Ndovu Academy : My First Investment — Lydia
Fresh out of campus, I was enthusiastic, determined but confused about my prospects. I had just completed a grueling four years at university. Of course, there was little to no useful financial or investment education throughout my education. It is concerning that I learned more than 60-course units but very little of that information is applicable in real life. Don’t get me wrong, learning probability and statistics, behavioural science and management information systems are great, but there is much more we need to know! Students need to learn proper interview etiquette, how to solve problems, plan an investment and how to work as a team. But I digress.
I had just celebrated a huge milestone in my life. The next step (according to societal expectations) was to get a job. My expectations were, “I will get an amazing job (make great money haha), create a stable comfortable life, and hopefully in 2 to 5 years, be financially independent. You know the dreams one has when they’re young & innocent. But first, doing well at an interview and getting a job.
My pursuit of a job was a journey on its own. I would write several articles on that- no kidding. But we’ll make it short. I attended several interviews and for most of them, the only reply is “We’ll call you back soon.” Luckily, a friend hooked me up with a job as a software tester. My salary was in the range of 30–50k (c.$300-$500). It may seem a lot or a little. That depends on you. So when I got my first salary, I was excited and spent money on more professional clothes and shoes. I also started preparing to move out to a bedsitter, so rent, housewares, and the deposit would soon come into the picture. Money was running out fast, I needed to be smarter with it.
Finally, I started thinking about investing. I didn’t know where to start. I had seen an m-shwari advert and decided to save/invest in that. I placed Ksh 6500 ($65) in my M-SHWARI account. I wasn’t aware of the interest to be earned and learned it paid 3% p.a. for under 20,000 kshs which is lower than the inflation rate of Kenya (5%). In hindsight, that was not smart but I had limited knowledge and options at that time. I also invested 2,000 ($20) on KCB Mpesa.
I later withdrew everything after 1 1/2 months because of an emergency. Was good while it lasted.I am now in a discovery phase of my financial independence journey. I’m learning a lot of challenging but interesting investment concepts like bonds, stocks, ETFs, land and even investing in crypto. Investing can be scary but I am determined to invest smarter for my financial future. I am attending webinars, clubhouse sessions and researching investments daily. I am excited to become an African investor and am look forward to Ndovu so I can get access to global markets.