When inflation bites, Rise bites harder. On this episode of #MoneyRise, Joshua takes us through his investment journey on Rise and how he was able to achieve his wedding plans and other financial goals while navigating the rising cost of things. Read his story.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Joshua Adebanjo and I currently work as a business operations officer in a fintech company. Prior to that, I had worked at Jumia Nigeria as a customer service representative and telesales agent before taking a leap in my career. Aside from my 9-5, I’m also an entrepreneur, who sells fabrics (Senator materials)

What inspired your entrepreneurial journey?

I couldn’t get a job after I was done with my national service and didn’t know what to do, so I decided to start a business with the money I had saved up from service allowance. However, I kept applying for jobs at different places and finally got an interview with Jumia, Nigeria, which was successful.

That’s really interesting. What course did you study?

I studied economics education at Tai Solarin University of Education. But going into teaching was a no deal for me because I never wanted to teach. I wanted to rely more on my strengths, and although I knew I was going to work in an organisation, I was open to other opportunities as long as they were not teaching jobs.

Have you always been passionate about doing business or was it something borne out of unemployment?

Although I always wanted to work in a structured organisation, I knew during my service year that jobs were hard to come by. I decided to start saving a percentage of my service allowance towards my business from the first time we got paid. Shortly after, I found out that one of my colleagues in Kano had started a business. He’d waybill some materials from Kano to other parts of the country and I saw that it was a good and profitable business. I also realised it was something I could do, so I chatted him up and made some inquiries. I placed my first order exactly the day we had our POP, and that was how I started selling fabrics.

Barely a month after I started the business, I got a call from Jumia, went for the interview, and got selected out of the thousands of people who applied. I decided to just seize the opportunity to learn, kickstart my professional career journey, and build my portfolio. 

That’s really cool. How has the journey been in your professional career journey?

I would say it has been good. I’m thankful to Jumia Nigeria for the training and experience I got from working there. It’s really helped and is still helping me. My current workplace just recently diversified their offerings. It was strictly just coding, building applications and softwares for banks. But after the pandemic struck, they were all at home. Business was not moving as it ought to, so they decided to switch and build the team. I came in to help bring structure to the customer service department using the experience and knowledge I acquired as a customer service person at Jumia. Thankfully, there’s been a great change from that time till now. We’ve scaled and are now bigger than before. I’ll always be thankful to Jumia for the training and opportunity to learn. I’m not sure I would have made it far in my career if I didn’t work with them.

That’s so nice. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced so far, especially in your new job as a business operations officer?

Coming into a new place with no structure can be challenging. It is easier when you have a template or a script or set of instructions to follow. At Jumia, it was a different kind of setting— what we do and our offerings. It is also a different kind of setting here. Trying to adjust was a big deal when I joined. However, I was able to settle in after a while.

Another challenge was movement. My work is hybrid, so I have to leave my house to the Island some days, despite the amount of traffic. However, it has greatly improved and I have now attained a level of work-life balance. My company put things in place to ensure it. That way, I can even get enough done from the comfort of my room without having to go physically into the office and facing traffic all the time. 

Let’s talk about Rise; how long have you been using Rise?

I’ve been using Rise for about two and a half years now. I heard about the app from one of my friends who posted about five investment fintechs you could use in 2021, and Risevest was one of them. He also mentioned the advantages of investing with each of them, but the dollar investment caught my eyes. I downloaded the app, signed up but never got serious with it. I was just in the community group, trying to study and learn more about the company for about eight months.

Prior to that time, I was only saving but not investing due to the fear I had gotten from investing and losing money to MMM. I saved my money on a different platform, and at the end of 12 months, I saw the interest accrued was just 12k naira and knew right away that it wasn’t worth it. At that time, I was still a part of the Rise community and had not made my deposit. I waited for the money I had with the other savings platform to mature so I could withdraw and use it to fund my Rise account. By the time I was ready, I understood how Risevest worked through the comments on the community group. I also used to check the frequently asked questions (FAQ) and officially made my first deposit in 2022 after about eight months of being in the group. 

And how has the journey been?

My journey has been nothing short of amazing. I like the fact that investment can be this simple, earning passively without doing much. Rise does the bulk of the work, and all I need to do is regularly fund my investments. The group is an additional advantage, especially to new beginners who don’t know where to start. So yes, the journey has been smooth so far, and I have not had any challenge since I joined. I’m thankful for the opportunity to invest in dollars, because it was never really something accessible to the average Nigerian. If you’re using a traditional bank, you probably need $500 or even more to start, but on Rise, you can start with as little as a dollar. It may not get you anywhere, but at least, you have that avenue to start. Rise is doing a great job, and I’ve been taking the gospel all around.

From my wedding to getting my apartment and buying new gadgets, Rise has been a big part of my life. I have used the app to do a lot of things and I’m grateful for that.

Wedding? Tell us more about it.

Before I got married, I had always wanted my finances readily available, especially because I didn’t want to rely on people. I also had a set time in mind that I would like to settle down. So after I made my first deposit in 2022, I consistently topped up my investments at the end of the month towards that goal.

When the time came for my wedding, my plan matured and I initiated a withdrawal. I didn’t even need to withdraw everything in my plan because the exchange rate went up, and I also got help from a few people. Although inflation was high around the time I did my wedding, I wasn’t really bothered because I knew that my purchasing power was preserved on Rise. I knew that I could still go to the market and buy things I needed regardless of what happened. 

Would you say the exchange rate helped in making your goal easier to reach?

Yes, absolutely. The exchange rate worked in my favour. For example, one time when I needed to change my phone, the exchange rate went up and I withdrew some money from my account to buy a new phone. Same thing happened when I got my new apartment and even furnished it. All because I was saving in dollars. If my money had been in naira, I’d have needed more money to cover the cost of these things because inflation keeps biting and prices keep skyrocketing. My purchasing power was preserved, thanks to Rise.

We’re pleased to hear this. What would you say is your favourite thing about using Rise?

It’s hard to pick, so I’d say everything. I love everything, from the telegram group to the app’s interface. It’s a pretty easy app to navigate, even for new users. I also like that you don’t just start investing; the app asks you questions to determine your risk appetite to guide you through the right asset class to start with and even break down the process for you. The app is topnotch, the telegram group too. I like the knowledge being impacted by the CEO, Eke, Dotche, Martins and every other person on the platform. It is usually fun and educational since we have like-minded people who share ideas and opportunities with one another. Another important thing is the easy access to the team; you can reach out any time you have any issue or concern, and you’ll get a response or resolution immediately. You don’t usually get that with other companies. 

Now that your wedding is done, what does the next five or more years look like for you on Rise?

By then, I want to have met my investment goal of a certain amount which I cannot mention. I also want to have my retirement plan sorted out. I’m also hoping to have invested enough to get some things that I want. Basically, in five years, I want to be in a better place financially. I want to get to that point where I smile when my real estate returns come in because they are in 4 figures or even more. Oh, I also want to have invested towards my kids future using the Kids Plan on Rise. That’s non-negotiable for me.

We love to hear it! On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend Rise to people?

I’d say 9. Rise has earned my trust and my experience has been nothing short of amazing. I have recommended Rise to my sister and wife. And going by my records, I have referred about 19 other people. I usually write a short message on finance and investing, then add my referral link to the post. We even have a program this evening in our church’s youth group, where we will discuss the country’s economy, finance and investing, so I definitely will be pitching Rise to them.

Be like Joshua, too. Plan your future and invest towards your financial goals on Rise. Click here to start investing.