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Time Value of Money: How to Determine the Value of Money with Respect to Time

Money received today is more valuable than the same amount of money a year from now. It is essential to understand the relation between mone...

INSURANCE: VUL or Buy Term Invest Difference

Life insurance secures your family's finances in the event of your untimely demise. Insurance companies offer a wide array of products to cater your every need. Clients who prefer a Life insurance that with a cash value are usually presented with a Variable Universal Life Insurance proposal. A VUL is basically a Life Insurance and Mutual Fund packaged into one.

So how does VUL differ from buying each product separately? ( Buying Term and Investing the Difference ) Both methods have similar goals but have different end results. In order to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both methods, we shall examine how each method allocate funds for insurance and investment.

Real Cost of Owning a Vehicle

Most first time car owners neglect to anticipate the other expenses that comes with owning a car. Asides from your monthly amortization, you need to consider the cost of using and maintaining your vehicle. Some of these expenses costs an arm and a leg and will wreak havoc in your budget if you fail to prepare for it. Let us examine the expenses that are commonly over looked or under estimated by first time car owners.


Fuel is one of the recurring expenses you will incur using your vehicle. The several factors that affect fuel consumption of a vehicle are engine displacement, weight of vehicle and engine type. Driving conditions, the style of driving and proper maintenance of the vehicle.



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UITF - Mutual Fund - VUL

Investment funds offer less risk to those who are not familiar with investing. It offers less hassle to those who don't have the time to monitor their investments. These funds provide professional management of your investment for a minimal fee.

Fund Options

There are basically three kinds of funds you can invest in the Philippines, Unit Investment Trust Funds, Mutual Funds, and Variable Universal Life Insurance. These funds are invested in various asset classes with varying risks and returns. These investment products might look the same at first glance, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Stock Investment Principles

I started investing in the stock market through Equity Funds from my VUL and UITF. Although my fund investments gave good returns, I knew I needed to exert more effort in order to get better returns. I had to learn and understand more about stock investing to increase my chances in earning better returns.

Before I began buying individual stocks, I armed myself with basic principles on stock investing through books and articles. I learned the basic ratios, learned how to read balance sheets and income statements.

Benefits of Credit Card Rebates

Most of the personal-finance articles I read discourage the use of credit cards. I think that credit cards are not the problem. Abuse and improper use of credit cards are the roots of the problem. My unpleasant experience on credit card debt in the past has made me vow never to maintain a credit card debt again. I made it a personal goal to regain all of the interest I paid to the bank.

Credit Card Rebates

Why Most Pinoys Don't Invest in The Stock Market

Despite the spectacular growth of the Philippine economy the past few years, only less than 1% of Filipinos invest in the stock market. Most pinoys still prefer to put their money in a savings account. Some invest in real estate and time deposits, most avoid the stock market for various reasons.  Below are the usual reasons why most pinoys don’t invest in the stock market.

Free Online Philippine Stock Evaluation Tools

Before I ventured into investing in the Philippine Stock Market, I made sure that I understood the basics of stock investing. I read books and articles and learned basic ways to analyze stocks through fundamental and technical analysis. I needed data and tools to explore which stocks to buy.

Philippine Stocks

The official website of the Philippine Stock Exchange provides data you can use to evaluate a stock. The only problem with their site is the data of individual stocks takes time to sort. As a novice stock investor, I needed to find tools that will help me gather data at a minimal cost, data that will help me decide which stocks to invest in and at what price.

How Much Do You Need For Retirement?

If someone were to ask you how much money you need to retire, what would your number be? Financial Freedom or Retirement has always been my goal ever since I started this blog. I wanted to be financially free by 40. I continue to read personal finance blogs and books to bring me closer to my GOAL.


Although I already set a due date for my goal, I haven't established an exact amount for my goal. The first amount I set was ridiculously high. It was almost impossible for me to formulate a plan to achieve this goal to establish a realistic retirement amount. I did some research and eventually found a way to develop a sensible retirement amount.

RCBC Savings Bank End of Summer Auto Bonanza 2014

RCBC Savings Bank is having a End of Summer Auto Bonanza this May 29, 2014 - June 4, 2014. They are selling their repossessed vehicles at low prices. Contact your nearest RCBC Savings Bank for more details. Always do a physical inspection of the vehicle before making a purchase. Check my previous post "Purchasing Repossessed Vehiclesto guide you in your search for your vehicle purchase. Below is a listing of their available units from their official website as of May 28, 2014.

Equity Investment Strategies - Value Averaging

The Philippine stock market is currently experiencing a lot of ups and downs the past few months. Ideally the best way to earn in equities is to buy low and sell high. The only problem is how will you know if the stocks has hit bottom level or has reached its peak. Since their is no way for us to predict the future, their are investment strategies we can adapt to lessen our risk and increase our chances of gaining wealth. One of the investment strategy I already discussed in the past post Equity Investment Strategies - Cost Averaging which is simply investing the same amount each month. Another popular and dynamic investment strategy is Value Averaging.

Value averaging is an investment strategy that sets a predetermined target amount for a specific period. The investor either buys more shares if the value of his investments drops or sells shares if the value drastically increases compared to the target value. The investor sets the interval and the predetermined amount either in fixed additional amount or in increasing additional in amount. The concept of this investment strategy is basically buy when the market drops and sell when the market is high.

Effective Monthly Interest Rate Calculator

I've been researching the past few weeks on ways to put useful calculators in my website. I've tried reading tutorials to encode or embed an interactive calculator in this site. I just recently found out that I can embed spreadsheets using Microsoft excel online. For my first calculator I decided embed one my most used formula in projecting my investments. This calculator will convert annual interest rates to effective monthly interest rate.

Change the annual interest rate in the white box to convert it to compounding monthly rates.

Save Money by Buying Slightly Used Cars

Buying a vehicle can be difficult especially if you have a limited budget. Purchasing a car is one of the few major expenses most people will incur in their lifetime. One way of acquiring a vehicle at a discount price is to purchase a used car. A four year old used car is a lot cheaper compared to a brand new car and will most likely still be the same as the current model.
honda fd

My previous and current vehicle were used cars. I personally prefer purchasing slightly used new cars. If you are searching for bargain deals of slightly used cars here are some tips to consider before you decide.

How Much Do You Need to Retire Wealthy

Almost everyone wants to retire wealthy. There are those who think that their SSS pension is sufficient to handle all their expenses and live a comfortable life when they reach their golden years. Sadly these people only see the the truth when they realize their SSS pension is barely enough to pay for medical expenses. If you are asking yourself how you could possibly retire wealthy when you only earn a meager income.

There are 4 main factors to consider when it comes to building wealth. Income you generate, Portion of your income you set aside for yourself, Duration of building your wealth and Type of Investments you use in growing your money. Each of these factors affect one another and for most of us we usually have one factor we consider to be our weakness. You need not worry about your deficiency since you can compensate for the deficiency on the other factors I mentioned.

Credit Card Promo: Convert Purcashes to 0% Installment

RCBC Bankard Unli 0% Installment

Promo period is from April 1 – June 30, 2014.

Citibank Paylite Pay Later

Promo period is until July 11, 2014.

BDO Absolutely 0% interest for 3 months

Promo period is from January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014

What is "RICH" in the Philippines

One of the reasons I started this blog was to share the knowledge I learned about accumulating wealth. I regularly read books and other blogs to learn and improve my financial knowledge. In order for me to make a sound plan on achieving my financial goals I must first determine specific numbers that I must attain.

According to a study by the NSCB back in 2010, a family who has an annual household income between Php 295,000.00 - Php2,400,000.00 is considered middle class while an annual household income above Php2,400,000 is considered rich. If we take inflation into account these values will be an annual household income of Php 340,000 - Php 2,770,000 for the middle class and above Php2,770,000 for the affluent.

The study however does not mention any criteria regarding the age and Net Worth of the person. One method of determining the average net worth required is by using the TARGET NET WORTH FORMULA from the book "Millionaire Next Door". Below is the formula for the TARGET NET WORTH of an AVERAGE ACCUMULATOR OF WEALTH (AAW)


In order to be considered wealthy, a person must become a PRODIGIOUS ACCUMULATOR OF WEALTH (PAW) and must have double the target net worth of the AAW.

How Inflation Affects You

Inflation affects all of us. It affects income, expenses and how we manage our investments. Unless your country is experiencing hyper inflation or high inflation, most of us won't notice its effect immediately. Normal inflation rate is between 3%-5% per year and hyper inflation is inflation rate higher than 50%.  It is important to understand how inflation affects us since inflation affects the purchasing power of our money. The number of items you can purchase for One hundred peso today won't be the same ten years from now.
Historical Philippine Inflation Rate

Inflation according to investopedia "the rate at which the general prices of goods and services is rising, and, subsequently, purchasing power is falling. It is important to understand how inflation works since the purchasing power of your money today won’t be the same in the future.

Should You Rent or Buy a House?

Renting or buying a house both have their benefits and drawbacks. One may be more suitable for you than the other depending on your needs and situation. For you to make a sound decision, a lot of factors should be taken into consideration. Besides comparing the monthly amortization to the monthly rent, you should also consider other circumstances such as convenience, location, length of stay, lifestyle, and maintenance cost.
Rent or Buy a House

Doing the 52 Week Challenge

Every year I try to find new ways to improve my financial status. Last January I came across a savings strategy called the 52 week challenge. Although the idea originally came from Life as you live it, I read the article from Kuripot pinay.

The challenge is to save every week with a constant increasing amount every week. Unlike saving a constant amount every week, the increasing amount required allows you to slowly adjust your lifestyle in order to achieve the required amount each week. If you religiously stick to saving the required amount each week, you'll end up saving a huge amount at the end of the year.

The Importance of Delayed Gratification

Last month I decided to review my past expenses for the last couple of years. Ever since I decided to properly manage my finances, I have managed to drastically reduce my expense. After examining my past expenditure I realized I spent a lot of my income on unnecessary expenses.

Gross Total Income VS Total Expense
Although I religiously invested 10% of my income since I started working, I could have invested more had I resisted the temptation of purchasing unnecessary items. Above is a graph showing my total income in relation to the total expenses I incurred in the last seven years. I deferred my credit card debt during those instances when my expenses exceeded my income.

Personal Finance: Compounding Interest

A lot of Filipinos are familiar with the term interest rates. We have encountered it in our savings account, loans or investment. Although most Filipinos are familiar with the word interest rate, there are those who do not fully comprehend the compounding effects of interest rates. Depending on how compounding interest  affects your finances, it can either increase your wealth or empty your bank account. Most people don't realize the effects of compounding interest until they experience the effect of it in their lives. You can either let your money work for you or become a slave of money. 

interest rate

Compounding interest according to Investopedia "Interest calculated on the initial principal and also on the accumulated interest of previous periods of a deposit or loan." In its simplest term it is "Interest on Interest". One important aspect you should carefully examine before entering into something which involves interest rates is the period which it covers. Some interest rates are on a yearly or per annum(P.A.) basis and some are based on a monthly basis. 

Etoro Account Update January 2014

I decided to minimize my copy trades and open my own trades last October 2013. So far I have been able to slowly regain my investment. I mainly trade with the EUR USD. As of January 20, 2014 I have managed to regain all my loses last year. My account gained 39% from my initial investment.

Financial Goals 2014

I started this blog way back in 2008 to learn about handling my Personal Finances. I am not a Professional Finance Adviser and I do not have a back ground on accounting or investing. All I have is an interest to learn about these topics.

I started reading about investments and personal finance back in 2008. Although I learned a lot from the articles and books I read, I didn't practice most of the things I learned until 2010. Even then I still had problems with how I handled my money. Even though I earned more than the average person my age back then, I also spent most of my income buying the latest gadgets and splurging on other unnecessary expenses.

Break down of my Current Assets at the Start of 2014