The year isn’t over yet, and you can still redeem your 2022 New Year’s Resolution and save your remaining funds — your 13th-month pay and Christmas bonus.
Make sure to treat your family and express your gratitude through special gifts, and by special, we mean “something sustainable.” Like the gift of love, here’s a guide of special Christmas presents that could last a lifetime, a list of investment options where you can allot your hard-earned money.
Purchase life insurance
Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can bring you some peace of mind. Set aside your emergency fund and get at least a life insurance, especially if you have small kids depending on you. If you have real estate investments, consult a certified estate planner on how to keep control of your property while reducing the possible tax. An insurance plan will also save your already grieving family from the troubles of transferring your bequeathed house or piece of land. Health insurance against expensive critical illnesses is also important as much as HMOs for outpatient care. Discuss VULs and non-VUL options with your insurance advisor.
Check out the stock market
For a minimum of P5,000, you can start investing (read: not trading) on the local stock market governed by the Philippine Stock Exchange. For beginners, you may opt to buy shares from blue chip corporations—if you think about it, it’s actually a conservative move. Whether you only have 10 or 100 shares, you become a shareholder. Time is on your side. Some funds may be the best and the most profitable right now, but not in other periods, but you earn through cost averaging. So, the younger you are, the better chances that your funds will grow. It’s also advisable that you gain expertise in stocks before you dabble in cryptocurrency.
Wanting to retire early but don’t know how to start and what to prepare? Let us do the job of calculating how much money you need to FIRE (financial independence, retire early).
Choose a mutual fund
If you want expert fund managers to watch the market for you, invest in mutual fund. Index fund is one of the most ideal as it includes the top tier of blue chip companies in the market. If you want liquidity but also better gains than bank savings, opt for money market fund, the safest financial product in the mutual fund segment.
With around P50,000, you can diverse your portfolio with an equity fund, balanced fund, bond fund, and money market fund in the mix. Consult mutual fund companies such as Sun Life Asset Management (a sister of the No. 1 insurance company) and, together, review your risk tolerance, investment objectives and goals.
Start or join a business
Yes, you can start your own business with your 13th month pay. It’s more practical, however, to partner with an existing business or get a franchise of your favorite brand. Pre-pandemic, crowdfunding platforms were the talk of the town. Just make sure you’re engaging with a SEC-licensed company before making any transaction.
There are also direct-selling companies with social advocacies — social enterprises — that you could join for less than P1,000. Join your favorite Christmas bazaar and sell your member-discounted items while promoting your personal call, whether it’s about fair trade or saving the environment.
A new home or investment
Of course, now is the best time to start this long-term goal of yours. Why not reserve a condo or house-and-lot unit and gift yourself with something that would last a lifetime of Christmases? Either you grow your family in this new nest or lease it and enjoy some passive income. Instead of buying a car, get a house whose value will appreciate in time. Pre-selling units, though, are discounted for a reason, and they are not for the conservative investor.
Don’t splurge all your blessings this holiday season, guys. Have a thoughtful Christmas!
The author is a certified wealth and estate planner, and a licensed financial advisor. For inquiries, shoot an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message her on Facebook.