Tuesday, August 02, 2016


Personal reader for Edward Lee,
CEO and Founder of COLFinancial, Philippines.
It's the best online financial aid for Filipinos wanting to invest on stocks, most especially ofw's
who rarely go home to keep abreast with the Philippine Stock Exchange Index.
A year ago, I had vowed to myself that I would be able to invest regardless if it's a big or small deal. I was fearful of stocks then but I've always been interested. I was contributing to a retirement scheme just because it was one of the company's policies but I have zero knowledge regarding what the allocation of the percentages are for. Moreover, emergency fund, life insurance and compounding interest weren't in my vocabulary. My android phone is more insured than I am because I am more scared with the agent's explanation that went, "If your phone gets damaged, what are you going to do? Buy a new one?". And I feel like I am not bound to breakage at all. My savings were minimal, I relied greatly in the bank for my money's growth and I relied on my company for health care benefits. I had outstanding loans and I always feel drained of my money right before the salary comes in. In short, I was being more than irresponsible in handling my finances for the whole 8 years that I am an overseas foreign worker here in Hong Kong.

with JP Adena, the Founder of the Spearhead Mission
and Josh Antolin, my co-pathfinder at the
Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO)
supporting them as they conduct
free financial education sessions.
A year after, I am participating in Spearhead Mission as a pathfinder to fulfill an advocacy for financial literacy. My stock portfolio are all in its gaining year (my money is earning 30% while I sleep). I have allocated percentages accordingly for a good rate of return for my retirement scheme as it gets saved. I have a life savings plan for my daughter that earns a compounding interest of 6-9% monthly. I have a basic life insurance that can provide assistance if I develop a critical illness and that can cover my family's expenses if I (knock on wood) die suddenly. On top of it all, I am aware of the importance of having an emergency fund, passive income and the one that schools don't teach, FINANCIAL EDUCATION.

All of these changes happened within a year. And now, I am compelled to share this with you because nobody cared to do so during my time. Nobody actually had told me that there is something that you call 'financial literacy'. If only I had been approached of a basic information about it, maybe, I could have done something with my finances earlier than last year.

The shift in my perspective happened when I attended a free seminar about Rich Dad, Poor Dad Realty Investments. From then on, I got awakened from the foolishness I had succumbed myself into thinking I 'can' work forever. Turning it into a desire that I would want to be financially free someday, (meaning, I don't need to comply to an 8-hour job, which I could spend with my family instead, because I would be having passive income by then working for me) I seeked and seeked more, the knowledge I would be needing to go further to fulfilling this dream. I was telling myself, if I need to work, it must be for something that I don't see as work. It should be something that I would do for myself because I love doing it, I am passionate about it that NOT doing it would make me rot inside.

A free financial education seminar that was conducted by Mr. Edward Lee himself with a committed
team who never gives up in empowering Filipino overseas workers all over the world.
By encouraging them to invest in the Philippines, most especially,
thru COLFinancial's Easy Investment Program.
I have met people who thought alike as I pursued financial literacy. Mr. Edward Lee even took a bunch of us to dinner at the Pacific Place for him to personally encourage each to be financially educated all the way thru. He explained to us how volatile stocks may be that night and that we might give in to our emotions if it doesn't favour us in the end. But, he assured us of a safe platform where a minimal amount of money can work greatly for us only if we would follow the peso cost averaging system that the Easy Investment Program of COLFinancial had set. This on top of a learned and disciplined mind could get all of us rich. Enlightened with its program that assures you of a well guided website in handling your stocks, the idea was sold to me right away. With the books, blogs and webinars about handling money, I've learned that big companies like this may be too big for the government to lose just in case everything doesn't work as expected, right? So, I was thinking, what do I have to lose?

Featuring Floi Wycoco, "Mr. Investor",
the CEO and Founder of The Global Filipino Investors
taking his time during a holiday trip to meet us
to fulfill an advocacy for a #financiallyliteratePH.
Last August, the CEO and Founder of The Global Filipino Investors, graced the happiest place on earth of his presence. When a colleague, who had been an avid follower of his teachings and appearances on monetary shows in the Philippines called "ANC on the Money" and "Pesos and Sense" knew of it, she had asked him to meet up. And humbly, he had given me and my colleagues a spare of his time to emphasise on the steps to follow in attaining financial freedom.

So, as for my Jollibee stocks' first anniversary, I would like to feature the person who had literally handled and personally submitted my COLFinancial application. If not for him, it wouldn't be possible.

In aiming for success, you have to make a line up of mentors to follow, stick with and look up to. For me, Floi was a great influence to how I value my capacity as a person.  Because altogether, juggling finances as a wife, mom, a  daughter, a worker and as an advocate is a huge challenge. I learned a lot from him. One greatest lesson, is he remained humble, approachable and driven. Amidst his busy schedule, of flying from Philippines to Singapore to conduct yet another session for TGFI, he found time to give me an online interview for further dissemination of an important money handling lesson. I didn't know it could be possible.


"There are moments in life that you will fail on the things that you have planned to happen. It's ok to fail. The important thing is, you have to know how to stand up again and again.", this is the #hugot  (6 feet down under) response of Floi Wycoco as he emphasises on how our mistakes could serve as a trampoline for a meaningful comeback to living fully.

He was an overseas worker in Singapore himself, earning 4x of what he could earn in the Philippines. For 2 years, he had YOLO-ed himself, to living gallantly and spending lavishly. It came without any trace of guilt until his debt summed up to 7 figures in pesos. He had no savings to back it up. Right on his breaking point, he was advised by a friend to attend a financial seminar and that boosted his confidence into acting on the situation right away putting aside, 30% for his savings and the rest into paying the loans he had garnered. Hence, The 5-Step Ladder System for Investing was born.

I am personally following this pyramid.
Floi, as how he prefers to be called, had explained the importance of fulfilling each step before going to the other, to me and my colleagues when we had a brief meeting with him at Hong Kong Disneyland. It is emphasised in Step 5, steps 1 to 4 should be religiously followed before investing.

In fulfilling the first step, Floi encourages everybody to establish a smart goal first and foremost. Its importance sustains the discipline you would need as you improve your cashflow. Investments should never be done out of whim nor peer pressure as every investor should never enter anything without having a sturdy background about where they are going to put their money into.

Also, any business venture should at least start from a burning passion within the proprietor himself. This could give justice to him saying, "I won't give up!" when doubts and frustrating emotions creep in because his idea or efforts gets challenged along the way.


"By right, you need to have at least 3-6 months equivalent of your monthly expenses as the equivalent amount of your emergency fund. But did you know that 3-6 months rule only apply in the US workforce? Average Americans once, they become unemployed, it will take them at least 3 months to look for a new job. That will take the 3 months of savings then the other 3 months would be their average savings upon loosing work to be able to start all over again which may be used for a 2 months deposit, one month advance for house rental. That works for the US but in the Philippines, at least in a month you can have a new job already. Since we're very family oriented, the National Statistics Office had tallied a remarkable percentage of a working population still staying in their parents' house. It becomes easier because no funds are needed to be allotted for house rental advance. That being said, if you're having a hard time keeping up with 3-6 months of an emergency fund, it's better to take baby steps as putting together 1 month of an emergency fund at least to make room for funds to be saved for your investment and other business ventures."

CEO and Founder
The Global Filipino Investors



From his unfortunate financial setback in Singapore, Floi's personal experience served him right. He went home to the Philippines, established himself as "Mr. Investor" by putting up The Global Filipino Investors Group. With an ultimate mission of helping other people understand how important of a tool money is in our everyday lives and that it's ultimate purpose is to help other people, he had found out that experiencing these misfortunes was necessary for him to find his purpose. And that is to be an instrument himself to fulfilling an advocacy of a financially literate Philippines.

There was an instance that as he went about making a huge change in his lifestyle, he was continuously seeing other people being irresponsible with money thru their posts in the social network. He didn't want other people to turn out like him and he realised that starting early is of most essence. Floi, being a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, is aware that the Filipino culture makes money a sensitive topic to be casually talked about. Because of that, he aspired to have a safe platform where Filipinos would feel safe and open in raising up issues about entrepreneurship, what are the dos and don'ts of putting up a business and anything and everything about money matters.

While his intentions are true, his advocacy had expanded like wildfire. Up to this date, The Global Filipino Investors has at least 80,000 Facebook group members and 45,000 fan page followers and still counting. 

Moreover, Filipino overseas workers, who compose a great percentage of the Philippines' Gross National Product (GNP), are encouraged to invest in their own country. They also get enlightened of the great opportunities that await in the Philippines for them. They are now slowly trusting the Philippine government as Duterte sits as the 16th president. It is such a great timing that Floi, together with so many alliances (with the same mission), are becoming active because the Philippine Stock Exchange Index are skyrocketing. It is pretty attractive to foreign investors. If this would be the case that bridges are rebuilt by regaining these investors' trust as far as business is concerned, this will help greatly in stabling the Philippine economy.


Floi Wycoco, the former Mr. Spendor now Mr. Investor encourages us all not to listen to the noise and to stay focused with our goals. Awareness is key and the best way to be aware is to get educated.

The Global Filipino Investors had established the TGFI Web Academy where members are encouraged to enroll.  Experts and mentors were put together to facilitate and satisfy every Filipino's query: "Gusto Kong Matuto Kung Paano Ko Mapapalago ang Pera Ko". (I wanted to learn how to handle my finances well to attain riches.)

The Web Academy, also known as 'WeCad' covers matters regarding entrepreneurship, money management, real estate, investing, putting up an online business and the most recent is agripreneur. There are free online classes that you may want to go for a trial and if you think it serves you well, you can choose a package to move further.

Most of successful investors had emphasised on the importance of education. See for yourself what Warren Buffet, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. If you find it expensive, you may want to know that ignorance is far more expensive than paying for your own learning. This I promise you.

Floi also suggests the following for your own personal advancement:

1. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki - the book that had motivated him greatly and to which he shares his great big start with.
2. No Nonsense Personal Finance by Randell Tiongson - good guide as for personal finance
3. Pooled Funds by Rex Holgado - a free ebook that will guide you to learning about how mutual funds work. These are for the starting investors that have a limited background about what to do and how to do it.

Education could also help you distinguish the "wannabes" and the "scammers" from the dedicated ones. Apart from surrounding yourself with warriors that will encourage you to keep going, it's important to be cautious of who to trust with your hard-earned money. So many people also want instant richness but it doesn't work that way. Investing in yourself is the best investment you could ever make. From there, you would know which next step you should take. So trust the ones who had been there more above all else. Yes, even if it's your friend.


In everything that you need to establish, your credit score, your emergency fund, your reputation, you should have the right perspective. The best example is how we see money. Being driven to doing something about it, doesn't mean you are obsessed by its power. Understand that the difference between studying about it and hailing it are totally different things. Some people may need time to understand the concept of how money could work for them so, don't judge them that they are so "into" money. Money is nothing but a tool. But it is that important of a tool that we would be needing to help us stay alive. Also, understanding its ultimate purpose is important. And that is to help others with its abundance.

Next example would be how you see saving up for your emergency fund. Establishing a secure net for whatever the future might bring is smart. So stay focused and don't be misled by peers who tease you of not living the life. It's hard to live when you wake up the next day and all you own are debts and credit card loans. Trust me, you don't want to be there.


"Just like in investing, establishing your emergency fund is a must for you as you prepare for your future but there will come a time that it may get to be a burden already. If you have the right perspective, it would not be too hard for you to understand that this is put together to secure your investments. Having the right perspective would help you get back on track once you fall to this pit of questioning yourself why saving for your emergency fund is a must have." 


There's also but one remaining perspective that you should never neglect. The right perspective towards your own family. Every change starts with a small step but the ripple that it makes towards a community is unimaginably massive. So, envision yourself far away further into the horizon as Floi encourages each Filipino to start within their families in propagating financial education. Since it is the most intimate circle we are in, having the right perspective of starting small but thinking big is the idea.

Floi's wife and father had been the pillars of his success.
They always remind him of the capabilities he possesses
in serving and that pushes himself to be at his best every time.


It was truly a dagger to Floi's heart when one celebrity back, when he was starting in 2000, had discouraged him by saying, "There's no such thing as an advocacy for financial literacy." But as a financial literacy warrior, he remained steadfast with his mission. And this is to create more Filipino investors and entrepreneurs and to convert at least 50% of our population to taking actions to achieve financial freedom.

Individually, establishing an emergency fund alone could be a struggle. Imagine what Floi Wycoco is facing as per challenges that could arise with his vision. But as to that challenging remark that celebrity had given Floi, later on, TGFI's accomplishments had astounded him. The celebrity was surprised that it had gained popularity in the end. This is due to the reason that there is an undeniable heed for this kind of education. Globally, the TGFI CEO and founder, aims to push financial literacy to millions of people most especially to OFW's to guide them into coming home to their families.

Here are some of the projects The Global Filipino Investors had gained acknowledgements from besides magazines, TV shows and live forums on the radio.

Being interviewed by
CNN Philippines.

One of the greatest inspiration of the Spearhead Mission
is MR. Floi Wycoco who had helped me personally
in submitting my COLFianncial application and
my colleague's JP Adena, Founder of the Spearhead Mission.
He helped me attain my dream of becoming a Jollibee
owner by being a stockholder!
One of the millions that had been touched and influenced greatly, was me. For a tribute, I would like to personally thank this humble superstar, an explosive ball of motivation, who not only believes in the Philippines success but he knows, we are all capable of being rich. Mr. Floi Wycoco, this marks the first year of my pursuit for an earlier retirement, a.k.a., financial freedom. I would like to show my appreciation with a hope that the whole world would know how you had helped me and millions out there. Bless you and your family for the wonderment of your heart. 

As you extend a helping hand to Spearhead Mission, we will forever be indebted to your expertise, experience and efforts. Thank you again and again. 

Spearhead Mission and TGFI tie up for a free financial education seminar
held at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Admiralty
last March, 2016.

Related posts:
1. TEST YOUR FINANCIAL FITNESS - Take this simple test to know where your financial status is at.
2. 7 PILLARS OF BUILDING AN EMERGENCY FUND - so many budget ideas are out there but this post is about what strengths to put on your belt to be able to sustain that emergency fund you're building.
3. HOW TO SAVE HK$5,000 IN 52 WEEKS - this maybe too easy for some but it's your call to put another 0 to that figure. Just adjust the necessary payments for each week. This practice is to test you if you could sustain a certain amount of money within reach and not spending it for a year.

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