Am I ready to become a Registered Financial Planner (RFP)?
Exactly a month ago, I attended RFP’s free info-session at their office in Ortigas. I learned about RFP at the Money Summit and Wealth Expo 2014 when I came across their booth. I signed up on their guest sheet and the staff shared a little bit about RFP and its program.
Two weeks later, I received an email from one of their staff inviting me to attend their free info session. It was initially scheduled on July 17 but was moved to July 24 due to typhoon Glenda. Without thinking twice, I accepted their invitation and confirmed my attendance.
Even before Money Summit, I was already hearing about RFP from some of my favorite finance bloggers. But the only thing I knew about it was that it’s attached as a suffix right after the name just like PhD for Doctor of Philosophy, MD for Doctor of Medicine, and RN for Registered Nurse. And RFP was new to me that’s why I confirmed to attend the RFP info session to know more about it.
I reached the venue and registered at 6:45PM but the session started at exactly 7:30PM. The speaker was Mr. Henry Ong, the director of RFP.
Let me share to you what I learned from the session…
A lot of people go through financial issues and challenges. And I admit I’m one of them. Lucky you if you have not experienced any issues related to money or finance. But what is it really that causes these issues and failures?
Failures happen not because we didn’t plan to fail, but because we failed to plan. And I guess one of the reasons of this are the various misconceptions about finance.
Some people believe that they don’t need to plan because they’re already earning much or that they already have enough. But the truth is, the more you earn, the more you need financial planning to secure and preserve your money and resources.
A good example of this are the lotto jackpot winners. They’re are so lucky to have gotten a ‘one time big time’ chance. But what happened to most of them? They went back to their old way of living or even went bankrupt and left with debts because they failed to plan. They didn’t know what to do with their money that’s why they spent it on just whatever they like even for things that aren’t necessary.
Another thing is, some people wait for financial crisis to happen before creating a financial plan. I guess most of us can relate to this. Sometimes we spend on things that we want even if they’re not necessarily what we need. We buy the latest gadget or cellphone with quad core processor, 32 gig memory, and retina display. But do we really need it? Maybe yes, maybe not. Then what happens next? We end up regretting why we bought it when we can still use the not-so-old one that we have. And now we are struggling just to make both ends meet.
I’m not saying be hard to yourself. Of course you can buy the latest, the grandest and even the most expensive thing in the world if you want to. But the first question is, can you afford it? Second, can you afford it without you having to go on “diet” for a few days or weeks just to cut on your expenses because you fall short on your budget? If your answer is YES then go ahead and buy it. I’m sure you’ll be very happy to have it.
The Registered Financial Planners (RFP) Philippines is an independent self-regulatory professional organization offering education and membership in the financial planning field. Its mission is to promote professionalism in practice of financial planning. (Source: http://www.rfp.ph/)
They offer the Registered Financial Planner (RFP) Program to individuals who want to acquire the expertise necessary to be a practitioner in the personal financial planning industry. It also aims to enhance your knowledge and build on the experience you already have in the financial services industry and broaden your opportunities by networking with other financial service professionals.
After knowing all these, I thought that it would be a good opportunity for me to expand my financial knowledge by taking this program. Not only will it help me achieve my financial goals (hopefully) but also help others by promoting financial literacy.
The RFP Program is good for 8 weeks (8 consecutive Saturdays). Application for Batch 42 was ongoing when we attended the info-session and Mr. Ong offered an exclusive special discount for us. The fee for this program is a little expensive but I know it’s worth an investment in education.
I’m very interested to join RFP but due to having limited funds and considering other priorities, I wasn’t able to join Batch 42 which started yesterday. But I’m not closing my doors to this opportunity. If the right time comes, I will definitely join RFP and I will be honored to be called “Registered Financial Planner” with the suffix RFP attached to my name. 🙂
Credits: RFP Philippines
I agree with the statement “some people wait for financial crisis to happen before creating a financial plan”
– in reality we always learn a lesson first. Sometimes those lessons are expensive and or learning things in hard way.
But in the other hand we can do better in life if we have ” DEFINITE GOAL”, you have the BURNING DESIRE to TAKE ACTION to reach your “DEFINITE GOAL” (keywords, I’ve learned from the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill)
Some other books said “SOFT SPOT” a DREAM OR GOAL. Example: someday I want to feed the street children, i really wanted to help them.
Talking about RFP- I’ve been thinking about this too. Good that you wrote and article about this. Now I have the company to talk to or inquire when I decided to be RFP.
Hi PhilippineAnswers, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Very well said…
Who knows, we become classmates when we pursue RFP. 🙂
It would be great if could, Jan.
28 October 2015
Hi Ms. Janice,
I hope that you have had the opportunity to become a RFP !
I just read a column in the Inquirer.net by Mr. Henry Ong and wanted to respond to him but all of my email attempts failed. Maybe you can help. This is what I wrote:
Your response to the OFW who was wanting to save for retirement was excellent. It is great that the OFW is thinking about and will hopefully be able to save and invest some money with a retirement goal in mind.
But it is really difficult for local employees in SME’s and barely earning above minimum wage to realistically set such a lofty financial goal. They have everything working against them with respect to investing in the stock market…limited savings potential, inflation, fees (brokerage, financial planner, etc.) and taxes that would eat up their returns and more if they were able to only buy a share or two at a time. Plus, with respect to investing in the stock market, I don’t find any low cost mutual funds, ETF’s or discount brokers available to them here.
Your last paragraph is ‘right on the money’ but these are the very people who need a financial planner the most…and I am a firm believer in hiring a financial planner to help but he/she does have a ‘cost’ that cannot be ignored. The effort to learn and understand the investment process usually has a very steep and costly learning curve with inflation, banks, insurance companies, brokers, capital gains taxes, flim-flam artists and out right con-men wanting to take pesos away from the investor and give little or nothing in return.
My wife has a very small business with three young employees earning just above minimum wage. I am a foreigner and retired but my heart just breaks with the thought that these employees (1) are already barely making it from paycheck to paycheck, (2) do not see the need to save for retirement (it is not in the ‘culture’?); (3) were never given any financial education in school (but neither was I); and (4) expect that their separation pay from the last job they have or that the (5) Social Security and Pag Ibig contributions they have made will fully ‘fund’ their retirement needs.
Regarding thoughts (1) and (3) above, I’ve asked my wife’s employees to start with a simple plan of keeping track of every peso they have and spend between paychecks to find out where their money goes. Then we can look at where possible savings can come from, i.e., stop smoking!; drink water instead of a Starbucks coffee or beers on Saturday night; keep your old cell phone because it still works just fine; get the lowest cell phone load available and when it is gone, wait until the next paycheck to replenish the load; disconnect from cable tv and watch local channels; etc.
I also give them articles to read such as yours to help them understand that they must start now with regard to saving for their retirement.
Do you have any other advice that would help them realize the need to start saving early for retirement and what possible low cost, inflation beating investment vehicles are realistically available to them?
28 October 2015
Hi Ms. Janice,
I just had another thought for your RFP ‘education’. I would highly recommend the following books by Ric Edelman: ‘The LIES About Money’ and ‘The TRUTH About Money’. While these books are definitely written for American investors and the opportunities available there, the overall information is excellent and gives the rational for being highly diversified in one’s investments. They also explain what to watch out for when looking at investments and what questions potential clients should ask financial planners/advisors before hiring them.