Welcome to another episode of Love & Returns — a Valentine-inspired series about love, life and money.

People say you know you’re in love when you always want to make life better for them. When you go the extra mile to make them happy. This is true for Chikezie, who surprised his wife, Nwamaka, with a car, using his investments on Rise.

In this episode of Love & Returns, they tell us about their beautiful marriage, how they navigate their finances, buying a car, and their plans for the future on Rise. Read their story here.

Tell us a little bit about yourselves

Chikezie: My name is Ibe Chikezie Raymond, and I live in Lagos. I’m a businessman and have been in business for over 13 years now.

Nwamaka: I’m Nwamaka Ibe, a prospective pharmacist. I’m currently a 300 level pharmacy student at the University of Lagos.

How long have you two been married?

Nwamaka: We’ve been married for 6yrs now, and it’s been an interesting journey because I‘m married to the man I love.

Chikezie: It’s just like she said; we’re really enjoying our marriage, not enduring it. And that is the most important thing about marriage— marrying someone that you love.

Do you manage your finances together as a couple?

Chikezie: I won’t really say we combine our finances together. We don’t have a joint bank account or shared investment. Instead, we independently manage our finances without feeling obligated to synchronise with each other, without pressure and it’s working for us. 

Nwamaka: He’s absolutely right. While we maintain financial independence, giving each other the space and freedom to do what pleases us with our money, he occasionally invests in my name. 

Aww, so sweet. Which of you is better with money?

Nwamaka: Sincerely, he manages money better than I do.

Chikezie: She is right. Before we got married, I had been investing, even in insurance companies. I believe in the practice of saving and investing, to the extent that we set aside a portion of any funds we receive before spending. I even introduced my wife to a savings technique called “pako savings” whereby we set aside money before spending. Though initially challenging for her, after 6-8 months, we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of money we had saved. I have always been committed to saving and feel that I manage our finances better than she does.

What are your thoughts on investing as a couple? 

Chikezie: Well, I think it all depends on the couple involved and how they want to go about it because investing can be a very critical aspect of some couple’s lives. For us, we think investing individually is a good way to go and it’s going well for us. However, some may not like the idea , and will want to do it jointly. 

Nwamaka: My husband is a chronic investor, and as a result, there may be instances where we hold varying views regarding investment decisions. We have therefore allowed ourselves the freedom to make individual financial decisions. As my husband mentioned, this approach has proven to be effective for us.

Love it! So how long have you been on Rise?

Chikezie: My experience with Risevest has been reminiscent of a Nigerian movie. I first learned of Risevest through MoneyAfrica, as I subscribe to their monthly newsletter. Upon discovering that Risevest was dollar-denominated, I became intrigued, despite my prior investments being in naira and Nigerian real estate. I believed that such an investment would provide me with hedging protection against naira depreciation. However, I initially had reservations and it took me a year to fully embrace the platform. During this time, I conducted extensive research and only invested a small amount of $10 as a test. I reasoned that even if I lost the money, it wouldn’t be a significant setback. After a year, I gained the confidence to invest more frequently, and I activated the auto-investment feature to ensure that I didn’t miss out. The experience has been excellent thus far, and both my spouse and I have benefited from it. My wife has always been supportive of my investment ideas, and we have both become avid Risevest investors. Our journey has been nothing short of amazing.

Nwamaka: We didn’t join at the same time. But like he said, I always trust his judgement, even though I sometimes get sceptical about some of these investment platforms. When he told me about Risevest, I trusted him and decided to give it a try. I think I also started with about $10, which was last December. So far, my experience with Risevest has been incredibly positive. I appreciate the platform’s low cost, ease of use, and access to a diverse range of assets in the global market. Additionally, the mobile app is user-friendly and the online support team has been quite helpful. Although I am still in the early stages of my investment journey with Risevest, I have found the experience to be interesting and rewarding.

How has Rise helped your finances as a couple?

Chikezie: Risevest has had a significant positive impact on our financial situation. Years ago, I promised my wife a car but was unable to fulfill the promise until I began investing with Risevest. By investing in Rise, I was able to conveniently and seamlessly accumulate the necessary funds to purchase the car. As a result, my wife is now the proud owner of a car, which would not have been possible without the help of Risevest.

What plans do you have on Rise?

Chikezie: I currently have a real estate plan. When I started, I had created three plans— the “Build Wealth plan”, “Real Estate plan” and “Fixed Income plan”. But I had to liquidate my fixed income plan to buy my wife a car. So I currently just have the “Real Estate and Build Wealth” plans. However, I have some goals for the real estate plan. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been on auto-investment, so I intend to use whatever annual returns I make from it to pay for my house rent here in Lagos.

Nwamaka: I currently have only a Real Estate plan. 

What are your favourite features on the app?

Nwamaka: I love the fact that it’s an automated platform; After depositing my funds, I can sit back and allow Risevest to handle the investing on my behalf. I find it satisfying to watch my investments grow without having to actively manage them. Additionally, I find the Risevest mobile app to be very user-friendly, which is another aspect that I appreciate.

Chikezie: I love that it makes saving money seamless and convenient. You can save at any time you want to and however you want to. You don’t need to constantly check your investments to know what is happening. Your returns will keep accumulating, and with time, you’ll see that your investments have grown so much.

What are you looking to achieve financially in the next five years on Rise?

Chikezie: Our financial goal is to attain independence, which we believe can be achieved through financial freedom. We understand that accumulating wealth is not only about how much income you earn, but also how much you are able to save. Investment is largely dependent on saving, and without the ability to save, investing becomes impossible. Therefore, our strategy is to continue investing in Risevest, with the aim of owning a home in Lagos and accomplishing other financial objectives within the next five years.

What do you think about marriage and love as an investment?

Nwamaka: Investing in a marriage is crucial as it can impact one’s future happiness. A personal example would be my own experience. Despite having already completed a bachelor’s and master’s degree, my husband, who was involved in the pharmaceutical business, encouraged me to pursue a degree in pharmacy. This was because he believed that having a basic understanding of the industry would benefit our business in the long run, given the stringent regulations that come with it. His encouragement motivated me to pursue this course of action even after obtaining a master’s degree. It is evident that my husband also made an investment in our marriage for our future success.

Chikezie: I totally agree with what my wife said.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start investing?

Chikezie: From my experience so far, my only regret with investing is that I didn’t start on time. So I encourage people to start early, no matter how much they earn. Find a way to save, so you can also start investing. Not making enough is never an excuse; you have to always put something aside. You can achieve it. I’m a living testimony. So I’d basically say to start on time and be patient because it takes time. Focus on the long-term, not the short-term. It’s very important. 

Nwamaka: Based on my personal experience using Risevest, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to begin investing in the global market. The app is both dependable and easily accessible. In fact, I have already begun referring people to the app. I believe Risevest is an excellent choice for individuals seeking to invest globally and would encourage others to consider using it as well.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to get married?

Chikezie: For individuals who desire to enter into matrimony, I strongly recommend that they prioritise self-discovery. It is no longer the era where women solely focus on being housewives. As a woman, it is crucial to possess a career or engage in some form of business. Furthermore, having qualities that any prospective partner would desire is equally essential. In my case, when I encountered my spouse, she possessed all the qualities that I sought, which spurred me on to marry her.

For men, if one lacks a sense of purpose, it is not advisable to consider marriage. Instead, it is recommended to find a job, start a business, or pursue any other meaningful venture that provides an income. It is fundamental to have a source of earnings to cater for one’s spouse. In the absence of financial stability, it is impossible to take care of a partner properly. If, for instance, I lacked financial resources, I would have been unable to provide for my beautiful wife.

Nwamaka: He has said it all. Self discovery is vital for both partners. It is essential to prepare emotionally, psychologically, financially, and in all other relevant aspects. It is not a one-sided affair as both parties must be ready. Hence, it is imperative to ensure that each partner has the necessary qualities and characteristics needed for a successful union. By doing so, they will be adequately equipped to handle the demands of a committed relationship. In summary, readiness for marriage is a joint responsibility that requires thorough preparation on all fronts.

In the spirit of women’s month whose theme is #EmbraceEquity, what are some of the things you think society can do to achieve equity for women?

Nwamaka: Part of it will be encouraging women to be financially independent. It’s very important. It’s not a cool thing for a woman to be totally dependent on the man for her financial needs. So we have to enlighten women to get their hands busy, and also encourage them to save as much as they can, from the little they make in order for them to achieve financial freedom, and to be able to assist their partners whenever the need arises. 

Chikezie: She’s said everything. Financial independence should be the goal and hallmark of society to ensure that women are encouraged to be independent and actively save and invest. Anybody can earn or make money; it’s no longer a man’s responsibility, women too can make money and bring something to the table. That should be a goal which we must all pursue to achieve gender equity in the society.

What do you want to say to your wife in this month of women?

Chikezie: Angel, you’re a wonderful person, my friend and my lover. We’ll do this journey together forever. God will see us through, and someday, when we are both old, we’ll look back and see how far we’ve made it together.