About the Blog

Welcome to The Personal Finance Apprentice blog!

I would like to start by saying (though you've probably figured this out on your own:) I'm not an expert on personal finance. In fact I can't even say I've had any formal training or a remarkable amount of experience in finance. So how come I have a blog?

Well, I'm writing this blog to:
  • help those who aren't confident enough yet or afraid to invest,
  • share my experiences in investing,
  • share what I've learned about personal finance,
  • show how personal finance principles can be practiced.

You see, years ago I was a young desk jockey (still a desk jockey by the way), just another nine-to-five-er; just like all the millions of others in the rat race. But one thing that I had going for me was that I was a pretty good saver. But with nothing else to do with my savings, I ended up doing what most people do - spending it.

I had a genuine interest in preparing for my future. But the most savvy thing I could think to do with my money was to open a time deposit account. And I didn't even do that. At first I didn't have enough money to open a time deposit account. So I had a regular savings account. Then I learned about a hybrid savings/time deposit account with less of an initial deposit; so I opened one and put my money there. After that, a few emergencies happened. Then I had some stuff I wanted to buy. Travel and vacations came up... you get the idea.

It wasn't until years later that I learned about investing. All along my perception was that investing was for rich people. And even when the stock market entered my mind, I didn't have anyone to ask about it.

My parents had done an excellent job of teaching me to understand the value of money and how to save. But I had failed to learn all the ways to make my money grow - until I discovered the world of personal finance and investing.

But even though I've learned a lot, I always regretted not having started earlier. So even though a lot of people are already taking on the task of enlightening others about matters of personal finance, I want to lend my voice to the task.

I may not be an expert yet, but I can help in my own way - by taking the journey along with you. I 'm starting this blog to help show that investing is not that hard to do. And though you'll encounter some ups and downs, you'll still end up better off than if you had not invested at all.

So please join me in my journey, and let's use financial literacy to build a better future for us.


  1. Nice blog keep it up! :D I found it through your guest post from Fitz's website. I just noticed your blog is SG are you currently working there?

    1. Thanks Diane!

      No, actually I'm in in the Philippines. It must be some weird blogger thing. I've found that there's an FR and IN "version" out there. Same site, the stats go to my site too. But I guess depending on where some people browse they see a different extension. I take it you're in SG?

  2. I see I didn't know blogspot has this kind of "feature". Yup I'm an OFW here in SG. My journey is same as yours but I'm finding it difficult to be consistent in investing since online lang ang transactions ko and if I want to know some infos with other banks magastos naman tumawag and hindi din sila mabilis mag respond sa email. Hopefully I can smooth out my portfolio and personal "system" of investing so that I can manage it properly kahit nasa SG ako.

    1. That can be challenging. But on the bright side, most of my info and investments are online too:) I rarely call, text, or talk face to face with banks myself.

  3. Nice to see another personal finance blogger bro. Keep it up! And thanks for visiting my blog and leaving some comments. :)

  4. Hi Tyrone! Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Hi Carlos. thanks for dropping by at smartpinoyinvestor.com! :)

    1. Hi Omeng! Thanks for dropping by too.

      I had a favor to ask. Could you email me?

  6. Thanks Carlo for the invite,
    and for the efforts in helping our kababayans in their financial life.

    More power!
    Omeng - SmartPinoyInvestor

    1. Hi Omeng!

      Thanks! Hopefully we can get our project underway soon.

  7. Another great site for 'everyday' investors. I have browsed through a few articles and I have found nuggets worth applying.

    Thank you for your commitment to help. I was 37 when I started investing seriously--to me this is very, very late. But then, I cannot turn back time. All I can say is, better late than never.

    Just curious, at what age did you start?

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thanks for the kind comments. I was 29 when I started. I figure that's pretty late too.

      True, it's better late than never. Besides, as long as you still have goals, then it's never really too late. It just sort of like you accomplished the earlier goals the harder way.

  8. I just want to ask you for your opinion, as I am myself even less than you when it comes to experience on how to make money from funds.

    Recently having started some equity funds in Bpi and not touching them for two years and a half, I learned about selling high and buying low: when the navp is high, sell! when it's low, buy!

    This is what I might call profit taking with funds.

    There were two times when my equity funds with Bpi had high navps, but I did not do any redemption of the funds

    Had I redeemed them I could have profited as much as over 20% of the original cash I put in them, then waited for their navps to dive low, and buy the shares back, to wait for the next high peaks.

    In this manner I will gain good cash in hand which cannot go down anymore, while when I don't redeem them, their gain on paper does go down eventually, of course in the long term the direction upward.

    Tell me what you think of my idea.

    1. Hi odrareg,

      That's a good strategy.

      It is very difficult to know when the peak and bottom is, though.

      But if you have the time, patience and discipline to study charts and keep up with the latest news and other info; then it's a good strategy.

  9. Dear Sir Carlos:

    Thanks for your reply; still I have not done any redeeming of funds so as to in effect sell high and then buy back low.

    What about this idea below.

    Ending two good investment funds and using the money to start an even better fund but new one, what do you say, Sir Carlos?

    Please consult this website for your orientation, https://www.bpiassetmanagement.com/pages/products-services-directory/.

    I terminate these two good funds:

    BPI Equity Value Fund
    Philippine Stock Index Fund

    And put the money redeemed therefrom into a better but new fund:

    BPI Philippine High Dividend Equity Fund

    Tell me, is this a wise decision?

    1. Hi Odradeg,

      That's not a bad idea. Personally, I think it's "normal" to switch funds. The real question is what triggers it and how long before each "jump".

      If you're doing it to chase the highest return, you're going to need to do your homework. Because if you're just using the past performance, then it's practically guesswork. The best fund for the year is usually not the fund that was best last year.

      You're going be sort of an analyst yourself and look at the way the economy is going, and what companies each fund is banking on. Then you'll have to guess which one is going to get it right. There's more grunt work involved, but basically that's what needs to be done.

      On the other hand, if you're switching because your investment goals are not being met, then it's an easier decision. Just select the funds with better track records and then choose the one you think is best.

      The timing of when to switch depends on you. Though I've heard it's usually best to wait a year or two, since equity funds are volatile and can take a while before you can get a good idea of their "real" performance.

      Overall it's a good strategy; there's no point sticking to a fund that lags behind. Just be sure you're making an informed choice, not just chasing the fund that looks great right now.

  10. since you claim you are not an expert and have not received any training. refrain from giving personal finance advise regarding VULs. just share your journey. your knowledge about VUL is limited. as with any financial instrument, it's usefuleness depends on the needs and plans of the client. just like a gun can be for protection, it can be used for oppression. while there are some financial advisors who just push products like pandesal, not everyone is like that. blog responsibly.

    1. While the neutrality of financial instruments is true, the intentions of those pushing them is not(especially in the case of VUL).

      I argue that it's the responsible thing to do to show the other side of the coin, so to speak. It gives people perspective and an opportunity to make a more informed decision.

  11. wow. for approval posts. hanep. takot ka pala eh.

    1. Yes, I'm very much afraid of spam. And to a lesser extent, also of trolls.