It was cited that only about 1% of Filipinos population are investing in the stock market in the country.

Why do you say only a few Pinoy invest? There are several reasons why. First is because we were not educated and taught about it in school. There is this connotation that only the rich people can get involved in the stock market.

Second, is lack of income to set aside for investment. Majority of Filipinos are earning minimum wage or a little over the minimum wage.

Third, we are scared to take risk of putting our money and will end up losing it.

I am proud to say I am one of the 1%! Just recently, I bought my first share in the stock market.

My Story Before Investing in the Stock Market

I remember when watching the news before, I always see these numbers flashing on the screen. I always wonder what those numbers were and why they were in different colors, some were green and some were red. Unfortunately, the people around me also don’t  have any answers when I asked them about it. So growing up, I just ignored it. I didn’t care much about it.

Moving fast forward, after college, my best friend gave me a talk about investing in stocks. She also encouraged me to invest since I am already working at that time.  I listened to her and did my own research. It was interesting to know that we can earn money by buying shares of a company. It was also my first time learning about the importance of saving and investing.  I was really encouraged to invest at that time but the problem was, I didn’t do anything about it.

This is also where most of Filipinos fail in terms of finances. Sometimes, they have the knowledge and the plan already but they never act on it. 

Well, I was one of those people before. I made excuses for not investing at that time.

My Excuses for Not Investing

One, I told myself that I was still young and I still have more years to deal with these kinds of things. What I wanted is to enjoy my life. I don’t want to be thinking about money or responsibilities yet. Besides, I felt that I was not earning that much. My salary was 18,000-20,000 PHP every month working in a BPO company and sometimes, it still isn’t enough.

Two, I have no time. Being this young employee with plans already set for social gatherings and weekend trips, I just don’t have time to be checking my funds every day.

Three, I was doubtful and scared to put my money into something other than the bank. What I knew growing up was to keep the money with me, either in a piggy bank or under the bed or in a bank. The stock market was something new to me and I only knew few people who invest in it. My family and relatives never mentioned it too.  I thought, why should I invest when most people are not?

Why I changed my mind?

After working for 7 years, I didn’t see big improvements in my financial situation. I was on the same pedestal; working hard for 8-10 hours a day, receiving my salary every month, spending the money and repeat.

I felt discouraged. There are plans and dreams that I can’t-do because of financial restrictions. It seems to be always like that for me most of my life. So, I decided to make a change if I want to see changes in my life. I started saving and investing. At the moment, I have invested in the stock market through COL Financial and mutual fund through FAMI.

Why I Invest in the Stock Market?

Potential growth

Stock market is a place where shares of companies are bought and sold. Basically, when you buy a share of a company, you own part of that company. So when the company grows in value, you will also benefit from that growth. It’s risky because the value of the company can go up and down. However, with a proper mindset and a plan, one can definitely gain from the stock market.

Retirement fund or future plans

My plan is to invest long-term, probably 10 years or more. By that time, I hope to have saved and gained enough for my retirement fund. I am also a member of SSS but I don’t want to depend on it. I heard stories of retirees who are receiving a very small amount on their pension per month.

Management of own funds

Managing your own fund can be a positive and negative thing. For those who don’t have the time or don’t want to get involved with the actual part of investing, you can put your money in a mutual fund where a fund manager will manage it for you. If you have all the time in the world or you want to be hands-on with your investments, then you’ll enjoy investing in the stocks.

I can also be busy sometimes that I can’t really check my COL account but then I realized that if I can be online on Facebook and spend hours every day on it then I can surely give time for my investment.

Easy application and additional investment

The application is straightforward and simple. I printed the application forms, fill it out, signed and sent it through the mail. I had to photocopy 2 valid ID for validation. A staff from COL Financial will also set a Skype interview to verify that you are indeed the person applying.

Adding investment is pretty easy too. You can deposit in some approved banks or in my case, just pay through BPI online banking.

Continuous Learning

Prior to my investing, I was a person with no knowledge of the stock market. If I want to improve my life, I have to take the risk and invest my money. Before investing, I have to understand what is it that I am investing to or how it takes effect. That means, I have to do a lot of reading and studying. As a matter of fact, I am still learning at the moment and there are still things that I don’t understand but that is something I am excited to know in the future.

Update on my Portfolio

I first bought my stock last August and here is what it’s like after a month. I didn’t touch it yet as I am just waiting for it to reach a certain value before selling it.

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As you can see, I bought 10 shares from AC or Ayala Corporation with a price of 887 PHP but after a month, the market price is 928.5 PHP. It has gained 3.77% over a month.

Do you invest in the stock market?

If no, what are your reservations in investing?

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