Monday, October 14, 2019

SAFE INVESTING: Know the Popular Investment Scams

Investment scams have been a rising issue not only in the Philippines, but all over the world. Despite the numerous warning and public advisories, victims of these scams continue to grow in number as questionable investment institutions make new ways to reach out to unsuspecting customers. To protect investors from placing their financial status at risk, government agencies keep an eye on these institutions.
 
In addition to the government's active role in preventing scams, private entities such as banks must also educate their clients on how to keep hard-earned money in a secured institution, where it is possible to grow. In line with Bank of Commerce's objective to protect its clients, we would like you to know the popular investment scams to avoid possible financial downfall.
 
Affinity Fraud
  • This targets and takes advantage of the leaders of a group to convince members that these investments are legitimate and worthwhile. This type of scam leads to a damaged relationship within the group because all of them may not know that they have entered into an illegitimate investment. The money invested by the new joiners is being used to pay the earlier investors.
 
Advance Fee Fraud
  • Fraudsters ask the investor to pay an advance fee right away in order for the deal to go through and promise to repay it back at a specified time. To reassure the investors, they use official-sounding websites and e-mail addresses, and ask lawyers or agents to give ease to investors that the investments are safe, secure and legitimate. Fraudsters of this type of scam target investors who have already lost their money in other types of investments.
 
High-yield investment programs or "HYIPs"
  • This kind of scam is usually run by unlicensed individuals and promises returns of 30 percent or more, with little or no risk at all, and to be released on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis to make it more attractive to investor.
 
Internet and Social Media Fraud
  • Due to the internet's and social media's power to connect with people all over the world without putting in so much effort and money, fraudsters use this to make their investment promotion looks credible making it hard for them to determine what's real and what's not.
  •  
  • This type of fraud also runs by 1) paying to online newsletters to recommend their stocks, 2) hiding the fraudster's identity behind multiple aliases through online bulletin boards and chat rooms to introduce the questionable investment company, and 3) bulk e-mail with personalized messages to be sent to a huge number of people through spam or junk-email.
 
Ponzi Scheme
  • Ponzi Scheme is named after Charles Ponzi, who deceived thousands of investors in New England. Just like other types of investment scam, it promises an enticingly high return with little or no risk at all. Fraudsters collect money from new investors and use this to give returns to the existing investors or some of it will be placed on their own pocket. To be able to maintain their questionable operation, they have to continue recruiting new investors to keep the money revolving.
 
Pyramid Schemes
  • Its goal is just to recruit new investors through social media, internet advertising, company websites, YouTube videos, and other sources. Pyramid Schemes promise a high return in a short period of time without a need to sell a product or service but usually have a complex commission structure. They also use legitimate multi-level marketing programs to make their organization look like a legitimate business which gives good impression to potential investors.
 
For a list of companies duly registered to offer investments to the public, visit the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website at www.sec.gov.ph. Be informed and aware about safe investing.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Be Debt Free

Have you ever said, "Kasusweldo pa lang, ubos na!” Or worst, "Wala pang sweldo, ubos na!”
If you have, you are not alone. Millions of Filipinos cry this out every payday.
Once, a man invited me for coffee and asked for advice. At one point in our conversation, he ranted about his financial state. His major complaint was about how low his salary is.
He said in jest, "Ang sweldo ko parang sibuyas. Pag hinahati ko na sa gastusin, naiiyak na ako.”
I advised him to lower his expenses. He answered, "Paano magbabawas ng gastos, eh, sagad na talaga? Kulang talaga eh.” (How can I reduce my expenses? We are spending the barest minimum already… but what I get is just not enough.”)
To answer, I brought out a pen and gave him a clean table napkin and said, "I will ask you questions and if you answer yes to any one of them, just write 'Yes' on the tissue paper.”
He obliged. And so I started asking him the following:
Do you drink soft drinks?
Do you smoke?
Do you eat merienda?
Are your kids studying in an expensive school?
Do you buy branded clothes?
Do you have more than one cell phone?
To my thinking, if he answers even one 'Yes' to any of these questions, I would tell him that he had not exhausted all means to lower his spending.  He had not yet reached absolute bottom. If, however, he never wrote 'Yes' to any of my questions. I have a 'sure yes' question: "Did you pay for my coffee?” He will definitely answer, 'Yes.'
If you are like my friend who can answer 'Yes' to any of my questions then — hindi ka pa sagad!
You just need to manage your finances better.
May your dreams come true,
Bo Sanchez

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What is a Stock?

What is a Stock?
A stock is simply a small piece of a company. A publicly listed company is one that has issued shares by selling them to the general public. When you buy shares of a company, you become a part owner or a shareholder.

What is Stock Market?
According to Investopedia, "The stock market lets investors participate in the financial achievements of the companies whose shares they hold." The stock market is a place where stocks of different companies are bought and sold. "

The stock market is a place where stocks of different companies are bought and sold.

How Do You Make Money on Stocks?
As a Shareholder, you can now participate in the company's growth and success through stock Price Appreciation and by earnings thru Dividends. A dividend is a payout that some companies make to shareholders that reflects the company’s earnings.

You can reinvest the dividends to keep your money grows. The second is when a stock you own appreciates in value, sell when the stock’s price goes up.

How do I buy stock in the Philippines?
You have to open a brokerage account. A brokerage account is an account through which you will do the buying and selling of shares. It is usually tagged with a brokerage firm (for example COL, First Metro Sec), which will transact trades on behalf of the instructions of the client.

Brokerage firm is a financial institution that facilitates the buying and selling of financial securities between a buyer and a seller. To make sure, you can get a complete list of accredited stock holders by visiting the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) website at www.pse.com.ph.

Opening of Account
While opening a brokerage account is quite similar to opening a standard bank account, please check the listed requirements needed by the brokerage firm. Basic requirements are two valid ID’s, signature cards and proof of billing address. For OFW’s in Singapore you can open COL account in iRemit, please follow this link,

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Understanding what is insurance and why you should have it


I'm writing this post to share about some information about insurance.

What is insurance?
Insurance is meant to give us peace of mind and protection in case unexpected things happen. It provides both benefits of savings and security. It is also a contract between the policy holder and the insurance policy.

Below are some terms used to understand the concept of insurance.
  • Policyholder - A policyholder is a person who has purchased insurance.
  • Insurance policy -  The contract between the policyholder and the insurer containing the details of the terms and coverage of certain insurance.
  • Premium - The amount paid by the insured person
  • Insured amount -  The total cost of agreed financial value 
Some advantages of getting an life insurance
  • Risk cover - Life today is full of uncertainties. In this scenario having insurance ensures you and your loved ones continue to enjoy a good quality of life against any unforeseen event including life and protection against rising health and hospitalization expenses.
  • Encouragement to saving and investment - Having insurance not only provides for financial but also acts as a long term investment. You can meet your goals, be it your children's education, their marriage, building your dream home or planning a relaxed retired life, according to your life stage and risk appetite. 
  • Growth through dividends - Some insurance policies offer an opportunity to participate in the economic growth which function very similar to mutual funds and can provide exposure to stocks and bonds. It is a type of life insurance that builds cash value.
  • Pay off debt and other expenses - For life insurance, in addition to providing income to cover everyday living expenses, this will help your family to cover any outstanding debts.
  • Leave an inheritance - For parents, even if you don’t have any other assets to pass to your heirs, you can create an inheritance by buying a life insurance policy and naming them as your beneficiaries.
Getting an insurance
Know and understand what you really need and the coverage of the insurance. Analyze your financial status and do your budget. The fact is, some insurance agent will offer you the best policy that pays them the most commission in return. Some policy holders aren’t aware of their coverage until they file claim. By understanding our needs we will avoid paying too much and can get better policy at better price available.

There are numerous insurance options available and many financial advisors will help us through. Purchasing the right insurance is always determined by some factors. Insurers charge different amount for different people. Here are some factors in getting an insurance quote.
  • Age – the number one factor behind getting insurance is the age of the policyholder. The young adults can get cheaper insurance. Most health insurance policies are not available once we reach a certain age.
  • Gender – In general, women pay less than men on average, because women live longer than men (according to research).
  • Smoker/Non-smoker - Insurers can charge smokers up to 50% more than those who don’t smoke.
  • Health – Some policies requires a medical exam in which the clinic records height and weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and other key factors.
  • Genetics – Even if you are in good health, insurers will check your family history. You may have to pay higher premium rate but at least you may get the policy you need.
  • Work - People with risky jobs pays higher premium.
  • Lifestyle/Hobbies – For example if you are mountain climber, loves to scuba diving, sky diving, etc. this are some things they are considering too.
Life Insurance and Health Insurance definition
  1. Life Insurance
    Life insurance policies covers death and permanent disability, this often marketed to meet retirement planning, savings and investment purposes too. It is a great way to prepare for life’s unexpected moments.
  2. Health Insurance
    Illness may strike us at any time. Health Insurance is needed to cover for health care expenses in unforeseen situations. Let’s say an individual is in urgent need of operation/surgery and if you don't have health insurance, you will be required to pay out of your pocket and other savings.

    One can be insured for accidents, regular health care, dental health and in some cases chronic/allergic illness as well. Some types are Critical Illness Insurance, Disability Income Insurance, Hospital Cash Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, and Medical Expense Insurance.
What kind of insurance do I need? 
Understand your financial goals. Once you know what your aim is, you will be in a better position to choose the type of insurance you need - protection, savings, investment or retirement.
Make sure you understand the policy and it suits your needs
Do take time to read the policy terms and documentation carefully and ask questions to your insurance agent when in doubt. Take the documents at home to read if you need more time. Ask your financial advisor to explain all calculations and benefits to be confirmed in writing before committing to buy a product.

How much we need to pay?
Do your budget and take time to think about what you can afford when deciding on the type of insurance policy and the amount of coverage to buy.

The amount of insurance coverage you need depends on factors such as the number of your dependants, debts or mortgages, lifestyle and investment needs.

Buying a life insurance policy is a long term commitment
Take some time to assess what you need and what you can afford. Compare the different products available and review the company.

The bottom line, while insurance can be expensive depending on your type of policy being without it could lead to big financial loss if unexpected things happen. For us, Pinoy's many people who have worked to go abroad, save money and build wealth but know nothing about the importance of having an insurance for protection. It is important to manage the risk because in the end it will give us and our family peace of mind.

Life has its own unique way of teaching lessons. For now, I'm moving forward and think positive always. I learned a lot during this difficult time and I want to share this information to all friends I can reach to.

Hope it helps.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Our First Try To Deposit Coins In DBS Coin Deposit Machine

Nakatira kame kung saan may malapit na DBS branch. Madalas namin makita ang coin deposit machine pero never pa namin itong nasubukan gamitin. Ang mga naka-stock naming coins ay madalas namin maipambili ng tinapay sa Baker Talent, pang-hot tea (siew tai) sa hawker at iba pang maliliit na expenses.

Nakakacurious tuloy kung paano gumagana ang coins deposit machine kaya kagabi naisipan namin na subukan na ito. First time namin magdeposit ng coins at nun lang namin nalaman na may charge pala ang gumamit ng machine.


COIN DEPOSIT
DBS Branches S$1.50 per 100 pieces or part thereof
Coin Deposit Machine 0.012 per piece (total fee rounded to the nearest one cent)
Coin deposits for a mixture of denomination of 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents and 1 dollar.
For more information, please check DBS website.

Hindi na pala kailangan ng ATM card dito, correct Account number lang ang kailangan to deposit. Nakaka-amaze na kayang ma-filter ng coin deposit machine ang mga coins, akala kasi namin nung una $1 lang ang pwede niyang  tanggapin.

And here's the final receipt.

Naisip ko tuloy na sa susunod na makaipon ulit kame ng maraming coins I will approach any coffee shop owner or hawker (na mga suki kame) if they would like to change our coins to paper money.

Happy Saving!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

3 Simple Steps To Building Wealth


It is always good to have friends that will remind and advice you to continuously invest for your future however you must be willing to learn and do it for yourself. It's never too early to start saving and investing. The good news is if you are young and started early you have time on your side with a long time period for compounding to grow your investments.

Determine what you should be saving/investing for. First, you should make sure that you have an emergency fund in place. This safety net should cover basic expenses for several months and prepare you for unforeseen expenses such as loss of income, or anything else that can put a roadblock in the middle of your financial plan.

The best way to meet this target is to follow this simple equation of “Income – Saving = Spending”. First save, then spend of what remains. Look at investing toward retirement savings or invest toward other purposes like buying a house, education, etc.

Don't put all of your money into any one thing or any three things - diversify. Diversification is good. For steps in building wealth, please read below. A message shared by Edmund Lao.

Basically, building wealth boils down to this: To accumulate wealth over time, you need to do three things:
  1. You need to make it. This means that before you can begin to save or invest, you need to have a long-term source of income that's sufficient enough to have some left over after you've covered your necessities.
  2. You need to save it. Once you have an income that's enough to cover your basics, you need to develop a proactive savings plan.
  3. You need to invest it. Once you've set aside a monthly savings goal, you need to invest it prudently.
Building wealth is not a one-time process.. you need to do it regularly. 

All the best!

Monday, September 1, 2014

I'm working for almost 5 years now, worried about my savings. What can I do?

Work save invest

Stop worrying and start now!

I begin developing my financial literacy journey when I started worrying about my savings account. I'm working for almost 5 years and was living paycheck to paycheck. Yes, I'm an OFW but because my mindset is like "bata pa naman ako" I don't encourage myself to save and learn. I thought that it's okay to spend and give because "kikitain ko pa naman yan". It takes me more time to learn how to say "no" when I really don't have that amount of money to spend or give.

Below are some reasons why I don't have savings on my early 20's.
1. I don't know the difference between needs and wants, saving and investing, assets and liabilities.
2. I don't have clear savings 'goals'.

Every time I received my monthly salary sending money back to my family is the first thing on my list and "saving for vacation" back again in the Philippines is what I always think of. On my first three years working as an OFW my extra savings goes to our house fixing expenses, unnecessary expenses and sending money to help some of our relatives in need. In addition into it, I started buying things I want and things I want for my family. But thankfully, it's never too late to start. I changed my mindset, started this blog and read more about financial literacy. I practice "Pay Yourself First". I automate my savings. I have a written weekly spending budget. I used cash, no credit cards and I don't use debit card too much.

Emergency fund is important to me. You will notice I already blog about it previously, this helps me to understand why I should save and start. It gives me peace of mind (e.g. if I lose my job, sickness, etc.) and it helps me reduce stress and don't fall getting debt.

Ways I save

Buy now or buy later? Don't buy things when someone offer you usually in a mall, think twice before buying. Every time I want to buy something, I asked myself if I really, really need it. Most of the time, I don't. I would rather buy freedom than unneceessary stuff.

I write down all my purchases. It really makes me more aware of what I'm spending and where I need to cut things out to reach my savings goal faster.

I have weekday allowance of $20.00 (Php 600.00). I just have to stick to it! Luckily, my office is 10 minutes walk only from our house and we are very near to the market place.

Preparing a grocery list before going to market. This is weekly and my favorite. It helps me to focus on important goods we need to buy "only".

Eat food at home and leftovers. If I didn't cook at home I buy mixed vegetables for $2.00 at the hawker center.

Know what to buy in bulk and what not to. Buy groceries in bulk when it makes sense.

I don't buy softdrinks (soda). I drink more water and tea.

Keeping receipts. I did this to track my expenses in a day or week. I just love writing down.

Set-up automatic billing to avoid late fees. This is for income tax.

Work out and yoga (free activities). Now, I'm practicing yoga for exercise and I love it!

Share a room.

Stay at home, cleaning time during weekends. I always make sure to clean my space.

Give fund.

Reminding my goals as often as possible. My Goal 1, Goal 2 and it's timeline not only it keeps me motivated but it helps me to make better decisions today to reach those eventually.

Exact and clear amount (3-6 months). If you don't measure it you wouldn't know how much you really need it.

Above all budgeting really helps me to keep on track. Doing this regularly requires time and continuous effort but now I'm happy that it has become a part of our routine and a habit. I recently realized how much money I save without being aware of it. I used envelope system and jar system too depending on the fund type. For example our monthly rental and utility bills has fixed amount so we put it on the envelopes while our grocery fund is placed inside the jar. Here, we are doing zero-based budget. The concept is simple, income minus all the expenses including savings equals zero. If you earn Php 20,000 a month, you want every item that you spend, save, give, invest to all equal Php 20,000. So you know where every one of your hard earned money is going.

I'm glad to know that I'm near reaching my 6 months emergency fund. Financial literacy is one of the most important knowledge that everyone should be aware of. Best wishes to you and I believe that you can change to take control of your money too.



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Hey online friend,
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We're Glaiz and Jey
(Overseas Filipino Workers).
Work Save Invest is our
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