Share Your Story

Believe it or not, I just recently got an inquiry if I'd let them submit a post to my blog. (Although it really seemed more like a request for a free advertorial...) Personally, I think it's too early to be expecting guest posts. But I figured, what the heck? There might be people out there who want to share their story. And who am I to get in the way, right?

So I thought it best to say anyone is welcome to write for my blog. But since readers have some reasonable expectations as to what kind of content they can find here, I need to set some basic ground rules.

Any submitted story must meet the following requirements:
  • Original and unpublished in any medium (other blogs or websites, magazines, newspapers, etc)
  • Written in English and contains at least 200 words
  • Personal experience and/or  lessons learned with regards to investments, business, entrepreneurship, freelancing, or any other topic under personal finance
  • Does not contain links (except in the author's bio at the end of the article which will link to his/her website's main page)

And when you submit your story, you agree that:
  • I can proofread and edit your article according to my preference which includes removing irrelevant external links intended only for SEO purposes.
  • Once posted, the article will become my property but will be subject to Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
  • You will not receive any compensation (monetary or otherwise) from your work other than a promotion of your business, service, product or website in the form of a short bio included at the end of your story.
  • A link may be provided for the short bio, but the anchor text should be the name of the website and not a keyword. Also, the link will have a nofollow attribute.
  • Most importantly, if I believe that your story will have no value to my readers, then I have no obligation to publish your article here.

All those interested to share their story here can send me an email through my contact form. Please introduce yourself and give your proposed title/s for your story.


  1. I just want to get information from your knowledge of Vul vs investment funds.

    You see, everytime I go to a bank to ask about something like setting up a trust, the personnel in the bank will introduce me to an expert who instead of like talking about trust goes into what I know to be already insurance combined with investment funds; so after listening courteously for some 15 minutes I would excuse myself, and tell the expert that I would think over his proposal of taking up what I know to be a Vul.

    Let’s say I am thinking up subscribing to Bpi Philippine High Dividend Equity Fund to the amount of 10 million pesos worth of uitf units.

    So I succeeded in paying Bpi 10 million pesos for the corresponding amount of units which Bpi issued to me.

    This quantity of units will grow bigger in pesos worth or lesser, so that anytime at all I can redeem the actual worth of the fund without any hassles at all, even just by an online process of redemption, making a profit of say one million pesos if the fund valuation of the day happens to be with my subscribed units, worth 11 million pesos.

    It’s as simple as that, to make money from the Bpi Philippine High Dividend Equity Fund.

    Of course should the value of my units be worth instead of 11 million pesos, it’s 9.50 million pesos, and I get nervous as to put in an order to redeem, so that I will not suffer further loss: for it is better to have lost 0.50 million pesos, than to not redeem and lose more pesos, as the market is on a downward plunge -- like for example what had been happening for some days now since the end of 2015 and the start of 2016.

    Okay, what are the advantages of Vul over the Bpi Philippine High Dividend Equity Fund in regard to making more money, and when do I get the money, and what money will I have to shell out to Bpi every so many months or every year, and what advantages to myself and to my beneficiaries when I die?

    I am really fed up with these bank agents who do nothing to inform me about investment funds and other services of banks like trust, but want to convince me to shell out my cash to buy a Vul.

    1. Hi Odradeg,

      That's actually my pet peeve. VUL salesmen keep pushing their agenda, no matter what you are asking.

      Well, the disadvantages first: if you pay 100k for a VUL, a big chunk of that goes to fees and commissions (a lot goes to commissions) . After paying the insurance premium/charge, there's very little left that is invested.

      But depending on your age, you might not be eligible for Term insurance. That's the disadvantage of term.

      For advantages of VUL: You pay one amount and it's for both insurance and investment, the insurance is lifetime (if that's important to you), it's also estate tax free - so the government does not take part of what is for your beneficiaries.

      For bank trusts, unfortunately I do not know much. I know you will hand over money to them (i believe this requires a very large amount), they will manage it, I believe you can give some instructions perhaps what type of investments to make or not make, and also conditions on the payout to beneficiaries.

      For the High Dividend Equity Fund, it's an equity fund that invests only in companies that give large dividends. That's usually PLDT, GLOBE, Meralco and a few others. They tend to be mature, profitable companies. They might not expect large growth spurts, but they do expect to be profitable.

      The fund itself does not pay dividends to you. Dividends are reinvested into the fund. You would have to check the prospectus to find out how it fares with other funds. It's hard to compare with VULs, since VULs typically do not make public the returns of their equity investments. Even during the selling, VUL salesmen only quote a hypothetical 10% ("historically around that range" "more or less").

      For equity funds, there is no "monthly due". You simply invest when you like. For VULs, there is a fixed amount that needs to be paid, but the timing can be flexible (you can choose annually, quarterly, monthly; some companies I hear even let you choose at will - as long as the amount due is complete by the time the annual is due.)

      For VULs, you get everything in case of the unfortunate. Or rather your beneficiaries do. You can also redeem the investment, though that takes a long time since very little is invested at first. Very hefty fees are also levied on you if you terminate the policy within 5 years.

      For equity funds, you typically wait three banking days after redeeming before you get the money. There is also a minimum time to wait before redemption, usually 6 or 3 months (though I think BPI shortened that) But otherwise there are no restrictions. It is subject to estate tax though. (Have you seen my post about Estate Tax? and the one about dealing with them?)

      For estate planning, VUL is better than BTID. But if strictly for investing, I prefer BTID. It really depends on your situation though.

  2. Thanks for your reply!

    You say:
    "For estate planning, VUL is better than BTID. But if strictly for investing, I prefer BTID. It really depends on your situation though."

    You see, I am really after avoiding estate tax altogether, so VUL is better for me.

    In which case then, I should want to put all my idle cash to go into VUL: but I also want to be able to get cash from VUL, if ever I should get into a situation that requires me to use more cash than I have reserved for my life's expenses as to live until I die comfortably, meeting all kinds of outlays including medical ones.

    So, what is your advice?

    By the way, forgive my ignorance, but what is BTID?

    1. Actually, my fault. I should not use acronyms offhandedly. it defeats the purpose of having readers gain better financial literacy.

      But anyway, BTID is "Buy term, invest the difference" - which is basically the entire strategy.

      Yes, I do believe that VUL would be better for you die to estate planning.

      In regards to not running out of cash.. It is possible to "withdraw" from VUL investment portion. But only after a while, when it has grown. I also advise trying to look for an "efficient" VUL where a lot of the money you put in goes to the investment and insurance, and not to commissions and fees. That pretty much excludes a majority of VULs being pushed by salesmen. Though you cold also try "single-pay" VULs or VULs from Manulife (a past argument on a forum informed me that a VUL from manulife has some merits; sadly I'm not sure which one)