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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Written by Emina Sotto / Photos by Andrea Chan / Poster by Monica Dimapilis
The Investment Mentorship Program is a year-long, progressive learning program that teaches the basics of investing all the way to advanced topics.
“Hanggang saan aabot ang 100 pesos mo?”
The Investment Mentorship Program: Open Session started with this question, asked by MEcO’s very own mentors Jaime Manzano and Kahane Pe, who facilitated the event to a room full of mentees and non-mentees, including invited senior high school students from the Ateneo, striving to become student-investors in CTC 114 last October 13.
The answer to the question according to the duo is to invest. Why invest? To battle inflation and to buy financial freedom for your future self.
To start the lesson, Jaime and Kahane first defined stocks as the portion of a company or a good located in the Philippine market that move with supply and demand. Afterwards, they moved on to explaining the difference between investors and traders. They compared investing to a marathon, where enduring the longest is more important than being the fastest.
The main point of their discussion revolved around the FTSR Framework that stands for fundamentals, technicals, sentiment, and risk management; those of which are important factors to consider when it comes to stocks and the stock market.
Under fundamentals or creating the portrait of a company, concepts such as market capitalization, the P/E ratio (price to earnings), and earnings per share were given light.
Moving on to technicals or the forecast using a chart of where prices will go, the types of trends were explained as well as the concepts of support and resistance. Support is the point in the where the stock price does not fall, while the resistance is the point where the stock price does not rise.
Furthermore, sentiments predict the stock prices based on current events regarding a specific stock. They summarized this in one word: news. They emphasized how powerful news can affect how investors perceive the company thereby dictating their desire to invest.
Lastly, they explained risk management, examples of which are cut-loss and diversification.They compared cut-loss to an “exit point” when things do not go as planned, where investors must minimize their losses. On the other hand, diversification was explained as “not putting all eggs into one basket” or investing in more than one stock.
In order to facilitate the discussion and to deepen the understanding of the attendees, simple activities were given.
To understand fundamentals, attendees were asked to search the stock code, CEO, and net income of a certain company.
An activity using an online application called Investagrams, made use of the line tool to distinguish support and resistance points in a graph, to grasp the concept of technicals.
To give emphasis to the impact of sentiments, a group challenge on determining why the stock price dropped for a certain company was accomplished.
Finally, to give sense to diversification, an activity on classifying a list of stocks based on their sectors (according to pse.com.ph) was executed.
Mentors were present in assisting the attendees throughout the session.
To end the workshop, Vice President for Investment Strategies, Jason Gusilatar, announced the expansion of the program to senior high school students, also acknowledging the few who were present, as he believes in investing on the youth. He also extended his invitation to the attendees to join the other open sessions of the Investment Mentorship Program in the near future, hoping to encourage more students to become student-investors.
The first open session of the Investment Mentorship Program was highly informative and enjoyable. Mentors Jaime Manzano, Kahane Pe, Dan Reyes, and Thea Zabala were successful in organizing the first open session for the Investment Mentorship Program, as the room full of attendees were able to acquire new knowledge regarding the basics of stocks and the stock market. Together with other mentors present: Jolo Gutierrez, Tim Sio, and Adrian Syliangco, they were able to effectively and efficiently guide the participants in having a fruitful and meaningful experience all throughout the workshop.
Through this event, MEcO was able to highlight its core competency of financial literacy, with the goal to educate and build a community of student-investors in the Ateneo.
Invest! is a two-day event that strives to provide an avenue for investment education and stocks training.
The Ateneo Management Economics Organization (MEcO) once again held its annual INVEST! With this year’s theme being entitled “Seek the Peak”, the organizers thought of inviting two speakers to talk – with the first one (link to article: tinyurl.com/INVEST-First-Day) being held a week before the other.
Last September 18, Edmund Lee, the head of a trading institute, had given a talk about the stock market and personal finance. On the 25th of September, however – the event’s organizers were able to invite a professional trader to talk about investing and trading, as well as the implications that arise from each of the two.
With Day One having a corporate CEO take the stage – Day Two of INVEST! saw Brian Ngan, the Chief Investment Officer of the Cedarside Holdings Corporation, grace the newly renovated halls of Escaler. MEcOnistas Alex Cordova and Nicole Salazar returned as the event’s hosts – first introducing Daisie Zeng, who lead the opening remarks in front of a jam-packed audience.
Mr. Ngan began his talk by introducing two words – investing and trading, terms that are different but often used interchangeably. These two form the stock market’s first and second paradigm, respectively. The first one, investing, is when you buy stocks now and hold on to it for a long time. “Investing is about picking the right companies to invest in,” said the speaker. Trading, on the other hand, is when you buy a stock and sell it after a few days. He then said that you shouldn’t do both simultaneously and that it is “more prudent to be the first one – the long-term kind of investor.” This is because according to him, people either don’t have the time to invest/trade or don’t know how to altogether.
He recalls the story of when he met with a couple of people from Macroasia Corporation, an aviation company specializing in aircraft maintenance and catering. He did this after noticing something unusual in Macroasia’s income charts. The fact that it is a business owned by corporate magnate, Lucio Tan, gives it the identity of being the prime food provider in Philippine Airlines (PAL), also owned by the Tan family; and that is exactly what people think it is in the investment world. However, after meeting the people behind Macroasia and tasting their food (which he said rivalled that of five-star hotels), Mr. Ngan discovered that for eight years, Macroasia Corporation has been the food supplier of twelve airlines, including Singapore and Cathay Pacific. And the only thing they supply to PAL is their famous arroz caldo. He says that, “Not only is this company misunderstood. They are hedging their risks.”
He told this story to show the crowd that investing isn’t just about the numbers. It’s about the story. And from this, he claims, arise two types of people: the number crunchers and the story tellers. The reason why people didn’t know anything about Macroasia is because they didn’t ask. Mr. Ngan describes investing as a “bridge between the numbers and the narrative.” Storytellers need to learn the discipline gotten from numbers, while number crunchers need to get the imagination to know about the narratives behind them.
Indeed, there is a place for everyone in the world of investing. But if one wants to do trading as a profession, Mr. Ngan points out that one needs to learn the rules of the game. Active trading is not for the faint of heart. And even though “the mind, the money management, and the method” are very vital in trading for a living, they are not the most important thing. “You need to have the fortitude or the mental preparation to win a lot or to lose a lot.”
If one were to survive in a world of story tellers and number crunchers, one has to have “balls of steel.”
Written by Kevin Choa / Photos by Mark Anastacio and Issa Imperial
Invest! is a two-day event which aims to teach the basic skills and principles to anyone interested in investing, whether it be in the stock market or in other investments.
Last September 18, the Ateneo Management Economics Organization (MEcO) kicked off one of its flagship projects on financial literacy: Invest! This two-day event aims to teach the basic skills and principles to anyone interested in investing, whether it be in the stock market or personal finance.
Day One saw Edmund Lee, a Chartered Financial Analyst and the President and CEO of Caylum Trading Institute, share his insights on investing to a packed, standing room-only crowd at the Escaler Hall. Much of his talk discussed about the common fears and debunked certain myths about the stock market to new investors, as well as explaining why the Philippine market is a good investment at this time.
Mr. Lee began his talk by mentioning that millennials are the luckiest generation so far. Information, according to him, is now within easy reach due to advances and innovations in technology. That being said, one’s success is not dependent on one’s access to such technology; it’s how one uses it to his/her advantage that counts. However, he mentioned that despite the enormous wealth of information one may have, there would always be a need to maximize it. Future generations, Mr. Lee said, would become smarter and more adaptive, therefore making it more important to build on one’s resources as much as possible.
The speaker then proceeded to explain why investing was a simpler way to increase one’s wealth, emphasizing the fact that majority of the wealthiest individuals in the world built their fortunes on investments over inheritances. As costs increase and going into business becomes harder, investing is a viable option, as you “make your money work for you.” In saying this, Mr. Lee said that large companies and corporations are partners in the business world, considering the amount of influence and networks they have on the overall business community. While being an entrepreneur is still a common practice, many entrepreneurs turn to those businesses for help.
Moving on to the topic of the stock market as a representation of the economy, it is anything but certain, given the various rises and drops in the values of certain stocks at certain periods of time. An example would be the 2016 Philippine elections, in which no one could be certain that Rodrigo Duterte is the best option amongst all the candidates before he was elected. Mr. Lee further emphasized that until his or her term ends, no one can confidently tell or fully prove if a president is considered a good or bad leader. Such uncertainty during an election creates noise on who would be the best one, similar to the stock market itself.
Mr. Lee then added that there are always scapegoats, negative press, and other sorts of distractions which affect the trading and investing decisions in the stock market. He emphasized that despite the constant news of dropping values, not every drop means economic recession. Not only was the Philippine economy not badly hit by the 2008 financial crisis in the United States, but also much of the Philippine GDP comes from outside the country (BPOs and OFWs), according to Mr. Lee. He also said that investors must focus on long-term effects any policy or event has on the economy, no matter the short-term risks it imposes.
Mr. Lee then encouraged the audience to begin investing, by saying that “Everyone wants to invest in the Philippines, except the Filipino.”, as well as encouraged investing in megatrends in the country and internationally. He then cited the stories behind the success of various companies, such as Apple, Yahoo!, Blackberry, and Universal Robina, companies which expanded their operations and succeeded as a result. All four companies’ stock prices had an upward spike in value at some point.
At the end of the day, however, Mr. Lee encouraged new investors to fully understand the scope of their investments. He mentioned the value of brands, as well as the various trends and innovations which change people’s lives, stressing that unlike popular opinion, the stock market is anything but a gamble. It is full of points to consider: where one is in the market, what the market conditions are, and how one must act based on decisions and events which affect the business community. He then closed Day One by discussing the concept of a shared economy, crucial to new investors as well. The Philippines is full of demographics, young labor, and the development of technology which could soon arrive. As part of the market, we as investors share the economic activity and growth, which is dominant in a time where some of the richest companies own nothing and earn on sharing services from other people. Even with all this technology and knowledge flowing, there is nothing to gain if these are not properly shared and determine the overall activity of the stock market.
Invest! Day 2 will be held on Monday, September 25 at Escaler Hall. Brian Ngan, Chief Investment Officer for Cedarside Holdings Corporation, will discuss the basic skills for trading and investing, the final step for new investors willing to seek the peak.
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 tolearn 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!