The year is 2040. Your life has finally come together. You just bagged your dream dollar-paying job, your relationship is back on track, and you have enough income to take care of your parents. You can now live comfortably on the returns from your investments, and you are beginning to reap the rewards of the financial decisions you made years before. Life is truly looking good. This could be your future self.
But, time can be a funny thing.
Have you ever looked back in time and thought to yourself, “I should have taken an umbrella”, or “It’s a good thing I had extra cash on me”? Or maybe you wished you had taken another route on your way to watch the finals last night. We all must have had a couple of ‘I wish I had’ moments, and the reason is simple; there’s no way we could have known. Or is there? Sometimes life just happens to us. At other times, it seems to bend to a set of laws or principles; the law of compounding effect, of sowing and reaping, or give and take for example. Whatever the case, life can be double-sided like a coin – it’s predictable on one side, and on the other side, is simply uncertain.
When it comes to wealth, how you turn out financially is largely predictable. Your attitude and mindset towards money, your level of financial literacy, and your lifestyle choices today are indicators of your future financial well-being. But, no one knows this better than your future self.
Experience is the wisest teacher of all
You must have heard this proverb before; that experience is the best teacher. Very true. A lot of lessons we learn are either from personal experience or that of someone else. Our future selves tend to be smarter, wiser, and more informed, especially regarding life choices because we have lived through them. For matters regarding your future, especially your wealth, it’s best to listen to what your future self has to say!
Let’s imagine for a second, that time travel was somehow possible, and your future self from 2040 shows up at your doorstep. We think the conversation would go something like this:
Future Self: Hello! What year is it?
Present Self: It’s 2024. Who…who are you?
Future Self: I’m you…from the future.
Present Self: Whoa, this is mind-blowing! You…I mean I…look amazing. But, older. So, what brings you here? And why are you dressed like that?
Future Self: Oh, it turns out global warming is real, the weather got really hot, and we had to abandon our designer wears and Yeezys for more…well, silky gowns. But, that’s not why I’m here. There are a few things I want to share with you…you may want to put down that bowl of pap and moin-moin and listen up!
First, the bad news! You have a massive breakup tomorrow, so whatever plans you have for Valentine’s, cancel them. You then go on to flunk a major interview (no thanks to your broken heart) with a tech company a few weeks later. It’s a complete disaster! But, not everything is doom and gloom. You do get on the Forbes 30 under 30 list this year, and you finally get that big promotion you’ve been working so hard for. And you start dating again…when you are 35! Sheesh! 🙄
Anyway, I know you’re facing challenges and uncertainties right now…the dollar keeps rising, inflation isn’t taking a day off, tech companies are laying off, and the LOYL is about to leave you…but trust me, everything is going to be okay, and you’ll be fine.
Present Self: Erm, that’s reassuring to hear. Sort of. Can you give me any more hints about what’s to come?
Future Self: I wish I could, but I can only tell you so much without the risk of altering the timeline. What I can tell you though, is that you are on the right track with your finances. The wealth I have, I mean…we have…is because of the choices you make today. You start to take your finances seriously – saving, and investing regularly, and you get to earn in dollars. You research the habits of successful people, work hard on your side gigs and personal branding, increase your income, and cut down on your expenses. That’s the major reason why I can even afford time travel in the first place – it’s extremely expensive I might add.
It’s a lot of work, I know…but it’s rewarding. I came back in time to tell you how grateful I am for the financial decisions you made today.
Present Self: Oh wow! I didn’t think that far ahead. Is there anything specific I should be doing differently?
Future Self: Well, I’ve learned a lot from our experiences, and as your older, wiser self, I’ll leave you with these 5 gems to live by.
Play the long game
Playing the long game (I’m talking 10-20 years), isn’t easy. It requires delaying gratification for the ultimate good. Warren Buffett is worth about $86 billion. The majority of his wealth was created after his 52nd birthday – the power of compound interest. The greatest gains are found at the end of the compounding period. Think long-term, take risks, diversify your portfolio, and let the multiplier effect of compounding work in your favour.
Panicking most times, leads to bad decision-making. Don’t let FOMO, YOLO, or the short-term impact of the current FX market, inflation, and the current cost of living crisis blindside you from your true mission – to build long-term wealth. Make an objective assessment, seek advice from financial experts, and take actionable steps to protect and grow your wealth.
Invest in mutual funds
You can start by investing in mutual funds, categorized into conservative, moderate, and aggressive risk buckets, making it easier for you to start.
Not sure what your risk appetite is? Check out our risk assessment calculator.
If you are concerned about the devaluation of the Naira, you can invest in dollar mutual funds which some of the fund managers on Cowrywise provide.
Unlearn, relearn, upskill, monetize
Possessing highly sought-after skills could be the key to unlocking additional value to command a higher income. Doing so will mean that you can save and invest more (if you continue to manage your expenses), moving you even closer to your long-term goals. Sell digital products on Selar, or check out courses on Coursera, Udacity, LinkedIn Learning, or even AltSchool Africa to pick up new skills in tech, business, marketing, etc.
Use time to your advantage
We would advise that you start with what you have and invest often. Investing early is a financial superpower, and it’s no longer enough to wait till you are financially buoyant. Investing 1 million Naira at a 10% interest rate per annum would have grown in value to about ₦72.89 million in 45 years.
Future Self: Reaping the rewards of your investment much later in life may seem unattractive. It makes sense to want to enjoy the wealth while you are quite young. I mean, no one wants to go skydiving in their 60s. But, if you upskill, increase your income and the value you offer, and remain deliberate with your finances, you can live on the recurrent returns on your investments, as you continue to amass more wealth.
I’m a living testament to that.
Present Self: That’s great advice. Anything else?
Future Self: Keep pursuing your passions and never stop learning. Oh, and don’t forget to take care of your health – both physical and mental.
Present Self: Thanks for the tips. It’s comforting to know that things will work out in the end.
Future Self: You’re welcome. Remember, many of the worries and anxieties you have right now won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Focus on what truly brings you joy and fulfillment. I’m always here for you, even if it’s just a conversation with yourself across time.
Present Self: I’ll keep that in mind…(as Present Self tries to hug Future Self).
Future Self: (pulls back). Are you crazy? If we as much as shake hands, we could destroy the space-time continuum – our kids would cease to exist and the Super Eagles would have lost to South Africa!!
Present Self: Sorry!… Take care, future me.
Future Self: You too…SMH. And, just a heads up. You might want to speed up your relocation plans to America. Trump wins the elections in November. Also, Burna Boy gets nominated for another Grammy, gets married, and finally settles down. Elon changes X back to Twitter, and the price of the Toyota Corolla drops by almost 50%.
Present Self: 👀
Future Self: Until we meet again, fareweeellllllll…(time machine whirls and disappears in a puff of smoke).
Relax. Your money works here!
Cowrywise is licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and has corporate governance frameworks and oversight to safeguard and grow your wealth. Over 1 million Nigerians trust us to help them build their wealth. You can save or invest in a wide range of products to ensure you build wealth regularly, and securely with a diversified portfolio. Save with your spouse, in a Football or Basketball Circle when your team scores, or in a Regular Savings or Emergency Plan. You also have access to invest in Naira or Dollar-denominated Mutual Funds; the choice is yours. So, relax…your money WILL work here.
In the near future, when people walk up to you and ask you in the voice of Kanayo O. Kanayo, “What is the source of your wealth?”, you can boldly say you can trace it to the financial decisions you made today.
Click here to get started.
We launch the Future Self campaign today. If you come across any of our ‘Your Future Self’ communications on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, do engage, like, comment. You can start by sharing this article in your circle.
Their future selves would be eternally grateful. 💙