Building wealth in Nigeria is an uphill battle. From skyrocketing prices to unemployment and difficulty in getting cash, it appears an obstacle always hinders the average Nigerian’s financial freedom. Luckily, these are the types of problems tech startups like Kwakol Markets exist to solve.

Co-founded by Joseph Ishaku, an Abuja-based economic researcher, Kwakol offers online brokerage services, research, and tech tools, empowering people to achieve their financial goals. In addition to being the Co-Founder, Joseph heads the research department at Kwakol.

As a result, he’s always consuming in-depth insights about the Nigerian economy from Stears Premium, which he has subscribed to since 2020. Little wonder Yvette Dimiri, Head of Subscription Growth at Stears, called him “the quintessential subscriber.” 

Curious about his journey with Stears, we booked a time out of Joseph’s packed Wednesday. And while we couldn’t meet in person, the online atmosphere didn’t feel less engaging as Joseph answered each question with a gusto that matched ours.

How his journey with Stears began 

Joseph had long followed Stears, going as far back as 2017 (four years before he co-founded Kwakol). 

Describing how he discovered Stears, he said, “I learned about Stears through a friend who was a member of the then Writer’s Network. Following her work and other writers’ made me a repeat reader.” Fast forward to 2020, when we launched our subscription model, he became a subscriber and secured a team subscription for Kwakol’s research team in 2021.

How Stears Premium makes his team more productive 

Kwakol’s research team produces insights that tell their customers all they need to know to succeed in today’s financial markets. Interestingly, Kwakol also benefits from its research. Shedding more light on this, Joseph explained how research guides his team's decision-making process and helps them launch great solutions.

That explains why Kwakol could create an award-winning and multi-regulated online brokerage service in less than two years of establishment. However, this rare feat might have been near impossible if Kwakol hadn’t solved its research challenges. 

Given the Nigerian market’s complexity, Joseph and his team are sometimes limited in their research. But thankfully, Stears bridges that knowledge gap. Joseph describes this best, “Stears Premium has enabled us to understand our market better due to its unique way of demystifying the Nigerian political and economic space. When our research team is working on an issue Stears has covered, it is a reliable source to compare notes to challenge our thinking or confirm our prior findings.”

His favourite Stears article 

Every subscriber has their favourite article. For Jolaade Phillips, Content Marketing Manager at eqtable, it is 'Why the Nigeria national grid is always collapsing' by Noelle Okwedy. But not Joseph. The fintech co-founder claims not to have a particular favourite article. Instead, he has several favourites. 

He explained what he meant by saying, “I don’t have any particular article in mind as I have many favourite articles. However, the most enjoyable ones cover economic and energy-related events' first and second-order effects. For instance, I love how the article on the CBN’s naira redesign explored the possible implications of the policy beyond what the public was saying. My favourite articles spotlight perspectives even the most careful observers might not notice.”

Why he has been a loyal premium subscriber 

There must be outstanding factors influencing Joseph's loyalty to Stears, as he's been a subscriber for three years without a pause.

Joseph described these factors briefly. Grinning ear to ear, he said, “I appreciate the consistency in providing rich information on areas of interest. Since my premium subscription began, I’ve always had access to a library of useful information to which I can always refer back.

On top of that, Stears has helped me grasp areas outside my domain without having to do much research. If, for instance, I need to understand more about unemployment, I can look up a Stears article and get in-depth knowledge without researching from scratch. This allows me to be versatile on a range of issues.”

What he loves about Stears 

When nudged to narrow down the three top things he loves about Stears, Joseph answered, “the questions you look to answer, the choice of topics, and the presentation of your insights.”

Word of advice to a friend 

Before ending the call, which had slightly exceeded the schedule, I asked Joseph to tell me what he would say to a friend considering Stears Premium. In response, he said, “Get Stears now. With it, you’re investing in solving your ignorance about Nigeria between 10 to 12 mins daily. In a world with no Stears, you will be missing out on key issues relating to Nigeria.”

Follow Joseph’s advice and subscribe to Stears Premium today