(This week’s article is from a trusted mentor, Sir Mon Lao. Enjoy and feel free to share! – Lianne)
I had watched the movie Timecop several times. Although I know the story, I loved the idea of going back in time not to make money like the corrupt senator, but to undo the mistakes I have done in the past.
In one scenario, the corrupt senator said, “Never interrupt me when I am talking to my (younger) self”. He was trying to change the future by telling his younger self to change his erratic decision.
Now, if only I had the chance to talk to my 25-year old self, here are five things I want to say:
Learn via seminars. I was a person who hated seminars before. Seminars bored me to death. Seminars, whether free or paid, are a great way to increase your knowledge. If you are invited to an MLM seminar, give time to it even if you do not join. The point is you learn more sales techniques or more real-life skills than you would have from school.
Get insurance. Even single young people need insurance.
Insurance nowadays is not only about death benefit, but also about living benefit. A lot of critical illnesses strike the younger generation because of poor lifestyle, increased stress and even overfatigue. Once critical illness strikes, one’s life savings may not be enough to cover the expenses for treatment. Insurance will protect us from such risks if ever they occur.
Invest in mutual funds while you are young. Ever since I was a child, I am already a natural saver.
Little did I know that as I save, I am paying myself. Every peso I earn, I put it in my piggy bank and when full, I transfer it to my bank account.
Whenever my savings account earns interest, I am happy because that interest is a passive income. The more I save, the more I earn.
However, in my early twenties, only insurance agents approached me to offer insurance. There were no other instruments offered to me!
If I were to advise myself, I would encourage myself to make my money grow via mutual funds. Had I invested that time, my money would have grown to 38 times as of today.
Get married early. I married at a late age of 32 and had my first-born at a late age of 37. Every delay in deciding to get married results to higher cost of baby items such as milk, higher cost of education fee which escalates yearly. I had a friend who married at age 24 and now he has finished his responsibilities. Getting married early is just similar to investing early. Just make sure you want to tie the knot with your special someone.
Listen to your parents. There were times I was stubborn to my parents especially when I think I am right. But I was always proven wrong. As my parents will often tell me, “You are just starting your journey, and we are already on our way back. So we already know the result that awaits you”.
No matter how much we do not understand our parents, the fact is our parents loves and cares for us just like God does.
How about you? What do you want to tell your younger self? If you are 25 now, it is time to face the mirror and talk to yourself.
Like any other type of business, network marketing has both its good and bad eggs. And while they may get a bad rap along with multi-level marketing, there do exist legitimate network marketing opportunities that could change your fortunes for the better.
Whether you’re looking at car insurance providers or food products, choosing the right company can make a difference in stretching the lifespan of your investment. There are telltale signs, though, that can clue you in on whether a network marketer’s offer is the real deal or not. If you encounter any of the following personalities, proceed with caution.
The Big Talker
“Triple your salary in months!” “Be your own boss!” These are the marketers that will promise you the moon and stars just to bring you over to their side. We’ve all heard the old adage: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If a marketer makes plenty of lofty promises, give yourself time to investigate their claims. Look for real stats and sales figures from trustworthy sources. Without the numbers to back them up, these people are all sizzle and no steak.
The High Roller
At first glance, this person will look like the Big Talker’s polar opposite. They’re the ones flaunting their brand-new car, designer duds, or swanky vacation snapshots on Instagram — all courtesy of their huge network marketing paycheck.
Be careful, though; this image of profligate spending may scream “nouveau riche” or “skewed values” rather than “effective entrepreneur.” Prudent network marketers don’t fall for the trap of aspirational spending. Instead, they should set their business priorities in the right place.
The Cold Call
Imagine this: An old high school friend or casual acquaintance calls you out of the blue, offering to take you out to lunch. Without warning or explanation, they drag you to a “free” seminar promoting this product or that investment opportunity. Congratulations! You’ve just been roped into a network marketing scheme against your will.
And for future reference: a good business should know how to operate while also respecting your personal boundaries. (That goes the same for your friend.)
The Recruitment Shark
Does the product stand on its own? Or does your success rely on how many new people you can bring into the fold? A good network marketing company should get by on the strength of the product or service it’s selling, not on how many friends or relatives you can recruit for them.
Is the company taking full advantage of its convoluted sales structure just to turn a profit? Chances are, it’s not as legitimate as it appears. Take a closer look at its business model and see whether or not it fits the textbook description of a pyramid scheme.
The Shady Operator
How many years has the company been in operation? How many name changes has it undergone? Does it possess all the necessary government certifications for an enterprise of its size and scale? Does it get consistently good press from customers and former employees?
These are just a handful of questions you should ask about any network marketer. If they make only vague claims about the company’s stability and track record, take that as a red flag. This goes double if they won’t give a straight answer to any of your queries, or even contradict themselves at certain points.
The Money Grabber
Any good network marketer should know how to conduct their business professionally. Ideally, this means exuding financial stability without extorting its own partners.
To be clear, not all network marketers that require you to pay cash upfront are bad. However, consider the image any business projects when it does this. By asking you to pay a fee before you can take part, at worst the business projects an air of desperation.
It doesn’t matter if a company is selling cosmetics or electronics; telling the genuine article apart from the scams can be a difficult process. When switching to any new product or service, doing your homework on the company’s track record can help ensure you get a good customer experience.
In starting the road to financial freedom, you need to choose which investment/insurance company you want to handle and manage your money for you.
Speaking of insurance companies, the Insurance Commission has recently released their latest life insurance company rankings in the Philippines.
In the latest ranking of life insurance companies in the Philippines, Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. retains the top spot and leads the insurance industry in terms of total premium income. In simple terms, “premium income” refers to revenues earned by the insurance company from their customers who get insurance policies from them. Basically speaking, the insurance company that leads this category means that it’s the life insurance company which received the highest premium income-earner.
It can be said that the reason for Sun Life’s dominance remains to be their strong agency force and also their aggressive marketing companies – both online (Brighter Life) and offline (Fun Run, #PYOLO, among others).
2014 saw a realignment of the rankings in total premium income. Philam Life was the second spot-holder last 2013, but this 2014, they’re at number 3; whereas AXA Philippines was the third-placer last 2013 and on the latest results, they’ve claimed the second spot.
What’s to be noted in the latest ranking is the wide margin from Sun Life’s 30 billion in premium income to AXA Philippines’ 18 billion. It’s exciting to see if this record will be consecutive in the next few years to come.
The strongest point to be noted in the ranking is also Sun Life’s premium income in dominating the VUL (Variable Life Insurance) target market, don’t you think?
- The premium varies. (Premium is the amount you deposit regularly for this plan). It depends on the coverage you need and on the yearly budget that you can set aside for this financial product.
- The paying period varies. It depends on you, too. For example, you can choose to contribute for 5, 10, 15 or 20 years.
- In VULs, you get a guaranteed protection benefit and a variable investment amount.
* Variable investment amount: since VULs have investment components, the investment scheme is similar to how mutual funds/UITFs work. Their returns aren’t guaranteed – this is a universal rule in investment because sometimes you may incur losses, sometimes you may have huge gains.
Historically speaking, though, for example if you invested in a balanced fund and held it for the long-term, an annual interest of *8% to 10% was observed.
For your reference, Sun Life’s well-known VUL solutions include:
- Sun Maxilink Bright; and,
Any thoughts on the recent rankings?
Have you ever dreamed of getting away from it all? Of going on a vacation and seeing all the sights the world has to offer?
Travel ranks high in the list of things everybody has to experience at least once in their lives, and there is no better time to start than when you’re still young.
Think about it: at a young age you’re still fit and able-bodied, you don’t have as many responsibilities tying you down. Spending weeks at a time in an unfamiliar place can build character in ways sitting in an office all day cannot.
But what if you don’t have enough money for travel? The good news is you don’t need to be a high-roller to have the time of your life. You can just as easily go on the adventure of a lifetime by following these budget-friendly travel tips:
1. Prepare months in advance
Can’t decide between backpacking solo and going on a road trip with your friends? Whichever route you take, make sure you prepare well ahead of time. If flying abroad, start shopping around for affordable plane tickets as early as six months before. If going on a cross-country drive, keep updated on your car insurance policy by learning the exact procedures you need to follow in case of a road emergency.
2. Learn more about your destination
No matter where you plan to go, you should do tons of research on your planned destination. In this case, the Internet is your friend; visit Trip Advisor and/ or local tourism websites for recommendations on must-see destinations where you’re headed. You can also use this time to dig up alternate routes, restaurants, activities, and backup sleep accommodations you can check out as your Plan B.
3. Get creative
Travel is the perfect opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something different. Instead of shelling out big bucks on a five-star hotel room, try staying at a hostel or look for sleeping arrangements through websites like Couchsurfing. Conquer your fear of heights and try ziplining, take a tour of all the local museums to expand your cultural horizons, or bring out your inner Indiana Jones by going on a nature hike.
You might even take the opportunity to earn while you travel. You can make it a goal to work as an au pair in Europe or perhaps a fruit picker in Australia for some months after you finish college. Such opportunities give you the experience of a lifetime. You can look up summer jobs as early as now to give you ample time to prepare.
4. Stay safe
By going off the beaten path, naturally you’ll also be dealing with higher amounts of risk. Stay on alert whenever you hop in a taxi or take public transportation. Watch out for pickpockets and don’t be reckless with your personal belongings (especially your wallet or passport). And unless you want to lose your smartphone on the road, resist the temptation to take gratuitous selfies during every leg of your trip.
5. Don’t be a jerk
As the saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Put that classic Pinoy hospitality to good use by being polite, extending a helping hand to fellow travellers, and saying “thank you” whenever it’s appropriate. Maintain healthy boundaries so that your kindness doesn’t get abused. When something goes wrong, think rationally instead of losing your temper. Who knows, you might even make a new friend or two!
Yes, every vacation has its potential for both the good and the bad. You might come across a beautiful knickknack at the night market, or get into a minor mishap with the local cuisine. What matters is making the most out of your trip, not to mention having a great story to share with your other friends when you get back.
Unlike buying a new car or gadget, travel is one of those big-ticket investments you make more for the experience than its utility. So long as you go into your trip with the right mindset and attitude, you are guaranteed to have a great time.
What about you? Have you got any fool-proof travel tips of your own?
Want to check your SSS contributions online? Here’s an easy process you can follow.
Keeping track of your SSS contributions is a priority. Why?
My friend’s father who started working when he was 26 has an SSS account. The company he worked for included SSS contribution as one of the benefits. Kampante siya, he never checked once if the company was contributing or not.
Now, my friend’s father is 50, and he just found out that his SSS contribution is 50 months pa lang! It turns out that the past company he worked for never contributed to his account. Tragic, don’t you think?
With the presence of a working SSS website, though, you can check your SSS contributions online without any hassle. You don’t need to go to the branch anymore!
Here are the steps:
The ultimate investing tip? Consider these first before making the big investing jump!
The BBC News recently cited a study from Oxfam that says that the richest 1% of the world increased their share of the world’s wealth from just 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014. Oxfam predicts that the wealth of this tiny portion of the world’s population is set to grow to 54% by 2020.
The same article states that to be able to be part of that 1% club, you would have to be worth over half a million pounds or close to 67 million pesos.
You have a lot of work to do if you’re aspiring to be part of that elite club. And sad to say, it would be near impossible to achieve that level of wealth working as an employee for a corporation.
You need to invest.