Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Goodbye, Hello

I guess this is it. This is goodbye.

Before we end, I guess it’s just proper to talk a bit about how all this began.

Investor Juan did not start on February 2010, as what most of you believe. I actually bought the domain name “investorjuan.com” on July 16, 2008. Before that, I’ve just been writing emo personal stuff, similar to what Hap is doing now; up until I realized what a complete waste of time that was (speaking for myself, dude, hahaha). So I decided to write about something more meaningful, something that’s close to my heart, and something that I’m fairly familiar with: personal finance.

My first post was “5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Credit Card,” but I never got around to writing a follow-up. So my momentum stalled, and the site became dormant for the next 20 months.

I finally found the catalyst that I needed when I rediscovered my “writer’s voice” on February of this year. I started fresh with an introductory post, and I reposted the credit card article as my third. And that more or less brings us up to speed, here at the end.

The end of what, you might be wondering? Is this the end of Investor Juan? Hell no, far from it: in seven short months, much remains unsaid about the issues that confront the Filipino investor, and Investor Juan will continue to endeavor to help others face those issues.

This goodbye is more of a personal sort. I’m saying goodbye because I’m leaving the country to do something that I’ve wanted to do since I graduated from the MBA program of the University of the Philippines four years ago: pursue a PhD degree. On February of this year, around the same time I “restarted” Investor Juan, I found out that I had been lucky enough to be one of the recipients of the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship. I have chosen to pursue a PhD program in Finance and Decision Science, and in the next three years, I will be undertaking research in that field.

How is this related to the things we talk about here at Investor Juan? Three ways:
  • One, my research will focus on how individual investors make important financial decisions like budgeting and investing, and how economic, social, and psychological factors affect these decisions. My research topic is therefore completely consistent with the main themes of this blog. 
  • Two, unlike the Philippines, Hong Kong has more developed financial markets; consequently, investors are faced with a slew of investment alternatives that we have not even heard of in the Philippines. This gives us a lot of material to learn from and can serve as the perfect situational benchmark when we analyze the investment environment in the Philippines.
  • Three, investing in yourself, with additional education and training, is one of the best ways to improve your financial standing. Warren Buffet swears by it. Millions of Americans turn to it when faced with under- and unemployment. I'm doing it because it's the next logical thing for me to do, career wise, and because I just miss being a student. :)
So this isn't so much an end, but rather a new beginning for the site. In the coming months, we'll get to look at things from a different perspective, while maintaining that distinct Filipino sensibility.

But I'm saying goodbye, nonetheless. Goodbye, my motherland. This is the longest I'll be away from you. We are currently going through a very rough patch, the world now sees us in a very unflattering light, but I know that this will eventually subside and that it's not something we cannot overcome. Know that as I leave, you will forever be in my heart and I will always be your proud son. And I'm definitely coming back.

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