Saturday, February 6, 2010

5 Things You Need to Know About Investor Juan

1. I am an educator, first.

Yes, we’re all familiar with the cliche about teachers: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” And while I’ll be the first to admit that to certain frames of mind and in certain situations this saying does make sense, I also know that it won’t be hard to convince you that not everyone can teach. It requires unconditional love for the profession and your students (no matter how bratty or spoiled they behave, sometimes ;)), an almost inexhaustible well of patience, and an unassailable expertise on your chosen field of study. So we can treat this virtual venue as just another classroom where I get to share some of what I know to you and, just like a real-world class, you also sometimes get to teach me a trick or two.

2. Like you, I want to be rich.

As in honey-get-the-vacuum-there’s-dirt-all-over-the-carpet filthy rich, only filthier. And like most of you, there’s no fat, hefty inheritance in the horizon for me. But perhaps more importantly, unlike some of you, I don’t believe in get-rich-quick-schemes; only the people who peddle such crap get rich, mostly at the expense of the unfortunate souls who get duped by their hollow promises. Hopefully I’ll be able to convince most, if not all, of you that the first peso is just as important as the last that makes up that first million.

3. Personal finance is not just about budgeting.

Although it is almost always the first logical step for many of us who first need to save and amass capital before we can invest. It is also about choosing the right investment vehicle for you. Sometimes your own money will not be enough for a promising venture that unexpectedly comes your way, so you’ll have to go “OPM”, or use “other people’s money”. But you’ll have to be familiar with financing alternatives that offer fair rates, else you’ll find yourself beholden to the usurious rates of our turban-wearing and motorbike-riding friends from West Asia. These are some of the things that I‘ll talk about in this blog, based on the things I know as a teacher of Finance and on my experience as an individual investor like you.

4. The reason why I decided to put up this website is because I’ve become tired of all the boring and uninformative Filipino personal finance blogs out there.

Forgive the arrogance, but do try searching “Filipino personal finance” or “Philippines personal finance” and you’ll see that most of what’s out there is crap, written by people who, half the time, don’t even know what they’re talking about. I’m not saying I know everything there is to know about personal finance, but I will promise you that every analysis I give will be based on solid and accurate financial theory, that every market interest rate I will quote will come from a published source, and that ALL of my stories will be based (loosely) on real life experiences. But I can’t promise you that all my jokes will be funny. I ain’t no miracle worker.

5. Together, we’ll embark on a journey towards financial freedom.

Two years ago, I had just broken up with my girlfriend and I was left almost completely broke, having for years lived beyond my means. I quickly decided to shape up and take control of my life, both emotionally and financially. And even though romantic bliss has continued to elude me since then, I have been somewhat successful in turning my finances around; I now have around 400,000 pesos in assets, a result of prudent expense management, sound investing, hardwork and patience (one can never go wrong with “sipag at tiyaga”), and admittedly even a bit of luck. But my journey does not end there, and I plan to take the next step with you.

Welcome to Investor Juan!
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