Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Laws that will affect our investing strategies

The following are the capital market legislation we are waiting to be implemented:

1. Personal Equity Retirement Account (PERA) Act- encourage the accumulation of savings and investments to augment inadequate pension and retirement benefits. Status: Approved but tax regulations that would govern the grant of tax incentives for the investors still under review.

2. Real estate Investment Trust (REIT) Act - promote the development of the capital market by expanding the participation of Filipinos in the ownership of real estate.Status: Approved but tax regulations that would govern the grant of tax incentives for the investors still under review.

3. Collective Investment Schemes Law- authored by Senator Angara which aims to unify laws and regulations governing all types of pooled investments and provide a competitive environment.
Status: pending

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Philippine Stock Exchange Online Trading System is doing the online trading for several years but the announcement of the PSE that they will provide online trading services for trading participants that can in turn be offered to investors will revolutionalize how we buy and sell stocks. Investors in the provinces and the OFWs are waiting for the online trading system for a very long time. I am forecasting a PSE that is more active once the system will be functional.

To date, most trades in the country are still done via phone calls or physical interaction with stockbrokers or agents.The system will not kill the stockbrokers but rather take advantage of the Internet and the continuous growth of online transactions by allowing us, investors, to place our orders to the brokers online.

The online trading system will level the playing field.

Congratulations to PSE president and chief executive officer Hans Sicat for this project and hoping and praying that you will select the best solutions provider before the year ends.

I can not wait trading online!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Economics and Investing: A direct relationship

In my fifth year of teaching Finance I was approached by an honor student complaining that he did not deserved the 78% grade on his case analysis paper. He mentioned that all his grades for the past case analyses are way above 90%. I admired his bravery but I pitied his fear of receiving low grades. Looking on our society today, being rejected and being a failure is an anathema. Parents, peers and even schools pressured us to be successful in all what we do resulting to the feeling of humiliation when we experienced otherwise.

In investing, failure is part of the territory. Stock prices will surely go down, mutual fund NAVs will fall, real estate prices may depreciate and business may collapse. What we can do is to mitigate the failure by using our knowledge in economics.

We should remember as an investor that investment works in the essence of the most important word in economics: scarcity. I remember my economics professor Enrico Mina said that scarcity compel us to compete starting from the sperm cell racing to meet the egg cell. In investing it is the same , you compete with everybody else on buying the house located in the best location, selling first the stocks before the price goes down and even just getting a high score in the dreaded UPCAT exam.

Those who say that we can disregard competition are in the wrong side of the equation. We can not escape it and the products it produce: pain when failing and joy when succeeding. If I succeed in a competition it will teach me magnanimity and humility and if I fail my salvation is to persevere more to do all things well and to anticipate the reward that will surely come.Our being will not be complete if pain and joy are absent.

In my MBA days I had a debate with an Indonesian classmate who said that our country is becoming a failure. At the beginning, I was angry then I realized that there was a hint of truth on what he said. His basis of contention is that we do not produce what we consume and the scarcity we are experiencing were the product of lousy performance. Now I accepted that economics play a vital role in good investing.

Our country and our investment strategies are microcosm of who we are.

Our country will be economically prosperous if we start the culture of rewarding those who are most useful and those who provide valuable things to others.

Our investing strategies will be successful if our decisions are based on business performance and achievements.

Economics and investing are inseparable twins fueled by scarcity, surviving due to coordination and succeeding thru productive efforts. Disregarding one means stagnancy and strengthening the two means prosperity. We now know what to choose.

Arnel L. Cadeliña

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Investing in Real Estate

Those who took accounting subjects it was taught to us that a house is an asset.Our professors are correct but in personal finance we treat house as a liability. Why? We spend money for the maintenance, utilities, furniture and fixtures. It is a total cash outflow. If you would like to make it an asset, you have to think of ways to make your house earn money. Can you launch a business in your garage? can you convert unused space for a boarding house? Can you make a home-based business?. There are myriad of ways but first we have to accept it is a liability in order for us to be on our toes to make it as an asset.
Those who will buy real estate there are several factors that will contribute to the increase of market value of your prospective property. My stint as an appraiser during my 3 years stay at Pag-IBIG Fund taught me the following:

1. LOCATION is a primary factor. Appraiser always give a high appraisal for those real estate that are near commercial areas, schools and church. They gave low appraisal for those property located neat a creek or river that has history of overflowing. Transportation is also a factor- real estate where 24 hour transportation is present is always priced high.

2. CORNER LOT AND FRONTAGE.If you have an opportunity of buying a real-estate that is located in a corner lot ,has a wide frontage, heavy traffic of people and wide streets with pedestrian lane, you hit the jackpot. Buy it now, the increase of market value will double or even triple in 5 years time.

3. DRAINAGE AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM. You should be very careful on buying property where drainage and sewerage system is defective or non existent. The risk of your property being flooded during the rainy season is high hence the market value will be low. Therefore generally property located in elevated area fetch higher that those in low-lying area.

4. CLEAN TITLE. In our country there are people who are expert in making bogus documents and Jose Pidal is their hero. Therefore you have to be careful by checking with the register of deeds the property that is offered to you. When we say clean title it is registered and free form liens or claims. Check also the tax declaration to make sure the real property taxes are paid regularly.

These are the 4 ways I know that can help you decide based on my three years stint as appraiser of Pag-IBIG Fund Lucena City.

Happy hunting, then.

* thank you for the photo featured here.

Monday, August 08, 2011

The importance of emergency fund

My son was hospitalized for eight days because of dengue. In his first two days of sickness we thought that it was just an ordinary case of fever because his platelets were above 200 thus normal.When the fever did not subside on the third day we decided to bring him to the hospital just to make sure. Our suspicion was confirmed when his platelets plummets to less than 200 and reaching as low as 84 on the sixth day. His chilling never stopped and his blood pressure dropped to 90/50.

I thought I am losing my son. I lost count on how many medicines I bought and how many dose of dextrose they inserted on his veins. As a parent, the fear factor was there. We had only prayers to hold into and the rosary our sole company on those agonizing eight nights. In that time of uncertainty, we literally knocked on heaven's door.

It was heaven's sent that his doctor was well-trained on handling dengue cases and she was accepting calls even past midnight. She instructed the nurses to monitor the vital sign of my son every two hours.

On the 7th day the platelets began to jumped to more than 100, the fever subsided and the blood pressure returned to normal. We thanked God for this turned of events.

As we contemplate on what happened, we accepted the fact that even though our house and our backyard are clean, the mosquitoes carrying dengue can fly from house to house and multiply quickly on rainy days. One family can not solve the continuous rise of dengue cases. Cleaning the surrounding should be a community effort and the local government should assists.

Meanwhile, I paid the hospital around P20,000. A huge amount that can be used to other important expenses. When I read the newspaper today that there is a dengue outbreak in other parts of the country, I feel for the parents who need money to buy medicines for his child. It is no joke to be sick in our country and those who have no income and no emergency fund will put the child in danger. These are the reasons why there are children dying of dengue though is a curable sickness.

As a parent our choice is clear: to save the life of our child .......notwithstanding the astronomical hospital bills in our country.