Financial literacy for the modern Filipino

Watch out for the new website (PinoyMillionaire) that will revolutionize personal finance in the Philippines. Here’s my introduction to be placed at the PinoyMillionaire homepage. Is it a tad too long?

Dear Modern Filipino,

Financial education plays a key role in improving the lives of Filipinos, both here and abroad.

Reality bites. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer – and with good reason. The rich understand personal finance; if they are able to financially educate their children, they get richer at exponential rates and so on. On the other side of the riles (tracks), the poor spend what they earn for daily necessities and lottery tickets, which their children imitate when they grow up. This spirals them down into poverty.

Something has to change. Hard-working employees work 50-70 hours a week so they never make time to learn about personal finance. They take advantage of housing loans, car loans, personal loans, and all other types of loans. With so many expenses going up, they may never build up enough retirement funds.

Dying broke is scarily far more common than dying rich.

Malls are a spending haven for yuppies with pre-approved credit cards. Very few companies in the Philippines provide financial literacy seminars (how to manage debt or how to save for retirement) to their employees. Parents don’t know how to invest the right way so they can’t teach their children the right way either. Parents even expect the school to teach their kids about personal finance – but the curriculum only covers basic economics.

I honestly believe that a higher level of financial literacy could decrease the level of corruption. If corrupt officials knew how to live below their means and save and share with their morals intact, the situation may not be as bad.

I’m not saying be centavo-wise and peso-foolish either. Choosing to eat fish balls at the street vendor where it’s flavored with gas fumes so you can save your money is not as smart as spending a bit more to eat in a sanitary BFAD-approved canteen. Those P300 shoes may not last a month but the P2,000 pair may last for 2 years. Buy wisely.

I dream of all rich Filipinos. *I’m getting teary-eyed as I write this.* You don’t have the excuse of not having information anymore because I’m giving it to you here – at no cost. Stop “investing” in that lotto ticket and start making yourself rich the right way.

To your health and wealth,

Marie Casas

Special thanks in advance to JP – the best and best-looking web designer/developer!

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