CEBU, Philippines - Becoming a millionaire isn’t far from reality for anyone who is motivated to become rich but it definitely takes a lot of sacrifices, said Tyrone Charles Solee, a Filipino financial blogger and a self-made millionaire.
Solee’s journey to financial freedom involved a lot of sacrifices and lessons he had to learn.
If it weren’t because of his bully bosses when he started working for an asset management company of a global investment bank at the age of 21, Solee wouldn’t have that motivation to become a millionaire.
But despite being bullied, he didn’t quit in his first job because he was earning an above-average salary and a big performance bonus on top of that. While he realized that poor people are most likely prone to abuses, Solee instead took the bad treatment of his bosses as an inspiration to become rich.
“Because of that, I said to myself that ‘Someday they will look up to me’,” he said in an interview.
At 22, Solee, a Mathematics degree holder from Ateneo de Manila University, educated himself on financial literacy and started his first investment in bond fund and later on in equity funds.
After four years and seven months of employment, Solee, who was 26 at that time already, finally earned his first million by being so frugal and living below his means, investing in unit investment trust funds (UITFs), having a sideline business and adopting the equation “income less savings equals expenses” each time he received his salary. He was earning P20,000 a month then.
“It’s really hard to have a delayed gratification. Tinipid ko talaga ang sarili ko. I used to dine on the ground floor of the company where the drivers dine. I used to borrow clothes of my dad for my work, although hindi bagay sa akin but I don’t mind. I also used to ride jeepneys and tricycle,” Solee, now 32, shared.
But with all these sacrifices, Solee said he did not regret anything.
“Right now, na-eenjoy ko na lahat ng paghihirap ko eh,” the man said, noting that he believes in the principle “Pay now so I can enjoy later” than “Enjoy now but pay later”.
In 2008, Solee started a blog called “Millionaire Acts” to share his learning in money management and investments. His blog (millionaireacts.com) has become his way of inspiring and educating people on how to be financially literate.
Solee emphasized that ordinary employees can become a millionaire through frugal saving and sound investments.
But only few Filipinos actually do that because of social pressures around them and the so-called income trap, he said. Solee, however, was quick to add that it’s all about mindset and setting one’s goals.
Most have this “instant gratification” notion that when their income increases, their lifestyle also increases, he said, telling people to “earn more but desire less”.
He also advised that people must not save what is left after spending but rather spend what is left after saving.
Solee believes becoming a millionaire isn’t only for those who are born rich but even minimum wage earners can attain it. But he advised them to look for a job that pays higher, continuously save and invest and look for multiple sources of income.
The self-made millionaire said it’s also important to network with like-minded individuals to stay motivated and focused in reaching one’s goals.
Solee urges people to achieve financial freedom and that wants to see more Filipinos becoming millionaires in the coming years, saying that more and more people are becoming financial advocates. (FREEMAN)