowing review by the chief executive of CSFB, John Mack thus: “Bayo Ogunlesi is a banker of powerful intellect, integrity and innovation. He has a broad global perspective and a keen understanding of complex financial transactions. Our clients worldwide have benefited greatly from his strategic insights.”
  7. Ogunlesi spent about 23 years working with Credit Suisse. He held top positions in like executive vice-chairman, chief client officer and the global head of investment banking.
  8. Mr Ogunlesi was also once described as one of the smartest money managers of Wall Street. He was profiled by Time Magazine in 2002 among 15 Most-promising Young Executives in its list of 2002 Global Influentials. He was also once ranked by Fortune as the Seventh Most Powerful Black Executive in the United States.
  9. Adebayo Ogunlesi studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford University, where he graduated with honours. During his time at Harvard Law School, he became one of the first two editors of African descent, to serve together on the influential Harvard Law Review.
  10. For someone with so much international success, Ogunlesi has never really directly worked with the Nigerian Government at a full capacity. But he has been at the vanguard of championing African economic renaissance. He also served as an adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in an informal capacity, particularly on privatization matters.
Categories:

How to save money for your kids

Should I save money for my kids? To be honest, it doesn’t sound like such a big deal at first. But even though this topic isn’t much discussed, it is very important.

Surely, you must have heard stories about kids inheriting massive trust funds or real estate that set them up for life. Recently, a lady took to Twitter to talk about how her mum still pays her monthly even though she died in the nineties. She was talking about the investments her mum made back then that she is now enjoying the benefits today.

So should you save money for your kids? I believe the answer is yes. You will be contributing a more secure and productive future for them. But how do you do save for your child’s future? Continue reading as I shed more light on this.

Tips to start saving money for your kids

Keep things tidy and separate

It is easy to get confused when money from too many sources gets piled up in your personal account. To avoid confusion it is important to keep your kids money separate from yours. It also helps with accountability. Apart from this, there are several savings account out there that offer various incentives. We’ll be highlighting some of them briefly.

Children’s Easy-Access Savings Account

There isn’t much difference between a children’s savings account and an ordinary savings account. The only difference is the maximum age range which is between 15 to 20 years old.

Like your ordinary savings account, you can make withdrawals at any time so far as it follows the account terms. Easy-access savings account help teach kids about money.

There are even some accounts that give you passbooks. With the passbook, children along with a parent can visit any branch to withdraw money. This is a great way for children to learn about handling their own finances.

A disadvantage of this type of savings account is that it doesn’t offer as much interest as regular or fixed-rate accounts. Also, you will have to pay tax on the savings interest. This comes into play when the interest exceeds £100, the interest will be added to your tax bill.

NS&I Premium Bonds For Children

Premium bonds are offered by National Savings & Investments (NS&I) and is a very popular investment opportunity. It is possible to buy between £25 and £50,000 worth of bond. Every month, each £1 bond is entered into a prize draw with the opportunity to win £1 million. The premium bond can be signed over when the child turns 16.

Another way premium bonds differ from a savings account is that both parents and grandparents can buy them. Every month, two lucky winners will win £1 million and several others can win a minimum of £25. All winnings are tax-free.

A disadvantage of the premium bonds for children is that you have a 24,500 to 1 chance of winning anything. Also, there’s no savings interest for this investment option even though NS&I say there’s an equivalent 1.4% interest on premium bonds.

Get a Junior ISA

The Junior Isa account is another long term oriented savings account. It is for children under the age of 18. Once the child turns 18, the account is automatically converted into an adult cash Isa and will get full ownership of the funds.

An advantage of the junior Isa is that it is tax-free so you do not have to worry about the £100 rule. The interest rate is also higher than adult ISA.

Also, unlike the easy-access savings account, children aren’t allowed to withdraw the cash. Although, that can be a disadvantage in some cases.

You are allowed to choose between cash and stocks & shares ISA or split your money between both.

Junior ISA also has its disadvantages. A disadvantage is the annual deposit limit of £9,000. Also, the Junior ISA doesn’t enjoy government contributions unlike the Child Trust Fund (CTF) which enjoys a £500 contribution. It is important to mention that Child Trust Fund is now closed.

Children’s Regular Savings Account

The regular savings account is a very convenient option for low-income households. Not only are you able to make monthly contributions, you can also enjoy generous interest rates as high as 4.5%. It is however important to note that the maximum monthly deposit limit is £100.

Just as there is a deposit limit, there are also withdrawal limits or penalty. Also, missing a payment or exceeding the withdrawal limit can invalidate your interest. Sometimes, you face losing interest for withdrawing. Also, it is not tax-free, the £100 rule applies.

Sell things as they grow

Kids tend to be very expensive. They are very expensive because they keep outgrowing what you buy for them.

A child’s growth is in various stages and every stage comes with new financial implications. Before you know it the expensive toys you bought last summer are no longer needed. It’s like children junk just keeps piling up in the house.

But they don’t necessarily have to go to waste. Just like you can sell unused stuff around the house, you can also sell things your kids have outgrown.

Although, it’ll be best if you’re sure you no longer want to have more children before doing this.

There are various platforms that allow parents to sell gently used items that their kids have outgrown.

In the UK you can sell used items on the Vinted app. You can also sell used items at a car boot sales, it can be a fun activity for your kids to participate and help out at car boot sales.

Teach them the act of saving

An easy way to save money for your kids is by teaching them how to save. When your kids have a savings mentality and understand the value, they automatically want to save every penny they can. This way, you’re not only teaching them good savings habits but also preparing them for the future.

Final Thoughts

There are various reasons why you save money for your children and it is unique to every individual. But you must endeavour to protect and secure their future by saving money for them. It isn’t enough to save money for your kids future, you must also teach them good saving habits.

You can read this article next.

How to teach your children about money.

Categories:
How to save money on low income for a house deposit

How to save money for a house on a low income

One of the biggest spending you will make in your life is buying a house. It requires a lot of planning and a high level of discipline to be able to save money for a house especially on a low income.

As someone who has been able to save money for a mortgage deposit, I know how challenging it can be.

Here are some top tips for saving money for a house for people on a low income.

Increase your income

If you are on low income and want to save money as a deposit for a mortgage, I think the first thing to consider is opportunities to increase your income.

There are various ways to increase your income which include negotiating for a pay increase, start a side hustle, or consider freelancing work by exploiting your existing skills.

I have written a few articles on lists of side hustles you can consider. Make sure you finish reading this article and then check out the list. I even have an article on 101 Side Hustle ideas.

Consider investing your money

You can invest the little money you have. One of the safest ways to invest your money is to leverage the stock market. It is important to note that there is no guarantee that you will make money by simply investing in stock and shares.

Because you aim to save money for a house deposit, it is worth mentioning that how soon you want to buy a house should influence the type of asset you buy in the stock market.

The simple rule is this, if you want to buy a house in the next 5 years it good to invest your money in a low-risk Index Fund or ETF. If you are considering buying a house in the next 2 years instead, it is better to just look for a high yield savings account and put your money there.

Money-Saving Expert is an amazing resource for everything that has to do with money and they have a page where you can find useful information about savings account that pays good interest.

Automate Your Savings and Investing

Whether you are considering investing in stock and shares or a high yield savings account, you must be consistent and discipline in putting money away regularly.

Most of the time we tell ourselves that we will do something and we end up not doing it. Relying only on willpower is a recipe for failure in achieving your goal of saving for a house deposit. 

Something that will help you in meeting your savings goal is to leverage the power of automation.

This is how automation works when it comes to saving money;

You set an amount you want to put in your stock and share brokerage account or a savings account every month. The next step is to set up a standing order on your savings bank account which will send the money to the brokerage account or savings account every month you get paid.

Obviously, you should know the date of the month you get paid, so set a date after your payday. By doing this, you will not have to go through the process of manually sending money to your savings account every month.

Reduce your spending

Reducing spending doesn’t mean you compromise on your quality of life. To reduce spending means to cut down on unnecessary spending and purchases.

A typical example is a subscription you are paying for which you are not making use of. It might be a software subscription, it might be a gym, it could be a magazine or an app on your phone.

You just need to take some time to go through your bank account and credit card statements and look for things you subscribed for a long time ago that you no longer use but still pay for.

Use Government Incentives

The government comes up with various incentives from time to time. You can make use of government incentives to help you either save money on house purchases or meet mortgage affordability criteria.

One of the most common government incentives is the one where Government contributes a percentage of your mortgage deposit and in most cases, it is interest-free for a certain number of years.

For UK residents, as at the time of writing this article, one of the UK government’s incentives is an account called Lifetime ISA.

For every amount you deposit in that account, the UK government adds 20 percent for you. But the account is only available for people under 40 years. It is a way to boost your house purchase initial deposit.

Sell items you no longer need

It’s unbelievable the number of items we buy that we end up not using. There are two major benefits to selling items in your house you no longer need. The first benefit is that you can add the profit you make to your savings for a house deposit.

The second benefit is also important. This helps you to declutter your house and when the time comes for you to move house after buying a house you have fewer stuffs to carry with you.

There are now lots of platforms available where you can sell items you no longer need.

The most popular for used items is eBay. You can also try Amazon.

You can sell used clothes on the Vinted app.

Consider moving house

Your main aim of saving money is so you can buy a house and move house. Why not consider moving house now to reduce the cost of your current housing.

You can move to a cheaper house or apartment which by doing this you will save some money.

I know you are probably wondering, why should I move to a new house when I’m trying to buy one?

Think about it, it makes sense. To quickly meet up with your mortgage requirements, you can downgrade from your existing house.

By moving to a new house where your rent is less expensive, you easily get to save more for your dream house. This way you even get to acquire it faster.

It is only a temporary inconvenience not permanent.

If that is too extreme a solution for you, you can also rent out one of the rooms in your house.

Make use of discounts and cashback

Cashback has been around for a long time but there are still a lot of people who don’t know about cashback. There are various types of cashback you can make use of.

The best and most popular cashback is the cashback website. Cashback websites are available in many countries around the world.

I live in the UK and the two of the most popular cashback websites are TopCashback and Quidco. Some of the ones available in the US are ShopAtHome, Coupon Cactus, Ebates, BeFrugal, Extrabux, Swagbucks, and TopCashback.

Cashback websites are just middlemen between you and merchants. For example, if you want to buy a train ticket. Instead of buying the train ticket directly from Trainline or other train providers, you can buy via the cashback website.

By buying through the cashback website, you will get a percentage of the money you spend back. The percentage you get back might not be a lot but it all adds up when you consider the way people spend online these days.

You can get cashback on a lot of things you won’t think about.

I remember getting cashback on our Haven Perran Sand Holiday because I booked the holiday via a cashback website.

From insurance to everyday commodity and consumable items you buy online, you can get cashback.

Final Thoughts

Saving money for your dream house on a low income isn’t going to be easy but it is achievable. The easiest way to do this would be to find ways to increase your income. But if you are unable to do that, there are still several ways to cut back your spending and even patch your income.

We all want to be homeowners. The craze for home buying is even more in the UK and if this is the route you want to go, it is very achievable. Do not be discouraged by low income.

 

 

 

 

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Cheapest way to call Nigeria (Call Nigeria from UK)

We all love cheap things, don’t we? The most common question among Nigerians in the UK is, what is the cheapest way to call Nigeria from the UK?

The cheapest way to call Nigeria is to use an app on your phone.

Cheapest app to call Nigeria

The cheapest app you can use to call Nigeria is Rebtel.

Back in 2005 when I first arrived in the UK, we used a calling card to call Nigeria. I remember I would buy a card called “TalkHome”. It’s a scratch card containing some codes.

Every time you want to call, you have to dial the TalkHome number, enter the code from the scratch card followed by the Nigerian number you want to call.

I used to hate that process because it was a time consuming and frustrating process.

The card usually cost £5 with a promise of 100mins. Seriously, I don’t think you get 100 minutes from it. It’s very difficult to measure or see how many minutes you have used.

Later on, we got a TalkHome sim card that could be inserted into a phone.

That was better. However, I wasn’t ready to switch my original mobile number for the TalkHome sim card. The solution was to have a separate mobile phone specifically for international calls.

I was still not satisfied with the idea of having another phone. It’s just doesn’t make sense for me to carry two phones. I used to keep the second phone at home and only made calls to Nigeria when I am at home.

When I had urgent calls to Nigeria whenever I was not at home, I was forced to use my normal EE call plan which was very expensive.

I thought there would be a way to call Nigeria cheaply from my everyday phone. I contacted my provider EE for any plan that will enable me to call Nigeria cheap.

They offered me a separate plan which was an add-on to my existing plan. ‘The International: 50 countries’ plan which has Nigeria as one of the 50 countries to call cheap. It would cost me an additional £10 for 500mins.

I thought it was a good deal.

Actually, I was wrong, it was not a good deal for me. Here is the reason why.

I don’t really need 500 minutes in a month to call Nigeria. This means that my unused minutes are gone at the end of the month and I will still pay £10.

As well, there are now a lot of other ways to call Nigeria for free. An example is WhatsApp. The WhatsApp call feature is not perfect but it still gets the job done.

I mostly use WhatsApp to call and only use normal call when there is a network issue on WhatsApp or when I am calling a few people who are not available on WhatsApp.

I wanted something that is “pay as you go.”

Eventually, I found Rebtel which solved all the problems for me.

Why I love Rebtel

Save money

Rebtel offers a credit-based plan which means I do not have to sign up for a monthly plan. A monthly plan is annoying because you are sometimes paying for what you are not using. If I don’t make calls, my credit will still be in my Rebtel app.

Below is a chart that compares Rebtel with other providers in the UK.

Easy to use App

We now live in the age of technology and applications provide a lot of conveniences. Having an app that you can use to manage your credit and call really makes life easy when calling Nigeria or other countries.

VoIP service like Rebtel provides an easy opportunity to make phone calls from their app anywhere in the world where there is internet access.

The easy process of calling.

I remember those days of using call card. Calling now using Rebtel cannot be compared to those days. I cannot imagine some people are still calling Nigeria directly with from their network provider plans when there is an app like Rebtel.

 

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UK equivalent of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund

 

After reading the Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins, the question that was on my mind was, what is the UK equivalent of the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund?

I was desperate to get started with my investing journey and I was very interested in starting with Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund.

I contacted Vanguard in the UK and asked them the question. Can I invest in Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund?

They came back and said no, they do not offer Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund in UK.

They told me about the alternative to Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund in Uk which is the U.S. Equity Index Fund.

Looking into US Equity Accumulation Index Fund it has very close to the number of stocks in the Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund. They both have samples of all the stocks listed in the US stock market.

Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund on Trading 212 platform

Recently, I found out that Vanguard US Total Stock Market index fund is available via Trading 212.

Below image is a screenshot of me searching for it on my Trading 212 Individual Saving Account ISA.

Trading 212 is one of the commission-free investment platforms in the UK.

Trading 212 have the exchange-traded fund (ETF) version of the Vanguard US Total Stock Market Index Fund.

If you are interested in the option of Trading 212, you can get a free share if you open a new account and investment minimum of £1. I will also get a free share so it is a win for both of us.

You can invest in the Vanguard US Total Stock Market Index Fund on Trading 212.

Do you want to get a free stock share worth up to £100?

Create a Trading 212 Invest account using the link below and we both get a free share!

Click here to invest in Vanguard US Total Stock Market on Trading 212 

 

VTI vs VTSMX

The main difference between VTI and VTSAX is that VTI is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) while VTSAX is an index fund.

VTI can be purchased for the price of one share. VTSAX has a minimum initial investment. As well, VTI can only be traded during trade during market hours.

Both of these funds invest mainly have very similar stocks in them. It is important to mention that they are not the same price as regards price for 1 unit.

Vanguard US Total Stock Market in for of ETF is available in UK. VTI is available for UK investors on Trading 212.

Invest in Vanguard US Total Stock Market on Trading 212 

U.S. Equity Index Fund

I believe U.S. Equity Index Fund is also a good fund like the VTI or VTSMX.

It is available in two share class

Share Class

Accumulation – If you choose accumulation, your dividend will be automatically reinvested.

Income – As for income option, its the opposite of accumulation. Your dividend will not be automatically reinvested. It will be there in your account to withdraw if you choose to.

Management cost

The management cost is very low compare to other funds.

As at the time of writing the ongoing charge figure (OCF) is 0.10%. You can check the Vanguard website for the latest OCF by clicking here.

It is a passive fund which is the reason why the management cost is low.

Holdings

This fund invests in a lot of the biggest companies like 

  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Tesla
  • Alphabet (Google)
  • Berkshire Hathaway Inc
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • JPMorgan Chase
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Facts about Africa (700 Interesting and Random Facts)

As a Black African born in Nigeria, Africa. I have always had a strong interest in things about Africa especially facts about Africa.

Africa is the cradle of humanity. There is a lot of archaeological evidence that supports the fact that Africa is the cradle of humanity.

The fact that Africa is where all human being originates from makes Africa have a lot of interesting and amazing facts.

There are archaeological and fossil evidence from Afar Triangle in East Africa which suggest Africa is the Cradle of Humankind.

My interest in facts about Africa on the various subject led me to compile these facts from various source and put them in a book.

700 Amazing facts about Africa is available on all Amazon marketplace.

                         

Below are some of the facts that make 700 facts about Africa an interesting read.

Extract from 700 Facts about Africa

General Africa Facts

  1. Africa is a vast continent, with 54 countries. Although some confuse the entire continent with being a single country. 
  2. Africa is the second-largest continent in the world. The largest being Asia, of course.
  3. Africa is home to over 1 billion people – half of which are younger than 25.
  4. More than 1500 languages are spoken across the continent. 
  5. Population: 1,415,045,928.
  6. Land area: 30,370,000 km2 (11,730,000 square miles).
  7. Most spoken languages in Africa are Arabic, English, Swahili, Amharic, French, Yoruba, Oromo, Hausa, Igbo and Zulu.
  8. Islam and Christianity are the two most common religions in Africa.
  9. The smallest country in Africa is the Seychelles, which is also an island. 
  10. Algeria is the largest country by area with 2,381,741 square kilometres. It’s the 10th largest country in the world.
  11. Time zones: From UTC-1 to UTC+4.
  12. The origin of the name “Africa” is greatly disputed by scholars. Most believe it stems from words used by the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans. Important words include the Egyptian word Afru-ika, meaning “Motherland”; the Greek word aphrike, meaning “without cold”; and the Latin word aprica, meaning “sunny.”

Interesting and Random Facts

  1. Nigeria has seen the most twins born in the world. This has earned the country the nickname “The Land of Twins”.
  2. Eighteen people from Africa have been awarded a Nobel prize. They come from Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
  3. Plastic packaging and non-biodegradable polythene bags are 100% banned in Rwanda. They’re not allowed in the country at all and all luggage are searched at the airport to make sure of this. 
  4. 90% of the world’s malaria cases originate in Africa. Thankfully this is only a problem in certain areas, and there are plenty of safe African countries to visit.
  5. One of the oldest universities in the world is in Timbuktu, Mali. By the 12th century Timbuktu was home to three universities. Over 25,000 students attended one of the Timbuktu universities in the 12th century.
  6. The Second Congo War claimed over 5.4 million lives and is the deadliest worldwide conflict since World War II.
  7. Almost 40% of adults in Africa are illiterate – two-thirds are women. Adult literacy rates are below 50% in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
  8. Over 25 million people are HIV-positive on the continent and over 17 million have died of the disease already.
  9. Arabic is spoken by 170 million people on the continent, followed in popularity by English (130 million), Swahili (100), French (115), Berber (50), Hausa (50), Portuguese (20) and Spanish (10).
  10. The Pharaonic civilization of ancient Egypt is one of the world’s oldest and longest-lasting civilizations.
  11. The northern most point in Africa is Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia. The most southerly point is Cape Agulhas in South Africa.
  12. Rainfall variability is very high – from 0 mm/year in the Sahara to 9,500 mm/year near Mount Cameroon.
  13. Neo-colonialism is a real threat with over 1 million Chinese citizens on the African continent. Angola alone has a population of over 350,000 Chinese.
  14. Approximately 90% of all cases of malaria worldwide occur in Africa, accounting for 24% of all child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
  15. All of Africa was colonized by foreign powers during the “scramble for Africa”, except Ethiopia and Liberia.
  16. Before colonial rule, Africa comprised up to 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs.
  17. The famous singer Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar, a group of islands just off the coast of Tanzania. 
  18. Nigeria, with a 2013 estimated population of 174,507,539 is the most populous Black nation and the 7th most populated nation in the entire world, trailing after—from least to most—Pakistan, Brazil, Indonesia, USA, India and China (1.3bn).
  19. Libreville, Gabon is one of the most expensive city in the world to live in. Tokyo is the most expensive city.
  20. Nigeria, with 521 languages has the fourth-most in the world. This includes 510 living languages, two-second languages without native speakers and 9 extinct languages.
  21. The Portuguese reached Nigeria in 1472. In 1880 the British began conquering Nigeria’s south. The north was conquered by 1903.
  22. Yoruba tribe in Nigeria and their bloodlines worldwide have the highest rate of twinning (having twins) in the world.
  23. South Africa is 5 times the size of Japan and 3 times the size of Texas.
  24. Nigeria has more Muslims than Saudi Arabia
  25. The 2006 Census found Nigerians to be the highest educated ethnic or racial group in America.
  26. Nigeria’s population was just 16 million in 1911. It is projected to hit 444 million by 2050, surpassing the US and becoming the 4th largest in the world.
  27. The population of Lagos today is about more than the total population of all Eastern states combined.
  28. Benin Kingdom: The high quality and highly sophisticated bronze work of the Benin Kingdom dating as far back as the 13th century is a world wonder. Great works in iron, wood, ivory, and terra cotta products also highlight the empire’s history.
  29. Benin Kingdom: Lourenco Pinto, captain of a ship that carried missionaries to Warri in 1619, described Benin kingdom, ‘Great Benin where the king resides is larger than Lisbon, all the streets run straight and as far as the eyes can see….’
  30. Pretoria (SA’s capital city) was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius. He named it after his father, Andries Pretorius.
  31. French is spoken by more people in Africa than in France. And Portuguese is spoken by a larger number of people in Africa than in Portugal. 
  32. The largest annual Christian gathering in Africa is hosted by the Redeemed Christian Church of God and it is called the Holy Ghost Convention. This was in Nigeria.
  33. Nigerian immigrants in the US are one of the most educated
  34. Over 55% of Africa’s labour force working in food production with vast areas of arable and pastoral lands supporting agricultural economies.
  35. Africans are one of the biggest contributors to sculptural art. 
  36. Important climatic regions of agriculture in Africa include tropical wet, savannah, desert, Mediterranean, and highland.
  37. Africa has 135 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered across the continent.
  38. Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt (200+ pyramids). But the largest pyramid is actually found in Mexico!
  39. Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, is technically bigger than Hollywood.
  40. 100 million Africans have Facebook accounts.
  41. The movie Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, had many of its most dramatic scenes shot in Maputo, Mozambique. 
  42. The Western Cape of South Africa is home to the longest wine route in the world. Route 62 spans 850kms and boasts some superb wineries. 
  43. It’s considered rude to decline an offering of meat at meals in Morocco – vegetarians may have a hard time with this. 
  44. There’s an African beer brewed from bananas. This is widely made in East Africa and goes by various names in different countries.
  45. In rural markets in the province of Limpopo, Mopane worms can be found being sold as food. These are high in protein and the locals love them as a smoky snack.
  46. In countries like Morocco and Algeria, couscous is a popular dish served with meat and vegetables.
  47. In Western Africa, it is common for people to grow and eat cassava, maize, millet and plantains.
  48. People living in what is currently Swaziland were the world’s first miners. In the late 1960s a hematite mine was found in the Ngwenya mountain range along with 300,000 artifacts and stone-made mining tools that were later dated to be 43,000 years old!
  49. Egypt is the most popular tourist destination in Africa, attracting around 10 million visitors per year.
  50. The oldest known mathematical object is the Lebombo bone, which was discovered in the Lebombo Mountains of Swaziland. It dates to approximately 35,000 B.C.

 

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