Saturday 2 May 2020

Zoom in on the Job in You

Life is like the Stock Market

I was thinking this morning...... On the evening of April 20, I was fully locked down in my house when I got a message from my younger brother that the price of a key futures contract of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil for May delivery was already down 28% to $13.07 a barrel. I quickly went online to follow the trend. And then, in a 20-minutes span that ranks among the most extraordinary in the history of financial markets, the price fell to a level no one thought was possible. One of the world’s most important commodity, WTI crude oil, closed the trading day at a price of minus $37.63. That’s what you’d have to pay someone to take a barrel off your hands. 

While I was watching history being made from my corner of Lagos, Bloomberg in their report days later, said that thousands of miles away, in the Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen, a 26-year-old named A’Xiang Chen watched events unfold on her phone in stunned disbelief. A few weeks earlier, she and and her boyfriend had sunk their entire savings of about $10,000 into a product that the state-run Bank of China dubbed Yuan You Bao, or Crude Oil Treasure. When A’Xiang checked her phone one last time before going to bed by 10 p.m. in Shenzhen (10 a.m. in New York), the price was now $11. Half their savings had been wiped out. She awoke the next day to a text at 6 a.m. from Bank of China informing her that with the price below zero, not only had their savings been lost but that she and her boyfriend may actually owe money. Wow! She went to bed an investor and woke up a debtor without moving a finger. Life is like the stock market, it can sometimes be bullish or bearish. 

The whole world is on a bearish run right now because of Covid-19 pandemic which has, in what seems like a blink of the eyes, turned many to 'modern day Job.' Like Job, many are mourning from the loss their loved ones, others have lost their jobs and businesses and a lot more financially drained like A'Xiang Chen of Schenzhen.

Do you know that in the midst of this bearish run, some are on the bullish run? Eric Yuan, founder of the company Zoom Video Communications, specialized in videoconferencing, has since this pandemic, added $200 million to his fortune and raised his net worth to $5.5 billion, thanks to the rapid increase in its number of users. But why is it that while so many are suffering and counting their losses, some are actually smiling to the bank? Did they prepare for this or it was just sheer providence? Life is like the stock market, it can sometimes be bullish or bearish. 

I am not sure how long it took for Job in the bible to turn from being the richest man in the east with a happy family to becoming the diseased poor man with no family, but the bizarre 20 mins on 20th April where crude oil, referred to as black gold, crashed into negative pricing, reinforced the position that life is like the stock market, it can sometimes be bullish or bearish. The good news is that Job did not die in the bearish run, he became super bullish and came out as pure gold after Eliphaz admonished him in Job 22:29 - 'When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.' Stay focused and reinvent yourself because you too shall come forth as pure gold.

Happy Sunday and stay safe.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey. 

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