Frugal Honey

Financial Literacy

Top Blogs PH

I removed my blog Kikay Exchange from Top Blogs about 2 years ago, because I was becoming too obsessed with ranking and I didn’t like the pettiness it brought out in me. Also, but to a lesser degree, I was trying to limit the sponsored products sent my way for review because my face can only take so much before it declares a revolution on me. Most PR companies and brand managers don’t scour the internet for bloggers and merely rely on Top Blogs for their listing, so I knew that removing Kikay Exchange from the listing will significantly lessen the product avalanche.*

But here I am again, joining the rabble at Top Blogs, but this time, it’s not Kikay Exchange that’s up for scrutiny, instead I submitted my personal finance blog, Frugal Honey.

I started Frugal Honey because there was a significant dearth of personal finance blogs ran by women in the local blogosphere. I appreciated Randell Tiongson and Fitz Villafuerte‘s blogs, but aside from Melissa Briones, there seemed to be no other female voice in the personal finance category. And when you come to think of it, aren’t the moms/wives supposed to hold the budgeting power in their households? So why weren’t they speaking up? That’s why I decided to make my voice heard. Sure, it’s squeaky and small, but it’s still a voice nonetheless.
As I type this, Frugal Honey is now ranked 97 (page 2 baby!), rising slowly from its initial standing of 106. I looked at the Top 50 blogs at the Business & Finance and the unique hits ranged from 25,000++ (Pinoy Money Talk) to 226 (Hot Fun Stuffs). For now, to be able to make it to the Top 50, I need to generate unique hits of at least 45 per day. How do I this? Hmmm….maybe I should post naked pictures of Prince Harry?:p
Seriously though, I feel strongly about including Frugal Honey in Top Blogs because I want women to also talk about personal finance, financial freedom etc., in between conversations revolving around chismis, makeup, clothes and shoes. And this time around, I want to be noticed and I want to be quoted because I want more women to take control of their finances and shed their “bahala na si God/ boyfriend/ husband” mentality.
While we have more than enough fashion and beauty blogs floating around in the interwebs, there are sadly not enough well-written blogs on personal finance (really? Hot Fun Stuffs under the Business & Finance category?). So ladies, what are we going to do about that?
*I know that I could have easily said no to the requests but I really did like reviewing products, there just came a time when I had too much backlog and the PRs would constantly follow up/ hound me and I was tired of snapping at dealing with another fresh out of college young ‘un. I don’t want to generalize, but it always appeared to me as if those who merely relied on Top Blogs were the amateurs and newbies in the PR biz, while those who knew what they were doing would make their own search and respected boundaries (i.e. hindi nangungulit).

Sharing is Caring

Ever since I discovered the joy of investing, I’ve been encouraging friends and family members alike to do the same. I get the same feeling I usually get when I stumble upon a good deal and just can’t wait to share the information with everybody. Because really, what’s the point in keeping mum when everyone can benefit from such a fab deal?

In the office, my boss’ daughter also subscribes to Bo Sanchez’ Strategic Averaging Method (SAM) technique with stock investment, but she funds her COL account with over the counter deposits and hasn’t bought stocks for the past 3 months simply because it’s such a hassle to go to the bank and line up. So I introduced her to the wonderful world of online banking and now she has no more excuse to miss her monthly schedule. 
A good friend is also starting with SAM and I’m acting as his personal CSR, assisting him in setting up his account and answering his questions on stock investing and navigating the COL website.
But my labor of love is with my cousin, Grace. During our Dumaguete mini-break, I convinced her to at least start investing with mutual funds if she’s still iffy with stock investing. I volunteered to send her the downloaded forms, bug her every month for her investment (we’re doing the peso cost averaging method), deposit her investment and send her a monthly summary of how her funds are doing. And on her end, she has to fill out and send the forms to FAMI, and send me her monthly deposit.

My motive for doing this is to keep her away from opportunistic people who prey on her good nature. Really, my family members have been hoodwinked so many times because they don’t care to do the research with the numerous “investment opportunities” presented to them (I’m talking about you Mom!) and mostly because they’re just too trusting. I’m probably the only one in my family who thinks that a person is a potential criminal until he/she proves otherwise.
The way I see it, if I empower my cousin with the knowledge that she’s actually earning from her investments, she won’t easily fall for the sweet promises of swindlers and their ilk. Shady people like that prey on a person’s insecurity that he/she is not doing enough to ensure his/her future and would then present a slam-bang presentation that will purport to solve all of his/her financial woes in as little as a few months. So if you’re secure with the knowledge that you’re actually doing something, then you can easily dismiss those gypsters.
Or at least that’s my take on the situation. Anyway, this is already an incredibly rambling post and my only point is, I don’t want to keep this knowledge to myself.

Going Over My Life Insurance Policy

I’m a firm believer in life insurance, I like the assurance that if I suddenly drop dead tomorrow, my loved-ones will not have to worry financially (at least for the next year or two) and can take their sweet time grieving my departure.

I took out a Sun Life Sun Maxilink Prime policy because the idea of a life insurance policy supplemented with mutual funds seemed like sheer genius to me back then. I have been insured for more than a year now, but I have to admit that I’ve only gone through my policy once. Of course, my agent explained the salient points of my policy before I signed up for it, but considering how much chattering goes on whenever we meet, I’m not surprised that I can’t recall even a fourth of his explanation. After months of procrastinating, I finally sat down and scrutinized my life insurance policy and here is the summary of benefits payable:

Basic Benefit– Face amount + Fund value on death of Life Insured.
Additional Benefit – (Accidental death) Php500,000.00 if death of Life Insured occurs before May 24, 2049 from an accident.
– (Total disability) the Regular Premiums will be paid during total disability of Life Insured (note: Ask agent about this. What Regular Premiums? Who will pay these Regular Premiums?)
Premium payment period– 10 years or until May 24, 2021 (although could be longer if the Fund Value is insufficient to pay charges)
Maturity Date– May 24, 2067.

I tried to go over the Premiums and Charges Provisions, but they honestly made my head ache. But the benefits are pretty straightforward and from what I gathered, if I die while my insurance policy subsists, my beneficiary will receive the Face Value + Fund value. And if I die from an accident before May 24, 2049, my beneficiary will receive an additional Php500,000.00.

Aside from giving me peace of mind, I also like how I can withdraw part of the Fund Value any time while the policy subsists, in effect creating another stream of income that I can tap into when needed. There’s no provision though on the cash surrender value, will have to ask my agent about that.

Anyway, I’m glad that I went over my policy, if only to get acquainted with what I can expect from it. Although I’m still wondering why most financial experts (i.e. Suze Orman and the speaker during the Colayco seminar) recommend a term insurance over the other types, including whole life insurance, which is what I got. Must research into that too.

P.S.
You may also want to read this great post on life insurance from Mel Briones of Youwanttoberich.com. Please click here.
P.P.S.
RIP Mang Dolphy 🙁

Stock Trading

I’ve been subscribed to Bo Sanchez’s Truly Rich Club ever since the year started, and though the daily GodWhispers is nice, what I really look forward to is the monthly stocks update report. 

After months of reading about stocks and perusing the charts from the Truly Rich Club monthly reports, I finally decided to take the plunge, because I knew that I would be forced to study up on the matter more if I had something at stake. So for my birthday this year, I set aside Php10,000 to start an account with Citisec Online. Based on Bo’s recommended stocks, I picked Cebu Pacific (for loyalty reasons) and Megaworld (because it just became part of the TRC at that time and I wanted to sync my stocks with the monthly chart. Does that even make sense?)
And in just two months, my Php10,000 has grown to Php9,500!! Ugh.
In April, I had earnings of 7.9%, but that was quickly wiped out in May and June and now I’m at a troubling -5.8%. But hey, that’s how stocks roll I guess and in his last two newsletters, Bo did say that the next few weeks would be bearish, so I can’t really say that I was caught off-guard.
In my almost three months of investing in stocks, I now know what board lot means, although I still had to google the difference between bear and bull markets. And I’m still confused what price to put down when making a bid, so I’ve been merely copying what the last successful bid was when making my offer.
I obviously still have a lot to learn and it’s been pretty exciting. The geek in me is very, very happy.
I just funded my Citisec Online account and I plan on buying minimum board lots of Cebu Pac, Megaworld and Megawide (as recommended by my financial adviser) within the week. Thus, the game continues!

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