This used to be my most dreaded question every time I discussed financial concepts and money machines. I cringe whenever somebody asks this. I take my time in answering this question. Thanks for the gift of gap. I'm almost tempted to answer in a Ms. Universe pageant way: "My kids are my investments not because I'm expecting them to take care of me when I get older but because they will be a reflection of how I have been as a parent. "
But of course the person asking the question wants to hear a different answer. It's actually a question of doubt challenging the person being asked. To put it bluntly: "Who are you to teach me these when you yourself is currently in debt?
Now before I answer that let me tell you my story.
3 yrs ago I learned about Bo Sanchez after searching for spiritual and inspirational ebooks and daily readings. I subscribed to his blogs and read his books. I attended his seminar on How to be truly rich. I learned many practical ways on how to handle money and to change my perspective about it. I learned how to invest in myself by enriching my knowledge about finances and the importance of creating income streams versus depending on only one source. I enrolled myself in an online class mentored by Jomar Hilario, Bo's online marketing mentor about internet marketing where I have learned a lot and have used to empower myself and help other people as well. I learned about money jars, prosperity formula and the stock market because I joined the Truly Rich Club. I spent most of my free time attending all sorts of financial seminar there is while slowly adapting the bits and pieces of financial concepts in my life. I honestly learned a lot to the point of information overload. Then I realized I haven't done any real action yet.
You're probably asking why I haven't done any action yet despite the load of information I've been feeding my mind with. Ask me why.
Well, the place where you are now is exactly the place where I once was. Yes. That exact place where despite of all the promising and not so impossible great future (provided you coupled it with consistent hard work and persistence) I still have fears.
My big struggle was fear mixed with doubts. I believe in the logic and truth in the concepts I've learned. But will I be able to do it just by merely following the books? I believe in the vision of creating more Filipino Millionaires by the year 2020. But I fear that will I, myself be included in that vision? I believe in consistently saving for the future but I fear that I won't be able to sustain it as several reasons and the problems always appear like mushrooms. Well the truth is, problems do come and go but time doesn't. There will never be a right time and right opportunity when we don't take action.
You see, God is great. He prepared everything for me. He knows my fears so He has to bring me personally to my mentors. He brought me to SG to be surrounded by people who think the same as me financially. All along I thought it was another story but amazingly He always has better plans for me.
Here in Singapore I met people who have started investing 2 or 3 years ago. That very same time when I was just starting to follow Bo Sanchez, attending financial seminars, reading blogs about Investing, and became a Truly Rich Club member. These people have already gained a lot and have an impressive portfolio. They learned a lot too because they are doing it while following the stocks update from the TRC. While I was stucked with my fears, trying to secure myself by learning more, these people who bravely took action are already learning along the way and enjoying the planting stage.
The Financial Advocates from SG who attended the Money by the Book - Biblical Stewardship Seminar by Randell Tiongson, one of the most respected personal Finance coaches in the Philippines.
It took me several years before I took my baby steps towards financial freedom. I finally opened an account with Citiseconline after more than a year when I last attended their seminar in PSE Ortigas. I opened my first Mutual fund account with Philequity and secured myself with Kaiser, a health card, insurance and investment all in one. I have plans for creating more after my debt management plan which hopefully will totally be wiped out before the end of the year. I know doing all of these will give me more knowledge and experience which in truth is the best teacher. I'm learning along the way and especially now that my IMG family is here to support me and my friends who also share the same vision of No family left behind. As my recent post I got somewhere on FB: Friends don't let friends retire broke.
I haven't directly answered the question yet but I want to point out that if I bravely started the same time my new friends did, I would have been experiencing a harvest time now given the good economy of the Philippines recently. Honestly, I have regrets but I believe God allowed it to happen because I have a mission to fulfill and that is to share this experience and teach the younger ones. Looking back, if I had known this 10 yrs ago, I wouldn't be here in SG away from my kids. My faith tells me to say Yes to God's will so here I am with the rest of my friends who are financial advocates as well ready to share and teach how to be good stewards of God's blessings.
And to answer the main question. Yes I have investments but not that much yet but it is growing. I have just started and am continously learning. The important thing is I have successfully overcome the first challenge and that is when to start. The rest is easy. As a coach, I'm following the proper Foundation of investing. I was really inspired after I attended the Money by the Book - Biblical Stewardship talkby Randell Tiongson. He told us financial advocates, " You are not storm free because you will still have financial problems but it makes you storm proof because you have solutions"
And I'm not scared anymore because I have support directly from mentors who have been doing this for years already. And that same support I commit myself too for my friends, relatives and acquaintances I had coached previously and soon to be coached either personally or via online coaching.
And btw, being a Truly Rich club member not only teaches you about finances. It provides spiritual guidance and uplifting messages plus an opportunity to earn passively. It's actually one trickle of income stream for me. The rest, soon.