Categories
Seminars Stock Market

Stock Smarts Workshops: How to Invest in Stock Market

My first assignment as an Event Director of Manila Workshops was the Stock Smarts Series, in partnership with Marvin Germo. It started in January of this year and we already had four runs as of this month.

We had 4 modules during the first run, which include:

  • Basics of Stock Market
  • Intro to Technical Analysis
  • Advanced Technical Analysis
  • Fundamental Analysis

It was held at the Berjaya Hotel in Makati City, where we had a total of 41 participants for this series.

Stock-Smarts-January-2015

The same topics were tackled during the second run at Voffice, Fort Legend Tower, in Taguig City with a total of 25 attendees.

Stock-Smarts-April-2015

We tried a new set of modules for our third run this year and we called it the Comprehensive Technical Analysis Series, which include the following modules:

  • Basics and the Foundations of Technical Analysis
  • Market Trends, Volume Related Trading, Market Phases, and Moving Averages
  • Stock Market Trading Oscillators
  • Candlesticks, Comprehensive Chart Patterns, Fibonacci Analysis

It was held at the Freelancer Conference Hall, Ecotower, in Taguig City, where we had a total of 25 attendees. Majority enrolled for the entire course / series.

Stock-Smarts-July-2015

On our fourth run, we included two modules from the first run, Basics and Fundamental Analysis, and we added a new module, which is Portfolio Management. Surprisingly, this is the run where we had the most number of attendees, having a total of 45.

Stock-Smarts-September-2015

Our speaker, Marvin Germo, is a Registered Financial Planner and an author. His ability to simplify complicated investment concepts, making it easier to understand has made him one of the most sought after money speakers here and abroad. With his over seven years of experience in the Philippine financial industry, his energy and zeal to educate the Filipino people has transformed ordinary consumers into investors.

As an advocate of Financial Literacy, I’m happy and proud to be part of this project, where I get the chance to share to others the opportunity to learn more about financial education. Our economy and our country as a whole, has so much to offer, and we hope that through these workshops, we’d be able to help and encourage our kababayans to take part in its progress.

This October, we’re going to have our fifth run of Stock Smarts and it will be a rerun of the Comprehensive Technical Analysis series with the same modules.

Stock Smarts CTA October 2015 Poster

Whether you’re a complete newbie in the stock market or you’re already investing or trading, I personally invite you to this upcoming Stock Smarts series. Technical Analysis is one of the best tools to find the perfect timing in buying and selling stocks. Having the knowledge of Technical Analysis will help you trade or invest in the stock market with confidence.

Plus, in these workshops, participants will be given a chance to analyze stocks using the different techniques that Marvin will teach.

For more info and to register in these workshops, please visit Manila Workshops. You may also CONTACT ME directly or post your comments below.

See you there! 🙂

Categories
Banks BDO

BDO Online Banking: How to Enroll your Account and Pay your Bills Online

It’s sweldo day!

I know when it’s my sister’s pay day because she would send me multiple text  messages asking me to transfer her funds from her BDO Payroll Account to my BDO Personal Savings Account for me to pay her bills online. I already taught her how to do this several times, but she prefers to let her Ate do it for her.

Sometimes, I don’t want to do it for her because I want her to be more independent and responsible by doing simple tasks like paying her bills, but because she’s my little sister and I can hardly say no to her, I would often do it myself. And I don’t mind because it just usually takes a minute or two to pay her bills online with BDO Online Banking.

Want to know how I do it?

Sure! It’s very simple! 🙂 And I even created video tutorials to make it easier for you to understand the steps.

Before you can pay your bills online, you first need to do the following steps

1. Enroll your BDO Account in BDO Online Banking.

a)      Go to https://online.bdo.com.ph

b)      Click “Enroll Now!”

c)       Read the “Electronic Banking Terms and Conditions” and tick the box if you fully understood it, then hit Submit.

d)      Fill-out the Online Enrollment Form, making sure to put a check on the Internet Banking box *, and then click Submit.

e)      Take note of your ATM Activation Code in the acknowledgment page as you will use this to activate your Internet Banking account using your BDO ATM Debit Card

f)       Activate your account at any BDO ATM within 45 days* You can also enroll in Mobile and/or Phone Banking by putting a check mark in their respective boxes.

2. Enroll the Company / Biller in BDO Online Banking for Bills Payment.

a)      Go to https://online.bdo.com.ph

b)      Hover over Online Banking Login and Click BDO Online Banking

c)       Login with your username and password

d)      Enter your OTP (One-time Password) which you will receive through your registered mobile phone number; OR answer the Challenge Question.

e)      Click Enrollment Services > Company/Biller > Enroll.

f)       Fill-out the information needed then click Submit.

3. Pay your Bills Online with BDO Online Banking.

a)      Go to https://online.bdo.com.ph

b)      Hover over Online Banking Login and Click BDO Online Banking

c)       Login with your username and password

d)      Enter your OTP (One-time Password) which you will receive through your registered mobile phone number; OR answer the Challenge Question.

e)      Under Quick Links, click the Icon with the Peso sign; OR click the right arrow under Actions, which is located at the far right side of your Account Number, then click “Pay my Bills”

f)       Fill-out the information needed: Pay from, Pay this Company/Biller, Amount, and Remarks, then click Submit.

For Meralco Bills Payment, you also need to enter the following:

·         Subscriber Number (first 11 digits of the ATM Phone Ref Number on your Meralco Bill, located on the lower left portion),

·         Subscriber Name (the subscriber name on your Meralco Bill).

·         ATM Phone Ref. No. (the last 5 digits of the ATM Phone Ref. No. on your Meralco Bill).

g)      Under Payment Schedule, click Immediately (or you can also choose Later Date or Regular Schedule) , then click Submit.

Click HERE to read the next post on how to Enroll and Transfer Money or Funds to Third Party or Other Person’s Account.

Source: BDO Unibank Inc. (PH)

Categories
Gov't Services SSS

When and Where to Pay your SSS Contributions as Voluntary Members


I’m currently a voluntary member of SSS or the Philippine Social Security System, and I pay my contributions quarterly. Today is July 10 and it is the last day to pay my contributions for the last quarter which includes the months of April, May, and June 2015.

I went to SM, where I usually pay my SSS contribution through their Business Services, and it’s the nearest and most convenient payment center for me. I was lucky because I was accommodated immediately and I didn’t have to wait and line up in long queue like what I normally do.

Pay your SSS contribution at SM Business Services

In this post, I will share with you some information and tips on how and where to pay your SSS contributions as a Voluntary, Self-employed, or OFW member.

  1. How much should you pay for your SSS Contribution?

Your contribution is based on how much your compensation is. Below is the latest SSS Table of Contribution of 2015. The minimum contribution for SE (Self-Employed), VM (Voluntary Member), and OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) is Php 110 if your compensation ranges from Php 1,000 to Php 1,249; while the maximum is Php 1,760 if it ranges from Php 15,750 and higher.

SSS-Contribution-Table 2015

  1. When to Pay your SSS Contribution?

For Household Employers, Self-Employed, and Voluntary Members except OFW members, you can pay your contributions on or before the deadline. The payment deadline falls on the month following the applicable month or quarter.

SSS-Payment-Deadline

For example in my case, since I need to pay my contributions for the previous quarter including the months of April, May, and June, the payment deadline is in July. What specific date in July? Here’s the guideline.

  • If the 10th (last) digit of your Social Security Number ends in 1 or 2, the deadline is on the 10th day of the following month.
  • If the 10th (last) digit of your Social Security Number ends in 3 or 4, the deadline is on the 15th day of the following month.
  • If the 10th (last) digit of your Social Security Number ends in 5 or 6, the deadline is on the 20th day of the following month.
  • If the 10th (last) digit of your Social Security Number ends in 7 or 8, the deadline is on the 25th day of the following month.
  • If the 10th (last) digit of your Social Security Number ends in 9 or 0, the deadline is on the last day of the following month.

In my case, the last digit of my SS number is 1, and the deadline of my payment for the last quarter (April, May, June) is the 10th of the following month, and that’s today, July 10.

SSS payment deadline guide

Why is it important to know the payment deadline?

Because if you miss to pay on or before the deadline, you won’t be able to pay your contributions for the previous months. SSS does not accept retroactive payments. 




  1. Where to Pay SSS Contribution as a Voluntary Member?

There are several payment centers and options where you can pay your contributions.

SSS Payment Facilities

  • SSS Main Office – Cashiering Department
  • SSS Branch Tellering Counters
  • CIS Bayad Centers
  • SM Business Centers
  • SSS-accredited Commercial Banks

For Members Abroad

  • I-Remit
  • PNB Overseas Payment System
  • Ventaja
  1. How to check if your payment was accepted and posted online?
  • Go to sss.gov.ph (preferrably with Internet Explorer)
  • Log in to your SSS Online Account (If you don’t have it yet, you have to register first. Click HERE to know how).
  • At the E-Services Page, hover your mouse over Member Info, and under that, click Actual Premiums. (Click HERE to see my video on this).

I also created a video to guide you on how, when, and where to pay your SSS Contributions.




Read Next: How to Invest in SSS Flexi Fund

Categories
Helpful Tips Random Updates

Club Ultima Gift Certificate: Crown Regency Hotel Booking Issues




This is the second part of my Club Ultima experience. I suggest you click HERE first to read the first part.

Okay, so I finally got my gift certificate for a 3D2N stay in Crown Regency Hotel cared of Club Ultima. It was a good timing because I and my family were planning to go to Cebu that time for a short vacation, and I knew that there’s Crown Regency in the city.

In this post, I’ll share with your our email conversation with one of the staff from Club Ultima. I won’t disclose her name here, but if you want to know her, just post a comment below or fill out the contact form.

ME: (7/1/2014)

I went to Club Ultima / Crown Regency Westlife Bldg, West Ave, Quezon City branch last night. They gave me the gift cert for 3 days and 2 nights stay.

I would like to know how much would it cost if I book a reservation for Cebu Crown Regency Hotel and Towers on July 12-14, 2014. Attached is the scanned copy of the gift certificate.

CLUB ULTIMA: (7/2/2014)

If you will book using the gc attached, there’s a Php3,000 booking fee as stated at the gift certifcate. However, we don’t have available room on June 12-14, 2014 at Crown Regency Hotel & Towers.
Thank you.

ME: (7/2/2014)

I’m willing to pay for the booking fee of P3,000 just to avail this gift certificate. I don’t get the point of giving away these certificates if we cannot use it. When they invited us to their office to claim this gift, they never mentioned that there’s a booking fee. They said this 3D2N stay was absolutely FREE. I was surprised when they wrote in the cert that there’s still such fee. Why is that so? Because I did not sign up for the membership? That’s unfair. First of all, I did not ask for this gift. They called me several times and convinced me to claim this. And even with a busy schedule, I spared time just to go to their office and claim it.

When I got there, I listened to their presentation. I treated them well and with respect. I searched for this scheme on the internet before I headed over to their office. And I found so many negative posts, blogs, and comments about this. I don’t know if you’re aware of that… You should be because these will definitely affect your business.

 




But again, even if I already had an idea of what’s going to happen, I still allotted my time. I wanted to know and experience it first hand so I went there. I was hoping it will be different. I was hoping that all the negative comments about club ultima were all wrong. And I was hoping that I would be the first blogger/writer who would write positive posts/comments/reviews about Club Ultima and Crown Regency.

With all honesty, the presentation went well. The ‘officer’ who entertained me was nice and not ‘pushy’ unlike those from the other tables. I love traveling and I found the membership and benefits worthy. But I declined the offer because I wasn’t ready to pull out money from my account to pay that big amount for a luxurious getaway. Then they gave my gift cert and assured me that I will be able to use it. So I called and you asked me to send a copy of that cert with the booking dates. I did. Now I got our reply that the dates were fully booked.  That’s ridiculous! I searched on different travel websites, Agoda, Asiatravel, Expedia, and even your own crownregency.com site and tried to book the same dates and it’s not fully booked. I swear! Lots of available rooms.

Now I get to understand why so many people out there have negative thoughts about club ultima. Why do these telemarketers say it’s free when it’s not? Why give these certificates if the dates are always fully booked when we are about to use it?  Sorry that I am saying this to you. It’s not you personally, but your services. You have good hotels with good facilities and amenities. But if you continue doing such schemes, you’ll be losing a lot of clients and customers. This email is not intended to destruct your company but to give you a wake-up call of what other people are talking about on the internet regarding your services. It’s more of a constructive criticism, and not destructive at all.




 Click the link below if you want to learn more about what I’m talking about: Negative posts and comments about Club Ultima

Please don’t get me wrong here. I’m just sharing out my point. Now, having said all these, I would like to go back to my original query. Can I still possibly book my reservation for these dates? Or will you still tell me that it’s still fully booked? Thank you very much for reading. I hope you also forward this to your management.

Club Ultima Crown Regency Gift Certificate 2
Club Ultima Gift Certificate for 3D2N Stay at Crown Regency Hotel

CLUB ULTIMA: (7/2/2014)

I understand your predicament, however, we only have room allocations for this certificate and your preferred dates were full already at Crown Regency Hotel & Towers. Yes, there are still available rooms on the websites you mentioned and even our online bookings, but it’s also their room allocations from Crown Regency which are not yet taken.

As stated in the mechanics of the gift certificate, it is subject to room availability and a minimum of two weeks advance booking is required. This is to make sure that we can get a room for our guest since we receive plenty of bookings using gift certificate like yours. If you really want July 12-14, what can I offer is Crown Regency Residences in V. Rama Ave, Guadalupe Cebu City and if you want Crown Regency Hotel and Towers, you may change your schedule in later dates. Thank you.

ME: (7/2/2014)

You know what, one of your telemarketers, Andrei Santos 09228825695, called me just 20 minutes ago, he was inviting me again to club ultima presentation at West Ave. He’s the one who called me 2 wks ago. He said the same exact thing. I clarified about the 3D2N stay gift cert that you’re giving and I asked him if I can book a reservation for next week and he said yes. I asked if it’s not fully booked at crown regency hotel Cebu, and he said no. meaning he confirmed that I can use the gift cert anytime, even next week, July 12-14,2014. and when I told him that he already called last time and I already went to club ultima west ave, he was surprised. I told him that I’ve been trying to book our Cebu travel next week and that you told me that it’s fully booked and he said that it’s not. that I can book for next week at the hotel, not at the residences. then he said he will contact reservation to clarify this and said that he will call me back in 5 minutes… I asked for his email so I could forward our conversation, but he said no need coz he’ll call me right back. he even said that he’ll email me so I can have his email address. I told him I’m going to give him my email add since I haven’t given it yet, but he HUNG UP on me…

how do u think can he send me an email without him knowing my email add??!! what’s wrong with these guys? they were really nice and friendly when they’re inviting, and now that i need them, they’ll just hang up like that?!?!? and see, it’s been 30 minutes and he hasn’t called me back!?! Please advise on what i need to do with these issues. i am sooo disappointed with you guys.. im not a member of club ultima, but i guess this is not how you’re supposed to treat your potential clients. Thanks!

CLUB ULTIMA: (7/5/2014)

In behalf of Club Ultima, we would like to apologize of your experiece with one of our telemarketers. Rest assured that their department will take actions on this matter. I’m writing regarding your reservations/booking on July 12-14, 2014.   We do have an availability at Crown Regency Residences, Guadalupe, Cebu on your preferred date. However, we are fully booked at Crown Regency Hotel and Towers since we are only given room allocations. Let me also point out that one of the mechanics stated in the certificate says, . 1. “Subject to room availability. Minimum of 2 weeks advance booking is required.”

If you really prefer to be book at Crown Regency Hotel and Towers, kindly provide us other date instead. Or you can have it book some other time as our certificate has no expiration date. Again, we apologize for what had happened. Thank you.

Club Ultima Crown Regency

That’s the end of our email thread. I didn’t reply anymore because I was just so disappointed with Club Ultima. We were able to go to Cebu for our short vacation but we didn’t stay at Crown Regency Hotel. We stayed in another hotel instead.

But since she said that the gift certificate has no expiration date, I might reconsider booking a reservation at Crown Regency Hotel in Cebu in the future.

I checked Crown Regency’s current rate and for a Superior Room, it’s Php 3,050 per night. If I use the gift cert, they said that I only have to pay Php 3,000 for the booking fee and I can stay there for 3 days and 2 nights. Hmm, not badif it’s true and if there are no other charges. It’s like a 50% discount for me.

Oh well, I have no plans of going to Cebu in the near future, but I’ll see if this gift certificate from Club Ultima is even worth considering.




Categories
Helpful Tips Random Updates

Club Ultima: 3D2N Stay at Crown Regency Hotel GC – How True?




On June 30, 2014, exactly a year ago, I went to the office of Club Ultima at Westlife Bldg, West Ave, Quezon City. It was a 20-30 minute walk from North Avenue MRT Station.There were jeepneys going there but I preferred to walk. Then I saw the building with the big signage of Westlife. I went to the second floor and I recognized their office easily because there were pictures of Crown Regency Hotels on the wall.

I went in and asked the receptionist how to go about claiming the gift certificate that I had won in a raffle according to the guy who called me a week ago.

Okay, here’s what happened…

I got a call from this number +639228825695 on June 20, 2014. He said he’s Andrei Santos from Crown Regency Hotel and he told me that I won in a raffle and I was entitled to a 3D2N stay at Crown Regency Hotel. He was inviting me to their office to claim the gift certificate and sent me the details through SMS. Then I remembered this lady who approached me and my husband while we were grocery shopping at Shopwise Cubao the week before.

Club Ultima Crown Regency
Club Ultima Crown Regency Raffle Stub

And here’s the text message from Andrei Santos…

“(FORMAL INVITATION) CROWN REGENCY HOTEL ofc. 2nd flr. Westlife Bldg. Cor Bulacan St. West Ave. Quezon City (at the ground flr you will see starbucks cafe and panciteria lido). Few blocks away at SM North Edsa. We are inviting you to claim your gift certificate. Together with your spouse. See you tomorrow Saturday. June 21, 2014 around 1:30 to 3pm. Just bring your 1 valid ID. And stay for the complimentary buffet to be served, kindly finish the 90 minutes awarding presentation for you to see the complete facilities and amenities, and to choose your best destination. The gift certificate 3 days and 2 nights stay at Crown Regency Hotel, good for (2 adults / 2 kids), NO VALIDITY PERIOD. Again no financial obligation, no commitment. Kindly look for me Mr. Andrei Santos or Ms. Kimberly our receptionist. (02) 346-8716 Thank you and God bless. www.skyexperienceadventure.com

I thought I was so lucky to have won in the raffle, but when I searched about this on the internet, I was shocked when the search results came up with different blog posts and reviews related to this. And 90% of them were negative!

When Andrei Santos called earlier that day, I confirmed that I was going to their office the next day to claim the gift certificate. But I changed my mind after reading the negative reviews about Club Ultima. So I texted him that I won’t make it because of “another appointment”. Then he called again and told me that the gift certificate can only be claimed the next day, otherwise, it will be given to another person. Then I said it’s okay and he hung up.

I thought that was over. But a week after that, he called again, and told me that I won the raffle. He used the same spiel and he sent me the same text message except for the date. I wasn’t sure if he was aware that he already contacted me or if he was just pretending like nothing happened when we had a conversation the week before. But it seemed like he wasn’t aware. So I listened to him and I also pretended like it was my first time to hear about it.

This time though, I agreed to claim the gift certificate from their office, because I wanted to know what happens there and how they’re able to convince their potential clients to sign up for their offers…

Club Ultima Office at Westlife Bldg Quezon City
Club Ultima Office at Westlife Bldg, Quezon City

So I went there. I talked to the receptionist then she introduced me to one of their account managers, whose name was Susan, who said that she’s a dentist by profession and a travel account manager on the side. She looked professional. She smiled all the time. She was nice and friendly.

Oh, by the way, there was free dinner and it looked yummy. And while all the other guests were eating, I preferred not to eat because I thought that it would be a little awkward to say NO, NO, NO after I ate their food. 🙂

Back to business…

Before I could claim the gift certificate, she said that I need to watch the video first and listen to her presentation. Okay. I obeyed. She was nice so I also tried my best to be nice even if it was taking longer than I expected. She said that it was only going to take around 30-45 minutes but it actually took 2 hours to finish her presentation.

She showed me various travel destinations, 5-star hotels, sophisticated accommodations and amenities, and all that kind of stuff. I felt like I was in dreamland, but I tried to keep myself sane by saying NO to whatever she was trying to sell. Then she mentioned huge amounts of money from Php 500,000 to Php 200,000, to Php 100,000, until she said it’s okay if I couldn’t afford to pay the full amount yet, but I had to pay at least Php 10,000 to secure my reservation for their promo.

Why in the world would I do that?!

Of course, I said no and I told her that I had no money. Then she asked if I have a credit card, I said none because I intentionally didn’t bring it. Then she asked if I have an ATM, I said yes, but there’s no available balance in it. She tried to convince me to give her my ATM card details, but I refused and only then I said that I need to go and I need to claim the gift certificate that they promised to give after the “short” presentation. She talked to her manager, who approached me and further explained the features, advantages, and benefits of what they were offering, and tried to convince me to sign up, but just like what Tita Susan got from me, I refused and I firmly said NO, thank you!

Finally, I got my gift certificate.

Then I called Crown Regency the next day to confirm if that was really valid. They said yes and on my next post, I’ll share with you what we’ve talked about after that…

Click HERE to read the continuation of this post.




Categories
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 (www.pinayinvestor.com) 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:

 SSS-pension-computation-for-self-employed-voluntary

  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.

 SSS-benefits-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 member_relations@sss.gov.ph.

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.

Categories
Seminars

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!

How?

Invest EARLY, WISELY, and REGULARY.

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.

Program-flow-ICON2015
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 TheCristobal.info

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 thewiseliving.com, 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
Categories
Seminars

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
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

Categories
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, www.abs-cbnnews.com,  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


Categories
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-at-Stock-Smarts
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
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-Workshop-Basics
Stock Smarts Basics and Perfect Timing by Marvin Germo, January 31, 2015
Stocks-Smarts-Marvin-Germo
Stock Smarts Technical Analysis by Marvin Germo, February 12, 2015
Stock-Smarts-Marvin-Germo
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!