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Here's How You Can Start Investing Your Money If You Want To Start Small

We got advice from Antonette Aquino, the financial advisor behind viral Tiktok account Money Health Check.
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Ever wanted to *try* investing to grow your money but don’t know where to start? Reading explainers online or watching how-to videos can get overwhelming, especially when you're new to the world of investing.

But first, why should you start investing? According to Investopedia, investing is the act of allocating resources, usually money, with the expectation of generating an income or profit. Simply put, investments are your tools to help you achieve your financial goals, no matter how simple or complex those goals are.

If you want to know more about investing, we spoke with Antonette Aquino, a multi-awarded licensed financial advisor and founder of Money Health Check, a TikTok finance channel dedicated to spreading financial literacy, and she answered some of our Qs on investments and what beginners need to know.

Where should you start?

While there are a ton of investments to choose from—like opening a savings account in a bank, launching a business, owning property, buying cryptocurrencies, and many more—it always pays to know the basics before you start the journey of making the most of your money

Antonette shares how, at an early age, she was able to achieve her goal of financial freedom when she started investing. “I started working at 15 and started investing at 17. This gave me time to learn from my mistakes and develop better spending habits,” she says. Because of her financial freedom, she was able to do three things all at the same time: doing something you love, buying the things you want, and helping others by giving back.

How will you know if a certain type of fund works for you?

There are various types of funds you can invest in, such as stocks, bonds, money market, or even hybrid mutual funds. But before you choose from these investment baskets, you need to be aware of your financial situation and identify your investor profile. Assess your goals, time frame, and risk appetite. From there, you’ll be able to form your investment strategy. “One of the most important things to consider is to never invest in something you don’t understand. Make sure you always do your research and understand the pros and cons of the Investment,” Antonette adds.

The word “risk” may seem terrifying, but the first step of taking a risk assessment test is important to know how much you are willing to invest. “Investing involves risk. In order to make money with money, you are taking on the risk of losing your upfront investment. The amount of money you invest should be money not needed in the short term or else this can put a negative effect on your finances.”

What do I need to prepare?

Before you start investing, you need to identify your financial situation. Antonette shares the number one rule is to cover your foundation first. Make sure you have a stable source of income, have an emergency fund, and own a life insurance policy. The next is knowing how much to set aside. While financial experts recommend investing 10 to 20 percent of your annual income, Antonette says it doesn’t matter what amount you have, for as long as you just start.

Investing can be done through GInvest by GCash, a digital investment platform that allows Filipinos as young as 18 years old and with a valid ID to explore investments and conveniently grow their wealth through a tap of their GCash app. “What I like most about GInvest is that it’s easy, fast, and accessible. During the new normal, a lot of us have been using GCash for our day-to-day transactions, and it’s great we can invest both in local and global funds with just a few taps! If this is your first time dabbling in the markets as an investor, GInvest by Gcash is a great choice,” Antonette proudly shares.

For beginners who want to take their first step into the world of investing, it’s always a practical choice to go with Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITFs), which GInvest by GCash offers. These are good for first-time investors who want to leave the individual selection of stocks, bonds, and other assets over to professionals. This makes it a good choice for those who want to have a more hands-off regular investing approach.

Through GInvest by GCash, you can gain access to expertly managed UITFs with industry leaders like Ayala and Globe locally and Apple and Google globally through GInvest’s partnership with ATRAM Trust Corporation, an independent asset manager in the Philippines, and SEEDBOX Philippines, a company that has introduced digitized investing in the country.

It’s easy to start investing through GInvest. After logging into the GCash app with a fully verified account, go into the GInvest module to register. From there, take the Risk Profile assessment to help GInvest gauge what kind of investments to recommend to you. After reading and confirming the Terms and Conditions that follow, you are now ready to start investing.

You may choose between five different types of UITFs: Money Market Fund, the more traditional way of investing; Philippine Total Return Bond Fund, which lets you invest in bonds in local companies and government; Philippine Smart Equity Index Fund, which allows users to invest in local companies through the PSEi index; Global Technology Feeder Fund, where users can invest in tech trailblazers like Google, Apple, and Samsung; and Global Consumer Trends Fund, where you can invest in innovative companies like Shopee, Nintendo, or Alibaba. You can open your own investment fund for as low as P50 for local funds and P1,000 for international funds, which makes GInvest by GCash a Filipino fintech company that offers low investment buy-ins.

GInvest by GCash is available for fully verified GCash users. For more information, you may visit www.gcash.com/services/investments.

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