Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dont Cry for Me Lucena City

As of today, my hometown Lucena City has two mayors. One suspended by the DILG but retained by the Supreme Court and the other installed by the DILG and recognized by COMELEC. Both of them holding office in two different places.

If you are busy making money and all of these political circus keep on pestering your brain you might be correct that Lucena City is going nowhere.

Our forefathers who created Lucena City vision it as the center of commerce not only in Quezon but in the whole Southern Tagalog. It was carved near 2 ports: Dalahican and Cotta , located between two rivers (Dumacaa and Iyam) and strategically accessible in all directions. So the vision is outstanding. The heirs are spoiling it by focusing on short-term strategies that benefits only their inner circle.

Meanwhile those who are working hard and raising their families in honest ways are penalized by having a dysfunctional local government. We can not stop their wrangling but they should be ashamed that the Filipino Investors based in Lucena City deserved a better local governance. History is harsh to those who are ineffective, look at Saleh, Gaddhafi.....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Buying Individual Stocks

Those who have experienced buying individual stocks directly instead of mutual funds will give you one common advice: be very careful. Why? because buying individual stocks will not need the diversification test required to minimize the risk.

If you have already investing in mutual funds you have experienced receiving annual report from you fund managers informing you how they picked the stocks they invested in. You noticed that they have strict limits on the number of companies they invested in.

It is only wise that you act like a fund manager in picking your own individual stock by buying only stocks that are favorites of fund managers. Check your mutual fund annual report and you will see the stocks that I am talking about.

Second step is to research the stock you selected by checking the company and the management team handling the company. Judge them based on their style and management experience.

Third, once you bought the stock, you have to make sure that you manage it. You made a choice of buying directly therefore devote time to manage it.

Fourth, what will you manage? the checking how the volume of shares traded in the stock market. You have to check your stock on a daily basis or weekly basis if you are too busy. The bottom line is you should make a historical perspective of your stock's price usually for 52 weeks to establish a basis whether to keep or sell your stock.

This is my personal experience on stock buying. How's yours?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Consumer Country (a re-blog)

Mario (not his real name) was an MBA classmate of mine when we were working then in Ayala. We have a lot of qualities in common that’s why we were at eased with each other for at most 10 years.

One thing that differ him from me is that he is a spendthrift.

Every payday I save money to invest in my house and college education of my children. Mario is different, he spend as if there is no tomorrow. Branded clothes, shoes, neckties, handkerchiefs and regular dining in fine restaurants are his usual “investments”. He is known in his office for being maporma.

When we reached 30 years old, Mario and I decided to have a small drink at the Greenbelt. After we downed 2 bottles, Mario got under the influence. He began to tell stories to me that he was heavily in debt. More than hundred thousands because of the plastic (credit card!!!). He can not pay anymore the loan because he has other loans with lots of people. He is about to be kick out from his apartment if he will not pay the rent which is due for 3 months. His girlfriend abandoned him when she learned that he was bankrupt. Mario was totally devastated. Victim of zero savings habit and 100% consumptions propelled by his eveready credit card.

My life was reversed of him. I am not rich but I have a house and lot , college plan for my two children are paid in full and I have investment in mutual funds all before I reached 30.

Mario and I parted ways when I left PILTEL in 2001. I never heard any news about him. But I see a lot of Mario’s in our country. Children of OFWs, government or private workers and sabungeros. Only few people I know who has the propensity to save and invest.

Our country is a consumer country. With the exception of the Tsinoys and some enlightened countrymen the norm in our blood is to spend and consume. Postponing pleasure today in order to have a pleasant future is somewhat a blasphemy in our culture.

To exorcise this spendthrift demon, some like Mario need to suffer first before expelling it while others kill it even before it step on their door mat.

The roads are difficult for the latter but sure as the sun shines it brings reward.