The Four Horsemen Of Financial Ruin – The Panel Interviews

What does it take to build wealth that lasts?

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MW:   Good morning/afternoon Mavuno! How are you guys doing? It’s really great to be back home! Pst Carol and I have been away speaking at Nairobi Chapel this month, speaking about marriage and it went very well. We really did have a great time at Chapel, but all through the month I was thinking about Mavuno. I love this church and it is difficult being away from you guys – I just thought you should know that 🙂 Anyway, we kept hearing phenomenal reports about all the things going on here, and I couldn’t believe I was away! Throughout this month we have been celebrating 9 years of life-change at Mavuno. How many people can truthfully say – ‘my life or my family have been dramatically transformed for the better because of my being part of the Mavuno family?’ Come on, let’s celebrate God together!

I celebrate all the people who’ve given their lives to Christ here. I celebrate all the marriages and families that have been changed here at Mavuno. I celebrate all those who have discovered their purpose here and are living lives of fearless impact. I celebrate the many initiatives that have been launched here to impact society. I celebrate the over 3000 students that we impact every week through our high school services. And I celebrate all the life-change that is happening not only here at Hill City but in our campuses across Nairobi, across Africa and all the way Berlin. Glory to God!

But the best is yet to come! I believe God is just getting started with us. Mavuno exists to turn ordinary people into FEARLESS influencers of society, and I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through us in this next season. In fact turn to someone next to you and tell them, “You may not look like much right now – but I can’t wait to see the Fearless things God will do through you!”

So how many have been blessed this month by Pst Oscar’s teaching on the Four Horsemen Of Financial Ruin? Wasn’t he amazing? Well today we want to end that series. Through the month he taught about the four things that can bring great financial ruin to us.

  • In week one we learnt about the Hustler, and said that if we live our lives with a hustler mentality, and without a vision for the future, without plans for our future, we are headed for financial ruin.
  • The next week we learnt about the Enslaver called debt, and saw from Proverbs 22:7 that ‘the borrower is a slave to the lender’. Pastor Oscar took us through 8 simple steps to help us stay debt free.
  • In week three we looked at the Desolator – how our finances can be desolated when we do not plan for emergencies and end up eating everything we have. A key take-out for us was to start an emergency fund.
  • Then last week we learnt about the Devourer, and from Malachi 3 we saw that we bring curses upon ourselves when we rob God by not presenting our tithes and offerings. And the call to us was to live lives of generosity towards God and his church.

By the way if you missed any of those sermons, or know someone who needs to listen to it, I’m informed that you can purchase a copy of the DVD from the info desk immediately after the service.

So today we want to close the series with some practical financial advice. As you walked in you probably saw the set-up was a little different outside this dome. The reason for that is that we are having a money fair today, and we have invited some friends and partners to engage with us primarily around two areas. The first is for the area of financial advise – for any who would say I need some help to make the most of my resources, and the second is legal – for those who do not have a will and would like to get the process started. A special thanks to all our lawyers and financial advisors here at Mavuno who have volunteered to help us as a congregation in these areas. Also a special mention to several institutions who have partnered with us to make this possible – including Old Mutual, Barclays Bank, UAP Investments Ltd, Britam, Fountain Enterprises Ltd and Bank Of Africa. Each of these have unique savings and investments opportunities that they will be offering at their stands today, in addition to giving general financial advice.

But speaking of friends and partners, I have some special friends today that I am going to be inviting up here today. The first is a financial adviser and planner with over 10 years experience in the investment industry both locally and internationally. She is the founder and director of both Origins Investment Group Advisors Ltd as well as Centonomy, and sits on the board of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa). She was nominated as amongst the 50 top women entrepreneurs in November 2007 by the Business Daily, and is regularly featured on TV and radio to speak on investments.

The second is an established lawyer with over 15 years’ experience in Law Practice. She is a practicing Certified Public Secretary (ICPSK) and a member of the chartered institute of arbitrators. She is also a member the Law Society of Kenya and the lead partner of Wambui Kyama and Co advocates and has great experience in matters of estate planning, litigation and advising on corporate governance issues.

(THE GUESTS)

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in helping me give a very warm Mavuno welcome to Waceke Nduati and Wambui Kyama.

MW: Welcome ladies, and thank you so much for being here today. (Allow responses). All month we have been going through this series by Pastor Oscar, and I know you have both listened to this series. What for you has been one of the take-outs?

WK:   Maybe I can start. In one of his sermons, Pastor Oscar challenged us to have a vision for our future and not just be hustlers. He said that we must have certain plans in place, and being an advocate, one of the plans that really connected with me was when he talked about having a will in place that acts as your estate plan. It would really surprise you to hear that less than 30% of African people actually write wills, often leaving their dependents in terrible trouble after they are gone – so I really connected with that!

MW:   Before we even get to Waceke, let me ask you a little more about that. Why is it that people do not write wills, and in your years of experience, what have you seen when they do not do so.

WK:   I think for a number of reasons. Firstly, I think our culture just does not like to speak about death – it feels like when you talk about it you are inviting death. A second reason is people are sometimes afraid because if their beneficiaries learn about the will, they might look for ways to expedite your demise. A third reason i see is that there are many who feel that what they own is not sufficient yet – either they do not own much, or they feel that they have not hit their mark yet, so there is little point in writing the will just yet.

MW:   That’s very interesting, because we always see stories in the media of families going to war with each other as a result of no estate plan. What has been your experience when people pass on without writing a will?

WK:   In a few instances, the families are able to divide property quite equitably, and without issue, but as you said, more often than not, families do not agree, and end up fighting each other – causing much tension and strife amongst them. But I have seen many other negative consequences.

  • Legacy – The deceased may have supported certain causes and wanted to create legacy, but the family does not support
  • Destitute – Married daughters and children under 18 can be over-looked
  • Undisclosed Assets – Undisclosed assets that are unclaimed end up in the government’s hands

MW: I want to come back to that – and especially that issue of ‘I’m too young and it’s really irrelevant for me to write a will’. But if its ok, I’d like us to turn our attention to Waceke. What was a take-out for you?

WN:  Thanks Pastor M. First let me say that I completely connect with Wambui. I have been in the financial investment and advice business for many years, and I am always amazed at how people neglect this very important area. My organization actually runs a class on finances, and one of the key things we teach is estate planning – so I agree with everything said. As for me, I think one of the take-outs for me was intentionality with money. There are many people who genuinely desire to be wealthy, but are not intentional about how they use their resources. If they were asked where their money goes on a monthly basis, they really have no clue, it’s like it goes into a big black hole. What Pastor Oscar was teaching was that unless you get a hold of your money, and tell it where to go and what you want it to do for you, you have little chance of becoming financially secure.

MW: Desire without intentionality is simply dreaming, isn’t it! Now I know you did not always have good financial plans. Tell us a little about your own financial journey.

WN:   Well I had worked in the investment industry for many years, however I hardly did anything with my own money. I lived from paycheck to pay check, and like many people in the corporate world, I was under the illusion that because I was working for an institution with a so-called ‘big’ name, I was doing well. But the reality was that my salary had become a trap, it was my comfort zone. Even if I did nothing with my money, there was always another end month, and I lived for that end month.

Things began changing when I decided to step out of my good job. All of a sudden I had no guaranteed salary, and it was then that I began to realize the real value of money. I began counting my coins much more diligently, and started tracking where my money went. For instance, I realized that I used to spend about 300/= on lunch daily, and when I computed this for the year, I was shocked to find that I spent about 108k on lunch alone. That was shocking – I thought to myself, “I could buy a plot with my lunch money”. Sometimes I would go out with friends and randomly spend 2k on a meal. With no guaranteed income, I had to change this, and I realized that that 2k would be more than enough to buy veggies for my entire family for a week. This was a real wake-up call for me. Here I was teaching people how to invest in the stock market and make their money work for them, but even I had no intentionality with my own money.

MW:  Wow! I really like your honesty, and I’m sure there are many here who can relate to that. Let’s fast forward to today. You are now a well-trusted financial planner, who not only has a good grip on your own personal finances, but through your consultancy have helped numerous people lay good solid financial plans. Over the past ten or so years you have been doing this, what would you say are 1 or 2 destructive things you have seen people do where money is concerned?

WN:  The first is quite easy – paying yourself last. Allow me to explain. For many people who we come across, the day they get their salaries the priority is to sort other people first. Whether it be the land-lord, the school where your children study, the cable TV company, the mechanic – once everyone gets sorted, whatever is left over is what you keep for yourself. The problem with this type of thinking is that life has so many demands, and by the time you sort them all out, you hardly have anything left for you. What you are doing is building everyone else’s factory before you build your own.

MW:  Hang on! That’s a very interesting phrase. Building every one else’s factory before you build your own. What does that mean?

WN:  Think about it. If the first thing you do when you get your salary is go shopping, you really are working to build that clothes store, or supermarket chain. If it’s your landlord you sort out first, you are helping to build his portfolio. If you consistently live like this, by the time you are done paying everyone else, you realize you have built everyone else’s factory, and have done nothing for yourself. I believe that the first thing you must do when you get your income is pay the government, then pay your tithe, then before you begin spending, pay yourself. Put aside money for savings and investments that will build your own factory. If you live a consumer-driven lifestyle, you will realize that in 10 or 20 years time, you have helped everyone but yourself become wealthy. My point? Never compromise your own factory – let other factories suffer, never your own.

 MW:   Wow! That is such a powerful truth. What I hear you saying is that with intentionality, you must prioritize your own future before you think about others. Now it almost sounded from your story that if you’re not careful, your salary can actually cripple your financial health! What’s your advice to the salaried?

WN:   First thing I must say for those who earn a salary is that your salary is not the end all and be all of all things. Many people are relying solely on their salary to get ahead, without realizing that salary is not the maximum income you can earn. So we end up harassing our bosses for a pay increase, and if that does not happen we start blaming the world for our financial position. What we do not realize is that salary is only one of the resources you have – you also have your time, and your talents.

MW:   Tell us a little more about that.

WN:   Sure. One of the things I have seen is that people who have created wealth use time very effectively – time can create money, but money can’t ever create time. Many people are wasting this time on things that don’t matter – for instance, how many hours do you spend watching television, or catching up on series? This is time you will never recover. What if instead of wasting this time, you spent it building yourself. Even if its something as simple as going online and researching on how the stock market works, how government bonds work – that would be time well spent. Maybe you use your time to learn a new language, or learn new skills – the point here is that if you are wise, you can use your time to help you generate income and stop relying wholly on your salary.

Similarly, grow your talents. I really connected with Pastor Oscar’s story of increasing income through his rearing of dogs and keeping of bees. In my experience teaching on personal finance management with Centonomy, I’ve come to realise there are so many people whom God has blessed with multiple giftings. The question to ask is how can I leverage my skills to create wealth. Maybe you are an accountant with some extra time on your hands. Why not look for a start-up looking for accounting services that you can offer for a small fee. Others are great writers who, instead of blogging and face booking all your thoughts, could be writing for newspapers and magazines. Others can be great MCs for events, and so on.

MW:  We’re talking about turning passion into profits here, and I know one of our members Frida Owinga runs an organization that trains people to do this. I also am grateful for what Centonomy is doing and know many here at Mavuno have done your course – and of course your team will be on hand outside to tell us more about it! Last question for you Wambui, – what would you say to a Mavunite who is sting here hearing about wills, and wondering, ‘What does that have to do with me?’ ‘Aren’t wills associated with old people nearing their death?

WK:  I think that is a common and very dangerous misconception. That statement would be true if death only took away only elderly people. Buy the paper today and look up the obituaries section if you don’t believe me – you will see everyone from teenagers to the elderly. The reality of life is that it is so unpredictable, you have to give thanks for every single day because you never really know what tomorrow holds. But let me give you two reasons I think each person seated here must have a current will.

For one, even for the person who says “I do not own much right now’, the little you have could be of immense benefit to someone else. You may despise what you have today, thinking it is not enough to justify a will but what I have come to realize is that there are numerous people who would jump at the chance to own what you have. Even if you have no dependents, you can very easily leave a legacy by having what you own sold off to a charity. What a great legacy you would have left behind. But without a will, know that any property unclaimed reverts to the government.

A second reason is __________

MW:   Thank you so much Mrs. Kyama – One of the things I did not mention earlier on was that the lawyers who are stationed at the money fair are offering a very unique service. Writing a will can be a very costly affair. However, the lawyers here have agreed, starting today and for one week only, to help anyone interested in writing a will to do so for a low price of, get this, only Ksh. 1,000/= each. And even this money is being donated wholly towards our ‘Count Me In’ initiative, which is our initiative to help us settle into our new home here. Can we give it up for these lawyers! What you need to do is go and see them today, and get the process kick-started. This offer will only last for those who engage the lawyer today ad through this week.

Mavuno let’s appreciate our panel!

And as they leave, I’d like invite one more person to the stage. Now this man has been a part of the Mavuno family for seven years, and although employed is also quite an entrepreneur and a fearless influencer. Ladies and gentlemen, would you help me in welcoming to the stage, Mr. Peter Musyoki!

(Enter Peter Musyoki)

MW:  Karibu sana Bw. Musyoki . Now you have been our office assistant & messenger here at Mavuno for a number of years, running our errands and managing our store. Mavuno you may not know Peter, but I can attest that he has been a tremendous blessing to us as a staff team. He is one of the most diligent and hard-working people I have ever met, and on top of that has a level of humility that has blown me away. One of the things that impresses me is that with the income you have earned, you have managed to take care of 5 children – three being your biological children, and two adopted, including one from your late sister. Still you have been able to accomplish quite a bit with it, including becoming a land owner. Tell us a little about your financial journey.

PM:  I started off selling newspapers in town, before I got a job in industrial area. While I was there, I was earning only 7,500/=. At the time I came across a piece of land in Syokimau that was selling for 50k. I knew I really wanted this piece of land, but had no idea how to go about it. Fortunately through a sacco I was able to put a down-payment on the land, and started paying 1,700/= every moth for this. It took me 38 months to pay it off, but I eventually bought the land.

MW:   Peter I know that you are a family man – right now you have a wife and five children – three are your own, one is adopted, and a fifth is your late sister’s. With all those mouths, you were earning only 7,500. How difficult was it for you to part with 1,700/= each month?

PM:   It was extremely difficult. I had to budget for each and every coin I had, and make sure I did not waste a single shilling. At some point I even ended up in debt. But I knew I had to stay committed if I was to increase my wealth.

MW:   That was in 2005. Fast-forward to today. This piece of property that you struggled to purchase for only 50k, what have you done with it, and what has that helped you accomplish?

PM:  Earlier this year I was able to sell it for 12 times the price I bought it for. i sold it for 600k. The value was actually between 700-750k, but because I sold it to my brother, I gave him a good price. Since then I have been able to start up a number of businesses. I started with an m-pesa business, although I have since moved on. I have also been involved in some little subsistence farming that gives my family food so we do not have to spend much on food. A few months ago I bought a motor-cycle that I use for my transport business. I have also opened up a kinyozi (barbers) and a salon in Mlolongo, and now i am looking to build a home in my shagz. I am also going to be able to give some of the money I have earned towards Count Me In.

MW:  Peter, what would you say to someone here who says, ‘I’m only earning 30k. I don’t yet have enough to save and invest. One day when I’m paid more I’ll do something with it…’

PM: They have to start small, be diligent and frugal, invest wisely and think long term about there capacity to create wealth for themselves and their children. It’s never too little to invest
MW: Mavuno if you recall what Pastor Oscar taught us, wealth creation is not about how much money you start with, but about how you use the little you have. Peter thanks so much for being willing to share your story with us today. Mavuno let’s give Peter our warm appreciation!

As we close this series today, I really want to say Mavuno that many of the principles we learnt can be completely life-altering if you chose to put them into practice. You may say ‘I have heard all these principles before’, or maybe even ‘they only work for certain people’ – but I really want to challenge us today – what if you just picked one thing from this series, and decided with consistency and discipline to practice it and see what you can accomplish with it.

Let me invite us to, after the service, head out into the money fair. In addition to the lawyers, we also have the following organizations:

  • Fearless Influencers Ltd – we engaged Fearless Acres. Working on Insurance solution. AND Fuel card solution.

Old Mutual – who have some great Savings Investments and protection solutions

  • Barclays Bank – who have the Zidisha Bonus Savings Account are giving good interest rates for your savings account
  • UAP Investments – who have give investment advice as well as help you invest in shares and offer investment management services
  • Britam – who have financial solutions including a retirement plan for individuals, SMEs and corporates
  • Fountain Enterprise – are offering opportunities to purchase shares in their cooperative
  • Bank of Africa – who have a retirement plan as well as other investment products
  • Centomony – who have a fantastic personal financial management course

Please do not miss out on these great opportunities. But as I close, allow me to pray for a number of people:

Pst Oscar spoke about the staircase to wealth (in the 4 months remaining this year…)

  • Step 1 is you clear all your DEBT [even knew better but returned. Greed, fear, impatience…]
  • Step 2 is you set up an EMERGENCY FUND [living on the edge – no more]
  • Step 3 is SAVINGS – you need to set up the habit of consistently saving.
  • Step 4 is INVESTING your seed in business or into shares or real estate…….
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4 Responses to “The Four Horsemen Of Financial Ruin – The Panel Interviews”

  1. Thanks for having the ladies speak to us today. There is one thing Mrs Kyama said which I would like to correct. She said that when you don’t have a will the government through the Unclaimed Financial Assets law get to inherit your wealth. That’s not accurate. The Unclaimed Assets law is a safeguard to the owners of assets and their beneficiaries.
    The government steps in as a last resort when the assets go unclaimed over a certain period of time and the holding institution has not been able to reunite the asset with the owner or his or her beneficiaries.
    The government steps in only as a custodian of the funds which are held in perpetuity. The funds are are held in a trust account and the only amounts the government may access are the returns from the investment of those funds to use for the operations of safeguarding those funds and one or two community benefit programs like education. The funds are ring-fenced against NSSF type abuse.
    Mrs. Kyama also included land in her definition of unclaimed assets. No, that is not accurate. Unclaimed assets includes only intangible assets and land does not fit into the definition of unclaimed assets. The only tangible assets that are considered in the unclaimed assets definition are the contents of a safe deposit box.
    I write this as an Unclaimed Financial Assets professional who has worked in this area for the last 8 years, initially with Deloitte & Touche in the United States and not a consultant in unclaimed assets based in Nairobi.
    I hope I brought some clarity to those reading this blog or listened to the sermon. I will be glad to discuss this more in a different format at a future date.

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  2. Wambui Kyama Says:

    Thank you for the clarification. The point I was trying to make is that if you dont ‘will’ your property and you have no known heirs the property benefits the government.

    For intangible assets the government takes custody of the unclaimed assets which are presumed abandoned and they are transferred to the authority. This authority can even sell those abandoned assets and the money is held in trust. Any interest generated by those assets is utilized by the government.

    In the case of land if you dont will it and you have no known beneficiaries the property reverts to the government through the doctrine of escheat.

    In case one wants to read up some more one can refer to http://kenyalaw.org/kl/fileadmin/pdfdownloads/Acts/UnclaimedFinanancialAssetAct_No40of2011.pdf

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  3. Interesting. I recently visited a church in Nairobi and the pastor spoke of paying tithe to the pastor. Is this Biblical ? For Malachi 3 : 8 -12 is very clear in taking your tithe the storehouse which is church. Please advise.

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  4. Hello Ogwala,

    Great question,

    I believe that proper stewardship of Gods resources by the church leadership is critical and non-negotiable.

    The church leader is remunerated by the church, but having said that there is need for accountability of the resources by the church.

    The giving is to the Lord not directly to the leader. The pastor is a servant to the people and an employee of the church, not the church all by himself.

    Give your offering to the church coffers not to an individual and you also have the right to require a breakdown of how the resources have been used.

    That my $0.02.

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