Written by Zimbabwe’s richest man, Strive Masiyiwa. This post first appeared on his blog. When I was still only 17 years old, I asked an elderly gentleman who was a headmaster at a school, about buying shares on a stock exchange. He was not particularly rich, but every day he would get a newspaper and
Written by Zimbabwe’s richest man, Strive Masiyiwa. This post first appeared on his blog.
When I was still only 17 years old, I asked an elderly gentleman who was a headmaster at a school, about buying shares on a stock exchange. He was not particularly rich, but every day he would get a newspaper and begin to look at the stock prices, in much the same way many of you read the sports news.
“Do you need to be very rich to buy shares?” I asked him.
“Not really. Here in England, even working class people, like me, can also buy shares, if they know what they are doing.”
“Can you teach me, sir?”
“Off course, I can. Why don’t we start you trading right away!”
“But I have no money!”
He told me to bring a clean note book, which would act as my book on buying and selling stock.
“Let’s create a fictitious £1000, as your share buying account.
Now what I want you to do is to choose some companies, and pretend you have bought some shares, using your money. And every day you must check how your companies are doing.”
In less than half an hour, I was studying the stock prices of companies, and choosing which ones to buy with my £1000. I carefully wrote down which ones I liked.
Soon I was checking every day, how I was doing.
“The trick is to get to know your businesses. Remember you have “shares” which means you are a part owner in these businesses.” He said to me gently.
Before long, I had become disciplined in checking prices of “my companies”, because I had a “share” holding in these companies. If I heard anything mentioned about these companies, I was quick to check.
“Do your research, son; you must know “your” businesses. Those big managers, they work for you… It’s your business, not just theirs.”
Soon I was passionately debating companies with him, and others…just like some of you discuss sports scores. Only these scores could make me money!
When my companies were not doing well I would get distressed, and if they did well I got excited. If they paid a dividend, I recorded it in my book.
“Easy, isn’t it?”
“Very easy, sir.”
“You will be a millionaire one day.”
“I hope so sir.”
That was a long time ago.
There is an expression in my mother tongue, which literally translated means, “don’t fear from a distance.”
But you know I prefer bible:
“My people perish for lack of knowledge.”
There are people coming from far and wide to buy shares in your country, who will make money from opportunities at your door step.