Published On: Mon, Sep 3rd, 2018

Financial Independence: Lessons on Financial Freedom: Based on True Life stories 


By Agbai Ina Obasi

Reviewer: Geraldine Onyenweaku

Sycophancy is generally understood as an obsequious flattery. In a graphicpresentation, the writer describes it as, a “disease ,which makes people hero worship leader even when they are clearly wrong . This, in the author’s opinion is worse than corruption.

Encouraged by wide spread reverence and praise singing towards their unacceptable behaviour, the leaders persist in their nefarious activities, amassing wealth that are clearly inexhaustiblewithin their life time.

This particular aspect of our behaviour emanates from financial insecurity.  His take is therefore, that as more people become financially independent, the level of sycophancy among our people will be greatly minimized. Leaders can then be held accountable for their action thus sanitizing both the corporate and public sectors which will bring about sustainable development to Nigeria.

Sycophancy is a “disease” which has turned our citizenry into a docile lot, willingly accepting the atrocities committed by our leaders.”

In writing this book, MrObasi uses an unconventional structure-his own life experience as a banker in Nigeria citing examples of his home country (Abiriba, in the south east of Nigeria), experiences and seven loosely connected stones of the ‘shining rods’ in his home country of Abiriba where he described as a “pillar” of their community forming a novel to address or expatiate on his themeof wealth creation, resilience and success in business leading to financial independence.

Using his own life experience, he talked about how people can diversify their sources of income by adhering to three major investment opportunities which he cites as follows;

  • Investment in shares/stocks
  • Investment in real estate
  • Invest in your own business.

While advocating investments in stocks as a viable business option and also a dependable retirement plan. He holds the opinion that lots of money can be made in the stock markets provided the following are observed; advice, volume purchase, staying the course, cutting your losses short, having an articulated exit plan (without being unduly greedy) and access to relevant information amongst others.

In another paragraph, Mr. Obasi, relates the biography of seven his country men who made their mark in the field of business and whom he referred to as “pillars of our community”. One of the pillars he cited in the book was a young man he described as having being unusually endowed with abundant common sense and natural skills. According to him, one of these young men came from a comfortable background as his father was among the “ big five” in their community in the middle of the twentieth century.

This young man started his business life under the watchful eyes of a mentor or master, who at the time was a big player in general commerce in the city of Aba. The young man on disengagement from his master, continued in this line of business. Having his eyes set on something bigger, he came in contact and struck a deal with one of the leading cosmetic companies in the world. He started as a distributor of the products in Nigeria and ended up with a franchise for the market in West Africa.

On its own, each story contains ample examples of insight, resilience and hardwork. On the whole, the narratives show how with sheer resolve, commitment, hard work, common sense, natural skills and of course a supporting family, people could exhibit great courage and achieve huge successes in life thereby bringing about positive changes, not only in their lives, but the lives of others and their country.

The narratives bring into focus the slavery and agony of life lived in financial insecurity and dependency and in contrast, the freedom and joy of life lived in financial security and independence.

People who are financially independent can decide their fate in life; the kind of leadership they deserve, who leads them and how they are led. They call the shots and endeavor to get the leaders they deserve. Their leaders are their servants and do their biddings in contrast to those who are financially dependent and insecure. They subscribe to a life of subservience and servitude for the rest of their lives.

Nevertheless, in recommending stocks as an avenue of financial independence the book would have been enriched by a few calculations of live stock market data to demonstrate the principles of market arithmetic to give readers some handle on how to assess market yields.

Despite this slight omission, Mr. Obasi has an interesting writing style, and uses simple words and clear sentences. This makes his slim book very easy to read and digest. He has done what most good novelists do, which is to hold up a mirror to society and remind people that what passes for normal is often barbaric. He holds his book up as a lesson to people on how to take their future into their hands. He does this in a direct and subtle manner which is very effective and compelling.



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