Monday, April 5, 2010


The American Dream

I think this comic beautifully captures everything that has happened and all that has been said in Investor Juan since we started two months ago, leading to Kat’s contribution in the last two posts.

Hasn’t this “American dream” also become the “Filipino dream” for most of us? Many of us have just gotten too used to and too comfortable with being rats in a race that we rarely complain anymore. As long as we can still take leaves from work to spend a week or two in Boracay or Bohol, as long as we can still eat lunch will all our fellow yuppies in Paseo Center, as long as we can still buy that latest gadget from Apple, even if it means we have to continue living with our parents even after we turn thirty (sometimes even after we get married and have our own kids), even if it means we have to pay 10% of our monthly salaries to credit card companies so that our debt balance does not balloon uncontrollably, even if it means we have to forego our dream of taking further studies just because we can’t afford to stop working, we are satisfied.

Fortunately, some of us actually do want out of the rat race, and first step in that direction involves being more financially literate, which is the primary goal of Investor Juan. Only after addressing this issue can we even start talking about things like “investment strategies” or “financial freedom.”

There are several reasons why I think I’m in a good position to help achieve this objective and facilitate discussions about personal finance. One, because I have studied, practiced, and now am teaching finance, I know enough things about the topic to share with you. Two, like many of you I am just a regular guy with a regular job who tries to squeeze every peso out of his disposable income for savings and looks for ways to make the most out of what he has. Three, while I still have not reached my financial goal, I have already achieved a few small victories when it comes to my finances: at the very least, I’m not into debt, I’m able to consistently save a significant portion of my earnings, my emergency fund is intact and I already have a modest amount tied-up in several investment vehicles.

Using the words of Kat, I just hope that this “community” flourishes in the months and years to come; I hope that we will be able to help each other be better off not only financially, but personally as well. So if you have a story to tell, a question or two to ask, or a funny thing to share, don’t hesitate to drop by, share your thoughts, and be among friends.

The Chinese Sojourn

I’ll be in China for work from April 5 to 18. And while Blogger is blocked in China, fortunately there is a way for me to post articles via email. During this time, I plan to tie loose ends and address some of your unanswered questions; while I’m there, I might as well talk about China, the way the Chinese deal with money and do business, how Chinese culture, tradition, and politics permeates into the business environment, and how all of these things can affect us, Filipinos. I might not be able to reply to your comments via the site, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email

I’ll try to have a little something for everyone when I come back. Xie xie. Nihao. (Did I say that right?)

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