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I’ve been investing for the past three years in Philippines Stock Market.
When I started this blog, I only intended to make this as my online finance diary. I got that idea of making journal when I discovered in my PI100 undergraduate class (Life and Works of Rizal) that our national hero Rizal had so much letters exchanges with many different personalities.
So while making my first moves in building my financial foundation, I made sure to make records of it. I was financial literacy-poor and started even poorer back then. Now, I’m pleased to have my chunks of investments now. The journey has been good so far (Thanks to the bullish run)!
Sometimes, when I check during a random trading day, I see my investments growing much more than I’m being paid now, which could be the reason why so many are tempted to be actively managing and trading especially that we’re seeing bull market. While I sometimes entertain the thought, I’m planning to really make my investments as passive as it can be.
I was missing something.
But when I attended the Registered Financial Planning class (on its batch 28), I realized that investment is really just a tiny component of the whole financial planning picture.In fact, there are several areas one needs to look on first before even thinking of branding yourself as an investor of giant companies. It was so imperative that I had to make sure I’m applying the sound financial principles I was learning from that day on. It’s so critical that one mistake I might commit can erase all my investments together with all the hard work and memories in building that up.
That’s also the reason why when I organize seminars, I intentionally add a portion about personal finance and invite great speakers to remind everyone that buying and owning stock is not the end goal, but merely to use investments as just one of the tools for an individual to attain his life goals. These personal goals in turn should be the ultimate reason behind all the financial planning and committed habits you’re putting in your life now.
In fact, financial planning is simply just like that – designing your financial life to achieve your life’s goals, be it education for children, house and lot, car, vacation, long-term purchases, retirement, etc.
The whole idea of financial planning rests on five simple steps: (1) Knowing your life goals (2) Assessing your present financial condition (3) Identifying available options/tools/alternatives and coming up with a reasonable plan (4) Executing the plan and (5) Regular monitoring.
Now, it may seem that those are obvious lessons, but the implication, if ignored, can literally turn your life upside down.
My Experience With My Tatay
Once upon a time, when I was in my third year in college, a big disaster came to my family.
My grandfather, whom I dearly call Tatay, was rushed to a hospital (Lung Center of the Philippines). His bad habit of heavy smoking during his younger years was then taking its toll on his health. Though he’s no longer taking a cigarette stick, it was already too late for him.
Since he’s also no regular source of income aside from his tiny pension from SSS, our family who was living with him had to do the taking care. That meant taking time to look after him while he’s confined and finding ways to finance the hospitalization.
You see my family was not prepared for that. I think we were never ready.
My mother had to extend her neck out to find ways to shoulder the expenses looming every single day. She went to PCSO, friends, mayor. Congressman, councilor even our barangay chairman. I guess when you’re really in a very desperate situation, no one can stop you in extending the life of a person you love.
I couldn’t exactly explain how I felt that time. I was only a student facing such a real challenge for the first time. Somehow a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness occupied me. Helplessness because I couldn’t help in finding ways to cover the bills; hopelessness because I saw my Tatay getting weaker each day.
When I saw a rubber tube pierced to his body with the other end connected to a collecting bottle, I knew it’s never going to be back to normal.
Time came when he was needed to be moved to ICU. Few days later, he’s back to the “normal room”. Few more days after, the doctor gave advice that he could be brought home. He was in the hospital for more than a month.
But before leaving the hospital, we deeply felt that the head of our household wanted to stay longer in the hospital so he could be taken care better, but knowing the burden of that extension, we felt too that he had just kept that thought in himself.
When we went home, good things lasted only very shortly, as some had expected…
He was my first fan.
He once mentioned before that his only dream was to see me graduating in college. It’s already big for him considering that he had only finished until Grade 2.
Sadly, heaven didn’t grant his wish. At a young age of 68 years old, my first avid fan left us. It was also my very first time to have a taste of the reality of death of someone who’s been a big part of your life. His dream for me came true only two long years later, which I offered to him with my prayers.
This is not just my story
That story is just one of the real stories highlighting the fact that many patients are dying not because there’s no medicine or doctors to attend to them, but because there’s no money to pay for doctors and medication.
I and my Tatay during my elementary graduation
The two questions we all need to answer
Recently, I availed this financial product (from IMG) that I believe addresses this concern.
It takes care about the three major financial needs of anyone – healthcare, insurance and investment. It’s a three-in-one package that can contribute to one’s financial foundation.
You see there are two major problems when it comes to money (I got this from Bo Sanchez’ book): (1) you can die too young or (2) live too long.
That’s just another way of saying what financial planners suggest: the first goal anyone should have is to be safe; then the goal of a comfortable life comes second. The first goal – to be safe – sounds very simple, yet very few are aware of its utmost significance.
The second – to be comfortable – is something that everyone looks forward to.
Now you see what hooked me up in the product: the Insurance component can give peace and protection to your family in case the first unfortunate case happens whereas the long-term healthcare and investment parts are there in case you live too long to provide you healthcare and generate a passive income. So it’s also like your giant piggy bank that can help answer your retirement needs. What’s good is that it can be payable only in just five years (though I found out this has now been changed to seven years).
As what I’ve learned, the goal is to be self-insured. We want our money togrow year after year to a point where we no longer need insurance. But at this point we cannot do that, we use the blessing of insurance+healthcare with investment as bonus.
In case you also want that type of investment, I can ask a friend-agent to do a free financial check up for you and see how the product can specifically address your need or of your relatives. As each person has different situation, a closer look needs to be done to suit your specific situation better. You can send email (email@example.com) if you need more information.
That’s all for now!
While we’re now in the 21st century, the solid financial principles remain the same.
Aim to have a great financial foundation. Let’s prepare for the coming years of our lives!
Have fun investing (with peace and preparation)!
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