Investing made easy

- Rica Delfinado () - November 15, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Most Filipinos have a preconceived notion that investing is only for the rich, famous or savvy businessman.

True, an individual who has the money, one who understands the financial markets and want his money to work for him can easily approach a bank to help him plan and create a suite of investment portfolio suitable to his needs and financial goals.

But what about the average Pinoy—the salaryman, the housewife of an overseas contract worker, the contact center agent, the neighborhood grocery owner – who wants to go beyond just “regular’’ banking (which could simply mean owning a savings or checking account) but do not have huge sums of money for investment or lacks the technical know-how for stock market trading. The truth is, most Filipinos believed that it is difficult to invest and they need millions to be involved in this kind of financial activity. 

Investing now made more affordable

“Consistent with the bank’s thrust of making financial responsibility doable, we are demystifying the concept of investments. We’ve embarked on financial literacy campaign to educate the public on the value of investing and likewise made it easy for them to start investing ’’ says Bank of the Philippine Islands Asset Management Group head and senior vice president Theresa M. Javier.

In short, the average man on the street who wants to enjoy a higher yield potential and is willing to take the risk can now easily access the various investment funds being managed by BPI because the bank has made it affordable and convenient to invest by lowering the minimum amount required to start investing.

‘’ BPI has democratized access to investments by making it easy to start investing with just P10,000 for peso funds and $500 for dollar-denominated funds. Additional minimum contributions and partial redemptions have also been reduced from P10,000 to P1,000 for peso-denominated funds, and maintained at $200 for dollar-denominated funds “ Javier says.

With the lower minimum investment amount, an individual can now easily diversify his investment portfolio without requiring large sums of money.

“Moreover, with ten funds to choose from, clients can choose the kind of investment funds suitable to their investment profile whether they be conservative, aggressive or in-between,’’ Javier explains.

While there is usually an element of risk attached in investing as against the safety being offered by a savings account, Javier says a client can choose from BPI Asset Management’s wide array of funds and the more a client is prepared to take the risk, the better the yield potential will usually be.

BPI manages 10 unit investment trust fund or UITF that amounts to over P26.5 billion as of September this year making it a leader in the Asset Management industry.

UITF products are invested in fixed income or bonds (in both peso and US dollar denominations), securities or equities and international fixed income funds. This simply means that a trust contains not just an individual’s money, but many other people’s cash too. An investor is joining a whole bunch of people all committing their cash. Together, they have more buying power to spread their risk across companies, and this huge pot of cash usually gets the fund a better yield.

“For only P10,000, an individual can invest and have the opportunity for higher return. And with 10 unit investment trust fund being managed by BPI, a client can choose from any of these products depending on his financial goal,’’ Javier says.

Behind each fund is a team of experienced industry professionals, supported by research analysts that provide industry or market data, looking for the best possible place for all that money sloshing around.

Making investments easy on an on-going basis

Javier also said that clients can build their investments by contributing regularly in smaller amounts, through its Regular Subscription Plan facility wherein clients can nominate a regular contribution amount, be it in pesos or dollars, to be debited from his BPI deposit settlement account on a periodic basis, say on a monthly or quarterly basis, for purchase of units of the investment funds regardless of the prevailing price.

“By doing so, clients automatically build up their investments without having to visit the branch to make a contribution,’’ she explains.

And to those who wants to keep track of their investment portfolio anytime and anywhere be it at the convenience of their own home or office, Javier says clients can already view their investment account/s in the MyPortfolio page of BPI Expressonline (EOL).

With the investment account inquiry facility already available, clients will be able view the market value of their investment fund accounts updated as of the latest available fund price anytime and anywhere, she explains.

Javier also says that through the Internet, clients can also view the composition of their investment account portfolio and drill down further to see the details of the fund holdings as well as monitor the details and status of transaction orders (subscription/redemption) and view transaction history as far back as 90 days.

Not just that, in the coming months, online investment via BPI Expressonline will also allow clients to place their contribution and redemption orders on a 24 x 7 basis wherever they are.

As the first of its kind in the Philippines, this is expected to help clients achieve their financial goals by making investment even simpler and more convenient.

How’s that for making it easy.

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