Got the following direct messages from Tin and Emmanuel via our Instagram and Facebook. Both of them inquiring how to begin investing, to increase financial IQ, to secure funds for retirement, or simply just to begin moving towards a richer life. Below are excerpts of our conversation:
Naturally, I invited them to visit our Newbie Guide, specially made for those who want to start investing. And soon, I will release a new and updated framework towards financial freedom, dubbed as F4. Coming soon.
To answer their questions:
TIN FROM QATAR: Next step after a savings account
First off, I hope Tin is doing well in light of the recent developments in Qatar.
I asked Tin for some basic information, whether she’s married, if she has kids, etc, just to know whether there are people who depend on her income, and eventually her savings / investments. She’s 40, single and she gives money to her mom, which is very common among our OFW kababayans (Related: OFW Dependents Should Learn to Invest).
It’s never to late to start investing, but Juan has to start. Don’t let unfamiliarity or lack of knowledge stop you. Instead, fill the void. Know more, learn more.
Aside from her savings account, Tin has no other investments. For now, we can treat her savings account as her emergency fund assuming it’s sizable enough. I introduced her to insurance to give her additional sickness /health coverage (on top of HMO) and just in case she builds a family eventually (or if she wants her mom to benefit in case something happens to her). If Juan is trying to save a sizable amount for fear that something might happen to them or affect their future income, insurance is a good and quick savings multiplier since it gives a guaranteed sizable amount in case of sickness, disability or death.
Then, since she’s into bank deposits already, UITF might be a good next step as this will allow her to make money work for her and generate higher returns (vs. savings account) in the long run. Once she’s more comfortable and familiar, then she can deal with higher risk higher return investments such as stocks or open a small business.
EMMANUEL: PhilCrowd and/or Mutual Funds
PhilCrowd generated a new buzz due to our recent Facebook post. To the point that yours truly was contacted by the CEO of a renowned salon chain, to meet with PhilCrowd on a possible partnership. We’ll see how it pans out. If you missed it, you may read our previous article here: ROI Guide from FarmOn and PhilCrowd. We got lots of questions on how it works and how to begin. So once again, here are a few pointers:
- PhilCrowd is a cooperative and crowdfunding. It pools investments from small / retail investors.
- One-time membership fee is PHP2,500 and you get to ride with the overall growth in value of the cooperative, together with all the other members.
- On top of the PHP2,500, you can invest in various funds such as franchises for Potato Corner, Express Pay, Mesa Restaurant, Gas Station, Cacao Farm, Piggery etc., depending on what’s still available.
- Investment for each franchise is PHP25,000, with multiples of PHP25,000 thereafter. For example, the investments of all who chose Express Pay will be pooled and combined, and when there is enough money to fund one or more Express Pay, then it will be used to franchise Express Pay.
- Technically, many investors will own that particular franchise. PhilCrowd will be the one to process the franchise requirements, and the one to manage the business. You just sit back and relax as a passive investor, wait for updates and ROI.
Speaking of pooled funds, mutual funds is another type of pooled funds. Instead of businesses, these are invested in financial instruments such as stocks and bonds. The value of these investments rise and fall daily depending on the market. But if the fund contains fundamental valuable investments, then in the long run the fund value should go up. To know more about stocks and bonds, you may begin reading them here: Should I Invest on My Own or in Managed Funds?
To open a mutual fund, Juan will need to get in touch with fund houses such as First Metro, Sunlife, PhilEquity etc. COLFinancial also offers mutual funds on their online platform. If you’re more comfortable dealing with banks, then UITF is a similar investment.
Caveat emptor. Like in all investments, there is a risk of loss so it’s crucial that you match every investment with your O-H-A.
BOTTOMLINE: INVESTING CAN BE SIMPLE
There are many investment options for everyone, and it need not be complicated. Some are in fact as simple as entrusting your money and let the experts do the investing for you. But Juan has to be more familiar how it works. It’s the beginning of a richer life. Familiarize. Be comfortable. Read, research, join forums, ask questions. Don’t be overwhelmed with the technicality or the jargon. Most investments are simple enough for the ordinary Juan to understand. Once Juan begins to understand, he will feel the progress in his finances. Besides, you can always Ask Geri and I’ll do my best to respond to you.
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May we all have richer lives. One investment at a time!
Photos from Pixabay.