When I was a young man, I reflected on the words of the legendry scientist Isaac Newton when he said “I have been able to grow tall and see further because I am standing on the shoulders of giants.” I figured out that the best way to become older than my age was to learn from people who have seen life much more than I. One day I asked a veteran man of God who was a renowned preacher in his heyday “if you were to have your life to live starting all over again, what would you do that you feel you did not do well?” He cast a tender look into my eyes and then began:
There are two things in my life that have caused me the most regrets. The first is the fact that I did not spend much time with my children. The second-I did not put my financial house in order when I was young. I remember talking to my friends a number of years ago about our children. Mine were five and seven then, just the ages when their daddy means everything to them. I wished that I could have spent more time with my kids but I was too busy working. After all, I wanted to give them all the things I never had when I was growing up.
I loved the idea of coming home and having them sit on my laps and tell me about their day. Unfortunately, most days I came home so late that I was only able to kiss them good-night after they had gone to sleep. I loved the idea of having them bring their tiny clothes for me to press while they polish my shoes. I nursed the dream of dining out with them once in a while at the fastfood restaurant and sitting down to laugh as they show me how they can dance like their favourite musical star.
It is amazing how fast kids grow. Before I knew it, they were nine and eleven. I missed seeing them in school plays and inter-house sports competitions. Everyone said they were terrific, but the plays and games seemed to go on when I was traveling for business or tied up in a special conference. The kids never complained, but I could see the disappointment in their eyes. I kept promising that I would have more time “next year.” But the higher up the corporate ladder I climbed, the less time there seemed to be.
Suddenly they were no longer nine and eleven. They were fourteen and sixteen. Teenagers! My daughter won the State-sponsored Arts competition and I was not there. My son bagged many awards in mathematics and the sciences and I heard about it while in Lagos on official duty. Mom made excuses and I managed to telephone and talk to them. I could hear the disappointment in their voices, but I explained as I could.
Don’t ask where the years have gone. Those little kids are twenty three and twenty five now and in the university. I can’t believe it. My job is less demanding and I finally have time for them. But they have’ their own interests and they have no time for me. To be perfectly honest, I’m a little hurt. As I look back, I see that eighty-five to ninety percent of our time together has gone. How I wish I could turn back the clock! Where did the years go? Where are those years when they were five and seven? It’s painful to admit it.
So what is the second regret?
In the days when we were young, life was not as difficult as it is today. In those days you could build or buy a decent house from the proceeds of one year’s labour. For twenty-one years I worked for Gordon Bank. Each day we dressed up in corporate suits and tie and walked on top of the world. The air-conditioned offices were nice. We looked into the computers all day. I rose to become the Regional Head of Operations. I kept feeling that there was still time, that there was no need to worry. I enjoyed those corporate routine and when I lost my job because of the bank going distressed, I went into the Ministry – there to preach the Word of God. There was so much satisfaction until the founder of that ministry died and we could not continue. One way or the other I thought God would take good care of me. But I should have been a little more realistic. One way or the other I thought my children would take care of me but they seem too loaded with their own family problems to pay attention to me. I recall those days when I personally used to tell others that N500 put aside monthly for 25 years can make them set for life. I never knew how fast 25 years can come and go.
DEAR FRIENDS, NO MATTER THE UPS AND DOWNS IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS, IF MY FRIEND HAD INVESTED N1,000 EVERY MONTH INTO THE SHARES OF FIRST BANK NIGERIA PLC DURING THOSE 25 YEARS, HIS TOTAL OUT OF POCKET INVESTMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN ONLY N300,000. THAT MEANS N1,000 PER MONTH OR N12,000 A YEAR MULTIPLIED BY 25 YEARS. HIS INVESTMENT WOULD HAVE GROWN TO MORE THAN N100,000,000 TODAY. THAT IS CORRECT DESPITE ALL THE MELT DOWN OF THE STOCK MARKET FROM TIME TO TIME. PLEASE DO CONSULT YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISER BEFORE TAKING ANY DECISION AS THE AUTHOR, PRODUCERS AND SPONSORS OF THIS PROGRAMME SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSSES DIRECTLY OR CONSEQUENTIALLY ARISING FROM THE USE OF THIS INFORMATION.
SO WHAT CAUSES THE STOCK MARKET TO CRASH FROM TIME TO TIME? HOW CAN YOU MINIMISE YOUR CHANCES OF MAKING LOSSES BY AVOIDING THE CRASH?
KEEP READING AND LISTENING TO SPEND LESS, EARN MORE. THE COMMITMENT TO FIND ANSWERS!
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