Ready Ka Na Bang Mag-Invest? Here's What An Expert Has To Say

It's time to become smarter about your finances.
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Aaminin ko: Hindi talaga ako magaling sa pera. As a fresh grad na kakapasok lang sa ~real~ world, wala talaga akong alam about managing my funds. Hindi pa ako sanay mag-budget; kung saan-saan ko ginagastos yung sweldo ko; hindi pa ako fully adjusted sa life without allowancehindi ko rin alam paano pagagalawin yung pera ko. Tbh, stagnant lang siya sa savings account ko. But as a fresh grad, it might actually be a good idea to start thinking about these things 'cause right now, I'm only supporting myself. 

And it's time to become more responsible about my finances. One way to do that is by considering my first investment. So, nagpatulong ako sa kay Rexanne Cosico, a licensed financial consultant, and she told me all about investing in my early 20s. 

Kailan dapat mag-invest?

Rexanne: “In my opinion, dapat as early as you can! Isang magandang benchmark nito ay kung mayroon ka nang emergency fund in the bank of your choice. Kapag mayroon ka ng pera na three to six times your monthly income, it’s a very good idea to start investing your surplus money right away.”

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Anong type of investment yung nire-recommend mo for people in their 20s? 

“For first-time investors, usually ang nire-recommend ko ay yung Variable Universal Life (VUL) policy. Ito yung suggestion ko dahil hindi lang siya investment plan kundi insurance plan na rin. 

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Investments made through VULs’ expert fund managers are the way to go kung gusto mo mag-grow yung money mo by itself. Historically, investment returns have been proven to be as high as seven to 15 percent, depending on market performance. The actual returns are not (and never will be) guaranteed kasi depende talaga sa market performance, but when you think about the less than one percent investment return from banks if you opt never to invest your money elsewhere, okay na talaga siya.

In VUL policies, yung fund managers and hired experts noong company yung nagi-invest ng pera mo. Unlike other investment vehicles, hindi mo na kailangan isipin yung monitoring ng stock prices, market performance, and other technical stuff. Maganda ‘to if wala ka pang knowledge, time, and willingness para mag-monitor ng investments. 

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Siyempre, important din yung insurance, lalo na 'cause it protects you and your family from possible financial adversities like accidents, critical illnesses, possible handicaps and disabilities, and sudden death. It’s not enough to save and invest alone—kailangan mo ng insurance kasi kahit na mayroon ka ng healthy savings account and some good investments in your portfolio, kapag may nangyari sayo tapos hindi ka insured, you can lose your savings and investments in a heartbeat. Malungkot man isipin, most people are financially unprepared to deal with financial adversities—I mean, sino ba ang nags-save ng money to treat an undiagnosed critical illness next month, ‘di ba? Moreover, insurance charges are ALWAYS cheaper and better while you’re younger, so aim to start an insurance plan, ASAP!

Anong kailangan i-prepare before your first investment?

“I’d say kailangan mo ng mahabang pasensya at dedication. Before I became a financial consultant, nag-research muna ako kung anong okay na companies—yung mat-trust ko talaga with my money. Nagbasa ako ng online forums, Facebook pages, tapos I talked to several financial advisors from different companies din. It took extra time and effort, but I think it was a good move since I learned about all of my options bago ako pumili ng best plan and financial consultant for me. 

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On the practical side of things naman, I think requirements vary per company pero usually, you need to prepare a valid ID, a savings account from the company’s accredited bank where your monthly payment can be auto-deducted, and your first monthly, quarterly, or annual payment in cash.”

Anong common misconception about investing in your early 20s?

“It’s a common misconception na mahal mag-invest and para lang siya sa rich titos and titas of the older generation. It’s not, basta lang mayroon kang proper budgeting system in place. Can you save P75 per day or more? Kung oo, then you may want to meet with a financial advisor as soon as you can! Investments take time to grow, so smart move talaga na mag-invest maaga pa lang. 

Hindi mo rin kailangan matakot sa cost—most VUL plans are flexible. You can customize your VUL plan with the help of a trusty financial consultant according to your own budget, financial needs and wants later in life. Depende lang talaga sa lifestyle mo! Remember: A VUL plan is a long-term commitment, so dapat yung piliin mo sakto lang sa budget mo.”

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Mayroon ka bang money saving tips na gusto mong i-share with those in their early 20s?

“I don’t want to preach about [having] a strict budgeting scheme because I know it’s different for [all of us]. For example, kung kailangan mo talaga yung P150 coffee to be productive, go lang! But for me, the smartest thing you could do is to arm yourself with the basic knowledge about handling finances. 

Find out what works for you and stick to it. Manood ka ng free videos about money-making and saving on YouTube, follow inspirational financial coaches on Instagram, sumali ka ng Facebook groups na focused sa saving, mag-research ka on budgeting methods, puwede ka rin mag-print ng money saving templates from Pinterest—kahit ano pa ‘yan, just have the initiative to learn more things about how you can handle your finances better.”

For any insurance and investment related queries, you may contact Rexanne through her Facebook page called Your Trusty Financial Consultant.

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