Finance · Life Lessons

Store In Summer While It’s Not Yet Raining

Yes, I know, It’s still hot and sunny but it’s not summer. I am talking about the story of the ant who used to store foods in preparation to rainy season – that when the time came when he could not go out anymore to look for it because of the storm, he didn’t suffer from hunger.

ant
ctto: youtube.com

Due to public demand… Wait. That is an exaggeration.

Well, since there are already 8 people who are asking me about investing in stocks and mutual funds, let me share my learning from the books I’ve read, seminars I attended and from my experience as a beginner.

Before getting in to the main topic, let me emphasize that you have to secure first the following items before you invest on something (or at least build up simultaneously):

  1. Life Insurance – Maybe you are uncomfortable with the idea of Life Insurance. You might think that you are saving your money now for the benefit of your loved ones when you die. On one note, you are right. You do not want to be a burden to others when you die, right? On the other hand, let me tell you that there are options available where you can have a life insurance (for your loved ones when you die) and a savings, which you can withdraw while you are still alive at the same time. Also, you’re still in doubt about insurance in general due to not so good records of insurance companies in the past. You are referring to educational plan, right? Specifically CAP? The good news is LIFE insurance companies are not under SEC, thus, will not be dissolved like a normal company. For more information, kindly contact my brother-in-law, Kuya Earl, at earl_lagazo@yahoo.com.
  2. Emergency Fund – Two-months worth of your monthly salary or income. From the name itself, this is used for emergency purposes, thus, should be withdrawable even at 12 o’clock midnight.
  3. Reserve Fund – Six-months worth of your monthly salary or income. This will be your surviving fund in the event that you lose your job or your main source of income.

Okay, let’s move on to our main topic. One friend asked me what is the difference between mutual fund and investing in stocks. Basically, both are stocks investment. The only difference is that in mutual fund, you are allowing other financial companies to manage your investment. You do not know in particular where they are investing it. You just know whether your money is gaining or losing on a daily basis. On the other hand, in investing in stocks, you will be the one to manage your own money. You will have the full access, decision and transparency of your funds. Both have their own level of advantages and disadvantages as to risk, return and stress.

MUTUAL FUND

There are three types of mutual funds:

  1. Equity – purely private companies (Risk: High / Return: High)
  2. Bond – purely government (Risk: Low / Return: Low)
  3. Balanced Equity – combination of the two above.

If you are going for mutual funds, your financial adviser (Pls contact Kuya Earl now!!) will ask you some questions as to your personality in terms of being a risk taker. With the result, he will tell you what kind of mutual fund is best for you. Initial investment is Php 5,000. You may add anytime for a minimum of Php 1,000. Every investment is supported by Official Receipt. You will receive a daily email as to the value of your fund and you may also view it online. Holding period is minimum of 5-years, though you may withdraw anytime but subject to an administrative fee (usually 5% on 1st year, 4% on 2nd year, 3% on 3rd year and so on).

I have a mutual fund in Sunlife. My mistake is that I invested a large amount of money from the start and wasn’t able to add an investment on a regular basis. I could have generate more gains if I invested first a small amount of money and gradually increased my fund month after month.

STOCK INVESTMENT

There are two methods of investing in stocks:

  1. Trading – Short-term; Usually buying and selling the same stocks within a week. Requires daily checking of value per share. Known as Buy & Sell.
  2. Peso Cost Averaging – Long-term (at least 3 years). Investor is buying and accumulating shares of the same company periodically (usually every quarter) regardless of the value. Known as Buy & Hold.

If you are employed or handling your own business, the recommended method is Peso Cost Averaging. It will not entail you a lot of time checking, buying and selling.

Bo Sanchez, Francisco Colayco and COLFinancial suggested to invest in big and known companies only like Ayala and SM. Most of the traders today are suffering from losses because they invested on petty stocks. These are the small companies that they do not even know the products or services being offered, who the owners are and the business location.

“What you don’t know, you don’t touch.” – COLFinancial

“You touch, you pay.” – John Dee

Visit COLFinancial website and attend the two and a half hours seminar for free at COL Business Center 2403B East Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center, Exchange Rd. Ortigas Center (Tektite), Pasig City. Once you decide to pursue this venture, you will fill out a form and submit immediately together with a photocopy of your government ID. You may also download the form provided in the site and mail it to them attached with a photocopy of your government ID and any latest billing as reference to your mailing address. COLFinancial will email your account number within 24 hours. You can now transfer a fund for a minimum of Php 5,000 through online banking or over-the-counter transaction (BPI, BDO or Metrobank only). The next working day, you will receive your password via email and you may now start buying stocks.

Since this is a long-term investment, you might feel the need to enjoy the fruits of your earnings on the way. The suggestion is when you already gained 15%-20% of your stocks, sell 30% of these gains and buy whatever you want to buy. This is equivalent to the supposedly tax payment to government if you have invested your money on a regular business.

By God’s grace, I’m on my way of being a shareholder of Ayala, SM and ABS-CBN. I already have my LRP (5-year Long Range Planning) on how will I grow my shares with these companies. I believe that regardless of political issues and natural calamities, these companies will stay as being part of the top, known and growing companies in the Philippines. I included ABS-CBN due to the upcoming national election and I am looking forward to the numerous TV Ads that candidates will air.

Do not think that I am rich or I have lots of money. It’s just that I realized that my savings in the bank is not generating any income at all. Also, I chose to invest a portion of my bonus as Christmas-gift-to-self and stock investment is part of my bucket list for the year being my 30th.

It might sound complicated especially if you’re not a Finance person. But if you really want to be like the ant who enjoys life even in the midst of famine or calamity and be serious in managing your finances well, it’s not too late to take the first step – PRAY. ūüôā

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