Community Development DevSeries: Invest in You

Article by Julian Uy / Photos by Mark Anastacio

ComDev DevSeries is a project under the HR Department of MEcO in partnership with the Community Development Department. Its goal is to impart the value of financial literacy with personal finance at its core. To be well-versed in the fundamentals of such concepts such as passive-active income and financial life stages is the goal of this project.

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The team invited a very successful entrepreneur as a speaker to help achieve that goal. This speaker has made numerous achievements to his name. Graduating from Ateneo with a Bachelor’s degree in management and a masters in Entrepreneurship from the Asian Institute of Management, Sir Vince had no shortage of talent. Even at a young age, Vince had represented the Philippines in the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program and in the Global Youth leadership program in Japan. He also founded SEDPI, a social organization that caters to low-income OFWs and is established in many countries.

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Suffice it to say, Sir Vince was more than qualified in attempting to extract the hidden potential of each and every young mind that lent their ears to him.

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During the talk, Sir Vince talked about three major points. He talked about passive and active income, financial life stages and more importantly, to invest in oneself. By weaving his words and connecting them purposefully, he enticed his listeners to not only dream about the future, but to chase after it and eventually attain it. He regaled possible futures where we could be retired as early as mid-30’s or being able to traverse different parts of the globe, seeing many wonders as one goes. He emphasized that to attain this we would need to start investing somewhere and the first and utmost important thing to invest in would be in oneself. To invest in oneself is to have a dream and to be committed to it and making it the end goal of your life. Having an end goal in life that you desire would drive one far beyond the point mundane motivations can take you.

It was in this that listeners were made to think about what they really wanted, and if a speaker can make his audience think, even for a minute, then he would have achieved his purpose.

Dev series started strong with an ambitious speaker. Indeed DevSeries had set high hopes and expectations for today’s generation as they will be the hope of the future.

InStrat DevSeries: Invest for the Future

Written by Emina Sotto / Photos by Bea Tabios / Post-processing by Sofia Nolasco / Poster by Cheska Tiongson

DevSeries: Dare to Envision is a series of department-specific talks geared for MEcO members interested in gaining specialized skills in their respective departments. It is a project under the Human Resources department.

What is the power of investing early?
 
Members of the Investment Strategies department as well as MEcO Advancement Program (MAP) participants gathered to listen to speaker Mr. Mark Ilao, Business Development Manager of COL Financial Group, Inc. last November 6 in BEL 313 to know the answer to this very question.
 
To begin his talk, Mr. Ilao told the attendees the commonly known words of wisdom made by parents: “Study hard and pray hard so that you can get a good job.” However, although this statement is true, he responded by strongly emphasizing that a high-paying job is not equal to financial security.
 
He shared how his former college batchmates wished that they were taught about investing and handling finances during their years in university. “That is the missing piece in our education system,” he stressed. Thus, he believes in the importance of financial literacy.
 
Furthermore, Mr. Ilao shared important insights about financial management to the attendees by emphasizing the power of investing early. For him, saving is not enough. In his words, “Saving is an act of necessity, investing is an act of optimism.” These optimists are stock market investors.
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To introduce investing, he defined the stock market as a place where companies can raise capital and where one can invest in these ‘publicly listed’ companies. He explained that the stock market is a relationship between companies, stock exchange or stock brokers, and investors or shareholders.
 
According to Mr. Ilao, stocks are the best tool to build long-term wealth. To further prove his point, he compared investing in time deposits or property versus stocks. In both cases, investing in stocks still emerged the ideal option as it had better benefits and greater returns.
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He then moved on to Stock Market 101 where he shared four important guidelines on investing.
 
First, invest for the long term. For him, it is better to have a long term perspective when it comes to the stock market as numerous things can happen in just a short amount of time.
 
Second, invest only in quality businesses. He shared that the biggest mistake of investors is falling into the trap of tips given by others without knowing anything about a company. Thus, investing in companies that are well-known is a better option as they have already gained a credible reputation and have acquired trust from the public.
 
Third, invest using diversification. As the famous saying goes, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” which simply means allocate your money in different investments in order to efficiently manage risks.
 
Lastly, invest by using a plan. Mr. Ilao stressed the importance of having a strategy. This is to ensure success and to sustain one’s investment journey.
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He then discussed the two ways of investing in the stock market. One way would be by investing in listed stocks or individual buy companies. According to Mr. Ilao, listed stocks are more ideal for people who do not have time to monitor the stock market, desire hands-on experience, and have enough capital.
 
Additionally, an ideal way for beginning investors would be to invest in mutual funds or forms of baskets with different companies, wherein an expert will be investing on an investor’s behalf. This form of investing is simple, convenient, and low-maintenance as stocks are diversified right away.
 
An important point Mr. Ilao raised is the main problem in investing: human emotion. He discussed that an investor’s tendency to be swayed by their feelings whenever the stock market rises or falls is their greatest disadvantage, and thus, must be avoided at all costs.
 
Mr. Ilao ended his talk by stressing that one’s most important asset is time, most especially because the Philippines is in a “demographic sweet spot” or a phase where growth is certainly possible.
 
He advised the room of aspiring student-investors to harness the power of time so that they may achieve their financial goals at an earlier age. Thus, in Mr. Ilao’s words, they “can extend to other people as men and women for others.
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There was no doubt that the event was a huge success as the attendees left with significant knowledge about financial management and investing (with complimentary snacks as a bonus!). More importantly, they acquired better understanding of financial security and how it is not always guaranteed by a high-paying job. Thus, they gained a better perspective on handling finances that will benefit them in the long run.
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Ultimately, this event shows how MEcO is able to educate its members by molding them into individuals that are financially literate and well-equipped for the future.
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FM DevSeries: Pitch Your Ideas to Walrus and Tortuga

Written by Michelle Tiu / Photos by Red Fabros and Monica Dimapilis

MEcOnistas were given the chance to test their creativity and skills in pitching product and marketing ideas to the owner of Walrus and Tortuga Katipunan.

With Ateneo MEcO’s rebranding, one of the things included is the M.A.P. (MEcO Advancement Program). This revamping gave birth to a new DevSeries by the Human Resources department. Various departments will take turn in hosting workshops and talks specifically for its members.

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Held last October 4, the Fund Management department (FM) hosted the first ever DevSeries for the year to further immerse freshmen and FM members what their department is all about.
 
Special guest Zachary Riskin, co-owner of Walrus and Tortuga Katipunan, came by to talk about entrepreneurship based on his personal experience. Surely, the crowd of Ateneans were thrilled to get to know the secret behind Walrus’ famous chicken skin.
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Like most startups, especially a food and beverage business with numerous competitors, the task of opening one with no prior experience was not an easy job. The most basic checklist to be completed was: have a good team, know the business’ market, have a good product, and be prepared to wait. To quote Zachary,
“The long fight is when the work really begins. No tangible reward in sight at first other than the continuity of the business. It takes a lot of perseverance and cooperation. You can’t just get bored, quit, or slack off.”
When asked what he thinks of money, he said,
“Every entrepreneur might be to earn money, and that’s not bad; however, one must not pursue money simply for money’s sake.”
“Money can give you freedom, help you help others, and ease your mind.”
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After the talk, MEcOnistas were asked to break into groups and socialize with fellow FM members. The task given was to pitch an idea that will help the sales of Walrus Katipunan to the owner, himself. FM members got competitive and started brainstorming for clever and even hillarious ideas for Zachary to declare a winner.
 
A couple of minutes had passed, and the teams were ready to pitch their ideas. One team pitched that Walrus Katipunan should host games. In addition, a Drinking Wheel, much like the Wheel of Fortune, can be an addition wherein in guests can test their luck and spin the wheel to win free food and drinks and have a lot of fun! Zachary loved their idea and finally declared them as the winner.
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Truly, MEcOnistas showed that they are more. Stay tuned because Ateneo MEcO has more in store this school year!