Friday 15 March 2019


I was checking CMK's Money Matters section and then it hit me. I realised it's been ages since I last posted an article on this topic. Does that mean I stopped my financial journey? No. An honest answer is I'm caught up with so many things (wedding preparation, upcoming long holiday and the list goes on!). I'd like to revive my zest on money topics, maybe because I can very well relate to it. It also gives me a sort of fulfilment that I'm getting financially better as the years go by. I like to relate a specific year with an investment, say, last 2018, I got this specific investment. This gives me perspective and a sense of gratefulness.

Stock market investment... such a buzzword right now. It's a sexy thing to do! Invest and make your money work harder for you. And oh, don't worry about the temporary dips because we're in for the long haul. The last two sentences, if you notice, is such a fluffy jargon in my opinion. So, let's crack on with my thoughts on stock market investment.

Before that, let me set a caveat here. I'm no financial expert. I am just an average Joe (more like Jane) that has a six-year experience (and counting) on stock market and other financial investments. I think what qualifies me to talk about it is exactly that: I am like a normal person without three Bloomberg screens and most importantly, I don't have any vested interest on your money :) Honestly, it turns me off when articles are offering 'finance tips' with the final tip such as - get an (insert their product here) and if you need one, here's the link. Yeah, right.

I sold all my investment at COL Financial
Let's start with a seemingly shocker. COL Financial is an online investment platform in the Philippines. It's like Hargreaves Lansdown in the UK. I decided to liquidate because of two things: a) I'd like to lower down my stock market investment to 15% of my total portfolio; and b) it's more convenient to invest it in a UK-based platform to do away with timing / forex differences. Of course, every one of us is different. Personally, it makes more sense to cut down my stock market portfolio because UK has more sophisticated investments that have good returns. The downside is it requires a larger capital but since they offer a guaranteed return for a number of years and a buyback scheme at the end of, say, five years, it is definitely better than the average stock market yield. I don't have a magic product for you, instead, I encourage you to look around. I'm currently invested in a property development and I'm on my second year now. Tip: Make sure your company is regulated by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or its equivalent. 

Don't trust the hype
I've seen this becoming a trend over the years. Financial blogs, though they mean well, sometimes led us to believe that a specific stock (especially on its initial public offering or IPO stage) will soar high. Sometimes it works (like Double Dragon) and sometimes it doesn't (like Bloom). Obviously, they offer loads of disclaimers but I think there should be a full disclosure on each of their blog post so their readers can make an informed decision! This holds true on insurance or variable (mix of life insurance and investment) products as well. In my opinion, it is their duty to disclose if they are compensated to publish a specific post.


I have un-subscribed with TRC ages ago
I feel the need to put this because reading my previous blog post, it looks like I'm still endorsing Truly Rich Club (TRC). I don't think there's anything wrong with it and if it works for you, that's okay. For me, I realised there are no shortcuts about it. You have to do your homework on finding out what's best for you. By 'best', it means you understand the ins and outs and you can explain it in simple words. As Einstein once said:  "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." Also, trust your intuition. My mommy used to remind me: If it's too good to be true, it's not true.

Review your investment position
It's always good to reflect on where you are financially at least once a year. Sure, you may think that investment is for a long haul, but you still have to quantify what 'long haul' really means. It's also good to be in the know. You don't have to invest on all opportunities you've been presented to but the more you're aware, the greater your chance of finding a good investment for you. I did this exercise last month and realised that after five years, pound for pound, other forms of investment is much better than the volatility of any stock market. Diversification (putting your eggs on multiple baskets) is also a good idea.


Focus on increasing your income and decreasing your expenses
This is self-explanatory but very true. Have a conversation with your boss if you feel your market rate is different from your current salary (just make sure you have a good track record to back this up). Embrace minimalism, not only because it's good for your pocket but it clears out your head space as well. Try - even for the sake of trying - intermittent fasting and see if you'll shed unwanted fats and benefit your wallet in one go. I guess we can all agree that it's so hard to earn money yet it's so easy to spend it. We owe it to our future selves to make sure that our labour is not in vain. -CMK

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