Article by Dorothy Palafox and Ayisha Maliksi / Photos by Ayisha Maliksi
Held last March 25, Saturday, at the Irwin Lee Theater, was one of MEcO’s biggest annual event, the National Student-Investors’ Convention. Students across different schools in the country gathered to witness this Game-Changing. Ground-Breaking. Nation-Building. event, which aims to target the biggest investment of society: the millennials.
Millennials determine which trend to go after its current standing today. Not really owning, but more of having access.
The first speaker was Mr. Ram Cervantes, an Equity Portfolio Manager in Unionbank and a former CFO of the school organization. He emphasized how millennials play a crucial part in the stock market. He went on by saying that the the market today is not about owning, but more reliant on having access. As one of his examples, social media platforms have no need to post any content and that users do that for them, but the information that they gather is what they sell to earn revenue.
Save! Invest! Grow!
The second speaker, Mr. Marvin Fausto, a Fund Expert at COL Financial, talked about how investing gave him the opportunity to live the life he wanted. He talked about traveling and running his dream marathon in New York, and he also talked about taking care of his family. He shared the three laws of money, and that was to Save, Invest and Grow. He shared that it is important to save money, but one must go beyond that and invest in companies. He has lived by these laws and now lives the way he wants to.
It is noteworthy how the companies he brought to the podium were related to the interest of those closest to him, such as buying shares in Meralco for one of his sons who play video games.
Meanwhile, Mr. Wilson Sy, considered to be one of the financial superstars in the Philippines and a Fund Manager at Philequity Fund, gave his insight on investing. He pointed out that to be able to understand the stock market, one must be willing to give time and effort in studying it. He ended by sharing how he used his knowledge and what he has gained to give back.
With high hopes, Sy articulated his most fervent wish for the Filipino people to learn to read and study.
You have to become rich to be able to give back.
Such is a practical and realistic way of seeing the investment efforts we all have been pointing out.
To end, Investment Strategies Vice President, Miggy Santos, discussed investing in the context of the Philippines today with Mr. Robert Ramos, First VP of Unionbank, Ms. April Tan, Vice President of COL Financial, and Mr. JC Bisnar, CEO of Investagrams. JC shared his experiences of trading and investing as his livelihood. He shared the same sentiments as Mr. Sy as he said that at first, the stock market may be very tempting since it feel like easy money, but the stock market is studied, its trends, the risks and the like. April, on the other hand, emphasized the importance of diversifying your investments especially not putting it all in. While Robert talked about how passion and hard work is essential in entering the market.
During the break, MEcO provided a game for the delegates to play which included tasks they could complete within the day. A few of the tasks were to visit and play at the game booths outside of Irwin Hall, not only did they get prizes for winning or just trying in the games, but they also learned about investing while doing them. The delegates came back to a performance from the organization’s own MEcOustics’ Brandon Alonzo.
But the fun didn’t stop there, prizes were also given away throughout the program through different games, and prizes from the Loop during the raffle draw.
Upon asking one of the project heads, Nicholas Dy Buncio, what word he would describe his experience in pulling off such a big event, he had this to say,
Trust – I believe trusting each of the members of the team is the best experience I learned from this year’s NSInC. Despite facing many challenges, the team was able to pull off this year’s NSInC, with sudden shifts in strategies prior to it because of the great skills and talents each member possessed. Putting my trust in them was the best thing I did.
Much has been said for the day well spent, or rather, a day is not enough to talk about financial literacy and impact investing. As millennials, we’re always being told to invest for the future, to save up in order to be financial stable. The call now for invested millennials extends towards a bigger audience; the call to give back to the less privileged members of society, to invest for the development of others. It all begins with us, but then again, literacy and investment take time, and the best way is to take risks. Just make sure it is a valuable one.
Kudos to the project heads, Carina Zafra, Paul Gue and Nicolas Dy Buncio, core team members and volunteers who made this event possible!