For this episode of #MoneyRise User Story, we spoke to Oladele, a photographer and visual storyteller who started his investment journey after realising he was blowing away his university stipends.

When people ask you, “what do you do?” What do you tell them?

I’m a photographer and a visual storyteller. I currently also work for Corporate Studios, as their resident photographer.

What does financial wealth mean to you?

I would say being financially independent, being able to organize yourself and your finances. 

Tell me about how you started your investment journey.

I was in Unilag at that time, and then I realized that I was getting broke faster than necessary. I like to acknowledge my privilege, in the sense that my parents were giving me money at that time and I was working a side gig as a photographer as well. So there was a substantial amount of money coming in, but then, I was spending it frivolously. And I realised that before the month ended, I was already asking my friends for money or loans. That was the turning point for me. I had to tell myself that it couldn’t continue.

Omoh. So what did you do?

I was collecting 30K from my parents monthly, and this was way back in 2011. I also got between 15k-30k from my side gig; so I created a plan, where 15K+ was my survival funds and this was possible because I was staying with family on campus which eased the burden of spending so much on feeding. That was how my saving culture started.

How did you go about the savings? 

It was in a piggy box known as KOLO

Hahaha. Kolo! When did you break it?

Sometimes, I would just take out of it to chop life. You know, go to a restaurant and enjoy myself.

I feel you. How did you move from the Kolo life to investing life? 

I realised that it was easier for me to spend money in my bank accounts because I have access to the money. So, I decided to start saving with fintech apps even though I was sceptical at the beginning. 

So how did you find out about Risevest?

It was around 2019, somebody spoke to me about Rise and I decided to do my own research. After that, I downloaded the app and I kept my money there for three months to see if anything will happen. In 2020, they started the affiliate programme, and that was really encouraging. 

Right! So how is it going today?

I mean, I have over 50 referrals, and I have made over $700 just by being an affiliate.

50 referrals must be nice…

Yes, really nice. It’s been a journey that I thank God for. And I thank Rise for initiating this programme. I also like that there is trust and good communication and reliability and accountability. I mean, it’s been a very good journey.

What kind of investor would you call yourself?

A pretty aggressive investor because I recently started putting all my money into stock and real estate. 

What is your investment philosophy? 

Investment is a backup for my future. I believe I am saving for rainy days. 

What is the most money you have made from investing?

Over a million naira.

How did you make that?

So at the time, I bought euros in 2016, and that was when our naira got devalued. So, when I changed the money back, about a million naira extra. And that’s why I find it difficult to dig into an investment opportunity in naira.

Have you made any losses? 

Yeah. Yeah, of course. Yeah. Thankfully, there’s someone in your investment group that I am grateful for. His name is Dotche and he gives advice to the community on what to do when stocks are down or up. 

Hehe. Now that we are on the telegram group, tell me more about your experience.

That group has been very helpful, a turning point in my financial life. Not everybody can do what he does. And that is a very commendable effort because I don’t think I have the strength to do what he does. For example, they hold classes on Sundays where they analyse financial books; he also tries to respond to everyone that has a question and does it with love. 

A lot of financial education is going on in that group, and it’s very good. You know what’s funny? I am not even that active in the group, but every time I read the conversation, there are always nuggets to pick. So it’s a very good initiative. 

I will pass your information to Dotche on Monday

Good! Because I disturb him a lot, and it is really commendable, especially in Nigeria where people leave you hanging. Dotche does a really commendable job by listening and answering any questions we have. 

Ehen. Love to hear it! How do you feel about your investment position today?

I think it could be better though, but currently, I am very proud of myself, especially when you think about where I am coming from. So yeah, I think so far, it’s good, but then, it can be better.

What words do you have for a beginner?

What I’m going to say to them is that it’s not easy. I don’t know what their current earnings are; however, my best advice would be that no matter how small, even if it’s 2000 Naira, keep it somewhere and just keep it. Also, they should cultivate the habit of saving that amount monthly. 

Yeah. So how likely are you going to recommend Risevest to new users?

Huh, guy, are you joking? 10 out of 10, to be honest. I know people that think I work for Rise. That’s how much I believe in you guys. 

Thank you very much.

Very welcome.