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Money Talks is a personal finance series sponsored by Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank).
Money is on the minds of many people, especially in the midst of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Debt is a major concern, with 70% of Filipinos citing it as a challenge in financial management, according to a recent study called âState of Banking and Financial Wellnessâ by US research firm Forrester commissioned by financial technology firm Backbase.
The same study found that more than half (58%) of Filipinos identified saving (58%) and retirement planning (52%) as their top concerns.
In this Face B episode, Chorie R. Chan, vice president and head of retail trust products division at Metrobank, discusses how the pandemic has changed the way we think about money and saving.
TO TAKE AWAY
The basics remain the same but we need to have better yields, more diversity.
âI have been in the banking industry for over 27 years now and what the pandemic has taught me is this: The basics of saving, budgeting and investing are still there. Am I saving enough? Am I spending too much? How should I budget my finances? Ms. Chan said.
âIt doesn’t matter what you think about it, it doesn’t matter if you calculate unforeseen expenses, if you still have an extra amount that you might not need, then we are talking about investing. It is still a universal truth that has not changed over the years, pandemic or not. A universal truth that has likely evolved over the years, and more so during the pandemic, would be the need for better returns and the need for diversity in what you can possibly invest in. ”
In the midst of uncertainty, we must be able to assess our own financial well-being.
âBefore, we seemed to have this confidence in stability. Stability of where we are if we have businesses, if we are employees. We could kind of project that âI’m still going to have this stream of income in the next couple of years. But there you have it, the pandemic has happened, and none of us are as certain as before that it could persist for years or months to come, âChan said.
âIt has become too urgent for all of us that we could consider expanding or deepening the amount of savings we might need anytime soon beyond the six-month requirement for spending. ”
Saving is not investing.
âI don’t equate saving with investing. A lot of us are confused that when we have a surplus of our inflows minus the outflows, we automatically consider that as an investment fund, âChan said.
“Liquidity. The ability for anyone to convert their savings into cash. Liquidity means you can access your money in any form and be able to use it for some unforeseen expense. So if there is any doubt in your mind that if, say, a family member needs help or your car needs maintenance in a few months, then there is an amount that you should always keep cash, so you can spend for this unforeseen need. ”
âThere’s a whole world of ways to skin the cat. “
At the end of the day, what you need to do to save and invest will depend on your needs and what you hope to accomplish. âThere’s a whole world of ways to skin the cat. A whole world in which you can discuss how, why and in what ways you can build your portfolio. Ultimately, it will all depend on your investment objectives, your risk tolerance and your need for liquidity, âChan said.
âThe critical point that an investor should be mindful of is that access to these financial investments, securities or assets is so free that you can actually contact any financial institution that you are comfortable dealing with and being taken to. to speak to specialists within this institution. Ask them, feel free to explore, talk to people in touch with the financial markets so they can sit down with you. The advice is free, I’m sure. And they can profile your suitability and preferences and match them to your needs and goals.
Recorded remotely on November 4. Interview by Santiago J. Arnaiz, Business world contributor and CEO of the health startup Day3 Innovations. Researched by Bjorn Biel “JB” M. Beltran. Produced by Paolo L. Lopez and Sam L. Marcelo.
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