You might be wondering why many Filipinos aren’t aware of investing while many try to avoid it. Of course, there’s a lot of factors behind it. I listed down below the 10 possible reasons why Filipinos are afraid to start investing.
1. Trained to be a good employee at school
When I was in college, one thing that motivated me to strive harder with my study was to equip myself with the learning that I can get from the four corners of the classroom. I need to be well-prepared as I join the corporate world. I really want to be the best employee that I can be. In short, I am preparing myself to be an employee. The workforce needs skilled employees if I perform well in school.
We seldom hear our teachers saying that we need to study hard so that we can build and develop our own business and be a successful entrepreneur someday. When I was a kid, if you were to ask me what I wanted to be in the future, I dreamed to be a barista or an office man until I imagined to be a future manager of an Auditing firm and eventually to be a CFO or Chief Financial Officer of a private company as my long-term goal as I grow older.
When I graduated from one of the universities in Manila, the mindset is the same– this is to be the best employee that I can be and not to be a successful business owner. Yes, you heard it right; my schools prepare me to be a well-rounded employee using the technical skills that I can use as I join the workplace. I am not saying that our schools are wrong, I just want to emphasize that real-life skills are not taught at school.
2. Afraid to take risk
Many Filipinos are risk-averse. Most of us, as much as we can, avoid risky things. Risk aversion means the behavior of a man to refuse to a situation with unknown pay off with a more predictable return but possibly lower expected value. We have this “Sigurista” mentality. We’ve always wanted a guaranteed and justified result. However, I’ve still known a lot of Filipinos who are a fan of gambling like “sabong” or cock-fighting, poker, and casino yet afraid to take some risk when it comes to investing. It is very ironic, isn’t it?
I am not saying that we need to be risk-taker at all times. I just want to emphasize that every decision we make involves risk because everyone faces a trade-off. But of course, we can manage those risks and mitigate them. We only need to be educated to make these risks work to our own advantage.
3. Always live in a moment
We’ve always been guilty of this. We are content living from paycheck-to-paycheck. We invest more in depreciating assets. We don’t want to delay immediate gratification. We have this “Why not? I work hard for this.” dialogue. When we receive some blessings, it is a signal for us to acquire what we want, even if it’s not what we really need. We have a hard time separating the wants from the needs, and sometimes we forget the difference between the two when our wallet is still thick, and our bank accounts are still showing us 5 digit numbers. Further, Filipino loves to celebrate; that’s why we have the so-called Friday night out. Hey, It’s Friday again! TGIF!
4. Negative connotation on investment products
We believe investments are only for the rich or for the old men who want to prepare for their death. I am sure that when we hear life insurance, the first thing that comes into our mind is death. Another, when I say Stocks, we’re negatively thinking that the market will crash.
Maybe, in the early ’80s, the importance of insurance was not that explained to our parents or grandparents; that’s why it is not yet fully embraced by the generation that followed them. Nowadays, Filipinos are becoming more aware of the relevance of insurance to our life. Getting life insurance is not about preparing for your death but preparing the loved ones as you leave the universe (lol!). Life insurance agents would be so glad for this free marketing. Talking about life expectancy might sound creepy, but hey, it’s 2019! No more nonsense planning. Include it in your budget! Imagine you were able to avail of the gadget care for your iPhone but wasn’t able to purchase your own life insurance; unless your phone is more valuable than you are.
5. Filipinos are not good savers
How does it relate to investing? It’s straightforward, you can’t invest if you don’t know how to save. It will all start from fixing our own personal finances before we jump into investing.
Don’t go shopping as your habit. Say, after receiving our paycheck, what we deduct from our salary are:
- Our monthly bills
- Our basic needs
- The beautiful dress you’ve been eyeing for several days. You are worried that it might be gone if you delay your purchase of this item and if you don’t, it will break your heart even if it hurts your pocket soon.
Fixing your personal finances is a prerequisite of successful investing.
6. Fear and ignorance
This is part of human nature to fear something uncertain. We try to avoid investments due to a lack of knowledge. We find investing very complicated things to learn, and we don’t have time for that, yet still, we’re able to catch up with the latest Chicka on social media or the most recent episodes on Netflix.
I made this website to make investment education available and accessible to every Filipino. We only need to be educated so that we can be more confident in doing it. We learn through repetition. If you put some effort into something and do it repetitively, you will be good at it. The same concept is applied to investing. To reiterate, education is your best foundation in everything we do, and it’s a never-ending quest for knowledge. I believe Filipinos don’t settle for less, we can educate ourselves by allotting extra time reading business news and any other related materials. You may reduce your budgeted time for your favorite TV series.
One helpful tip: read during a commercial break!
7. Cash flow mindset (We want tangibles)
We don’t want to ruin our budget or limit it by adding items that we don’t see. We’d rather pay the monthly amortization of our car than paying for the monthly premium of our insurance policy. Have you ever realized how some people put so much importance on their car whose premium for the insurance policy is almost equal to the insurance policy that has investment option, yet still they can’t afford to give themselves one. Because their car needs it more? hmm
How To Pay Off Debt Fast
8. Trapped with the Status symbol
Tangible things are the real deal. We want to see our hard works in the form of which we can show off to everyone. We believe through these things, we’re able to show our power, authority and wealth. Status symbols come in many forms. One of these is investing in expensive cars and clothing. I’m not saying that we don’t have the right to buy those things. After all, the word expensive is very relative. If you think buying the latest flagship smartphone would hurt your pocket and will be a significant part of your monthly budget yet you purchased it because of your desire to show off. Well, good job for that, it’s the right decision anyway. Enjoy your selfies and the feeling of having a brand-new handset! *insert sarcasm*
We want the instantaneous result, but investing does not work that way. The idea of waiting is a big turn off to many Filipinos. We really don’t want to wait, but we’ve been known for being always late; we have this phrase “Filipino Time.” Filipinos are very ambitious in everything we do but failed to be patient. Most of us always feel entitled. I am guilty of this. It feels like I am cheated if you let me wait for an hour or two and if you don’t follow the agreed time. We rush everything. We treat everything as urgent, the same treatment we put in investing.
Since someone is using our money, we tend to rush because of the fear of losing the hard-earned penny. It’s reasonable to worry about the risk of loss, especially if the term is longer. To wait is one of the hardest things to do in life.
10. Lack of trust. Full of thieves in the industry
If you start investing, it means you will be entrusting your wealth to somebody who has the expertise or to a company that will use your money for their business ventures. We have these trust issues with the market, and we think that thieves are everywhere. That’s why instead of investing our extra money, we prefer to spend it.
Among the factors mentioned above, which do you think is the most applicable to you? You can comment on your insights down below. Let your mind speaks. Did I miss something? If so, share your thoughts below.
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