"Because of What My Parents Taught Me, I own a Property and Car before 30" - Leo, Investment Advocate

Dear friends, let me share with you an inspiring journey of a Financial Advocate who attended our very first Financial Planning seminar with his friends two years ago, invited our team to conduct seminar in their company to educate his colleagues and I can say that he really is passionate in spreading financial literacy to all his friends and loved ones. 

Friends, let me introduce with you a good friend, Leo Manalaysay. Here's his exact words.

I'm 31 years old and youngest among 5 siblings. I've been working as an IT Programmer for almost 10 years. I'm still single and living with my mother. Also, I'm a fitness enthusiast, runner and a Financial Advocate. 

What I learned from parents or loved ones about saving

Save for the rainy days / build emergency fund
Our parents always remind us that life is like a wheel. Life has a cycle. When you're on top (or when you have everything you want) it doesn't mean you will stay there or have any thing you like forever. So it would be better to save as much as possible especially when you are at the peak of your career. You are still capable of working. Because when the time comes that you can no longer work anymore or your business is not profitable as before, you have this "fund" which you can use for emergency or to start another business.

Delayed Gratification

At an age early age, our parents taught us the difference between needs and wants. There was a time when I really want to have a console game like Nintedo, Sega, Gameboy because my friends had those. But my parents didn't buy me one. They taught us golden lesson instead. "Kapag nagtrabaho ka na, malalaman mo na kung gaano kahirap kitain ang pera, mabibili mo na ang gusto mo bilhin at maintindihan mo kung ano ang dapat sa hindi dapat bilhin".

Also, I always remember my Tatay telling us that we should not get envy to other people's fancy cars, signature clothes, or expensive gadgets. Our parents taught us to be frugal. I often hear them saying, "hayaan mo sila mauna bumili, makakabili ka rin nyan at kapag mayroon ka na. sigurado luma na yung kanila".

Leo with his family
Stay away from Debt

My parents trained us to spend in cash only. If you can't pay in cash, that means you can't afford it yet. We know a lot of families who suffer financial disaster because of irresponsible accumulation of debt. Some of them availed loans from banks to buy a brandnew car or property. But after a few years, they can no longer afford to pay the amortization and they have no other choice but to give up what they have.

Save, save, save

There was a time when my brother from US sent me USD100 as a Christmas gift. I don't know what to do with it and no idea what to buy. So my Nanay told me if I'll spend it right away, I can only buy few things but if I'll allow it to grow or put it in the bank instead, I will be surprised of what the money can buy in the future. "Habang nagiipon ka, hindi mo agad mapapansin na palago nang palago ang ipon mo at habang lumalago, mas sisipagin ka pang magipon".

Save for retirement 

Our parents trained us well to be financially responsible - to stand on our own. Right now, my mother is already retired but she is financially independent. She have a 8 commercial apartments in Bulacan that the income is more than enough to supply her simple lifestyle. Because of that, she never asked or obliged my siblings and I to give her money.

Money principle/mindset/attitude I want to share with you

1. God is our provider. He is able. We are just a steward of His blessing. Your possession is not all yours. You are blessed so that you can bless other people.

2. Money is not the most important thing in life but it does affect everything that is important.

3. Do not compromise your integrity with money. It's easy to earn money than to win back your integrity.

4. You should save and invest more than you spend for a long period of time.

5. Live simply and be grateful of what you have.

6. As long as you already established a good financial foundation (Emergency funds, long-term investments, Life insurance, Savings, Debt Free), you can spend and enjoy your money in vacation or anything you want to buy

7. Health is Wealth. Have a healthy lifestyle so that you can enjoy your life and achieve your dreams

8. Look for a mentor, financial adviser, attend seminars or buy a book.  I'm an avid follower of Suze Orman, Randell tiongson, Efren Cruz, Dennis Sy, Salve Dupluito, Chinky Tan, and Francisco Colayco. Here are some of my favorite shows: Suze Orman's
"Can I Afford It" and "Salve say so" segment in ANC On The Money.

What does my asset allocation/savings look like

I'm using a spreadsheet to monitor my income and savings allocation. Also, I'm using the auto-debit features of BPI expressonline. I have the following fund for each of my needs and goals:
  • Emergency fund (6 months equivalent to my monthly expenses) 
  • Tithe for the church 
  • Travel fund (I love to travel)
  • Life Insurance fund (for my annual premiums)
  • Long-term investment fund (to invest in stock market)
  • Retirement fund (to invest in pooled funds like Mutual Funds, UITF, VUL and Multipurpose Cooperative
  • Life Dreams fund: House Building fund or "Wedding fund" kung sakali man may dumating hahaha

Because of what my parents taught me, I was able to buy my own property and car before the age of 30. 

(Update as of February 2015)

Leo is currently taking up certification for Associate Financial Planner or AFP under the training of Mr. Efren Ll. Cruz. He is also one of the admins of Filipino Financial Freedom Forum group on facebook.


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