Knowledge For The Modern Millennial

Month: April 2020

The Best Investments To Do Right Now In Your 20s and 30s

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At the beginning of the year, (5th January 2020 to be precise), I posed this question to a popular Nigerian venture capitalist and investor on Twitter:

Sir, as a young millennial just starting a career and investment portfolio; which investment plan in Nigeria could workout and pay off in the long game for the next decade?”



I never got a direct answer till today. But after some research, personal experience and interactions with other like-minded individuals, I finally found the answers. And this is what this article is about.

At the end of this article, you will learn six investments you can do right now and the direct steps to undertake these investments.


First of all, Investing is committing money or capital with the expectations of financial gains. In finance, it is defined as placing your capital in the hopes of getting profit from its usage or appreciation.

For the modern millenial like you and I, Investment must be a smart game. A game that is carefully leveraged with the right information and technologies to reap future benefits.

So here are six investments you can do right now in your twenties or thirties with the above perspective in mind:

1. INVEST IN U.S STOCKS

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One of the world’s richest men and the godfather of investing, Warren Buffett got rich through this type of investment. He transitioned from buying stocks of companies in his country at a young age to owning major shares and eventually owning some of these companies. Buffett got wealthy because of two reasons:
– The stability of the United States (U.S) Economy
– His consistency, discipline and due diligence

The second reason can be honed and developed over time but the first reason (financial stability) is only achieved in developed countries with strong economic background. This is why I am specifically about investing in U.S Stocks, not just any shares or stocks.

So the question is…

How Can You Invest in U.S Stocks?

If you are an American, the process is pretty easy for you. But if you’re a Nigerian (like me), you can’t physically walk into the United States Stock market to get started.

Nonetheless, today’s technology makes it possible to buy and sell U.S Stocks. Personally, I use a mobile app called Bamboo. Bamboo is a platform that allows you to use your Nigerian bank details to access these shares. They have a limited number of companies to buy stocks from, but it suits my investment needs so far.

I have also heard about similar platforms like Chaka, Rise but I haven’t tried them out. You can always do your research and due diligence. It’s also possible to find a more secure, faster and convenient way to buy U.S stocks if your research is done right.

2. INVEST IN MUTUAL FUNDS

Mutual fund is a form of collective investment where money from many investors is pooled and invested in various securities (such as stocks, bonds, treasury bills e.t.c.) under the direction of a fund manager.

In simpler terms, Mutual funds can be imagined as Pizza slices where you are able to get extra value (in this case, profit) usually exclusive to the table of the affluent.

Personally, I love mutual funds because of its stability, diversification and competitive returns. There is always a specific mutual fund that can fit your investment needs and risk/profit appetite.

How Can You Invest in Mutual Funds?

You can always purchase mutual funds from licensed and authorised asset management companies. For instance, I invest in mutual funds through Anchoria Asset Management Limited (you can find more details here).

As usual, I advise you to gather knowledge, seek guidance before purchasing mutual funds. Due diligence is also key here.

3. INVEST IN CRYPTOCURRENCY

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This is definitely the most futuristic and arguably a debatable Investment path on this list. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency based on a cryptographic system. For example, Bitcoin is a currency based on complex digital technology and solely traded on the Internet.

How Can You Invest in Cryptocurrency

Presently, I don’t have an investment in cryptocurrency (even though I used to have a Bitcoin wallet and dabbled in other cryptocurrencies too), but I have friends who get gains and preach the gospel of the cryptocurrency. (And I hope to join them soon. I am still gathering specific knowledge)

As a millenial, you have to embrace technology and the role it is playing in the modern society. Technology is accelerating rapidly, entering virtually all sectors of the economy. And Money will eventually be one of them. So endeavour to balance both your knowledge and experience before venturing into the beautiful world of Cryptocurrency.



This is not all. Do you want to know what the last three best investments are?

4. INVEST IN YOUR DREAMS

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Your best investment is still yourself. Strive to be the best version of you. Invest your time, energy and resources in building your income, impact and influence. Because investing in yourself is the only way the other investments can grow and flourish rapidly.

How Can You Invest in Yourself?

Build relevant skills. Expand your knowledge. Do this with intentionality and purpose. Always remember to invest in your dreams.

5. INVEST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE

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When investing in yourself, the next closely related investment is building quality relationships with people. Why is this investment also important?

Because People own companies. People build businesses. People sell products. People buy products. People share knowledge. People teach skills. People develop technologies.

The closer you get the right people, the faster and better your chances of building a wealthy future. The closer you enter those circles of influence, the bigger your sphere of affluence becomes.

How Can You Invest in Relationships

Trust me, I keep learning to do this investment every day. And I try to build these relationships using the law of 33%:

– Spend 33% of your resources with people below you (your mentees)
– Spend 33% of your resources with people on the same level with you (your peers)
– Spend 33% of your resources with people above you (your mentors)

Your resources involves your experience, energy and expertise. Using this law, you get to teach, interact and learn from everyone you come in contact with. It also gives the needed balance in your relationships with people.


Here is the last and most important investment of them all.

6. INVEST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

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Whilst you are young and agile, there is always the tendency to throw caution to the wind in a bid to enjoy the pleasures of life. That youthful exuberance. That boundless energy. I still pass through this phase every moment of my life and I have found out that a close relationship with God brings the balance.

Investing in a close continuous lovely relationship with God eliminates your anxieties and worries for the future. It also allows you to make peace with the past and be content with the present.

Note this down – You were created for eternity. And you are a spiritual being simply having an earthly experience. The investment with God enables you to enjoy both worlds. Savouring Today and Enjoying Tomorrow’s rewards.

How Can You Invest in a Relationship with God?

For me, I know God more by studying His Word – the Bible. I communicate with Him through prayers and I observed His marvellous works through the circumstances around me. All these are parts of investing in a relationship with God.

You can start with these principles and carve your path. A path that suits you. It’s a personal relationship after all.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?”

Mark 8:36

FINAL WORDS

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Investments will always come with risks. No pain, no gain, right? But there’s one key factor I have highlighted throughout this article:

Constantly seek Knowledge. Because Knowledge is the biggest insurance against risks.

Acquire knowledge in the fields of investments you plan to venture into. Watch and ask from seasoned Investors in that field. There will always be mistakes, so learn to use your experience to maximise success and reduce future failure. Learn to take smart risks.

So that’s it.

In sum, Invest in U.S Stocks, Mutual funds, and cryptocurrencies. More importantly, Invest in your dreams, people and your relationship with God. These are the best investments you can do right now.

Finally, remember investment is a marathon and could be boring at times. But it always pays off at the end.

Cheers to your continued success and creativity.

Paradoxes and Parodies II: How to Be on The Winning Side of Life

After publishing the post, “Paradoxes and Parodies of Life,” a friend reached out to me via WhatsApp and what happened afterwards was nothing short of incredible.

We discussed on some other interesting concepts of life and it was nice seeing her own perspective on life itself. That’s what I am going to share today.
With her permission, I decided to share our conversation in this post:

P.S: I had to transcribe her voicenotes to written form and most of the fillers (lol) have been removed for easy reading. The headings were inserted to maintain the theme of the post.
Nonetheless, Her conversation style, spontaneity and rush of emotions are still retained.
This dialogue is also on a first name basis. So I am Zamai, and my friend is Diana.

I hope you learn something too.
.
.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

THE CONVERSATION, CONNECTION AND YOU

Diana: Lovely Post Zamai, (Read previous post here)  Do you have some questions you are looking for? About life?

Zamai: You’re welcome. I think so. But I’m figuring them out as time goes on.

Diana: That’s beautiful. You wanna talk about them?

Zamai: Apart from the ones I wrote down. There is also the concept of intimacy and independence. It seems the stronger a person’s independence, the more his/her ability to build intimate relationships is also stronger. Any idea on this?

Zamai (continues): There is also religion and spirituality. The more organised the religion, the lesser the spirituality or close personal relationship with the deity in that religion. How come the rules or doctrines hinder spirituality?

INTIMACY, INDEPENDENCE AND YOU

Diana: Let’s talk about it then (smiley emoji)

Zamai: Alright..

Diana: I think that the stronger a person’s Independence, the stronger the person’s choices because that person is making all the choice and is responsible for all the outcome of that choice.

Diana (continues): If the person is disciplined, the process of learning discipline teaches that person how to preserve things that are important.

If that person considers relationships with people important (which naturally is important), he makes good choices towards how he treats people. He can defend his choice. Since he is independent, he filters other people’s judgement through discipline and some how makes a lot of good choice if not all.

When my family still had control over me, they’d tell me who to associate with, most times without reason and because they provide my daily bread, I wouldn’t care to fight.

But immediately I learnt how to provide my own daily bread, I automatically because independent. I learnt how to provide my daily bread with discipline. Now they don’t make choices for me, now they make suggestions and I decide.

Zamai: True. This part is relatable.

Diana: Now they are forced to even give me reasons to back their suggestion (laughter emoji). Cause now, it has to make sense to me first. I think that’s one angle which I understand it from.

Zamai: Yeah. Totally true. Okay. Magnificent. I understand this angle. So how has your independence affected your relationships in recent times? Especially the intimate ones.

Diana: Awesome!!! I am currently in a relationship with someone I want to spend my life with. I have even better relationship with my family. With people I meet after two seconds (laughter emojis).

I like people on the spot and somehow it magically boomerangs back to me and I’m almost constantly sharing values with people.

Zamai: Hehehe. Very valid points. So you have not had any situations where you battle within yourself whether to give up control (or something) to the other person even if you can do it yourself.

Diana: I actually base such decisions on love. And communication. I try to not make any decision myself as long as someone else is involved. So we talk about it.

I think that dealing with people requires sufficient communication. It has a way of making things clear and easy. When I communicate, I begin to see what that person considers important and what the person really want. Then we both reach a decision on how to go about it with compromises.

Diana (continues): The questions are;
What do I want?
What does this person what?
How do we achieve both?
Can I sacrifice what I want to make this person happy?
Lol. Like that. Most times I sacrifice because the person’s happiness is what is important to me.

I think that dealing with people requires sufficient communication. It has a way of making things clear and easy. When I communicate, I begin to see what that person considers important and what the person really want.

Diana

What do you think about this? What’s your ideology about it?

Zamai: This solutions here… This part is great. So for me, it’s about choices. And responses we give to them. Like you wrote earlier, independence breeds discipline. And this is really key in building good relationships. Especially on the aspects of controlling emotions.

This in turn affects intimacy. It sounds contradictory at the beginning. But gaining more control (independence) allows you share this control (intimacy) in a more efficient way.

Diana: Very true. Gaining control is very powerful. It’s also Important that we note that all of this should be love based.

Diana (continues): I think there are two directions on life. Love and hate. Good and bad. Faith and fear. Choosing love is like being on the winning team.

Zamai: What’s exactly the game we plan on winning? Life itself. Or the joys of life? Or the afterlife?

Diana: All. “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”. No limitations. Our human mindset always wants us to believe we can’t have it all. We can have all we want and our previous mindset has a deep root on fear.

I think there are two directions on life. Love and hate. Good and bad. Faith and fear. Choosing love is like being on the winning team.

Diana

RELIGION, RELATIONSHIP AND YOU

Diana: We can talk about this yeah?

Zamai: Yes. This is the second question.

Diana: Okay. I believe Religion takes us to God right? I personally believe Religion like every other system is faulty. It’s faulty because it gives you limits and makes you judge other people.

Diana (continues): I was very depressed last year. I actually thought of suicide a couple times. I was depressed cause I found no meaning for Life. I looked everywhere but saw flaws all around me. Things in church that had no way to define the Commandment Jesus left us with. “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself”.  I had a near death experience

And everything about my life changed. This is the fulfilling of life.
But this is one thing that most religion fail to address, except some like buddism. Lol

Religion these days actually do the exact opposite of what God is fighting for. Sadly.
They judge appearance, clothes, even before they get to meet the real person. The person on the Inside. The person that really matters.

Instead of love, religion now focuses on judgement. People now think their religion is better than other people’s religion. And judgement makes man far from God. Not because God is far, but because man feels God is far because of his sins.

God doesn’t care about so many things. He cares about who we are on the inside. That’s what he sees. I don’t know how to make my point whole.

Zamai, I found God.

Like I actually did. We talk. But I found him at my lowest point in life. I found him not anywhere else in the world but Inside myself. Inside my mind. Inside my heart. Inside my conscience. I found him when I was in my deepest sin

Diana (still continues): And from that day till today, not once has he judged me. His voice is still and He has so much love in all his ways.
He understands that Life is not easy and he wants to guide us. He made me drop all my sins one after the other at my own pace, revelation and understanding.

And guess what, those sins had nothing to do with my appearance or the songs I listen to or anything external. They had to do with anger, hate, greed and stuff.

Diana (pauses): Lol, did I even make any sense?. This has been the hardest thing for me to explain cause it’s not what can be seen.

Zamai: Yes. You totally did. The inner value system. The change was all about the changing the core. The real core.

Diana: Yes. Lemme explain something to you. And I pray with all my heart that God reveals what I have to explain to you. And that He grant you unlimited access to divine understanding. Amen.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

WORDS, WORLDS AND YOU

Diana: Words are powerful. Words. Look around the word, We humans are the only creatures that can generate worlds.

Zamai: Amen. I’m still here.

Diana: We constantly generate words in our heads. No animal can do that. That’s the major difference between us and animals. Our minds is always speaking. Non-ending. Even when our body sleeps, our subconscious doesn’t. That ability to mentally generate words is what makes us equal. The blind, the dumb, the weak, the deaf…. All of us can think.

This is the Dominion that God gave us. Words. Look around you. Books. Songs. Movies. Anything. All words. Where do these words keep coming from in our heads, we don’t know. But they don’t stop coming

Are you with me? You want to create an invention, you put words together, you call other people, they put words together… Boom!!! We have a new app.

This is the Dominion that God gave us. Words. Look around you. Books. Songs. Movies. Anything. All words.

Diana

Zamai: Yes. I’m still with you. Epiphany right here.

Diana: Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden with just words and the clothes God made for them. And look at life today. Words have managed to evolve civilization, and created the world that we live in today. When God created Adam in his image and likeness, He created him in image as in structure. But in likeness, he breath himself into Adam.

Diana (continues): And who is he? He is God. What does God mean? God means “I am”. “I am” is who I am at every moment. I am is the word that keeps coming in our minds. Continously. Every single second, dozens of “I am” (words) are being generated all over the planet.
“The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life”.
“In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God”.
“Let there be light….

Diana (continues): Words. Now, Adam was in the garden and he had words. But he only had positive understanding of words. Only had love. Only knew Good. So whatever he said, he said it out of love. His words were sufficient. He still had all the vocabulary of words. He had sex, he had fuck probably. He had all words. But he only understood words through the eyes of love and good.

So everything he spoke was good because his intentions were good. There was no bad because there was absence of bad understanding. And then he ate the fruit from the knowledge of Good and Evil.

And now there’s a problem. Because now all the words are still the same but now they are not automatically good intentions. Now he has to choose an intention for every single generation of word. And that was the fall of man

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels

Zamai: Because of bad usage of his words..?

THE BEGINNING, THE END AND YOU

Diana (transcribed from voice note): If you notice, Adam was not restricted to eat from the tree of life, or the tree of understanding. He was not restricted from that. He was only told, “Don’t eat from the tree of Good and Evil.” If he had eaten from the tree of life, he would have been born again, just the way Jesus Christ wants us to be born again, where we gain understanding of life.

So he would have understood that God is good and He had to always choose Good just as God always chooses Good. Because He (God) is good. He is love. He would have understood that but Adam did not eat from the Tree of Life; he did not eat from the Tree of Understanding which would have helped him.

Now there is a problem. There is Good and Bad but there is no understanding of what good is and of what bad is. And there is no understanding of how to use the intentions or how to use love to measure good and bad. And that’s the problem. From Adam till Jesus. That’s being a big problem

Diana (sends the second voice note): Because now Man understands, he now has understanding of good and bad. Man now has mixture of darkness and light. Good and Bad.

There is no understanding of how to use the intentions or how to use love to measure good and bad. And that’s the problem.

Diana

Now he has to make a choice. To be good or bad. You get? And darkness cannot exist where there is light. That’s why he could not stay in Garden of Eden. Not because God didn’t want him to say, but because it was no longer possible to stay.

Imagine, when God came back, and he (Adam) said, I cannot come out because I am naked. He was no longer free with God. Now he has the choice to make. There is now ‘bad’ in the dictionary. There is now darkness because this knowledge brought darkness. Adam could no longer be around God because there is light, darkness cannot comprehend it. Darkness cannot stay there.

It’s not as if God didn’t say, don’t come. That darkness in Adam simply could not be around Him, so God had to send him out. Yet God gave Adam clothes, because God still loved him.

Diana (sends the last voice note): And God kept trying. God doesn’t come down as a human being to try stuff. God comes through humans. God comes through our minds. He speaks through us. God does not magically appear on Earth. This is because the world cannot comprehend him. The world will not be able to stand his presence.

That’s why we cannot see God.

Because of knowledge. That sin. That darkness would not be able to withstand the presence of light, so God kept talking through different people. He used different generations and their beliefs to crave understanding. For instance, God used Moses to appeal to the beliefs of Israelites. That’s how he kept going and going. Until God had to come by Himself.

And God kept trying. God doesn’t come down as a human being to try stuff. God comes through humans. God comes through our minds. He speaks through us.

Diana

The Bible says, “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among men.” God had to come. God the son. He had come in the flesh as the Word. So Jesus Christ is the Word of God. Jesus Christ is good. He is love. That’s why He is perfect. That’s it.

So if you really look at it, sin is knowledge. Before I accepted this ideology,  I had a lot of fights. A lot of war. I was scared because what I was understanding was not out in this world.

I kept hearing, “Don’t be scared,” and immediately I heard that, I knew that was God. I knew He would not want me to be scared. I really do hope that….

Zamai: It’s obvious you now have the answers to Life itself. This part right here (a reply to the second voice note). It clears all doubts.

Diana: Lol, And He wants you to have it too. He knows you had been searching. To all who ask and seek, answers are given.

Zamai: I am still searching. I’ve always been searching.

Diana: I believe He comes to us differently.

Diana: Before you search, ask him to give you answers. That simple act of asking makes all the difference. Because on our own, life is so embedded in a whole lot of stuff that it could drive us nuts.

Zamai: Yeah. The complexity of every day Life has made us forget the simple stuff.

Diana: Exactly!

Zamai: This is probably my last question. For now.

THE PACT, THE PATH AND YOU

So what’s the way forward? How do we maintain this relationship with God?

Diana: Listen. Learn to listen to your heart speak. Then love. Love is the greatest force. The simplest journey is to start by loving people as much as you love yourself. From there, you’d see a lot of magic.

God will begin to take you through steps, trials and He’d reward your love with eternal life.

Immortality starts from here (inserts angelic emoji)

The simplest journey is to start by loving people as much as you love yourself. From there, you’d see a lot of magic.

Diana

The Paradoxes and Parodies of Life: How They Celebrate and Mess With You

Is all this living really worth dying for?

Photo Credits – Pixabay (Pexels)

As a millennial trying to live life to the fullest or seeking your inner potential; this question might have crossed your mind in one form or the other.

There are so many theories, philosophies and principles on how to live a happy, successful and content life.

For instance, here are the most baffling concepts of life:

GOD, UNIVERSE AND YOU

When you were young, Religion made it easier to acknowledge the fact that God gave his only begotten son to die for your sins; but as time comes and knowledge creeps in, you wonder if God created millions of stars, planets, and galaxies just to have a personal relationship with you.

Photo credits – Snapwire (Pexels)

Does this statement strengthen or weaken your belief system?

One minute, you’re taught to be powerful and beckon on the power of the Universe to help you. The other minute, you are confused, bewildered and pondering on how in reality, you are just an insignificant speck in a planet amongst millions of other planets locked in galaxies.

TODAY, TOMORROW AND YOU

Make Today count. Live life to the fullest. Sorry about Today’s troubles because Tomorrow will take care of itself. But the next day, you are asked to have self-control. Sacrifice Today to enjoy tomorrow’s rewards. Invest in Today to reap tomorrow. It’s absurd.

Or is it about gratification?

Delay instant gratification to enjoy future benefits but the world revolves so fast you might not have the time to look up and see those beautiful moments.

KNOWLEDGE, IGNORANCE AND YOU

Then when you try to find out for yourself, the confusion simply expands. The more you seek, the more you find. The more you get clarity, the more you get confusion.

Photo credits – Matheus Viana (Pexels)

The famous philosopher Socrates once said, ” A man who admits he knows nothing knows something himself.”

This then leads to the path of ignorance. There’s a popular adage that says “Ignorance is bliss”. Does this mean you stay ignorant and enjoy the bliss that comes with it.

But life is not fair. Because Success is also part of this unbalanced equation.

SUCCESS, FAILURE AND YOU

Now, let’s take a look at Success itself. Have you realised anytime you remember your past successes, it’s the struggles that play out in your head first. When someone asks you about your triumphs, you start by narrating the trials and troubles you passed through to triumph.

All of a sudden, you will realise Success is not a final destination. Success can become failure over time when laziness and sluggishness take over. Because Success is simply overcoming failure at that particular time.

This brings us to the final complexity of life. The topic young people are always scared of talking about.

LIFE, DEATH AND YOU

You only know if you’ve lived a good life when death comes. Because it’s Death that gives life meaning. The shadow of death gives life its potential for meaning.

For instance, Eternity (infinite time) only makes sense and rewarding because we’re given a short time and brief lifespan here on Earth. Immortality becomes an ultimate goal only after we realise how fleeting and fragile life can be as mortals.

Now.. The Big Question Is…

WHAT IS THE KEY TO LIVING A SUCCESSFUL LIFE?

When you meet your elders, they tell you the same thing:

BALANCE. They would say Life is Balance. Good overcomes Bad in the long run. Obey the Ying Yang philosophy. Obey the law of Karma which says you reap where you sow.

However, here is the truth. The saying of the elders obviously does not work every time.

Because Life is not a Balance. It’s a PARADOX.

Photo credits – Matheus Viana (Pexels)

REAL LIFE AND YOU

Life was made tangible by an intangible force. Reality is first brought to life by Faith. Physical bodies moved by souls and spirits. Complex physical actions performed by simple disembodied thoughts.

Logic clearly does not work here. Because everything you relate to life revolves around contradictory yet interrelated elements. And these elements exist simultaneously and persist over time. Because the paradoxes of life make existence a parody on its own.

CROWNS, CHOICES AND YOU

So here’s what I believe:

You have to choose a side. You’re either yin or yang. There is no in-between. There is no fence to sit upon as you live through life because the fence is the most dangerous place to stay while living.

As you get close till the end of this post, I hope you already know there is no single formula to living a happy, content and successful life.

Personally,

I believe in God. Because he framed this world with his words.
I believe in Faith. Because without this virtue, it’s impossible to please God.
I believe in Tomorrow. Because God has taken care of me today.
I believe in Knowledge. Because it sharpens my core values of curiousity and creativity.

So here is the answer to the question at the beginning of this post:

“Is all this living worth dying for?”

Yes, it is. As long as you hold your beliefs, values and attitudes firmly.

Now is your time to answer.

What do you believe?