Month: January 2015

Easy money

A few months ago, a cousin introduced me to this company that accepts monetary investments. In the course of our discussion, it appealed to me as another classic multi-level marketing company. One has to invest quite a significant amount of money, in exchange for products and higher rate of return on investment. A few weeks later, my other cousins started to invest. Most of them released an average of Php 20,000 as initial investment. The child of my cousin invested around Php 8,000 and currently, his investment is already valued around Php 12,000. Another cousin invested Php 37,000 and gained earnings worth Php 17,000. Wow! I was amazed by the fast growth and movement of their investments. If the money has been placed inside the bank, there is no way to reach such level of earnings.

I don’t want to play the role of the antagonist. I didn’t utter any negative thoughts. Being an immediate family, I didn’t escape their offer and persuasion to join them. Despite all their positive testimonials, I’m convinced not to invest for many reasons. One boils down to the simple reason that I’m broke. I cannot anymore pullout funds from my very slim savings / emergency account. I can source out from my Pag-ibig and SSS salary loan but I figured out, I need to settle the pending credit card bills instead. The second and real reason behind everything, I don’t trust this earning and investment scheme.  I have another set of reasons why I never trust the system and the company. Let me enumerate and explain my own thoughts.

The company where they invested their money is less than a year old.

The company maybe managed by the best people but the age of the company raises my level of doubt. My cousin told me that most of the employees were former employees of other multi-level marketing companies. Hence, the experiences are more than enough to make them trust the company. While I value and respect expertise, I find the investment schemes very aggressive for a starting company. If it is true that the company also makes other investments, I find it quite fast that they were able to easily earn and issue payback earnings.

The company only has three products

All the while I thought the company is selling a plethora of expensive beauty products and vitamin supplements. I was surprised when I checked the company’s website. I found only three beauty products claiming to have natural Japanese herb extracts. If they only have three products, how come they were able to easily return the investors’ money? I don’t even see their products in the market or being reviewed by those beauty bloggers. Good as their products seem to be non-existent to me. You see, if they have a lot of monetary investments, why can’t they expand their product line and distribution channels?

The company’s board of directors /management committee are not listed in the corporate website

This further raised my level of doubt to the company. Why hide the management team? The company seem to rely on their persuasive investment recruiters.  They have a mission, vision, core values … which by the way sounds too ambitious and lousy for me. I maybe overreacting but the quality of writing of their mission, vision and core values is the same as the writing of first time college kiddies.

And as you can sense it, everything is too good to be true for me

I cannot understand how the company is able to generate such amount of earnings given that they only have a few products, the products are not famous, members are not required to sell, members are not compelled to recruit.

So how does the earnings happen? If such is the case, how come the company is able to easily return the money of the investors? The way I see it, the company uses the money of the incoming investors, to pay the existing investors. As long as there are new and growing investors, the company will be able to pay their existing investors.

I maybe wrong. It’s possible that the company has the best intentions after all. But as for me, I’m firm with my personal belief that

what comes easy, won’t last long

what lasts long, won’t come easy

 

Teachers can’t teach everything

Some months ago a friend introduced me to her friend who also happens to be an educator.  Admittedly, I have very poor social skills and it would take a lot of effort from me to initiate and sustain a meaningful conversation. Good thing the person introduced to me was naturally articulate. Quite an irony for the educator in me. Consider me then as the rare exemption. Although I talk a lot in my part time profession, I’m not a good material for socialization.

I thought I was discovering a great acquaintance not until he uttered something that somehow demeaned and disrespected my field of discipline. He asked what subjects I handle in my years of teaching. Having been a major in Economics, I told him I handle Basic Economics and Research Writing related subjects. I even lamented that educators within my field are starting to get extinct at least in our college. There’s only a few of us left handling the subjects, added to it the fact that enrolment in our discipline is decreasing. He later expressed a self-proclaimed conclusion that even majors of other business studies such as Marketing and Finance are capable of teaching Economics. Hence, the need to have Economics majors to teach the subject is no longer needed.

If you quite know me, you can easily guessed what happened next.

I initiated an intellectual debate that turned to a drama series catfight.

Of course not, LOL. I faked a smile, turned quiet and left the conversation.

I allowed my composure to prevail and avoided an instant debate. Under the rule of etiquette, I might have acted right. However, under the unwritten rules of my field of discipline, I’m definitely a disgrace. I failed to uplift my specialisation. I disappointed Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes and my other great grandfathers in the profession.

If I were PMSing or blessed with more debate hormones, I would have ditched out his lame conclusion by saying that I can also teach Accounting. Yeah right, I cursed to never study that subject again. But my general understanding is enough to transfer information and education to the non-business majors. I can teach Basic Accounting to the non-Accounting majors. In like manner, I can also teach Marketing and Finance because God knows I have been learning the two subjects from the books and in practice… my everyday life. Evidence? Read my New Journey Series. And I’m 100% sure that an Accountant or an Accounting major will equally feel insulted when an Economics major is given the license to teach even Basic Accounting.

Maybe an Accounting major like him is equipped with basic information on Economics. I don’t doubt his capacity to teach. Given him the reference materials and stocked knowledge from his college Economics, he can no doubt teach the subject. I however like to provide another approach to prove my point.

Consider a car being sold by two seasoned salesmen. Salesman X started his career in selling cards across brands and distributors. There’s also Salesman Y who shared the same years of experience with Salesman X. Salesman Y however is engaged in selling cosmetics and other beauty related products. Who can better sell the car?

Salesman Y can sell the car because he has the selling skills. He knows the approach in selling. He knows the general behaviour of the customers. He can sell because he knows the process of selling.

Salesman X can obviously sell because of his skills and experiences. However, what gives Salesman X the exclusive right in selling cars is the KNOWLEDGE about cars. More than the process of selling, Salesman X truly knows what he is selling. He knows the core information of what he is doing.  Something that Salesman Y does not possess.

In like manner, Salesman X may have the skills in selling. But give him the responsibility to sell cosmetics and other beauty products, Salesman X’s reputation in selling will surely be ruined. Salesman X can sell, but he cannot sell what he has not been selling.

Fine, I overreacted and made a fuss from something that should have been ignored. I will end my point with this simple statement that should have been my saving grace.

All teachers can teach, but they cannot teach everything.

For 2015

The holiday break is almost over. My two-week vacation is about to end in a few days. I enjoyed my slow and quiet time at home. I subjected myself to a full house arrest to avoid the expenditures. Although I was able to go out in between. I still have pending tasks, mostly self-imposed, to accomplish. One is the annual decluttering tradition. Before the year ends, I clean my room and collect all the useless items I accumulated. Mostly credit card bills, I decided to receive them online this year. Clothes, bags, impulse purchases and other items should be gathered and taken out of my room. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do this tomorrow.

While most people are writing about resolutions, I intend to write down the things I look forward for 2015. Eleven months after, I should check back this post and verify the outcome of each.

1. The Major Project at Work – My major project at work was finally accomplished in the last quarter of 2014. In the previous years and based from the experiences of other companies, results are released before the year ends. In the case of my company, we are still hanging in the tree of uncertainty. While I’m trying to condition myself not to expect anything, I will not deny that part of me is wishing for positive results. If the Boss above will grant my prayer, it will create a win-win situation for the company and myself.

More than the success, another reason why I’m praying for positive results is the little emotional attachment I have for this project. We started the project with another President and CEO, along the way his health condition abruptly deteriorated. The Board was forced to designated an interim President and CEO. We don’t have problems with our new Boss.  In fact he was  equally supportive. Should the project yield positive results, I would like to consider it as my personal gift to our past President & CEO. He has done his share. He has the best intentions for the company. I’d like pay forward his purest and kindest intentions. Hopefully, this project will make it happen.

2. The new insurance – I got another insurance policy late last year. Since I don’t have an extensive HMO, I expect the new insurance to give me support and protection on health concerns. There will be another 10 years to pay and work for.

3. More time and new experiences with my family – If the belief that how you spend your 1st day of the year will reflect your fate for the entire year, then I’m more than thankful. I spent the first day of the year with my family and relatives. Although recently I’ve been frightened by news about death of friends, acquaintances and other relatives. I know that I will not spend my entire lifetime with my family. My only prayer is not now and God will give me enough strength, financial resources and support system.

4. The Credit Card Bills – The New Journey Series will hopefully come to an end. It’s all my fault, I know. But this year, I want to devote much of my freelance earnings to settle the bills.

5. More freelance works – I don’t do anything to promote my professional services and portfolio. I prefer it that way because I want my past and satisfied clients to speak and promote for me. Hopefully, there will be more for this year. Last year, I was abundantly blessed in the beginning and middle of the year. I have pending clients at the end of 2014, I hope they will push through with their projects.

6. Plans about my career – Everything is still uncertain today. I haven’t really decided. One thing sure though, I have to arrange my financial condition before anything else.  I was also fortunate to be granted an educational grant for a professional course. Hopefully, I’ll satisfactorily finish it before the first trimester of the year ends.