New Journey Series : Enough ..

I was relieved when I found an easier way to settle my credit card debts. I opened another credit card account and availed of the Balance Transfer Program. In a nutshell, the Balance Transfer Program enables account holders to transfer their accumulated debt from another credit card. What’s best about this program is that for a lower interest rate, the account holder can pay the transferred debt in terms. It gave me a huge relief because I can finally stop the bleeding interest charges that have been causing me an arm and a leg.

The monthly installments are tough. As I settle every monthly bill, I felt the effects of my stupidity and immaturity. The monthly installments could have become significant savings and investment opportunities. To relieve myself, I’m envisioning my life after two more years. At that time, my installment plans are over. I will start life all over again and this time, I promised myself that I will become better and wiser. Incidentally, I’m nearing the next decade of my life. With the additional years, there’s nothing I want but for this to be over.

When the year started, I was properly handling my balance transfer installments. I was able to pay everything in full. Unfortunately, my good performance lasted only on the first to the early quarters of the year. Everything started in the month of June. I always hated June because I see this as one of financially draining months. Again, my immature self never failed to anticipate this. The bills piled up, I was able to use up part of my savings account and what’s worst, I swiped the cards again.

As I reviewed my spending patterns, I discovered that I’m so worst this year. In the past, I only use up my credit cards. This time, I’m able to ruin even my hard earned savings account.

You see, I may dress well, my students respect me, I’m able to do my job but deep inside … I’m still struggling and inducing myself to fail..

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New Journey Series : Ooops I did it again

Thanks Britney for giving this post its much deserved title.

The past months wasn’t complementing my New Journey series. I made a trip abroad, the recent company outing brought me to Palawan, as always the bills to pay and worst, my earnings from my additional teaching job is over. Since I’m on a teaching break, my earnings are limited to my office work.

For those who just happen to know me, I’m a full time office employee and a part time college instructor. After earning my MBA, I was finally given additional teaching assignment at the workplace. Since I’m only hired on a part time basis, my teaching employment is never tenured. I’m only good when I’m needed. And during summer, only a few students avail of summer classes. Hence, the teaching job is rather given to the full time teachers. This is another reason why I never loved summer. Aside from the agitating weather, my earnings are lessened.  Bad news for me and my family.

Though recently, I received a significant amount of money as part of my back pay.  I was fortunate to be assigned as a thesis adviser to some groups of college kids.  My honorarium was finally released and as always, here comes the good times again.

In a span of four days, I was able to exhaust my most awaited five-digit pay. I have never learned my lesson. Now I’m back to the same old realizations,

Where did my money go?

Why is money designed that way? How come money is very hard to earn and so easy to  lose?

When I tracked my spending, much of money was spent on

1. paying the credit card bills

2. household expenditures

3. a little incentive for Mother and Father

4. a new external disk drive that is becoming a pressing need since my netbook is showing signs of terminal days

5.  my most awaited air cooler for my room – I finally managed to replace my decades old electric fan

6. pants, two blouses and jacket

7. the last few drops that were finally devoted for savings

And just like that …  my entire money is gone

I’m still expecting additional pay for the month of May. My freelance client who has yet to pay after more than a year of rendering my service. I really hope she will be considerate enough to pay me after one year.

Another freelance client should pay me the remaining part of our agree professional fee. Though this is still very uncertain.

Hopefully, the company will convert our sick leave credits next month.

Sigh, I felt so stupid. I’m very successful in ruining everything.

Ooops, I did it again, again and again.

New Journey Series – For better and worse

It’s been a while since I made a post under my New Journey Series. As always, this has been my hardest habit to break. I’m only good at starting things. My weakness is the capability to sustain what I even promised to myself. Before I finally regret starting this series, I’m breaking my long silence or better yet, laziness.

When the year started, I downloaded an application that enables me to record and track my expenses.  The application is called Spending. It’s free to all Apple devices. I’m not sure if the app also exists in Android. If I have the chance to check it, I’ll update and revise this post.

The application was of great help. I was able to keep track of where I usually overspend. My initial findings related that I spent a lot on what I categorized as “others.” I think this finding encouraged me to write this previous post. I’m bad. I spent a lot on unnecessary things.

I was doing well in monitoring my expenses not until my petty laziness attacked me. Two months after religiously documenting my daily expenditures, I gradually stopped this helpful practice. Why 0h why? Laziness and I guess I was preoccupied with social networking and recently the shallowest, Candy Crush.

Now that I discovered and documented this, I guess this should serve as a reminder to restore my good old expenditure monitoring habit.

Setting aside my bad habit, I have a better experience to document. This needs to be written to remind me that I’m not the worst in my self-imposed challenge. Before March ended, I was able to add more funds in my Mutual Funds investment. Hooray! If there is one good thing that happens to me now, it’s the additional investment. I’m praying that my money will remain safe and after a few more years, I have more earnings to transfer in my savings account.

I guess this is it for a quick update in my New Journey Series. Hopefully, my next New Journey Series post will be better.

Mutual Funds – Who should invest?

I think I’m enjoying writing about Mutual Funds. Even though I admit that I cannot equate even an inch to those financial gurus, I ‘m beginning to love writing about investments and financial management. Where did I get the courage to write something I don’t possess in the first place? Or better yet, this should rather challenge me to walk my own talk. In that case, count me in now. Although I want to make it clear that I don’t really envision myself to become one of the richest. At the very least, all I wanted is to become financially stable and independent as I age. I guess this sounds as the more realistic challenge.

Going back to the real intention of this post, I wanted to relate my own view of who should really invest in Mutual Funds.

Who should invest in Mutual Funds?

Anyone can definitely invest in Mutual Funds. As long as you have valid IDs and the required amount for investment, you are in! However, allow me to be more specific and identify the best people who can benefit from Mutual Funds.

Are you an employee who doesn’t have the talent and bravery in venturing to entrepreneurship?

If your answer is yes, you are the best candidate to become a Mutual Fund investor.

I’m an employee too and I perfectly understand your sentiments. As they say, we are too complacent and dependent to our tenure and constant supply of monthly income. It’s hard for us to let go of job stability.

If you cannot leave your stable job, by all means get an investment opportunity. At least in the Philippine setting, the safest investment opportunity that everyone runs to is a savings account or for some, a time deposit account. However, we all know that the regular bank savings account doesn’t yield high profitable returns. When I went to the bank last Friday, I was surprised with the dwindling interest rates of a regular savings account. At 0.25% annual interest rate, how far can your hard worked money earn? If you have Php 10,000 in your savings account, that would mean an annual earning of Php 25. Whoa! It cannot even afford you a decent lunch.

Though to clarify, I’m not discouraging everyone from maintaining a savings account. Savings account can act as a temporary shelter of our investment fund opportunity and at the same time, it serves as a source of emergency funds.

How about entrepreneurs?

The more that entrepreneurs should invest in Mutual Funds! I particularly recognize the owners of SMEs (small to medium scale enterprises). Much of the economy’s performance and outlook are fueled by their business activities. In order for them to increase their capital and earnings, I strongly recommend that they consider investing in Mutual Funds. Mutual Funds will provide them another win-win situation. 

Are you a student who has part time jobs or can spare some money from your monthly allowance?

If at an early age you can already generate money aside from your allowance, then consider yourself as lucky to start early. I guess there’s no need to explain the benefits of investing early. Aside from receiving higher returns in the future, you can train, discipline and develop the inclination to investing. Although I strongly advise that you maintain a savings account first. Once you have established your targeted savings, then go forth and invest.

Have you received a great amount of money recently?

If you are a healthy pensioner or a beneficiary and is troubled on how to handle your money, Mutual Funds can serve as your initial investment opportunity.

You might be surprised because I consider even pensioners as a potent client for Mutual Funds. Unlike other investment opportunities, Mutual Funds does not discriminate age. Although the earnings of Mutual Funds is very dependent on time, pensioners can still benefit because Mutual Funds can register earnings in less than a year. They can still experience their funds’ earnings.  So even though they are bound by the constraint of time, they can still invest. I have also mentioned in my previous post that in cases of death, the legitimate heirs can claim for the fund and its earnings.

For those who have received a huge amount of money and is troubled by the temptation to spend or the fear of losing it, Mutual Funds can serve as your initial safety cushion. The best about Mutual Funds is that it provides you relatively higher earning rates that you cannot easily consume. Though to clarify, I don’t suggest investing your full money in Mutual Funds. As always, follow the principle of Portfolio Diversification or simply, don’t contain your eggs in one basket. Continuously search for safe and profitable means to grow your hard worked and hard earned money.

In summary, I strongly suggest everyone to try investing on Mutual Funds. But please remember the precautionary considerations I mentioned in my previous post. Any investment opportunity brings a possibility of losses. The only way we can lessen the effect of this misfortune, pray harder, work harder, earn more and like what I mentioned, diversify. Never get tired of looking for opportunities that can increase your wealth and yours truly will do her share by writing them.

Mutual Funds : What I know that you might need to know

Mutual funds are my newest source of happiness! I wanted to share the happiness to everyone so this explains this post. Allow me to relate my short but long written journey about Mutual Funds. 

This is not a sponsored post by the way.

I started investing in Mutual Funds last year and as of date, I’m amazed on the achievement of my little and hard worked money. I’d like to share this chance to earn to my local blog friends. As much as I want to speak for my foreign blog friends, I’m not sure with the differences in the governing laws across countries. However, I’m sure that every country, especially in the US, offer more and mutual fund investment opportunities. Nevertheless, I hope this post will give you an idea of how this promising investment opportunity works.

What are Mutual Funds in the first place?

I admit that I’m not a financial expert. I’m an ordinary investor. So my definition and understanding of Mutual Funds is good as what I absorbed from my constant internet research and the lectures of my Financial Advisor.

The easiest way to define Mutual Funds, go to Wikipedia. LOL Seriously, in my level of understanding, this is how I define Mutual Funds. Using the word “mutual,” these are joint funds between an investor and the investment company. Since these are joint funds, both parties become beneficiaries of the funds’ earnings.

So how does the earning system works? The investment company offers mutual fund opportunities to investors. The interested investor enrolls his money as mutual fund investment. In return, the company treats the investment as an asset to manage and improve. The company may invest in the stock market and other means of earning. The system may look easy but in reality, the execution entails more processes and decision making. What complicates the situation is the way the company manages its investment. A wise and secured investment company doesn’t simply purchase stocks to another company. They have a pool of Financial and Risk Managers. They rigorously monitor the economy’s outlook and analyze to which companies they will purchase stocks.  As my Financial Advisor mentioned, the role of these managers is to maximize our earnings and reduce the risks of loses.

At this point, I would like to believe that you see Mutual Funds as a deep well that emits earnings from every piece of money thrown to it. If the economy is at its good times, this will work to everyone’s favor. However, we all know that every economy contains a cycle of peaks and troughs. In times of trough, both the investor and the investment company will suffer. There could be zero earnings for both parties. But before that happens, we should remember that every investment company has Risk Managers whose job is to anticipate and lessen the degree of loses. Investment companies wouldn’t want to experience loses as well. Your investment’s loss is the company’s loss. You see, that’s why it’s called mutual funds.

Since I’ve been mentioning risks and loses, it’s important for every Filipino investor to remember that mutual fund investors are not protected by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC). Unfortunately, this is the risk that every investor should pray for. When the investment company declares bankruptcy, the chance of retrieving your invested money is quite impossible. Some of you might be disheartened by this fact. But as I have said, every investment entails a level of risk. In order to avoid this misfortune, choose a reputable, trusted and stable investment company.

Now that I have laid down the definition of mutual funds, let me discuss the requirements and amount you need to raise.

As of date, I have only invested in one company, Sun Life Asset Management Corporation (SLAMC). So the succeeding information I will be relaying will be good for this company. Although after some internet research and inquiries, I could say that there are relatively few differences in the requirements and application system among other companies.

For the application requirements, you need to prepare valid government IDs, a 1×1 picture, money for the initial investment and an agent or a Financial Advisor. You cannot directly apply for investment in the company. More often than not, the company will refer you to their Financial Advisors. In my case, my Financial Advisor was a former employee of Sun Life Philippines.  

The Financial Advisor’s job is to fully explain the benefits you can gain from investing in mutual funds. He should know better and he should explain it to your ability. The role of the Financial Advisor is to orient you on both the positive and negative sides of the mutual funds, please remember that. Your Financial Advisor should educate you, than offer you with other products and services.

Mutual fund investment features and offerings may vary across companies. In my case with Sun Life, I was presented with three types of mutual investments. This includes the Low Risk, High Risk and Balanced.

 You can choose where to place your mutual fund investment. In my case, I played it safe. I availed of the Balanced Investment. Though during my last meet up with my Financial Advisor, I decided to diversify and place my additional investment to the high risk group.

Now that I’m getting specific with the requirements, I will answer the question that is bugging everyone. How much is the minimum requirement for investment? In my case with Sun Life, it’s Php 5,000 (around $ 128).

Did the figure surprise you? For as low as Php 5,000, you can become a Mutual Fund Investor! Perhaps, you can set aside some money for shopping, midyear bonus or save up for some months for this amount.

Now that you are oriented on the requirements, allow me to answer the most awaited question. How much can you earn from investing in mutual funds?

When I started working, local banks offer an annual interest rate of 1% to savings account. Years after joining the workforce, I was disheartened by the annual interest rate of most banks. Who will be happy with 0.375% to 0.5% interest rate? With mutual funds investment, the earning interest rates are fluctuating depending on the performance of the economy. The rates are way higher than 1%. In like manner that the earning rates are not too-good-to-be-true. Pyramid scamming and those fly by night investment houses? Mutual funds are way different than these fiascos because as I have said, the entire system is supported by a core of Risk Managers, Researchers and a reputable company to begin with.