By Kenneth Doghudje
Billionaires love to play. The moguls and titans who grace Nigeria’s rich list are avid players who play to win. One major difference between this select group and the majority of us is where they choose to play. Now I am not talking about the Polo clubs, Race tracks, Boat Clubs or Golf Courses. Rather where do they play to win big financially?
My in-depth study of the lives of Nigeria’s super rich led me to discover one thing they all have in common that has led them to amass stupendous fortunes in Nigeria, a country where over 65 percent live on less than a dollar a day. I have aptly christened it the Billionaires Playground. People who understand the workings and operations of this playground will also amass stupendous fortunes. This playground is the Stock Market.
There is no one in the Billionaires Club who is not tied to promoting one company or the other in this playground. All over the world, the rich either build companies and float them on the stock exchange or go on to buy a majority stake in already floated companies shares and build them into profitable enterprises and thus create value for all stakeholders.
Consider Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga and their likes in Nigeria. In America, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and The Walton family. Not one of these huge fortunes could have been amassed without the Stock Market. Today’s net worth is not measured by the money one has in the bank, rather it is measured by the value of one’s stock holding and portfolio in publicly quoted companies.
The stock market is an instrument of a country’s capital market. Basically it is a place where the people trade part ownership in top organisations in many sectors of the economy. People purchase parts of these companies and if the companies make a profit the shareholders are entitled to a portion amongst other benefits. Trading is done by stockbrokers and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Trading is done using market information and analysis.
Several years ago in Nigeria, due to weak regulatory controls the Stock market crashed and the values of many people’s portfolios plummeted. Many people lost their fortunes literally overnight because they put all their eggs in the stock market basket for the short term and followed the bandwagon because they saw others doing it. People did not understand the markets which was a recipe for disaster.
However the Nigerian Stock Market was not the first stock market to crash. Even the American Stock Market crashed which led to the Great depression in 1919 and later bounced back. Most Nigerians however have become very skeptical of the markets due to past experiences and the get-rich quick syndrome.
Stocks and the stock market are a sure route to stupendous wealth if you just take the time to study how the market operates. You study trends, identify opportunities and invest. It is an excellent investment vehicle for all comers – from the young executive seeking an additional income stream to the highflyer seeking a fortune. Examples abound of those who built their organizations from scratch and floated it on the Stock Exchange, a good example of which are the New Generation Banks and companies like Dangote Cement, Oando Plc. Others such as Conoil and Forte Oil were already in existence and got acquired which contributed to the major growth of their purchasers’ net worth.
Start today to begin to apply yourself to a full and thorough understanding of how the market operates. Read and consult widely and start to play with the little funds you have set aside for investment purposes. Acquire an investment mindset and incorporate an investment strategy. Leverage and take advantage of opportunities and you can soon be on your way to stupendous wealth and fortune. It is still very possible in Nigeria!
Kenneth Doghudje is on linkedIn