Freeman Cebu Business

Manulife provides viable solutions for SDA investors

The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - Special Deposit Accounts (SDAs) have long been used by Filipinos to save for different financial needs because their returns are higher than savings or time deposits. Being low-risk instruments, SDAs are a popular investment choice and these have been believed to generate enough returns to meet both short-and-long-term financial needs.

However, in the past two years, SDA interest returns, which used to be 4%, have dropped to 2%.  Savings and time deposit returns are even lower – about 0.5% and 1.5%, respectively.  

While these levels may be acceptable for short-term placements, many Filipinos who have invested in SDAs are actually putting in money aimed at accumulating funds for longer term financial requirements, and have been rolling over their funds for several years at a time.  As they are, SDA returns may be inadequate to meet these future needs and, as of November 30 this year, retail investors no longer have the option to rollover their direct placements in SDAs as directed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

With the Filipino investor in mind, Manulife has developed viable solutions for investors looking to diversify their SDA holdings through our variable life products. 

Manulife’s suite of variable life products cater to the investor’s every need for medium to long-term competitive returns.  Single pay variable life products, such as Affluence Gold and Platinum Invest Elite, are available for investors who are interested in putting a significant amount of money at the onset and let their money grow with the market. For investors who are looking to save consistently over time, they can choose among regular variable life products, such as Manulife Horizons and Manulife Affluence Builder, which are designed to provide the right balance of life insurance and investment.

The company also offers a unique product called Manulife FlexiSure, which offers both guaranteed lifetime insurance coverage and an independent investment component for upside potential.  This allows investors to participate in the economic growth of the market, without the risk of losing their coverage due to market volatility.

“Returns from SDAs alone may not be enough to meet the corroding effects of inflation, which has recently climbed to 2.9%  in October compared to a year earlier. Moreover, while these are appropriate for short-term investments, investors can maximize the earning potential of their money intended for medium to long-term investments if placed in other equally available investment instruments that have also performed commendably. Our variable life products offer access to various investment outlets, and our clients can choose which of these would be appropriate to their needs,” says Indren Naidoo, President and CEO, Manulife Philippines. 

These products are linked to the investment funds managed by the company, returns of which have generally been higher than that of SDAs. Investors can choose among a variety of  variable life funds suited to their risk appetite and personality.  For instance, investors could opt for the Peso Bond Fund, which experienced up to 13.5%  in net annualized 5-year returns.  The lowest observed return over a similar period at 5.4%  was still higher than the net returns of SDAs.

“Our wide network of professional financial advisors and bank partners could provide you with tailor-fit solutions to your financial needs. With our experience spanning more than 105 years, clients can trust Manulife Philippines to always be committed to their financial future through its forward-thinking and reliable product solutions,” Mr. Naidoo said. (FREEMAN)










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