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.

Sincerely,

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!

Statuses:

  • 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
Summary:
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.

2016 Week 49 Recap: Hello December!

November 28-December 4, 2016

December na talaga! Talagang-talaga! Sobrang bilis naman ng panahon.

I was on offset on November 28-29 so I was still in Baguio those days.

On Monday, after my nieces’ classes, they came to my home so I took that opportunity for us to discuss the 3 basic laws of money from the book The Retelling of the Richest Man in Babylon by Rose Fres-Fausto (1. Pay yourself first.; 2. Get only into business you understand. Seek advice only from competent people.; 3. Make your gold work for you. Make an army of golden slaves before you buy luxury.). I tried to explain it to them in the simplest way I can. I’m not sure if they were able to grasp it all but hopefully, even just a few things. We’ll have another session maybe during December break to review.

My niece also showed me her certificates. Kaya pala nya ako pinapatawag ng Friday evening last week. Gusto raw nyang ibalita about this. Aba, bibo! Hehehe. Proud tita here but di ko masyadong pinapakita sa kanya kasi baka maging feeling entitled hahaha.

joycecert1sm

1st Quarter

joycecert2sm

2nd Quarter

I traveled back to Manila on Tuesday night, after spending a few hours with the BF.

Wednesday was a holiday so still no work, yey! I needed to buy some stuff so I forced myself to go to the mall early evening. The things I needed were not in Megamall though so I went to Trinoma to complete my errand hehe. Yehey to extended mall hours! Hehehe.

Weekend

Saturday was for domestic chores.

My friend and I met on Sunday to have lunch at Kettle! Finally, we were able to have seats this time! E kasi naman 11AM pa lang nandon na kami hehehe. The food was great. We loved the chicken and the potato strips and especially the dip. However, it would have been best if we ordered some soup to to balance out all the fried food we had hehe.

Sarap! Di kami gutom

Sarap! Di kami gutom :p

We went to Greenhills after because according to my friend, she saw a dupe of the Missha hand cream. Years ago, she gifted me with a Missha hand cream and I loved it that I have been looking for it all over the place to no avail. Then she said she saw a Korean shop in Greenhills that sells hand creams with almost similar formulation of the Missha hand cream. Well, it is, but the Missha is still better hehe.

Heard mass in Greenhills too, then headed home after to rest some more.

Have a great week ahead. Or a great weekend bilang Friday na uli bukas! Hahaha!

2016 Week 48 Recap: Baguio Errands and a Celebration

November 21 – 27, 2016

Weekend

I went home to Baguio for some errands and a family affair. I arrived Saturday noon and diretso na sa errands. Ang ginaw-ginaw na dito! Nanunuot sa buto. Tapos maulan pa nung Saturday!

Remember my niece who likes SM? We made the first step last Saturday. I opened a regular savings account for her and for her sister. While I have the option to open a Junior saver’s account for the kid, I opted for a regular savings account kasi pag narealize nyang mas maliit yung amount sa kanya, maraming tanong uli yun hahaha. So pareho na lang agad-agad. I diverted some of my investment funds just so we could open their accounts. I told them that I just lent them what they used so that they could start saving in the bank directly.

Di na pala nagbibigay ng ID picture. Sila na kukuha ng picture via their web cam.

They will claim their ATMs next Saturday. Sana matandaan nila lahat ng binilin ko sa kanila about PIN and keeping their ATMs in a safe place.

I also told them that I will give 50% of whatever they save out of their allowance from today until December 31. They must have deposit slips as proof. I’ll add more savings opportunities for them next year. Let’s see how this deal will work first.

joycesig

I told her to write her complete name in cursive. Kaso nawalan ng space ang family name. So yan na ang first official signature nya hahaha! I told her we’ll just update when she’s older.

After the bank, we went to UNeed Lumber’s showroom to look for what else? Toilet bowls and seats hahaha! Na-excite ako nung may nakita akong Toto na brand. Bet na bet ko kasi yung mga CR fixtures sa Japan. So syempre nagtanong ako if meron sila nung parang ganon, or kung wala man, pwede bang isabay nila sa ibang orders nila kahit maghihintay ako. Naloka ako sa quote na binigay nila. 200K-300K daw yung ganong model! Susko. Parang di ako makapaniwala hahaha. Makapaghanap nga ng iba pa.

nieces1

Sabog ako dahil walang pahinga pero bakit parang mas sabog yung bata?! Dahil ata sa bagong bangs na parang ayaw pa rin nya until now hahaha!

On Sunday, we attended mass and after that, went to my brother’s family’s place to celebrate my nephew’s 3rd birthday. His actual birthday is November 28. He was the first in the family to arrive after we lost our mother in 2013. Di na nya naabutan ang lola nya, pero ang lola nya dati, excited na excited ibalita sa akin na buntis noon yung hipag ko kahit sinabihan syang secret muna daw. Di nya nakayang isikreto sa tuwa hahaha! Medyo more than a year din kasi silang nagtry eh bago mabuntis hipag ko.

It’s a simple salo-salo but still a blast spending even just a few hours with family and friends.

Happy birthday, Gysher!

Happy birthday, Gysher!

I also advised my eldest sister to become an SSS member. Oo naman daw. Hopefully she gets approved kahit sa minimum amount lang. Para naman may pension sya pag 60 na sya.

Credit Card

I am back to 2 credit cards (from 3). Standard Chartered bank transferred some of its services (or maybe all PH services) to East West bank starting November 26, 2016. Since I recently got approved with a Citi Rewards card, I did not renew with East West bank anymore. No more confusing decisions as to which card to use. More peace of mind.

Have a great week ahead.

P.S. Dear sahod, wer na u? Hahaha!

P.P.S. I need a car in Baguio. Ang tagal ng mga biyahe sa amin susko! At ang dami mo pang kasiksikan sa jeep.

2016 Week 47 Recap: Nothing Much

November 14 – 20, 2016

Work

The project is moving along just fine, thank God. I hope there are no more bumps moving forward.

The boss asked me to join her in one of the meetings. I’ll have a new project by next year. Not sure yet if we start with the works this year but hopefully, next year na hehe.

Ubusan ng budget since the year is about to end. San kaya kami pupulutin sa team building? Hehe.

Hirap maging creative sa Kris Kringle so ayun, pinapanindigan ko na lang ang hindi ko pagka-creative hahaha.

Last Monday, the theme was sweet and soft. Yung isang teammate namin, white sugar at cotton balls. Wais di ba? Palakpakan kami! Hahaha. Ako? Ayun, sakto kasi may nabili akong marshmallows sa S&R the week before. Para dapat sa kids pero dahil swak sa sweet and soft, yun na lang binigay ko. Tapos marshmallows din naman natanggap ko hahaha. Karamihan puro marshmallows!

Weekend

Aside from some domestic chores and then bumming, a friend and I went to S&R on Sunday to check out what’s new/what’s on sale this week. We bought a Palmolive dishwashing liquid since buy 1, take 1 so lalabas na Php 135 na lang for an almost 800 ml bottle. Pwede na.

We went to Shang after to window shop and kill time. Mga walang magawa hahaha.

I attended the very last mass na kasi late akong nagising nung morning hehehe. Kahit yung last morning mass ng 11:15 AM, di ko na maaabutan. Ganon ka-late hihi. And yesterday was the last Sunday of the liturgical year. Next week, Advent na. Di nga? Ganon kabilis? My takeaway from the mass: WWJD – What would Jesus do? Every time daw we have problems or decisions, we can always ask WWJD? Tumpak naman.

I also had a home service massage at night. Swerteng may available silang therapist. Ginhawa after. Pero ewan ko ba kung bakit imbes na makatulog ako ng maaga, inabot ako ng umaga bago makatulog! Kaloka.

Others

Last Friday pala, the Uber surge was so high so I decided to drop by my branch of account to pick up some EIP COPs. Akalain mong 3 ang nakuha ko for my niece and 2 lang sa akin? Hehehe. But I’m happy that she is religiously allocating for her investment accounts. At sana hindi sya pumalya talaga kasi sayang naman ang opportunity to start investing while she’s young.

I am contemplating on a new project. Ate ko naman ang i-coconvince kong mag-open ng SSS nya kahit voluntary lang at kahit yung lowest amount lang para naman may pension sya kahit konti lang pag senior citizen na sya. She’s already 49 years old. I already asked my niece to check if she can spare kahit Php 110/month lang. Sana pumayag silang 2 hehehe.

My MERALCO consumption is still below 100 kwh last billing so less than 700 lang uli ang bill ko! So now, I’m more convinced that the TV is the culprit. I seldom watched TV the past month. Siguro wala pang 10 hours total. Old model na kasi yung TV ko. Di pa nga sya LCD eh so hindi pa uso dati yung mga energy saver eklat. At syempre wala naamn akong balak pang palitan. Hinihintay ko kasing maging mura na yung mga curved models na uso ngayon hahahaha. Inaawitan na actually ng kapatid kong iuwi ko na raw sa Baguio. Minsan gusto ko na pero most of the time ayaw ko pa hahaha!

Lastly, I want a repeat of our holidays last year when my nieces, cousins, tito, and tita visited Tagaytay. Ang saya-saya kasi non. So tipid-tipid pa more para may pandagdag sa December 2016 budget hehehe. Gusto ko kasama ate ko. Sinabihan ko na yung pamangkin ko na bigyan sya ng pamasahe. Christmas gift na nya sa nanay nya hehehe. Sana matuloy. We’ll see.

moa-12-28-2015

Ok, have a great week ahead.

P.S. Ang hirap mag-isip ng title  😛  😀 !

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.

joyce01-16-16

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!

2016 Week 41 Recap: On Offset

October 3-9, 2016

Work

I only went to work on Wednesday to Friday this week. I was on offset last Monday and Tuesday from a much needed break from all the stress of the past 3 months.

When I got back last Wednesday, thank God that there were few items to check while I was away. And these were covered by my teammate who I heavily rely on on days that I am away. Why? Because he’s quick to understand things, a fast worker and knows that work is work and just does what needs to be done.

We also had a call about another project which I’ll be involved in. I am excited about this even though it’s tricky since I am still in the process of striking a balance between the projects I’m now handling. But matapos lang yung enhancements nung system na nagpasakit ng ulo ko the past 2 months, I’m good.

For the non-work stuff.

10.03.2016

I was still in Baguio this day!

I spent this day with the BF. Although it was his day off, he had things to do in the morning so we just met at noon and spent the time together until it was time for me to go back to Manila.

  • Lunch at the nearby karinderya
  • Visited Home Outlet to check out what they have for a comfort room. My room’s CR is not yet done until now but it’s something I want to finish by end of this year or at least early next year. I want the Toto brand, similar to Japan’s toilet bowls, but they don’t have it. I’m not even sure if that’s available in the Philippines hehehe. But I want that. There’s a new model of HCG where the bidet is already int the toilet bowl but it’s expensive plus it’s not what I want hehehe. I will visit other Home depots in the coming days. Hopefully I’ll find one. I don’t even know if that piece with “controls” is part of the toilet or it’s a separate accessory. Need to research.
  • Dropped by Japan Surplus (because it was raining hehe) to just look around. I saw microwavable clear glasses which I think are a steal but did not buy it.
  • Went to town for what else, more food!!! And 2 bottles of San Mig light. Ako ang nagyayang mag-inom just to release stress. Inom na inom na kasi ako matagal na 😛 . Mid-afternoon pa lang yun, san ka pa hehehe. We went to Pizza Volante, the same place where we had our first date. Incidentally, we occupied the same seats. Syempre na tatandaan ko pa ‘no  😛  😀 . Bundat na bundat kami after nito so kailangan maglakad-lakad.
  • Went around some of the ukay shops to look around. Did not find any good deal. Besides, I wasn’t really looking for something.
  • Went to SM Department store. He was looking for white shirts so we were mostly in the men’s section. Keri naman. Di naman awkward hahaha.
  • Went to Ace Hardware to of course look for more toilet bowls hehehehe.
  • Went to SM Appliance to check out their gas ranges.
  • Went to some of the shoe stores to look for my Adidas Superstar. Kay ilap ilap nitong hanapin.
  • At around 8PM, we walked to Victory Liner terminal because I was going back to Manila that night. Huhu. In fairness to him, sinamahan naman nya ako until makabili ako ng ticket at makasakay kahit antok na antok na sya.
rmadventures

Spending quality time together over a few bottles of beer :p. See those frozen glasses? Pareho kaming napa-wow hahaha. Yes, first time namin makakita ng ganon :p.

10.04.2016

I was still on offset this day so I used most of this day to catch up with my backlog on the 30 day blog challenge.

I also spent some time filling out the Sunlife forms for automatic deductions of a specific amount for my investments from my BDO account. I like this setup better because it forces me to really set aside something monthly. Automation all the way.

Since tamad din akong magluto, I had food deliverd from Kenny Roger’s. I tried their no fry fried chicken. Masarap sya! Good alternative if sawa ka na sa roasted chicken nila hehe.

Weekend

On Saturday, I met up with my friend because I wanted to go with her to see the units for rent at Cityland Grand Central Shaw. She’s looking for a new place to move to that’s nearer her and her cousin’s work place and near an MRT station for easier commutes.

We went to S&R Shaw after for lunch and to check out if there are any good deals left after their sale last weekend.

Well, well well, I was able to buy a 900g Nutella for only Php324.95. Grabe ang mura! Dati more than 500 ata yung 700g nito. Di naman ako naghoard. Bumili ako ng isa lang hehehehe.

I also bought Market O’s real cheese chips. Syempre nakuha na naman ako sa chips. At nakain ko na sya. Lasang cheese chips naman. Pero I think it’s expensive at Php99 for only a small pack. It says 19.5 cheese, so di naman purong cheese talaga. May halong potato pa rin.

Eto sya. Bastay anything cheese, yummy for me hehehe.

Eto sya. Basta anything cheese, yummy for me hehehe.

I also pre-ordered 2017 BDJ planners for my friend and niece yesterday night. It’s 20% discount if you pre-order but you have to claim it at the BDJ fair on October 16. Since my friend and I are planning to go, might as well order now. It includes customization so we have our names in our planners. Can’t wait for this. I’ve been buying their planners since 2013 kahit hindi ko namna religiously nasusulatan lahat. At medyo mahal sya sa totoo lang, BUT way cheaper than the coffee shop planners naman. Pero masaya pa rin kasi if you have written accounts of your appointments eh. So ayun, I still buy hehehe.

On Sunday, I just went out for mass in the morning. I also bought some sticky rice pudding and cassava cake from one of the vendors at the church ground.

Takeaway from the mass: may awa ang Diyos lagi at hinding-hindi tayo pababayaan. Thank you for this reminder, Father.

nutella

Sticky rice pudding and nutella for brunch! Samahan mo pa ng kape. Solved na solved ang tyan hehehe.

Took a nap in the afternoon and readjusted my budget a little to accommodate my Sunlife monthly deductions.

And lastly, do this blog post before calling it a night.

And so, goodnight everyone. Have a great week ahead.

2016 Week 29 Recap: Back to the Real World

July 11-17, 2016

keepcalmdeployWork

I am so excited! We started deploying some of the components this week. While it will be busy until we complete everything and ensure that there will be no more issues, I am so happy to finally see this project in its completion stage. Hopefully, there will only be few issues. This implementation will affect around 15K PH employees so it’s a little intimidating but I know we’ve all done our best to minimize whatever risks there are. I am confident that all issues will be addressed as quickly as we can. Kaka-excite talaga! 🙂

Travel

I have started posting my Japan stories. I have most of the narratives completed, as I started writing all about it at the airport while waiting for my friend to refund her ICOCA card (OSAKA IC card). However, I wanted to post with pictures in it and it’s taking me longer to sort out/select the pictures hehehehe. Anyway, I’ll get there. Matatapos ko rin i-post lahat.

Speaking of travel, another friend is requesting for travel to a beautiful beach daw. Stressed si ateng. Gusto mag-out of town. Hopefully, we can find a reasonably priced place that’s near Manila.

Savings and Investments

I’m thankful that the Japan trip is over. While it’s exciting to always travel, I would like to pause for a while. I’d like to focus on building up my savings. I’d like to reach my first million in cash and investments, excluding real estate :). Opo, sa tanda kong ito, wala pa akong isang milyon in cash. Napunta lahat sa ibang bagay pero hindi naman lahat nilustay.

Weekend

I missed malling so I met with my friend yesterday for dinner and to hand her the Japan goodies for her. We met in Glorietta. We went to SM Makati after. I saw that Loreal still has their free hair color application when you buy their hair color. I wanted to avail of it so earlier today, I went back. Unfortunately, I have my hair rebonded last May and they have strict rules that they won’t color if rebond session is less than 3 months. So better be safe than sorry hehe. I’ll just go back in August. So another malling session for us. She met up with me again because she’s supposed to see my new hair color pero dahil di natuloy, ikot ikot na lang hehehe.

Ahhh, I was also looking for a blouse that I can pair with the skirt I bought around 2 months ago. I am attending a wedding next week and the theme is rock and roll, so casual ang peg. However, medyo kupas na ang mga blouses na meron ako na pwedeng i-terno don sa skirt so I decided to look around. Nakahanap naman ako, and more hehehehe. I was able to buy a dress na parang sinukat lang para sa akin. Di ko na pinakawalan. Bihira kasing mangyari yun sa laki kong ‘to. Ok rin sya with Chucks so ito na lang isusuot ko sa wedding hehehe. Hay pero utang na loob Mylene, tama na ang gastos. Wala ka nang kailangan :p.

Ok, that’s it for now. Good night and may you all have a great week ahead :).

Personal Finance: Financial Seminar by BDO

BDOFinancialWellnessSeminarI’ve shared about BDO’s seminar previously. Lucky that a friend and I got seats so off we went last Saturday to attend.

The speaker was Sir Efren Ll. Cruz, a registered financial planner, personal finance coach, and a bestselling author. I have read his book entitled “Pwede Na! The Complete Pinoy Guide to Personal Finance”. I loved his book because it was very easy to read and understand so somehow, his name was kept somewhere in my memory. I have also heard of him from a colleague when she shared that she and her husband availed of his service as a financial planner. My friend’s friend and his husband also got him as their financial planner.

The seminar’s title was “How to Break The Rules of Thumb in Personal Finance”. Here are some of the things I was able to take note of.

100 minus age Rule

According to this rule, the difference when you subtract your age from 100 should be the percentage of your portfolio that is invested in the stock market. However, it is still case to case. For people who just started saving for their retirement few years before they retire, they should be more aggressive in their investments.

Diversification Rule

As a rule of thumb, we must diversify but we also need to ensure that we don’t over-diversify because in doing so, we may lose our chances of higher gains. According to Sir Efren, stock performance is 92% based on the market performance, 5% by the fund manager, 2% timing and 1% sheer luck.

Buy Low, Sell High

This is a little bit tricky because we only know when it is the lowest price or the highest price after the fact. The brain needs something to compare it to before it can conclude that it’s the lowest or the highest.

His recommendation is to set a target and look for stocks that can return your target then sell when your target is met. Looking for stocks entails a lot of studying and analysis, he says.

20:20 Retirement Rule

The rule states that if you will retire for 20 years, you should start preparing for your retirement 20 years prior your target retirement age.

On the contrary, we should start planning for our retirement as early as we can so that we can take advantage of time and also the years that we don’t have much responsibilities and bills to pay yet. At 20 years prior target retirement age, you may already have started a family so there are more expenses to pay and saving for retirement may become the least priority. So it’s better to start as early as you can.

Buy Your Own Home Instead of Renting

While there are more affordable properties in the market now, you should really assess first if you are ready to transition to home ownership. You should consider all additional costs that it entails. If you think you are ready, then go ahead. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with renting while you are saving up for the budget needed for home ownership.

After presenting the above rules, his next question was, “Are you all S.E.T?” where SET was used as an acronym for:

S – size of fund
E – expertise in investing
T – time available in investing

For us to be successful direct investors, we need to have a sizable fund, we need to be experts in investing and to be an experts, it is a full time job, and we should have the time to learn the ropes, do a lot of research, and come up with our own investing strategies.

However, most of us are not really S.E.T. So his recommendation was to hire professionals to do the investing for us. In doing so, we take advantage of the skills of the fund managers for a minimal fee. If we go this route, we can choose from Mutual Funds (MFs, offered by Mutual Fund companies), Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITFs, offered by the Trust arm of banks), or VULs (offered by insurance companies). I won’t elaborate on each of the options as there are a lot of resources available online for the differences of the 3 and which companies offer what.

His parting lines were:

  • Focus on the life events you want to achieve, not the money.
  • Strongest currency is FAITH.

A speaker from BDO was next and he presented the available UITF options that their bank offers.

Personal note:
Others may or may not agree and that’s fine. After all, personal finance is still really just that…PERSONAL. As for me, I am thankful for opportunities such as this. Nothing beats learning for free. With J.Co donuts and coffee for snacks pa. San ka pa. Thanks, BDO! 🙂

Personal Finance: BDO’s Financial Wellness Seminar

BDO is offering a financial wellness seminar for free this Saturday! Since it’s free, and a friend and I are suckers for free seminars, we registered the other night. We haven’t received the confirmation email yet, but still crossing our fingers.

You may check this page for more details and to register if you’re interested.

BDOFinancialWellnessSeminar

Update (03.11.2016): My friend and I received an email confirmation from BDO yesterday. We’re in. Yay!

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