Millions of people around the world face complex financial decision everyday. However they have very little knowledge of how money works because they never really were taught. It is thrilling that the most important subject Money remains a taboo yet like the popular saying money makes the world go around.
When I decided to become a self-taught student on the money subject I came across the greatest lesson of success; financial independence. Financial independence is inter-twined with human being’s utmost pursuit; the pursuit of happiness.
A good home needs money, a comfortable and safer car needs money, engaging in charity work needs money and church needs money. While it is true that what makes us happy differ from one person to another, most if not all the factors that makes one happy needs money.
Financial independence is simply when one have an asset base that exceed his/her liabilities. When you have constant income that flow through and you never have to worry about money then you have attained financial independence.
The problem is that we go through school to get the best jobs and earn a salary and then we become slaves to our salaries. We become so much indebted that if you lose your job today you will immediately become bankrupt. You hate your job but you stay stuck because you can’t do without the salary.
The reason why 10% of the population controls 90% of the available resources is because they don’t work for money, money works for them. They have mastered the principles of money and have become efficient at using other people’s money and time to grow their own money.
Most of them have become self-made millionaires by the age of 40, and they never have to work again because they have more assets than debts. They avoid bad debts and bad debts they define as debts that will not bring money.
The unfortunate thing is that you and I have bumped into the concept of financial freedom by accident while some have never heard about the subject at all. We were raised to become educated and find good paying jobs but not everyone is lucky and have found good paying jobs.
Everyone though has an opportunity to leverage on time and invest towards financial freedom. Delaying gratification for a while could be a huge factor. Recently I met a client who I am sure will be millionaire if already she is not.
She started working 10 years ago rose through the ladder and she earns in excess of P20000 per month. She has never owned a car. She invested over P4000 in her insurance policies. Her reasons for not owning a car are that she wants to make savings on the petrol and car insurance. She has a cab she pays 350 pula per month for ferrying her around. She then smiles and tells me I will buy a Mercedes in the near future after finishing my obligations.
Incredible isn’t it? Being able to have a long term view of the future is an ingredient of financially successful people. Success expert Brian Tracy says only those who plan for the future will have one. “Your life only begins to become a great life when you clearly identify what is that you want, make a plan to achieve it and work on that plan every single day.” Brian Tracy
SIX PRINCIPLES TO START YOUR JOURNEY TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM
I am always the problem The man who changed my perspective towards life is the man who told me that I should always view myself as the problem, take complete responsibility for everything happening in my life and knowing that everything that happens to me is a direct consequence of my actions. Failure to take responsibility simply cultivates a culture of shifting responsibility. Once you begin to realize that everything that happens in you life you have attracted, you will begin to see your life take a different direction. Let us put it this way your current financial, spiritual, physically, health status and many other aspects of your life are a total summation of your past actions.
Waiting for change from outside Many people see investment as a distant decision, a decision they can keep postponing to infinity. As the years rollover, so does the indecision but who are you waiting for. Nobody will come outside to come and effect change in your lives. You are the change that you seek and the decision for greater future starts today. “You miss 100% of the shots you never take” Wayne Gretzy
Who Me When you graduate out of college it never occurs to you that you will one day retire. It is packed in the distant memory. Without proper preparation you will easily form 94% of people in the country who will experience a reduced quality of life because you never thought it could be you.
Make a decision If it is not done but only said it is commentary. A lot of what is in this article is common knowledge but we never bother to take action because we think we have time but we don’t. Be wise and take a decision today. Hoping, praying and intending is not enough but solid steps will ensure that we retire financially independent.
Pay the Price “If you cannot save money then the seeds of greatness are not in you” W Clement. If you cannot practice budgeting as a life long habit, it will be impossible to achieve financial independence. You need to save between 10-15% of your monthly income. You can start small and then opportunities for saving will open up.
Time Perspective How you view the future in longer term affects the decision that we take today. The tendency of thinking we will cross the bridge when we get there has a long lasting financial implication on our future.
Yours truly towards financial independence
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This century is always looking at improving new super high speed technology to make life easier. On the other hand, beckoning as an emerging fierce reversal force to equally match or dominate this life enhancing super new tech, comes swift human adversaries which seem to have come to make living on earth even more difficult.
The recent discovery of a pandemic, Covid-19, which moves at a pace of unimaginable and unpredictable proportions; locking people inside homes and barring human interactions with its dreaded death threat, is currently being felt.
Member of Parliament for Kanye North, Thapelo Letsholo has cautioned Government against excessive borrowing and poorly managed debt levels.
He was speaking in Parliament on Tuesday delivering Parliament’s Finance Committee report after assessing a motion that sought to raise Government Bond program ceiling to P30 billion, a big jump from the initial P15 Billion.
Government Investment Account (GIA) which forms part of the Pula fund has been significantly drawn down to finance Botswana’s budget deficits since 2008/09 Global financial crises.
The 2009 global economic recession triggered the collapse of financial markets in the United States, sending waves of shock across world economies, eroding business sentiment, and causing financiers of trade to excise heightened caution and hold onto their cash.
The ripple effects of this economic catastrophe were mostly felt by low to middle income resource based economies, amplifying their vulnerability to external shocks. The diamond industry which forms the gist of Botswana’s economic make up collapsed to zero trade levels across the entire value chain.
The Upstream, where Botswana gathers much of its diamond revenue was adversely impacted by muted demand in the Midstream. The situation was exacerbated by zero appetite of polished goods by jewelry manufacturers and retail outlets due to lowered tail end consumer demand.
This resulted in sharp decline of Government revenue, ballooned budget deficits and suspension of some developmental projects. To finance the deficit and some prioritized national development projects, government had to dip into cash balances, foreign reserves and borrow both externally and locally.
Much of drawing was from Government Investment Account as opposed to drawing from foreign reserve component of the Pula Fund; the latter was spared as a fiscal buffer for the worst rainy days.
Consequently this resulted in significant decline in funds held in the Government Investment Account (GIA). The account serves as Government’s main savings depository and fund for national policy objectives.
However as the world emerged from the 2009 recession government revenue graph picked up to pre recession levels before going down again around 2016/17 owing to challenges in the diamond industry.
Due to a number of budget surpluses from 2012/13 financial year the Government Investment Account started expanding back to P30 billion levels before a series of budget deficits in the National Development Plan 11 pushed it back to decline a decline wave.
When the National Development Plan 11 commenced three (3) financial years ago, government announced that the first half of the NDP would run at budget deficits.
This as explained by Minister of Finance in 2017 would be occasioned by decline in diamond revenue mainly due to government forfeiting some of its dividend from Debswana to fund mine expansion projects.
Cumulatively since 2017/18 to 2019/20 financial year the budget deficit totaled to over P16 billion, of which was financed by both external and domestic borrowing and drawing down from government cash balances. Drawing down from government cash balances meant significant withdrawals from the Government Investment Account.
The Government Investment Account (GIA) was established in accordance with Section 35 of the Bank of Botswana Act Cap. 55:01. The Account represents Government’s share of the Botswana‘s foreign exchange reserves, its investment and management strategies are aligned to the Bank of Botswana’s foreign exchange reserves management and investment guidelines.
Government Investment Account, comprises of Pula denominated deposits at the Bank of Botswana and held in the Pula Fund, which is the long-term investment tranche of the foreign exchange reserves.
In June 2017 while answering a question from Bogolo Kenewendo, the then Minister of Finance & Economic Development Kenneth Mathambo told parliament that as of June 30, 2017, the total assets in the Pula Fund was P56.818 billion, of which the balance in the GIA was P30.832 billion.
Kenewendo was still a back bench specially elected Member of Parliament before ascending to cabinet post in 2018. Last week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, when presenting a motion to raise government local borrowing ceiling from P15 billion to P30 Billion told parliament that as of December 2019 Government Investment Account amounted to P18.3 billion.
Dr Matsheka further told parliament that prior to financial crisis of 2008/9 the account amounted to P30.5 billion (41 % of GDP) in December of 2008 while as at December 2019 it stood at P18.3 billion (only 9 % of GDP) mirroring a total decline by P11 billion in the entire 11 years.
Back in 2017 Parliament was also told that the Government Investment Account may be drawn-down or added to, in line with actuations in the Government’s expenditure and revenue outturns. “This is intended to provide the Government with appropriate funds to execute its functions and responsibilities effectively and efficiently” said Mathambo, then Minister of Finance.
Acknowledging the need to draw down from GIA no more, current Minister of Finance Dr Matsheka said “It is under this background that it would be advisable to avoid excessive draw down from this account to preserve it as a financial buffer”
He further cautioned “The danger with substantially reduced financial buffers is that when an economic shock occurs or a disaster descends upon us and adversely affects our economy it becomes very difficult for the country to manage such a shock”