Optimization vs. Micro Management

Optimization vs. Micro Management. We should have an objective, choose our path to that objective, and follow through. We can adjust when necessary. But it's important to remember that the challenge is to meet our goal, not necessarily find the best way to meet our goal.
I like to think that I'm naturally lazy, but  responsible enough to do the things I need to do. The fortunate mix is that I tend to find the most efficient way to get things done. As such, I'm a big fan of efficiency and optimization.

However, there's a side to it that isn't that great and I've since learned to avoid.

Be Productive in Life and Finances

Be Productive in Life and Finances. Being productive is not easy; and the hardest part is always the execution. With enough thought, anyone can come up with a great (or at least adequate) plan. It's also usually easy to determine the things we need to do. It's usually the executions that holds us up. Doing so would still require a mostly personal approach. But in case it's helpful, I'd like to share what I do to not fall back on bad habits: Write it down; use a checklist, Start the day right, Start small, Make it habit. And the great thing about it is that it also applies to personal finance.
Being productive is not easy; and the hardest part is always the execution. With enough thought, anyone can come up with a great (or at least adequate) plan. It's also usually easy to determine the things we need to do.

It's usually the executions that holds us up. How you overcome laziness or procrastination is a personal matter though. You'll have to find what motivates you.

But once you do, it's best not to let yourself slip into bad habits. In my experience, that usually means having to come up with a better motivation just to reach the same level of productivity again.

And that's a problem, because what you need to do is improve yourself, not stay the same. Doing so would still require a mostly personal approach. But in case it's helpful, I'd like to share what I do to not fall back into laziness.

Learnings From The Stock Market

Learnings From The Stock Market. In this post, I share everything I've learned so far about trading in the philippine stock market
One of the best ways to learn is to share. Sounds odd right? But it's true.

Every time you tell someone what you know, they hear it once. But maybe it's the tenth time you've heard it yourself, reinforcing the idea in you even more.

And different people have different perspectives. Meaning everyone you share knowledge with will have different questions. So maybe they get their questions answered. But for you, it's additional perspective you may not have had before, thus creating a more comprehensive picture in your mind.

I think that makes a lot of sense. So I thought it would be a good idea to share everything I've learned so far about trading in the stock market.

The Myth They Call Disposable Income

Disposable income, as you've probably heard is money you have after paying bills. It's termed as such because it's the money you can spend on discretionary things like anther bag, a newer smartphone, nicer shoes, etc.  What you've probably never heard is that disposable income is a myth.
Disposable income, as you've probably heard is the money you have after paying bills. It's termed as such because it's the money you can spend on discretionary things like another bag, a newer smartphone, nicer shoes, etc.

There's even a rough formula:
Income - Utilities - Food - Other Payables = Disposable Income

What you've probably never heard is that disposable income is a myth.

If you're employed, no matter how large your salary is, you do not have disposable income.

Staying In No Man's Land - Or How You Lose Money When You Don't Have Goals

Staying In No Man's Land - Or How You Lose Money When You Don't Have Goals. No man's land is an old term originally used for a place where no one wants to go. But more importantly, it's a term used to describe where someone shouldn't be. And the reason I pointed that out is that it's actually very applicable in our personal finances. When we invest without a clear goal, we end up making decisions that aren't that great.
No man's land is an old term originally used for a place where no one wants to go. It was actually first used around the time of the first world war. However, that's almost beside the point.

I heard it mostly used in the NBA. This isn't a basketball blog, but if you're willing to suffer through some babbling there's actually a point.

Financial Education And Misplaced Hope

Financial Education And Misplaced Hope. When we're disadvantaged, we tend to have a jackpot-metality. We think our way out is via a miracle. We don't need to play against the odds to hit the jackpot. If we want to improve our lives, all we need to do is be smart and stay patient.
For me, personally, one of the hallmarks that anyone is financially savvy is when they understand that slow and steady wins the race.

It's a simple enough lesson, and one that's heard or taught to us early in life. However, it's one that somehow gets forgotten when it comes to finances.

We tend to get caught up either with what others have or what we don't have. We see how blessed others are, for no other reason than they were born into that situation. We look at where we are in our lives and we sometimes feel helpless, that we're stuck.

For me personally it boils down to financial education and misplaced hope.

The Progress Of My New Year's Plan for Q3

The Progress Of My New Year's Plan for Q3
I outlined some of my personal goals this 2013. In this post I'll be sharing what happened so far.

#1 Save and Invest - Well, I've decided this one is completed (technically). So that's one down. I'd much rather the money went into a business or other income-generating opportunity, but it is what it is. Again, at least my simple dreams of owning my own house, having a car, and getting a generous amount of time for myself is slowly happening. (well ok, time for myself is actually going in reverse...)

#2 Learn basic business concepts - Still no progress...Really lazy...

#3 Research a good business for me - Well, freelance work didn't turn out so well. In hindsight, it's not like I had tons of idle time left over after helping take care of our baby and maintaining this blog.

However, since I do get a few minutes to spare here and there, I tried answering paid surveys online. No money so far, and I'm worried about the 800 or so I spent to get started. But since Ana has done it, I'm pretty sure at some point I'll at least make some money out of it if I just keep trying.

#4 Find out how large my capital needs to be - no progress.


3/4 of the year through, and the situation is just getting worse. It's probably time to revisit my goals. But actually a taxi business seems really appealing to me. Anyone out there ever tried it?

I guess I'll look that up this quarter, instead of just giving up.


How about you guys? What happened with your new year's plans? It can have gone that much worse than mine... Leave a comment below and share what happened! :)


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Shopping Tips: Know The Cost per Use

Shopping Tips: Know The Cost per Use. A lot of us know to check for the cost per volume. But there are times when that lower-priced alternative may end up costing you more. Here are a few examples.
A lot of us know to check for the cost per volume. That's why we usually buy the biggest size. And that's how we know that in the Philippines, shampoo in sachets can be cheaper than buying that 750ml press-top bottle.

But did you know that it's not always the best way to save money?

A more effective eay is to measure your Cost per Use.

Advice And Tips In Getting A Loan - Including Questions You Have To Ask

Don't take out a loan you can't pay or can barely pay. don't ever go the 5-6 route. patronize legitimate micro loans. How much is the interest rate I will have to pay? Is it fixed or variable? Is it paid one month in advance or in arrears? Can I pay more than the monthly payment and have it counted against the principal? What are the other fees I have to pay - and how much are they? What is the step by step process for availing of the loan? Other Resources.
A quick primer on how to get a loan. If you're getting a loan, thinking of doing so, or have never done so before, this one is for you.

If you have taken a loan before, read it anyway and share what tips you have. I'll add it so everyone can benefit.

Elliot Wave part 2 - How It Works

Elliot Wave Thoery part 2. In this post we'll tackle what the Elliot Wave Theory is and what it's rules and guidelines are. We'll do a quick and simple example of how we can apply it. As usual, there are free reference guides provided at the end,
photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This is part 2. If you haven't read part 1 yet, it might be a good idea to do so.

In more technical terms, what is the Elliot Wave Theory?

It is a theory that collective investor sentiment naturally shifts from optimistic (greed) to pessimistic (fear). And this natural shifts in sentiment is visible in price movements in any timescale.

(However, in my personal opinion, it works better if viewed long-term)