Friday, August 29, 2014

INVESTMENT Tip- 5 investments you can make with P20,000 or less

by iMoney

Posted at 08/24/2014 9:13 AM | Updated as of 08/26/2014 9:44 AM
(Editor's note: This article was written by iMoney as part of a content partnership arrangement with
MANILA, Philippines - Let’s say you've been saving P2,000 every month from your paycheck, and now you have P20,000. Or you got that amount as a performance bonus from work. Or a particularly generous relative gave it to you for your birthday.
What would you do with it?
You might be thinking that it’s too little an amount to invest in anything long-term, enough that you're tempted to just go shopping with it.
But if you look around for wiser options, you can find ways to make that money work for you. Below, we’ve put together a list of investments you can make with P20,000 that are financially better for you than going on a shopping spree.
Unit Trust Investment Fund
You can easily dive into the world of investment with P20,000. For example, Security Bankoffers a number of unit investment trust funds (UITF) which require an initial amount of only P10,000. But what’s a UITF?
Unit Trust Investment Funds “pool the funds of investors to create a large fund which, under the watchful eyes of professional fund managers, can productively harness these funds, taking advantage of economies of scale,” according to Banco de Oro. Thus, even individuals can access investments usually just available to big investors. UITFs are also heavily regulated by not only the banks offering the fund, but also by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, protecting investors.
UITFs are medium- to long-term investments that have historically better earning options over a long horizon than traditional deposit options, so if you can afford to leave your money in a UITF without having to withdraw from it for a long time, it can be a good option for you in the long run.
For example, if you had invested in Security Bank’s Peso Asset Variety Fund on January 1, 2014, these are the kind of returns you could be expecting (disclaimer: values from Security Bank’s UITF calculator. The investment value is only indicative of the value of investment as of a certain date. However, for redemption, please note that the net asset value per unit (NAVpu) will be not be known until the end of a certain business date.)
That’s an ROI of 13.42% over six months, which you can’t get with your regular savings accounts. Again, this is just an example, so please consult with your bank first to determine which fund is right for you.
East West Bank also offers the Infinity Peso Intermediate Term Bond Fund, another UITF which requires an initial deposit of P10,000. It’s a low-risk venture, because the money will be invested primarily in government securities and investment-grade corporate bonds. This is ideal for investors with a long-term investment horizon.
For under P20,000 annually, you can avail of Maxicare’s MyMaxicare Silver Plan, so if you don’t have health insurance, you could easily get it.
For example, according to Maxicare’s Quick Plan Computation, a 30-year-old applying for the Silver Plan, with dental coverage included, would pay P17,083.00 annually. You can check the Quick Plan Computation for the fees you would have to pay at your age (and whether you want dental coverage or not), which you can set annually, semi-annually or quarterly according to your needs.
Benefits include emergency care, annual check-up and preventive care benefits. The Silver tier allows for semi-private room and board for hospitals, with a maximum benefit limit of P60,000 per illness per year.
Medicare’s Plan 2500 is another healthcare option, with a P15,876 annual fee. Hospitals include Asian Hospital and Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center-Quezon City, The Medical City and Cardinal Santos Medical Center.
For as low as P15,000, you can own a siomai business. Shanghai Siomai has dealership packages that start with a one-time P10,000 dealer registration fee and a minimum order of P5,000 worth of siomai ingredients. Consult their website for details.
P20,000 can also get you started in owning your own rice business., a rice distributor, wholesaler, and retailer, requires that amount as an application fee, which can be deducted from the down payment.
Before investing in a business, make sure you’ve done your research and have a plan for profitability.
If you want to build up your management skills, the Advanced Managers’ Course at the UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries can help you.
The 10-day course, which you can take over 10 Saturdays and costs P18,000, focuses on leadership, innovation, technology, environment, people management, strategic management, risk management and customer relations management. Ideally, you should already have attended other management courses or been in a managerial position, though this is not required. Check the schedule to see if you can enroll.
Or maybe you’re looking for a raise and want to improve your negotiation skills before you go to your boss. For P10,800, Ateneo’s Center for Continuing Education offers Negotiation Skills: Deal or Deadlock, which will teach you when to negotiate, how to implement your negotiation plan and counter others’ tactics, and develop the core skills of a good negotiator.
What better way to invest your P20,000 than in yourself? Taking lessons and learning a new craft is a good way for you to grow your skillset and expand your career options, or just make your life better.
So if you want to start your own bakery, for example, or want to level up your skills in making pastries and desserts, take a look at the 5-Day Pastry Boot Camp at Enderun Colleges. This intensive 30-hour class will teach you how to make sponge cakes, choux pastry, chantilly cream, and more bakery staples. When you’re done with the course, you can use your new skills and techniques to start your artisanal bakery, or bring new desserts to family gatherings.
You could also beautify your home or workspace by learning more about interior design. The Interior Styling workshop at the School of Fashion and Art (SoFA) Design Institute, for P10,000, is an 8-week course which helps you develop an understanding and appreciation of color, pattern and furnishing, and how these can improve interior spaces, whether they be residential, commercial, or institutional.
Do you have any ideas for what else to do with P20,000?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

BUSINESS Tip- 4 Fast Ideas to Rapidly Grow Your Revenue

by Entrepreneur
There exists only one unbreakable rule for entrepreneurial growth: Get revenue!
That’s it. There are a thousand tasks that compete for your attention every day, but raising revenue must always remain at the top of your list.
You cannot fund your business on hard work alone. You cannot pay your bills with optimism. You either raise revenue or your business dies.
So how does the average entrepreneur continue feeding the revenue beast? Here are four fast ideas for rapid revenue growth that I’ve identified inside my own company for the upcoming quarter:
1. Leverage your existing fan base. Your best and most reliable source of revenue comes from your fan base. They already love and trust you. Now is the time to add new value for them to raise new revenue.

Start by asking the question, “What would add so much value so quickly that our existing customers would pay well to receive it?”
Is it a new service that supports something you have sold before? Is it an improved version of a previous product or service? Maybe it is an entirely new line that you can rush to market.
The key is to leverage existing buyer relationships. In doing so, you gain a shorter buying cycle, a higher conversion rate and more rapid revenue growth.
2. Host a seminar. Are you truly leveraging your expertise, or do you hold it back for a select few clients? Now, is this “hold back” increasing your revenue? Maybe … maybe not.
I know this is out of the box for many people, but if you have expertise that people can immediately benefit from, consider an open invitation, half-day educational seminar. There are countless resources online (and in bookstores) that describe how to create, promote and deliver seminars (or webinars).
Do the math: Find 200 people willing to pay $100 each and you just grew revenue by $20,000. Layer in product sales, consulting contracts and sponsorships, and pretty soon that rapid revenue growth begins looking quite impressive.
The key is coming up with a killer idea that appeals to the broadest audience possible. What is your specialty? How do you define the power of your message? What do you have to say to the world?

Figure it out and hold on for the ride!
(Author’s credibility note: I’m doing 11 such events in the fourth quarter this year.)
3. Cross-promote to new audiences. Are you promoting exclusively to your own audience? Big mistake! Go find someone (or many “someones”) with a larger audience and offer your product to the people in their database. (You will have to share the revenue, of course).
If you ever receive an email from a prominent expert endorsing the product or service of “my very good friend,” you are likely reading a cross-promotional sales opportunity.
The good news is that you can reach an entirely new audience. And when you sell to them once, you increase your chances of selling to them again in the future. Recurring revenue at it’s finest!
4. Repurpose an existing product. Do you blog? Assemble your very best blog posts into an ebook and sell it online. Do you have inventory lying around? Repackage it and combine it with something else so that you can promote it as something new. Consider expanding a service you offer or launching a unique sales promotion to clear out stale inventory.
The key is looking at your products and services in an entirely new way. Find a new perspective on an existing product and ask how it can generate revenue right now. As long as your product adds value to the customer, you can keep selling it over and over again.
So, are you working with a revenue-first mindset right now?
Trust me, the growth of your business depends on it. And, by the way -- it’s fun!
That’s why we’re entrepreneurs in the first place.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

WORK Tip -10 Things Great Talent Always Does

by Entrepreneur 
Finding amazing talent is a tricky process. Making talent recruitment a top priority can multiply the success of an organization.
To recognize great talent, hiring managers can look for the following signs instead of paying attention only to resumes and cover letters.
Here are 10 things people possessing great talent always do:

1. They talk about their long-term goals.

Talented candidates aren’t afraid of their future. In fact, they’re excited about their career and what’s in store.
Ask candidates about their long-term goals during a job interview. Those with great talent will talk about their prospective future with the company and what they plan to accomplish if hired.

2. They’re resourceful and prepared for anything.

Great talent is prepared for any situation. The ability to think and act on the spot is a quality few people have.
People with top-notch talent know their resume inside and out, have their portfolio ready and can answer interview questions without stumbling over their thoughts.

3. They display confidence in any situation.

There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance when identifying top talent. Confident individuals, however, can handle any situation and accept the reality that it’s OK to be wrong.
During the interview, ask candidates about their weaknesses. Look for a candidate who can confidently speak about weaknesses and explain the lessons they have learned.

4. They market their versatility.

Individuals who are truly talented possess a wide range of skills and can transfer them to different roles and succeed.
Ask candidates about a time when they had to try something new or apply their skills in an unusual situation. A good candidate will be able to share an experience or two.

5. They prioritize results.

Talented people care about results. They have a burning passion to accomplish their goals, both in their personal life or career.
Those who possess top talent will talk about what they want to accomplish once hired without the interviewer having to ask.

6. They ask smart questions.

Bright individuals are curious people. Because of this, they’ll ask questions to learn more about an organization and how it functions.
During the interview, a talented candidate will ask questions about what he or she is expected to accomplish if hired. They will inquire about the attributes of the top performers at the company and about what it takes to drive results.

7. They’re extremely flexible.

Many organizations continuously update their goals and implement new strategies. Top talent can adjust to such changes without becoming derailed from success.
Ask candidates about a time when they had to quickly adapt to a new situation and what happened.

8. They’re comfortable with taking risks.

Risk taking is involved at any business. Talented people aren’t afraid of pushing the envelope to discover new ideas.
Ask candidates about a time where they had to take a risk. Their response should provide enough insight about whether they can take big enough risks.

9. They bring passion to the position and organization.

This might seem like a cliché, but passion is a quality that sets apart those with great talent from lackluster candidates.
When a talented person is passionate about what he or she does, that individual is not afraid to tell a prospective employer. In fact, when someone is truly passionate, a hiring manager can see it in the individual's personality and previous experience.

10. They communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders.

Strong communicators have the ability to take organizations to the next level.
When speaking to candidates over the phone or in person or exchanging emails, pay close attention to how they communicate. This gives employers a better indication of their communication skills.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

MONEY Tip- !0 Financial Mistakes that can Make You Poor

by Lifespan
Many people around the world find themselves struggling with debt on a daily basis. The recession has shed light on how poorly many people manage their finances. Debt, decreased savings and increased expenditures are some of the pitfalls that can seriously derail your finances. Avoiding these mistakes can make a huge difference in terms of financial security. It’s true that, when it comes to money, we all make mistakes. Our personal finance lessons are often learned through experience. However, it is important to realize the mistake and prevent it from happening again. Here we have gathered 10 of the most common mistakes made in personal finances; avoiding these errors can help you build financial security.

1. Spending More Than You Earn
This is the cornerstone of personal finance, regardless of your income or net worth. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, but if you live within your means, you can save money in long term. It is simple math: income < expenses = debt, while income > expenses = surplus. Although buying a couple of things here and there might not seem to have much significance, it can make a huge impact over time. Frivolous expense such as ordering out for lunch or dinner or going to movies at peak time can add up and drain your bank account. Ideally, you should save and invest a percentage of each paycheck or income source you have.
2. Not Setting a Budget
One of the main reasons behind frivolous spending is not having set a budget. A monthly financial budget helps you calculate how much you are supposed to spend in the entire month. It is calculated by considering your total income, your fixed monthly expenses, debts and any other liabilities. Your monthly budget should also take into consideration the amount you should be saving for retirement or a rainy day. Once the monthly budget is set, you can spend accordingly.
3. Ignoring the Need to Save for Retirement
Most young people think that retirement is simply too far away, so they can think of retirement savings later on. Actually, people grossly underestimate the true cost of retirement, and when and how much they should start saving.
4. Not Understanding the Importance of Your Credit Score and Report
Most of us often ignore our credit score. The credit score and credit report are essentially a record of how you have handled your finances over time. These two records actually determine whether or not you will be eligible for thousands in savings when you make bigger purchases. To improve your credit report and credit score, make sure you always pay your credit card bill on time, and dispute any mistakes on your report.
5. Having Too Much Debt
To put it simply, having debt stinks. If you owe money, then you are just reducing your cash flow to make the payments. Clear off your debts as early as possible to help increase your savings. If you do acquire new debt, do it cautiously and only after researching the best loan options.
6. Investing Too Much in a House
For most of us, buying a home is our biggest investment. Many people end up investing all of their savings and other funds to buy a dream home that is way beyond their budget. Living your dreams is great, but jeopardizing your financial situation in the process is not smart. Big or expensive houses also come with unnecessary added expenses, such as higher utility bills, maintenance costs and taxes, beyond the initial house price.

Monday, August 4, 2014

LIFE Tip -5 Surefire Ways to Maximize Your Life, Starting This Morning

By Entrepreneur magazine
Many of us have heard the adage, “How you spend your day, is how you spend your life.”  I believe it’s even more micro than that. How you spend the first two hours of your day will determine how you live your life and how productive that life will be.
Giving yourself time in the morning to put yourself in an optimal physical and mental state is equivalent to putting your oxygen mask on first. You can’t help others or thrive until your needs are met first. Here are five easy-but-can't-fail steps for the best start to the rest of your life, every day.
1. Choose not to “snooze.” Anytime you snooze, it’s a negative reaction. You’re losing out on your first commitment to yourself and that sets a bad tone for the rest of your day.
Place your alarm on the other side of the room and start your day off with a victory lap by waking-up when you promised yourself you would. While this may seem small, beginning your day with a victory rather than a loss will have a profound impact on the following 16 hours.

2. Read your affirmations. Affirmations are positive, powerful statements you make to put yourself in the right frame of mind. An example of an affirmation to you can use is: “I am reborn today – yesterday does not matter. I am as good as what I learn, what I create, who I influence and what I inspire today.”
Or, you can take an example from then 4-year-old Jessica whose morning affirmations went viral. We have between 45,000 and 51,000 thoughts a day. Choose to have your first thoughts, every morning, put you into the best frame of mind for a rewarding life.
3. Open your mind by opening a book. Reading in the morning is the most important step you can take to keep your mind open, observant and ready to learn.
As an individual, and especially as an entrepreneur, nothing is more important than learning and getting better, so don't wait until nighttime to focus on your most important objective.
Try a book that’s geared to helping you solve a personal or professional challenge. That will acclimate your mind to thinking through problems, which is a powerfully beneficial habit to form. It is especially useful right before you start your day (which will invariably have its share of challenges).
4. Exercise to thrive. It’s simply not true that exercise is the key to weight loss. Instead of relegating exercise to a means (for weight loss), think of it as the destination.

There are three key reasons regular exercise is a smart business strategy.
First, exercise brings oxygen to your brain, even if you exercise for only 20 minutes. Second, research shows that moderate aerobic exercise can improve your mood for up to 12 hours. Third, exercise is another great opportunity to learn. Listen to an enriching podcast or an educational audiotape while you’re working out.
5. Refuel to feel optimal. What you put into your body to start the day is integral to how you’re going to feel the rest of the day. While opting for a bagel or donut on occasion is something we’re all prone to do, you’ll be amazed how you feel when you switch it up for something that has a well-rounded mix of healthy fats, plant-based protein and complex carbohydrates.
Blending together a smoothie only takes about as much time toasting a slice of bread and slathering it with butter. Consider starting your day with a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil (brain booster) and, after your workout, try a smoothie or breakfast bowl. Need a recommendation? My favorite is red quinoa, almonds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and ground flax seeds in a breakfast bowl.
For a smoothie, add brown rice protein powder, cinnamon, almond milk and fresh blueberries to Magic Bullet, Ninja, Vitamix (or whatever blender you have on hand). Mmmm, for the taste buds and the brain.
Try these strategies, or even just one at a time to begin. Jot down how they make you feel and affect the rest of your day. Implementing these strategies will benefit so much more than just your morning.
I believe self-care is social activism! It’s putting that oxygen mask on, first, so you can effect positive change within your workplace, with your family and throughout your community.