If you are reading this chances are this is not your first investment advice article.
Maybe you have read a number of them and practice the advice like a pill every day.Before I continue I have to let you know that I am the ambitious kind. I’m on my final year in campus and working insanely hard to be successful in life. I have read hundreds of “how to get rich quick”. I follow the advice religiously. I act like someone aiming for success. I dress like someone yearning for success; okay I’m a broke bastard who has two khaki trousers; a University of Nairobi branded white shirt and one of those cheap sweaters that you get from globe roundabout during rush hour but I figure you get my point. When I wake up in the morning I have a healthy breakfast (black coffee and mandazi) while reading Business Daily; can’t afford the damn newspaper so I visit the website for free business news. At least we can say I act the part.
A couple of days ago I was scrolling through Facebook when I stumbled upon a link that my elder brother had posted. As usual it had those clickbait headlines that bloggers love to us to get your attention.
It read “You don’t get wealthy by saving, you get wealthy by spending”.
My first reaction was thinking; the guy must be mad. Has he ever heard of Warren Buffett and his advice on how to get rich? You know all the crap about you save then spend the remainder rather that spend then save the remainder! So I opened the article and read on.
The guy talks about how no one gets rich by saving his/her money in the bank and how he uses his money and invests so as to make sure in the future he finds more to spend making him richer. It was a vicious cycle. In the end the article made some sense and it got me thinking about how I have been trying to save instead of investing that cash in something like real estate or oil drilling. When reality hit back I came to the realisation that I was so broke I couldn’t afford to spend let alone save. That’s when it hit me: Does these investment advice articles and tips really work?
Chris Kirubi, the billionaire magnate, is one of the coolest guys for a young, broke, ambitious students like me. If you follow him on social media, especially twitter, you get what I mean. Wake up in the morning and you find him posting “get rich quick” tips with a picture of himself sitting on a posh garden with a cigar. The guy got me searching for prices of cigars on OLX god damn it. I try to emulate him at times but lately I have come to realise a number of factors preventing Mr. CKs et al advice from working on me:
- You need to be making money in first place for this type of advice to be relevant on you. You can’t save or invest money which you don’t have.
- Your situation is always different that the other person. CK, Vimal Shah, Chandaria all have different narratives on how they got rich. So when you try to follow what someone did to the letter you will fail.
- Success is relative. How do you define success? Is it the money or the achievement? The definition of success differs among people. How we measure success differentiates us a lot.
I cannot say that there is no pattern in their narratives on how to get rich. A number of factors seems to cut across all the narratives I have come across.
- Hard work is a key component to being successful in life. I am sure someone told you this before but I will still say it again. When you want it bad enough then you can work for it hard enough.
- Persistence is also another factor I noted in the success stories. Whenever I hear of persistence the late Njenga Karume comes in mind (If you haven’t read his book what are you waiting for?) no one gets rich overnight (unless you are a sportpesa member then you can while the vice versa is also true).
- You have to know the tricks of the trade. Be informed the latest news and events. Be social, be active, be smart.
- Dumb luck. Here is my idea of how people get lucky in life. I think that luck comes around frequently bearing different gifts each time, like Santa except more spontaneous, the issue is knowing when to grab the lucky gift. When you grab it then the rest is up to you. How do you ensure you get the best out of luck; read through the three points above.
As you can understand I am still broke as hell. I can confidently say that the fruits of my ideology remain to be seen in the not so soon future. Probably after singularity. So I urge you not to take this advice but rather as a challenge to find your own and ideas.
I am responsible for what I say. I am not responsible for what you understand.
By Dennis Mugendi, Techie n Mobile App Developer (firstname.lastname@example.org)