Personal Finance: COL Financial Chairman’s 2017 Message

I have received an email from COL Financial last week. It contains the Chairman’s (Mr. Edward K. Lee) message for 2017. It started with this quote:

“If investing is entertaining, if you’re having fun, you’re probably not making any money. Good investing is boring.”
–George Soros

And here’s the message:

Dear COL Financial Client,

One of our biggest concerns at COL Financial is that many people start investing or trading in the stock market, even though they don’t understand how to do it. Worse, some people even invest in speculative issues with no understanding of fundamentals, turning investing into gambling as they get excited at the prospect of making a high return.

This is the reason why people lose money in the stock market, and it’s also the reason why people lose faith in the stock market.

People enjoy the rush of earning money from something they don’t understand how to do, not knowing that the boring, slowly-but-surely way of investing is what works out in the long term.

It’s why we are always encouraging everyone, not just COL Clients, to attend and learn from our investing seminars. We want you to understand the rules of investing and trading, so you don’t end up wasting your hard-earned money.

Aside from arming yourself with investing knowledge, I also encourage you to manage your risk.

Start by deciding how much money you are comfortable placing in the stock market. Then, rebalance your portfolio regularly, at least twice or thrice a year, so that the amount of money you have in the stock market is always an amount you’re comfortable with.

Finally, I would like to remind you that what matters is how long you’re in the market—– not timing the market. While we’re not certain what will exactly happen in the stock market this 2017, know that the long-term growth story of our country is strong and intact.

Thus, regularly investing in the Philippine stock market will bring good returns in the long term. It may not be as exciting as following a hot stock tip, but as George Soros says, good investing is boring.


Edward K. Lee
Founder & Chairman of COL Financial
It’s good to receive emails like this from time to time. Reminders such as this won’t hurt.
I have consistently funneled some amounts in my account for the last 2 years. Unfortunately, I may have to review my allocations this year as I just reallocated some funds for something else so I need to recoup that amount. Let’s see how it goes.

Financial Goals for 2016: Year End Review

Aannddd reality check for these 2016 financial goals too!


  • Completed! – as in done/finished
  • On track – met based on budget file
  • Not yet started – not yet started based on target start date on budget file
  • Quite – met but budget not followed (lesser than what was in my budget file)
  • Not met – target not met based on budget file
  1. Religiously pay SK-LU. 5 months to go! Excited to mark this as completed!
    • Mid: Completed! – Last payment made this month! Ahhhhh, so happy happy!
    • End: N/A
  2. Save 50k for processing of papers for SK-LU. After completing the payment in June, I’ll have the same budget reallocated to this.
    • Mid: Not yet started
    • End: Quite – Just need to save 35K as confirmed by agent. 85% completed.
  3. Religiously pay SK-Silang. 2 years to go.
    • Mid: On track – many more months to go :p
    • End: Completed! – for all payments for 2016. 1 year to go!!!!
  4. Save 50k for lot processing of SK-Bgo.
    • Mid: Quite – too many reallocations
    • End: Not met – saved amount will be used for the completion of the SK.
  5. Save 35k for CR of SK-Bgo
    • Mid: Quite – too many reallocations
    • End: Quite – the saved amount will not be for the CR yet.
  6. Increase EIP allocation to 3k/month
    • Mid: On track – started March 2016
    • End: On track
  7. Increase MF to 20k (carry over from previous years)
    • Mid: Quite – still catching up with the savings but haven’t made any deposits to FAMI yet
    • End: Not met – Reallocated budget for nieces, plus, I’ll stop my FAMI contributions for now.
  8. Add 20k-30k to COL
    • Mid: On track
    • End: Quite – 2K deficit to 20K. Was not able to increase this but I opened another investment account instead.
  9. Save 80k for Project BD (new in my budget file)
    • Mid: On track
    • End: Completed! – and even exceeded by a few thousands hehehe
  10. Religiously save 3k/month for niece’s tuition
    • Mid: On track – I can’t wait for her to graduate hahaha!
    • End: On track – Crossing my fingers that she’ll finish her studies on time.
  11. Set aside a Tulong fund
    • Mid: Quite – too many reallocations
    • End: Not met – I decided in the end to not allocate for this on a regular basis due to other allocations. I just check which ones to sacrifice if I need to shell out for items not in my budget.
  12. Continue saving for an international travel
  13. Set aside 10k for December 2016
    • Mid: Quite – too many reallocations
    • End: Completed! – met this, and allocated some more, hence the Tagaytay trip
7/13 – On track/Completed
3/13 – Not met
3/13 – Quite
Ok, happy to see that I was able to meet most of my financial goals. Those that were not met were because I had to re-prioritize and reallocate them to other things.
Praying for wisdom to better manage my financial blessings in 2017.

Personal Finance: Encouraging Kids To Save and Invest

Note: broken lines indicate that conversations happened at different times but still on the same topic. I can’t just remember the exact dates as it has been a recurring topic several times a day for the days I was in Baguio.

I got my 7 year old niece (turned 7 last Nov. 4) interested in investing. This was unexpected but it got me excited!

It all started with this conversation last October 31:

Me: I’ll treat you somewhere as a belated (for the young ladies who turned 13 last September) and advance (for the kid) birthday gift. Where would you like to go?

Niece: SM!

Me: Oh, so you like SM?

Niece: Yes!

Me: Did you know that you can become a part owner of SM if you lend them some money? (I was thinking along the lines of buying a stock of SM).

Niece: Really, tita?

Me: Yes. If you have at least Php 8,000.00, we can buy SM shares. Would you like that?

Niece: Yes!

Me: So, start saving now and let me know when you already have it.

Niece: Ok.


Niece: So, tita if I have Php 8k, I can become SM’s part owner?

Me: Yes.

Niece: Can I use play money?

Me: Hahaha! But no, you can’t. It has to be real money. So, save save save!

Niece: Ok.

Me: If you want, you can invest in its condominiums. That will just be around Php 4,000.00 (I was thinking of SMPH). It’s cheaper than SM.

Niece. Ahhh, ok. So if condominiums, that’s Php 4K? And if malls, that’s Php 8K?

Me: Yes.


I saw an article that Henry Sy has joined the team that will be building the airport at Sangley Point.

Me: Look! SM will be part of the group that will build an airport. So if you buy some SM shares, maybe your money will also be used for that airport.

Niece: Wow, airport! So if I have Php 8K, it will be an airport, and if I have Php 4K, it will be on condominiums?

Me: Yes. (I just used airports, malls and condominiums to make it simpler for the child) So, which one do you like?

Niece: Airport!

Me: Ok, then start saving for Php 8K.


My niece brought out her piggy bank, a recycled J&J lotion container that was one-third full, and showed it to me.

Niece: Tita, here’s my savings.

Me: It’s not yet enough but it’s a start. Make sure you try to save more so that you can become an owner faster.

Niece: Ok, tita. What happens to my money when I give it to SM? (smart question!)

Me: Your money will also grow when SM gains more profit. But there will be days when your money will also lose its value. But as long as you keep it with them until you grow up and become an adult, your money should have grown by then. So, once you lend it to them, it is best that it stays with them for the longest period possible. Do not withdraw right away.

Niece: Ah, ok.

Me: So, you want an airport?

Niece: Yes! Php 8K.


Niece: Tita, if Php 8K, airport and if Php 4K, condominiums?

Me: Yes. You like airport, right?

Niece: Yes, so Php 8K.


Before I left for Manila, I gave my nieces Php 10.00 (kuripot tita here 😛 ) each for their school allowance.

Me: O, don’t forget to save some for your airport ha.

Niece: Yes, tita. Php 8K.

End of conversation. But I’m sure this will resurface when I go home because….

Ha! I’ll include you in my project, kiddo! Let’s work on that investment of yours.

I already asked my sister (their mother) to check out BDO’s requirements in opening an account for my nieces and prepare these so that we’ll open their accounts on November 27. This way, all investments will be under my nieces’ names! I don’t want to mix it with mine. And I think they would be more inspired if they see their own names in their investments. And I’m thinking of UITFs now instead of direct stock investing since I’m not well-versed on stocks myself. Yun lang, di ko pa nasabi sa niece ko na Php10K na pala ang kailangan nya hehehehe. I’ll let her know and for sure she’ll still be excited if I show her the other companies where her money can be potentially invested in if she gets UITFs. Jollibee is one as of BDO’s September 2016 report but I am not really sure if maka-Jollibee yung bata hahaha!

I checked BDO’s savings options and there’s one for Junior savers (7-12 years old) where initial deposit is just Php 100.00. Sakto, she just turned 7 last November 4 hehehe.

It’s more expensive for the teenager niece because she has to now own a regular savings account and an ATM account requires Php 2K. Pero, sige na, pauutangin kita  😛  😀 . Sana may 13th month na kami by then.

I am also planning to require them to do little chores or reward them for maybe perfect scores in school? I don’t know anything about rewards system for kids but it will be an interesting research. I also plan to give the same amount every time they make a deposit. For example if they are depositing Php 20, I’ll give them Php 20 to add to their savings. With online banking, this can easily be done! Di naman siguro ako mamumulubi nito since maliit lang naman baon nila! Hahaha. But I also don’t want to underestimate them. Or I’ll just declare na I’ll give them half of what they save para safer for my wallet 😛 . If they are in school for 22 days and their daily allowance is Php 5, then that is Php 110/month IF they decide to save everything.

Lastly, I need to teach them that life isn’t just about having money. It’s more than that. Baka naman kasi maging obsessed sila at sa pera lang lagi naka-focus.

On another note, it was their mother that I wanted to teach about money management years ago. I even asked her to start listing down their expenses as a start. But that did not work out and she seemed not interested. So, kung ayaw ng magulang at mukhang interested ang anak, I’ll just focus on her kid! Hehehe. Tapos maiinggit na lang syang may investment ang mga anak nya, tapos sya wala hahaha.


Hi! I’m Joyce. Bungi man ako ngayon at mukhang loka-loka dito, magiging investor din ako! Hehehe! I’ll tell ate (who is at my back in this picture) to do the same – I mean, to invest too, not to be bungi and loka-loka hahaha!

Hello, Citi Rewards Card! :)

Something was waiting for me at my desk when I got to the office last Tuesday. I am now an owner of Citi Rewards credit card! Hehehe. After being declined for maybe 3 or 4 times in the last 6 years, my most recent application was approved. I’m not sure why I got approved when I did not change employment recently.

One night in August, I tried visiting Citibank’s site and went through the application process. I noticed then that their online application has changed. You can now upload your scanned IDs so no need to email them to a representative. A few days after, I got a message that I was approved. I was suppressing my excitement though because, 1) I had erroneous information which I asked a customer service agent to correct and 2) I changed my delivery address to my office instead of the apartment. I was thinking that those may trigger them to reconsider my application. Also, the text notification said, it will be processed in 7 business days. Well, 2 weeks have passed since that message but I haven’t received one yet so I actually lost hope again hahaha. But it arrived when I least expected it. Hehehe.

Why am I so bent on having a Citibank credit card anyway? I just want to have one that’s known internationally (?). Also, there are some promotions where only Citibank credit card is valid, like the bigger Samsonite discount for Citi card holders last May. This is timely because, though I have a Standard Chartered credit card, they are transferring part of their services to East West bank by November and I’m rethinking about continuing its usage.

Owning a credit card in itself is not a problem for me. I have learned my lesson a long time ago and I have been a responsible credit card owner since then. But I want a maximum of 2 credit cards, so that at least I have a backup. More than that becomes a headache to me. I’ve had 3 in the past years though but that was ok because one was just used for the auto-debit payment of my premiums. Now that my premium payment has ended, I also deactivated that card.

Anyway, so happy to finally have that blue card hehehe. I’m now thinking of where to first use it. Ang arte ko lang.  😛  😀

Are you pro or anti credit card?

2016 Goals: Mid-Year Review

I almost forgot about this hehe.

Just like what most companies do where they have regular business reviews, I also like to have at least a mid-year and year-end review of the goals I made early this year, just to check how I am doing and ensure that I am still on track.

This year’s focus will be: chill, family, health, wealth.


  • On track – met as of time of review
  • Not yet started – not yet started as of time of review
  • Quite – met but there were deviations
  • Not met – target not met 
  1. Chill
    • Mid: Quite – There were stressful moments but I just kept quiet and pushed myself to just do whatever it is that needs to be done.
  2. Buy less, want less
    • Mid: On track – All items bought were needed. 
  3. Stick with financial budget for 2016
  4. I made a new list specifically for my financial goals after posting my 2016 goals in January. I just feel that it’s more effective and more inspiring for me if I track my financial goals separately.

    • Mid: Separate update here
  5. Get an additional income stream
    • Mid: Not yet started
  6. Spend more time with family  
    • Mid: Quite – Spent some time with some siblings last Feb, to support my brother and his family since he lost his mother-in-law. Had a picnic at Burnham Park on Easter Sunday for my birthday celebration with family. No event in Q2.
  7. Get down to my ideal weight
  8. I really need to get serious about my health. I want a long life.

    • Mid: Negative. Pfffft!
  9. Start training for a marathon
    • Mid: I am not sure about this anymore.
  10. Push with Japan Travel
    • Mid: On track. Return tickets bought, accommodations booked.
  11. Go back to school
  12. I had to stop when we lost our father in January 2015. I haven’t been back since then. I would still want to complete the program. I only have 12 units left!

    • Mid: Still undecided
  13. Become an early riser
  14. Since I work mid-shift, tendency is to wake up later than usual. By rising earlier, I will have extra hours to work on other personal projects, like decluttering more, cross-stitching, or working for extra income. 

    • Mid: Quite – I have been forcing myself to sleep earlier in recent weeks so that I can wake up earlier. I try as much as I can to sleep by 12 AM, 1 AM at the most so that I can wake up at 7 AM, after 6-7 hours of sleep.
  15. Journal more
  16. I noticed that my memory is not as sharp as before already, hence this year and moving forward, I will write about all sorts of events, relevant or otherwise so that there is something to read back when I am much older. This is also the reason why I already have have the weekly recap in this blog.

    • Mid: On track. My total posts to date are already more than my total posts for the whole year at least for the past 5 years.

That’s about it. I’ll do a year-end review at the end of the year.

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