6 insights towards financial wellness

It is good to consume things using your hard-earned money, but balance it by investing on your future, on your dreams, your family and your children.
Nuri Barrios, Unit Manager of Sun Life and a licensed Mutual Fund Representative shares the following insights on achieving financial wellness:

1. Investment is the key to passive income. Investment is money at work. It is the secret of the rich.
2. Know that saving is different from investing.  Saving is for short-term needs (e.g. bills, immediate expenses, emergency fund); but money meant to stay intact for years should be invested.
3. A good investment is something that earns better than the inflation rate. 
4. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, “Invest a little each time, all the time,” is a wise advice from Bam Aquino, Sun Life’s investment advocate.
5. Read and be educated.  A good book to start with is “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. Learn about different investment vehicles, like Mutual Funds. Sun Life Asset Management Company considers mutual funds as “investments made easy.”
6. Once your heart is open to investing, partner with a credible and stable financial institution (like Sun Life Asset Management Company or SLAMCI ) to achieve your investment goals. Investing is a long-term endeavor.  Make sure, your partner will be able to see you through.

Invest on a mutual fund for only P5,000
We used to think that only rich people can invest in a mutual fund or other non-conservative wealth- creating or wealth-protecting tools but it is good to know that one can now invest for as low as P5,000.

“In a mutual fund, you can start small with P5,000 and you will have the same return as that of the large investor,” said Valerie Pama, president of SLAMCI. “When looking for an investment, think of these three things – safety, liquidity and yield. You can get these three in mutual funds,” she added.

In a mutual fund, money from different investors are pooled by a company, invested in different securities and issued to the public as shares. An investor looks at the net asset value per share (NAVS). If NAVS goes up, an investor can create profit if he sells his mutual fund shares. But if the NAVS decreases, the investor losses if he sells it.

Historically, if money was invested in Equity Fund (a choice of fund among Sun Life’s Prosperity Funds), 10 or 11 years ago, the Average Compounded Return would have been over 15% per year. Balanced Fund placements around the same time would have garnered an average of over 12% per year.

Funds with P5,000 Minimum Investment
Sun Life Asset Management Company has several funds pooled under what is called the Sun Life Prosperity Funds.

With P5,000, one can start an investment account and this amount is already diversified among different financial vehicles. Whether you are conservative or risk-taker, there are funds suited for your appetite. Although mutual funds are ideally for the long-term, investors can opt to redeem their fund shares any time at the current value if there is an emergency.

1. Money Market Fund - ideal if you are conservative and would like your money to stay for a short period of time yet earn from it. This fund invests on special savings accounts.

2. Government Securities Fund - ideal for conservative investors. This fund invests mainly on government debt.

3. Bond Fund - for moderately conservative investors, this fund invests on government and high-quality corporate debt thus ensuring that your money is stable but still earns.

4. Balanced Fund - if you are somewhat conservative and risky yet you want to earn and can afford to lose some of your investments for higher return. This fund invests on high-quality debt and equity securities. As of June 2015, this is the largest in the market, with assets under management (AUM) of over P16 billion.

5. Philippine Equity Fund - if you want high return but willing to take a 'high risk', this fund is for you as it invests mainly on high-quality equity securities.

6. Philippine Stock Index Fund - if you can tolerate high risk and if you want your money invested in broad diversified securities with the Philippine Stock Exchange Index. After its introduction in May 2015, the said fund has already posted an AUM of P554 million.

Bigger investors can also look into the Dynamic Fund, Dollar Abundance Fund and Dollar Advantage Fund. Read more here: Sun Life Prosperity Funds

In SLAMCI, each mutual fund has its board of directors who are experts in the industry. The team does the research, creates strategies, decide where to invest and evaluates to make sure that investors’ money goes to the right places. Additionally, SLAMCI is part of Sun Life Financial, a global company based in Canada that has been operating for 150 years. Sun Life Financial Philippines is 120 years old.

“A lot of people think that they need a large sum of money to invest. So, we tell people to do a sleep test. Take it in small measures until you get the feel of it,” Pama concluded./Kathy Villalon

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For more information, you may contact Nuri Barrios through 0917.302.7692. 

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