Navigating A Time Like This

Welcome to a new week and a new newsletter.

In the past few weeks, news from around the globe has been mainly negative. Starting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine to increased oil and gas (fuel) prices on the international scene to fuel scarcity, national grid collapses, and skyrocketing diesel prices back home in Nigeria; the world clearly needs some cheery news.

One thing is for sure, the impact of the war will be felt by all and not just Russia. Some countries, Nigeria inclusive have started restricting the exportation of specific food commodities as a hedge against the expected shortage of wheat specifically as a result of the ongoing war.

As to be expected, there has been a trickle-down effect on food prices, stock markets, and even the value of nickel, a mineral commodity.

As individuals & retail investors, the logical question is “what do I do at times like this?”. The honest truth is that there are no fixed answers but general guidelines as we all react to situations differently. Below are some ways of navigating times like this:

  • Think long term: The worst time to frequently check the performance of your investments is when there is an upheaval in the market or economy. Having a long-term view ensures that you do not react to short-term changes in markets or prices (stock or real estate). This goes a long way in ensuring that you do not make rash decisions that may even worsen your financial situation.


  • Avoid panic selling: One of my biggest investment regrets was selling off the bulk of my shares after Nigerian stock prices crashed in 2008. What I didn’t realize then was that as long as I held on to the shares, I retained a likelihood of recovering lost value but a sale translated the loss in value to monetary loss. The impact of that decision hit home when Benue Cement Company became Dangote Cement and I learnt that patience is truly a virtue. With the benefit of hindsight, I realise that the major mistake I made was believing that the stock market was never going to recover. That in my opinion is one of the reasons fewer people become wealthy from owning shares – few people have the discipline to hold on.


  • Do not let the losses define you: It is important we always keep any investment loss in its proper context and avoid taking it personally. I do recognize that is easier said than done but it is necessary we learn to do so. One way of doing this is to remind ourselves that we are not alone in this situation. For example, Aliko Dangote’s wealth only appreciated in dollar terms this year after 3 or 4 years of steady decline.


In conclusion, there is no foolproof way of avoiding investment losses – it comes with the terrain, unfortunately. What we must learn to do, is to take such losses in our stride and always remain that they do not define us. Rather, they can make us better investors if we learn from the experiences they present.


Till next week, stay safe and remember; this too shall pass away!


Toyin Oguntuyi