Archive | January 2014

Investing in Stocks: Some Lessons Learned

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When I was just new to the concept of SAM (Strategic Averaging Method), I made a mistake of buying a number of different stocks recommended by TRC (Truly Rich Club) that I could afford with my available funds in Citiseconline. This resulted to accumulating 12 stocks in my portfolio. (Note: Most of the stocks in my portfolio are just the minimum number of stocks allowed per boardlot restrictions.)

This is actually A LOT for a newbie like me. And now I learned from the club‘s, Mike V. that this is not advisable because it is very hard to manage too many stocks. You won’t be able to keep track of or read about ALL of the different companies/stocks. And what’s more, you can’t buy all of those stocks regularly (unless you’re very rich).

So what they suggest at the club is to set aside a fixed budget for investments regularly (monthly or quarterly) and divide the budget among a few stocks. As long as the stocks are within the Buy Below Price, then you can buy them.

Switching from one stock to another is also a bad idea. So TRC suggests that you have to stick to a few stocks and buy them regularly.

I also learned that among your chosen stocks, you can decide if a stock should be under SAM or EIP. With SAM, you buy the stock if it’s below the Buy Below Price and sell when it hits the Target Price. With EIP, you buy it regularly regardless of the price and sell it after a looong time (like 10 years).

Right now, I still need to hold on to most of the stocks. I can’t sell them because I will lose money. But when I’ll gain some profit, I’ll sell most of the stocks in my portfolio so that I could reduce them to about 4 or 5. Two stocks for EIP and two (or three) stocks for SAM.

Hope this helps and have fun in learning stock investment! You can learn more if you become a member of the club 🙂

Sneak peek of some of the stocks in my portfolio (for those who are asking):

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Some stocks

PS: I wasn’t able to buy monthly because there were times when I don’t have extra money. So if you think you can’t afford to buy stocks monthly, don’t worry, we are in the same boat. You can do it quarterly, per trimester, or when there’s extra money – whichever fits you. It should be extra money because the idea is you shouldn’t touch it for a while, so that time can let it grow. Although you CAN withdraw your investment anytime – esp when there’s an emergency.

P.P.S. I’m not an expert nor consider myself a successful stock investor (yet 😉 ). I’m just sharing the things I’ve learned along the way…

People of My 2013

Life wouldn’t be merry without the people and relationships that make it worth living. I was inspired to write a post about the people who made my year awesome because of Bianca Gonzalez‘s yearly post. I started making my own yearly list last 2012. Here’s for 2013:

10. Maan, Charles, and their teammateslunch buddies, good friends
They’ve been my constant lunch buddies in 2013. It started when Maan and Charles got deployed to their team. They welcomed me and adopted me to their team. Even when I got deployed to my own project, I still spent most of my lunches with them. Lunch time was always fun – sharing each other’s food, swapping stories, and just enjoying each other’s company. I miss these bunch of simple, fun-loving geeks.
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9. Lighthouse Enhancements team – great teammates!
Unlike Maan’s team, my teammates prefer to eat out in the different restos around Eastwood. That’s why it took a while for me to get to know them better. I thought they were maarte and sosyal at first, but when I got to know them better, they were really nice and down-to-earth people. They’re a bunch of hardworking, multi-talented, and brilliant kids. I miss our fun-filled, physically-challenging, team building activities.
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8. Lloyd and JP – idols and mentors
My 2 very gifted and admirable bosses. When it comes to Java and systems development, these 2 guys are one of the best! I respect and look up to them. How I wish I would someday be as good as them. Lloyd, my senior manager, always reminds us to live up to the company’s “greater than” slogan. He is a great leader and mentor (just a little too workaholic… hehe. :p) ,very dedicated to giving his best. He gives his ALL in everything he does. No wonder why he has attained his career level at a relatively young age. JP, my direct supervisor (associate manager), knows Java/J2EE in depth and knows his craft very well. He is cool and calm, delivers high performance without jeopardizing his personal life. I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons from these two bosses and I hope our paths cross again someday.

7. Aries  fab girlfriends + Ate Doli = sweet girlfriends
Laiza, Ems, and Ate Doli are the absolute girlfriends. They are my go-to people for love-related, girly, emo problems. Thank God for single girl friends! 🙂 Though we are miles apart (now 14-hr difference!), we still manage to keep in touch. I’m happy to see them at least once  a year during our exciting and uber-awesome trips. Too bad I’ll miss this yearly tradition this 2014. girlfriends

6. The Feast Ortigas family – my spiritual home
Knowing and serving God just became better when I got to know these loving and caring people. I miss greeting and ushering people in to church with my friendly and smiling Warmth ministry. And I definitely miss teaching the makulit but super adorable kids of Awesome Kids Ministry.
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5. Sofia, Sabby, and their awesome parents Bro.  Ped and Sis Dems – model family
I got to know the 2 pretty girls at the awesome kids ministry. They’re very smart, pretty and sweet. Because of them, I got to know of the Call Center Feast ministry and served there as one of the layout artists of the bulletin. Their lawyer parents are equally admirable; not only for their wit and brilliance, but also for their remarkable love for God, devoting their time, talent, and treasure for God’s glory. Such an awesome young family. 🙂
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4. Jem and new GCP friends –  new friends!
You’re never too old to make new friends. I met Jem when he was about to leave the company and we saw each other again at our friends’ wedding. He’s been a good friend and mentor since then. I got deployed to his previous project and he gave me lots of tips and pointers so that I could perform well in my role as a team lead in the company. Another Java guy whom I look up to. My new GCP friends also made it to this list! Living and working away from home is a little less lonely because of them. I’m really grateful to have them in my life now.

3. James and my housemates – friends
I got to know James a lot better when I started going home at midnight because of work. We’d chat and exchange stories/updates about how our days at the office went. We celebrated small victories by satisfying our cravings through Angel’s burger or McDo’s fudge. He is also a dreamer and go-getter just like me. An ambitious, talented, young man in a corporate world, a little brother, and a good friend. Good thing that he came into my life when my other housemates Jo and Matel got busy with their love lives and we hardly saw each other in the condo. 🙂
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2. Family
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1. Nycah – my love
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The current love of my life, the apple of my eye, the person whom I think about when I shop.. is none other than my niece, Nycah! I am the ultimate tita and spoiler of this little brat. Haha. She’s growing up so fast… and looks very cute in her school uniform! It always breaks my heart to leave and be separated from this baby love. She’ll be a big girl when I go home… my wish is to see her growing up…

Quickie: Some things to do to jumpstart the year

Quick Post: Just wanna share some of the things I did to start the year.

1. Created my vision board – to inspire and remind me of my dreams.
2. Deleted old messages in my phone – to free up some space and make room for new ones!
3. Uploaded pictures and videos to Dropbox – again, to make more room for new memories.
4. Deleted rarely used apps from my phone.
5. Planned out my new workday and weekend routines so I could track my time.
6. Created my monthly budget which is a little different from the one I made in 2011.

Making the most out of Weekends

I have a problem.

I don’t know how to spend my weekends. A part of me wants to use weekends efficiently, like getting lots of household chores done. Another part of me wants to just relax, chill, and get lots of rest so I have more energy to work on the following week. I feel restless. When I sit or lie down to take a nap, I feel guilty, like I need to do valuable or meaningful work. My ex-housemates in Manila used to tease me that I am always out and busy with something.

When I have free Saturdays, I’d be out to do some errands, visit relatives/meet friends, or volunteer for charity/church work. My Sundays were usually full – with church services and ministry work, groceries, and preparing for the work week.

Now that I am in Texas, I feel lost again. I know there are lots of things to do and sometimes when Sunday evening comes, I feel like I just lost a weekend to nothing. Yes, I’m weird..hehe. Well last week, I tried to plan my days, weeks, and months. I put all my plans on my calendar and carefully allotted time to each activity.

I am a planner. But I find it hard to execute. For example, my schedule for today includes jogging/walking, laundry, and yoga. I tried to go out for a jog this morning at around 8am. Walked about 5meters from the house and decided that it’s too cold. Hahaha. So I went back home to eat my breakfast – juiced 2 oranges, and later decided that I’m still hungry, so I ate rice and salmon. I used the machine for the laundry – just basically putting my dirty clothes in, put them in the dryer, and arranged them in the closet. Laundry done!

After that, I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to go out to the mall or even to IKEA to look for some stuff like table, lamp, etc. But I don’t have a car, I can’t drive and none of my friends want to go out. So I’m stuck. 😦 So I just watched Philippine news at ANC on my phone and tried to get updated with the latest events in my country. I wanted to do some research and read code but I don’t feel like being a geek now so my lazy self convinced me to drop it.

I’ll be attending the birthday party of my officemate’s lovely 3-yr old daughter so I have something to do in a while. We’re also planning to watch Frozen tonight so.. the rest of my Saturday is full. :p

I wish I could jog or do Yoga next week. I’m so lazy!!! AND getting FAT!

Thinking about how I can deal with the cold weather

It’s getting colder and colder each day here at Austin. Well, there are days when the sun is shining bright and it’s a little warm outside but most of the time, it’s chilly.

Right now the temperature is at 1C outside. And even with the heater on, we still feel cold inside our rooms. I even experienced a minor nosebleed a couple of days back. So I tried to look around and search for tips on how to deal with the cold weather.

I found some very practical tips on how to dress for the cold weather at WikiHow. 🙂

2nd Week at Austin

It’s now my 2nd week at Austin, Texas. So far it’s been great. I’m just not used to the chilly and cold weather but I’m doing fine. There’s no snow here but it’s still cold and the winds could send chills down your spine. Today the temperature is at 49F or 9C. I spend most of the time indoors and whenever I go out, I go running towards the car. Hehe. I’m soo not used to this weather.
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Anyway, my Filipino officemates have been very hospitable and welcoming. They helped me and the newcomers settle down and get comfortable with our new home. We eat together a lot at home or in different Asian restos (where there’s rice) and just hang out watching TV/movies during the weekends.

I didn’t feel homesick during Christmas because we all gathered in one apartment and shared food, played Pinoy Henyo and exchanged gifts. Well, actually I just watched them exchange gifts because I wasn’t able to buy a gift. I especially enjoyed watching the kids open their gifts. They received very nice toys.. I wished I was a kid again. 😀
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But New Year’s was a little lonely. We just went out to eat at Cheesecake Factory – where we waited for more than an hour (I think) because a lot of people went there ahead of us and we all waited for our turn to get seated. Because our dinner was delayed, we weren’t able to catch the fireworks display at the park and we all just went home 30 minutes before New Year. It was a little lonely. I could only hear a very faint noise of fireworks. Unlike in the Philippines where I could see the sky light up everywhere. I’m really not a big fan of firecrackers but I missed the noise and the lively celebration of New Year back home. I even used to get really mad at Papa and my brothers and sister for using firecrackers because I’m afraid that they might get hurt but I also looked forward to all the noise and colorful display during New Year. Papa and I used to love watching our neighbors’ fireworks displays every New Year… Oh well.. there are still lots of New Year’s in the Philippines that I’ll get to witness and enjoy. At least I also experienced a different way of celebrating New Year.

Life is very convenient here. Almost everything can be done with a touch of a button like the laundry, dish washing, etc. I still need to get used to lots of things here at my temporary home. I’m enjoying the journey and I’m looking forward to making beautiful memories here. 😉

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Sunset at Outlet

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Highlights of 2013

2013 has been unexpectedly great! Super! A lot of great things happened in my life. Unfortunately because of my very busy schedule, I wasn’t able to post regularly on this blog. I just created collages of the pictures I’ve taken and uploaded them to Instagram.

These are the events I’m grateful for in 2013:

1. January – I visited/met friends at Gensan. It was a brief but fun and memorable reunion. I wasn’t very busy at work so I had time to revisit one of my favorite hobbies – watercolor painting. My housemates and I also went jogging at Ayala Triangle.
2. February – I joined the “I love life” retreat and met a lot of really nice and cool people who became my friends. I also started teaching watercolor painting at the Awesome Kids Ministry. My housemates and I also had a short trip to Pampanga to attend the christening of our x-housemate’s pretty baby, Callie.
3. March – My housemates and I bought vouchers for 10 sessions at Golds Gym, consumable in 2 months. We enjoyed the Yoga and Zumba sessions. 🙂 I also met one of my most admired Filipinas through JEWELS, the pretty Ms. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng!
4. April – My birth month! This was the most memorable month because I attended Jessa’s wedding, bonded with my high school friends, spent a super great time with my family and celebrated my birthday at the beautiful island of Camiguin. It is one of the best times of my life. I also worked on a very exciting project at work, which allowed me to visit beautiful places and meet nice people.
5. May – My Feast Ortigas friends and I visited the beautiful and very cute babies at “Grace to be Born”. It was a very touching and memorable experience. The babies were really adorable… I can’t stop myself from wondering what their parents went through to make them abandon those poor babies.. 😦 This month was also the birthday of one of my favorite girls in Awesome Kids Ministry. I know it’s not very good to play favorites but the Faytaren girls are just so sweet, pretty, and smart that I can’t help but like them a lot. 🙂 May was also the month when I got reunited with my college boardmates Ate Neneng (from Taiwan) and Ate Evelyn. It was also a memorable month because I attended the wedding of my college friend Weng. I got reunited with my college buddies and we had a crazy night-to-remember… 🙂
6. June – was the month I started to get really busy because I got deployed to a new project. And it was the start of the rainy days so I stayed at home most of the time.
7. July – This was “family time” month because I went home and stayed for about 2 days. It was our hometown’s fiesta. It was the first time that I went home during fiesta after about 8 long years. It was brief but I was really happy to have spent time with my family. This was also the time when I started to get re-connected with my friends through Skype and other online apps because I already had Wifi at home.
8. August – This was the time when I felt really tired at work – I experienced burnout. I searched for a place to be alone and just reflect and pray. This was also the time when Filipinos started to get serious in fighting against corruption – when the Napoles scandal enraged netizens.
9. September – It was the deadline for my biggest task in my project so I spent a lot of time in the office.. working until the wee of hours of the morning. But I’m grateful that everything turned out well. I had a nice ice breaker when the Faytaren girls gave me 2 tickets to the “Alice in Wonderland” play. I watched it with Maan and we had a great time – even if the show was for kids. We were kids at heart, so we still enjoyed the show. 🙂
10. October – I got to know my new teammates better when we had a team building at Camp Philips. It was a fun-filled team building because we did very physically-challenging activities and even crawled – or I think the better term is – swam, in the mud! My whole body ached the following day but it’s okay because I definitely enjoyed the activity. Another very memorable event in October was my trip to Baguio with my friends from Gensan. Although I lost my wallet during the trip, it didn’t stop me from having a good time with my friends. This has been a busy month!
11. November – I went home to celebrate my mother’s birthday in advance and to see my family before I leave the country to work onshore temporarily. I did my Christmas shopping and made several trips to Divisoria just to complete my list. The effort was worth the smile and happiness of my loved ones. We also had a great time at the Enchanted River. The place is really enchanting and there were really large and colorful fishes! It was awesome to see them coming out during feeding time. The river is like a big magical acquarium. You’ve got to visit it someday! 😉
One very sad event that happened in November is the super typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda. A lot of my Filipino kababayans were severely affected and they lost their loved ones, jobs, crops, livelihood, homes, and other valuable possessions. It was a very tragic event but the bayanihan spirit made everyone hopeful. Help, relief goods and funds came pouring in from all over the world. It was really very touching to see everyone pitching in to help those who were affected – even Christmas parties were cancelled or made very simple so that the budget could be used to rebuild the lives of our fellowmen.
12. December – This month passed by like a whirlwind. I was so busy working on my papers, my clearance, and my remaining tasks in the project. I had my US embassy interview, then I was packing.. and before I knew it, I was already in the US! It’s really such an amazing turn of events and I’m so thankful to God for this opportunity to explore a new beautiful place. Although it was sad that I wasn’t able to spend the holidays with my family, still I am grateful for the opportunity that was given to me. To explore. To grow. To enrich.

I know it will be a totally awesome 2014. There will be challenges but I know that with God’s help, I can conquer and win those challenges. I will grow and make my dreams come true!!

Looking forward to these things in 2014:
1. Win challenges at work, learn more things about Java EE and grow in my chosen field of interest.
2. Make new friends and develop deeper relationships.
3. Nourish relationships with family and friends back home. Keep in touch and speak to them often.
4. Keep myself healthy and fit.
5. Invest. Save. Share.
6. Continue to grow in faith. Serve the Lord wherever I am. Use my time, talent, and treasure for His grater glory. 🙂

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