How are you? I hope you and your family are healthy and doing well in this time of Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s been 2 weeks since Luzon in Philippines has been placed in an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). If you are part of our heroic front liners and essential personnel, kudos to you and our prayers and support go out to you and your family. For us meanwhile who are stuck at home, whether working from home (WFH) or forced to stay at home (SAH), being non-essential personnel, our task is to stay at home, stay healthy, avoid getting the virus and avoid spreading it further.
I pray that despite this lockdown, you still have the cash flow, supplies and resources so you and your family can survive until the end of the lockdown. Meanwhile, if you are part of those who are “no work, no pay,” those who are more severely affected, I hope the aid from the government and the donations from the private sector have reached you and your families. Our prayers and financial support go out to you as well.
For those who are stuck at home, I bet you have tried many things to keep you occupied. Watch TV. Binge on Netflix. Listen to music. Read a book. Exercise indoors. Play games. Tiktok. Browse endlessly on your social media accounts. Reflect. Pray. Donate. Eat, eat, eat and get fat. Etcetera etcetera.
What else to do? Now I want you to consider the following suggestions, to help you manage and improve your finances, to be productive, while under ECQ.
Time to Study Investment Options
Markets are down, severely down. And as of this writing, I don’t think we have seen the bottom yet. Not yet. US had just overtaken Italy in terms of confirmed Covid19 cases, and they’re not yet doing anything drastic. Being the biggest economy, what happens to them will affect us globally. Locally, I don’t think we’re starting to flatten the curve either. We haven’t really done mass testing and we’re just beginning to increase capacity of local testing. So I think things will still get worse before it gets better. I hope I’m wrong.
This means you have time. We have time. If you are blessed enough to have extra monetary resources during these challenging times, aside from donating and helping others, investing some of it gradually in the markets will make perfect sense. As of this writing, the PSE index is at 5266, back to Sep2012 levels. It’s like you’re being given the opportunity to buy at valuations 8 years ago.
Is it cheap now? Not for all. Will it go down further? Only time can tell. But you can start studying now. 🙂
All business are affected but there are companies more severely affected than others. There are businesses who will recover faster than others. There are businesses who’s value will rightfully be comparable to 2012 given their bleak outlook. My personal take (caveat!) is that companies related to groceries, internet, healthcare, hospitals are probably less affected in terms of revenues and income. Banks, power, consumer plays, manufacturing are probably mildly affected due to less economic activity. Airlines, tourism, mall merchants, casinos, those who go up and down with oil prices are probably more severely affected. These are just general initial assessments. As such:
- Study investing in managed funds if you’re the more passive, long-term type. If you want others to invest for you, for a management fee of course. These funds are severely down right now (mine are losing money!), but they should be able to recover especially once the index recovers (more so if the fund is tracking the index). Maybe in 1 year, 2 years time? Not saying you should deploy your money now, I’m just saying by the time we start recovery, you should be familiar already and ready to invest.
- Study stocks in your spare time. Investing in stocks individually is more complicated than investing in managed funds that’s why this will need more time and dedication on your part. And you have time right now! Lots of it! More risky, but if done right, more financially rewarding. Learn the basic concepts, the different approaches (fundamental vs technical) as well as the various indicators that can be helpful. Dip your toes, open your online stocks trading accounts, watch YouTube tutorials etc.
- Study other investment options that suits your objective-horizon-appetite (OHA). There are many other ways to grow your money. Now that the global economy is grinding to a halt, possibly a recession, the more urgent it is for you and me to find various ways in growing our money via investing.
Time to Create Your SALN
This is probably a good time for you to establish a baseline on where you are in terms of your finances. You have lots of free time to count your blessings (and assets), and be mindful of your obligations (loans). Now that majority of the country is at a stand-still, nothing much is moving in terms of cash flows, expenses and even income, this is a good time to be honest to yourself and assess how much your net worth is. So that once we get back on track, and we will, you can monitor moving forward whether your financial standing is improving.
Remember, what you don’t measure, you cannot manage.
At times like this, you probably realized the importance of having emergency fund and liquid cash, especially if you’re income stopped because of the ECQ. If you have exposures in the market, they’re probably losing money right now. How are these impacting your overall financial standing? Are you updated with your credit cards and short- to long-term loans? If you get laid-off right now (knock on wood), will your emergency fund last until you find a new job? Will your assets be able to repay all your loans if ever your cash flows stopped for a few months?
Do you have positive net worth? Do your personal SALN now and find out. Click here to learn how.
Time to Consider the Offers You’ve Been Ignoring
Maybe you were too preoccupied before and did not see the value of the offers you’ve been getting. You thought, they just wanted to get a sale from you, and that there’s no value in what they have to offer. Now, you’re thinking, wait a minute, at times like this, there’s actually merit in such offers. Remember, rainy days come, and you prepare for rainy days during sunny days. Not when the floodgates open.
At times like this, when there is so much uncertainty in terms of our health and life, it pays to have insurance coverage. One less thing to worry about. Or rather two less things – in case of death, you’re covered, your dependents get some amount. If you availed of critical illness and/or hospital income rider, you’re covered should you get sick as well. I have friends from the insurance industry, and now more than ever, they’re getting so many inquiries on how to get insured. Don’t wait before it’s too late, there’s only a limited amount of time when you are insurable. For us, insurance, when done right, is an investment, it’s saving up with multiplier effect for the rainy days. It is a necessary expense.
Likewise, we’ve been getting many inquiries on how to be a member-distributor and avail of world-class multivitamins and food supplements that we are independent distributors of. At times like this, more and more people realize that they need to put a premium on their health, but if there’s no Covid19, only a few, sadly, are willing to put a premium on their health. Due to spike in demand, many of our items are sold out for now. Likewise, since we’re on a lockdown, shipping these items nationwide are challenging at the moment. Once we get through this Covid19, and we will, I hope more and more people realize the importance of eating healthy, exercising and see the value in taking multivitamins and food supplements.
Be safe! Stay healthy. Stay indoors. God helps us overcome Covid19!
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