For 30 years, the Government of Norway has been saving lots of money for its citizens through its sovereign wealth fund (SWF), the Government Pension Fund Global (the Fund). In fact, the Government has amassed an asset of over USD 1 trillion for its population of just 5.33 million people. That puts Norwegian citizens among the wealthiest on earth based on the Fund’s holdings alone. During most years, the returns have been phenomenal. In 2017 alone, the Fund returned USD 131 billion. If this benefit were a country, it would represent the 5th largest economy in Africa.
How did Norway achieve this? By establishing one of the largest corporations in the world, with an exemplary governance structure. …
A few years ago, I took a gap year after college and returned to the Togolese Republic, my home country.
Among the multitude of things I missed, street food ranked high.
The next morning after my arrival in Togo, I walked around the neighborhood and spotted a few street food stalls. I ended up basing my decision on two criteria: the food I missed the most at the time and the distance from my house.
Luckily, there was a woman who sold rice and beans just a minute away from where I lived. When I was in Lomé (the capital), every morning, without fail, I bought rice and beans from her. …
If you search the phrase “how to save money” on Google, you will likely get well over 4 billion hits. That’s a lot of data to sift through; a whole lot of advice from everyone and their grandma; and similar tips packed differently and in different flavors.
The truth is, you don’t need to abide by a mountain of personal finance advice to start saving and fast-tracking your retirement or increasing your cash flow. There’s so much information out there that you may drown yourself in a pool of advice.
My first professional internship job offer was in my junior year of college. It happened during a fast-paced campus recruiting season. I wasn’t prepared for it.
I walked into the business school’s main building and plowed my way through a sea of figures in blue and gray attire.
I confidently climbed the stairs leading directly to the waiting area of the interview hall.
“Hello, my name is Jeff and I am here for an interview with XXX.”
The student at the reception desk checked the list of scheduled interviews on that day.
I presented my student ID, filled out a form on a laptop and sat down in a nearby chair. …
I truly believe that regret is such a wasted emotion. For this reason, I have very little of it. The way I see it, once an undesirable event occurs, the only thing I could do is minimize or eliminate — if possible — the chance of that event repeating itself. I dislike feelings of regret and that’s exactly why I do my best to not worry about undesirable outcomes.
It turns out that I’m not the only who views life decisions this way. Jeff Bezos also thinks the same. Well, sort of.
In a 2001 interview, Jeff Bezos explained why he quit his high-paying job to start Amazon, a firm that initially sold books, a far cry from his secure life. He explained that his decision was rather easy because he used what he coined a regret minimization framework. …
Two years into moving back to the African continent, some things are becoming clear:
Living in Africa and reading about it can be quite different.
One of the discoveries I’ve made is the complexity of entrepreneurship. Don’t get me wrong: entrepreneurship has never been easy anywhere. In most countries on the continent though, it is a herculean undertaking.
Still, if you’ve been getting fed African entrepreneurship news via media outlets and social media, you’d think everyone and their grandma are making a killing being entrepreneurs in Africa.
Nothing could be further from the truth. It seems some leaders are championing the entrepreneurship bandwagon in Africa because they’ve simply failed to solve the unemployment challenge — shifting the entire responsibility of fostering jobs to the people. …
I must admit: college was a great experience for me. I acquired broad knowledge and I learned self-discipline. But, some courses were and remain useless to me. I also met really brainy people and some truly strange ones.
Life after college, however, is much more different. University life doesn't quite prepare for some cutthroat realities of the world. After some time roaming the school of hard knocks, these are some of the things I came to grasp with.
No one really cares about your GPA or your alma mater a few years after school.
A few years after college, I realized that college diplomas are only relevant at the very beginning of our careers when we’re just getting our feet into the job market, when we don’t yet have a strong network to rely on. …
In a past article, I explained how an ordinary person who has a 9-to-5 job potentially spends about 24% of weekly time at work. While it was good food for thought, we didn’t explore an important element of work: productivity.
Economists rely on productivity indicators to measure GDP growth, living standards, and even economic competitiveness. But here, we’ll focus on workplace productivity which is essentially the amount of output produced per X amount of time. In layman’s term, labor productivity measures the amount of work you get done after, say, one hour. …
A random question popped into my head: how much time do we have left after accounting for routine activities?
I don’t know about you, but “time flies” is a phrase I started using increasingly after I graduated from college into the school of hard knocks. Again, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can’t help but feel time is going by so quickly. That everything is becoming so fast-paced that there’s only so much you can remember in detail from just a few years back.
But of course, we still live by the 24-hour cycle. So I was curious to know: why in the world do we sometimes feel there’s not enough time in the day? …
One day during summer 2016, I was driving over a bypass in Lomé in the Republic of Togo. Suddenly, I began seeing flatbed trailer trucks on both sides of the road. I did not need to guess which company they belonged to. The emblematic light gray color reminded me of only one company. Surely enough, I glanced closer at the trucks and they were all stamped with “DANGOTE CEMENT”. Realizing that there were many trucks lined in a queue, this piqued my interest. I finally began to count the trucks as fast as I could. …