About the Author
Mike Uzor, the author of the book, bagged his first degree in Finance from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1984. Uzor also obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Kensington University, California, in 1994. He had additional training in Strategy Management from Cranfield School of Management, Belford, London, and attended other management development programs in Nigeria, London and Germany. An investment analyst and financial journalist, Uzor was the founding business editor of Financial Standard, after having worked as a banker for a period of 10 years. As a financial journalist, the author reported the Nigerian stock market for many years in both local and foreign publications, including the London-based Africa Analysis. Uzor had become concretely grounded in management consulting before moving into stockbroking to become a renowned financial analyst/investment adviser. A regular commentator on macroeconomic policy matters who has contributed immensely to economic and financial policymaking in Nigeria. He is currently the managing director/chief executive of that trust consult, publisher of Bank Performance Report and the Stock Market Guide.
The book forms a simplified platform for young people to understand how the stock-market functions and how to utilise its facilities to achieve their financial objectives. The author remarks that it is quite disappointing that after more than 44 years of operation of a stock exchange in Nigeria, most people do not know how they can buy shares of quoted companies except fresh offers for a subscription. Saving and investing habits have not been conspicuously cultivated in the Nigerian society today broadly because of lack of personal financial management tuition in our schools. Stock-market education for the youth will provide them with a firm foundation towards achieving financial independence early in life.
Structure-wise, the book is segmented into 15 chapters.
Chapter 1 is entitled Basics of Stock Market Investing. In this section, the subconcepts of what a share is, how to beat inflation in stock investing, shareholders income as an entity that is not fixed, how to become a shareholder, what is stock exchanges, and advantages of buying a listed company shares are examined. A “share” is exactly what it is called – a share of a business or enterprise. When you buy a share or shares of a particular organisation, you become one of its owners; a shareholder in that organisation. Each share you hold ranks equally with every share held by the other shareholders even if they had become shareholders before you were born. You will have the right to participate in certain decisions in determining the present affairs and the future direction of the company. With inflation rates rising and interest rate falling under massive government measures on banks as we have seen over the past few years, if you are earning less than inflation rate on your money, then you run the risk that the real value of your savings is being washed off by rising consumer prices. Your primary benefit as a shareholder is to receive a share of the profit of the company invested in, in the form of a dividend. If the company is performing well consistently, then you will receive a rising dividend, and monetary value of your shares will grow. You can either become a shareholder of a company through buying new shares or purchasing existing shares.
Chapter 2 of the book is based on what to consider before investing in shares. The chapter discusses the sub-concepts of what you should know before buying a share, how to deal with the stockbroker/stockbroking firm, how to choose a stockbroking house, how to open an account with a stockbroking firm, how to buy shares, and how to become a shareholder where you work. There is always a risk when investing in shares. Prices can go down as well as up. But even if prices go down, there is still the possibility of greater reward through dividend income and bonus issues. Before investing in shares, you should be clear about your financial position and what you hope to achieve with your investments. Your regular financial commitments should be covered, and provisions made for unexpected expenses. A personal financial examination is required.
Chapter 3 is entitled turning savings into wealth. The chapter notionally x-rays the subconcepts of the possibility of risk in share investing, risk management strategies, ten golden rules for stock market investing, and what your share portfolio should contain.
In Chapters 4 to 9 of the book analytical examines the causes of movement in share prices, what to do when you want to sell shares, criteria for selecting winning stocks, what to do with your share certificate, protection of investors, and shareholders rights and privileges.
Chapter 10 focuses on the broad subject matter of unit trust investing as the alternative door. The chapter examines the concept of the fundamental nature of unit trusts, advantages of unit trust and the unit trust operations in Nigeria. For many people who are quite interested in share investing but cannot select stocks on the own, there is a second opportunity for you. You can enter the stock-market through the back-door legally open to you through unit trusts investing. A unit trust is a fund that invests the various individual contributions of subscribers, mainly in the stock-market. If you invest in the fund, you become a unitholder, a part owner of the fund which is proportionate to the volume of the fund outstanding.
In Chapters 11 to 14, the author examines the concepts of what to consider when investing in bonds, what to do in the case of new shares, what you need to know about rights and scrip issues, and understanding financial statements.
Chapter 15 which is the last chapter of the book is based on money-saving and wealth building strategies. The chapter looks at the concept of starting to invest, how to build savings, the opportunity cost of the narrower spent, how much you need to save, the key to creating wealth, and wealth building as a bit by bit process.
In addition to these fifteen chapters, there is an appendage containing milestones on capital market developments.
Stylistically speaking, the book is a success. Apart from the simplicity of conceptual representation reinforced by a timely explanation of technical addiction, the language employed is equally (contextually) intelligible. This is expected of the author, given that he is a communicator. The book also employs graphics in some areas to ensure visual reinforcement of understanding.
However, errors associated with major English such as “… enable you identify” instead of “… enable you to identify” – page 23; “Presently” (an American English word) instead of the British English “Currently” or “At Present” – page 11; “Masters degree” instead of “Master’s degree”, etc. need to be corrected in the next edition to achieve a high level of diction. Also, the arrangement of the sub-concepts in some chapters, example, Chapter 1 needs to be adjusted to make them perfectly chronological.
Do you aspire to make money through buying and selling shares? If it is so, you don’t need a spiritual intervention but a copy of this compendium of investment tips. It is simply a must-read.