Money (and Crafts)

[Part 1] So You (Do Not) Want to Invest in Stocks?

Sooo. Investing, huh? For someone who hated math her whole school life (I still do! Haha!), it comes as a surprise, even to me, that one day I’ll be writing about THIS. Lo and behold, today’s that lucky day, dear friends! 😛

But that’s just it. Math isn’t “everything” when it comes to investing. Yes, it definitely involves numbers. But it’s not like we’re going to talk about those infamous X’s and Y’s that always, always appear in math textbooks! Simple math will do here. As simple as 1 + 1. (If you answered 11, hay naku, pabebe ka! Hindi ka philosopher para maging pilosopo! Grrr!)

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for quite some time now (hurry and read, this is a limited edition entry! wahahahaha!) but to be honest, what really pushed me to do it is watching those investment scams reported on TV. Poor victims (no pun intended). There were about 10 or so companies on the list. To think that they’ve been reported for quite some time already, and their operations are still on-going… the nerve! So really, SHAME ON YOU, SCAMMERS!

And that’s what we’re going to do here today. I’m here to tell you that if you want to be “rich” LEGALLY, you can’t do it overnight. Not even in a year. Add more s’s to that last word and now we’re talking. 😉

You need yearsss to harvest that “investment seed” you plan to plant. To help you do that, you need “investment fertilizers” to help you make the most out of what you planted. And there are many kinds of investments — business endeavor, hybrid insurance, mutual funds, property/real estate, stocks, even travel. It’s all a matter of priority. I mean, how can you travel if you don’t have money? You’ll get it from your parents? Grow up. You’ll get it from your savings? It’ll run out. You’ll join that fast-money-making scheme that’ll eventually be in downward spiral? Yes, some of those companies might not necessarily be scamming you, but their methods aren’t tried and tested for like at least half a century.

As mentioned, there are many kinds of investments. And there’s no stopping you from having ’em all. Just NOT all at the same time. You’re not Warren Buffett, you know?! But yes, you can be like him… EVENTUALLY!

And if you ask me, the best way to go for Filipino yuppies right now is hybrid insurance and/or stocks. But for the sake of this entry, I’ll focus on the latter: THE STOCK MARKET. 🙂

So what does OWNING STOCKS really mean? Simple — it means you’re being part owner of a company. For example, if you’re a fan of Apple, buy Apple stocks. At least you know that you’re investing your money in the creation of the next iPhone (which undoubtedly sells) or whatnot. And as the sales of Apple go up, your returns increase too. The more stocks you own, the richer you can get. Did you know that the late Steve Jobs‘ salary when he was at Apple (even when he was already on top) was only $1 a month? Yes, A DOLLAR! But I bet you hindi mo lang la-lang-lang-in yun if you knew how many stocks of Apple he owned. I believe he was one of the majority shareholders. And if you could have that many stocks, aba lang, literal na Steve Jobs level ka na! #ediwow Who wouldn’t want to be part of that, right?

BUT that’s the easy way of explaining it. Experts will tell you that a good company doesn’t necessarily equate to having a good stock. And companies price their stocks differently. Apple? The last time I checked, you need at least $200 to purchase one stock. That’s one stock! You can’t just purchase one stock, you should follow what’s on the Board Lot (but that’s for next time). And for my fellow Filipinos, you can’t easily buy Apple stocks unless you have a licensed broker that can trade in the Stock Exchange where it’s listed. I know, sad. 😦

Enough with the Apple example (uy, nag-rhyme! haha!). For the sake of sharing to you my own personal experience, let’s stick to local stocks. If you’re fond of buying from Family Mart in the Philippines, why not buy stocks of Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) and Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI)? Research the other businesses of these companies, too.

That’s the thing. My aim is to explain in the simplest way (think layman’s terms) why investing in the stock market is not that hard. But with all the terms that need to be understood, I say do your part too: READ and RESEARCH!

And that’s the first lesson of the day: EDUCATE yourself. SELF-STUDY! I recommend you read the I Wish They Taught Money in High School series by Clarissa S. dela Paz and Sharon W. Que.

(photo courtesy of the Lifestyle Upgrade 101 website)

(photo courtesy of the Lifestyle Upgrade 101 website)

These books are loaded with “investment wisdom,” and they’ll practically open your eyes to the sad reality that is your SAVINGS BANK ACCOUNT < INFLATION. </3

Investing in stocks is the only proven way in personal finance that can make your own hard-earned money beat inflation! But more on that next time. 😀

(To be continued)