Math Class: BUSINESS

The directors report…

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Whenever companies publish their annual financials, I always look to the notes on the income section to know (1) how much they made and (2) what exactly they engaged in. Additional detail into the state of the company’s affairs is usually found in the directors report where some entities try to provide information that is more palatable for its shareholders. I recently came across Coca-Cola’s 2014 report and here are some highlights that caught my attention:

  1. Coca-Cola Life: a lower calorie version of Coca-Cola was introduced to additional markets. I don’t fancy the packaging much but it is definitely a good product for an increasingly health conscious populous
  2. Fairlife: Through its Minute Maid division, the company introduced an ultra-filtered milk to a couple of cities of United Stated. Talk about bring new meaning to soft drinks!
  3. Monster Beverage Corporation: Coca-Cola acquired a 17% stake in this +USD 2 Billion business. Explains all the (Monster Energy) cans I have seen displayed in most of Nairobi’s supermarkets
  4. Share a Coke: Psychologists say that the first thing people write with a new pen is their name. Now you understand the frustration of people not finding their names
  5. World Cup: Brazil may have not won Bola 2014 but she definitely helped Coca-Cola solidify its presence in the 175 markets it operates in. I am still looking for my name!

CocaCoca Cola’s 2014 highlights took me back to my very 1st entrepreneurship class where our lecturer asked us to write down 50 business ideas we can get from the object ‘knife’. Butchery, slaughter house, knives sharpener, cutlery set, knives holder and that is about it for me. But if you asked me to write down 50 business ideas in areas of passion (art or accounting), I am sure I will come up with much more. I guess that’s how it starts 🙂

Of Wikis and Pedias…

Rome was not built in a day

Last month, the East African Institute issued a very discouraging report that indicated 50% of Kenyan youth condone corruption. I am curious about the size of the study for the obvious reason that an inadequate sample can skew the true results of any research. Doubts aside, it is sad to imagine that any promising damsel or lad would think this is the way to Rome. Rome was not built in a day and any different path will simply result in a house of cards.

More creative emphasis needs to be put on an education where ethical dilemmas are simulated helping students (employees / employers in waiting) to be able to anticipate and take appropriate action when faced with real life situations. Good examples also need to be showcased to continuously encourage our growing and ambitious selves that it is possible to excel without greasing palms.

Last month as well, Wikipedia celebrated 15 years of its existence. The tributes that came in were nothing short of beautiful. An 11 year-old talked of Wikipedia being with him since he was 5 and continued to praise it for its resourcefulness. As I rummaged through the ‘special edition’ HTML, I came across its audited financials and was pleasantly shocked by the amount of contributions* that continues to keep this multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia afloat. Here are some numbers…

Period

2004

2005 2009 2010 2014 2015

Contributions ($)

70,491 292,571 6,297,433 14,490,273 49,611,670

72,236,884

* Contributions is the actual cash gifts and payments given towards perpetuating its cause

What these numbers reveal:

  1. Commitment pays. Since 2001 Wikipedia has not wavered in its cause and this is clearly stated in its 1st pillar that it is an encyclopedia AND NOT a soapbox, an advertising platform, a vanity press, an experiment in anarchy or democracy, an indiscriminate collection of information, or a web directory. Reflection: Who am I? What am I really about?
  2. Consistency pays. The only one time Wikipedia did not SHOW UP for work was, when in solidarity with over 100,000 other websites, it joined in the internet blackout protest against the SOPA and PIPA. The enactments of these bills would severely curtail online freedom. In quick response, the U.S. Congress withdrew the unwanted bid. Reflection: What are my obvious strengths and how are these being made inconsistent by my inherent weaknesses? What are my near opportunities and why are unknown threats consistently paralyzing my efforts in pursuing them?
  3. Collaboration pays. Wikipedia financials (click here) continues to reveal its investment in strategic PARTNERSHIPS that has undoubtedly led to the 375 million visitors it boasts of monthly. Core to this are the over 80,000 Wikipedians who keep Wikimedia’s mission of providing free educational content to the world alive. Reflection: Who are my life partners? How are we keeping each other alive?

Real questions. Real lessons. Real life. Here’s to zero-tolerance to corruption. Happy Friday!🌼

 

Math Class: SHARES

if I had a well balanced portfolio, the loss would simply have been absorbed

A couple of years back I bought some shares that were going for $0.75 per share. And boy didn’t the price come tumbling dow

Rule of thumb: buy low, sell high (if I had a well balanced portfolio, the loss would simply have been absorbed)

A year back I took another chance at the stock market after dealing with my previous $0.70 loss. This time though, I asked for advice from a brokering agency. I also sifted through the company’s history and got first hand information on its management and performance. And it wasn’t about being able to prestigiously nod to the sometimes asked question of “do you invest in shares?” It was to genuinely seek ways of getting a return on my ‘surplus’. The shares are still trading at the same about I bought them. No regrets 🙂

 Rule of thumb: invest based on values, not emotions

Calc2016! I haven’t put down any money neither do I feel like I have the capacity to do so. BUT I have found so many resources online, on YouTube and on media that are challenging me to positively engage in the business. Whatever business. This stuff has encouraged me to move from the paralysis of analysis and make decisions so as to make the most of the present. And even to understand that it is the nature of markets to take indecent hits.

Rule of thumb: do not invest in what you do not know – George Clason from ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’

 

A TRULY RICH January🌼

31 things that made my 31 days of January truly rich…

  1. crossing over to 2016. It’s a privilege to be ALIVE2016
  2. receiving blessings for the new year from Pa (TEARS) ❤
  3. experiencing Planet Yoghurt with Ma. So much FUN
  4. overhearing my niece’s baby-talk as I chatted with her parents. HEARTWARMING
  5. seeing the little one try out his new suit in readiness of day 1 of work. Absolutely THANKFUL
  6. watching my nephew and his sister dance away to music. That is WHATSAPP 😉
  7. catching up with my cousins or their parents. Nothing beats FAMILY
  8. International Christian Centre – my home CHURCH
  9. 2016 fasting debut. Looking forward to reigniting my FAITH
  10. stepping out in faith. sweat sweat SWEAT
  11. the years long awaited call. GOD answers prayers
  12. remembering beautiful moments with a dear but now departed neighbor. I will miss you 😥 RIP
  13. engaging in community. Totally love my HOOD
  14. conversations with my besties. Everyone needs friends. Very GOOD friends
  15. sorting out the guest room and attending to my GUESTS 🙂
  16. turning my kitchen into a little HAVEN
  17. adding some HAPPY fat. Now to keep fit
  18. carrying (sometimes) lunch to work. It’s never too late to form good HABITS
  19. being less tempted by chocolate. Life’s MIRACLES
  20. spending less on movies. ALLUTA CONTINUA*
  21. piecing out my 2016 financial budget. Trusting God for PROVISION
  22. a salary. Money money money MONEY 🙂
  23. getting up, dressing up, and showing up. Absolutely GRATEFUL
  24. work life experiences. I have GROWN
  25. finding Preston Pysh somewhere on the internet. (YOUTUBE)
  26. figuring out this blog. \o/ \o/ \o/
  27. www.wazozuri.wordpress.com
  28. speaking softly again and again and again. I think I’m now getting LOUD 😀
  29. losing my cool and finding it. Cool. Very COOL
  30. finding my pulse. Great to hear my heart beat 72 times AGAIN
  31. receiving love, receiving mercy, receiving peace. ASANTE YESU

*(On the 20th point) I returned, sorry gave away, over 200 movies to my movie guy. He was shocked – more at the goodwill than the addiction. Not that I will stop watching movies; they fuel my artistic passions. But for now I must build the castle more on stone than air. Godspeed. GODSPEED

❤ Happy February!

Of Games and Theories…

have you ever wondered about the fuel prices

You have no idea how much my pocket danced at the news of a drop in fuel prices. I smiled as I imagined myself queuing at the gas station to fill the rumbling belly of my petite. Eudaimonia! “Tomorrow” is the day I promised self to check the price boards and confirm they reflected the almost $0.10 per litre fall. Doesn’t sound like much for low consumption vehicles (read small engines) but whichever the case a penny saved is always a penny earned.

But have you ever wondered about the fuel prices. Why they keep going up and in the same rhythm come tumbling down? Why is it that sometimes everyone seems to be hurriedly dashing to fuel station and in other times station owners are desperately investing in ‘happy’ franchises to attract more customers? Even the non-car owner, the one who uses public transport is directly affected through fluctuating fares that usually don’t come down after significant upsurges. What exactly is the game? Or is there a plausible theory?

So I brushed through a couple of articles on the volatility of oil prices and whoa! it took me back to the fourth of nine rows of our 20XX macroeconomics class. The demand, supply, price elasticity curves, which really gave me a hard time in that 1st year of campus, suddenly made sense. (looking forward to the day I will say the same for parallelograms!)

The theory. Positive shocks would be as a result of increased production from OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) as well as non-export oil producing countries consequently lowering oil prices. However, if any of the quotas of these 13 countries (Nigeria, Algeria, Libya, Angola – just to proudly mention the African member states) are curtailed in the sense of production or political issues, then prices automatically go up. Negative shocks would result from significant decline in demand. Case in point – China. When such a large economy experiences downturn, the world cries. In fact, the current oil pricing is reported as the ‘worst‘ in the past decade.

The games. In a monopoly (one seller/producer for a product), no competition exists and so the company’s wish is the customers command. For duopolies, the two companies have to work in a way that they balance their margins and market share else they can easily find themselves at the mercy of the consumer. The real games lie with oligopolies such as the OPEC cartel because power (pun intended) is at their feet.

In my readings, I came across an interesting view that cartels help regulate the volatility present in every commodity market. Well I don’t know about that, all I remember is that some of us really suffered (and sometimes benefited) from the cartels that happened at the University library. Hoarding of knowledge 🙂 Celebrate, it’s Friday!

Math Class: BONDS

Calculating corporate bond returns

Picking up from my previous article, I must say that I have lost count of the number of corporate bonds that have been available in the Kenyan market in the last +12 months and took a form that was somewhat like this:

13.5% 5 year corporate bond with KES 100,000 minimum to invest

THE MATH…

13.5% x 100,000 = 13,500 is the interest payable annually

This is usually paid out semiannually and so that means 6,750 every half year.

There are 2 deductions to consider in the 6,750 though…

  1. Withholding tax at 5% * 6,750 = 337.50
  2. Underwriting charges (because the bond is offered by the bank on behalf of a corporate organization with a capital intensive project e.g. real estate). I don’t know how much it is but it must be around 1% which would be 67.50

Therefore the net amount that would hit ones account would be 63,450 (i.e. 12,690 each year over a period of 5 years)

O yeah and you would get back 100,000 in the final year

CalcIMAGINE…

If corporate bonds were up for grabs each year… And that an entity (individual or company) invested at least once annually… In deed there would be an endless cycle of positive cash flows!!!

 

 

 

Of Goals and Eurobonds…

“What ze heck is ze Eurobond?”

I am an internet junkie. My brother (younger) always gets surprised how I seem to know more than he does. I wish though it was something brag-worthy. And to add to that, I have a strong liking (okay addiction) for movies and sometimes get completed consumed by just one scene. I am currently watching movies I have seen before. More for the mind of the script writer than entertainment. My current highlight is SAVING MR. BANKS. A 2013 Walt Disney production that has absolutely touched the core of my spirit. Brilliant. Rich. Funny how in 2013 I thought it was a complete waste of time. I plan to watch it a 3rd time.

Mr. Banks doesn’t have anything to do with this post. Okay maybe it does. Because when the clock stroke midnight, my goals for 2016 were not yet ready. Traditionally, I have had it all spelt out but this year I just walked in. But one thing for sure is that I must change the stuff I smoke 😉 And to start with I am now playing a different station after enjoying traffic with the same content for almost 4 years. I miss them already (the presenters) but realize there is more power in allowing harmonious melodies drive the tempo of my spirit. explained here

Ditching my movie guy will be a difficult thing. I plan to see him less and so far its been just one visit in these 1st two weeks of January. A big improvement from the two visits a week. Sadly I will miss my big screen experience of the month. An incentive for not reaching out for them compact discs. Last year I spent so much time carousing in Hollywood; 2016 must be different. I want to be authentically me. Tell a new story. Write a different script. Be the protagonist in the movie God has called me to.

(Oops post longer planned but since it is post numero uno, I will allow it!)

So as I was saying I am an internet junkie and in my frolicking I came across a comment on a post that went like this: “What ze heck is ze Eurobond?” and I promised self that such will not be my portion. The being ignorant of what is happening around me. I must care…

  1. A Eurobond is an international bond issued in a currency other than that of the country in which it is issued usually in dollars or yens hence the Eurodollar or Euroyen bonds
  2. A Eurobond and Eurobonds are 2 different things. Eurobonds are denominated in Euros and only available to governments in the Eurozone bloc. Very clever way to strengthen the Euro!
  3. A Bond (key operating word here) is where an investing entity loans a borrowing entity funds for a defined period of time at an agreed interest rate

And with ALL that said, I hope to be here next week. Celebrate, it’s Friday!