The One Thing You Must Consider With Mutual Fund

Let’s start with the basics. What is a Mutual Fund?
A mutual fund is a type of financial vehicle made up of a pool of money collected from many investors to invest in
stocks, bonds, money market instruments, and other assets. These funds are managed by professional money managers, and these organizations abound in the country.

This Veggie Display Accurately Depicts Mutual Fund.

If you are a low income earner, your safest bet in terms of investing is mutual fund. At the end of the month when your salary hits your bank account, it might be the current norm that you are participating in a casual form of ‘Esusu’ or in today’s parlance, ‘Co-operative’ with a group of friends or colleagues. The advantage of participating in a ‘Co-operative’, is the opportunity it affords to raise moderate to large sum of money, if you are investing for the future.

Assuming you have N5,000 – N10,000 monthly to allocate for investment, I will highly recommend you set aside this sum and invest in a mutual fund over a long period of time. You might want to ask ‘When can I withdraw from a mutual fund?’ As soon as your monthly income is doubled or tripled, you can withdraw your invested sum and start allocating it to any money market instruments you select.

How To Tame An Indian Dragon.

Ignore the Gringo on the table. This is not about him!

Working in an office with expatriates from different nationalities is an insightful experience. It can be hilarious and harrowing, as you navigate personal bias, prejudice against each others’ norm and idiosyncrasies. However, nothing prepares you for working with Indians till you experience it.

So, what’s it like working with Indians? Please note that this is not an Indian bashing exercise, rather its’ a summary of my work experience with Indians. For more than a decade, there has been a gradual invasion of Indians, across the African continent. Taking Lagos as an example, there are exclusive Indian communities, schools and groceries dedicated to serving this ethnic populace.

Indians are highly religious and in an office, you might find replicas of small shrines dedicated to the varied god/goddesses, they worship. However, if religious piety was a major factor in their behavior and attitudes, within the workplace, it’d be astonishing. The Indian populace is largely influenced by a pervasive caste system and this is reflected in the Nigerian workplace, where they think “we are superior to the locals” and “they should serve us in every capacity”.

The second job I had was my first encounter with Indians. Previously I had worked extensively with Britons, Americans, Hungarians and found them to be pleasant without aggravating the locals. When I resumed at this new job, though it was a multinational firm, most of my colleagues were from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Within 2 months of resumption and direct observations, I discovered something appalling. My Indian colleagues were all about double – speak, ass lickers, and always willing to throw you under the bus, if you allowed it.

How did I plow through this toxic situation? I will be exploring this in subsequent posts.

Why You Should Avoid A Black Guardarropa

Take a cursory glance when you walk into a office, perusing what the female employees are wearing and the color ‘Black’ , is a predominant color. Sometimes I think the official color for most Naija women is black.

My first job was at a leading financial institution. The official colors were black and dark navy blue. Gosh! How depressing it was back then. I remember thinking, there is no way I am going to be stuck up in a black or navy blue suit all day, traipsing the streets of Lagos without a personal car. The heat and humidity out there will suck the energy out of me.

My female boss who was light years ahead of her time, gave me the leeway to dress whichever way I please, so long as it was not vulgar, tight or transparent. I stuck to the bright end of the rainbow spectrum. Till date, I do not own a black handbag. While I own 2 pairs of black shoes, my shoe collection consists of orange, green, blue, pink, red, nude etc. No dull colors for me. Along the lines, female colleagues handed over cash so I could procure the same clothes for them. When the principal manager of the branch, felt my influence was rather pervasive, she approached my boss to complain and was told to ‘back off’.

One of the few things you can do, to aid your career growth in the workplace is to ditch a black wardrobe especially if you work in an office, filled with expatriates. The colors black, brown, navy blue completely washes you out. Keep in mind that your skin color is not a major consideration, by western manufacturers, when making these clothes. I am always at a loss anytime I am on vacation overseas, and see people of African descent, adorning black. Girl! YOU ARE INVISIBLE….No one and I mean no one sees you especially people of other skin colors.

This is the practical truth. The next time you are in a video conferencing call, seated in a room of expats which can range from Caucasian to Asians, take a cursory glance on the screen and see if you are visible or not. If you are wearing the colors mentioned above, chances are high that you are washed out on the screen. Let me give you a visual aid. Your hair color is black, your skin color is brown or a darker tone, you love the colors black, brown and navy blue. You need to put an end to this debilitating habit, as it makes you invisible along the corridors of power.

When a Caucasian or Asian wear black, you can interpret the fleeting emotions on their face. You on the other hand, have simply boxed yourself into a corner, as no one can interpret the emotions on your face, as you are completely washed out. The same thing occurs for Caucasians, when they adorn white and bold colors. These colors wash out their pale white skin.

Instead, adorn yourself in bold, bright colors. In the workplace, you must make it a habit of registering your presence in the minds of your expat colleagues, when you walk into any room. Bold, bright colors accentuate your skin tone and in a room filled with expats, no one will ignore you. Your opinions will be sought for. Just make sure you own your end of the intelligence angle. Trust me, you will always be remembered as the lady who leaves an impression with her color choices.

Remember, no se permiten flores de pared aquí….which means, “No Wallflowers Allowed Here”. For the month of March, I am offering great savings in your cart when you purchase here.

Glossary:

Guardarropa – wardrobe

Enough OR Not Enough?

What’s Your Financial Shield?

If you are going to live the life you desire, on your own terms, without conforming to societal norms and expectations, ‘Financial Freedom’, is the main key. Now when I speak about financial freedom, its’ not all about having excess money, you’re not sure how to spend it all.

No, this is not the picture I want you to have in mind. Financial freedom will save you from making terrible, hurtful decisions. It will save you from terrible bosses, toxic workplace culture, abusive relationships where its’ mandatory to lose your individuality, so a little of your true self can survive. And in situations where you end up making terrible decisions, financial freedom will step in, to aid you in redeeming the situation. Irrespective of wherever you reside globally, this principle is a universal one.

Seeking Life Adventures

How do you determine when it is enough and you can bow out of the corporate or whichever race you are on? It is relative to each individual. Assuming you want your kids to pursue higher education in a foreign land, you want to explore the world while retired or simply want to live out your days in relative splendor. If your current monthly expense range within N50,000 – N100,000 monthly, and passive income you are currently earning is within this range, will you consider this enough?

Some might while others’ won’t. My personal yardstick is once 20-30% of annual passive income earned, can take care of your daily needs, then you have passed the yardstick. Please pat yourself on the back and take out time to evaluate goals you have set for yourself this year. Financial freedom is around the corner.

Jefe Egoista

How do you deal with a boss who’s egoistical and tends towards narcissism sometimes? NOTHING! You heard me right…absolutely NOTHING. Stop agreeing with every damn stupid word that spouts up from his/her mouth. Rather learn to rein him/her in and if s/he declines, darling step aside, and let him run into the marketplace amok like a raging bull.

Honestly, your days and nights will be much peaceful, since the only thing you will be bothered about is cleaning a bit of the mess he’s left behind. Majority of the mess he’s caused will be cleaned up by none other than ‘El Hombre/La Mujere’.

As part of the lead management team in the SSA region, I report directly to a boss overseeing SSA. While he’s a creative person, sometimes he lets his ego get the best of him and decides to do stuffs that are not aligned internally. Last year, we had developed a creative campaign for a leading brand. When the first cut was presented to the board, there were some elements that were added (talk about too many cooks spoiling the broth). I had raised my objections and given clear cut reasons on why these suggested elements, should not be added to the overall creative.

I am always pissed off when foreigners think they have a secret insight into local life. Disculpe Senor, you know jack shit. When did you arrive and what has been the duration of your stay in the country/continent to think you have an idea of local idioms, cultures and norms in developing a campaign? Suffice to say, the campaign bombed and talk about a major backlash from TG. Consumers were so loud that our North American office had to step in to resolve the ongoing madness.

I cleaned up social media and the next morning, my boss called me in. By this time, he had been chastened and made to see the error of his way. I knew there was a narcissistic storm on the way when he said “Jan, you realize this campaign was developed with a lot of love for the local custom and culture.”

“You know I have always depended on you to set me straight, when i veer off the beaten path”. In my thoughts, I am thinking “hey el hombre, take a dip in the water. I reined you in once or twice and you wouldn’t listen. Be bold enough to face the storm”. Stop this emotional blackmail B.S. It does not work on me. Cut me some slack on the sob story.

I sat in his office pretty as you please, while we evaluated where he went wrong, how we can salvage the situation and come out stronger on the other end of the rainbow. By the end of the day, we had a solution for the national disaster he had created.

Wheew! All in a day’s work.

Glossary:

SSA – Sub Saharan Region

TG – Target Audience

El Hombre – The man

Disculpe – Excuse me/Pardon

La Mujere – The woman

Senor/Senora – Sir/Ma’am

Jefe Egoista – Egoistic Boss

Cliquey

lady boss taking charge at work avoiding cliques.
Don’t You Just Love That Plaque? I OWN This Every Single Day!

Clique

nnoun: clique; plural noun: cliques

  1. a small close-knit group of people who do not readily allow others to join them.”his flat became a haven for a clique of young men of similar tastes”synonyms:coterie, circle, inner circle, crowd, in-crowd, set, group

The one thing I have avoided over the course of my career within the workplace is ‘Cliques’. No matter the form or shape it announces itself in, I stick up my middle finger in its’ face, and own the spot I occupy. This dark form of nepotism, destroys the soul and culture within the workplace. I do not think highly of people who belong to ‘Cliques’ as it tells me you have subjugated your individuality for the common individuality of a group.

How boring and utterly stupid? Thinking from a common point of view gets you nowhere on the career ladder. You must learn to stand alone and own your thoughts, irrespective of whether you’ve got supporters or not. Don’t imagine this exists within Naija alone. No! Its’ a global affliction and I have seen this operate everywhere, while working in Dubai and other places.

Belonging to a clique will dumb you down and take you along a narcissistic path, where you will lose all forms of creativity and wit to aid you in your career. That is, if you eventually end up having a meaningful one without spending your days, licking asses up and down (this is the bane of most Nigerian men in the workplace. So timid and always agreeing with every dumb ideas or words, that comes out of their bosses mouth, without taking a moment to think and reflect). It pisses me off completely. Miss me with the B.S.

Rather, choose to be different. Yeah, you might be hated, called weird names, hey sugar, deal with it. How have i dealt with this negative phenomenon?

In my unit, we ain’t got time for ‘Cliques’. Once I notice there is a cliquey thingy going on, I break it up immediately by assigning each person an onerous, individual task that takes a month to deliver. It works like a charm. Since they are so busy with meeting deadlines, each day is filled with heavy grunts and lots of silent thinking.

I love that especially when your unit has been noticed as the only unit, where employees do not dwadle or gossip, you know you are building the right culture.

What’s Next?

We are open signage

I have been thinking of closing this blog down since life and other stuffs have finally caught up with me. I thought I would rather transition this blog to a podcast. After thinking about it, I thought to myself, “Jan, why don’t you do a pivot with this blog, by sharing some of the steps you have taken in the corporate world to get to where you are today?

Yeap, you guessed right, I will be using this year to share my nuggets of wisdom on navigating the corporate ladder. Note of warning: my approach is quite brutal and mafioso. I am not a wallflower when it comes to the workplace and I always take no prisoners alive.

So if you are not comfortable with being hated, gossiped about in the workplace, feared and respected for the values you bring into the workplace, then this might not be for you. However, if you are comfortable with being hated, and can use that negative emotion to propel you on the career ladder, you are welcome on this ride, however nerve wracking it might be.

I will share how I have orchestrated my career working with expats and locals. If you’ve got organizational challenges in your current workplace, shoot me a email (your current employer/organization should be denoted “All Way na Way”). I will try to point you to a conclusive option. The actual work lies with you.

Welcome once more!