Gov't Services SSS

From SSS Philippines: Relevant Policies regarding Pension / Retirement Plan

Last week, I received a letter from SSS about this blog post, entitled, For SSS Pension Plan: Should I pay the Maximum or the Minimum SSS Contribution?, which I published on March 21, 2015. It was so nice of them to reach out to me to clarify some items and to give me additional info regarding this matter.

But before that, I saw how this post became trending and record-breaking and how it brought my site’s performance to the top. I also received a lot of feedback and comments (both positive and negative) from different people who had the same question and who wanted to know the best answer.

Unfortunately, some of my readers got confused with my take on this question, but I thank all of you for your feedback and questions because it allowed me to research even more and update that blog post with more accurate answers backed by the Social Security System of the Philippines.

I asked them if I can share their letter on this site ( and thankfully they approved it. It was addressed to me: Pinay Investor, and it was written by the Vice President of Public Affairs and Special Events Division, Marissu G. Bugante, but the one who emailed me was Ma. Luisa “Louie” Sebastian, Assistant Vice President of the Media Affairs Department, SSS Philippines.

Below are the contents of the letter:

Relevant Policies regarding SSS Pension / Retirement Plan:

  1. The computation of SSS pensions as provided by the Social Security law is based on a member’s number of contributions as well as the amount of contributions paid. The SSS computes pensions based on the average of all contributions paid by the member from the date of coverage or the average of contributions for the last five years; whichever yields the higher amount is used for the computation.


  1. The monthly contribution of a member is based on actual compensation for an employed member or the declared earnings for a self-employed/voluntary/OFW member. Changes in the Monthly Salary Credit (MSC) are governed by policies to avoid anti-selection such as undue jacking up of contributions prior to a contingency such as retirement.


  1. A self-employed or voluntary member (including an OFW and non-working spouse), who is 55 years old and above, can only increase his/her MSC only once in a given calendar year and by one salary bracket only from the last posted MSC, except if:
  • He/she is changing membership type from employed/self-employed to voluntary or OFW for the first time; and
  • There is a higher maximum MSC under a new Schedule of Contributions, provided that he/she was paying at the maximum MSC under the immediately preceding Schedule of Contributions. Any change thereafter will be governed by existing rules.

Please refer to the SSS Circular No. 2015-007 (below) which governs changes in policies on SE/VM/OFW/NWS Contributions (Annex A).

SSS Circular No. 2015-007
SSS Circular No. 2015-007
  1. With reference to the illustration you showed in your blog site, since Patrick and Kevin are employed members, the basis of their contributions/MSC is their actual compensation so it is not possible for them to just choose any MSC or change to a higher MSC.


  1. But if Patrick and Kevin are self-employed or voluntary members, you may refer to the matrix on the next page to illustrate the SSS pension computation of Patrick and Kevin:


  1. The example cited above should be analyzed not only in consideration of one’s retirement benefit but also under the whole range of benefits provided by SSS: sickness, maternity, death disability and retirement. Using the given example where both Patrick and Kevin started paying SSS Contributions at the same time, the following are possible scenarios.



Thank you very much Ms. Louie and SSS Philippines for allowing me to post your letter on my website. I’m excited for more of our future partnerships.

SSS-letter-for-Pinay Investor

And thank you to all my readers for your continued trust and support. I hope you found this information helpful and I hope all your questions and concerns have been addressed by SSS on this post. For other SSS concerns, you may email their Member Relations Department at

You may also send your questions to me privately or through the comment section below and I will try my best to send it to them and hopefully we hear from them as soon as possible.


iCon 2015 Investment Conference – An Empowering Experience!

I was privileged to attend the Investment Conference 2015 (#iCon2015) by Mr. Randell Tiongson at the SMX MOA Convention Center yesterday, May 30, 2015, where most of the country’s experts in Finance and Investment were present. Big thanks to Marvin Germo of Stock Smarts for inviting me to the event! 🙂

I went there to co-promote the upcoming workshops of Marvin in partnership with Manila Workshops, which is the Comprehensive Technical Analysis Series to be held in June-July of this year. It was also the book launch of Marvin’s third book, entitled, Stock Smarts Stress-free Investing, which was a big hit at the event. And thanks also to Mrs. Stock Smarts, Yvonne Goh-Germo, for giving me a copy of this book. 🙂

#iCon2015-Investment Conference-Randell Tiongson

So how did the conference go?

This year’s iCon was a full house with more or less 1,500 people present at the SMX MOA Convention Center.

I was able to take a few notes from some of the speakers before I got busy accommodating inquiries for our workshops.

Pinay Investor-with-Randell Tiongson
With Mr. Randell Tiongson, the pioneer of iCon Investment Conference

The first speaker was none other than the man behind iCon, Mr. Randell Tiongson, a columnist, and best-selling author of “Money Manifesto,” who talked about balancing finances and investments and an overview of growing trends that affect investing.

According to him, there are more reasons to invest in the country including strong infrastructure development, public private partnerships, demographic sweet spots, and the increasing number of OFWs and BPOs.

He also stressed that interest rates are so low, thus we have no choice but to INVEST!



Step 1 – Improving Cash Flow

Step 2 – Getting out of debt

Step 3 – Setting up your Emergency Fund

Step 4 – Getting protected from life’s risks

Step 5 – Investing for your future

Pinay Investor-with-Chinkee Tan
With Mr. Chinkee Tan, radio host, wealth coach and best-selling author of “Till Debt Do Us Part”

The second speaker was Mr. Chinkee Tan, a radio host, wealth coach and best-selling author of “Till Debt Do Us Part”. His topic was: Breaking the Entrepreneurship Mindset.

Some of us think that the rich people became rich because they have a lot of money. But according to Sir Chinkee Tan, money does not create money. It’s the ideas that create money.

“If you have a burning idea as an investor or entrepreneur, never allow the lack of money to stop you from working on that idea and making it big.” (not his exact words but it was something like that)

3 reasons why people fail are the lack of knowledge, fear, and greed. That’s why he suggests,

  • Only invest in what you understand
  • Don’t use your feelings / emotions in investing
  • Never invest out of greed (because greedy people get burned)

How to invest successfully?

  1. Invest WISELY – Knowledge is power, as well as investment.
  2. Invest CONSISTENTLY – It takes time to achieve financial freedom.
  3. Invest PATIENTLY – Patience is truly a virtue in successful investing.
  4. Invest CAUTIOUSLY – One rule of investing to live by: Always have a backup plan.

In investing, hope for the best, but expect for the worst as well, because anything can happen. Don’t invest all your hard-earned money. Only invest what you can afford to lose.

iCon 2015 Program Flow

This is the official copy of #iCon2015’s program flow with the complete list of speakers and their topics. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take additional notes from the other speakers because I was busy promoting our workshops and accommodating inquiries. But I sure did learn a lot from all of the speakers.  

This year’s Investment Conference was indeed a big success — power-pack, informative, insightful, and empowering! Congratulations to Sir Randell Tiongson and his team! I can’t wait to attend next year’s iCon! 🙂

Sharing some of my photos at the event…

It was my second time to listen to Mr. Francis Kong in an event like this and I always get inspired by his wisdom and public speaking skills. 

Mr. Francis Kong: My wife is my great TREASURE…

Audience: Ohhh, so sweet.

Mr. Francis Kong: and my great TREASURER as well.

Audience: clapped and laughed out loud 🙂

Investing is not all about building wealth. According to Mr. Kong, we should also invest in other things like:

1. Investing in yourself – attend trainings/seminars/courses that will add value to you.

2. Investing in good friends – they are the people who can bring out the best or worst in you.
3. Investing in culture and adventure – experience is always the best teacher.
4. Investing in your family at all times – they are the reason you are striving to be the best.
5. Investing in spirituality – remember, everything that we have comes from God. We should give thy glory and honor to Him who make things possible. 

(Courtesy of

I first met Sir Efren Llamas Cruz at the #FFF2015 event and we had a photo together but he had already left the venue when I realized that our photo was blurred. So when I saw him at the #iCon2015 event, I made sure that we’ll have a photo taken together and this time it was clearer. Yay! 🙂 

Sir Efren talked about Managing Investment Risks and he emphasized the importance of diversifiying our investment. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Meaning, we should put our funds in savings, mutual funds, stocks/equities, among other options. 

I also had the chance to have a small talk with Jess Uy after his talk on Global Investing, where he stressed out the importance of thinking global. He said that it’s good to invest in the Philippines because of its high investment grade, but we should also consider other investment opportunities outside the country. He also mentioned that in Singapore and some other countries, we can buy insurance 3 times cheaper than its price in the Philippines for the same or even higher value. Hmm, that sounds interesting!:) I also commended him for his amazing video presentation during his talk. It was nicely done. Very unique and powerful. 

And of course my favorite speaker, Marvin Germo! 🙂 He never fails to amaze his audience by his wit and humor, and his ever-sweet jokes about his being a loving and understanding husband to his lovely wife, Yvonne, who was sitting right beside me during the event because we were on the same table. 🙂 

Carl Dy, a propery investor and the President of Spectrum Investments, was also at the event, together with Ms. Christine Foong-Wong, the founder of Rhemaworks in Singapore to introduce and invite people to their “Spectrum Education.” Ms. Wong answered the question of “what is stopping us unconsciously from having it all in our life?”, where she shared a little bit about herself and experiences before she founded Rhemaworks.

Lianne Martha Laroya, commonly known as the Young Pinoy Millionaire and the founder of, was also at the event to promote her book. I’ve seen Lianne a couple of times in some of the seminars that I’ve attended and we’ve exchanged emails too, but we never had a photo together. So when I saw her at the iCon2015, I made sure that I won’t leave the event without taking a photo with her. We had our photo together finally! (medyo blurred nga lang hehe).

I also saw one of my good friends in college and my co-varsity player of Arnis :), Vanezza Bayaton-Obispo, who now works for MoneySense

I’ve heard a lot about Marvin’s wife during his workshops (which I organized), and I was pleased to finally meet her in person. Such a wonderful and approachable lady. It was nice meeting you, Mrs. Stock Smarts, Yvonne Goh-Germo! 🙂 And it was also nice to see Rhizza Diaz again, whom I first met at the FFF2015 event. Thanks for taking most of my photos with the experts! 🙂

With-Yvonne Goh Germo-and-Rhizza Diaz
With Yvonne Germo and Rhizza

What I Learned from the Financial Fitness Forum 2015

It was a privilege to attend the Financial Fitness Forum 2015 yesterday where most of my “idols” in the personal finance field were present. I was asked to attend the event to co-promote the upcoming Stock Smarts Workshops by Marvin Germo (in partnership with Manila Workshops) and to make the registration available to those who are interested to enrol for the April 2015 run.

For those who are not familiar, this Financial Fitness Forum is a one-day personal finance event that features the luminaries of the Registered Financial Planner Institute of the Philippines. It was headed by Mr. Henry Ong, also known as the “Father of RFPI Philippines”, who was visible the whole time, making sure that everything was going smoothly. And it went well indeed! Everything was organized and the speakers committed to the time allotted for their talks. As a result, the event finished on time.

Financial Fitness Forum 2015


This was my first time to attend the Financial Fitness Forum and I could say that they had a perfect line-up of speakers this year.

  1. Efren Cruz “Where does all my money go?”

A lot of people look up to him, including myself, because of his expertise in terms of money management and personal finance. Not only did he share different Money Tips during his talk, but he also shared his talent in singing and playing guitar.

I got the chance to take a photo with him and I wished it was clearer but he had already left the venue when I saw that our photo was blurred so I didn’t get the chance to have another shot. Next time!

Pinay Investor-with-Mr. Efren Ll. Cruz-at-the-Financial-Fitness-Forum-2015
With Mr. Efren Ll. Cruz at the Financial Fitness Forum 2015
  1. Edric Mendoza “How to create your own education plan”

The main host of ANC on the Money discussed the importance of planning for children’s education. He and his wife homeschool their five children and he shared how much they’re able to save (financially) by not having to send their children to exclusive and expensive schools and how fulfilling it is to share quality learning time together at their own home.

His son, Elijah, also spoke at the event, and he shared his experiences as a homeschooled son. He is truly a smart boy!

Edric shared DIY Tips which stand for:

D – Do your research.

I – (I’m sorry I forgot the I :). Can somebody please post a comment below and tell me what the “I” stands for? Thanks! 🙂 )

Y – Y? (As in Why? Or finding and knowing the real purpose of why you’re doing what you’re doing…)

  1. Aya Laraya “The Mirage of Long Term Investing”

Aya emphasized the importance of setting and defining goals in investing. That there should not be such thing as short term or long term investing because at any point we could be both. I don’t know if I got it correctly, but I think what he was trying to say was that we should be flexible when the need to shift from short term to long term or vice versa calls for us.

  1. Marvin Germo “Winning Strategies for Investing in Stock Market”

I’ve been working with Marvin for some of his seminars and I’ve heard him talk a lot of times already about the same topic but I always learn something new from him when he talks. He truly is a rock star in stock market investing.

One that I got from him during this event was that, no one knows what’s going to happen in the stock market, not even experts. But with proper strategies, there is a big chance that you will be a successful trader or investor. And that’s exactly what he teaches, the winning strategies for investing in the stock market.

  1. Randell Tiongson RFP Video Presentation / Announcements

Randell was also the Co-host on this event. He shared a little bit about his experiences as a personal finance expert and an advocate of financial literacy.  He showed the RFP Video Presentation and what RFP is all about, plus some announcements.  

I also got the chance to take a photo with him and Marvin, and I was surprised when he said that he thinks he knows me or that I looked familiar. Maybe he’s seen me on my blog. 🙂

Pinay Investor-with-Randell Tiongson-at-the-Financial-Fitness-Forum-2015
With Randell Tiongson at the Financial Fitness Forum 2015
  1. Christopher Cervantes “How to build your wealth towards financial independence”

Most of the speakers in this event have talked in the seminars that I have previously attended except for Christopher Cervantes, who is a Seafarer and also a Registered Financial Planner. I’ve heard a lot about him before, but it was my first time to see him talk in an event like this. Just like most OFWs, he too experienced how much money he spent on pasalubong when he’s about to come home for vacation. When he found the opportunity to learn financial management, his perception about money changed along with his financial status, and also giving him the chance to share what he knows about investing with his fellow seafarers.

  1. Salve Duplito How to Master the Art of Managing your Finances”

It was my second time to hear about Salve’s humble beginnings. Just like the first time I heard about it, I was again moved by her story. She was born to a poor family but she never felt poor because of the love and support of her family. She was motivated to do her best and be the best that she can be because she believed that it’s not her status that will define her as a person but who she is and what she does best.

This is not exactly what she said but it was something like this.

“Don’t let your status define who you are, strive for the best and let it define the real you and not what others say about you.”  

  1. Jeff Gonzales “How to Create your own Mutual Fund”

I regret that I missed this talk. I had to go out of the Convention Hall to charge my laptop and when I came back, he was already wrapping up his talk.

Based on how I understand the title of this topic, creating our own mutual fund is like diversifying our investments or assets. It’s always safer not to put all our eggs in one basket…

  1. Fitz Villafuerte “How to Invest Effectively to Achieve your Financial Goals”

Fitz is one of most influential bloggers in the country. No wonder he has a lot of followers because he never gets tired of sharing and inspiring others to invest effectively to achieve financial goals.

When we had our first project together in February of this year, I wasn’t surprised that we got a lot of sign-ups because Fitz was the speaker and he totally is an expert in personal finance.  

Pinay Investor-with-Fitz Villafuerte-and-Ginger Arboleda-at-the-Financial-Fitness-Forum-2015
With Fitz Villafuerte and Ginger Arboleda at the Financial Fitness Forum 2015
  1. Lianne Laroya “9-secret sweldo tips to become Millionaire”

I’ve seen Lianne a couple of times already and we exchange emails sometimes but we haven’t gotten the chance to talk in person yet. Not even a photo together! 🙂 She sent me a copy of her book and her stories are really inspiring.

She’s only twenty-three and it’s great to listen to someone like her, whose advocacy is to spread financial literacy especially among people at her age or the “twenty-somethings”.

  1. Kendrick Chua “Think Intsik: Money Habits of the Chinese”

Kendrick shared his grandparent’s humble beginnings and how his mom strived to build wealth to send them to exclusive schools and have a good life. He also explained the difference between being “kuripot” and being frugal, and why being frugal makes a lot of the Chinese people rich. Defining your priorities, knowing the difference between wants and needs, delayed gratification, and hard work are just some of the tips he shared to be able to achieve wealth and be financially independent.

Panel Discussion: “Do you really need a financial planner?”

Jesi Bondoc, Edwin Suson

During the panel discussion, the panellists shared a little bit about their background and their take on the importance of having or consulting a financial planner. Most, if not all of them, agreed that it’s really a must to consult a financial planner and it doesn’t matter whether we have lots of money or we only have limited funds. Financial planning is for everyone. Many people aspire to have a comfortable financial life, but they never take the effort to plan for their finances early on.

I’m glad that more and more people are taking the RFP Program because that would mean that more and more people will benefit from it. I was invited to attend the Introduction of the RFP Program late last year and I was really interested to take it, but there were conflicts in schedule. I’m hoping that I’d be able to take the program soon.  

Financial Fitness Forum 2015 at SMX Aura
Financial Fitness Forum 2015 at SMX Aura, Taguig

Rienzie Biolena: Closing Remarks

I didn’t get the chance to listen to Rienzie’s closing remarks because I had to accommodate inquiries and registration for the Stock Smarts workshops, but I did a little bit of research about him. Just like the other speakers, he is also an advocate of financial literacy and he writes about financial planning and other related topics on Rappler and Moneysense. He also guested on ANC On the Money before, where he stressed the importance of investing in one’s self by attending seminars and conferences, reading personal finance books, searching the web, and watching personal finance programs to increase our knowledge and capability to earn and expand our resources, and to be able to manage our assets properly.

#FFF2015 - Financial Fitness Forum 2015
#FFF2015 – Financial Fitness Forum 2015

It was a long day for me but it’s all worth it because I learned so much from all of them. I’m looking forward to attend the next Financial Fitness Forum in 2016.

How about you? Were you able to attend the #FFF2015? How was your experience and what did you learn from the speakers? I hope to hear your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

Disclaimer: The contents are only based on my own interpretation of what I heard from the forum and the speakers and not necessarily their exact words. Feel free to contact me if there’s a need to modify anything from the content. 

Credits: RFPI Philippines, Financial Fitness Forum 2015

Gov't Services SSS

For SSS Pension Plan: Should I pay the Maximum or the Minimum SSS Contribution?

My brother is an OFW in Saudi Arabia and he pays his maximum SSS contribution quarterly. I was surprised when he sent me a private message on Facebook and asked me if he should continue paying the maximum SSS contribution. When I asked why, he gave me the link to this video from ANC On the Money and he added that he thinks it’s unfair to pay for the maximum amount when what he’s going to receive for his pension is the same as the other members who pay less.

I got confused with what he said so I watched the video first.

ANC On the Money Video: When to Pay the Maximum SSS Contribution

Salve Duplito, ANC On the Money’s resident financial adviser, shared a question that one of their viewers asked regarding this topic. The viewer, named Noel, is currently paying the maximum amount of his SSS contribution voluntarily and he asked if it’s better to pay the minimum amount instead, since the SSS pension plan is computed based on 60 consecutive months or 5 years before retirement. He explained his point of argument using the examples below based on how he understood the process.

Paying the Maximum and the Minimum Amount for SSS Contribution (Courtesy of ANC On the Money)

Before we discuss this further, let me share with you these resources from ANC On the Money and SSS Philippines website, to know how to compute for SSS Monthly Pension benefit.

ANC On the Money Video: Computation for SSS Monthly Pension Benefit  

Courtesy of ANC On the Money - Computation for SSS Pension Benefit
Courtesy of ANC On the Money – Computation for SSS Pension Benefit

Computation for Monthly Pension, courtesy of the SSS of the Philippines. (Click the link for the complete details.)

Monthly Pension

  • Benefit Computation

The monthly pension depends on the member’s paid contributions,  his credited years of service (CYS), and the number of his dependent minor children that must not exceed five. The monthly pension will be the highest amount resulting from either one of these three pension formulae:

  1. the sum of P300 plus 20 percent of the average monthly salary credit plus two percent of the average monthly salary credit for each credited year of service (CYS) in excess of ten years; or
  2. forty (40) percent of the average monthly salary credit; or
  3. P1,200, if the CYS is at least 10 but less than 20; or P2,400, if the CYS is 20 or more. 

Don’t be confused with the computation for the SSS pension plan because it’s different from the computation of the other SSS benefits such as Calamity, Maternity, and Sickness because the latter is based from the actual or most recent contributions.

Going back, here is Salve’s take on the viewer’s question of whether he should pay the maximum contribution or less?

Salve says, “the Social Security System doesn’t allow massive jumps in the contribution rate. The increase has to happen gradually. Thus, you can only increase your contribution a couple of hundreds per year”.

From the example above, it only means that Kevin is NOT ALLOWED to increase his contribution from the minimum amount of P110 to the maximum amount of P1,760 within a given year. Again, the increase has to happen gradually.

SSS Contribution Table as of March 2015
SSS Contribution Table as of March 2015

Looking at the contribution table above, if Kevin is self-employed or a voluntary member, he can only increase his MSC (Monthly Salary Credit) only once in a given calendar year and by one salary bracket only from the last posted MSC, with some exemptions, which I will share in the next post. So if he is currently paying P110 per month for his SSS contribution, he can only increase it to P165 the next year.

CONCLUSION: For Kevin to be able to pay the highest contribution by age 55 (60 months or 5 years before he retires at 60), he should have increased his contributions gradually starting from age 26.

It is still better to pay the maximum amount of SSS contribution if you can afford it to be able to get the maximum benefits, not only for your Retirement or Pension plan, but also for the other benefits provided by SSS including sickness, maternity, death, and disability.

But let’s not also forget that SSS is not the only option to secure ourselves and our future. We can also consider other instruments like health insurance, life insurance, and Variable Life Insurace (VUL) that offer both health or death benefit and an investment feature. If you are more of an aggressive type of investor, you can also invest in other investment vehicles like the stock market or mutual funds for your future needs.  Like what Salve Duplito said, “It is never a good idea to depend on the Social Security System solely for you retirement. As long as the maximum allowable contributions stay low, the benefits they will provide will continue to be insufficient.”

On my next post, I will share with you a very detailed explanation about this topic that was sent by the Social Security System of the Philippines, exclusively for Pinay Investor and to all the readers of this website. Click HERE to read that post.

Sources: Security System of the Philippines, Salve Duplito, ANC on the Money,,  and the viewer who raised the question

Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with the Social Security System of the Philippines. Some of  the information here are only based from my own opinion and on how I understood it. If you need a more accurate information of your SSS membership and contributions, please contact SSS directly.

Read Next: Step-by-Step Guide for SSS Loan Application, Requirements, and Payment

Random Updates Seminars

My Experience working with Marvin Germo and attending his Stock Smarts Workshop Series

My first project with Manila Workshops as an Event Director was a success and I’m proud of it! 🙂

I’ve never seen Marvin Germo before, but I have been hearing a lot of good things about him, especially when it comes to stock market investing. When I learned from Ginger, the General Manager of Manila Workshops, that I’ll be working with Marvin for his Stock Smarts Workshop Series, my heart jumped in excitement because I will finally see him in person. I only knew him as the “Stock Smart”, but I later found out that he’s also a rock star! 🙂

Pinay Investor welcoming the attendees of the Stock Smarts Workshops and introducing the Speaker, Marvin Germo (who took this photo! 🙂

After coordinating with him for a couple of days through texts, calls, and emails, I finally got to see him personally on the first session of the workshop series. He came into the venue/room wearing sunglasses and when he took it off, I was starstruck! I just saw one of my idols in finance! Haha! 🙂

Because I was at the event, I also got the chance to listen to Marvin as he was discussing the different topics of the Stock Smarts Workshop Series.  And I could say that he is indeed a Stock Smart. He knows his craft very well and he’s able to deliver it to the audience without boring them. I’ve attended a lot of seminars before, but this was the most intensive and comprehensive stock market workshop that I’ve experienced so far. His approach is very light and cool. I’m not saying this because we work together, but because that’s what I experienced. In fact, I’ve been investing in the stock market for almost a year now and I’ve only discovered some of the very useful techniques and strategies in the stock market from his workshops. Now I understand why most of the attendees didn’t mind paying a ‘lot of money’ to attend the workshops because they got what they paid for and it’s totally worth it.

We got the chance to talk after he finished the two workshops on the first day. He was very friendly and accommodating. He shared a little bit about himself and what he does and I’m impressed with his passion, hard work, and dedication to help Filipinos achieve financial freedom by investing in the stock market.

And it was so nice of him to give me a copy of his new book plus a dedication when I half-jokingly asked for it. And of course, knowing myself, I won’t let the day pass without having a photo taken with him. 🙂

Pinay Investor with Marvin Germo at the Stock Smarts Workshops

The Stock Smarts Workshop Series is composed of four modules, namely, Stock Smarts Basics, How to Find the Perfect Timing in Buying and Selling Stocks, Technical Analysis, and Fundamental Analysis. It’s a full course (but you can attend any module), that’s intended to teach the ins and outs of the stock market from the basic essentials to the most complex topics like technical analysis using chart patterns and oscillators and other tools. And Marvin’s role here is to simplify everything to make it easier for the investors to know how the stock market works without bombarding them with a lot of information.

Below are some of our pictures during the workshops.

Stock Smarts Basics and Perfect Timing by Marvin Germo, January 31, 2015
Stock Smarts Technical Analysis by Marvin Germo, February 12, 2015
Stock Smarts Fundamental Analysis by Marvin Germo, February 26, 2015

After the success of the first run of the Stock Smarts Workshop Series this year, we will be having a re-run this April 2015. Yes, so please reserve all your Monday evenings this April if you want to attend this series and learn how to the invest in the stock market, the Stock Smart’s way!

  • Stock Smarts Basics
    April 6, 2015 (Monday)
    6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Perfect Timing
    April 13, 2015 (Monday)
    6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Technical Analysis
    April 20, 2015 (Monday)
    6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Fundamental Analysis
    April 27, 2015 (Monday)
    6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

For registration or for more info, please visit this LINK, or feel free to contact me! 🙂

I’d also love to hear your thoughts about investing in the stock market or maybe you’ve already attended one of Marvin Germo’s workshops before, so feel free to share it with us here!

Banks BPI

How I applied for my BPI Checking Account

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Applying for a checking account had never been my priority until I got the need to have one because it’s the only way that I could pay for a certain transaction. So I went to BDO, which is the nearest bank from our house, and asked about the requirements. I thought it was easy to apply and get approved because I have a savings account with them and my current balance is more than the required amount. However, I wasn’t  approved to apply for a checking account because my MADB (Monthly Average Daily Balance) for 6 consecutive months was a hundred shy from the requirement which is P10,000.

So I moved on to the next bank, BPI, where I also have an account with and asked for the requirements. I found out that they’re not as strict as BDO when it comes to the MADB requirement. In fact, they don’t even require to have an existing savings account to apply for a checking account, though it’s much better to have one.

The requirements were 2 valid IDs, 1 1×1 photo, and a proof of billing. The only valid ID that I have under my married name is my Postal ID but I also have a certified copy of our marriage certificate. But since they required 2 valid IDs, I had no choice but to apply for a checking account under my maiden name.

I filled out the application form, gave P10, 000 for the initial deposit and P175 for the checkbook, and submitted the requirements to the BPI personnel. After a few minutes of waiting, I got my first checkbook!

Before, I thought having a checkbook was only for the rich. Yeah, seriously, I thought it’s only for those who have millions in the bank! 🙂 I remember, in some of the teleseryes that I’ve seen before, the kontrabida or the matapobre character issues the check and  the bida would refuse to accept it or even tear it off in front of her/him. And now that I have my own checkbook, I feel like I am the “kontrabida”. Haha funny!


There are several advantages of having a checking account. It allows us to pay our bills and other transactions that require a check as mode of payment. It’s safer to carry around checks than large sums of cash. If well maintained, a checking account can be an asset to establish a good credit rating, which is important if we’re considering  to apply for a loan or a big purchase like a house or a car.

With all the advantages that a checking account offers, there’s one thing that we should never ever think of doing, and that is, to issue a check with insufficient funds. Why? Because you will be penalized or worse, you will be sent to jail. I don’t know if this is updated but you may want to take a look at this post or better yet, ask a lawyer or the bank personnel. I’m sure they’ll explain to you the terms and conditions in details.

How about you? Do you have a Checking Account? Where do you use it for and how do you maintain your good credit rating with your checking account?

Gov't Services SSS

Tips on How to Successfully Register for SSS Online Account

CLICK HERE TO READ: 2018 Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Register your SSS Account Online

I was overwhelmed with the unexpected number of comments and private emails that I received on my post about  How to Register or Sign-up for SSS ONLINE Membership Account.

Most if not all of us want to register online to be able to access our SSS account without having to go the branch personally. However, there are some challenges/issues that we might encounter during the process so I wrote this post to somehow help address these issues by doing it myself and sharing some possible workarounds based from my experience. 

And since SSS updated the looks of their website and the post that I’ve previously written was based from the old one, I decided to register again (using my MIL’s account) and took screenshots so that I could share it to those who need it. And hopefully it helps.  So here we go..

1. Go to

If this is your first time to register, Hit “Click here”


2. Fill out this form with the required information, enter the code at the bottom, and hit Submit.


 3. Once you hit Submit, this small box will appear and just hit OK to continue.

This is where most online applicants/registrants (including myself) encountered issues and got stuck.

If you’re using Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla or any other browser except IE when you accessed the website, then that may be the culprit.

So here’s the TIP: Open Internet Explorer (IE), do steps 1 and 2, and hopefully this solves the issue. The cause? Well, not sure  but SSS recommends using IE because that’s where this website works best. 


4. Enter an email address that has never been used/registered on this website. 

This is another issue that some registrants had encountered (including myself again). 

Like I said earlier, for the sake of creating this post and taking screenshots of the procedures, I tried to register using my MIL’s SSS account. And because she doesn’t have an email address, I tried to use mine and this error message in red was what I got. So again, here’s the TIP: use a different email address or better yet, sign up for a new one if you continue to receive this error message.


5. As soon as the email address that you entered is accepted, you’ll see this confirmation and just follow what it says. 


6. Check your email and click on the link that was sent by to proceed with your registration.


7. Fill out all the required information for the Online Member User ID Registration. Follow the instructions/notes carefully and hit Submit.

Your registration application will then be validated by SSS and you will be informed of the validation results through your email. It took me an hour the last time I tried it. I just can’t proceed with this application because my MIL is a voluntary member who has not paid her contributions in years and has no available receipts of her previous payments which is required here. 


 8. Once you receive the confirmation in your email, you may now login to your SSS online account and start viewing your contributions, loans, etc. Feel free to explore the different features on the website.

CLICK HERE TO READ: 2018 Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Register your SSS Account Online

Good luck and I hope you’ll all be able to register successfully. 

Just a disclaimer, I’m in no way affiliated with SSS. This post is for informational purposes only. Should you have other concerns regarding your SSS membership, please contact SSS directly. 

Other than that, feel free to post your comments, suggestions, or questions below. 

Check out my video tutorial on How to Register your SSS Account Online!

Check out my video tutorial on How to Check SSS Contributions Online in less than 5 minutes!

CLICK HERE TO READ: 2018 Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Register your SSS Account Online

Random Updates

Happy New Year!

It’s the last day of the year and while most of us are preparing for media noche, I took a quick look at my humble portfolio in the stock market through my online broker.

I chose to park a portion of my investment in the stock market instead of participating actively in trading because of other priorities. And looking at the status of my portfolio, I’m happy that it’s showing a positive (up) trend after seeing some of my stocks broke support levels in the past few weeks just like how the stock market dropped consecutively. And I’m hoping that it fully recovers and continues to move even higher in 2015.

And because I didn’t want to welcome the New Year with debts and payables, I paid my credit card balance in full. I also paid all our other bills that are due next week including PLDT, Sky Cable, and my Sun mobile postpaid plan. Thanks to online payment facilities for making this easier and convenient for us.  No need to go out of the house and wait in long queues at the bank and no need to worry about not being able to pay when the banks are closed on holidays because online banking is available 24/7.

Meanwhile, aside from the gifts (mostly toys and clothes) that our little girl received from her baptism in January and first birthday in October to Christmas of this year, she also received some monetary gifts which I’m planning to use to open an account either in stocks or mutual fund mainly for her education and other future needs. It’s not much but good enough to get started.

Eight hours to go and it’s hello 2015! My family is now busy preparing for the meals that we’re going to share tonight for our media noche. Whatever we have on our table for the New Year and whoever we celebrate it with, let’s all be grateful for all the things that happened in 2014 and lets welcome 2015 with love, faith and hope that we may all find happiness and greatness in everything we do, all for the Glory of God.

Happy New Year to all of us! 🙂

Random Updates Seminars

I’m now officially part of Manila Workshops! :)

After resigning from my 7-year employment with a BPO company last May 2014, I spent most of my time learning new skills and adding value to myself by attending seminars and workshops.

I like attending seminars because it offers a more interactive learning experience plus I get to meet the speakers and other participants in person. It also gives me a good idea on what topics to write and share to my readers which gives me that sense of value and fulfillment.

Below are some of the significant seminars and events that I’ve attended.

  • Cashflow 101 by Robert Kiyosaki
  • Financial Management
  • Stock Market and ForEx
  • Technical and Fundamental Analysis in Investing
  • Philippine Retail Investment Conference
  • FLEX and ALC Leadership Seminars
  • Strategic Communication
  • WAHM 101 with Mastermind Sessions
  • Love the Leap Program

Most of them are related to Personal Finance and some are about Personal Development and Entrepreneurship because admittedly, those are the topics that I’m most passionate about. Aside from the valuable learning experiences that I get from attending seminars, it also serves as my guide to achieving my personal and financial goals.

As an advocate of financial literacy and a believer of continuing education, I am very excited to announce that I’m already a part of Manila Workshops (under GPA Events Management Services), which is owned and managed by my mentor (of the Love the Leap Program) and mompreneur, Ginger Palma-Arboleda.

As an Event/Workshop Director, I will be handling different workshops series about Personal Finance and Investments. And I’m privileged (and thrilled) that I’ll be working with two of the most popular and award-winning Personal Finance Experts in the Philippines, Fitz Villafuerte of Ready To Be Rich and Marvin Germo of Stock Smarts.

Please watch out for my posts about our upcoming Workshop Series! 🙂

Business Seminars

PhilSME Business Conference/Expo 2014

I went to the PhilSME Business Expo at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on November 21, 2014. This is a 3-day event but I was only able to go there on the first day which was on Friday because I had other commitments on the weekend.

The Philippine Small and Medium Enterprise Expo 2014, now on its 2nd year, is dedicated to “Boost Your Business” and to serve as a gateway for the ASEAN small and medium enterprises to build new relationships, network and do business amongst SMEs and its supporters. With over 200 exhibiting companies from 18 business sectors, and 20,000 expected visitors, PhilSME 2014 is the largest gathering of small and medium-sized businesses in the Philippines. (Source)

I was very interested to attend the Business Conference that’s why I made sure that I was available especially on the first day of this event and thankfully I was.

I went there with my mom for the afternoon talks that was supposed to start at 1:00PM but it was delayed for almost an hour and thus the program was also finished late at around 8PM. I regret though that I missed the talk of the keynote speaker, Senator Loren Legarda, which happened in the morning. 

Here are the speakers with their topics and some of the things I learned from their talks…

Learn what every entrepreneur should know in the upcoming economic integration and discover various strategies on how to be an entrepreneur champion. 

Speaker: Paulo Tibig, Motivational Speaker, Best-Selling Author, President and CEO of VCargo Worldwide

Paulo Tibig, Motivational Speaker, Best-Selling Author, President and CEO of VCargo Worldwide
Paulo Tibig, Motivational Speaker, Best-Selling Author, President and CEO of VCargo Worldwide

Explore The benefits of online retailing, uncovering methods to deliver seamless shopping experience to your customers. 

Speaker: Arianne Kader, Marketplace Director of Zalora Philippines 

Arianne Kader, Marketplace Director of Zalora Philippines

Learn inspiring stories of people who made it big while having a heart for the community. 
Speakers: Brian Tenorio, Founder of KKK Coffe 
                Terri Jayme-Mora, Country Manager of Ashoka Philippines

Brian Tenorio, Founder of KKK Coffee
Terri Jayme-Mora, Country Manager of Ashoka Philippines

Learn the latest in innovation and technology that will definitely transform what’s inside your mind into a venture worth millions. 
Speakers: Shawn Sy, from SEO Hacker

    Christian Besler, VP and Head of Community Engagement Kickstart Ventures 
    Earl Valencia, Founder of IdeaSpace Foundation 
    Ria Lu, President/CEO of Komikasi Games and Entertainment 

Shawn Sy, from SEO Hacker
Christian Besler, VP and Head of Community Engagement Kickstart Ventures
Earl Valencia, Founder of IdeaSpace Foundation
Earl Valencia, Founder of IdeaSpace Foundation
Ria Lu, President/CEO of Komikasi Games and Entertainment
Ria Lu, President/CEO of Komikasi Games and Entertainment

Discover the hottest and effective marketing and sales methods that will make your business go global. 
Speakers: Yayu Javier President and COO of Avanza Inc. 
    Arlene Padua, CPM President and Managing Director of Post 10 Worldwide Firm 
    Justin Gatmaitan, Blue Diamond Executive of NUSkin Philippines 

    Robert Tan, PTV Channel (the only channel run by the government)

    Lars Wittig, Regus Philippines

Yayu Javier, President and COO of Avanza Inc.
Yayu Javier, President and COO of Avanza Inc.
Arlene Padua, CPM President and Managing Director of Post 10 Worldwide Firm
Arlene Padua, CPM President and Managing Director of Post 10 Worldwide Firm
Justin Gatmaitan, Blue Diamond Executive of NUSkin Philippines
Justin Gatmaitan, Blue Diamond Executive of NUSkin Philippines
Robert Tan, from PTV Channel (the only channel run by the government)
Robert Tan, from PTV Channel (the only channel run by the government)
Lars Wittig, Regus Philippines
Lars Wittig, Regus Philippines

Discover success stories of food enthusiasts, sharing their gastronomical experiences and tips on how to run your own food business. 
Speakers: Rudolf Kotik, CEO and Founder of RK Franchise Consultancy 
               Kian Kazemi, Restaurant Owner of Persia Grille 

Rudolf Kotik, CEO and Founder of RK Franchise Consultancy
Rudolf Kotik, CEO and Founder of RK Franchise Consultancy
Kian Kazemi, Restaurant Owner of Persia Grille
Kian Kazemi, Restaurant Owner of Persia Grille

Learn the financial do’s and don’ts when starting your own business.  
Speaker: Navin Uttamchandani, Chief Operating Officer of Esquire Financing Inc. 

Navin Uttamchandani, Chief Operating Officer of Esquire Financing Inc.
Navin Uttamchandani, Chief Operating Officer of Esquire Financing Inc.


Quality Matters: Enhancing Philippine SMEs Competitiveness in the Global Arena
Speaker: Edgardo S. Juan, President of PhilMSTQ Inc. 

Edgardo S. Juan, President of PhilMSTQ Inc.
Edgardo S. Juan, President of PhilMSTQ Inc.

Solutions to go Global
Speaker: from FedEx

He's from FedEx (sorry, i didn't get his name)
He’s from FedEx (sorry, i didn’t get his name)


The Master of Ceremonies/Host was the journalist/reporter, Ms. Michelle Orosa-Ople.

My KEY TAKEAWAYS from this conference:

  1. Innovate and not Evaporate (Paulo Tibig)
  • Because competitions innovate, you must innovate!
  • Market Research
  • New technologies in production
  1. Co-lab, Co-op not compete (Paulo Tibig)
  • Collaborate
  • Cooperate
  • Not compete
  1. Change your mindset (TAKOT) (Paulo Tibig)
  • Explore, Grown, & Get BIG
  • Status Quo – Change
  • Think Small – to BIG
  1. Business entrepreneurs solve business problems. Social entrepreneurs solve social problems. (Terri Jayme-Mora)
  2. Business is all about “branding the experience”. (Brian Tenorio)
  3. Even the greatest fool can make money, but only the smarter ones can make it more. (Navin Uttamchandani)

The speakers of this conference were really well-prepared and they certainly know what they’re talking about. All of them shared their topics based on their experiences, their failures and successes in their businesses, and how they’re going to make it big or even bigger in their respective sectors. But one thing is common, they all have the passion to what they’re doing and they have that willingness to inspire others to do better and attain success on whatever venture/endeavor they may take.

The 2nd and 3rd day of the PhilSME Business Expo also had a great set of speakers and panelists. One of them was Ms. Ginger Palma-Arboleda of Manila Workshops, who talked about “Start-Up Tips and Tricks for Young Entrepreneurs.” I personally met her in some of the events that I’ve attended before and I could say that her business ideas are really inspiring and I really admire her wit and humility.

I hadn’t much time to go over the exhibitors during the event because I was more interested with the conference talks but I was able to check some of them. Most of them were offering Franchise businesses. I also want to have my own business and that’s one of the reasons why I attended the event, but my focus right now is to come up with a good business idea and make it a reality eventually.

Thank you PhilSME for another great learning experience!