MANILA, Philippines – Millennials, or those in their 20s or 30s, look at investing in different ways.
There are those who fear it, spooked by stories of financial ruin. Some feel that they’re still young and investing is something they can pursue later on. There also others who are simply clueless and tend to blackout at the mention of any financial jargon.
But the thing is, Millennials have a significant advantage when it comes to investing: they have time on their side.
According to Sun Life Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa, it’s best to start investing while young. “The sooner you start setting aside a portion of your earnings to grow as a fund for the future, the better,” she explained. “The earlier it starts to earn, the bigger the growth potential is over time.”
Two young people who can attest to this are Via Lapid, a 24 year-old associate product manager for a pharmaceutical company, and Adriel Marzan, a 26 year-old dentist with his own practice in Quezon City. Both started investing soon after college, and are now enjoying its benefits.
It all begins with a goal
Lapid’s investing journey began shortly after she started working; it was prompted by the overwhelming thought that she had the freedom to spend her salary as she pleases.
“It’s like, ‘Oh God, the money is all mine now!’ That’s when I realized that I had to figure out what it was I wanted to do with my money,” she shared. And so, guided by her father and with some knowledge she picked up in college, Lapid started investing.
A few years into it and she’s already reaping rewards. “I’ve finally gotten to book the trips that I‘ve always wanted to book,” she said. “It’s not specifically because of the returns from investing. But having an investment makes me feel more secure about spending for my travels.”
It all began with her decision to set a goal. “You have to determine and define your goals, like how far you actually want to go with your money. Is it just short-term or long-term? I determined the amount I wanted to have by a specific age, then from there, I figured out how much I had to save and invest to achieve my goal,” Lapid explained.
For a generation growing up in an age of instant gratification, having a goal will also keep you focused – which is very important when investing because it is meant to be long-term.
Seeking expert help helps
Almost anything can be Googled these days. But while the Internet can be a big help in enhancing your knowledge about money management, it’s still best to consult with an expert who can personalize your roadmap to prosperity.
Marzan did exactly this. “My investment journey began with reading books and attending seminars,” he shared. “But in the same way that my patients would come to me for a dental concern, I would also seek a financial expert’s help when it comes to investing my money.”
He would also seek advice from his older patients who are businessmen. “Whenever we’d have coffee or lunch, they would teach me the things they know about investing,” he said. “At first, I would make mistakes, but that’s a part of it. I just kept learning from experience.”
A financial expert could also educate you on the options you have when it comes to investing, such as mutual funds, which is managed by fund professionals to help you maximize returns. You simply put in your money then let the experts take it from there.
Start small, stay strong
The best part about mutual funds is that one can start investing for as low as P5,000.
“With only P5,000 you can own different shares of stocks or own different underlying assets,” Lopa explained.
The said amount can also be topped up monthly by as little as P1,000.
Investing takes time, and understandably, Millennials might feel like they’d rather spend on something else rather than save or invest. It will require a bit of adjusting in the beginning, but according to Lopa, once it becomes a habit, you won’t even notice it. You will just realize years later that the money you’ve set aside has already grown.
And now is definitely a good time to start investing. “The economic prospects of the Philippines are at their brightest,” Lopa explained. “If you start investing now, you have the opportunity to participate in the growth story of our country.” – Rappler.com
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