…Expressed Financially

Investment is hope expressed financially

One of our master builders recently posted something to our TSAVO WhatsApp group which we call EXECUTE, that post summarises the financial education I have gathered over the last 15 years. I would like to share it.

Investment is hope expressed financially

Consumerism is insecurity expressed financially

Debt is impatience expressed financially

Risk is greed expressed financially

Saving is discipline expressed financially  

It has been said that money does not change us – it reveals us for who we really are. The few statements above could be read as a verse, more importantly, each statement is very true.

Investment is hope expressed financially

A tree as great as a man’s embrace,

springs from a small shoot.

A building nine stories high,

begins with a pile of earth.

A journey of a thousand miles,

Starts under one’s foot.

~Lao Tzu

All investment is based on hope, for you can not do something for tomorrow if you don’t believe it can be amazing. The investor knows if I plant a tree today, I’ll eat fruit and enjoy the shade tomorrow. That tree will feed and house birds and other creatures and even after I’m gone, those who come after me will enjoy the benefit. To invest is to hope. It is to plant. It is to be a good ancestor.

Consumerism is insecurity expressed financially

Most people buy things they don’t need,

with money they don’t have,

to impress people who don’t care.

When one has not taken the time to develop their inner self, they are gripped by the “fear of missing out”, the need to “keep up with the Joneses”  they fake it hoping to make it. They go shopping, go out, go dining and go happening. However, consumerism is an addictive drug. After the high, the insecurities gets even deeper and you have an insatiable need to get another fix. Social media only makes things worse because people compare their seemingly mundane day to day existence with other people’s staged, curated and photoshopped appearances.

The only way out is to take time to know your self and build your inner self-respect. There is no short cut, it takes time and effort to know yourself.

Debt is impatience expressed financially

When we were in class 7, we learned about machines. Levers were the first machines we were taught. The word leverage has become very fashionable – it sounds much more sophisticated and suave than its more bland cousin – debt. People get into debt because they want to get there like yesterday. Our culture of fast food, instant coffee and speed dating has been fueled by banks through easy loans and credit cards. Technology companies even iconic ones have joined the shylock bandwagon to squeeze every cent from ordinary Kenyans through all manner of mobile loans. Debt keeps one poor.  As TSAVO we don’t borrow because of several reasons

1.We understand that compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world, those who don’t understand this, pay it, those who understand it, earn it.

  1. Debt is like heroin, you try it once, you get a get high but soon you need another hit, before you know it you are hooked. It will destroy you.
  1. Debt gives you a sense of false confidence and bravado. Just because you have money in the bank does not mean you have a good product.

We chose to build amazing products that people can invest in and it is this investment that we use to grow. It’s a great mistake to confuse investment with leverage

For those who disagree, ask yourself how much debt Bill Gates or Warren Buffet is in.

Charity is love Expressed financially

 The people I admire and try to emulate most are those who create extreme value for humanity through innovation, this, in turn, makes hem very wealthy. These people don’t seem to have much need for this money, first, they use it to grow their companies then give it away to causes that solve the world’s big problems. Many live lives of optional poverty and give away almost everything. Charity, like love, is a verb spelled GIVE. It is extremely gratifying to focus on the problems of others, innovate a solution to solve those problems then use the proceeds of that innovation to help solve even bigger problems.

Risk is greed Expressed financially

Risk, like greed, takes many forms. Like cancer, it is characterized by the indisciplined pursuit of more. Risk is brought by the insatiable appetite to grow as a business, the deep desire for wealth you have not earned, coveting what other people have. We may call it faith, bravery or ambition but at its core, risk is greed. One may take a big blind bet and win but in all gambling, the house always wins.

Saving is discipline expressed financially

The instinct to spend all you earn is fueled by the culture of consumerism. Banks and mobile money makes loans easy. All these things make the discipline of saving very hard. Yet saving is a very natural process. Bees store honey, many animals squirrel away food for hard days ahead, camels store food in their humps and desert plants store water in their leaves and roots. Yet somehow, good life charlie seems to be our role model as modern humans. You can be guaranteed that hard financial times will come – job loss, lack of capacity to earn, an emergency that requires a lot of cash. The chances of one or more of these things happening is guaranteed. I have never had the discipline to save because I give very easily – so I learned the discipline to invest because investments are a gift that keeps on giving.

In conclusion

Investment is hope expressed financially

Consumerism is insecurity expressed financially

Debt is impatience expressed financially

Risk is greed expressed financially

Saving is discipline expressed financially

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