When you meet Christopher ‘King’ Bowofade, you are sure in that first minute of conversation that you have met no ordinary 22-year old. Your astonishment quickly grows when he tells you how, in less than two years, he went from a being a student who saw his parents struggle to send him his monthly allowance to building an investment company with 15 full-time employees and over N600 million under management.
The company he built, Better Days Investments (BTD), buys and sells futures and options daily on behalf of 7,902 individual investors who get returns anywhere from 10% to 30% monthly, a performance that I found difficult to believe when I first heard about it.
Somewhere in the middle of my chat with him, I couldn’t help but ask, how does a young kid who got rejected twice to study Economics?—?first as a secondary school leaver and later as an Ordinary Diploma Holder?—convince thousands of investors to bet on him?
His short answer: “People work with you based on what you say you are.”
In late 2012, he was a fresh Diploma graduate, second best in his Conservation Science and Tourism class with a 4.41 GPA, but he was determined to be more than that. During the long break that preceded his direct-entry application to the Department of Economics at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), he stayed back in school to learn about a variety of fields over free school internet. He quickly became adept at graphic design and web development. But what really caught his eye was the financial market: forex, futures, options and binary options. These quickly became an obsession.
He would lose his first investor (his mum)’s $100 in one week, but this didn’t deter him. He found some British fund managers who became his mentors. He learnt to give one of them his money to trade for him. The fund manager returned 50% in a month. He was ecstatic. Once he was able to achieve that kind of return month after month, he felt ready to raise more money.
One of his earliest investors and evangelists was Johnson Alabi, the third best student in the Conservation Science and Tourism Diploma class. Johnson was one of those who urged him to start a company. Christopher used his PHP and CSS skills to build the company website, and they were ready for business. Their first investors would mainly be students looking to earn extra money; their first part-time staff, too.
In November 2015, BTD registered as simply a Commission Agency with CAC (neither SEC or CBN regulates speculative funds in foreign markets) and started out with N1 million from 20 investors. As returns came, word of mouth spread. Christopher and Johnson created a structure where investors signed up to be agents and earned commissions to manage other investors they brought in. At some point, they were doubling investors and asset under management every month.
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