WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR AN OFW TO INVEST

My financial journey

Let me tell you how I started investing in mutual funds and the stock market.

I am an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) based in Thailand for 10 years now and want to go back to the Philippines with savings. If you are an OFW, I bet you have the same desire too. There is no greater joy than being with your loved ones.

Kelan nga ba huli kayong nagkita ng bunso mo o ng misis mo? Tagal na rin siguro. (When was the last time you saw your youngest child or your spouse? I guess quite a long time already.)

I tried to explore possible ways where and how to invest money. Putting money in the bank is one of the options. And so I opened an account at BDO SM Calamba for our two kids right after processing our Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). We planned to fund this account monthly.

I told myself kahit 3,000 pesos lang every month. Ang importante ay madevelop yung habit of savings. (I told myself even if it’s just P3,000 every month. The important thing is to develop the habit of saving.) In the long run, probably after five to ten years, the money will grow in the bank. Thus, we can use the fund for their college education.

Ilang months pa lang naming nahuhulugan ang account ng mga bata, hindi naman natuloy-tuloy for some reason. (We were just into it for a few months but we weren’t able to continue depositing money to the account.) Did you ever experience that? Yung ilang beses ka ng nag attempt to save money, yet hindi ka makaipon-ipon? (Where you’ve attempted to save money several times but you were never able to do so?)

When I cleaned the closet one time, I saw some passbooks which we had opened in the past. There was an account both from the Philippines and Thailand like Kasikorn Bank, Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai Bank, BPI, and BDO bank. Parang rich, di ba? But the truth is: mayaman lang sa passbook pero wala namang laman! (Sounds rich, right? But the truth is: we were only rich in passbooks but there was nothing inside!)

I realized I need to be knowledgeable in managing finances so I can prepare the future of our kids. I prayed to God to give me wisdom to wisely manage our personal finance. I know several form of investments as I did research on the subject. I’ve heard about investing in real estate, online business, and investing in paper asset like bonds, stocks, and mutual funds.

Put hard-earned money in the stock market?

Honestly, I was hesitant to put my hard-earned money in the stock market. I’ve heard how people lost their money in the stock market. I thought it’s going to be a complicated process. Until I found a mentor which is TrulyRichClub (TRC) by Bro. Bo Sanchez.

TRC has explained why an investor loses money because they are trading instead of investing. Stock market is long-term investing and letting your money grow over a period of time through capital appreciation and distribution of dividends.

Moreover, TRC sends me regularly a newsletter with stock updates of which companies I should buy or sell using strategic averaging method.

After finding TRC as my mentor, I have now the confidence to invest. Then I contacted COL Financial and I submitted the application form, scanned copy of two government IDs, and passport. After they approved the soft copy of the documents, they instructed me to send all hard copies to their office at the COL Financial Office in Ortigas, Philippines.

The initial amount to open an account with COL Financial  is only P5,000 while succeeding amount is all up to the client. In addition, transaction is quite easy and accessible online. Therefore, you can buy stocks online and check your portfolio anytime as long as you have internet connection.

Isa pa, madali lang i-liquidate ang account from COL kasi nga through online lang. (It’s easy to liquidate the account from COL because everything is just online.)

The best time to invest is now

Last June 2015, I was able to start investing until now. And one thing more: don’t forget to set aside a portion of your income for emergency fund before investing in mutual funds or stocks.

But when is the best time to invest for an OFW? If you haven’t started yet, the answer is NOW. The earlier you could invest, the better. A

 Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Considering the power of compounding interest, your wealth will grow over time. The book of Proverbs 13:11 reminds us that wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.

May God bless you in your financial journey.

This article was first published on the author’s personal blog at richlyblessedtoday.com

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John Benliro

I'm an instructor at a university in the north of Thailand. I love to travel to see the beauty in the most simple things. When not teaching or travelling, I make myself busy blogging for khonphilippine.com.
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