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Creating wealth through FirstGem initiative

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Creating wealth through FirstGem initiative

By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma,
`Don’t scatter your sand until you mold your blocks’, is an adage employed recently by a foremost entrepreneur, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, to strongly tell female creative professionals to save money and create wealth for the rainy day.

The occasion was “Women in Entertainment Wealth Management Series” organised by FirstBank to educate and encourage women in the entertainment industry on the need to build wealth.

It was a gathering of celebrities such as Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha and Ufoma McDermott at the Victoria Crown Plaza on Victoria Island, Lagos.

FirstBank organised the event to serve as a tool to help the professionals to manage their incomes more effectively in peak and off peak seasons.

According to the bank, the event was borne out of the need for wealth creation and management, especially by the creative female professionals.

FirstBank says it seeks to provide the women with the principles of wealth management, investment and savings through its female proposition product, FirstGem.

FirstGem, an account designed specifically to meet financial needs of women was officially launched in December 2016.

It was designed to suit women from age 18 to achieve their financial goals and aspirations and encourage more women to save to be able to invest and build personal wealth.

Since the launch, the initiative has encouraged over 10,000 women to actively build a healthy savings culture, according to the organisation.

Awosika, the Chairman of First Bank Plc, sensitised participants at the Entertainment Wealth Management Series to the need to be disciplined to make a difference in their profession.

Awosika, also the Convener of the wealth management series, says wealth creation is about setting goals, priorities and right principles.

According to the entrepreneur, who spoke on “The Anatomy and Mindset of Wealth’’, there is time and season for everything including time for savings and wealth creation.

“Don’t scatter your sand until you have molded your blocks,’’ Awosika advises women.

She notes that FirstBank created FirstGem in recognition of the importance of women in driving socio-economic growth and change.

According to her, the initiative has encouraged more than 10,000 women to actively build a healthy saving culture.

The chairman is convinced that savings culture will lead to investment culture.

Awosika is of the opinion that investment culture will avert spending without planning.

She promises that FirstGem will also give access to soft loans (business and personal), annual medical and health programmes, and leadership trainings on women empowerment to be sponsored by First bank.

The entrepreneur emphasizes the need for women to separate needs from wants for enhanced wealth creation.

She urges that women should not engage in frivolities and should know that they cannot afford everything they want.

“Even if you have all the money in the world and have not developed the habit of living within certain rules, you will still go broke.

“This is why a footballer, basket baller and athlete can earn and accumulate millions of dollars but can still go broke, few years after retirement.

“Plan for what you can see, don’t plan on what you are expecting,” Awosika urges.

Dr Remi Banjoko, Chief Executive Officer, dkbMarkets Ltd., who spoke on ‘Roadmap to Wealth Creation, believes that wealth could be guaranteed by inheritance,  ideas and right investment.

Banjoko is convinced that artistes can go bankrupt due to overspending, lack of finance knowledge, poor investment decision and hanging out unnecessarily.

According to him, 60 per cent of adults globally are financial illiterates.

“Financial literacy is key for generational wealth,’’ he says.

Banjoko lists seven steps to generational wealth to include knowing how to value money, control money, save money and invest money.

He says the others are knowing how to make money, shield money and share money through charity, mentoring and encouraging people.

He is of the opinion that prosperous people earn compound interest, while poor people pay compound interest.

On long-term investment, controlling and saving money, Banjoko advises investment in fixed income securities, stock market, currency market or foreign exchange market as well as commodity.

According to him, understanding one’s investment risk is essential before embarking on any investment.

Banjoko advises investors to widen their investment across a variety of different asset classes and geographical regions by diversifying across shares, bonds and property, among others.

This, he believes, will reduce the impact of price change in any of the asset classes on the overall value of their investment portfolio.

He wants artistes to harness their expertise through other streams of income such as screen writing, creative content, establishing internet TV channels such as Iroko TV, establishing film production companies and branding.

One of the participants and a renowned actress, Mrs Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, says many entertainers are investors.

“Most of us are investors and creative minds; we live the life.

“Cutting down on certain expenses is like cutting out our skins, but personally, I don’t go out much; the realistic reason is I can’t afford it.

“I can’t afford the time. I can’t afford the expenses. I can’t buy a dress for an event knowing I can only wear it once.

“Savings and investments have been a struggle and we need something especially for the creative industry because it is a complex business and practicalising savings is complex in our industry.

“ When others are struggling with just paying bills. We are struggling with paying bills and showing up.”

Analysts call on women and all Nigerians to imbibe savings culture and take advantage of relevant products and programmes to create wealth to prepare for the rainy day. (NANFeatures)

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