In celebration of Women’s Month last March, I took time off to go to First Metro Asset Management Inc.’s (FAMI) event called Smart Women Invest. I loved it that they had an event that encourages women to understand more about saving and investing.

With Rose Fausto from FQ Mom and Marcie Linao

As women, I think that understanding how investments work is important. This is not only for our own personal benefit, but to secure the future of our loved ones.

I remember the first time that I was exposed to investments. It was already late in my life. When I was 27 years old and working in a bank, I got my first exposure to investments and investment vehicles. Prior to that, my parents placed my savings in a time deposit account. Not to say that this was not important. It was, and I appreciated it. Looking back though, I should have taken bolder steps earlier to understand how money works and how I could have earned more if I had invested my money.

Today, I have 5 different policies and have tried multiple kinds of vehicles. I tried different kinds of investments because I wanted to choose the perfect one that fit each of my investment objectives. One of the investments that I have had since three years ago is a mutual fund under First Metro Asset Management Inc. or FAMI.

What is a Mutual Fund?

For those who want to know what a Mutual Fund is, a Mutual Fund is an investment vehicle made up of a pool of funds collected from many individual investors for the purpose of investing in securities such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments and similar assets.

Check out this video:

What is a Mutual Fund?

Why should you invest in Mutual Funds?

There are several reasons of why you’d want to invest and you can check it out here to see if it’s something that will fit your investment objective.

  • It is professionally managed. The investment decisions are based on extensive knowledge and research of market conditions and on the financial performance of individual companies and securities. You need not research on what’s happening in the market because it’s managed already by people who know what they are doing.
  • For Diversification. We all know that you should not place all your eggs in one basket. Since Mutual funds is basically a diversified portfolio already, it reduces the risk of losses from securities with gains in others.
  • Offers Liquidity. You can convert investments to cash anytime. I remember withdrawing from my mutual fund some years ago since I badly needed cash. Now, I’ve managed to pick it up once more by regularly putting in money into it again.
  • Safe investments. Mutual funds are regulated by the SEC or Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Company Act and its implementing rules and guidelines.
  • Shared information. FAMI shares information about the NAVPS or Net Asset Value Per Share every business day.
  • Its Tax Free. Income generated from mutual funds are exempted from capital gains tax as stipulated in the Republic Act No. 8424 Section 32(B)(7)(H).

Check and see if these features are aligned and will eventually help you with your investment goals.

For my own personal investment, I opened a Save and Learn Equity Fund. Here are some information about the fund that I have:

What I loved about this is that the minimum investment is at Php 5000 and I could add to it anytime. And the minimum additional investment is at Php 1000. The way I purchase units is via Bills Payment in the UnionBank Mobile App. This makes it more convenient for me to add funds (purchase units).

Here are the details of the other funds / products that they have.

I was also given the opportunity to open a First Metro Consumer Fund (see details above) when I attended the FAMI event. The fund is comprised of stocks capitalizing on a consumption theme, with high revenue exposure to key PH industries benefitting from the structure of the Philippine family’s consumption expenditures.

Check out the video of Rose Fausto, taken during FAMI’s Smart Women Invest Event:

Smart Women Invest

Let’s see how this fund performs.

If you have any questions about FAMI’s products and services, please feel free to visit https://fami.com.ph. You can also visit https://www.facebook.com/firstmetrofunds/

We all know that we can’t live a life without worries (at least physiologically). Our bodies adjust using the fight-or-flight response or also known as the acute stress response. The response is due to the release of hormones that prepare your body to either “fight” and deal with the stressor or to flee / “flight” and run to somewhere that’s safe.

You can read about it here: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-fight-or-flight-response-2795194

What we can do though is reduce stress and stop worrying about the little things that we can control. We can aim to have a life of #ZeroWorries. Here are the seemingly little things that I do that helps a lot in the end in controlling stress.

Take a Social Media Diet

A lot of the stress and worry that we feel come from that fact that we compare our lives with other people’s lives — the ones that we see on Facebook, Instagram or on YouTube. I wrote about going on a Social Media once 4 years ago: https://mommyginger.com/social-media-diet.html

What I regularly do now is that I hardly check my messages and my emails during the weekends. I make it a point to spend more time offline and with my family on weekends. I also try to stop working come 9:00 pm at night. So if you work with me and you want to help me fulfil this, please email and only chat with me on weekdays. If it’s really important though that you get hold of me during weekends, please text me instead.

We all need to set boundaries like these!

Do things that you love without regret!

Have a cup of Coffee!

The things that I love to do are drinking coffee, watching K-Drama on Netflix, watching motivational videos on YouTube, blogging, spending time with family in the mall or watching a movie. And when I do these things during the weekend, I feel unproductive.

Being a work-work-work kind of a person, I feel bad when this though suddenly crosses my mind during the weekends or even at night, while I’m just “chilling”. After feeling guilty, I go get my laptop and work again.

Spend time with your loved ones!

But, we shouldn’t feel guilty, especially during the weekends, about just hanging out and having fun. This is especially true when you’ve finished and completed all your tasks and no one’s welfare is at stake.

So, don’t feel guilty about relaxing once in a while!

Use Things that help Achieve a #ZeroWorries Life

There are so many little things that annoy me and stress me out. One is the fact that I always get dry and chapped lips. Another thing that annoys me is not being able to wash off grease and oil when I wash the dishes.

We all think that these little things are immaterial to us living a #ZeroWorries Life, but these little annoyances help in building up stress. This is the reason why I’ve turned to things that can help me with these little stressors.

For my lips, I always use a lip sleeping mask at night. Then for my dishes, I can’t live without Joy Dishwashing Liquid. This product is amazing. With just one drop diluted in water, your dishes become squeaky clean!

So don’t hesitate to try out products that will help you achieve a #ZeroWorries Life.

Start appreciating yourself and LIFE constantly and consistently!

There are so many times when I feel I’d like to change a lot of things about myself and things about my life. I feel my nose looks weird. I feel like my face is too round. I feel like in a few years, I will lose all of my hair. In some days, I don’t like my hair because it’s too limp. I feel like I’m overweight. I’d like to see some abs, too. I feel I don’t earn enough. I wish that I have enough to secure the future of another child.

But if we constantly see what’s wrong with ourselves and our lives, we miss out on the precious moments of today. I changed the way I approached life from I wish I had to I’m thankful for.

This change in mindset has done wonders for me. I don’t feel the need to be everyone’s best friend. I am proud of what I have accomplished and I am confident I can accomplish more. I am confident with my own skin and I have learned more about my strengths and have recognized my weaknesses. I have learned to prioritize things and mind you, even people (some people just drain the life out of you — avoid them at all costs!). I have learned to love myself more.

I really hope that you, too, live a #ZeroWorries Life. It’s amazing to see what life has to offer when your ditch all your worries!

It’s amazing how technology works nowadays. Do you know that you can open bank accounts using your phone? I’m quite curious as to how these virtual banks operate.

“Virtual banks are similar to traditional retail banking services in that they will be able to accept deposits and give out loans. They aren’t expected to set up physical branches. Analysts at Citigroup estimate around 10 per cent of existing banks’ revenue is at risk over the next decade.” https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/banking-finance/hong-kong-starts-granting-licenses-for-virtual-banks

There are two known (as least what I know at this point in time) virtual banks in the Philippines. These are ING and CIMB. I will be trying both in the coming months. At this point, I really don’t have any preference, since I haven’t tried any of these.

Save Money With GCASH

Today, I found out though that GCASH partnered with CIMB. I, apparently, already have this new feature in GCASH called Save Money. And guess what? The money that you save here earns 2.3% interest, which is higher than what the your standard commercial bank offers.

The maximum daily withdrawal though is at Php 50,000 (still higher than the Php 20,000 withdrawal caps from ATMs and debit card transactions of some banks). The downside though is that the Maximum Deposit Limit is only at Php 100,000 over 12 months. I hope that they increase this limit to at least Pp 500,000.

Your money is also insured by the PDIC or Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation. Another advantage is that there is no need to maintain a minimum balance in your account.

So, how do you compute for the interest? Check this out. I got this from GCASH.

I just started depositing money mid this month, so let’s see how this goes. I love though how banks are not making it convenient, too, for people to save and invest money (not just to spend it).

With these tools, you can automate the way you save and forget that you even have those funds. Save it for a rainy day!

I remember one of my favorite books: The Automatic Millionaire. You can check out the gist of the book here:

Goodluck on saving! 🙂

I don’t know if I should be happy that I’m a mother in this particular generation. Haha! And I’m saying this because of the plethora of choices that are available to us. We have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to raising our children, especially on raising them to be healthy independent individuals who will contribute to society’s well being when they grow up.

And how do you measure that? How do we know if we are doing a good job as Moms or Dads? How do we know if our child is actually learning from us and picking up the right values? It’s not like as if a person can create a device that could measure if kids will grow up to be healthy and good citizens.

No one can give us a report on how our child is doing in LIFE. How I have learned to cope though is to make the informed decisions and wish for the best. Seriously! All these parenting stuff is just like starting a business. No one really knows if this new business is going to fly or fail, what matters is that we constantly keep trying our darn best.

This is the reason why, as a mom, I know I must learn new things. It’s not just for me, but it will be for the well being of my daughter, too. And these things that I need to learn will not always be about the highfalutin stuff like blockchain, investment vehicles, etc. It may also be as simple as what kind of shampoo should I have Zeeka (my daughter) use or what should I give her for snacks? Mostly, these will be decisions on simple stuff that will have an effect in the long run.

Recently, I got to witness moms who were just like me; Moms who wanted to know more about nutrition. These were the moms who joined the Let’s Build a Healthier World school tour of Lily’s Peanut Butter. Lily’s visited the students of St. John Paul II Academy Paranaque, Colegio De Sta. Cecilia in Valenzuela, Philippine Christian University Union Elementary School in Manila, Don Bosco Institute of Makati, Maranatha Christian Academy in Manila and Paco Catholic School in Manila. They made learning fun for the moms and kids, too, as they held a Lily’s Mom and Me Health Ambassadors challenge!

Lily’s chose 10 Mom-Kid finalists also advanced to the next level called the “Healthy Baon Recipe” contest in which they were given 10 minutes to prepare a nutritious snack using Lily’s Classic Peanut Butter, Lily’s Choco Peanut Butter, and Lily’s Crunchy Peanut Butter. The Grand winners from each school received Php 10,000 cash, plus Lily’s gift packs and an educational plant tour. All of the other finalists though received Php 2,000 cash, plus Lily’s gift packs and an educational plant tour at Lily’s production plant.

Because of the tour, these are the things that I learned about Lily’s Peanut Butter that will help me make an informed decision:

  • Do you know that Lily’s Peanut Butter has been in the Philippines for more than 60 years now?
  • Lily’s Peanut Butter is made from all natural ingredients! Nothing that could harm our kids.
  • It has iron, natural dietary fiber, natural potassium, natural protein, and vitamin E which are all essential for kids’ growth.
  • It contains brain-boosting vitamins and minerals that develop sharp memory and help kids reach their full potential

Zeeka wanted to us to decorate healthy dishes, too. I’m not half as creative as the moms during the school tours (haha! So please don’t judge!), but I took this as a teachable moment. We can teach our kids to choose only snacks that would boost our child’s health and brain development.

During our breakfast “activity”, I could talk to her about healthy food, and always making informed decisions. I told her that before buying things, she should research or get to to know more about the products and the brand first, before buying.

Also, it’s important to always have fun with your kids and bond with them no matter how busy you are.

Here are some snapshots from our own Lily’s Let’s Build A Healthier World Challenge (at home 😄)!

Our breakfast table!
*To check out the different variants of Lily’s, please visit this link: http://mylilys.com/products/
Zeeka spreading Lily’s Peanut Butter on her pancake!
Helping out the competition 😂
Both of us taking this challenge seriously! 😄 Making it hard for Daddy EJ to choose which healthy dish looks better!
My Creation! I used Lily’s Peanut Spread Lite!
Zeeka used Lily’s Classic Peanut Butter for her Creation!
And the winner was this Little Bunny! 🙂

It was a truly fun morning. I usually have a hard time making her stay at the dining table, but this morning was different! It was a stress-free, enjoyable morning with Zeeka.

For those who are wondering what Lily’s products we used, here are some of them:

Lily’s Classic Peanut Butter

This is the variant of Lily’s that I grew up with – Lily’s Classic peanut butter. It is made of all-natural ingredients and uses only high-grade peanut kernel.

Lily’s Peanut Spread Lite

This is my new favourite variant. The Lily’s Peanut Spread Lite is made with sweet Stevia extract!

Lily’s Crunchy Peanut Butter

I love food with texture. This variant has real peanut bits that you chew on!

Lily’s Choco Peanut Butter

A great snack for both adults and youngsters alike. The sweet and rich flavors of fresh peanuts and dark semi-sweet chocolate are generously combined to create this all-new premium spread.

Read more about the variants at the Lily’s Website: http://mylilys.com/ Lily’s is manufactured by Newborn Food Products Inc tel: 282-3462

So Moms and Dads, don’t worry too much about the decisions that you make as parents. Just learn more about things before making decisions, especially if these are decisions that will affect your children.

Also, let your kids decide on some things on their own, too. This breakfast activity is something that you could do with your child. Aside from talking to Zeeka about healthy food when we were doing the challenge, I let her decide on what she wanted to put on her plate.

Plus it’s good practice just in case you get to be one of the mom and child contestants in Lily’s School Tour this year. I heard that they’ll be visiting more schools this year, so stay tuned!

Don’t be too hard on yourself! Enjoy and be grateful everyday. As long as you heart is in the right place, you’ll be fine 😉

Remember when we only had one remote at home?

Back in the day, most houses only had one TV in the living room. Where ever the TV was actually, was the heart of the home. This is where family members would gather especially on Sundays and family days.

I remember my grandparents having everyone over especially during big events like boxing matches or NBA games. We would also rent movies from Video City and watch them with my parents, aunts and uncles during the weekend.

While it was fun to have family over, it’s somewhat irritating to lose control over what you wanted to watch.

I can’t recall how many battle royales started with who can get the remote. Sometimes we used diplomacy and discussed which channel to watch. At other times, it would end with petty fights or wrestling matches.

In the end, my grandmother would get irritated and just turn the TV off. And no one can turn it on unless she said so.

Television has had a strong impact on me growing up. My schedule as a child mainly revolved on what was on.

I remember rushing at home after school to watch Princess Sarah, Ang Munting Prinsesa. My sister and I would take turns playing Sarah and Becky. We would also tease each other about who looks like Miss Minchin.

You would know it’s 4:30 PM when ANG TV came on the screen. Who could ever forget their catchy opening scene?

Saturday mornings meant Looney Toons while having breakfast. And then there’s Captain Planet, She-Ra, Mr. Bogus, Denver the Last Dinosaur, and Gumby.

In the afternoon, there was Sailor Moon, Magic Knight Rayearth, Dragon Ball, Ghost Fighter, and X-Men.

Sailor Moon is a personal favorite. I loved the transformation and the girl power that it represented. And it was so awesome that we girls get to choose different characters based on our personalities.

We also had specials to look forward to every year. One of which is a horror special that every 90’s kid loved watching: Magandang Gabi Bayan.

I still remember getting chills watching Noli de Castro talk about people and their encounters with the supernatural.

Oh man, getting to the bathroom was really a challenge back then.

As a 90’s kid, our generation was the first to experience digital cable TV.

This gave us access to international shows like MTV and HBO. It also introduced us to US shows like Charmed, Seventh Heaven, and Gilmore Girls.

It also changed the way we viewed the world and the people living in it.

Discovery and National Geographic enticed us to go out, travel, and experience cultures all around the globe. The Food Channel made us curious about the tastes and textures of different destinations.

Looking back, I’d like to think that it helped boost my imagination. It also fired up my courage to be more experimental with my adventures. It became like a window that showed me what it was like beyond our borders.
That’s why I’m so excited about Globe’s newest product, Globe StreamWatch Xtreme.

The first of its kind in the world, Globe StreamWatch Extreme provides Filipino homes access to a new digital home entertainment experience.

It gives users clear access to free local TV channels. It also serves as an Internet TV with a million different shows, videos, and movies. And it gives you faster and stronger internet with twice the coverage of your ordinary pocket wi-fi device.

So why should you get one for your home?

As we know, the internet has changed the way we viewed entertainment. And with mobile devices, it gave us more options that suited our preferences.

We no longer need to fight over who gets the remote. We don’t need to wait for specific TV shows. With Youtube, Netflix, and other platforms, we can choose to watch any show whenever, wherever.

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to fast internet service providers. It can also be expensive and time-consuming to apply for higher speed rates.

Not to mention the monthly bills or contracts that bind you for 36 months.

Globe At Home provides an easier and more affordable solution that lets you and your family stay connected.

For an introductory price of PHP 2,999, you can get your own Globe StreamWatch Xtreme Prepaid anytime. Globe slashed off PHP 2000 off from the standard retail price as part of its commitment to providing Filipinos access to the best of what the world offers.

What do get with this?

  • Fast home internet, stronger signal, and a wider coverage powered by Globe LTE.
  • Free clear local TV channels that let you watch your favorite teleseryes and TV shows without eating up your data or load
  • Access to over 1 Million shows, videos, series, and movies anytime you want
  • Up to six devices connected to your Wifi all at the same time
  • A USB-ready port for playing media files from your USB
  • A videoke-ready device with two built-in microphone outlets as a bonus feature

Setting up Globe StreamWatch Xtreme is super easy. Check out this video below:

The best part? No monthly fees. No overdue bills. Just a whole new fun experience for the whole family and more.

Loading is also super easy. You can purchase load promos using your GCash account, Globe At Home APP, or through AUTOLOADMAX.

It can also serve as a good backup especially for freelancers who need to stay connected all of the time.

So how do you get yours today? That’s easy.

All you have to do is visit your nearest Globe store and ask about it. You can also visit Globe’s website and learn more about it here.

With Globe, it’s so much easier to #PlayItRight and stream the best entertainment for you and your family.

For more about Globe Telecom, visit www.globe.com.ph.