Hello October!

October

 

The weather is winding down these days. The irritating humid is almost over. No more sweaty mornings.

Earlier this month the weather was really bad. Walking to the office every morning is like jogging for over half an hour though my office is just more or less 10 minutes walk. The sweaty forehead, messed up makeup, sticky feeling. It is very uncomfortable.

The summer season here is coming to an end soon and I am actually excited. It is more fun now to do outdoor activities.

I remembered last August when we went to Corniche Beach. We came at around eight in the morning and planned to leave after two hours but the weather was really bad. We couldn’t stand  the humid and summer heat.I felt dizzy after we reached home.

Anyway, October here you are!

Personally I have many things to look forward and I am thankful already (in advance) for the bountiful blessings which are on its way.

October is a month of learning and exploring business opportunities for me. I always believe that the rest will follow if you really know what you want in life. The universe will align everything to pave your way to achieving your heart’s desires.

And it is really true.

What about you? Any grand plans for October?

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Frustrated and Disappointed with First Metro Asset Management Inc. (FAMI)

FAMI

Sorry to blog about this, a rant actually, but I am really frustrated and disappointed.

Early this year I opened an equity account in First Metro Asset Management Inc. (FAMI). I am not actually new to mutual fund as I have an account in ATR Kim Eng since 2010 but this year I decided to shift to FAMI.

I have a certain amount that I deposit monthly in my mutual fund account. As usual, I transferred the same amount to FAMI last 5th September.

After few days, I checked my FAMI online access and I was a bit disappointed that this amount was not yet credited to my account.

So I sent a follow up email.

A week after, I checked again. Nothing happened.

Then I sent a follow up email again. Nothing happened. No reply from them.

As of this time of writing, the amount is still not credited to my FAMI account.

By the way, this is not the first case. There were delays also in the previous months but this is the worst case so far.

I actually recommended FAMI to my officemate but now I am retracting my recommendations. Luckily, she didn’t process yet the payment and submit the documents.

What about you? Do you have any experience with FAMI? Care to share?

Posted in Banks, Philippines | Tagged | 3 Comments

Book Feedback: Increase Your Financial IQ by Robert T. Kiyosaki

 

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My first ‘book acquaintance’ with the author, Robert T. Kiyosaki, was with his book ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’. The book was really an eye-opening.

So when I saw the book ‘Increase Your Financial IQ’,  I grabbed it without hesitations.

This is the kind of book that you don’t want to put it down; that you continue to read even your free time is only 5 minutes. Well, this is my personal opinion. We have different preference. I personally enjoy reading personal finance related books. Maybe this explains why I can’t put down the book.

Here are few lines that really struck a chord in my thoughts about my personal finance.

  • Money is not the most important thing life, but money does affect everything that is important (page 25).
  • It’s the process (of making more money) that makes them rich, not the money (page 37).
  • Controlling the highs and lows of my emotions, and delaying short-term gratification, was essential in developing my financial intelligence (page 38)
  • You can quit when you win, but never quit because you’re losing (page 39). This is really true and it applies in every endeavor.
  • There is nothing wrong with enjoying liabilities – as long as you continue to pay yourself first and purchase them through the income generated by your assets (page 89). I am really guilty of this. How many times I bought non-essential things simply because I liked it and sadly, it was paid off from my active income. Worst, I neglected to pay myself first instead I prioritized liability.
  • The problem with working for money is you have to work harder, longer, or charge more to make more money. The problem with physically working harder and longer is that we all have a finite amount of time and energy (page 42).
  • You can tell a person’s future by looking at what they spend their time and money on (page 85).
  • One sign of high financial intelligence  is knowing when to spend and when to cut back (page 90). 

Reading this book taught me also to think differently. Instead of saying ‘I cannot afford it’, I should ask ‘how can I afford it?’. Very simple – just rephrasing those words – yet it has a tremendous impact to the way I see things.

It cultivates my mind also to be creative, to find ways to afford it. Of course, this should not be interpreted as resorting to stealing or going into debts.

So the next time you want something that you cannot afford, let’s say a trip to Italy, don’t give up right away. Consider asking yourself – ‘how can I afford it?’.

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One Step Forward in Learning Personal Finance

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Personal Finance. This is the topic that makes me jump out from my bed. Literally.

I have been avid followers of some finance bloggers. I read books too. But last month, I took a bigger leap in terms of increasing my knowledge about investments. I attended a conference.

Actually it took me time to decide but eventually I made up my mind to attend.

It was my first time to join such event. Honestly, it was not the best time because that month, the workload in my office was crazy. I was working most of the weekends and on weekdays I was working late also.

Not only that, I had to drive all the way to Dubai (as I live in Abu Dhabi) and had to leave at six in the morning to be on time for the 8am conference.

Anyway, I enjoyed it. No regrets. It paid off my sacrifices.

Few things I realized and learned 

  • It was an awesome experience. It is nice to meet a group of people whom I share the same passion.
  • I learned a lot. Really.
  • I learned to control the ‘call of nature’ until break time. I wanted to pee badly but I didn’t want to miss any topics. Unlike webinars where recorded versions are saved and sent, this conference was live.
  • You don’t lose money until you really sell your shares. If your stocks are not performing well, don’t worry. It is just a paper loss.
  • Investigate and research well the stocks that you plan to buy.
  • Don’t be emotionally attached to your stocks. (I am really guilty of this.)
  • It is a good idea to have different brokers because each broker has different recommendations.
Posted in Finances | Tagged | 1 Comment

Inspiring Story: from OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) caregiver to Stock Investor

Pinas for good

 

I can’t remember how I landed in her blog ‘Pinas For Good‘ but one thing for sure, I kept coming back to read her updates and be inspired all over again.

downloadReasons why I am following her blog 

  • We are both OFW, just based in different continents.
  • I love her openness. The ups and downs of saving, achieving financial goals and most particularly the desire to secure her finances when she goes back home in Philippines.
  • And a little tinge of envy too that she achieve 1 million pesos worth of stock investment at a young age (compared to me).

Last month she wrote a very interesting post that I would like to share. No worries, I have her blessing to repost it.

This post is actually her response to one of her reader wherein she revealed her monthly income and expenses. It makes interesting because the reader is from Middle East.

Here’s the post.

I have been debating for the longest time if it is appropriate to post my numbers or not. Since I remained anonymous, sige na nga. I want to post what I am earning not to brag but to give inspiration that no matter how little you are earning, you too can save. 

To tell you honestly, my salary isn’t much. Maybe in the Philippine standard it’s huge, but in American standard, not really! For those who are working in America, you’d be shocked on how meager my salary is but, I still am able to save. 

May I know which industry you’re working on (nursing/customer service/IT, etc) or, if you don’t mind, your salary range per hour or per year?- Honey O.

- For those of you who have been visiting this site since I first started blogging, you would know what kind of work I do coz I posted it in my About Me section but, I changed it to “Overseas Filipino Worker”. So,  for those of you who doesn’t know , I take care of old people. I am a caregiver.

 Click here to continue reading.

Honestly, I was surprised when I learned about her income. After reading the post, I even admired her more.

Why?

Because I know, there are many OFWs here in Middle East who earns more than she does but for sure only few (if there’s any) who have 1 million pesos stock investment and have purchased also a 1 million worth property. You can read it here and here.

You will realize that she sacrificed many things even comfort and whims just to be able to save.

Kudos to you Pinas for Good!

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Family matters, Money matters

Family Matters Money

Who doesn’t want to have financial security?

Retirement. Savings. Investments. Emergency Funds. These topics are not very appealing when you are single. Why would they  think about retirement when you are more keen on finding your knight in shining armor?

Emergency funds, for what? When your gel nail extension is broken or when you run out of your face powder, that is emergency.

It feels good to splurge to your favorite clothing line like Mango and Forever21. Not only that, there’s bags and shoes too. Few pair of shoes for office, few sets for casual wear, selected pairs for special occasions, and so on.

But when you have a family, a child to raise, financial security becomes vital.

Like for my case, I started to think about our finances after I gave birth to my son, ZJ. Thoughts like – funds for his college education, what if something happens to my hubby or to me– start to bother me. Though I have been investing in mutual funds and stocks when I was single, I was not really that committed.

Nowadays I see to it that certain amount goes to our emergency fund, to mutual fund allocated for my son’s education and our retirement fund account. And there’s more – the regular SSS contributions, health insurance, life insurance and mortgage.

It is really a long list for me. I have a lengthy checklist which I go through every month to make sure I don’t forget any dues.

Anyway, I enjoy checking our investment portfolio though it’s not that much yet but somehow we are on the right track. Well,  that’s what I want to believe even though the pace is a bit slow but on the right path.

But my financial journey is not always smooth as it seems. I have setbacks too. It is like there’s always a big demon inside me that I need to conquer.

The demon to resist shopping when there is 70% sale in H&M or BHS. A demon to ignore when I wish to go out and dine for a seafood buffet at Sheraton Hotel.  A demon to let go convenience and comfort because it is expensive. I had to travel with Cebu Pacific and suffered of their poor customer service  and long queue in the airport (I wrote about it here) because the airfare was way cheaper than flying with Etihad or Emirates Airlines.

There is also a big challenge to keep a balance (and sanity) between the present spending to also experience good things in life and the desire to save more for the future. Like, should I buy this battery operated toy car for ZJ? Or should I just purchase a regular toy car? Anyhow, he has just one childhood so why not pamper him and let him enjoy?

However, the biggest and toughest challenge for me is my hubby. We don’t share the same level of principle and outlook about preparing and securing our financial future. Though he supports my financial goals, he lacks the drive to work it out.

If I decide, I want a small house for us because it’s economical. He wants a big house.

He likes to shop new clothing. I don’t. My reason –  I still have clothes to wear and I am fine with few selections. It doesn’t bother me at all that I have limited office wears.

If there’s any financial needs, it is ok. There’s a solution. We can borrow from friends or from the bank. I hate paying bank interest. I am shy to ask money from other people.

But in fairness to him, he changed already. He improved (big time!) compared to the first time we knew each other. Though I still wish we have the same focus, the same intense desire to achieve our financial dreams, it will be then much easier to work out and it is faster to achieve our financial goals.

My hubby doesn’t care about insurance. He doesn’t give a damn about it.

But I am concern.

My most concern is in fact our health care when go back home for good because by that time it happens, we are already approaching our fifties or sixties where the health care coverage is needed more than ever before.  That’s why this is my top priority in allocating our monthly finances. More important than retirement and investment actually.

The health care in Philippines is not really much of a help. If you don’t have the funds, hospitals will not admit you. Doctors will not proceed with the necessary operation.

It’s simple. No money, no treatment.

But still, that doesn’t hinder me from pursuing our financial goals.

I am determined to reach our financial goals, to achieve financial freedom soon.

My family matters and so does our finances as family.

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Review: Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi

Having fun

We were geared up for a Saturday escapade to Yas  Waterworld, the latest water park that opened in Abu Dhabi.

I had my share of visits too in other water park in UAE but this time it was different. My little boy, ZJ, would be tagging around.

We left around noon time. The scorching summer heat was almost unbearable. Honestly we almost cancelled the trip but my son was too excited. Seeing him disappointed was the last thing we wanted for that weekend.

So we headed to collect our premium tickets (Many thanks Dabo & Co for the treat!).  After our bag was inspected, we were welcomed by their friendly staff. They put on our yellow wristbands and scanned our tickets.

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Next,  we rented a medium size locker. I didn’t see the family locker area instead I went to the female locker. I felt stupid here for missing the family locker section. Anyway I went to the towel/locker counter to check if I could still change the locker. They said that once your blue rubber wristband (which looks similar to a watch) is scanned already,it means you cannot switch lockers anymore.

This blue rubber wristband is like your handy key and wallet when you are in Yas Waterworld. This is your locker key at the same time you can deposit some cash which you will use for any purchases (like their slush-it-up)  inside the water park.

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The good thing also was that we had premium tickets. It made a big difference because we skipped the queue. It made the rides a lot more fun!

Anyway, to sum it up we really enjoyed our time in Yas Waterworld. Our little boy, ZJ, was having fun despite of the scorching summer heat. When we were about to go home at 5pm, he was crying because he wanted to stay longer. :-)

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On our way out, I was actually considering of buying their annual family pass. I think it is good idea because we can go their anytime. let’s face it, kids love water park and they will never have enough of it in one trip only.

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