Financial experts share their New Year’s resolutions
Aneth Ng-Lim (The Philippine Star) - December 31, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — How do you plan to welcome the New Year tomorrow?

Beyond the usual feast and fireworks, the start of the New Year is also the perfect time to turn a new page in your life.  That’s why many people draw up New Year’s resolutions ranging from kicking off bad habits like smoking, to losing weight, to traveling more.

A recent survey made by Fidelity Investments in the US showed one in three Americans plan to make a money resolution for 2019. Forty-eight percent aspire to save more, while 29 percent aim to pay down their debt, and 15 percent wish to spend less. 

It would be good to follow their lead on this one and take an honest look at how you handle your money. Are you not saving enough and spending too much? Do you owe money you cannot afford to pay off soon? Revolving on your credit card balance for several months now? If you answer yes to any one of these, 2019 would be a good time to say goodbye to these bad money habits, and say hello to good financial planning for the next 12 months.

Start by identifying your money problems and then matching each one with practical solutions.  If you have credit card debt, then a good resolution – and an urgent one – is to pay it down as soon as you can. In the meantime, avoid using your credit card to cut back on interest payments (yes, you get charged interest for the new expenses too). If you have little savings, make a goal to pay yourself first with every paycheck and set aside at least five percent monthly.  If you can afford more, even better.  Financial experts say setting aside 20 percent or more of your income will reward you with a comfortable retirement.  And if you realize you have been spending too much, between dining out and shopping, commit to cut back by bringing your own lunch for work and avoiding malls especially during sale season.

To inspire you to prepare and commit to money resolutions for 2019, we polled financial experts in the country to find out their secrets to building and growing their wealth.  These captains of industry, from insurance to asset management, to retail banking to the central bank, and digital finance, offer a breadth of wisdom that can help you look ahead with more confidence.

Lito Villanueva

Managing Director, FINTQnologies Corp.

Every New Year, we are reminded about making resolutions when we see stories of different people saying what they will do and will not do in the next 12 months. But I think the problem does not lie in making one, it’s keeping to it. 

For 2019, I hope Filipinos will include adopting a digital lifestyle as part of their money resolutions.  I can vouch that it can help them better monitor their expenses and their savings.

Personally, I would further grow my investment-linked insurance for my six children. This is also a way to train them how to value and appreciate preparing for the future. I have two children who are already working, and I let them pay at least half of the premium so they have ownership, and eventually they can manage it. It is theirs anyway.

Kris Werner

Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for Philippines, Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd.

My New Year resolutions were partly achieved this year with more success in fitness, reading and finances in 2018, but my foreign language plan will need to move to 2019.

For finances in 2018, I committed with my wife to be more organized about how we save and in 2018 we focused on saving a fixed proportion of our salaries, locking it away each month as soon as it is received into an interest-bearing account.  To ensure we still have some benefit from our money, we spend 20 percent of the interest we earn on a treat each month and this amount has grown consistently through 2018, particularly as interest rates improve.

In 2019, I hope to continue the family saving plan from 2018 but also purchase managed funds (UITF) using a regular monthly investment plan, contributing around 10 percent of our combined monthly income. I have found that investing smaller amounts on a monthly basis is important as it allows you to benefit from market movements, helping to buy more units when prices are low and then hopefully watching these units appreciate in value as market cycles change.  In periods of volatility, like what we are seeing now, it has been a strategy that served me well over the years.

Ma. Cyd Tuaño-Amador

Deputy Governor for Resource Management Sector, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. It’s not a tradition for me, but since I’ve reached the age of responsibility, I’ve lived by the dictum: Real riches do not consist in the abundance of goods but in the paucity of wants.

So, I’ve always lived a very simple life and have been quite content in just having a good book and a quiet place to read for when I have the luxury of quiet moments. Those are the times when I feel very rich and very blessed (in financial terms).

Nina Aguas

Executive Chairman,,Insular Life Assurance Co. Ltd.

 “I have always believed in the saying “save more than you earn”. This has been one of my guiding principles in life.

So when it comes to my finances, I can say that I am invested in a pretty balanced portfolio.  At this stage in my life, I have taken care of my estate planning needs, so that I do not burden my children when it is time to go.   I am also hoping that with the example of living below our means,  the next generation will see the wisdom of the lifestyle we are leading so that they will not waste the humble wealth my husband and I created for them.”

Eduardo V. Francisco

President, BDO Capital and Investment Corp.

My New Year’s resolution continues to be to work hard to provide for my family and to be grateful for my health, friends and career.  The financial markets  remain volatile in 2018 so it’s best to diversify your savings and investments. The best response against volatile markets is to work diligently. The money will come in and our finances will take care of itself.

I am glad my finances allow my wife and I to be able to visit our two children, Isabel and Gabsy, who are based abroad and also spend quality time with them when they come home for the holidays.

For 2019, I advise this: continue to save, invest wisely and also give back to help the less fortunate.












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