Everyone seems to be a self-proclaimed investor and money coach these days but just how much of that financial advice is actually helpful? Well, it’s an interesting question to pose.
Sometimes it isn’t that the financial advice is unhelpful but that it isn’t explained and broken down enough to be understandable. Which is why at Cowrywise, we strive to take those confusing financial jargons and simplify them.
We wanted to find out the most interesting financial advice Nigerians had been given and which had turned out to be the most misleading. Five Nigerians of varying age and industry were asked all about money advice they had been given. We didn’t stop there though, we decided to ask them what they wish they had known earlier on in their relationship with money too.
It’s pretty enlightening and we’re sure you’ll also have heard a few of these yourself.
1. Ayoola, Developer
Money advice that wasn’t helpful for him: “I am not sure I have had any bad financial advice. But if sport betting counts, I would say that’s one heck of bad financial advice I listened to. Yeah, I made few thousands, but I am not sure it outweighs the few hundred nairas I have lost in multiple folds.”
Money advice he wishes he had known earlier: “I wish I had known earlier about how money works in general, not just from the standpoint of earning and spending. But from the standpoint of investments, saving for the unexpected, getting returns from your money and getting your money to work for you.”
2. Samuel, Media
Money advice that wasn’t helpful for him: “Investing in a Ponzi scheme. A classmate got me to invest in one a decade ago and then I realised how much of a sham it was. And now I see people fall for it all the time, every time, and I scream in righteous anger. There’s a lot of deception around it that most people just don’t understand the system enough to know what they’re actually doing.”
Money advice he wishes he had known earlier: “This one will sound like a rant, but I hate how fast you can lose money and nothing prepared me for that. Like, you can have a certain amount of money in your account and you think you have enough breathing room for, say, a set period of time, but then there’s a snap, something happens, and your account is suddenly light-headed. Another thing I wish I knew very well before I started making a steady income is how to invest it properly.”
3. Chika, NYSC Member
Money advice that wasn’t helpful for her: “That if I can’t buy it twice I can’t afford it. That’s false. Untrue. I don’t need to buy anything twice if I need something and I can buy it, then I can afford it.”
Money advice she wishes she had known earlier: “I wish I knew that no amount of money is enough money. I wish I knew that a couple of years ago but I do now. It’s crazy how responsibility and expenses grow as income increases.”
4) Damiete, Customer Service
Money advice that wasn’t helpful for her: “Becoming an investor in a Nigerian company that claimed to give a ridiculous amount of interest. In hindsight, I recognize now that it wasn’t a good idea but everyone around me was investing and encouraged me to do it too.”
Money advice she wishes she had known earlier: “I would have liked to know about the stock market. Forex trading is a complex subject matter and the learning curve seems so steep.”
5) Funmi, Sales
Money advice that wasn’t helpful for her: “I was told to make a lot of money in order to have money. Looking at it now, I think that’s pretty silly advice. Of course, you should earn a decent amount but then what? Yeah, so that advice wasn’t helpful.”
Money advice she wishes she had known earlier: “Save. Save and save some more. Even if you can’t invest currently, nothing at all stops you from putting money away for a rainy day.”
So should we be listening to financial advice?
There are a lot of interesting variables to consider when taking financial advice to heart. We recommend understanding your own finances and money habits first before considering any financial advice at all.
Understanding your finances and money habits means you’ll be in a much better place to discern what is useful or helpful financial advice. This doesn’t mean financial advice is wrong when it isn’t helpful for you, it just means it simply isn’t for you. But we assure you, there’s definitely someone out there that it suits.
We also recommend tailoring financial advice to suit your finances. This is why we believe having an emergency fund is important and an emergency plan that is tailored to meet your income and expenses is the best thing since sliced bread.
Begin building your own emergency plan here today.