Sock Bun Tutorial

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Internet connectivity has been down for the past few days and its a pure delight to be back. I’ve been indulging myself on Pinterest for the past few hours on several hairstyles (protective) I’m itching to try out once I’m done with touch up. This is one of them…loved the massive buns.

Simply gorgeous.

The Wealth Myth

Over the past one decade, our attitudes and cultural beliefs about wealth has undergone a dramatic change. We have gone from people who’re proponents of hard work being the backbone of wealth to sudden riches overnight. These elusive lifestyle also comes with glamorous images of flamboyance. Today I’ll be discussing the false myths surrounding wealth.

    • Life for the rich is a big party everyday: escapism from life’s’ daily worries does not exclude the rich. Irrespective of the economic divide we belong to as individuals, we all have our fair share of troubles and have to wade through them. If you read through the bio of accomplished men and women, a unifying factor is the hard times they waded through in reaching their goals.
    • Once I hit the jackpot, I can buy anything I want: this is the biggest fallacy amongst the lot I’ve discovered. The rich don’t buy anything and everything, they carefully plan their purchases. Assuming you want to buy a car or build a house, you just don’t wake up one day and start. No! It all begins with the first seed and consistent savings.
    • Whether you like it or not, hard work is the sure path to building wealth. Disregard all the music videos and movies that promotes easy wealth, popping champagne and throwing endless parties. Life does not pan out that way. Four years ago, i had taken the decision to buy a new car but guess what, I didn’t have the liquid cash to buy one even though I could have converted my stock holdings to do this. I felt it was not necessary and took a decision to save for the kind of car I wanted and could afford. I didn’t make that purchase till late last year when I knew I had the cash to make a one-time purchase. The key lesson here; plan, plan and work assiduously to achieve your goals.
    • My current paycheck can’t take me far: hey wake up!!! The BRT lane was not built in a single day. No, No, No!!! When I started working, my monthly paycheck was average even though I had friends who earned thrice the amount I earned but that’s the beauty of ageing.

As you go along your career path, opportunities will come along that’ll increase your earning power. Remember the popular adage ‘little drops of water make a mighty ocean’. Start small and you’ll end big.

Financial Advice for Women

I have not written specifically about financial matters for some time now. I have been trying to discover other forms of investment since the CBN slashed fixed deposit rates. While watching T.V last month, I came across the advert regarding “Federal Government Bond” and how possible it is for an individual investor to participate.

I decided to find out more but it took me about four weeks to locate the website responsible for disseminating information.

What is a bond?

A bond is a loan and the investor or holder of the bond is the lender. When you purchase a bond, you are lending money to a government, local government council, state government, federal agency or a corporation, known as the issuer. The government uses it to fund budget deficit, for instance, or to build roads, electric power stations, finance factories, etc. When you purchase a bond, in return the issuer promises to pay you a specified rate of interest during the life of the bond and to repay the face value of the bond (the principal) when it ‘matures’.

What is FGN Bonds?

FGN Bonds are debt securities (liabilities) of the Federal Government of Nigeria issued under the authority of DMO and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The FGN has an obligation to pay the bondholder the principal and agreed interest as they fall due. When you buy FGN bonds you are lending to the federal government for a specified period of time. The FGN bond is considered as the safest of all investments in domestic currency securities market because it is backed by the ‘full faith and credit’ of the government. They have no default risk, meaning that it is virtually certain your interest and principal will be paid as and when due. The income you earn is exempt from state and local taxes.

The Government Issues Bonds for the following reasons

  • To finance government deficits in a non-inflationary and sustainable manner
  • To enhance fiscal discipline and for the management of monetary policies
  • To restructure the existing debt stock of short term debt to longer term obligations
  • To establish a benchmark yield curve, which acts as a reference for pricing other bonds issued by other bodies
  • To develop the domestic bond market on a sustainable basis
  • To enhance and deepen the savings and investment opportunities.

Expatiate on Special Purpose FGN Bonds

Special Purpose FGN bonds are bonds issued to meet specific needs of the federal government. For instance, following the approval of Mr. President, special purpose bonds were issued to selected banks for settlement of N75 billion pension arrears in 2006.  Five deposit money banks participated in the private placement arrangement. In addition, in 2006 FGN floated bonds for the payment of debt owed to local contractors worth N91.7 billion. Recently, FGN indicated interest to raise funds through bonds for funding specific projects such as Methanol plant, revival of textile industry, terminal wages of workers, building of infrastructural facilities, etc.

Nature of FGN bonds

  • Denomination: minimum subscription of N10,000.00 + multiple of N1,000.00 thereafter
  • Yield: – Interest payment
    • Fixed interest rates: Most FGN bonds have fixed interest rates which are paid semi-annually:
    • Floating interest rates: Some FGN bonds (e.g. 3rd & 4TH tranches of the 1st FGN bonds) have floating rates of interest which fluctuates around a reference rate(NTB rates) on the basis of specified parameters
    • There are also zero-coupon bonds(not yet in issue in Nigeria) whereby both interest and principal are repaid at the final maturity date of the bond
  • Tenor: Minimum of two (2) years. There are bonds with maturities of 3. 5, 7 and 10 years, in issue and for the future we may have bonds with maturities of 15, 20,30 years or more
  • Default Risk: FGN bonds as a sovereign debt are the safest investment instrument. Default risk is nil. The Government always pays what is due to subscribers on the agreed date.

How do I invest in FGN Bonds?

1. Application forms can be obtained from any of the authorized dealers(PDMMs), or download from the DMO’s website

2. Complete the application forms and submit through any of the PDMMs

3. Common- price auction system is normally employed as opposed to multiple price auctions

4. Payments for the allotment are payable in full on application

5. Minimum of N10,000.00 and multiple of N1,000 thereafter

6. Investors can also access the FGN bonds after the auction through the secondary market

7. FGN bonds purchase is confirmed by registration in the depository (CSCS) or by issue of certificates

8. Interest is paid semi-annually until the maturity date when the principal amount is repaid

9. Payment of interest is through issue of interest warrant(cheque) or direct transfer to current or savings bank accounts

10. Bondholders who do not want to hold the bonds until maturity date can sell them at any time on the floors of Nigerian Stock Exchange or Over the Counter (OTC), through, any of the PDMMs

Why should I invest in these Bonds?

  • Retirement
  • Starting or expanding a business
  • Settlement after apprenticeship
  • Pay children school fees in future(e.g for University education)
  • Building a house
  • Future projects by town unions, associations, student union
  • To fund future social events such as Marriages and weddings, etc
  • Settlement of pension insurance obligation( for Corporate Fund Managers), etc
  • For further information, you can visit the ‘Debt Management Office‘ through this link.

    New Lessons

    What do you do when you suddenly realise you’ve got competition? How do you respond to such threat without making some costly mistakes? How do you know that your strategies for building brand loyalty amongst your target audience is the right one in the face of competition? This is where we are right now and I can tell you the  answers are not easy. I am following my gut instincts by following what my intuition tells me me. This is much different from emotions. I don’t allow emotions to rule me when it comes to business. I simply do what has got to be done.

    The product has given its’ first hint of monumental success based on consumer reactions to it. Yes, we now have another competitive distributor but that has not taken my gaze off my goals and objectives. I have not come this far to give up. I am trudging head on. We’ve also advised the manufacturer to obtain Standard Organisation of Nigeria’s certfication. This will help in affirming the quality of the product and it gives us the right to sell this product within Nigeria.

     Apart from selling the brand through large retail chains or stores, I have also decided to engage the services of Direct Sales Agent who will be brand ambassadors and engage in one on one communication with our target audience. For our affiliate program, we have put in place an attractive sales commission for our agents. Based on our sales forecast, our agents will be making a minimum of N5,000 – N10,000 weekly. We intend to also offer more incentives as sales increase. For now, we’re taking it one step at a time.  Got to go peeps.

    Have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas.

    Investing in turbulent times

    Hey, don’t go thinking I know all the answers cos I don’t. I am actually trying to discover what everyone is investing in amidst the global financial crisis. I spoke with a friend of mine yesterday and she suggested real estate. My grouse with buying land in Nigeria is the issue of  “Omo o nile” and attendant dubious charges. I would rather buy a detached three bedroom bungalow, within the range of N5mn – N6mn (which is dependent on whether I can access mortgage facilties), located in Lagos. Since I don’t have such huge funds right now, I have to think of something else.

    For the past one month, I have been trying to scout for other alternative investment options (long-term), and someone had suggested ARM Investment. Please note that I did not include the link to the website. I’d rather not cos from my own point of view, either they are yet to engage the services of a social media strategist, or someone is simply not doing their job. I filled in the forms a month ago and I am yet to be contacted by a Wealth Advisor. What is the essence of setting up a website if there’s no one capable of attending to visitor’s enquiries. I also tried calling the numbers stated on the websites and unfortunately, none seems to be working.

    My question today is: If you have some funds sitting idle in your savings account, where would you invest it?