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4 Unhealthy Habits That Can Hinder Your Financial Progress(8-min read)

I’ve been in this advocacy for only 7 years. A short time really, but in that span of time I have encountered the two sides of the coin among retail investors. Shared same goal really, same enthusiasm to be financially free but somehow the approaches vary, the willingness and the effort that people put in vary. Some unknowingly put hurdles in their paths, making it more difficult for them than it has to.

I listed below 4 unhealthy habits and mindsets that I usually encounter from retail investors. In this advocacy for personal finance and financial freedom through sound investments, businesses and money management, there will always be people who want to take the short-cut, people who are too lazy to put in the effort, people who don’t prefer the slow and realistic, but then ironically jump in on outrageous dubious offers. Sad. 🙁

Tamaan huwag magalit. I hope you don’t have any of these. If you do, time for some cleansing.

1. Any catch or fine print is not acceptable, no matter how reasonable.

Here’s a sample conversation:

RichMoneyHacks: There is a crowdfunding that offers co-owned franchising of famous brands for minimum of P25,000.

Juan: I’m interested. Tell me more.

RMH: Many retail investors will chip-in. Funds will be pooled to afford the franchise fee and capital required. We’ll be the one to manage it, you just sit there and relax. We will all share in the profits eventually.

Juan: Oh, I don’t like it. I want the whole franchise to myself for only P25,000.

Seriously? Famous in-demand franchises cost at least 300K and up. At P25K, you expect to own the whole franchise and get more than 90% discount? Why would the in-demand franchises do that if they are in-demand? A one-off promo perhaps but that’s once in a blue moon.

Instead, why not see the value that such proposition presents, the opportunity to co-own such franchise at much smaller exposure, in exchange for a reasonable compromise — smaller returns. Sort of testing the waters for you. Anyway you won’t run it daily, so you save on operational costs and headaches that go with it.

These crowdfunding efforts are actually meant to make more investment and business options available to every Juan, but to make it more sustainable and realistic, there will be fine prints and catches, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s like mutual funds and UITFs that come with management fees, etc. but this is invested in businesses, not in financial instruments.

There’s always a catch. There’s a catch to everything, as always. Give and take. There’s no free lunch. Every Juan should know that. If there’s no catch, if it’s too-good-to-be-true, then Juan should be alarmed.

Here’s another one:

RMH: Manage a 7-11 franchise for 300K investment.

Juan: I’m interested. Tell me more.

RMH: Existing 7-11 franchises near you will be converted, then you’ll be the one to manage it on certain terms and for the next 5 years, then we share on the profits. Ok with you?

Juan: Oh I thought it will be built from scratch and I will fully own it. I want the whole franchise to myself for only P300K.

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But if some people do it this way, people jump into it:

S: P1000 mo gawin nating P8000 in 3 days. Guaranteed to!

Juan: I’m interested. Tell me more.

S: Just give me your money, I will invest it. If I don’t reach P8000 in 3 days, I will give it to you anyway since its money-back guaranteed. You don’t need to know the details. It’s proprietary technology.

Juan: Where do I sign? I want to invest my life savings.

No wonder every year, we hear of people who lost money big time due to so-called “investments” but in reality are scams.

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2. Ugh. TLDR. Need Spoon-feeding.

Meanwhile, there are some who don’t want to read. Too lazy to read but wants to get rich huh? Yung masipag nga hindi laging yumayaman, yung tamad pa kaya?

Or they read without really absorbing it. Or they read the title of an article only, then carelessly share it without reading the entire article (fake news alert!) In the advent of information revolution, sadly there are people who are less and less informed. While more and more people get misinformed.

Here’s an illustration:

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Too long did not read. Or even if it’s short, did not bother to read anyway, but he wants to know nonetheless. I’d rather send a PM than read this. Ang haba eh!

Reads the title, the caption, then sends a PM, posts a comment: “How do I invest?”, “What are the details?”

It’s in the article bruh. This makes me shake my head every time. But I’m amazed at people who do this.

Or are you using free Facebook data that’s why you cannot read the whole article? Unfortunately people who care to share valuable information cannot put all the details in the captions. That’s why the article was written in the first place. All Juan has to do is click the article and read it. Read, read, read.

Financial freedom will take effort. It will not be easy, but I assure you, remaining poor will feel worse. So, I’d rather experience hardships and get out of my comfort zone in an effort to be financially free. Like learning something new.

It is not easy, but it is not impossible either. It is not rocket science. It can be learned, the first thing to do is start reading and studying it. Read first, questions later.

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3. Good for them. But it’s not for me or you.

Financial freedom is for other people only. We are not meant to be as successful as them. They can afford to take risks, we can’t. If I’m not going anywhere given my lack of effort, so do you. Read this:

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Are we that brand conscious? I agree, we should support our friends and start-up businesses more.

Someone asks, can we get a discount? Free shipping?

C’mon, we’re a small online business, nagsisimula pa lang discount na agad, eh lagi ka ngang nabili sa Starbucks!

Why is it that we ask for discounts from small-time businesses (like in public markets) and start-ups (of family and friends) but when we buy in malls, we’re willing to pay much higher prices? In malls, it’s common knowledge na hindi pwede tumawad pero sa kaibigan at kapamilya, madamot sila kapag walang discount. Huhu.

Maybe we should reconsider making the mall magnates richer, and ask why we can’t even spare some solid support to struggling start-ups?

Don’t shoot it down. Don’t drag the business down. Instead be supportive! Don’t like what they’re doing, risking and trying to launch a new business venture? Why not? Maybe because deep inside, you’re envious that they have the guts to try it, while you don’t? Don’t you want to see your friends and family succeed?

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4. Gains are too small.

How long is the ROI? How much will I gain per year? 8%?!? It’s too small.

Oh okay, ikaw na!

Sometimes we are victims of chasing big gains, we keep on waiting and waiting until those big gains never come. To a point that we’ve waited for years, our money slowly eaten away by inflation in our savings accounts. Just because we were waiting for a much bigger ROI, much bigger gain. But we never get to start in the first place. Either we don’t want to study it, or we find it not worth our time. Hijo, tumatakbo ang oras. This is not to say jump blindly in every investment opportunity, but more of, there’s no harm in starting small, as long as you start early. Because once you get started, you build momentum, you build the discipline. As our Chinoy friends say, “di bale na liit kita, basta tuloy-tuloy at marami.Kaysa naman hintay ka nga malaking kita, 10 years na, di ka pa nakakasimula.

Meanwhile, there are also people who find satisfaction in bashing other people’s money moves. As if there is only one path to financial freedom. As if their strategy is the only strategy that works. If person A is happy enough investing in bonds at 8% p.a., then there are person B’s who come saying “You should be in stocks gaining 30% or more annually. Your money won’t go anywhere in bonds or crowdfunding!” I mean, some are genuinely concerned for the well-being of others, some really mean well and they want to help. While there are also those who just want to watch the world burn. Who have a knack in putting others down.

My take. One, respect. Two, diversification. You don’t even know what other investments he has. Three, we are not the same. Different background, interests and passions, financial standing, experience, time horizon, risk appetite, objective. So instead of bashing, trolling or spreading negative vibes, why not learn from one another instead? Or just mind your own business. Your money, your rules. My money, my rules. It’s that simple.

To recap:

  • Don’t invest blindly, but likewise, there’s always a reasonable catch to every legitimate investment. Don’t dismiss it upfront just because it’s very realistic.
  • Study, study, read, read. Google it! You won’t understand if you don’t try and don’t read to begin with. Read first, then ask questions. There are many investments that are easy to understand.
  • Support your family and friends in their own journeys to financial freedom. Instead of making the celebrities and tycoons richer, why not spare a few bucks for your family and friends who are starting out? And why not do the same?
  • Be decisive, but not reckless. Don’t keep on waiting, don’t fall into analysis paralysis. Investing and financial freedom is not a one-time-big-time thing. It’s a series of small but smart money decisions. Two steps forward, one step backward. It takes time, but you have to begin. Great things start from small beginnings. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

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I summarized the path to financial freedom into #10Steps. It will not be easy but neither is a lifetime of poverty. It will not be easy, but it is not impossible. Download your copy of #10Steps to a Richer Life now!

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