What is Equity?

Because this is a personal finance blog, I feel it's important from time to time to discuss, explain, or define some of the more arcane or vague technical jargon that we encounter.

For one, it discourages people from investing because it somehow magnifies how much we "don't know" yet.

Second, it creates confusion or uncertainty. We hear something and we say "What is that?" with matching blank looks, furrowed brows, and head scratching. And then we're unsure what to do next.

So for today, we will tackle one of the more common terms we hear: Equity.

ANGAT PILIPINAS Coalition for Financial Literacy

For decades, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been the backbone of our country. Their remittances have ensured that children go to school, households can buy food, and the next generation has a future to look forward to.

But unfortunately despite the occasional praise and recognition for their efforts, they have received little tangible help. And soon after they come back at the end of their contracts, they are forced to go abroad again due to lack of viable jobs here in the Philippines.

While they indeed make great salaries compared to what they could get here, you could hardly say they make a great living when they live so far apart from their family and loved ones. Though some may choose to go abroad for the experience, there's no question most would rather stay here.

And I'm glad to say there's a movement to do just that. The ANGAT PILIPINAS Coalition for Financial Literacy is dedicated to increasing the financial literacy of OFWs and enabling them to not just be expatriate employees but also entrepreneurs and investors, and thereby make them financially independent.

Can you imagine a future where 10,000 OFWs are business owners and investors here in the Philippines instead of employes abroad? It may seem far-fetched, but that's just one of the goals of ANGAT Pilipinas, supported by some of the biggest names in personal finance here in the Philippines.

And we can be a part of this movement. Do you have relatives and friends who are OFWs? Just tell them about the site. It's not selling anything, and there are no membership fees. All they ask is for OFWs to take the time to read and learn. It's as simple as that. So please tell your relatives, friends, coworkers and anyone you know who may know an OFW.

Let them know, and help change the future.

ANGAT PILIPINAS Coalition for Financial Literacy

Full Disclosure: I've contributed an article to the site, and possibly will contribute again in the future. However I'm not one of the founders or admins of Angat Pilipinas. And I'm promoting their work, not my contribution to their site.

Should I Have A Joint Account If I'm Married?

Should I Have A Joint Account If I'm Married?
Since I got married, this has been a topic that I've spent a great deal thinking about. Traditionally, the answer is a clear yes. Personally, I feel the answer is no.

But over time, I feel that the best answer is really a "qualified" yes. And while I can't speak for everyone, I'd like to share why that's the answer I came up with. Plus a link to a joint account at HSBC.

Do It Yourself Saving Tips: Changing Your Own Watch's Batteries

When your wristwatch stops ticking, it's usually because the batteries are dead. In Metro Manila, a typical watch repair shop (in or outside a mall) will charge you 100 pesos for changing the batteries. And for 300 pesos they also offer a longer-lasting battery guaranteed to last for 3 years.

But do you know where you can get a battery that lasts 3 years for less than 10% of that price?

How Often Do You Use A Checklist?

In 2009, Atul Gawande released the book "The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right".

And it was a best seller.

How could something as simple and mundane as a checklist be the subject of a best-selling book?

"Dont Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort." - Mark Cuban

I, like most guys here in the Philippines, watch the NBA. I love the games, and watch because of the players. But sometimes the off-court action can be interesting too. Which brings me to Mark Cuban.

Buy Cost vs. Maintenance Cost

Sometimes an item costs more than what its price tag says. Even if it's discounted or on sale. But sometimes an item costs much less than it's price tag- even if you paid full price for it.

Index Funds: What They Are And Why Invest In Them

Index Funds: What They Are And Why Invest In Them
A while back I opened an Index fund. And so far, I've been satisfied with the results. So I thought it might be a good idea to share what an Index fund is and why I chose it.

So what is an Index fund?

Savings Accounts And The Envelope System

In today's post, I'd like to share my own version of the envelope system. I'm sharing it mostly because I think it's a more modern take on the traditional style of using a paper envelope.

Now, I'm not saying it's better. In many ways using actual envelopes has its advantages. But this way might appeal to tech savvy people or the younger generation who are more used to computer screens.

So what's my version?

My New Year's Plans For This Year

One of this blog's mission is to encourage people to be more financially savvy by showing how do-able it is and what the rewards can be. And while I'm not an expert, nor have I "made it big", I think it would be useful to show this story so that other people with no experience or training in finance or investing can see that it is indeed possible. And seeing it unfold as it happens might be just as persuasive as seeing it after the fact.

And because of that, for my first post of 2013, I would like to share my investment goals.

Making A New Year's Plan

Happy New Year everyone!

The start of the year is such a wonderful time. Christmas vibes are still fresh. The weather is still great. And we haven't broken our new year's resolutions yet. :)

We're all familiar with new year's resolutions. We make them every year. Usually it's to stop doing something or to do less of something (smoking? eating junk food? shopping? drinking?). Sometimes it's proactive; like exercise more or spend more time with family and friends.

A few yeas ago, I was thinking of what a good new year's resolution for me would be. Initially I thought about resolving to do my new year's resolutions:D But then of course, that wouldn't make sense until I had another resolution to accomplish.

So that got me thinking about all the life goals I had that I've never been able to focus on - from random and mundane stuff (like learning to use my left hand more, learn to drive better, learn to cook, learn to play the guitar) to more substantial goals (like finally accumulating a substantial amount in my savings account, visiting Palawan and Boracay, getting a promotion).

So instead of a new year's resolution, I decided to make my first new year's plan.