Manila, Philippines

Personal Finance and Investments: Better, Brighter 2021 for All of Us

Personal Finance and Investments: Better, Brighter 2021 for All of Us
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I started writing this at 5am in the morning, on the last day of 2020. Can’t sleep, it’s been a while since I had trouble sleeping (wifey would know hehe) and it’s also been a while since I was able to write an entry here. It was a whirlwind of a year. So before I go any further and rant, let me wish you, bless you and your family and your investments — a BETTER and BRIGHTER 2021.

May we indeed have a happy and prosperous new year in 2021.

I used to always say “Bring it on!” to the upcoming year, brimming with hope and excitement for the upcoming year. I recall telling 2020 to “bring it on” back in December 2019. But now, I will no longer ask 2021 to “bring it on” given what 2020 brought us, instead I’d just say with humble, yet faithful confidence, that 2021 shall be Better, Brighter for us and our families, and for our finances. New year, new hope.

Personal Finance and Investments: Better, Brighter 2021 for All of Us

Ain’t That Bad?

To say 2020 ain’t that bad, for me, will mean indifference and callousness to the different levels of suffering and losses many people around the world experienced. Recently watched Death to 2020 on Netflix (not because I needed reminding on what 2020 has been, but because we’re running out of shows to watch) (Disney+ and HBO Max please become available in the Philippines soon).

Imagine if COVID happened in 2003, we’d be stuck at home for months playing with our Nokia 3310 and Snake (anonymous). Not much internet, social media, smartphones and Netflix! Want to trade Netflix stocks?

COVID-19 pandemic (oh wait there’s a mutated virus!), bigger natural calamities we haven’t experienced in a decade, incompetent leadership that’s self-destructing on weekly basis, thousands of jobs and businesses lost, loved ones who got sick or worse passed away. So on and so forth. No need to list them all. 2020 was not kind to us, it was difficult to all of us compared to the previous years being less difficult for majority and being more difficult only for some.

Of course there were opportunities too, if Juan was fortunate enough to pounce on them. Many jobs and businesses lost income but some found new niches in online selling, some were able to adapt to the new normal, online deliveries and logistics become more in demand. Those blessed to be working from home were able to spend more time with families and with their kids, saved some more money (I hope) that could have gone to public transportation fare, gasoline and parking.

Personal Finance and Investments: Better, Brighter 2021 for All of Us

Markets tanked (especially the PSE) but was able to recover somehow. After the market recovered from the Global Financial Crisis, I somehow wished I would be ready to “buy the fear” when the next global downturn occurs. Well this year, I was able to buy some quality names and indices on the lows, but while you’re in the midst of the downturn and blooded markets, it’s still hard to be emotionless and be aggressive. In hindsight, I wish I could have bought more. Still there’s a part of me that says the worst isn’t over yet for the Philippines. God I hope I’m wrong.

Count your blessings they say. No matter how hard it is. 2020 was a helluva sh*tty year. There I said it. No better way to put it. I’m sure many people got it way worse than I/we did, but as they say, it’s ok not be to ok. You having it less worse than others doesn’t mean you can’t feel bad about it. You should not invalidate your feelings, but at the same time, express it to the proper outlets (better to friends who would understand, not on social media who will just judge you as maarte and callous), don’t be blind to those who have it worse than you.

Speaking of blind, likewise, I/we should not turn a blind eye on the blessings, opportunities and growth we were able to “milk” from 2020. If you’re still able to read blogs and go online, if you’re doing ok and still have income, not sick, then I think 2020 ain’t that bad for you too huh (compared to others)?

Personal Finance and Investments: Better, Brighter 2021 for All of Us

Better, Brighter and Other B’s (Not BS)

Christmas came and gone without much fanfare and festivities, New Year celebration tonight will be more solemn and even simpler than previous years. Then we’re staring at a whole new year with holidays and breaks very far away. This is a time when breaks and holidays don’t feel as such since we can’t go to far places for a vacation, work and staycation are done in the same place. Back to the grind. It is what it is, the world continues to revolve so life goes on. Here are some of my mandatory New Year resolutions / wishes/ goals.

1. Better Health

Of course this has to be part of the list because it is part of the list annually for every one right? Seriously though, we’re getting older (bigger), so hopefully this year, we take our health more seriously (this year na ba talaga promise?) Plus the fact that COVID-19 is still here with us and vaccines are still months away, we better stay negative from COVID-19. Let’s not put to waste the 2020 survival we achieved just to get exposed and sick in 2021.

Personal Finance and Investments: Better, Brighter 2021 for All of Us

2. Bounce Back Businesses

Support local! Support small businesses! I hope and pray that in 2021, more business bounce back, the economies improve so that it can generate more jobs and livelihood, especially for the ones who lost theirs in 2020. Our small business and small investments (co-ownerships/ restos) were not spared from the closures due to quarantine, some have re-started operations towards 2H20 and are now back to profitability (but not same level as pre-COVID) while for others, we have decided to permanently close down to cut losses.

3. Bigger Portfolio

Was fortunate enough to catch some big moves in the markets (PSEi recovery for our UITFs, bigger yields in savings accounts, the dramatic rise of PSE: ACEN and more recently the crazy surge of Bitcoin. Of course in hindsight, I wish I could have risked more especially in ACEN and Bitcoin, just because now we know they will fly after a few months. But I (and we) should not let this thought linger and dampen our confidence. Instead learn from it, and move on. I never invest (or trade) an amount bigger than my appetite for it (like I won’t put P1M on Bitcoin back then and even now because losing a significant part of 1M is beyond my risk appetite for cryptocurrencies, then and now. Still, being human, I can’t help but think what if? What if? If I did, could I be retired by now? Will I? In 2021, there will be new trends, new high flyers, the goal is to catch more of them, and ride the tidal wave with a bigger surf board hopefully.

Personal Finance and Investments: Better, Brighter 2021 for All of Us

4. Building Skills, Broader Horizons

2020 was so busy, I moved to a new company, bigger role, fire fighting here and there as we manage the loans portfolio (consumer and corporate) in the middle of a pandemic. Career-wise, it was so much learning and it’s a very big blessing to be able to move to a new company for career progression during a pandemic while some people lose theirs. 2021 will continue to be a skills-building and broadening of horizons for me, work-wise, but I hopefully less busy for 2021 so I can gain back the time, discipline and gusto for trading, blogging and vlogging. These 3 things I did not do much for 2020. I intend to be a trader for life so I hope for 2021, I can further improve my trading skills (up my trade expectancy) and explore more of the foreign markets (e.g. crypto, renewable energy, new social media stocks etc). Also more income streams as you and I both know content-creation is the name of the game. Di ba Ivana?

Also, the pandemic is still with us so we will need better, stronger weapons for 2021, whether physically, emotionally, mentally and financially.

5. Blessings, Blessings, Blessings

We’re still alive, no one in the family and friends got very sick in 2020 despite the pandemic so I hope it continues (better yet, improves) in 2021. God is faithful, I believe that, and He will never abandon us. Despite what 2020 gave us (or did we do this to ourselves?) let’s continue to be faithful and hopeful that He has our best interests in mind. Despite the so many ups and downs, my personal net worth still went up (I hope yours did too, or if you have no idea, better start tracking it now) so that’s another blessing for me and the family. Portfolios got bigger, fully paid some short-term loans. For every set-back, let’s claim and believe that it is a step-back and set-up for something greater. Just keep on claiming, claiming and claiming our blessings from up above. God is infinite, He will never run out of blessings and generosity for all of us, there is more than enough for all of us, we just need to “ask, and it shall be given.”

And for those who are already receiving theirs, do not forget to count, add, multiply and divide those blessings, to be shared with others.

Cheers to a better, brighter 2021 for all of us. 2020 was tough, but now we’re tougher, and we’re moving on.

#GrowYourMoney #BeFinanciallyFree #GYMBFF


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