Monday, December 1, 2014

Do You Act On Love?

Love is not just a feeling. Love is an action word. Show it. Act on it. Do it. Like they say, put your money where your mouth is. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Beating Inflation Black and Blue

It feels bad when you lose money. What’s worse is when you are not aware that you are losing some of it. And what's harder to realize here is the fact that you can't fight something you do not know about.  Majority of Filipinos lose money without even noticing it. They are sleeping soundly at night while their money is kept in their savings account thinking that everything is safe only to find out later that they already lost significant value without even them touching their hard earned moolah. The culprit is sneaky. It will hurt you without seeing how. And his name is INFLATION.

In the 90s, your 500 pesos can buy you a bag of goods and several kilos of rice from the grocery store. But now, you can just hand carry what you purchase with that amount. That’s inflation in action. It is what’s happening when the buying power of your money decreases by time affected by several factors of the economy. And most of the time, inflation beats the interest given by banks on your savings account. Meaning, if you don’t do anything with the money you keep in your bank accounts, you’re assured to lose money in the long run.

If you think that sitting on your savings account is a smart thing, then think again. Savings account is good for the sole reason that it is where you can put your contingency and emergency funds being the most liquid type of investment vehicle. Liquid means your money is accessible and ready for the taking any time the need to use it arises. So having a savings account is a necessity. But if you want to grow your financial wealth, putting all your money in it won’t help you that much. It might look less risky but the truth is it’s the surest way of losing your money without doing anything due to inflation. 

For us to understand it better, let's put in some numbers. 

The inflation rate in the Philippines as of this writing is 2.3%. Meaning, that's how much the value of money is lessened. How about the deposit rates? It's around 1 to 1.2%. At a glance, it's easy to see that you are losing your money to inflation compared to what your money earns in a savings account. So to make your money earn, you have to beat the inflation rate with a higher interest rate. 

There are finance companies or banks that provide options to invest part of your savings to other funds that can give you possible higher return rates than your usual savings interest (i.e. UITFs, EIPs, Bonds).  Though most have lock in period where you will be charged if take out your money earlier than the contract. There are also minimum amount for the initial investment on some of them. You can check it out at the banks, ask their employees, grab some leaflets or go to their websites to see your options.

Then there are also Mutual Funds like what we have with Sun Life Financial where you can start investing for as low as 5000 pesos and can add a subsequent minimum of 1000 pesos to your fund any time. You will also be able to choose the fund on where your money will be invested depending on your risk appetite. Then our professional fund managers will be the one taking care of it's growth. And you can pull out your money whenever you want it. 

And there are many other types of investment you can look at. What’s important now is you understand that inflation is a huge consideration when planning your finances and investments. You can’t ignore it because it is real and it will hurt you whether you are aware of its existence or not. No one can avoid it. But the good news is anyone, with the proper knowledge, can definitely beat inflation black and blue.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happiness Value of Money

People often say that money cannot buy you happiness. There is much truth to that. Undeniably though, money can purchase the important things for your loved ones, for other people and for yourself. It is more about the value it can bring you like putting food on the table, having to spend more time with the people you care for, providing security for your loved ones in terms of health and other basic needs and having the opportunity to share with others. 

It's not money per se that will bring happiness to your life. But trust me. Losing lots of it can make you feel miserable. It’s always easy to dismiss the value of money until you experience hitting rock bottom. It's always more fun to be the giver than the receiver. But of course, giving is not always in monetary terms. But a lot of time, it is. And still, the value you are giving off is not the money itself but your effort exerted in acquiring it.

Earn smart, spend wise and always be a blessing for others.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ignorance is Expensive, Cut Your Budget On It

Money has been the common stumbling block for people who want to start investing. Ironically, it’s their money problem that they want to solve with the idea of investing. Almost everyone would say they want to prepare for their families’ future by investing and getting a protection for emergency needs. But still a lot of Filipinos even at their middle age are not doing anything about it. The usual reason is because it’s expensive, they think. 

But if you look at some people’s lifestyle, even some minimum wage earners have that excess money to buy items which they call “investment to self”. They buy gadgets, they dine out, buy expensive coffee, watch movies, have “gimik” with friends, go out of town and a lot more. You know what I’m saying. You see them being shared in social networking sites. Though it’s every person’s right to choose where to spend their hard earned money, there are those occasions that these people who spend their salaries on these luxuries are the ones not giving other people their rights to spend elsewhere. When these people who do not spend and save their earnings wisely meet an urgent need for their family (i.e. accidents, hospitalization, calamities, illness, death), they have no choice but to ask help from others who they know have saved some. 

Of course, not all who ask for help are irresponsible. Sometimes, no matter how prepared we think we are, the worst things happen and surprise us. And it’s always good to help others. But talking about those who don’t help themselves first and run to other people for their emergency needs, I think it’s unfair for those responsible people who earn the same as they are yet try harder in saving for their own families’ sake.

The fact is if you really want to invest, you can start for as low as 50 pesos per day to get as much as Php 700,000 pesos in protection for your family and possibly Php 1,000,000 (yes, that’s 1 Million) for your retirement fund. That’s cheap, right? You just have to give up some of these “investment to self” that you really don’t need. Or if you can’t give them all up, you can at least downgrade some of them. Downsize your coffee, fewer 3D movies, drink only water when you dine out, travel in budget, cut on your beer bottles, etc. To start on your investment, all you need to do is prioritizing your spending then ask the right people. Then act. 

Truth is protection and investment are not expensive, irresponsibility and ignorance are.

Please like our Facebook page, Layman Investment and follow me on Twitter, @lm_investment. If you have questions/suggestions/comments, you may also reach me at Hope to hear from you soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

4 Ultimate Mistakes of People Who Won’t Start Investing (But Actually Like and Need To)

Apart from planning and talking about investments, and not doing it, here are some of those things that lifelong wanna-be investors always talk about. Yes, they always wanted to invest but never did and still haven't. These are their excuses.

1.       Cannot afford the amount to start the investment – You don’t need to invest the amount that you don’t have. You need to review your financial flow first. Read, study or have a financial advisor to help you. His role is to help you manage your finances, prioritize your spending and guide you on the investments which will suit your need. It’s always your needs first, current status and your target before discussing the investment for you. If you do not find him doing this, chances are he’s just after the commissions. But don’t worry; there are only a few who are like this. And it won’t be that difficult to recognize if your advisor is up to no good. The key here is to check the target investment first and how it is done before saying no.

2.       Spouse, parents, family member, etc doesn’t like it. – So… what? Each investment is created for a specific need or plan of an individual. One might not suit another person. But you are not the other person. You know your plans and your needs more than the others. Decide for yourself. Now move.

3.       Afraid of being scammed – People can’t be blamed for being skeptic regarding investments. But being affected totally by the few schemers and avoiding investment at all and just saving all your money in a savings account or just inside your piggy bank is one sure way of being a victim of money fraud which is called “inflation”. Start reading and asking the people who knows about investing. Be guided. Work out your plan. Then begin.

4.       Planning to start later when the situation gets better – How will you know if situations will get better? It could be worse. But you’re also right, it could be better. But the irony is that investments, if done right, will help make situations better. So a good situation will definitely become better with investments. What’s more with a bad one? Invest now, and your future self will thank your old self later for doing it.

So, are you guilty with some of them?

Got questions about investments? Let me know. Message me at or at 

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Misunderstood Rich Man's Reply to the Poor Man

Dear Poor Man,

I understand how much you want to have a better life for yourself and for your family. You know what?  I was just very much like you in the past. You might not have seen my struggles before but it’s exactly the same as what you are experiencing.  A lot of us went through with the same hardships you are having before we became what we are. You might think there’s a lot of difference between us now. But truth is we are very much the same in every way. I think that there are only some obvious differences. One is on how we look at things and how we act on them. It’s the mindset. 

I’m not saying that it’s you but I know a lot of people who are proclaiming the same life status like yours who are thinking this way, that we are buying things just because we can buy them and that we just want them. I hope they keep in mind that before we got them, we worked hard for them and thought many times before deciding to get them. It’s not for social status whatsoever. It’s because primarily, me and my family need them. But I feel sorry that there are people who do what exactly some of you think. They buy things for a show. And they send the wrong message to others. And what’s worse is that those who have less are the ones who get victimized on picking up this wrong behavior. 

See --> The Poor Man's Letter

I can’t understand those working on minimum wage or just above it who are always trying to catch on the new trends in fashion and gadgets. With what I earn now, I can afford to buy some of those things also if I wanted to. But I choose to hold on to what I have now no matter how old they are as long as they are working and serving me their purpose. Like my 5 year old mobile phone. I rather save the money that I have now for future needs or other necessities that might come along the way. 

And no, we are not snob. You may approach us anytime. We also do the first move at times when we have the chance. You might think that we’re picky with the people whom we talk to. The fact is I love talking to people. I learn a lot from others’ experiences so I love hearing it from them. From you. But maybe, that connotation of us being a snob is what I can explain as saving what’s important for what’s important. Our time and energy are limited. So they are better well spent on people and things that really matter. Like my family, my friends, people in need and most of all, to the One who provided us with all of these. Thanking God and acknowledging that all these things that are happening are His will alone. I am nothing without Him.

Material things are never the final goal. But material things aren’t bad at all. Don’t ever think about that way. These are also God made tools. And you can use these to achieve higher goals in life, which are to become a man of purpose for others, to be better citizens and family members and most importantly, to realize how negligible we are compared to all of God’s creation. And to His eyes, you are not poor. You are also rich and blessed.

Sincerely yours,
Misunderstood Rich Man