For this week’s MoneyRise user story, we talked to Wuraola, a procurement analyst, who started her investment journey after realising she needs to consolidate her savings. 

Hi, Wuraola. What do you do for a living?

I am a procurement analyst. I purchase goods and services that my company requires by selecting the best suppliers and cost for the business’ needs. 

What does financial wealth mean to you?

I see financial wealth as not having to worry about money as a factor for your growth or for your future. When you can think about other things and money is not a priority.

When did you begin your financial journey? 

I think it started from my service year (NYSC). I had a savings habit at that time which helped me post-NYSC because the savings from my allowance was able to cover the gap period after my NYSC and when I got my first job.

So, how did you go from savings to investing?

My first investment idea happened after I consolidated my savings. The next level was to see if I could make that money actually grow more. This is because I was leaving my money in the bank and I realised that the interest I was getting was not favourable at all. After that, I decided to start looking at money market options. I remember that my first real investment was the Stanbic IBTC money market fund.

How did that go?

At first, it was fine, but the yield wasn’t as much as I expected. Remember this was a couple of years ago when the market was still strong. So, after that, I moved into equities and that of course, showed me appreciable growth in my investment. Unfortunately, I got in towards the end and only realised that the next year when I got my money. (I had like 40% returns on my capital, but within the next quarter after that, I lost it and also some of my initial capital). This made me understand that the Nigerian equity market was not stable.

What did you do after you realised that the Nigerian equity market was bad for you?

After that, I started educating myself more on finances generally. I was doing everything I could; I became a bit more observant instead of finding out something and jumping in. I also made sure that I was not dealing with just one investment company. So, I found other investment companies and diversified.

Was that when you heard about Risevest? 

Actually, my first knowledge of Risevest was when a colleague of mine asked us to download the app because he wanted us to use his referral code. So I downloaded the app but unfortunately, I wasn’t very comfortable with the interest rate at that time.

I kept getting emails from Rise and I think one of the mail was a request to join the Telegram group which I did. In that group, I met so many people talking about money, talking about getting returns and different ways to make a little more on the app. It opened my eyes to the different financial conversations and the different investments going around in Nigeria. 

From the group, I developed the interest to invest in Rise which happened during one of the investment club meetings. The discussion there was about planning for retirement. 

As a typical working Nigerian, I have a pension programme. I recall that the investment club meeting opened my eyes to how you can create a retirement plan for yourself and not rely on the national programme. Coincidentally during that period, I got my pension statement and I realised that instead of growing, the money seems to have reduced (I don’t know what happened with that statement but it was so bad).

It was a wake-up call because my pension money was not something to look forward to when I am done. And in that investment club session, there was so much discussion on what your target goal is for your financial stability after your work experience. So, I thought to myself:  If I was going to retire at 60, how much do I need? And if I keep a track of what I am doing now, will I be able to achieve that? Which of course, by that time, I will be old. So, I realised that I had to take my future seriously and that that was what led to my first investment in Risevest.

Hmm, insightful! How is that going now? 

At the moment, I think it is going great. My experience has been bliss and I have not necessarily stuck to a particular plan. I have been using different plans: real estate, fixed income and stock plans. What I am trying to do is to make sure that I balance my risk. From what I have seen so far, it gives me fewer worries because I am seeing returns and I don’t have to actively participate in the actual work. Someone else is doing that and I am getting the deal.

You talked about the telegram group, so what has been your experience with that?

Yes, the telegram group. So, I am not very active on Telegram. I have most of my notifications on mute, but once in a while, when I want to learn something, I go on the group, check the messages, do a search and pick up the information that I need. So, if for example, the app is slow or something, and I don’t get a quick response, I just go on the Telegram group because I know someone would have probably made an inquiry on that and there, I find my answer. There were cases where I was discussing with someone about Rise and I wanted to explain something about how to withdraw or something else, so I just went to the Telegram group and got all the information I needed.

Do you have any investment philosophy?

At the moment, I do not have it as a slogan but what I believe is investing enough to the point where your money works hard enough that you don’t necessarily have to work anymore.

Since you started investing, how do you feel about your investment position generally?

Generally, I wish I had started a long time ago. I think we preach a lot about savings in this country without talking about investments and we tend to think that investment is only for the rich. You don’t have to be rich to start investing, you just have to be disciplined.

Have you made losses?

Oh yes, my first loss was in crypto.

Oh Oh, Do you mind sharing?

I heard a bit about crypto but I wasn’t interested. Sometime last year, I was in a group on Telegram and on that group (they function as a scam investigator, that was what the group was created for), they talked about different investment opportunities; Crypto, Agritech, Fintech and others, generally.

All you needed to do was to send a name to them, they do the research and check that those people are not scammers. They are like a due diligence site that confirms the authenticity of these platforms. I had been in the group for a while but never participated until they started talking about a business that was stable. 

I wanted to buy an airpod at that time, so I was like why don’t I use the money for this airpod and put it in that investment. So, if I lose that money, I don’t get an airpod obviously, but if I make it, I get returns and I still get money to buy my airpod. So, I put that money in the system and the week after I got in, the person handling the crypto trading site started cooking up stories like they hacked his wallet, and all that story dragged for a month and later, people started calling him out. By then, I already knew that I had lost that money. 

Ohhh. So what did you learn from that episode? 

Losing that money sparked something in me, and I had to ask myself why I gave so much power to someone over something I could do myself.  I have a background in Finance, so it was not like I could not do it myself, but I didn’t just have the time. So after that episode, I started studying Crypto and all the other things about blockchains. I took that learning process and when it was around September last year, I got back into crypto myself and this time around because I was handling it myself, it has been positive news for me. 

Love to hear it! So, do you have any words for a beginner?

Be sure that you understand what you are doing. Be sure that you are willing to take the risk because there is no investment that does not come with some risks. Your level of exposure will depend on how much education you have and how willing you are to step into it, but of course, no risks, no rewards. That is the idea.

On a scale of 1-5, how likely are you going to recommend Risevest to new users?

I think where I am right now, I am on a 4 and I actually have been recommending Risevest to new users but I haven’t been following through to see them do it. The money growth wagon is not something anyone should miss.

Thank you for your time