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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I Am Not Closing My Account

At some point, I made investment mistakes. It was primarily due to the reason of me being financially illiterate. Those traditional businesses that failed eventually because of lack of knowledge on how to properly sustain and grow the business. But hey, I am not giving up. I just learned from those and keep on learning along the process.
 
Some few years ago, I had an office mate who is into trading. COL Financial exactly. Because he seated just apart from me, I was able to take a look a few times on his portfolio which he allowed us to. And even though it was an office hours, he would opened the link to then citisec online and trade at the start of it.
 
He was a generous trader that every time he gained on papers, he would buy the whole team lunch. The curiosity in me kicked in, I started to ask questions with how does it worked. And he would enthusiastically fill in the answers to every questions I asked until such time that I 'felt' like I was more convinced to join the stock market trading than what I thought about it. He offered to process my application to the  citisec office in Ortigas since he would often pay a visit to the office. After some days, I received my application approval and login credentials. I deposited the minimum amount. My very first stock pick was in mining which I chose randomly.
 
Looking back, honestly, I made a mistake opening the account. I do not have an emergency fund built yet then. And though I have added few more amount in the coming months, it just sit there for sometime since I do not how to proceed further. My office mate had then resigned from our work and went oversea. I lost track eventually with changes in course. But I am still thankful to him for introducing me to this investment avenue that I viewed before as for somebody who has big bucks and wealthy enough to enter the trading industry only. It has then changed my perception.
 
Although up to this day, I have not withdrawn any amount from it, and had sold stocks since then, bought some again from my available buying power, it had remained a little amount in my over all portfolio. And yes, I do not sell stocks when it is in red, I only sell when in green. Which means, that I need to wait for such a long time before some stocks will turn green. And I am losing money over time.
 
I just realized these days that I do not actually intend to be a daily stock trader after all. Because, truth is, I am a slow learner and after all these years, my knowledge with stock markets has remained relatively a beginner or as a starter.
 
Had I known about emergency fund first, making savings a habit, protecting our lives, and eventually opening up a mutual fund or uitf before, I could have taken these steps first before actually dipping into stocks. However, no, I am not closing my COL Financial account. I am more eager to take the step up to level up my understanding with how it actually works now. And since, through financial blogs I have learned that stock market is not basically a daily trading business alone, I am more comfortable now to invest in via cost averaging which was the exact contrast of how I was taught about it. Thanks to those eye opener information via forum, financial blogs, and books.
 
It is indeed, that to be better financially, we have to make our own diligence to do our part in understanding each steps to be financially free. And yes, sometimes, we make mistakes but what matters most is how we learned from it and become better.
 
We can when we think we can. Start small. Make no excuses. Dream big. Think of yourself and your loved ones.

Yesterday is a past.

Today is what we have.

Start today. Work. Save. Learned.

Envisioned the future.
 
Just sharing. God Bless. :)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

On Emergency Funds

The first 2 weeks of June has been a little bit difficult for me. We are on a very tight budget with the husband just went on medical emergency. Thank God, he is getting better now.

This is where Emergency Fund enters. And so I learned that to keep at least 3 months worth of funds will help us survive for another 3 months. I am glad, we have learned this emergency fund. The emergency fund that should only be use for unexpected events in life such a loss of job or medical emergencies.

Where do we keep it? It is very liquid as we keep it on our savings account and BPI auto-save up. Half of it in time deposits staggered of holding period.

However, remember that in my previous post, I borrowed 40,000 to complete the house of my parents, and honestly been working on paying it up and at the same time, building it up to meet at least the 200, 000 pesos for this fund.

Why this amount?

Well, I know a friend who had been out of job for more than a year. And it actually depleted their savings. So I can't actually based it on a 3 months worth alone. But since we have just started so the 3 months WAS then a good deal for us. Nonetheless, my plan at the back of my mind is to at least complete a 12-month emergency fund.

And you maybe asking, ganun ba kalaki ang monthly expenses namin? The answer is no. The other half of the supposed fund is actually for the household expenses includes our food, baby's needs, monthly apartment rent, apartment electricity, and fares. Walang nakalaan sa tubig because naka water pump pa sa apartment.

It was just recently that I chanced a forum which was able to provide meaning into these - Emergency Fund and Household Expenses(Full Emergency Fund). And yes, that was exactly my thoughts pero hindi ko siya malagay sa words. Thanks to that someone who shared that. And now, I am able to understand it better.

The forum sharer advised to at least create an emergency fund ranging from 50k to 100k for any events that wasn't actually plan such as what I mentioned. But of course this is dependent to your lifestyle. For us, that is just the right amount. While the household expenses are intended purely to the expenses at home. Para sa akin, dalawa pa rin silang category and it will be helpful and easy to manage kung alam natin kung saan kukuha ng pera para sa panggastos daily versus para sa pag-apply ng work or kukuhanan ng pambili ng gamot. It makes sense to me.

So our plan right now, is to use our remaining emergency until my husband finds a new job. While, the income from our other investments will help build the household expenses. It's the plan B from the original plan that all of the investments income should be invested again.

Sometimes, we really have to deviate from the original plan since there are circumstances which comes on our way suddenly. What's important is we are able to at least be ready on our first line of defense. And that we are ready to use an alternate plan. I know we have 26 letters in our alphabet just in case our plans today will not work. With the help of the One above, I know we can make it. For He knows His plans for us, and that is for us to prosper.

Positivity. God Bless.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Our 2nd UITF - BPI Philippine High Dividend Equity Fund

This past few weeks, I can see my stocks portfolio in 'red'. I can feel my blood pressure raising. Hahaha. Kidding. I know there are actually this 'low' days and also those 'high' days. And I am not bothered at the moment, eventually it will go up. When? I am still a newbie with the stock market so I am not sure yet when. So that's where those 'forget-me-muna' money should go. Those pennies I am not going to use in the near future. So for the meantime, I am diverging my energy to other matters.
 
Honestly, with the current status, husband and I opted still to open the UITF (Unit Investment Trust Fund) from BPI which was long been postponed. Due basically to the conflict of schedule. This is one of our financial goal this year. And finally, last week was the best time.
 
We went to our BPI branch and had my single account converted to joint account. This is because we do not want to open another account for the settlement account and it is with BPI that we have savings account aside from this is the most convenient bank for us at this time. We filled up tons of papers and also answered the risk profile. We were torn between the BPI Philippine High Dividend Equity Fund vs the BPI Philippine Equity Index Fund. And after discussing these with the bank personnel and shown us the similarities and slight differences, we have chosen the former.
 
BPI Philippine High Dividend Equity Fund was launched August 16, 2013.
 
BPI Philippine Equity Index Fund was launched May 20, 2013
 
Both funds minimum initial investment is 10,000 pesos with 1.50% per annum trust fee. Minimum transaction amount is 1,000 pesos. No minimum holding period for both as well. Both are classified as aggressive investments with investment horizon of more than seven years. This is fine for us since we are aiming for a long term investment. The holding firms are almost the same as well.
 
We have signed up as well for the regular subscription plan with only 1,000 pesos per month. We wanted to do cost-averaging. But if we have extra money, we can always transfer funds for this investment. These fund can be viewed online so we can check it from time to time. The next day I was able to see it right away.
 
 
I have learned about this UITF funds from the forums I read and financial blogs who featured it. And like what was discussed with us, these two are almost similar. Just that the difference with the NAVPU. We took time to review this UITF fund before actually dipping into it and this is our choice.
 
We have differences when it comes to where are we going to put our money. It is, after all our hard earned money. So we better make our due diligence to study, ask, analyze, and review where we actually wanted to place it with not forgetting that it is align to our financial goals. We just don't go with the tide. And most specially, we just don't place it in one basket.
 
Hm, so why we haven't left it in the savings account while it is in red? Just this: Robert G. Allen: “How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.”
 
Different strokes for different folks. God Bless. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Excuses - It Stop Me Personally and Financially

Who's guilty with making excuses? Make an excuse to either procrastinate a task in the to-do-list or to abandon the whole idea itself? I am (Raised both My Hands, hahaha). Yes. I can say I am guilty of this.

Just to share, I had a conversation with a different set of individuals in the office some weeks ago. It was centered to the topic of investments and the future itself. Like what I have wrote in a previous post for an office mate of mine, these group of individuals are single, carefree, fun, and interested also with the different type of investments. As our conversation progress, along with the many inputs from one of my colleague and their awareness on the topic of financial freedom, yet at the end of it, the following words came, "Wala pang anda (other term for money)" and "Kapag nabili ko na yung gusto ko saka na ako mag start mag invest". Sounds familiar?
 
I attended a training a year ago where it was focused with women being in a leadership position and how do they handle work and life balance. What struck me the most was a testimony provided by one of the CEO. Her term "Stop making excuses" hit me hard. I know they aim for higher position or so I thought, and me, I am aiming to stay at home, financially free. But whatever the purpose or driver, still the idea is somewhat a big help to what she was trying to convey.
 
From then on, it rings to me every now and then.
 
I used to be on the list of buzzer beater or tardy on a daily basis. And I had to make an excuse on why am I late like the traffic, the housemates for being matagal, my alarm clock na hindi nag alarm at lahat ng pwede ko pang iexcuse for being late at work. When in all honesty, tamad lang talaga.  I had filed sick leave even though I am not sick because tamad akong pumasok, or ayoko lang talagang pumasok. I never ran out of excuses even on small things. Iniisip ko pa nga kung anong sasabihin ko para lang maexcuse. I even made myself excused from not learning financial literacy or yung retirement man lang kasi sabi ko kapag me edad na ako saka ko pag-aaralan ang ins and out of the business or investments. So typical. I was young, I was invincible, and feeling independent. And the end result of working for 10 years, ZERO savings.
 
That seminar opened something in me. At walang madali. I started at small things like writing it down first. Everyday, I reread it to myself. Remember my Mantra? Yes, I started with that and remind myself all these while that what makes me in the future is dependent only upon me today. I set that in my mind.
 
I started to wake up early, prepare myself to work and come in the office early. So whatever shift I am in, I make sure that I come in early. And yes, I did it. For the last 2 quarters of 2014, I was able to bag perfect attendance for not being late and also no sick leave filed. Kaya naman pala eh. Hahaha. And it made sense. Self fulfillment as well.
 
So when there are times that I feel like the 'Ningas Kugon' in me is starting to sit in, I have to tell my self that to be consistent with my financial and personal goals I do not have any excuses to just let it pass. Because to be honest, as I progress, I face hiccups, humps and even dead ends and the feeling of not moving forward settles for some time. It is really up to me if I wanted to stay in that comfort zone or move myself out of the way, fire myself with encouragements, and start making new progress.
 
Now this little reminder to myself helps, "If there's a WILL, there is a WAY"
 
Different strokes for different folks. God Bless! :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

May - Spending Less and Less

It's June. Start of the school for all these students. How I missed being a student. I go to school with baon. And though I have to budget it well for the week, still bigay pa rin yun. I don't earned it. Sarap ng buhay studyante.
 
I have tried part time jobs during college para me pandagdag sa baon. And it helped a lot during those times. Most of the time too, coffee was then a good company. Aside from the fact na malamig sa Baguio, I add rice with the coffee and voila, a meal na. Minsan, me tuyo, okey na okey na. Those were the days.
 
Now that I am working, I still do that once in a while. Kape at kaning lamig. Merienda kung wala talaga. Or sadyang namimiss ko lang talaga. Simple living. :)
 
Ayan,nakwento ulit, but it came to me na one of the reason behind of who I am today is what the past had taught me.  And as the month of May went by again as swift as April, I haven't bought anything again for myself. I guess, since I was able to do all these for the year 2014, it is no longer very difficult for me to ignore mall sales or even hanging out in the mall and not buying anything at all. I am now more mindful with swiping the card or my thinking if I really need an item or not. Or the thought na pwede pa naman yung gamit ko ngayon, why buy a new one na naman? Or my thinking na, I am saving for something bigger at nakabudget na ang pera ko. I can clearly say, it is now incorporated in my system. What I need to know and learn is to perfectly polish it more and be an example to my little girl.
 
Now that I am a little bit confident on that area, I am thinking of shifting my focus on eating out budget for that matter. I don't dine out when I am alone. But together with my husband and his family, we often lunched out when we are on their place. It was like a hard habit to break now since we are always out since April. Although, wala naman akong nilalabas na pera, still, I think, it is not a good idea of doing it a lot. Nanghihinayang pa rin ako sa 700 to 800 pesos for the 5 of us na minsang kainan lang. Although, the experiences are actually good. We get to eat out together and on different dining places just to try each specialties, still as I look into it, sayang pa rin.
 
Pero minsan, napapaisip din ako, hahaha. My father in law often said kapag kinonkontra namin, "O sige kainin nyo yang 700 pesos na papel versus the experience na kumain ng masarap". Hahaha. Sabagay, when it is not actually hurting your financial status, why not di ba? But when it is katulad ng sa aming small family, isipin din munang mabuti. There are other alternatives naman to experience one like perfecting the recipe at home. Or ipon muna at kapag kurot na lang sa savings mo yun, why not right? Wala namang masama kumain ng kumain sa labas as long as hindi nakaswipe sa card, hindi utang, at higit sa lahat, hindi affected ang savings at investments.
 
Thus, in the coming months, my addition to this monthly spending less and less is the trim down of eating out. I will try my best to influence the husband and my in laws to stay at home, cook and just relax. With the sister in laws about to come home by the end of June from oversea, at least this early part of June, I should be able to make it successful.
 
Good vibes. God Bless. :)