Lazy Investing Way

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Investing can only multiply what you have

Thursday, September 14, 2017

If we are to build a house, we need to have the proper foundation; similarly, we need to have a good financial foundation. Nearly all financial people agree that Investing is not the first priority in personal finance but rather getting your cash inflow and outflows in order, setting up that emergency fund, managing debt, getting protection and insurance before starting to invest. You can only fully focus on investing once you have the necessary safety nets for yourself for investing is a risky activity.

That is the ideal but reality on the other hand does not necessarily agree with the step by step process and to add to the complication, different people have different risk appetites as well.

Discipline, Patience and the proper mindset is important; understand that this is not a sprint but rather a marathon which can at least take a 20-30 years of journey or perhaps even more!

Developing these skills is necessary for you to be successful in your lazy investing journey. You don’t have to be an expert at it, you just have to have a solid grasp of the basics; from there you begin to build habits around it and then it becomes somewhat repetitive to the point that it’s become as easy as breathing.

I have received a lot of questions from my friends and also client/s that says “I want to invest, but I don’t have money” or “the money I have isn’t enough”… Let’s get real here; if you don’t have any income source, or if you think your income is too low, then your best move is to focus on increasing your income first!

“The worst thing you can do, is to make life decisions while you are emotional, while your heart and mind are in disagreement.” – Leon Brown

Do you remember a time when you were weighing an important decision such as a big expense like buying a house, making financial investments, or a starting a new business? Such decisions are inherently complex, and no matter how much experience we have making them, working through the pros and cons of each choice can be overwhelming.

Our emotional reactions to these choices may be useful in directing our attention and energy toward what we feel are the most important aspects of the decision but a feeling may not be the best choice. These emotionally charged decisions may lead us to make misguided decisions or outright disastrous ones.

I’m not saying we should behave more like robots; emotions do help us in our daily decision making process as we go through life but emotions are not useful at all when investing.

Whether you prefer fundamental or technical analysis, you should always consider your own emotional state and pause – and make that emotional analysis first before making a decision as well. What usually happens when investing (whether stock market or real estate) is that we get too excited and fail to do the necessary due diligence and find yourself in a disadvantageous situation (due to getting carried away with speculation, following a guru who suddenly makes a mistake and many more).

So start investing yesterday or better yet, NOW despite your limited income. The most important thing is to build those investing habits as a start!

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The writer is an RFP® –Registered financial planner and helps people through CERTA, Inc.’s financial education programs, estate planning & investment advisory (www.certa.ph). He’s also a Real Estate Broker, author of the award-winning personal blog– www.vernongo.com; Vice Chair – www.cebucontentcreators.com
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Originally Published in Philstar - The Freeman Newspaper last September 12, 2017.
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Friday, September 08, 2017

Be(a)ware of investment news hype

Friday, September 08, 2017

The massive increase in financial media is great (for personal finance education and literacy), but it has a downside: We are bombarded with more headlines than ever that feed on greed, fear, and doubt, making it easier than ever to get sidetracked into ruts of excitement, confusion, and pessimism.

Everything that's valuable has a cost. The biggest cost in investing is the emotions of being uncomfortable, not knowing what the future will bring and wondering if you're doing the right thing. And then the cost of opportunity loss, as well as the ‘education cost’ of wrong decisions that lead to losing your hard-earned money.

I don’t know about you but my e-mail inbox, even my facebook feed is flooded with pitches for investment newsletters, “free” financial seminars, and even subtle investment solicitations. The solicitations typically brag about the incredible results. The typical structure of the message is shown with examples below:

“I don’t want to say ‘I told you so,’ but [my stock picks generated] an impressive 54.5 percent! That’s the average gain investors who first accepted my offer to join are getting.”

“Becoming a millionaire is absolutely possible for you, but you must take this critical first step [to subscribe] now!”

Others play the ‘Religious’ or ‘Faith-based’ card by saying something along the lines of “God wants you to be prosperous!” And if you want to follow the-so-called stock market ‘shepherd’ then become a ‘sheep’ at your own risk.

After being bombarded with dozens of similar promotions, even a self-confident investor might begin to feel inadequate. So, you may be tempted to pay a lot of money to learn a newsletter’s “secret sauce”.

Grain of salt
I often see beginners investing in stocks based on news (letters a.k.a fb groups) with a lot hype built into it. The promise of a huge windfall is very tempting. However, it is extremely risky to invest in a company whose stock price has been hyped up by rumors/news with high analyst expectations riding on it.

But before you act, take a moment to examine the ad/promotion’s claims. Unlike pooled funds (or even insurance-investment hybrid products), whose advertising is regulated, the typical news today,have a lot of freedom to highlight figures that cast them in the best possible light. One way they do that is to make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to verify the figures. Others may provide accurate technicals but will still leave you with a “Caveat” (Meaning buyer/investor beware!) at the end of the statement.

Fake News
Manipulating stocks is an old game, it’s been around since forever and it’s not going away. Investors must learn how to be discerning and be skeptical when they read claims online. Even publicly listed companies can access intermediaries to pay writers to post bullish articles (on “growth”, “expansion” or the like angles).

Thirty years ago, investing was mostly an analytical game, because information was scarce and computers weren't scouring the world for mispriced assets. That's changed. Most analytical opportunity has now been fully exploited. And today it has turned into something driven by greed for quick gains and results.

In other words, the best bulwark against fake investment news is your own judgment; and for that you need to invest in your own financial education and literacy!

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The writer is an RFP® –Registered financial planner and helps people through CERTA, Inc.’s financial education programs, estate planning & investment advisory (www.certa.ph). He’s also a Real Estate Broker, author of the award-winning personal blog– www.vernongo.com; Vice Chair – www.cebucontentcreators.com
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Originally Published in Philstar - The Freeman Newspaper last September 05, 2017.
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

How to be useful to others (by being a content creator)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Last week, I read something very interesting to me. It was an article (which also has a video version) titled “how to be useful to others” by Derek Sivers. For context, this article of his is a part of a series; he is also a musician, producer, circus performer, entrepreneur, TED speaker, and book publisher.

Today’s article is not necessarily related to investing in the finance world but rather more towards investing in one’s self.

I relate to his write-up because like him, I see myself as a “Corporate Madhatter” – someone who also wears many different hats: Industrial Engineer, Writer, Blogger, Registered Financial Planner, Licensed Real Estate Broker to name a few; but I do see myself more of a content creator these days. :)

A Content Creator is someone who is actively creating and publishing original content to an audience on one or more media platforms.Artists and creative talents now need to be present and actively publishing content across multiple media platforms, building audience, engaging with fans and reaching out to the splintered and variegated market segments to build their unique and individual brands.

“how to be useful to others” by Derek Sivers https://sivers.org/d1u

1. Get famous.

Do everything in public and for the public.

The more people you reach, the more useful you are.

The opposite is hiding, which is of no use to anyone.

2. Get rich.

Money is neutral proof you’re adding value to people’s lives.

So, by getting rich, you’re being useful as a side-effect.

Once rich, spend the money in ways that are even more useful to others.

Then getting rich is double-useful.

3. Share strong opinions.

Strong opinions are very useful to others.

Those who were undecided or ambivalent can just adopt your stance.

But those who disagree can solidify their stance by arguing against yours.

Even if you invent an opinion for the sole sake of argument, boldly sharing a strong opinion is very useful to others.

4. Be expensive.

People given a placebo pill were twice as likely to have their pain disappear when told the pill was expensive.

People who paid more for tickets were more likely to attend the performance.

People who spend more for a product or service value it more, and get more use out of it.

* * *

#1 In this information age, being famous becomes an easier more accessible goal and the faster & more people know about you, the more in a position you are to influence them (sell products/services)– it saves you a lot of marketing expense; brands may even pay you too market their stuff too.

#2 Dreams don’t always pay the bills. Adulting is hard AF. The sooner we get this hurdle out of the way, the better positioned we are to not just help ourselves (achieve that goal/dream) but also others as well as the economy.

#3 I’m usually a chill and reserved person but as I realized recently, the more we talk about the hard/difficult stuff, the more we actually learn (knowledge & wisdom) and know about the people we engage and sometimes it’s also fun.

#4 I totally agree :D

All these suggestions may seem over-simplified but I think it just really depends on one’s perspective. Hopefully like me, your paradigm has shifted too!
. For context, this article of his is a part of a series; he is also a musician, producer, circus performer, entrepreneur, TED speaker, and book publisher.

Today’s article is not necessarily related to investing in the finance world but rather more towards investing in one’s self.

I relate to his write-up because like him, I see myself as a “Corporate Madhatter” – someone who also wears many different hats: Industrial Engineer, Writer, Blogger, Registered Financial Planner, Licensed Real Estate Broker to name a few; but I do see myself more of a content creator these days. :)

A Content Creator is someone who is actively creating and publishing original content to an audience on one or more media platforms.Artists and creative talents now need to be present and actively publishing content across multiple media platforms, building audience, engaging with fans and reaching out to the splintered and variegated market segments to build their unique and individual brands.

“how to be useful to others” by Derek Sivers https://sivers.org/d1u

1. Get famous.

Do everything in public and for the public.

The more people you reach, the more useful you are.

The opposite is hiding, which is of no use to anyone.

2. Get rich.

Money is neutral proof you’re adding value to people’s lives.

So, by getting rich, you’re being useful as a side-effect.

Once rich, spend the money in ways that are even more useful to others.

Then getting rich is double-useful.

3. Share strong opinions.

Strong opinions are very useful to others.

Those who were undecided or ambivalent can just adopt your stance.

But those who disagree can solidify their stance by arguing against yours.

Even if you invent an opinion for the sole sake of argument, boldly sharing a strong opinion is very useful to others.

4. Be expensive.

People given a placebo pill were twice as likely to have their pain disappear when told the pill was expensive.

People who paid more for tickets were more likely to attend the performance.

People who spend more for a product or service value it more, and get more use out of it.

* * *

#1 In this information age, being famous becomes an easier more accessible goal and the faster & more people know about you, the more in a position you are to influence them (sell products/services)– it saves you a lot of marketing expense; brands may even pay you too market their stuff too.

#2 Dreams don’t always pay the bills. Adulting is hard AF. The sooner we get this hurdle out of the way, the better positioned we are to not just help ourselves (achieve that goal/dream) but also others as well as the economy.

#3 I’m usually a chill and reserved person but as I realized recently, the more we talk about the hard/difficult stuff, the more we actually learn (knowledge & wisdom) and know about the people we engage and sometimes it’s also fun.

#4 I totally agree :D

All these suggestions may seem over-simplified but I think it just really depends on one’s perspective. Hopefully like me, your paradigm has shifted too!


--
The writer is an RFP® –Registered financial planner and helps people through CERTA, Inc.’s financial education programs, estate planning & investment advisory (www.certa.ph). He’s also a Real Estate Broker, author of the award-winning personal blog– www.vernongo.com; Vice Chair – www.cebucontentcreators.com
--

Originally Published in Philstar - The Freeman Newspaper last August 29, 2017.
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

State of financial education in the Philippines

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Philippines is one of the fastest-growing economies in the region today, giving the people the chance to have more financial power than before. However, all these will only go to waste if we do not understand how money works and what are the consequences of having bad money habits. Now, everyone seems to talk about ‘financial literacy’ but not a lot about ‘financial education’.

Now I’m not saying that we should not pursue literacy but to me, it is not sustainable unless it becomes institutionalized. We have a lot of government agencies doing their own thing like the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), DOF (Department of Finance), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the National Credit Council, the Insurance Commission, the National Anti-Poverty Commission and also DepEd are all trying to work together to raise financial literacy in the country.

Financial education and advocacy programs of the public and private sectors have been identified as key areas in building an improved financial system in the Philippines. The question thus, emerges: what is the state of financial education in the Philippines today?

* 2014 World Bank study estimated 20 million Filipinos saved money but only half had bank accounts.

* 2015 Asian Development Bank (ADB) study revealed that PH does not have a national strategy for financial education and literacy.

* On 2016, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released the national strategy for financial inclusion stating that while institutions strive to broaden financial services, financial literacy should also complement such initiatives.

* As per Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Ratings services survey last year, only 25% of Filipinos are financially literate. Meaning, about 75 million Filipinos have no idea about inflation, risk diversification, insurance, compound interest and even the idea of bank savings.

* 10 years after I discovered the stock market, still less than 1 percent of PH population are invested in it.

* More than 80 percent of the working, middle class have no formal financial plan.

There’s a lot of ‘effort’ being provided by the Private Sector with regards to financial literacy but this still a grey area for there is no regulation that determines or points out conflict of interest unlike other countries. There’s no stopping them from selling their financial products under the guise of ‘financial literacy’ as well.

Literacy and Education

Literate and educated are words that people use interchangeably like they are synonymous. They are different and are independent of each other. A literate person might not be educated and vice versa. That we think that one needs to be literate to be educated or educated to be literate is wrong.

What is literacy? One is literate when they can read and write. One does not need to write long essays to be literate. Also, being literate means one can solve simple mathematical problems.

Education, on the other hand, is a broader concept. Education is not just about theories, getting a degree and passing in exams. Education offers knowledge to people. It lets them open their minds to new things and helps them perceive things in new ways.

Both literacy and education helps us in the long run. Unfortunately, we only run behind literacy and evade education. Literacy is needed to mitigate the challenges faced by our working citizens, but education is needed even more for our younger future generations.

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The writer is an RFP® –Registered financial planner and helps people through CERTA, Inc.’s financial education programs, estate planning & investment advisory (www.certa.ph). He’s also a Real Estate Broker, author of the award-winning personal blog– www.vernongo.com; Vice Chair – www.cebucontentcreators.com
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Originally Published in Philstar - The Freeman Newspaper last August 22, 2017.



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