Oler Oladele: ‘I founded the Money Wit Club to help working-class professionals learn about investing.’

Oler Oladele is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder. An accounting graduate, Ola began her Treasury career as a Naira dealer at Kakawa Discount House and progressed to trading money market and fixed income securities at FBNQuest Merchant Bank.

Her most recent position before creating OlerOladele.com was as a part of the executive management team at Parthian Partners Limited, where she was instrumental in launching the first ever Nigerian Treasury bills investment app as well as successful commercial paper and bond issuance.

At OlerOladele.com, she founded an exclusive investment community, the Money Wit Club, which facilitated personal finance workshops. Also recently, she launched The Money Wit Show, a prime-time personal finance education radio show that airs across Nigeria and on all major podcast streaming platforms. As a prolific speaker on finance, investing, and economy-related matters, Oladele is also on the faculty of Tekedia Mini MBA and Joseph Business School, Lagos. On the back of her work as the pioneer chair of the gender diversity committee of the CFA Society Nigeria, she is an alumnus of the Oxford Executive Leadership Programme. Read our Q&A with her and be inspired!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am a financial securities trader turned financial educator. Through my company and our various expressions, I help people secure their financial futures through financial education and access to opportunities.

My 15 years of experience in finance positioned me for what I do right now. I started off as a securities trader at Kakawa Discount House, analysing the economy and making daily investment decisions. During this period, I became a CFA charter holder. I then went on to be a balance sheet manager at FBNQuest Merchant Bank before moving on to Parthian Partners Ltd. as VP of Global Markets and Executive Management.

In 2022, I left Parthian to start my financial wellness company, OlerOladele.com, where we are on a mission to bridge the pervasive financial education gap in Africa. At OlerOladele.com, we have trained staff of global companies and hosted workshops and trainings, all on managing personal finances and investing. We also founded our investment community, the Money Wit Club, for access to viable investment opportunities. In 2023, we launched our prime-time radio show, the Money Wit Show, which airs across Nigeria and is available on all major podcast streaming platforms. I am married with two boys—7 years and 11 months.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment in your life? I’ve had major bursts of gratitude in my life, but the newest and freshest sense of accomplishment has come from working with clients on their personal finances. When they get clarity on their finances and a sense of hope and direction! When they come back with the testimonial of what they’ve gone on to do with clarity! It is priceless.

You have an impressive professional background. What prompted you to launch your community, The Money Wit Club? I founded the Money Wit Club to help working-class professionals learn about investing and invest in a sustainable (and profitable) way. While exchanging time for money (i.e., working) is a good foundation for financial wellness, history has shown us that the surest way to build wealth is by investing. We all know this, but some have invested and lost money, and some don’t invest for fear of losing money. 

With my strong background in investment decision-making, I could see why a lot of these investments shouldn’t have been done in the first place or could have been structured differently. At the Money Wit Club, we explain the various asset classes, show you how to invest in each of them, and keep track of market happenings that could affect your portfolio while keeping you accountable. 

How has the way you understand the world changed over time, and what (or who) prompted the most significant shifts in your thinking? I think the world is constantly evolving. We are markedly different from how we functioned in the 1990s. Once I woke up to that fact and the fact that things are going to keep changing, I have taken full responsibility for adjusting with the times while preserving my core. To do this, I read a lot—articles, books, and posts. This way, my thinking has evolved in bits and pieces as opposed to major moves.

What are some of the practical steps you’ve taken to ensure consistent growth in your career?

3 THINGS

  1. Being open to new things: As you grow, you’ll evolve from your core competencies to new areas. I have 15+ years in finance, but I now have a full-fledged media arm (prime-time radio, podcast, YouTube channel) in my company. Who would have thought?
  2. Having written goals: It is not just about having the goals, writing them down is very important, and if possible, having a visual image of them. Having written goals helped me know what to focus on. It is also very encouraging to tick those boxes.
  3. Being flexible: After some time, some goals were not as important as they were before. Being able to let it go is a freedom worth having.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to a younger Ola? Don’t stress for any reason, it will come together when you least expect it and in the most amazing way.

Who and why inspires you in life? Personally, I’m internally driven. I regularly ask myself what I am on this earth for and focus on it. The answer changes per season, but there’s always a common thread. So what I do is look for someone who is doing what I think I should be doing at that time and learn from them. Read their books, listen to them speak, and learn from them in any way possible.  I believe that life is like a mosaic—different pieces glued together. My job is to trust the process

What are the top things you’ve done or achieved in the last year to empower or elevate women? One thing very dear to me – We created a segment in my radio show focused on women and their finances called the girl talk segment. Here, we focus on providing guidance on women-specific money issues. I’ve also trained several female-only communities on managing their finances.

What are your thoughts on “women supporting women”? “Women supporting women” is a powerful and important concept that promotes unity, solidarity, and empowerment among women. Women can and should come together to uplift and advocate for one another, both personally and professionally. I am personally committed to supporting women in any way I can. 

I was the pioneer chair of the gender diversity committee at the CFA Society Nigeria, and our job was to curate and deploy initiatives to support women in finance.  There’s a lot of work to be done in this space, but I believe every woman should be committed to breaking barriers so that younger women know that it is possible and keep pushing, providing mentorship, actively engaging in female-only networks, where possible, calling out gender biases and stereotypes, and trying to be a positive role model.

Do you have any career success advice you’d like to share with our readers? Career success is a fine balance between being good at what you do and being seen or known to be good at it. Do great work, but also pay some attention to being visible. It is the people you see that you remember.

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