Moneywise 20: You must know the state of your health

A Nigerian Woman Checking her health status during a free health service campaign by Honorable Lukman Oyewole Lawal (LOL)
I must confess
that being a part of my Mentor’s discussion with Dele was a great blessing
to me. By being a mere observer I learnt more on how to really take charge of
personal financial affairs, especially from the mistakes Dele made, you cannot get
these wisdom nuggets even in Harvard Business School.

My Mentor placed
a call to me in the evening to intimate me of his decision to change the venue
of our meeting to Dele’s residence, located somewhere off Kilburn High Road, a few
houses from the Kilburn tube station.
I am quite familiar with the neighborhood for that was where a newspaper I had
worked for had its London office and I had been stationed there for some time.
I got to Dele’s
house at about 9 a.m. and found him already waiting for us. I was admiring his
sitting room when the door bell rang. As we had expected, it was my Mentor. We
were both happy to see him as Dele had also come to the conclusion
that the opportunity to listen to him talk on money could not be traded for
anything.
Dele served us with some
fresh orange juice and my Mentor took over from there. “Can you conduct us round your house?” he requested from Dele.
“Sure”, Dele replied.


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Big bang home
with no single book
Dele’s home is a big
duplex built with beauty and elegance with twin garages. We started from the
sitting room. There were three big screens Sony television sets—home Theatres,
placed in different corners. There were two sets of Sony Music centers as well.
The sitting room is beautiful, I must admit. Dele
explained that the multiple Home Theatres were to ensure that visitors could
sit anywhere and watch any programme.
“When a bank advertises that it wants to assist you
to buy television, chairs, refrigerators, and the like, and you jump at the
offer, it is a sign that you don ‘t have financial intelligence. The question I
expect you to ask anytime you buy an item is: ‘Will this bring money into my
pocket?’ If you cannot answer in the affirmative, you should walk away, from
the transaction unless it is essential. Borrowing money to acquire liabilities
can only lead you to multiple financial crises and frustration”
My
Mentor did not utter a word. But I noticed that he was shaking his head at
regular intervals as Dele conducted us round his house.
There were six rooms altogether. He indicated his interest in a room that was
locked and Dele was able to locate the key. It happened to be the room where he
kept all the toys he had bought for his children. The toys were carefully
arranged with no space left to take anything. I must confess that I was not
familiar with most of the toys there. Some were in the mould of mini aero
planes, jeeps and cars of different sizes. Dele said his children loved the
toys. Each of the rooms had a television set. My Mentor still said nothing. I
could sense that Dele was uncomfortable with his silence. He eventually spoke as
he asked Dele to lead us to his study.
Dele
was lost. “Study?” he asked in
amazement. “There is no time to read here
sir”. My Mentor requested that we
returned to the sitting room.
We all sat down
around Dele’s dining table. I could see an expression of concern on my
Mentor’s face. He cleared his throat about three times before he started to
speak.
“Gentlemen, the problem on our hands is more serious
than I thought. Our friend needs to be saved from himself. Now, let me ask a
few questions before I make my observations known. Did you pay cash for the
three Home Theatres?”
 “On credit
sir”,

Dele
replied. “What of the three cars in the
garages?” “On credit as well”
Dele responded. “What about this beautiful house?” my Mentor continued. “It is on mortgage. I am to repay in the
next twenty years”,
Dele stuttered. “And the toys”,  my Mentor
pursued with the doggedness of a prosecuting lawyer, “what are you going to do with them since your children are no longer
using them?”
Dele stared at the ground. “Actually,
I have not thought about what to do with them,”
he mumbled.
“I am deeply concerned for you Dele”, my Mentor said.
“As I said, you need to be rescued from
yourself. What I have seen all the way, in the rooms, in the compound, in the
sitting room are signs of acute financial illiteracy that need to be tackled
without delay. You have spent thousands of pounds to buy Home Theatres, yet I
could not see at least one book on money or personal finance anywhere in your
house. Show me the books you are reading and I can predict where you are
headed. You are made by what you read and the people you meet”.
“I can trace every problem I have noticed here to
your failure to sharpen your financial intelligence. How much money are the
Home Theatres bringing to your pockets every month? How much are you generating
from the toys you have stored in the room and from the cars you have parked in
your garages? Of course, you know they are the ones drawing money out of your
pocket.
If you have read even the most elementary books on
personal finance, you would have learnt that your salvation lies in
understanding the difference between an accountant’s definition of assets and
liabilities and the definition of the same terms by rich people”.
“For instance, if I ask you to classify your Home
Theatres, I am very certain that they would end in your asset column. And that
is how an accountant would classify them. But that is misleading. An informed
millionaire would classify the same items as liabilities. You can only consider
an item an asset if it brings money to your pocket that you can spend or save.
Once it is the item that is drawing money out of your pocket, either for
maintenance or servicing, it makes sense to classify such items as liabilities.
But don’t get me wrong, the Home Theatres are assets to the company that sold
them to you on credit. Every time you make your monthly payment to the company,
the company is smiling to the bank, but you cannot do that”.
“If you have also read any good book on personal
finance, you would have discovered the folly of borrowing money to buy consumer
items like your Home Theatres. It is a sign of sharp financial intelligence to
borrow to buy assets that can generate cash. It is from the proceeds of the
items you bought that you should be repaying the interest, with enough still
left over to take care of other things.
When a bank advertises that it wants to assist you
to buy television, chairs, refrigerators, and the like, and you jump at the
offer, it is a sign that you don ‘t have financial intelligence. The question I
expect you to ask anytime you buy an item is: ‘Will this bring money into my
pocket?’ If you cannot answer in the affirmative, you should walk away, from
the transaction unless it is essential. Borrowing money to acquire liabilities
can only lead you to multiple financial crises and frustration”.
“All the items you have bought can be destroyed, but
the knowledge you have gained through insightful reading, cannot be removed, it
is permanent. You have built your financial foundation on sand and it is just a
matter of time before it collapses. You cannot expect to achieve personal
financial freedom by accumulating bad debts upon bad debts, liabilities upon
liabilities, You have to liberate yourself urgently”
He paused.
(Excerpts from
the book: “THE MILLIONAIRES CAPSULES” by AYO AROWOLO. Read “You can start all over again”
tomorrow on this blog)

Ayo Arowolo, Publisher The Millionaires’ Capsules

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here