Investment advice for journalists


Years ago while working at The Punch, I was not as conscious as I should be about investing for the future.

When bank and insurance executives come around, I was not interested in their long stories about savings and investments!  I just did the minimal I felt was comfortable with.

It was after leaving The Punch and exhausting the entitlements I was lucky to have been paid, unlike in other media houses that don’t pay anything, the reality of conscious investments dawned on me.

Seeing an Insurance company pay the family of a late colleague his life Insurance entitlements and other investments made me vow that I will not miss any future opportunity to invest.

The Insurance executive who came to market a 15-year Insurance Investment Savings plan to me when I resumed at The Nation must have thought he got me cheap. He didn’t. I was not ready to make the same mistake as before.

I signed on promptly and faithfully paid for some years and started defaulting later for no good reasons. The executive tried to get me to pay and I did once in a while until I stopped and he gave up.

Unfortunately, almost the same monthly amount I should have been saving I was spending on other things not more important than saving for my future needs.

Some other insurance executives came along and advised me to pay the backlog to ensure getting my full investment amount at maturity, but it somehow seemed the maturity date was too far away.

I have since forgotten about the investment and assumed I’m not entitled to any payment having defaulted until I recently ran into an executive of the company who asked for my details for her to check for me.

Lo and behold, this year is the maturity date for the 15 years investment plan. Based on when I stopped paying, I was still entitled to a little more than half of the projected value of the plan!

Swiftly she followed up my payment for me and I already have my bank alert for my investment. How I wished I didn’t default and I would have received full value.

Notwithstanding, I’m glad with what I got and I want to encourage journalists, especially because of the precarious nature of our job to learn to save and invest part of whatever they earn for the years ahead however small.

Don’t just read and write about investments, insurance and savings by others, do yours.

Investments and other savings may seemed long before they mature, but according to a Yoruba proverb, 20 years will soon be tomorrow.

Other points to note:

*Life in retirement or out of job can be tough if you are not lucky to have enough support. Even if you do, you need to have your own source of income .

*My brother and sister, if you are already investing, you can increase the percentage. You will survive and reap the benefit down the years.

* One last point, invest in reliable financial institutions, like AIICO Insurance, not those flight by night investment companies. Don’t be swayed by unrealistic offers. My 2k.