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Condotel

I came across an article on Hotel 101 – a condotel concept that is very similar to what I want to do with my condo. I wish I bought a unit here instead of Avida Centerra.

I’m still engrossed with my research on my condotel business venture. Based on my computations, I will get even only after 15 years (assuming that I only get 10 nights of occupancy in a month) – that is, if I don’t raise the monthly rent. Fifteen years is an incredibly long time for me to recover my costs.

Thinking about finances and investments

Having been raised in a medium-class family in the Philippines, my goal has always been to get out of the rat race and be financially free.

When I was single, I planned to pay off the condo in Manila as soon as possible (by the end of my first GCP or overseas assignment) so that when I go home,  I won’t have to pay for a very expensive rent in someone else’s condo.

Everything changed when I got married.  Aside from the weddings (two – one in Texas and one in the Philippines) and honeymoon expenses, I now have to think about the long term plans for staying in the US. And that means deciding to buy a house or continue to pay rent.

I am currently torn between paying off the condo this year or putting a bigger downpayment for a house here in the US. I am tempted to get a loan for the condo but it’s too much of a hassle to try to apply for a loan while I am here. I have tried to do it last year and even wasted a lot of my limited vacation time in the Philippines going to the bank and submitting all the required documents. The processing costs and interest rates for the loan are too high. I just think it’s not worth it. If I can pay it off and save myself some trouble,  I would opt for it.

Aside from the condo, I am also paying for my grandfather’s house in the Philippines that I bought from my mom’s siblings. My parents, brothers, and sister, together with their families are living there for now. Once I and my family move back to the Philippines,  we would start renovations on the house. So that’s another monthly expense.

Also, I haven’t been actively investing in the Philippine Stock Market because I am saving the money for the condo. So my stocks are pretty dormant. I try to sell whenever I gain some profit and use the money to buy other profitable stocks.

So, right now I’m still really trying to make wise use of my savings. The plan right now is still to pay off the condo,  look for a house here,  get a housing loan,  and pay it as soon as we can or resell it before we move back to the Phillipines. Also,  pay off my grandfather’s house within 5 years.

How to achieve all that, I still don’t know. But it sounds like a good plan. Hopefully with some divine providence and lots of hard work, these plans will materialize. Better work hard now than later. When we have a baby of our own,  I’m sure there will be changes to these plans.  But let’s save all of those worries for later.

Invest Now…

Below is taken from the blog of Bo Sanchez of the Truly Rich Club.
Hope you will be inspired to invest in stocks after you read this.

Congratulations, TrulyRichClub Members—You’ll Get 30%+ Profit In One Stock!

My members are happy.

Last February 2013, I recommended to our TrulyRichClub members to buy the stock of a relatively unknown but great company that produces food ingredients.  My simple advice was, “Buy small amounts each month.”

Since a lot of people didn’t know the company, they asked, “Jeepers Bo, I’ve never heard of them before.  Why will I invest there?”

I explained, “Yes, you don’t know this company, per se, but you know the clients of this company.  They’re the country’s biggest food ingredients provider, serving companies like Universal Robina and Jollibee.”

When we recommended this very profitable company last February 2013, its stock price was P6.45.  After 15 months, it’s now P9.25.  That’s a whopping 43% growth.  (Note: To compare, your money in the bank grows at less then 1% a year.)

Some analysts believe that this amazing company will still go up, because it’s got a fantastic future; BUT because we’re very conservative, last week, I already asked TrulyRichClub members to get ready to SELL very soon if it reaches (or almost reaches) our Target Price.  And I asked them to transfer their money to our other recommended companies that we believe still have lower prices, especially one specific company that’s into power-generation.

Oh yes, in the past 15 months of buying this great company, there were “terrible” months when the stock went down, and some asked me, “Bo, I’m freaking out.  Gosh, I’m actually losing money!”

I smiled and said, “You may be losing on paper, but if you don’t sell, you’re not losing.  Just close your eyes and keep buying small amounts each month!”

Today, my TrulyRichClub Members are a happy bunch. Because now, they see their nice profits and understand how this entire thing works.

They realize that investing in the Stock Market isn’t a quick-rich scheme.  They realize that there will be terrible months when the Stock Market is really down and they’ll be terrified—but they also now know that it’s during those terrible months when they earn the most terrific profits IF they buy during those terrible months.  And all they have to do is “close their eyes and keep buying small amounts each month”—and they’ll come out as big winners in the end.

My message?  You have to invest every month for YEARS, and in due time, you’ll earn your MILLIONS.

Friend, do you want to change your financial future?

If you have not yet joined my TrulyRichClub, I’d like to personally invite you to join now.

Here’s why: Moving forward to 2015, I see incredible double-digit growth for MOST of our recommended companies.  Oh yes, there will be the usual “terrible” dips along the way, where you’ll be scared and want to strangle my neck for getting you into this, but in due time, you’ll realize that these dips are when you make the biggest profits if you buy during that time.

Are you ready to make a huge change in your financial future?

Financial Freedom: Am I Ready to Retire in 5 Years?

Questions to ask myself:

1. Do I have debts/loans?
Yes, I have things to pay for such as:
a. Avida Centerra condo unit – BIG money! Hoping to pay half of it by end of first year of my GCP assignment. I am targeting to work hard and save up so I can get this fully paid and convert it from liability to asset… Aja!
b. Insurance – Sunlife and Prulife UK

2. Do I have a passive income stream?
I am thinking of the condo as my future passive income stream. That is, if I don’t live in it and I could rent it out for a fair price.

I am also hoping that my stocks at ColFinancial would be earning much by then. Right now, these are the stocks in my portfolio:

COL Financial portfolio

COL Financial portfolio

3. Do I have a fallback in case I badly need to work again?
Right now, I am single and I don’t have anybody to worry about except for my ageing parents. My siblings can take care of themselves. That’s why I could easily say I could retire in 5 years. But if ever I do get to have a family – or a baby of my own, I may have to rethink this early retirement thing… and if ever, I think I can go back to my teaching or IT career. The experiences that I’ve gained over the years would help me land a decent job.

4. Do I have a retirement fund?
Yes, I have a retirement fund but it’s not yet fully paid. I still have to work my ass up to complete my payments. But at least I am working on it already.. 🙂

Conclusion: Getting there! But life is full of surprises… I am just glad to do this evaluation and realize that my finances look good and healthy so far. But it does take a lot of hard work, planning, and discipline. How about you, are you starting to think about your retirement?

Reviews: Sending Money to the Philippines Through Remitly

Buhay POFW… POFW for Parang OFW. Hehe..

Technically I am not an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) – at least that’s what our company HR said. But since I’m a Filipino who’s temporarily working outside of the Philippines, then I am somewhat an OFW. I also checked the web for a definition of OFW:

Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs are Filipinos working abroad that are expected to return permanently either upon the expiration of a work contract or upon retirement. – Wikipedia

As an OFW, I am expected to send money to the Philippines. I send money to my family (parents, brothers and sister) and also to my personal account to pay my bills/investments in the Philippines (Avida, Sunlife, Prulife, Citiseconline).

At first I was literally clueless. When I was in the Philippines, I usually sent money to my family in the province through BDO (thank God for their Cash Card program!), MLhuillier and Cebuana Lhuillier. It was always a hassle. You know, withdrawing money, going to the  other bank to deposit. Or worse, find a near *Lhuillier and line up to send money. The BDO option is more convenient. Although I have to withdraw money from BPI and deposit it to BDO. So in short, the process of sending money to my family was very time-consuming and inconvenient.

But now, here in the US, they’ve made (almost) everything very convenient for everyone. Almost everything is interconnected! With just a few clicks, I could send money from my bank here in the US to my bank in the Philippines! Cool!!!

remitlyHow? Through Remitly.com. They are the middle men who work with both banks. I have done my own research about all the existing remittance services and so far most (if not all) of my Filipino friends are using Remitly. My friends said that they offer the highest conversion rate. Check them out for yourself now… 🙂

Investing in Stocks: Some Lessons Learned

colfinancial

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):

stocks

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…

Invest in the Stock Market Now!

If you want to invest in the stock market, the best time is NOW!

Now – when the stock market is still temporarily down and when you just got your 13th month pay (or whatever is left of it) – and your Christmas bonus! 🙂

Now you can buy great companies (blue chips) like AC (Ayala Corp), BPI, BDO, SMPH, and JFC at relatively low prices! But don’t just jump in without learning the basics of the stock market. Learn only from the best mentors from the Truly Rich Club of Bo Sanchez and open an account in Citiseconline.

Happy Investing and Cheers to a Financially Free 2014!

Philippine Stock Market is Down

The stock market has been down for about 3 weeks already. Experts say it’s because of the recent recoveries of the US economy. Foreign investors are pulling out their money after getting their gains from our market and investing in the US.

Should I be worried? Yes, I admit I got a little wary when I saw my stocks’ prices going down. But I was reminded by my financial mentor, Bo Sanchez to “think long term”. It’s actually the best time to buy stocks because the prices are lower. But you have to be cautious in choosing the stocks – invest only in diamond stocks.

Good luck and happy investing!

P. S. Found a nice, informative article by Marvin Germo explaining why the stock market is down: http://www.marvingermo.com/15-reasons-why-philippine-stocks-are-down-part-1/

Financial Freedom: 7 Jar System

Two weeks ago at the Ortigas Feast, the  series entitled “Happy Healthy Holy Money” was concluded. Bro. Joel together with Mrs. Irma Lasquety, CPA, discussed about the 7 Jar System and ways to invest.

7 Jar System:

Jar 7- Emancipation Fund (20% or more)

This is also called the retirement fund. All of us have to set aside money for our retirement because it is the biggest expense of our lives. Yes, we no longer have to work during this time, but we won’t also have our monthly salary!

I personally wish that our Filipino culture regarding retirement would change. Because right now, a lot of retirees  rely solely on their pension, which is only how much? 3,000? 5,000? And, I am saddened by the fact that a number of pensioners are in debt! Their ATM cards are with lending institutions because they have used it as a “pawn” so they could borrow money. Worse, others don’t even have a pension. They rely entirely on their children for their basic necessities – food, shelter, and health care.

I dream of a time when Filipino retirees would just travel abroad, dine out, treat their grandchildren at Jollibee, get the best healthcare and just enjoy the remaining days of their lives!

Retirement is something that we should all prepare for. This is when most of us get weak or sick and we need people to take care of us. Health care would become very expensive, even if we would get Senior Citizen discounts.

So HOW would you fund for your retirement?

There are many ways..

  1. Get a life insurance. There are  a lot of good insurance companies out there. But I have chosen Sunlife. Nowadays, insurance is already customizable – it can come with health care, mutual funds/stocks, accident benefit, critical illness benefit, and more. If you want to know more about insurance, I have a lot of friends in the industry. I can refer you to them.
  2. Invest in stocks. Like insurance, there are also a lot of good stock brokers out there. My personal choice is Citiseconline. I have written a number of posts regarding that so you can find them here.
  3. Invest in real estate. You can invest in condos, boarding house, agricultural land, or whatever real estate you please.
  4. Build your business. Develop your core skills or your talents. Network. Find an opportunity.

I spend about 52% in this jar.

Jar 6 – Emergency Fund (can be 10% per month until it reaches 300% or thrice your monthly salary)

They say that you should have at least 3 times of your monthly salary in your emergency fund. This would be used when you suddenly lose your job or if there is an emergency in the family. You should put this in an instrument that can easily be withdrawn from.

I like BPI because they have this BPI Direct Saving-Up feature wherein you can set up your payroll account to automatically transfer funds to your save-up account monthly. So you never forget to set aside for your emergency fund.

Jar  5 – Everyday Fund (70% or less)

Because I am frugal, my everyday fund is only around 23%. That already includes condo rent, food, transportation, internet/call/text load, and laundry.

Jar 4 – Empower Fund (5% to 10%)

This is supposed to be spent to empower yourself like investing in good clothing, going to the spa, having your hair or nails done at the salon but usually I spend this for my family/friends (gifts).

Jar 3 – Enjoyment Fund (up to 5%)

This can be used for hanging out with your friends, eating out, watching movies, travelling, or buying new gadgets

Jar 2 – Educational Fund (5%)

We should never stop learning. Pursue your hobbies. Enroll in trainings.

I usually spend this in books and attending seminars/talks/workshops/retreats. I also use this fund to buy painting materials.

Jar 1 – Eternity Fund (10%)

Last but definitely not the least is our Eternity Fund. I have been giving to the church regularly but it has never reached 10%. This February, I prayed that I would give 10% to the Lord and challenge him to take care of my needs and bless my dreams. As if on cue, my mother texted me asking for a donation for the chapel that will be built in our community. And I would need to give 10% of my salary for 2 months.. Hehe. Well, as Sister Rissa said in her talk, make tithing a habit. In the first few months, it would be difficult. But once you get used to it, it won’t hurt your pocket anymore. And God will let His blessings overflow – that is His promise. 🙂

God, our Father, loves us so much and He wants us to enjoy our money. God bless! 🙂