Friday, July 28, 2017

Our Search for the Perfect "Budget" Ukulele

I don't know when my 2-year old son, Gavin, started his interest in guitars; everytime we're in the mall and pass by a music store, he would like to stop and check out the different guitars on display. As much as I don't want to show him my guitar at home (my wife was afraid that he'll always bug her to get it), it came to a point that I had to. :P I allowed him to hold it and strum the strings just to satisfy his curiosity. But because my classic guitar is still too big for him, I just told him that I'll buy him a smaller one next time. Since a ukulele seems to be the perfect size for him and I also want to learn how to play it, I told him that I'll just buy a ukulele. :P

Premiere Ukulele for Kids

Just like what I mentioned in a previous post, whenever I buy a musical instrument for my son, as much as possible, I want it to be the real instrument instead of a toy equivalent. And so for this ukulele, the challenge was to find a decent unit at an affordable price.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Service Review: Shipping Cart's Improved Air Shipping Service

I haven't used the Shipping Cart service since March 2017 primarily due to their increased shipping rates, which took effect last March 1, 2017. But to be fair to them, I haven't used other freight forwarding services either. Interestingly, the $1.00 and $1.87 per pound increase in air and sea shipping fee, respectively, was enough to keep me out of Amazon for the next few months. :P

Amazon Prime Day was enough reason, though, to order from Amazon US again and try Shipping Cart's advertised improved service. Just in case you're not aware, Shipping Cart's air shipping service is now sending parcels from the US daily. This means you can now receive your parcel faster, in 5-10 days after shipping it out instead of the previous 10-15 days waiting period.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Book Review: My Key Takeaway from Money Grows on Trees

It's amazing how a simple book can have a big impact, how a change in mindset can bring tremendous results. Thanks to Clarissa Seriña-de la Paz and Sharon Que's latest book Money Grows on Trees, I finally realized what can be improved in my investment and business strategies — my money mindset.

Money Grows on Trees by Clarissa Seriña-de la Paz and Sharon Que

Honestly, when I attended the book launch of Money Grows on Trees (special thanks to Ms. Ace Gapuz and Ms. Maddie Cruz of Blogapalooza for the invite), my only intention was to experience attending one and have something to post on my blog. In fact, I thought that being inspired by the experiences of the authors (plus the opportunity to meet Ms. Alice Dixson in person) was already a bonus. :P Little did I know that the book will change how I condition my mind to have an abundant mindset, something I never really paid attention to in the past 11 years, to achieve my current goals and set more grandiose ones. (I started my journey to financial freedom in 2006, and since then, I've read a lot of finance books, got into mutual funds, UITFs, stocks, bonds, and other investments. I've become a financial literacy advocate, and in 2015, I started a finance blog called Make Your Peso Grow.)

Friday, June 2, 2017

How We Survived the No TV / No Tablet Rule for our Toddler

Television and gadgets (tablets, smartphones) are surefire ways to keep kids busy for hours nowadays. Aside from keeping the kids entertained, some parents swear by the educational benefits they give to their precious ones.

No Tv? No Tablet? No Problem!

However, several articles and studies can be found on the net regarding the adverse effects of television watching and too much exposure to gadgets at a young age.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Abrickadabra 2017: The Philippine Lego Fan Convention

Last May 27, 2017, I attended Abrickadabra 2017, a Lego fan convention organized by the Philippine Lego Users Group (PhLUG), held in Promenade Hall in Greenhills.

It showcased the awesome creations of several PhLUG members. The event also became a venue for buying, selling and trading Lego sets, minifigs, spare bricks, and other Lego-related stuff.

Abrickadabra Lego ExhibitAbrickadabra Lego Exhibit

Friday, May 12, 2017

UITF Investing 101: Equity Funds are for Long Term Investing

I joined a UITF investing group in Facebook recently and I was surprised with the short term investing mindset of some of the members there, a mindset that has unfortunately influenced members who have zero-knowledge or have little knowledge on UITF investing. As someone who has been investing in UITFs, Mutual Funds (MF) and stocks since 2006, I felt the responsibility to share my views on UITF investing, what I believe is the true essence of UITF investing. I have to admit that at first, I was a hesitant to post what I've written because I'm not sure how most of the members would take my opinion. I'm glad that I pressed the "Post" button because my message received an overwhelming response.

UITF Investing: Equity Funds for Long Term Investing

I would like to re-post the message here, so it can also be shared to other people who are new to UITF investing, or are about to try UITF investing.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

10 Truths Newbie Stock Traders Should Know

2017 marks my 10th year trading in the Philippine Stock Market. Looking back, I'm glad that I didn't quit and lost hope on the market when my portfolio went down by more than 50% during the 2008 global financial crisis, which is considered by many economists as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In the past 10 years, I've learned a lot from books, online resources (articles, e-books, market reports from brokers, etc.), stock trading forums, and stock trading EBs / meet-ups. I've also had a lot of realizations when it comes to stock trading based on actual experience. These things helped in my portfolio recovery and enabled me to beat PSEi and index fund performance consistently since 2012 without having to trade actively.

In this article, I will be listing some of the lessons and realizations I've had for newbie traders and for those planning to enter the stock market. I hope that with this, I can give you a better idea of what to expect from the Philippine Stock Market, as well as clarify some misconceptions about it.

1. Stock trading is simple, but it's not easy

It may appear that stock trading is simple: buy low, sell high, right?

The truth is, earning from the stock market is not easy. You can study all you want before plunging into the market and still find yourself in a string of losing trades. Even buying a fundamentally good stock doesn't guarantee a gain.

There are just so many factors that affect the market. Aside from political and economic issues in and out of the country, you also have to look at personal issues that can make you lose money: fear, greed, hope, ignorance, dependence on others, and dependence on luck.

You need time and experience to be a consistently profitable trader. Sometimes, you can be lucky and win big on highly speculative plays. But if you want to stay long in the market, you must not rely on luck alone.

Study, plan your trading strategy, check the results, then re-assess your strategy. These are the things that you need to do in order to improve your trading skills. These will also help you determine which strategy works for you.