In this day and age, financial literacy is very important. Financial literacy allows any person who earns money (regardless of the amount) to maximize his or her earnings, diversify his or her income streams, and eventually make money work for him or her. Fresh from a half-day full of insights from Chinkee Tan’s “KaChink: How to Retire before the Age of 50” seminar, I was still astounded by the number of people who filled up Metrowalk’s Metrotent in Pasig on June 20.
Chinkee’s talk was geared at helping employees step out of just having a linear view of finance and giving very useful tips on how to save, handle money, set a budget, invest, and many others.
His philosophy of financial success is highly influenced by Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” investment strategy.
He has many other events lined up this year and like other Filipino finance gurus such as Fitz Villafuerte, Francisco Colayco, and Bo Sanchez, he envisions a debt-free and financially literate Philippines.
A single post will not be enough to cover everything that I learned, but here are some of the most useful takeaway points I realized from this seminar in increasing financial literacy that can get anyone started, regardless of age:
7 KaChink Ways to Increase Financial Literacy
7. Attend seminars by trustworthy financial gurus.
Seminars can be expensive, but so are good phones or gadgets. Php800 or Ph 1,000 can go a long way if you spend it on hearing from someone’s years of financial experience, though.
6. Buddy up with like-minded people.
One of the wives I talked to during the event has a lot of diversified investments and prepared her children’s future well because of excellent habits. When you are extremely tempted to spend your money on something, nothing beats having a buddy who will remind you to pay yourself first.
5. Invest in knowledge.
People are valuable resources, but so are books. Investing in knowledge is not difficult nowadays. So, even if you do not attend a seminar, you can read up. Chinkee has 8 books about finance, for example, including his newly launched Chink Positive Money Kit that will bring the seminar experience right to your doorstep.
4. Track your spending habits.
This may be boring or extremely tedious for some people, but you cannot really tell how much you are spending unless every penny is accounted for. Using basic math, Chinkee demonstrated that 2 retiring people who live on noodles (at Php25 per pack) for 20 years after retirement will need more than 1 million pesos just for the noodles alone! It’s really eye-opening.
3. Get to know your risk appetite.
There are various financial instruments available if you have the money, but how much are you willing to risk? This will help you determine if you should invest in real estate, stocks, mutual funds, or bond funds. And this will eventually lead you to make sound decisions in planning for retirement, getting out of debt, and making purchases, among many others.
2. Start small.
Baby steps are essential. You can start as low as saving Php1,000 every month. What matters is that you do it consistently. A huge goal is worthless if you cannot follow through. Tools like the Chink+ Money Kit allows you to do this and more. Chinkee also recommends BDO’s new Easy Investment Programs which only requires Php1,000 per month to make an investment (note: it used to come with a Php 10,000 minimum requirement!).
1. Practice, practice, practice!
Ultimately, everything will fall apart unless you make the necessary lifestyle changes. Just like choosing to exercise, financial muscles need to be flexed daily for them to work out in the long run.
And as Chinkee always wraps up his insightful talks, I think there is a hidden eighth takeaway that must hold all these things together for #KaChink2015: Chink positive!!!