Manila, Philippines

To OFWs and Dependents: Learn Personal Finance and Invest

PHL Economic Stimulus Package Not Enough?
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Here in Investment Juan01, we say any Juan can invest and every Juan should. OFWs and their dependents included. We say, may all Pinoys have richer lives.

Was blessed enough to spend the past few days overseas, as a tourist, and was even more blessed to spend some time with some OFW groups. Hearing their stories further drove home the point that we have miles to go in terms of educating every Juan on financial literacy, especially our modern day heroes abroad.

Crowded Mong Kok by Luke,Ma, on FlickrBut I do hope we’re on the right track.I’ve been to 3 Asian countries only, all of which are hands down more developed compared to the Philippines in terms of economies, transport system, financial system, etc. Life, as it seems, in worldly standards at least, is better and easier in these countries. And yes, being a tourist in these countries is a worthwhile experience. In Filipino, masarap maging turista paminsan-minsan.

But as the OFWs point out, relatives back home tend to see only the beautiful parts, the tourist attractions, theme parks, dazzling lights and shopping. What’s behind it all, the sacrifices, the loneliness, worse the discrimination and abuse, the higher costs of living, albeit very much real, are not highlighted and acknowledged. Being an OFW is not easy. They don’t lay golden eggs, and their time away from home to have a relatively higher income, also comes at a high price.

Not all OFWs suffer in other countries. Some, I hope majority, hit the jackpot in earning fortunes for their relatives here at home through good employment and employers. Especially if Juan is an overseas Filipino professional, engaged in white collar jobs. However, vast majority of our countrymen are actually in blue collar jobs, with less pay, less benefits, more demanding, and sometimes even less foreign friends and support groups that is why they tend to form smaller groups of their own, spending their limited “day-offs” huddled in parks, overpasses, sidewalks, malls, sharing stories of pain and hope. Of tears and laughter. Matiisin ang Pinoy.

Relaxing in the beating heart of Hong Ko by Kwong-kwan Wong, on Flickr

I previously asked on Twitter whether Lotto winners are given a seminar on financial literacy so they can wisely invest their winnings. If there is, I hope it works, if there’s none, there should be.

OFWs and their dependents should also have the same. Their hard earned money should also work harder for them. And please, not in scams. With the right financial education, our modern day heroes should not only work hard, but they should also work smart. Dependents back home receiving remittances should make these seed moneys grow, and accelerate the time that loved ones abroad can once again go back home, this time for good.

We heard of moms who have been domestic helpers for years, travelling a number of countries and working for various nationalities. Mrs Internationals. For a tourist, being to many countries might have been pleasurable albeit expensive. For OFWs, I hope being to many countries has been pleasurable to them as well, because it is definitely expensive not just financially but psychologically.

I do hope that in all those years working for money, OFWs and their dependents have saved some money which can in turn work for them. Invest in financial instruments and businesses instead of spending on unnecessary luxuries. It is one thing to reward oneself but another to splurge now and deprive oneself of a better future. I hope that their dependents are equipped with the attitude, discipline and know-how to make these grow.

Lastly, I wanted to ask, whether they also wanted to bring their relatives and children abroad as tourists, so they can see for themselves what’s beautiful and what’s painful in living in a foreign land.


But I did not as most likely, they do, but in the meantime, they won’t, as they’ll find it expensive and counter-productive. I hope in time, they also go to other countries, not as employees, but as tourists, with their families.

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May we all have a richer life!
Crowded Mong Kok by  Luke,Ma 

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

 Filipino Personal Finance Life Hacks OFW Investments

4 Responses

  1. Geri says:

    Thanks Merie! Feel free to share to people you know!

  2. Merie Cecilia Garces says:

    Great post! You nailed it again po! we ought to check if PCSO has soe kind of seminar or the like for winnners. coz i know several people who won millions but went back to being paupers (one, a former yaya to my great gradmother eons back, won 5M but three years later all the money was gone). and the thing about OFW's; it's sad that most workers abroad have no money saved up or invested after years and years of working away from their families. financial literacy should be a subject from grade school (pre-school even!) onwards. thanks

  3. Geri says:

    Thanks too for sharing yours!

  4. thelotter review says:

    You are right financial literacy or just a sound financial advice is a key to success in managing big money (especially the easy one won in lottery). Furthermore it is important to smother one's pride, like “I'm not that stupid to make a right use of the money I have”, such winners mostly flesh huge cash in several years. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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