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  • Writer's pictureKelechukwu “Chu” Oparah


"How can you be careful when you don’t know what’s out there?”

In 1996, the Olympics had come to my town of Atlanta, Georgia, and my family opted to take this opportunity to leave. We packed up and went to our hometown in Nigeria. At this time, I had recently turned 15. I was 6’2” and 230 lbs of lean, explosive athlete. I mention the above, because while I might not have admitted it at the time, I was at a stage of my life when I felt pretty invincible.

This adolescent perspective was further compounded by the way my family in Nigeria responded to my appearance. One day, I went to let my dad know that I was going somewhere across town on foot. My dad asked, “with who?,” and I responded that I was going on my own and would link up with my friend on my way back. My dad subtly raised an eyebrow and shook his head. I know now his visual reaction was because he understood some things that I clearly did not about the safety of my idea. At the time, I just braced for impact. But, before my dad could say anything, my grandmother turned to face us.

I was hoping it was coincidental, but it wasn’t. My dad tells me that I need to go first to get my cousins and friends, and instead take the trip with them because walking alone beyond the borders of our clan wasn’t safe. I try to explain to my dad that I’m not an easy target, that I can be careful… but here’s the moment my grandmother chimes in. She says something in Igbo that you won’t remember, but here’s the gist. She essentially said “How can you be careful when you don’t know what’s out there?”

For all my irrational overconfidence, I had just enough logical capacity to know that she was right, and that I had no answer to the question. It’s a reasonable question that far too few of us ask ourselves. Or, we ask the question and resign to not go outside. My dad wasn’t against me going across town. He was just against me going across town without an answer for the majority of risks present on the streets in our town.

Your financial journey is no different. Saving, growing and protecting your assets is a great goal, but there are some risks along the way.

These risks are like massive potholes or roadblocks that keep most people from arriving in their preferred future. If you want to safely navigate that journey, you’re going to want to have an answer for these risks.

First, just like my grandmother said, you need to know what those risks are. So I’m going to invite you to reach out to me and either join one of our free workshops that outline both the risks and some solution concepts you can discuss with a qualified advisor, or I can send you out a free copy of “How Money Works: Stop Being a Sucker” at no cost to you… not even shipping.

Once you know how money works, then, you can know all the levers you should be pulling to achieve your financial goals AND mitigate the risks you might not even know about yet.


Kelechukwu “Chu” Oparah is a Licensed Financial Professional Serving your Dayton Community. For more content, Chu is on Instagram @chuoparah.

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