My First Mutual Fund Investment at Sun Life

I did it. Finally. After a year of planning, researching, and saving up to no avail, I have finally made my first mutual fund investment at Sun Life. It’s crazy ’cause the money I have used to open an account at Sun Life came from a personal loan from Citibank. Hahaha! Yes, I loaned from my aunt’s credit card again and I haven’t even paid up my previous loan in full. But I have a sort of stable part time job now, so I thought “What the heck, can’t wait for my previous loan to end in September. I need the money badly now!” Right now, I’m not really sure if it’s the stupidest or the smartest financial decision I have ever made, but I guess only time will tell.

I was supposed to buy my Papa a new LED TV for Father’s Day, so I asked my Tita to get me a loan through her credit card. He and my mother made the request about three weeks ago and I felt obliged to fulfill their wish. The thing is it’s the first gift they have ever asked of me and most importantly, I know how much my Papa desires to have a big screen where he can watch the pirated DVDs he kept on buying from sidewalk vendors. Unfortunately, for some personal reason, they changed their mind and asked if I could lend them the cash instead. Of course, I said yes. It’s my gift to them and I’d rather present them something they need most. My other reason for getting a bank loan is I was also planning to finally have a ceiling constructed in my house, so it would stop looking like a refugee camp. Unfortunately again, ceiling construction costs more than P15,000 including labor and I just can’t allow all the money to be spent on something that can wait.

Anyway, enough about the backstory. I’ve been eyeing to start an investment at Sun Life ever since I have read a Bo Sanchez article about how his maids invest in the stock market. Yes, the title alone made me think, “If they could, why can’t I?” And then I started reading about mutual funds and stock trading online. I remember stumbling upon an article that says how there are a lot of money-making vehicles in the country to make every Filipino more financially stable, the only problem is they do not know about them and many of those who do are blinded by the fears of getting scammed. I don’t blame them. I saw the worry from my parents and friends’ eyes whenever I bring up the topic of investing in mutual funds, stocks, and insurance to them. All they can think of are the pyramid scams, the bankruptcies of insurance companies, and the risks of losing it all in the stock market. I can’t blame them and I understand where they are coming from. This is a third world country. Taking financial risks is very dangerous. That is why I’m starting with mutual funds and not stocks. Mutual funds are meant for people who are willing to take risks that they think they can handle and for people who do not have the expertise to get involved in stocks yet. In mutual fund investing, a financial advisor manages your money for you. All you have to do is add more funds to it when you can, let it grow by letting it mature for years, and pray that the market performs well by the time that you need to redeem it.

Now, why did I choose Sun Life? It wasn’t the top performer this year but my heart is in it. Probably because of Bo Sanchez and because it does belong to the top ten mutual fund companies in the country. On Monday, I will visit Philequity in Ortigas to place some of the funds I have left from my loan to their mutual funds. And yes, they are one of the more well-performing mutual fund companies. I just feel safe knowing I have two mutual fund companies and I feel assured that one will always perform well than the other if not both.

And here I go again with a long post. I’ll end it here. Wish me luck and may God bless my plans.

Thanks for reading.

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The First Friday of 2012 is Awesome because I am Most Improved!

My first week of January is too awesome to be true. I can’t believe it’s the second Monday of the year already. I have got three reasons why I think the start of this year is an effective propeller for the next days to come but let me share the first one first.

Last Friday, our office held our 2nd Annual DAN-ny Awards. I’m not really sure what the addition of the -ny stuff means; so, let’s just leave it at that. However, this year the awarding was accompanied by a game of scavenger hunt and a boodle fight. Anyway, the night before was kind of a disaster for me — and for Lance, actually. The office was divided into five groups and each group were assigned two dishes to bring the next day for the anticipated boodle fight. Unfortunately, I was assigned to bring the food. And no matter how hard I fought with RJ, Cyan and Lee (my groupmates) telling them I don’t freakin’ know how to cook beef tapa, I had to resign to my fate and accept the fact that I would lose any argument I put up with them because I don’t have kids, I live alone, and I have a stove.

I don’t really hate cooking. I actually like cooking but the thing is I suck at it big time!

Man, he's actually smiling!
Please insert face --->

Okay, to cut the cooking story short, Lance and I started at 9:30 in the evening and ended up cooking the whole thing at 1 AM. Of course, as a regular Claude thing, this includes stupid moments like burning a number of beef strips, charring the two frying pans black, and almost setting the curtains on fire while trying to manually lit the defective second burner with a matchstick! How am I ever going to get married?!

Fast forward to Friday morning, I arrived at the office one and a half hour late. At 8 o’clock, the scavenger hunt began! Each group has a game master who would provide them with the first clue written on a deck of black card. The answer to the first clue leads to the place where the second deck of card is hidden and the answer to it leads to the third and so on and so forth until all 10 clues are completed. I have always loved scavenger hunts, although, I’ve never played one. I have lived vicariously on books and movies for quite a long time, I guess. Luckily, I have some really fast thinking and energetic groupmates; so, running/jumping staircases up and down the building wasn’t much of a problem.

Here’s one funny moment I can remember about the hunt:

While answering questions, filling in the boxes with them and singling out the letters inside the shaded boxes…

Groupmate whoever: F!
Groupmate whoever: R!
Groupmate whoever: I!
Groupmate whoever: Errrrmm….
Groupmate whoever: Iwan muna yan! Next!
Groupmate whoever: Ge! G-E!
Me: FRI… FRI… FRINGE! — (receives blank stares from groupmates) Anung FRINGE?
RJ: FRIDGE!!! FRIDGE!!! FRIDGE!!!
Groupmates: Fridge?! Saang fridge?!
RJ: Eh isa lang naman fridge natin eh!
OO NGA NAMAN. LOL.

This always cracks me up every time I remember it ’cause I keep seeing the look on my groupmates faces especially RJ and Joey when I shouted Fringe! Like they were confused whether to believe me or not. Hahahaha! And then there’s the overloaded elevator where our gamemaster as well as our manager, Ate Ems, was pushed out of the elevator as an unwilling sacrifice. Hahahaha! Surprisingly, we won! I relayed to my groupmates the last answer to our clue which is the English translation for the French word, gagnant; which I, of course, obtained by quick googling. As the winning team, we were awarded a REALLY BIG CHRISTMAS SOCK OF FOOD!

FOOODDDDDD!!!
The Competitive Group 3! (Photo Courtesy of Marvin Cruz)

Now, here’s the story why the awesomeness of this Friday is due to the fact that I am most improved. Literally, I was voted DAN’s Most Improved Employee (or Specialist or whatever) by the people of Dial-A-Note. Hahaha! Alright, I’m not really the model employee. I’ve got issues with tardiness, browsing of non-work related websites, and the quality of my transcription. The first one is due to my inability to discipline myself entirely; the second simply to our team’s enormous amount of free time and my love for jumping from one wiki article to another; and the last one, to my always blamed unilateral deafness. I had always told my friends in the office before that I was contented on being on a low-profile position. I didn’t have plans on moving up in the company ladder because I loved the leniency I get whenever I needed to go on vacation. No big responsibilities. No great expectations. I get to climb any weekend, file for a vacation, leave work without having to spend extended hours for admin works, and simply just work with no added pressure. Besides, I wasn’t really planning on staying here this long. I didn’t really expect to love this place more than I would allow myself to. I was expecting I would have saved enough money in a year, continue my film studies and pursue my dreams of having some passionate stalker fan write my own Wikipedia entry! That WAS my life at work until all my friends in the office, with the exception of Ainna, started submitting their applications for team lead positions about three or four months ago. Suddenly, the dream bubble I lived in exploded right before my butt and sent it hitting reality rock bottom. I realize I was so busy daydreaming about reaching my big dreams that I failed to see the formula of needing to excel first in my present job in order to excel in the future I have always dreamt to have.

So, I made a move. It took a great deal of guts and pride to ask my team leader to help me out with my transcription and proofing skills having been considered a tenured employee for more than a year. I confessed to her that I wouldn’t want to have to blame my non-functioning right ear all the time for my “unintelligibles”. Oh, and she never hesitated. I had to re-learn many things fast about transcription having been on the CRM entry side of the work process for the majority of my stay in the company. This may not be a big deal for many but it is for me. My work seldom gets proofed now. Thanks to my awesome teammates who are always willing to provide me feedbacks whenever I ask for them.

And yes, being awarded the Most Improved title encourages me to move forward, stop procrastinating, and waiting for “the dream” to happen. No matter how handmade my trophy is (which I actually find more meaningful than the usual ones made of fiber glass), its value is as priceless as the Heart of the Ocean for me. Alright, that may be a little exaggerated if I really do have the jewelry. Let’s just say one of the most wonderful experiences on earth is to be rewarded with recognition for your hard work.

THE
BOODLE
FIGHT!!!

 

Speaking of office rewards and to end this another lengthy blog entry, I always find MORE FOOD to be extremely rewarding! THE BOODLE FIGHTTT!!! We actually thought it was going to be part of the games; like the group who finishes their food set first wins and I was sooo ready to fight making sure I was extremely famished! But don’t confuse me for sounding more excited for the boodle fight rather than the awards ceremony. I mean, c’mon, me? Really?!