The best part of the night is the turnout of attendance which became a reunion of like-minded friends with performances, games, Q&A and a buffet dinner.
In the last five and a half years, OFSI had conducted 18 financial literacy series composed of 16 hours of extensive sessions and 5 newbie marathon sessions for OFWs in Kuwait and UAE. Testimonials of the sessions can be found in the below link.
OFSI has remained a non-profit organization - independent from any vested interests except to promote Modern Day Bayanihan of OFWs empowering fellow OFWs to make better financial decisions.
The core team believes that we can help change lives by spreading financial literacy. Below is our interview to one of our attendees who agreed with our OFSI Interview - just one of the fruits of the advocacy.
1. How long have you been OFW?
Total 10 years of working abroad. I was 25 years old when I started. I already have 2 children who are both in school here abroad.
2. How did financial literacy help you and your family?
Financial Literacy helped us to be realistic with our dreams and focus on what is really important to us. It also made us realize that money is only a tool and not the end goal.
3. Were you always wise in your finances? What was your turning point in your financial journey? And what was typical investment for you?
No, I was never good with money. When we moved here, our income had quadruple and yet, we are still unable to save. We even had a negative net worth. This made us wonder why.
One day, a friend who is a financial advocate came to visit and I was literally forced to listen to one of his talks as I wanted to be a good host to him. That ignited a spark of curiosity and thus became my turning point. Typical investment for me at the time was time deposit and real estate.
4. Any regrets in your past financial decisions and lifestyle?
We made lots of financial mistakes. First was lifestyle inflation which is very common to OFWs. We spend more than we earn and never track our expenses. Then the realization of the huge opportunity lost for not investing in our younger years.
5. What are your personal finance and investing tips for fellow OFWs?
My tips for fellow OFWs:
a) Have clear and realistic goals.
b) Your investment should be aligned with your goals.
c) Resist lifestyle inflation and live below your means. Remember that you can afford anything but not everything.
d) Pay yourself first
e) Automate your savings as much as possible.
f) Invest in yourself - read books and attend seminars.
g) Keep Investment Simple. Study shows that index investing beats actively managed funds and individual stocks picking.
h) Avoid high management fees on your investment portfolio. Fees are guaranteed but returns are not.
i) Before buying a house, do the math. Remember that a house is not an asset unless you have plans to sell or rent it.
j) Know the rule of thumb in investing before committing.