Kunle finished his meal at the fast food restaurant and glanced at the overhanging television set for news on the hour. It was the latest on the global financial crisis and the impact on the world’s stock markets.

“What is the big deal in buying shares,” he taught. “Better put your money in tangible goods you can see and control, than in all these bonds and stocks.” As he sauntered out of the restaurant, he saw his bosom friend Fred, cruise past in a flashy Honda Accord car.

“Fredo, Kunle hailed and waved. Fred saw him instantly and pulled up by the roadside, anchoring the saloon car after the traffic light. The car air-condition was humming, chilling the interior, and the hip-hop tunes, Do me…do me… of music celebritiesP Square, made Fred to sway his head to and fro.

Kunle ran to the Honda car, opened the side door, hopped in, sat down beside Fred and slammed the door shut. As old pals, they pumped hands and traded “how-do-you-do’s.” The chilled car and music hit Kunle in the face.

“What’s up, Fredo,” he asked, his eyes glistening with excitement. He had never seen Fred driving this car, and it was a big surprise. Fred engaged gear and eased his Honda car back into the traffic heading home.

“Well Kunle, as you can see, I am a proud car owner.”

“You mean you own this fine bird,” Kunle asked in amazement, curiosity taking the better part of him.”

“Sure, Kunle. I bought it five days ago for . It is the 2006 model, and it came with factory fitted A/C, complete works. This car is more than a vehicle. It is a moving entertainment package, and it is fully insured. I have been…….”

“But you didn’t tell me, Fred,” Kunle cut in.

“Sorry, my brother, Fred chipped in, a bit apologetic. I have been very busy tying up the loose ends of that project I told you about, and to get all the necessary papers for this car and put it on the road. I am now mobile, a proud car owner.”

“You can say that again, Kunle countered, as he looked round the interior of the Honda, eyes beaming with excitement. We go wash am oh, he quipped, as the car glided silently through the traffic. He was still curious.

“But how did you do swing this, Fred? Did you win a jackpot or contract?”

“None of that, my brother. You know I am not a contractor, and I don’t gamble. I am still a commission insurance agent like you Kunle.”

“I know,” Kunle charged, still curious. The last time we met, we discussed the hard times and how we can diversify our income streams. Ten days later, I see you cruising in this Honda car. What is the secret brother? I want to own a ride like this. Boy, this is really a moving entertainment, and I love it.”

“I know you will love it, Kunle. Who wouldn’t? This car was shipped in fromJapan.”

“So tell me Fred, where did you get the N1.5 million. Did you take a loan.?”

“No Kunle. I sold my shares.”

“Which shares?” Kunle asked in amazement.

“The shares I bought in that bank three years ago. Have you forgotten? You remember the commission both of us made from that insurance deal.”

“Yes, I did,” Kunle added.

“Good, you remember a stockbroker advised us to use the money and buy shares in the stock market. That way, it will multiply. You refused and put your money in your building project at your home town. But I preferred to invest the whole of my N250, 000 commission in the stock market, let my money multiply, reap and enjoy later. Kunle, what you are enjoying now is the power of the stock market to multiply your investments. My N250, 000 worth of shares appreciated to more than N2 million, within three years. Isn’t that a good deal brother? And when I ran into this old school mate of mine last Christmas, who came in from the USA and wanted cash badly, I asked my stockbroker to sell part of my shares in that bank. He did, and I used the money to buy this car.”

“Just like that,” Kunle shouted excitedly, clasping his hands.

“Just like that,” Fred beamed. “Men, I am so happy. I have always agonised how I am ever going to own a car. Little did I know that buying the shares of a bank and selling some of them three years later would make me a car owner? From a share owner, I have now become a car owner. No sweat. Just wisdom and patience. It is like one of the titles of James Hadley Chase novels we read in secondary school. You remember that one Kunle, Come Easy….Go Easy.”

“I do,” Kunle responded, deep in thought.

“Men, the stock market is it,” Fred continued. You put in your money easily there, and you can take it out easily whenever you want. It’s such a good deal, so flexible. The stock market is the place to invest, Kunle. It’s never too late to start. Come to think of it, if you bought a piece of land, though its value appreciates over time, you cannot easily sell it quick time.”

“Congratulations, my brother,” Kunle said after a long silence.

He was struck by Fred’s wisdom. “What you have just said has opened my eyes. I regret putting my money in that building project.”

“You don’t have to Kunle. You are on your way to become a landlord,” Fred said.

“When? Fred, when?” Kunle queried. I have since stopped work on that project. The cost of cement has soared beyond my reach making it impossible for me to continue work there. Even if I want to sell it now, I cannot easily do as just as you sold your shares. The sale of land and buildings take time to conclude. I don’t really know when I will complete that building. I should have listened to that stockbroker.”

“No regrets,” Fred counselled him. “The house is still yours, completed or not. You can even use it as collateral to take a bank loan. My ownership of this car demonstrates the beauty of investing in the stock market. You can see the benefit now. You can do same Kunle. It’s never too late to start.”

“I will Fred, I definitely will.”

“Good resolution Kunle. You know what; I am ready to marry now. Many girls turned down my marriage proposals because I was not mobile. Now I am ready to go for big time. Let’s go and celebrate brother,” as the two friends roared in laughter.

Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, www.ezinearticles.com and www.writingcareer.com. He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at http://sallywantsahusband.blogspot.com

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