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Posts tagged ‘Net worth’

New Year resolutions and your finances.


Nimi AkinkugbeNimi Akinkugbe

A New Year brings with it a sense of renewal and the age-old tradition of New Year resolutions helps you to focus on making positive changes in various aspects of your life. Many people make New Year resolutions to exercise regularly and maintain a healthier lifestyle, to be more prayerful, to be a better mother, father, sister or friend and have already abandoned them before the end of January. One resolution that is often ignored is to focus on improving personal finances. Try to initiate a few of these financial New Year resolutions in 2013; limit yourself to say three or four that you think you can keep.

An annual review is necessary because finances are dynamic; needs and goals change, family situations change, jobs change, incomes increase, children are born, others are off to college. Do you have a clear picture of where you stand financially? Start by gathering and organising your paperwork: bank statements,investment certificates, insurance policies, title deeds, your will, and other financial documents.

To determine your net worth, list and add up all your assets, that is, what you own including cash, mutual fundssavings and investment accounts, valuable personal possessions and the value of your home and subtract your liabilities or what you owe, such as your mortgage, car loans and other debt.

If your debts exceed your assets, do not despair; that is the purpose of the exercise. You now need to see where you can make adjustments. Keeping track of your net worth is a good indicator of how effectively you are managing your money over time.

Have you set short, medium and long-term financial goals? Are they still appropriate for your current situation? Your short-term financial goals could include saving for a car, or a vacation whilst longer-term goals might be making a down payment on a new home in three years, or planning for retirement in 10 years. If you are planning a family or have very young children, you could start an education fund to cover school or university fees. Setting clear goals brings you closer to achieving them.

Getting out of debt is another key step to taking control of your finances. List all your debt, and prioritise by focusing on the most expensive debt with the highest interest rates first. Having your debt under control gives you more freedom to do other things. It will take some sacrifice, but it is worth the effort.

Create a budget. Once you know what you owe, a budget will help you deal with your debt systematically. Budgeting is one of the most important tools for financial security and to plan ahead could mean the difference between achieving financial freedom and experiencing financial failure. A good budget will help you to plan and monitor your expenses so you can identify where your money goes and where to cut back if necessary. If you don’t already have a budget, try to make one, and stick to it.

Improve your knowledge of money matters through books, magazines, newspapers, seminars, and by seeking professional advice. Whether your interest is in learning how to manage your money, how to get out of debt or how to plan for your children’s education, there is a plethora of information that will guide you and put you in control of your finances, bringing you closer to achieving your goals.

If you don’t already have an emergency fund, think seriously about building one. Try to have at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in a safe, accessible, interest bearing money market account. If you are suddenly faced with unexpected job loss, major car repairs, or medical expenses, you will be better prepared to cope if you have this financial cushion to fall back on.

Saving is critical to financial success. Try to develop a strict habit of setting aside a minimum of 10 per cent of your income each month for savings or investment purposes. You will be surprised to discover that over time, even small amounts add up. Don’t wait until all your other commitments have been met; automate your savings by putting a direct debit in place so that you won’t be tempted to spend all your income.

Make it a priority in 2013 to invest for the future. Many stocks continue to sell at a discount to their true value. In spite of market volatility, continue to invest in the stock market if you have a long time frame, such as for your children’s education or for your retirement. However, do pay attention to your asset allocation and ensure that you are well diversified across the primary asset classes including cash, bonds, stocks and real estate.

Did you add to your retirement nest egg this past year? Every single year counts; Most of your retirement income will have to come from the money you set aside and invest today. If you haven’t done so already, open a retirement savings account and in addition, start to build an investment portfolio.

Have you made a will? I know it sounds like a morbid way to start the New Year, but do you have a will or a living trust? Putting your last wishes down in writing should be a top priority, particularly if you have dependants. Most parents have this on a ‘to do’ list but they often leave it on the back burner. Knowing your children will be cared and provided for should anything happen to you, will give you a huge sense of relief. If you already have a will, it is a good time to review and update it to make sure you have included any recently acquired assets or new beneficiaries.

Giving is a powerful and effective way to change people’s lives for the better whilst at the same time giving you financial freedom. Determine a cause or charity that you would like to be involved with and identify ways in which you can give back to the community.

Remember…it’s not all about money.

Just one last bit of advice: In all these money matters, do remember that the best and most fulfilling things in life have nothing to do with money. Remember to count your blessings, not just your money! May God grant you good health, happiness, wisdom, security and peace in abundance in the year 2013 and beyond. Happy NEW YEAR!



Oprah Winfrey No Longer World’s Richest Black Woman – Ventures Africa.

According to a report published by Ventures Africa, an African business magazine and news service,Oprah Winfrey is no longer the richest black woman in the world. Folorunsho Alakija, a Nigerian Fashion designer and Oil tycoon is the richest black woman in the world, and is worth an estimated $3.3 billion.

Johannesburg, South Africa (PRWEB) November 30, 2012

Oprah Winfrey is no longer the richest black woman in the world according to a report by Ventures Africa, an African business magazine and news service.

According to the report which is available on Ventures Africa’s website, the richest black woman in the world is Folorunsho Alakija, a 61 year-old Nigerian fashion designer and oil tycoon who is worth at least $3.3 billion, $500 million richer than media mogul Oprah Winfrey whose wealth Forbes magazine estimated at $2.7 billion in September.

Folorunsho Alakija is the founder and owner of Famfa oil, a Nigerian oil company which owns a 60% working interest in OML 127, an offshore oil field which produces 200,000 barrels of oil per day.

Explaining the rationale for the $3.3 billion valuation on Alakija, Douglas Imaralu, Online Editor ofVentures Africa commented, “Total E&P recently sold off its 20% stake in a similar oil field to China’s Sinopec for $2.5 billion. The oil field in question has a daily production capacity of 180,000 barrels a day. Similarly, other hand, OML 127 in which Famfa has a 60% interest produces about 200,000 barrels a day. When we did the math using the Total-Sinopec deal as a comparator, we came to the realization that Alakija’s stake is easily worth billions of dollars. We showed our calculations on At this point, we have no doubt that she is in deed, richer than Oprah.”

The complete calculation of Folorunsho Alakija’s net worth is available on

“Among other things, Ventures Africa plans to be the global leader in providing qualified prospects and intelligence on ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals in Africa,” Douglas Imaralu says. “Through our weekly feature, Africa’s Secret Millionaires, we traverse across the continent seeking out immensely successful, yet low-key tycoons and business leaders who have been largely under-reported, and then tell their stories. We will look through financial reports, track equity holdings around stock markets, identify specific shareholding structures in privately-held companies and consult with everyone from fund managers to investment bankers, realtors and financial analysts to find information that was has not been made public, and then we will place accurate values on the assets of these ultra-high net worth Africans.”

About Ventures Africa

Ventures Africa is a Pan-African business magazine and news service. Ventures Africa magazine is distributed through newsstands across Africa, the U.K and the UAE. Through, Ventures Africa provides timely and up-to-date African business, financial and economic news and stock quotes. Ventures Africa seeks to champion African capitalism by celebrating African success, free enterprise, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the rewards of hard work.

Douglas Imaralu
Ventures Africa
Email Information



Wealth Gap Between Congress and Average Americans Widens.

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According to a new report in The Washington Post, the median net worth of the current Congressrose 5% during the recession while it fell 39% for the average American. The wealthiest one-third of lawmakers saw their net worth rise 14%.

The Washington Post disclosed these statistics in a recent story on the wealth gap between Congressional members and the American public.

“These are supposed to be our representatives,” says The Daily Ticker’s Aaron Task. “If they’re not living the same lives or understanding the lives that the average American is living, how can they really represent our interests?”

The Post analyzed the financial disclosure forms and public records for all Congressional members from 2004 to 2010. Some key findings of the report are:

  • By 2010, the median estimated wealth for members of the House of Representatives was $746,000; for senators it was $2.6 million.
  • There was virtually no difference between the wealth of Republicans and Democrats in 2010. Just six years earlier, the net worth of Republicans was 44% higher than the net worth of Democrats.
  • 28% of Congress, or 150 members, reported earning more income from outside jobs and investments than from their Congressional salary of $174,000.
  • 27% of Congressional members saw a decline in their net worth between 2004 and 2010.

Lawmakers acquired their wealth in a variety of ways but real estate, institutional funds and the wealth of their spouses were the top three sources.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi increased her wealth by an estimated $60 million between 2004 and 2010. The gains primarily came from the commercial real estate holdings of her husband, according to The Post. Representative Darrell Issa made his reported $448 million in commercial real estate as well as other financial investments.

Related: America Has Now Become an Aristocracy of Elites: Chris Hayes

“We have this huge disparity that’s only getting worse in terms of inequality in this country,” says The Daily Ticker’s Henry Blodget. “If it continues, the country will begin to break apart and get more and more antagonistic class warfare. It’s something we have got to solve not only in Congress but in the American public at large.”

Related: Income Inequality is America’s Biggest Challenge: United Nations Economist

Is Congress pursuing policies that benefit middle and lower income Americans? The Washington Post found that 73 lawmakers sponsored or co-sponsored legislation that could benefit businesses or industries that involved those Congressional members or their families.

“It’s just outrageous that our legislators could be profiting directly from the legislation that they’re making,” says Aaron Task.

Top 10 Wealthiest Members of Congress (by household assets, 2010) according to The Washington Post:

  • Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) $448.1M
  • Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) $380.4M
  • Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) $231.7M
  • Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) $143.2M
  • Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) $136.2M
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) $101.1M
  • Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. VA) $99.1M
  • Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) $85.6M
  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) $73.2M
  • Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) $69.0M

Tell us what you think!


By Bernice Napach | Daily Ticker

American Wealth Has Dropped 40 Percent Under Obama.

The Great Recession wiped out nearly two decades of Americans’ wealth, according to government data released Monday, with middle-class families bearing the brunt of the decline.

The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged by 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on par with where they were in 1992.

I can’t count that high!

The biggest drops occurred among middle-income Americans, whose wealth was inextricably linked to the housing market boom and bust. Meanwhile, the wealthiest families actually saw their median income rise slightly.

The data represents one of the most detailed looks so far how Americans’ finances have weathered the economic downturn. It underscores both the depth of the wounds of the financial crisis and how far many families remain from healing.

“It’s hard to overstate how serious the collapse in the economy was,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. “We were in freefall.”

The survey, conducted every three years, painted a portrait of consumers still under significant duress: Though Americans made progress in paying off their credit cards, the median value of family debt did not change between 2007 and 2010. The percentage of families saddled with debt greater than 40 percent of their income also stayed the same. More families reported being behind on their bills.

The implosion of the housing market inflicted much of the pain. The value of Americans’ stake in their homes fell by 42 percent in those three years to just $55,000. The poorest families suffered the biggest loss of wealth from the drop in real estate prices. But middle-class Americans rely on housing for a larger part of their net worth. For some, it accounts for just over half of their assets. That means every step downward is felt more acutely.

Rakesh Kochhar, an economist at the Pew Research Center, calls this phenomenon the ”reverse wealth effect.” As consumers watched the value of their homes rise during the boom, they felt more confident in spending more money even if they did not actually cash in on the gains. Now, the moribund housing market has made many Americans wary of spending, even if their losses are just on paper.

According to the Fed survey, that paper wealth — or what is officially called unrealized capital gains — shrunk 11 percent to about a quarter of American’s assets.

The findings track research Kochhar released last year that showed a dramatic drop in household wealth during the recession, particularly among minorities. That study found record high disparities in wealth between whites and blacks and Hispanics. “It was turning the clock back quite a bit,” Kochhar said. source – Washington Post

by NTEB News Desk

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