Tuesday 1 September 2015

First Major Event of OFSI-TGFI Kuwait Community with Mr. Jayson Lo as Special Guest

 Excerpt from my welcome remarks in the first ever major event of OFSI-TGFI Kuwait community last August 29, 2015 with special gratitude to the founder and CEO of  TGFI, Mr. Floi Wycoco. Our gratitude also goes to Mr. Jayson Logan Lo, who gave a more than 2 hours seminar for FREE. Such selfless and generous individuals.

"Seventeen years ago, I left a dream job in Makati to be an OFW – away from my family and friends, to an unfamiliar place, culture and weather condition. I was literally crying at night and even begged my boss to just send me home at that time. But deep within, I knew that I have to stay on for my dreams and goals in life, not for myself but for my family. But with such situation, I also knew then that I do not want to spend my whole life being an OFW.

Like most Filipinos, I did not know other ways to grow whatever is left of my hard- earned money.  Until I found my way to investing, thanks to Mr. Francisco Colayco, Bro Bo Sanchez and later on to Mr. Randell Tiongson, the three most influential people in my financial journey, whose books enriched my financial knowledge.

Ten years ago, I was just dreaming financial freedom and abundance for myself and family. I started investing in mutual funds, bonds and stocks apart from instrument athat we Filipinos are already familiar with – real estate and agriculture. I became better steward of my financial blessings. I tried my best to only spend what I can afford and within my budget. I had to make lots of sacrifices just to balance for the needs of my big family, experience some luxuries with my family and slowly building funds for my goals for the future.

 Five years ago, I started to dream for my friends and colleagues who are OFWs, that they too can aspire to retire young and truly rich by proper saving and investing.

Today, I am now dreaming for all OFWs. I am dreaming for the Filipinos of my generation. I am dreaming that OFWs become financially literate, so that they know how to save and invest properly for their future goals and needs in life. I am dreaming for new breed of OFWs working on the vision of lesser disintegration of Filipino families because of the need to work abroad. New breed of OFWs who are working on creating an environment for the next generation of Filipinos, who no longer need to leave their families and friends behind, a Philippines with its families intact.

As OFWs, we know the pain and struggle of being away from home. In fact, many of the officers of OFSI are second generation OFWs who do not only know how it is to become an OFW, but many of us grew up with our parents or one of our parents abroad. We can never describe in words the longings of our hearts as we see other families complete while growing up.

For our guests who are asking about OFSI, OFSI is Overseas Filipino Stocks Investors - a group of young OFWs who are advocating financial education for fellow OFWs. OFSI is a modern day bayanihan of Filipinos, OFWs helping fellow OFWs and their families to achieve financial freedom and abundance through financial education.

OFSI advocates saving and investing with the right mindset and strategy – fighting scams and lessening hit and miss in financial decisions.

The vision of OFSI is now a reality to more than 200 members who has undergone the basic financial literacy series for OFWs with our 5 modules series plus the regular monthly sessions. OFSI partnered with TGFI (The Global Filipino Investors) in this endeavor creating the OFSI-TGFI Kuwait community with online attendees from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi and the Philippines. And today, our growth continues with almost 100 attendees in our ongoing sessions – future OFW investors like us.  We are now playing a big brother role to other OFW communities in the Middle East helping them create similar communities of OFWs.

We take pride in this advocacy, which is being provided to OFWs for FREE – unbiased financial education independent from any business entity. We sustain our activities by the generosity of members. In fact, I feel so blessed that even today, fellow OFWS approach us volunteering their time and resources just so that we can continue to reach out to more OFWs.

Today is such a momentous event for OFSI-TGFI Kuwait community. This is our first major event – a coming out party by a group who serves its fellow OFWs without fanfare and publicity, quietly reaching out to as many as we can. Advocating change in mindset, which comes with constant challenges not only on resources but by the very community which we wanted to serve.

And as our battle cry, we are the change that we want to see the world, the change that we want to see in every OFWs.

In the almost 2 years of existence of OFSI, we would not have become who we are if not for the trust and confidence of fellow OFWs especially to my fellow officers for the year 2015.

Thank you officers, members, friends of OFSI and welcome to our first major event as a community."

www.ofsi.ph Overseas Filipino Stocks Investors (OFSI)
www.tgfiph.com The Global Filipino Investors (TGFI)

Wednesday 1 July 2015

This OFW Warrior Is A Child

It's July - the 7th month of the year. And for me,  it is the best month of the year - my birth month :) Hence, it's the time of the year when I get into a period of reflection.

So please bear with my being sentimental for this blog.

As I turn into a year older, I can't help but look back for the year that was. Life is not perfect. Not all the plans I set forth had been fulfilled. I encountered lots of problems and challenges. I had more physical breakdowns. But I have never been happier and fulfilled. I feel wonderfully blessed.

Sometimes, it feels weird. But I finally found joy and inner peace which had been elusive in the last few years. It doesn't mean that I have less problems and challenges now. In fact, I feel that I have more. But I have learned to bend whenever needed - with stronger faith in God.  I have learned to let go and let God leads me to His plans. I became more comfortable with my weaknesses and limitations. I know that I just need to do my best and God will do the rest.

I would say that being a son remains the most fulfilling and cherished of all my endeavors. I've made many wrong decisions, trusted wrong people, made numerous mistakes, stumbled with my human weaknesses, failed miserably - wounded, betrayed and judged. But the love of "Inang" and my family continuous to heal me to be whole again and again. As one of my favorite songs goes "The Warrior is a Child", I just run "home" and silently calls out when it becomes too much to bear. For there is no greater love on earth than that of our parents and families. As an OFW, I can't wait to be home for good - after almost two decades of being away from home. This is my strongest motivation why I am investing for the future.

I am what I am because of the love, guidance and inspiration of all my friends, colleagues, relatives, mentors, family and loved-ones. I will continue to offer all that I am and all that I have to the One above with Honor and Glory belongs to HIM alone.

It is my hope that there will be more Filipinos who participates in the ongoing revolution - the Modern Day Bayanihan of Filipinos for a Financially Literate Philippines!!! Having experienced to be away from home for most of my life in order to break the cycle of poverty in my family, it is my fervent prayer that the next generation of Filipinos does not have to leave their families and friends behind just to earn a living.

A year older means a little bit wiser, stronger and more confident and courageous of the future. But deep within - this "OFW warrior remains a child".

For the meantime, let me enjoy my birth month :) :) :) and prepare for the years ahead... Stay blessed everyone!!!

Family - My Anchor and Inspiration!!!
OFSI-TGFI Kuwait Monthly Session
OFSI-TGFI Kuwait Batch 7 Attendees of Basic Financial Literacy Series for OFWs

Saturday 20 June 2015

Learning is FUN

OFSI Officers before the OFSI-TGFI Kuwait Batch 7 Session
Learning is FUN...

I always loved attending educational activities - seminars, trainings and even conventions. But this journey is turning a new page with OFSI-TGFI Kuwait sessions. It is now my turn to share the knowledge and experiences to my fellow OFWs.

Financial education is a great need for Filipinos especially for OFWs who are all thousands of miles away from home with the single objective of providing a better future for their loved ones.

Yesterday, OFSI-TGFI Kuwait had started the batch 7 of the Basic Financial Literacy series for OFWs with almost 40 OFWs in attendance. Unfortunately, we could not accommodate more due to limitations of space. The series is composed of five power packed sessions held during the weekends.

It is always a great pleasure to meet new OFWs who are all eager to step out of their comfort zone and ready to become investors. It is such a great privilege to be an instrument of helping fellow OFWs become better stewards of their financial blessing so that all OFWs can retire young and truly rich.
Learning is a fun activity. It is just about proper mindset and attitude in  life.

Keep on learning, it's FUN!!! :) :) :)

OFSI-TGFI Kuwait Batch 7 Attendees during their first session

Friday 12 June 2015

Dreaming for More Young Filipino Stocks Investors

Melvin with our sweet Angel Sofia
I am writing this as the country celebrates its 117th Independence. It also marks the 21st birthday of one of my nephews Melvin - the 4th "Apo" of my parents.

From childhood, Melvin had always been very good in earning extra and saving money. But what I discovered is that, his savings always end up loaned to either his Mama or his siblings.

 Early last year, I assisted him with two other nephews to open an investment account with COL. He has now the biggest stocks portfolio among the three. Melvin also assist me in preparing the OFSI stocks guide to help members thus making him learn more about stocks investing. I am pretty sure that he has a "bright future" and a "richer life" ahead of him, not just because of the formal education that we are providing him. But because of his financial literacy which he started to apply early in his life.

It is my dream to see more young Filipinos who instead of just playing COCs and other computer games, they become financially literate at a young age and able to invest in the stock market.

My advocacy to help in spreading financial literacy among OFWs become more meaningful when we are able to reach out to their families especially the children.

True independence will only be felt by majority of Filipinos when the greater majority is lifted from the bondage of poverty, when more Filipinos achieve Financial Freedom and Abundance.

To a Financially Literate Philippines, let us continue to do our share...

www.ofsi.ph (Modern Day Bayanihan of OFWs)
www.tgfiph.com (The Global Filipino Investors TGFI) #FinanciallyLiteratePH

Thursday 28 May 2015

OFSI Batch 7 - Basic Financial Literacy Series for OFWs

Preparation for Batch 7 Sessions Started
Batch 7 and counting...

My appetite for learning, search for financial security and natural desire to share had brought me to the path of providing financial literacy to fellow OFWs. It's been 10 years since I started investing in stocks indirectly through Mutual Fund. It was very difficult to find information as well as mentors then.

Being an OFW had also limited my learning opportunities. I had to contend with reading books and Truly Rich Club membership.  But even then, I already started sharing these learnings to friends and most of them just listened without doing anything. In fact, I "coerced" my kumpare and kumare in opening a mutual fund account for my inaanak in 2007.

This sharing to friends led to the batch 1 of OFSI in 2012. The OFSI batch 1 is composed of 5 close friends - Bon, Elixer, Herbert, Jayar and Yvonne. I used to give them sessions on weekends sometimes even at midnight. Herbert just read materials at home based on what I provide him. They finally opened their COL accounts in May 2013. I am very proud and grateful to this mythical five as they allowed me to grow into what I am today. Their trust and confidence had pushed me to learn more and inspired me to be more consistent in my investments. They pave the way for OFSI to what it has become today.

To date, OFSI had already given financial literacy series to more than hundred OFWs and their families. We continue to guide them into becoming OFW Investors with the right mindset and strategy through our monthly session. Our series which runs for 5 sessions are always overflowing with attendees. In fact, we are just preparing for batch 7 and yet, registration for batch 8 had already started. We have also started to reach out to our friends and families by making our sessions available online.

OFSI Officers with the Batch 6 Graduates
Our desire to continue to provide these sessions for FREE is a continuous challenge. But with pure advocacy in our hearts, God always sends His angels whenever we are faced with challenges. We also gained our share of doubters and non-believers to what we do. They question our motives while others view us as just bunch of money lovers. But I am less bothered as I am focused on the people who needs our guidance. I am focused to helping fellow OFWs to become better stewards of their financial blessings. What they think of us reflect their values or motivations in life and not ours.

OFSI fully understands that the ultimate purpose of wealth is to bless other people. Thanks to one of our virtual mentors - Bro Bo Sanchez. We are fully aware that as we seek to become rich in the outside, we need to be rich in the inside as well. OFSI will continue to exist as a showcase of real OFW bayanihan - OFWs who are helping fellow OFWs and their families achieve financial freedom and abundance. OFSI will help in addressing the exploitation of businesses to ignorant OFWs who falls prey to financial scams as well as wrong financial decisions.

OFSI will continue to live by our values of Competence, Excellence, Integrity & Service. We will make our humble contribution with all other financial literacy advocates in the vision of Financially Literate OFWs who are making sure that the next generation of Filipinos will no longer need to leave their families and friends behind just to earn a living.

I am very excited to start and meet the attendees of OFSI Batch 7 series - another group of future OFW Investors!!!

OFSI - Overseas Filipino Stocks Investors

Saturday 21 March 2015

Retire Young and Truly Rich OFWs!!!

New Projector Screen
I am writing this blog at around nine in the evening after whole day of monitoring maintenance in the house in preparation for future Financial Literacy series for fellow OFWs. It's almost two years now since I opened my house for such sessions. I can no longer count on how many OFWs had attended sessions at home.

This advocacy to help fellow OFWs had taken a lot from me - time, talent and treasure. I must admit that it has never been easy.  I get tired and sometimes long for the privacy of my flat during weekends.

Gift from fellow OFWs

But whenever I talked to our fellow OFWs and hear how they are transformed by our sessions, I get reinvigorated. The difference that we are able to make to other OFWs gives me enough strength to rally my fellow volunteer advocates to reach out to more OFWs. This also reminds me of the enormous need to spread financial education for Filipinos and that everyone has to make their contribution to make a difference to the greater majority of Filipinos.

I see myself from my fellow OFWs doing their best to achieve their dreams while helping their families the best that they can. And this doesn't come without the great sacrifice of living alone thousand of miles away in a foreign land.

So to my fellow OFWs, don't just work hard. Be financially literate so that we can all Retire Young and Truly Rich!!!

Saturday 14 March 2015

Karen Davila's Secrets to Success

"Suffering in any form is a blessing."

"It's not how much you make but what you set aside consistently to grow that matters more."

"My lifestyle did not change much even when my salary went up. I started saving around 30 percent of my salary even when it was very small. Today, I am saving 60-70 percent of what I earn. What matters is that you develop a habit that will not be easy to break."

"Wealth is not just about money. Always check the condition of the heart."

"It is not how much you have but what you do with money. It's either you are in control or money controls you. This is when the guidance of the Lord comes in."

These are just few of the wisdom which Karen Davila shared during the Truly Rich Club's Wealth Summit 2015. Her values is anchored on a strong faith and deep personal relationship with the Lord which she started to nurture during the later part of her college days.

In these times of teleseryes and video games, we need role models who inspire us to excel and be the best that we can be so that we can be a blessing to more people like Karen Davila. I must admit that on the day of the Wealth Summit, Karen won my heart. I was teary-eyed as she delivered overflowing wisdom with all the difficult challenges that she went through as it resonates with my own experiences and struggles. And as Bro Bo Sanchez pointed out, he saw many who are in tears because her story resonates to many of us in the audience.

Thank you Ms. Karen Davila for being such an inspiration and role model. Thank you for the wisdom and practical tips you shared, not only about money but life in general.

Saturday 7 March 2015

Every Filipino Deserves to be Rich

"Every Filipino Deserves to be Rich". COL Financial founded by my mentor Mr. Edward Lee was built on this foundation.

I am a personal witness of how passionate Mr. Edward Lee in making sure that more Filipinos get rich through stocks investing. I have seen this up close in the very first Truly Rich Club Wealth Summit in 2013. This was further reinforced in the last 2014 Wealth Summit when he brought his younger son Edmund to give a talk on Stocks Trading.

But in the 2015 Wealth Summit today, it was exceptional. I could not help but marvel as I watch the father and 2 sons passionately share their knowledge, experience and wisdom.

You can feel their deep sense of commitment and passion to educate more Filipinos on how they can become great stocks investors like Warren Buffet. Such an inspiring family.

As a Filipino, I feel truly blessed and grateful to the generous, humble and Godly Mr. Edward Lee for making sure that more Filipinos will have richer lives.

I have not only learned today. I am moved to remain steadfast in doing my own share focusing on my fellow OFWs and their families so that more OFWs will retire young and truly rich by investing in stocks.

Join us at www.ofsi.ph seminar for practical money management, investment sessions and more...

Saturday 28 February 2015

Keep Your Dreams Alive

When I was young, I used to tell everyone that I dream of becoming President of the country one day so that I can help other people especially the poor. But young as I am, I also had other dreams. I wanted to become lawyer, doctor, teacher and many more. But what is common with my dreams is the reason behind it. I wanted to help other people.

I can still vividly remember one incident wherein my mother (Inang) was carrying me because it was raining. It was dark and the road is slippery. I felt guilty and I told Inang that when I grow up, I will fish for her. I guess I kept my promise :) I did not fish for her by being fisherman but I worked hard to be able to provide her a comfortable retirement :)

Growing up, we all have big dreams for ourselves, for our families and for other people. But along the way, we allow circumstances and even other people to steal our dreams. We allow poverty to stop us from pursuing our dreams. We listen to the wrong people who one way or the other way keep us away from pursuing our dreams in life. We allow our own laziness and other distractions to keep us from working on our dreams. We allow pessimism and instant gratification to reign in our lives. We allow setbacks, mistakes and failures to stop us from pursuing our dreams not recognizing that it is necessary and part of the same journey.

If there is one thing that can keep us motivated despite the challenges that we face along the way, it is our dreams. It is the reason why I do the things that I do everyday. It is the reason why I am still an OFW even after 16 long years. It is the reason why I still do the best I can at work and in all my endeavors. It is my dreams that is the single biggest factor in my own little successes in life.

So keep your DREAMS ALIVE. And for the younger ones, dream. Oh not just dream, DREAM BIG!!!

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Invest in Stocks OFWs

Invest in Stocks. This is my usual advice to fellow OFWs. Invest in Stocks for your long term goals such as retirement fund, fund for dream house and children's educational fund. Invest in Stocks for your dreams.

But most often than not, investment and stocks are too foreign for most OFWs or Filipinos in general. In fact, when you mention about investment, many Filipinos think that it is just for the rich. And for some who are into stocks without guidance, they end up confused between investing and trading.

If only OFWs know that in the last 22 years, PSEi has grown 476 percent or around 22 percent per year if it is evenly divided on yearly basis. In fact, Mr. Edward Lee, COL Financial founder and Chairman illustrated how a 1 million pesos in 1992 would have become around 37 million at the end of 2012 if only the money was invested in BPI shares.

And not many Filipinos know that they can start investing into Philippine giant companies with just minimum investment of 5,000 pesos only.

This is the awareness that OFSI (www.ofsi.ph) is trying to create with OFWs and their families. OFSI teaches OFWs practical money management so that they can build a strong financial foundation and start investing as soon as possible. We assist OFWs to learn from mentors like Bro. Bo Sanchez of the Truly Rich Club as well as from the great stocks investors like Warren Buffet and Edward Lee.

Investing in Stocks with the right mindset and strategy will assist OFWs to retire young and truly rich.

Be home soon OFWs and reunite with your loved-ones and friends. Invest in Stocks OFWs!!!

Sunday 15 February 2015

Be Real Heroes OFWs!

"Be Real Heroes OFWs. Be heroes of yourselves first and foremost so that you can be a real blessing to more people – not just for your immediate family but to your friends and communities."

As a young poor boy from the countryside, I only had one thing that brought me to where I am today. It brought me to a University in Manila with a full scholarship grant. It brought me to the Middle East as an OFW for more than 15 years now. It brought me to where I am now in my career.

It is my dream. The dream that I nurtured through the years. It is the dream to provide for my family, to break the cycle of poverty in my family and to become rich so that I can be a blessing to the people around me.

Just like many Filipinos I thought that overseas employment is the only way to achieve my dreams, and that two years of working overseas would be enough to earn what I need. But then now I am completing my 17th year as an OFW and still working on my financial goals.

I realized early on that two years is really not enough, which is why I searched for opportunities on how I can grow whatever I save. This is when I stumbled upon Personal Finance advocates like Mr. Francisco Colayco and eventually, Truly Rich Club of Bro. Bo Sanchez.

I started investing in Mutual Funds 10 years ago and directly with Stocks in 2010. It was difficult for me as I have very few friends who are investing in financial instruments. My family does not even know that stocks and bonds exist. I don’t have personal investment mentor either whom I can talk to and guide me on which strategy can work better for me. At that time, there were no financial literacy sessions for Filipinos in the Middle East. Nevertheless, I just continued and motivated myself through self-study and from virtual mentors. I am just so grateful that along the way, the online presence of many financial literacy advocates as well as the Truly Rich Club is making it easier for many OFWs like us who cannot attend sessions in Manila.

From the time I learned about personal finance and investment instruments, I have always shared whatever I learn with my OFW friends hoping that they too can benefit and accelerate the realization of their financial goals. But I found out that it is easier for OFWs to put their hard-earned money to “get-rich quick scheme” than in legal financial instruments. When they save, they will just put it in banks as Time Deposit. There are more OFWs who are not even saving and many are getting into debts unnecessarily. Unfortunately there are also those who exploit this lack of financial knowledge of OFWs by luring them into financial products and investments that might not be aligned with their goals.

This is when I realized that there is so much to be done. This is how OFSI was born.

The challenges I faced in my financial journey paved the way for OFSI. It is a culmination of my desire to help fellow OFWs in their quest for financial freedom and abundance. It is a humble contribution to lessen the cry of many OFWs who are always longing to be HOME, envisioning that in the next generation of Filipinos - overseas employment will no longer be a need but just a choice for most Filipinos. It is by the grace of God that I met like-minded OFWs who share the same passion and advocacy. And we continue to meet many OFWs who are journeying with us and helping us to reach out to more OFWs and their families.

OFSI is a modern day bayanihan – OFWs helping fellow OFWs achieve financial freedom and abundance.

Be Real Heroes OFWs. Be financially literate so that you may be able to achieve your dreams without staying that long overseas, away from home.

Let us all journey together towards a financially free and abundant retirement. Let us all Retire Young and Truly Rich OFWs.

OFWs make great sacrifices. We deserve nothing less than a great retirement!

God Bless.