The feel-good life coaching industry would have people believe that success is not only about showing up in the swirling whirl of modern life, where essentials like health, shelter, and education twirl alongside transportation and capital formation. After all, the industry was estimated to be worth 2.4 billion dollars in 2022, growing by 19pc a year. Its gurus insist that success is about meticulous planning, a dash of wit, and a good deal of nerve. However, these sectors do more than meet basic human needs. They are the pistons in the engine of economic growth, driving activities and boosting quality of life. Insights from those in the trenches show the delicate balance individuals make as they go about their daily grinds.

From the astute reflections of the experts presented here Girum Ketema, Bereket Abebe, Melat Nebyou, Aster Asfaw and Michael Kebede - a vivid picture emerges: success in various sectors relies not on chance but on informed decision-making and thorough groundwork. The guiding principles remain unchanged, whether it is the share market, acquiring properties, bracing for childbirth, embarking on higher education, or venturing into electric vehicles. Do the homework, understand the financial and regulatory terrain, and always be prepared for the unexpected. In the end, these are not simply investments in stocks or property.

The experts interviewed reminded TIZITA SHEWAFERAW, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, that these are investments in life itself.

Take Girum Ketema, the seasoned CEO of EGA Management & Finance Solution Plc, a sage in the consulting arena with over a decade of experience. He is the go-to for potential shareholders keen on diving into the murky waters of company stocks. He believes in the importance of grasping the regulatory environment, mainly keeping abreast of the latest missives from the Capital Market Authority.

“Potential shareholders need to identify any gaps in regulations and understand the protections available,” he advised, pointing out that a deep dive into the specific sector one plans to invest in is more than worthwhile — it is essential. The know-how is the compass that helps investors steer through returns, market trends, and potential pitfalls.

But it is not all about rulebooks and regulations.

The human element, specifically company leadership, plays a starring role. He believes a thorough vetting of a company's executives can speak volumes. Charisma is but part of the equation. Clarity of purpose and transparency give a pigeonhole view of a company’s long-term prospects. Before prospective shareholders lay down a dime, Girum insisted, they should thoroughly analyse the company’s financial health — profitability, liquidity, solvency ratios, and other key financial metrics. “Strong leadership boosts investor confidence,” he said.

Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Girum champions diversification. By spreading investments across various sectors, investors can buffer themselves against the shocks of adverse events in any single sector.

Switching gears to real estate, meet Bereket Abebe. He is a consultant with a keen eye on the intricacies of property buying. His advice is first to verify the authenticity of real estate developers and their track record in delivering homes.

“Buyers should assess the developer’s capability to fulfil promises,” he cautioned.

Understanding legal nuances in real estate transactions is critical, according to Bereket. The sway of market value is influenced by forex; he advised potential buyers to keep a vigilant eye on exchange rates. Location, as always, is king in real estate. Properties near city centres or essential services usually command higher values, and Bereket suggested that strategic locations should top the list for better investment returns. Ensuring alignment with Addis Abeba's master plan can safeguard long-term viability and ease compliance headaches.

On the healthcare front, Melat Nebyou, an obstetrician at Assela Referral Teaching Hospital, brings a focus on childbirth preparation. Packing a hospital bag with essentials for labour, delivery, and postpartum care is the start.

Says Melat: “Being organised helps ensure a smoother experience during childbirth.”

She attributed regular prenatal check-ups to monitoring health and preventing complications. Expectant mothers should brace financially for emergencies, as some services or items might not be available at public hospitals. The emotional rollercoaster of motherhood is not to be underestimated either. According to Melat, the importance of a robust support system is to help manage the seismic shifts and potential for postpartum depression.

“Expectant mothers should have a transportation plan and ensure they are not alone during labour,” she said, pointing out the importance of readiness for sudden labour.

Education is another battlefield, where Aster Asfaw, a freelance executive leadership coach with over three decades of experience, offers her pearls of wisdom.

Critical reflection on one's interests and abilities is vital, Aster believes. Students should consider their choice of study in conjunction with their natural talents and aspirations. She champions flexibility, encouraging students to adapt learning to available resources and career paths. Aster recommended taking advantage of internships for a taste of the real world, alongside honing academic requirements and soft skills like communication and teamwork.

The transportation sector, especially electric vehicles (EVs), gets the purview of Michael Kebede, a maintenance expert and proud EV owner. Understanding an electric car's battery life and its range is crucial, along with researching brand value and durability.

“Prospective buyers should consider charging options and be prepared for higher insurance premiums and potential depreciation,” Michael said.

While comfortable to be out of the woods on the ever-increasing fuel prices, he raised the flag on constraints like power outages, availability of spare parts, and the scant charging infrastructure in Addis Abeba and outside.

Five things to know before . . .

Investing in Shares

Girum Ketema is the CEO of EGA Management & Finance Solution. With over a decade of experience in consulting, he offers crucial advice for potential shareholders in companies.

Understanding Regulations and Protections:

Potential shareholders need to understand the regulatory framework governing share sales, including recent updates from regulatory bodies like the Capital Market Authority. Identifying regulatory gaps and knowing the protections available can help investors make informed decisions and safeguard their investments.

Familiarity with the Sector:

Being well-versed in the sector one intends to invest in is paramount. Understanding industry dynamics, market trends, and potential risks enables shareholders to make educated predictions and navigate challenges effectively. This knowledge empowers investors to assess companies' viability and growth potential within the sector.

Assessing Company Leadership:

A company's leadership team influences its reputation, purpose, and transparency. Potential shareholders should thoroughly research and evaluate the company's leaders, including their track record, management style, and commitment to corporate governance. Strong leadership inspires investor confidence and contributes to long-term success.

Understanding the Financial Status:

Before investing, shareholders should conduct a comprehensive analysis of the company's financial health and performance. This includes reviewing financial statements, assessing profitability, liquidity, and solvency ratios, and understanding key financial metrics. A clear understanding of the company's financial status helps investors accurately assess risk and potential returns.

Diversification of Shares:

Girum advises potential shareholders to diversify their investment portfolio across different sectors to mitigate losses in one area. Diversification spreads risk and exposure, reducing the impact of adverse events in any single sector. By allocating investments across multiple sectors, shareholders can achieve a balanced portfolio and enhance long-term stability.

Buying a Real Estate Property

Bereket Abebe, a multifarious individual currently in real estate consulting, has valuable insights for buyers considering purchasing real estate property.

The authenticity of the Developer:

Bereket emphasises the importance of researching the authenticity of the real estate developer and their track record in delivering homes. He said buyers should assess the developer's reputation, past projects, and ability to fulfil promises to ensure confidence in the investment.

Legal Issues:

Being familiar with legal issues related to real estate transactions is essential. Bereket advises buyers to consult with someone knowledgeable about local real estate laws and regulations to mitigate potential legal complexities and ensure a smooth transaction process.

Market Value and Exchange Rate:

Understanding the market value of real estate, which is dictated by forex, is essential. Bereket highlights the significance of staying informed about exchange rates, as fluctuations can impact the property's interest and overall investment value.


Choosing a location close to the city centre and essential services can increase property value. Bereket suggests that buyers prioritise properties in strategic locations that offer convenience and accessibility to amenities, enhancing their investment potential.

Alignment with Masterplan:

Verifying that the real estate property aligns with Addis Abeba's master plan is crucial for security and long-term viability. Bereket advises buyers to ensure that the property's development adheres to the city's master plan, lowering risks associated with regulatory compliance and future urban development.

Giving Birth

Melat Nebyou (MD), an obstetrician at Assela Referral Teaching Hospital, offers essential advice for expectant mothers preparing for childbirth.

Birth Preparedness and Hospital Bag:

Melat suggests that expectant mothers prioritise birth preparedness by assembling a hospital bag with essential labour, delivery, and postpartum care items. She said being organised and having necessary supplies such as personal care items and baby clothes, blankets, and diapers readily available can help ensure a smoother experience during childbirth.

Regular Check-ups for Potential Complications:

Regular prenatal check-ups are vital for monitoring the health of both the mother and baby and detecting potential complications early on. Melat stresses the importance of attending scheduled appointments to ensure timely intervention and management of any issues that may arise. When experiencing headaches, blurry vision, or bleeding, going to the emergency room is a must.

Financial Expectations for Emergency Settings:

While services may be provided free of charge at public hospitals, expectant mothers should be prepared for potential expenses in emergencies. Certain items or services may be unavailable, leading to referrals to other facilities. Being financially prepared early on can alleviate stress and facilitate access to necessary care.

Emotional Support for Transition:

Transitioning to motherhood can be emotionally challenging, and expectant mothers should seek support to cope with the changes and potential postpartum depression. Melat emphasises the importance of having a support system to provide comfort, reassurance, and understanding during this major life transition.

Transport Mechanism for Sudden Labour:

Expectant mothers should arrange transportation to the hospital or birthing facility in case of sudden labour. Being accompanied by a companion during labour is recommended, as it provides emotional support and ensures assistance in case of emergency. Melat advises against being alone during labour and encourages expectant mothers to have a plan in place for transportation to the hospital when the time comes.

Entering College

Aster Asfaw is a freelance executive leadership coach and trainer with over 30 years of experience. She has advised students on how to enter the higher education arena.

Critically Thinking about Interests and Abilities:

Prospective students should reflect deeply to identify their genuine interests, passions, and strengths. By critically assessing their abilities, they can align their choice of field with their natural talents and aspirations. Aster believes this self-awareness is crucial for selecting a program of study that matches their interests and aligns with their long-term career goals.

Adapting Learning to Career Path:

In situations where choices may be limited due to various factors, such as available programs or resources, Aster advises students to be flexible and adaptable. She said it is essential to understand how the knowledge and skills acquired during their academic journey can be applied to various career paths. This mindset enables students to make the most of their educational experience and pivot towards alternative career opportunities if needed.

Exploring Career Options through Job Shadowing:

Taking advantage of breaks and holidays to engage in job shadowing or internships provides valuable real-world exposure to different professions, says Aster. By observing professionals in their fields of interest, students gain insights into various careers' day-to-day responsibilities and rewards. This firsthand experience helps students make informed decisions about their future career paths and enhances their understanding of industry expectations.

Researching Available Fields and Requirements:

Aster recommends students conduct comprehensive research on the academic programs offered by universities, considering factors such as curriculum, faculty expertise, and available resources. They should explore the specific requirements and prerequisites for their desired fields of study. Understanding the academic and professional pathways necessary to achieve their career goals empowers students to make informed decisions and plan their educational journey effectively.

Developing Soft Skills:

Besides academic knowledge, Aster believes soft skills play a crucial role in success at university and beyond. She said prospective students should prioritise the development of interpersonal skills, such as communication, teamwork, and adaptability, which are essential for building relationships in a diverse social and academic environment. Cultivating these skills enhances students' ability to collaborate effectively with peers, engage in meaningful discussions, and thrive in the university community.

Buying an Electric Car

Michael Kebede, a maintenance expert and an electric vehicle owner, sheds light on important considerations for prospective buyers.

Battery Life and Range:

Michael stresses the importance of understanding an electric car's battery life and range before purchasing. He says it is more than what meets the eye. Since driving the car on full charge and below 20pc is not advisable, the kilometre is less than what is advertised as the capacity. This knowledge helps ensure that the chosen model meets daily commuting or travel needs without requiring frequent recharging, considering the varying road conditions and driving habits.

Brand Value and Durability:

Researching electric cars' brand value and durability is crucial. Michael recommends considering factors such as build quality, performance in Ethiopian climates and terrains, and feedback from similar model owners to make an informed decision about reliability and longevity.

Repair and Spare Parts:

Michael highlights the event one has to go to garages is limited. In an event where potential repair challenges for EVs, including technical limitations and the availability of spare parts arise, he recommends prospective buyers inquire about authorised service centres, qualified technicians, and access to genuine spare parts to plan maintenance and lower downtime.

Limited Charging Infrastructure:

Michael points out the limited charging infrastructure. He said prospective buyers should evaluate the availability of charging stations along their regular routes and consider options at home or work to ensure convenient and reliable charging.

Insurance Premiums and Resale Value:

Michael cautions about higher insurance premiums for EVs due to perceived unknown risks associated with the technology and limited resale value, particularly as the battery depreciates over time. Prospective buyers should be prepared for potentially higher insurance costs and understand the long-term financial implications, including potential depreciation when considering the purchase of an electric car.

PUBLISHED ON May 04,2024 [ VOL 25 , NO 1253]

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