Saturday, August 2, 2014

BPI Asset Management Group – Investment Roadmap 2014

The next financial seminar that I’ve attended was the Investment Roadmap 2014 seminar of BPI which was conducted in the AIM Conference Center Manila. I wasn’t able to double check the start of the seminar the night before so I came late. It started at 8:30am, I came at quarter to 9am. These were the scenes that I saw upon entering.

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The place was already swarming with people. I was able to listen halfway through of the Welcome Remarks speaker, Mr. Mario Miranda, Senior Vice President and Head of Wealth Management Division of BPI Asset Management.

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He had conducted hundreds of seminars regarding investing. At the end of his talk, the hosts Monica and Cheeno reminded the audience of the raffle prizes to be won, from the Passport Investment Roadmap games. If I had come earlier I would have finished playing the games before the seminar started. Anyway, I decided to get in the game at noon during lunch.

Shout Out

The next speaker was Carlos Jalandoni, Vice President and Head of Equities and Fixed Income Research. His program was “Shout out: Investing in the Philippines will be your best decision ever!”.

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He mentioned about the strong GDP of the Philippines which is at +6.2%. This, according to him, is a sign of strong economic growth. Jalandoni stated that he is not into any form of politics but he believes that our government has been doing great for the last 2 years because of this positive GDP. The Philippines doesn’t have much debt during this term.

Jalandoni mentioned the Problem with the Peso Rate which I wasn’t able to catch much info. He stated something about the government wanting to maintain a Peso to Dollar rate of ₱44.18–₱44.50 but not ₱45, whatsoever. The Peso has been strong lately due to OFW remittances.

Jalandoni stated that “rising interests are bad for Bonds”. He mentioned Cash, Bonds, and Equities, and that Equities are good against rising interests, or so that’s what I understood from his statements (I really need to polish my banking and investment knowledge).

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Jalandoni is very, very confident in the Philippines. He suggested on sticking to Money Market (Short-Term) investments due to high volatility (whatever that means).

Topic 1: Plan for your tomorrows, yesterday

Ricky Espiritu, Vice President and Department Head of Wholesale and Emerging Markets Wealth Management discussed Topic 1. He told the audience to always have a “Goal in Mind”, asking the audience how much savings they have. Then came the story of the Starbucks coffee which most financial advocates usually tell.

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Espiritu stated a quote from the “Oracle of Omaha”, Warren Buffett…

Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.
– Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett

Espiritu wanted his audience to become smart spenders, and wanted us to ask ourselves if are we “savers” or “investors”.

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Topic 2: Let’s find the right fit

Christmas Sevilla (yes that’s Christmas as in Christmas of December), Vice President and Department Head of Wealth Management Division 2 discussed pencil pushing or doing your expenses, and asked the audience how much they are worth.

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She mentioned that the perpetual enemy of savings is inflation.

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Christmas asked the audience how many years they can stay invested.

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Christmas opened the subject about BPI’s Regular Subscription Plan (RSP) with a 5k initial investment and 1k consecutive deposits. This plan automatically deducts the amount from your BPI account so there’s no hassle of going to the bank.

BPI uses either Dollar Cost Averaging or Peso Cost Averaging for their investments plans. This seems similar to BDO’s UITF.

It is a law in investing that the higher the risk, the greater the reward, and vice versa. According the hierarchy the lowest risk of investments are savings and time deposits, medium risks are Treasury bills, ROPs (Registered Options Principal?), and corporate issuances. High risks are equities and the highest others are realties, materials such as jewelries.

Now Christmas made a sample of investment personalities (which are not in any way related to BPI) and asked the audience in which category they fall.

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Investment Personalities

  • Gloria Romero –  Conservative type of investor (walking sign)
  • Bianca Gonzalez – Moderately Conservative type of investor (bike sign)
  • Angel Locsin – Moderately Aggressive type of investor (horse sign)
  • Kris Aquino – Aggressive type of investor

I’d fall under Kris, the Aggressive type. Christmas also warned that investments in stocks are usually affected by emotions. The investment personality test she gave was for the Client Suitability Assessment form that they gave the attendees.

All in all, Christmas focused on Money Market investment (securities 1 year or less, SDA?, time deposits, and Treasury bills). She also said that, the Emergency fund can be placed in Bond funds (government bonds, corporate bonds, treasury notes) and that Bonds are simply debts.

If we want to have long-term investments, equities are the best and this is where retirement funds are placed. Equities represent ownership of a certain company.

There’s also Mutual fund which grants a balanced fund between stocks and bonds, which me and my wife already have from Sunlife.

The Games and Lunch

Then came lunch. Here are some photos of the games and the free lunch.

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And after that, the end games.

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Topic 3: Ready to take off!

Suzette Ayson, Vice President and Department Head of Wealth Management Division 1 concluded by summarizing the event. Start with a Goal in Mind, have Life Goals, and the New Mindset of “Income – Savings = Expenses”.

She mentioned about choosing between Saving versus Investing. She also introduced some of BPI’s featured funds. BPI’s Money Market funds are short-term funds but here some form of investments she mentioned:

  • Bond – ALFM Peso Bond Fund
  • Balanced – BPI Balanced Fund
  • Equity – Philippine Stock Index Fund

Vanessa Maginaw seemed to be a voluntary speaker and she told her story of how she and her family tried to get out of debt by living below their means. She said that now she is debt free with her husband working abroad.

The last few words that I took note of before leaving the seminar was that UITF could have an increase of 15% in 6 months. That sure beats an inflation of 6%.

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After the seminar.

If you would like to have an idea about BPI’s Investment funds visit the BPI Asset Management website.