I finally finished my journey through the 2nd Cebu leg of the Registered Financial Planner Program this year. I started by participating in a 3-4 days of whole day training at the EcoTech center in Lahug, Cebu City. In Manila, I am told this is supposed to be an eight-week long journey to understand personal financial planning in the Philippine setting which is series of half-day Saturday classes with the Philippines’ leaders in personal financial education.
Tuition for this was about 29,000 pesos but with transportation added in, I'd say 30,000 is the actual figure. I must admit, that it was quite a significant amount of investment that makes you think twice.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin
Many people online or even offline declare that it's better to do self education since almost everything is in the internet these days. I came into the same conclusion and reasoning, but what made me take a leap of faith by joining this program?
Aside from meeting in person the known experts and personalities in Financial Planning in the Philippines, you get to ask them for some guidance, different questions, advice, knowledge and experience sharing in Investments and personal finance in general. Well, you may also reason out that you can do that in facebook to by stalking or adding them and eventually messaging them. But engaging them face-to-face is a totally different experience and I bet they won't necessarily respond to a stranger on facebook.
|Prepare all note taking devices!|
|Eat all the food you need since it's going to fuel your body for all the nosebleeds you will get from Financial Terminologies|
Another reason why I wanted to join and learn in the program is to get a perspective, an unbiased view or picture of financial literacy, education in the Philippine context since what is mostly found online are from Foreigners (Robert Kiyosaki, Millionaire Next Door..etc..) but we must admit that there are so many questions that those books cannot answer, simply because the Philippine setting is very different from the US.
Once again, you may reason out, these experts lecturing us have sites, facebook pages and even blogs of their own, so why not follow that one too? Yes you can, but I still believe nothing beats face-to-face interactions and get advice and knowledge straight from the horses' mouths!
To summarize here are my reasons for spending for a somewhat formal education in finance:
- No book could ever capture the wealth of their (The Speakers) wisdom.
- Unbiased financial planning education since financial institutions usually design the interactions with us financial newbies to be profitable, which means product selling. Here there is none of that.
- Learn different methodologies, strategies and perspectives in Personal Finance in the Philippine setting.
- Myth Busting: Confirm what I knew and thought I knew about and things I don’t know about. What is applicable in the US may not be applicable here in the Philippines.
|Our first speaker was Aya Laraya of Pesos and Sense|
This is the phrase or quote that Aya is known for through his Pesos and Sense educational company. The first topic of the week was an overview about money, motivation and ultimately behavioral finance. That was a surprise to me as I was prepared for some nosebleeds and headaches on Day 1 since this is financial planning we are talking about here!
What affects our spending decisions as well as Investment choices is influenced by acquired behavior, culture and external environment. Basically, how we spend our money is more emotional and psychological rather than technical (for technical can be learned but behavior and attitudes are more difficult to control).
About Aya Laraya:
Aya Laraya is known as a Personal Finance and Investment Advocate. He began his career in the field of finance when he made his first investment while he was still in highschool. Setting this as his cornerstone, he pursued his Masters of Business Administation (MBA) from University of Western Australia, where he also enriched his writing skills.
He is also a Certified Securities Representative, a Certified Investment Company representative, and as a Realtor.
Aya Laraya takes part in uplifting the financial literacy of the Filipinos by offering practical advice in determining the most suitable investments for their particular needs.
|Efren is one smart, diligent and very patient man. He taught us the technical stuff.|
A lot of people look up to him, fellow practitioners, financial advisors and including myself, because of his expertise in terms of money management and personal finance. With his topic more on the technical, we had our first run through the steps of making a comprehensive financial plan but was focused more on the calculations involved in relation to financial goals.
Though we did discuss that behavioral finance is important, it was also equally important to be able to accurately capture data and information from clients about their current state -- in terms of insurance, education, expenses and the like needs. This needs to be holistic and also accurate because this is our benchmark that we will base our forecasts on when we start making recommendations and future value calculations.
About Efren Cruz:
Efren Cruz is a pioneer in the Personal Finance industry in the Philippines and has 25 years of experience in financial services industry, 18 years of which in fund management heading the Wealth Management division of Standard Chartered Bank Philippines Branch.
|Among the speakers Atty Terence Camua was the most greenhorn in terms of overall experience but his topic was more to his advantage since he is a CPA-Lawyer and we learned about taxes and laws in the Philippines related to Finance|
|With our Final Day Speaker - Jesi Bondoc|
Who Can Become RFP®?
Below is a list of qualified individuals who can become Registered Financial Planner (RFP):
- Professional Accountants
- Legal Professionals
- Credit Officers
- Real Estate Agents
- Insurance Intermediaries
- Securities and Stock Brokers
- Investment Advisers
- Financial Consultants
- Other Professionals Working in a Similar Field
To know more about the Certification Process please click here.