Who else is happy that the Personal Equity Retirement Account (PERA) law will finally be implemented?!
In a nutshell, the PERA is a voluntary retirement system where contributions are made by both employees and employers, kind of like the 401k in the United States. You get a tax credit of 5% of your PERA contributions and it is tax-exempt if you make withdrawals at the age of 55 and up. Here’s a nice primer for the PERA: http://business.inquirer.net/198300/all-about-pera
I received a call from an unknown number on my cellphone last Friday and this was how our conversation played out:
Manila Bankers Life Insurance (MBLI): Good afternoon ma’am Clemens, this is _____ from Manila Bankers Life Insurance and I’m calling you today to inform you that in celebration of MBLI’s anniversary, you won an educational scholarship and health and wellness GCs.
Me: How did you get my number?
MBLI: You were recommended by one of our partner banks: BPI, BDO, Metrobank, RCBC, Security Bank, EastWest Bank, PNB, LandBank etc.
Me: What’s this about?
MBLI: As I said, you won an educational scholarship and health and wellness GCs which you must claim today or tomorrow from our office in Makati.
Me: All I need to do is claim it? There will be no product presentations, no seminars etc?
MBLI: Yes mam, you just need to pick them up at our office today or tomorrow and bring 2 valid IDs and a bank ID with you.
Me: Sorry but I can’t make it.
MBLI: Are you sure ma’am? Sayang naman ang scholarship and health and wellness GCs.
Me: I’m sure. Thanks for calling!
I made a quick search of Manila Bankers Life Insurance and was surprised to see the numerous incendiary comments and allegations of fraud:
A few months back, I received a message that one of the entries I entered for Sun Life’s Sinag Financial Literacy Awards made it as a finalist. Of course I was very, very thrilled! Sun Life is a game changer in the life insurance landscape and probably the biggest supporter of financial literacy in the country. It was such a big honor to become a finalist.
Unfortunately, I didn’t win any of the prizes (sniff!) but I did come home with Sun Life’s Prosperity Card worth Php5,000.
For his birthday this year, my son received some cash from his godparents. Instead of starting a savings account or spending it on toys, I opted to open a stocks brokerage account for him since I’ve always entertained the thought of buying stocks in my son’s name considering that the yield is far superior than a savings account and it’s a good way of introducing him to stocks and investing in general at an early age.
Whenever people find out that I dabble in stocks, the next question after what stocks to buy usually is “When will I know when to buy or sell?”. And the honest answer is it really depends on you. Buying or selling depends on whether or not you’re an investor or a trader. It depends on the gameplan you have set for yourself. It really doesn’t depend on the market, as some people might think, because the market is a fickle creature so you should be the constant thing in your stock investing/trading.
However, to get your gameplan into order, you have to dive headfirst into the world of stocks. Sure it’s nice to do some studying before purchasing your first lot, but there’s nothing quite like the threat of losing money that will force you to learn anything and everything you can about stocks.