I am beginning to strongly believe that, our generation would have no one to blame, should we suffer any financial anaemia or breakdown after our prime years as workers.
I am pretty sure that social media in particular has opened our eyes and ears to some devastating stories of a greater number of Ghanaian workers who have totally fallen down financially in their pension, hence has no choice than to beg for financial assistance from politicians who do so just to up their political game and some NGOs.
These thoughts keep flashing in my mind the whole day while sitting down in my usual reflective mood during the holiday. Now, the big question I ask is: Are we learning any lessons from these sad stories? If yes, what measures have we put or are we putting in place in order to avert this calamity befalling us in our 60s and beyond? On this day, I want us to focus our attention, ability and whole self in making sure our financial freedom is guaranteed even if we are out of active service.
To those who have already gotten the light and are making big strides towards their financial independence, we say ayekoo. But do not forget to always share your innovative ways with the rest of us who are yet to take concrete steps to establish a move towards same.
In the mean time, I may offer my little experience or knowledge I have gathered some years now, after ostensibly reading some online journals on investment and personal financial management and carefully following some astute financial and investment experts and institutions on their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels. I can say without mincing words that the little knowledge acquired for which I am trying so hard to live by has helped, is helping and will help my drive towards financial freedom. Let me just put them in a form of tips:
a. If your source of income is only dependent on salary, then you are just a step away from poverty. However, not all of us can set up business to rake in extra income, but all of us can apportion some significant percentage of our salary into an investment vehicle, ie mutual funds to yield interest on the capital. This is where the Teachers’ Fund investment comes in handy and as a must. Folks, the race is not for the faint hearted or doubters. Many people will say all kinds of disheartening statements about the Fund, but I urge you to ignore and treat as trash. Read, read and read about the operations of the Fund and you would be amazed how life transforming it has been for those who had faith and contributed to it. In fact, if by now you are still having doubt about Teachers’ Fund, hence feeling reluctant to join or contributing less than GH¢100.00 as a member, then I am afraid, you are losing a lot. Be bold and contribute at least GH¢100.00 to the fund to augment your SSNIT Funds in the future. That is why I resonate always with their slogan: “Saving today for a brighter tomorrow,”I
b. Spend wisely: Always bear in mind that no one is in a race with you as far as acquiring material things (which sometimes become liabilities) is concerned. Spend just on what you need and postpone spending on what you want. This will save you a lot of money for investment.
c. Borrow wisely: Thoroughly think through every venture you want to engage in, weigh the merits, demerits and possible high risks before making a move for loans to execute. You can become wealthier through borrowing and at the same time become miserable financially through same.
d. Invest wisely: Investment has become one such long term tool towards financial independence, but must be done with care. Deliberately avoid any scheme (ponzi) that will offer outrageous interest on your meager but handy capital. Log onto the website of Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and double check whether or not the investment company you want to invest with is truly licensed. Check their track records, number of years of operations etc, before you dish out your hard earned cash to them.
e. Finally, search and follow reliable investment and financial experts. Make time to listen to their teachings to get insights and motivations to do more to change the status quo. It is so important. I can confidently recommend Mr. Paul Kofi Mante of EDC Financial Holdings and Mr. Roland Ofori Larbi of Guinness Ghana. Get them on your YouTube search, click the follow button to always get tips from them.
I hope, I have not bored you that much. Let us all rise up to the occasion and take our financial freedom to a high level.
I thank you for your kind attention.
Credit: Akortia JohnBosco (Kwame JohnBosco Snr), A modern-day Mathematics Facilitator at Comboni Technical Institute, Sogakope.