Category Archives: Healthy Wallet

Like what a bank TV ad said, its not much you earn, but what you do with. Smart money management helps you enjoy the lifestyle you want.

Non-Financial Things I Learned while Investing on the Stock Market

When I came up with this topic, I thought this will just be one article. But as I write it, it turns out there are horde of things to discuss. I know that reading about the stock market is not the most interesting thing in the world, so I decided to turn this into a series. Just a disclaimer, I am not an expert and I am not giving any advice or tips. I’m just sharing my thoughts and maybe someone will take something from it.

Me and the stock market may seem like an odd couple. But for almost three years, I am enjoying this world of numbers and other terminologies I forget the minute I log off my online broker account. Understanding how the market works and doing well at it isn’t easy, but it is definitely not as hard or alien as I thought it will be. The concept is not impossible to grasp. Buy low, sell high. Simple enough right? Well, no. It requires a lot of learning. From investing tips, market forecast, to researching on the performance of your chosen stocks – there is a lot of knowledge to consume before you can confidently say that you know what you are doing. But, how to grow my investment is not the only things I learned in the stock market. I’ve also picked up a few helpful things that I can also apply outside the world of bears and bulls:

Stock market

Set aside emotions when making decisions

Upon the advice of my brother, I bought a mining stock. After years of being stagnant, some legalities made this stock go up again and future seems really bright. But right after buying it, the price went down, in order to manage the loss, I bought some more, then it went down again, so I bought some more. Then, it went down again. It would have been a sane decision if not for the fact that all of that happened in just weeks.

I thought I was managing my losses by in reality, fear took control. If only I kept calm and waited for more development, I could have bought the stock at a lower price and be more effective in cost-averaging.

A year after that, I can now handle my emotions better. I just sold the first ever stock I bought. It reached its target price and I already have 20% profit (IKR!!!) on it. It was time to sell and even if I was feeling melancholy, I just have to brush it off. The thing is, it had also reached the target price a year before, but I didn’t sell because I love the idea of owning such stocks. And, it is my first ever stocks. But I have to snap out of it. 20% profit can be considered a unicorn.

From http://www.unconventional-investing.com/

In the stock market, no one can afford to be controlled by their emotions. And, there is no reason to let emotions take over – investment guides and technical analysis are easily available. Allowing your feelings get the best of you literally has a cost. So either you get it together or just say bye-bye to your money.

In the real world, the consequences of your emotionally fueled decisions won’t be showed in neatly presented tables. But you’ll see them as bothersome what-ifs, hear them in heavily breathed sigh.

Emotions are powerful, but they can really mess up the way we think. Some decisions need to be objective and you just have to take control over what you are feeling. Whether it is about buying that pair of heels or deciding to take on a career change, minimizing the influence of emotions can lead you to a much sounder choice. One that you wouldn’t regret once feelings fade.

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Christmas Shopping Survival Guide

Well look at that, September just went by with a swoosh. We have entered the last quarter of the year and if you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, then I’m worried for you honey. Great shopping expedition such as the one we usually do every holidays requires intense planning and a big allowance of time. If Santa Claus needs the whole year, an army of elves, and a big dose of magic in order to give presents to every goody two-shoes in world, what makes you think you can do your Christmas shopping with a solitary trip to the mall? But all is not lost, I’m here to give you tips and pointers on how to make your holiday gift shopping as stress-free as possible.

Start early – As with most things, starting your shopping early will definitely make the task easier. Define early? How about right now? Yes, right now, when most of the masses are complaining about hearing Christmas jingles on the radio. Right now, when most Christmas TV ads are still in post-production. Right now, when no one still dare hang-up a single Christmas ornament. When you start shopping right now, you do not have to contend with manic crowds and you can choose items at your leisure allowing you to make sound judgement whether to get or not. Shopping early don’t just mean less crowds, it also  means you can get the items before prices jack up due to demand. Plus, you are not on panic mode so you can enjoy your shopping trip as you should.

Do #1 and 2 on this list –  Santa has one and it helps him a great deal. List every person that you want to smile this Christmas as well as the gift ideas you have for them. It helps to have multiple ideas per person so you won’t get stuck in case you cannot find the item you want or the item you want is out of your price range. If you have a horde of godchildren like me, grouping them according to age will help. Make your list as detailed as possible, you can also jot down the stores you may want to visit and the range of prices for the items. This last idea helps you make a realistic budget. What do you call a shopping strategy without a budget? A disaster. Yes, its Christmas and you are in a generous and loving mood, but keep in mind that it is bad luck to be broke on a new year, so you also have to keep your bank account happy by making sure that it still have a healthy balance when you are done shopping.

Widen your shopping network – Don’t just depend on your favorite mall. Christmas shopping bazaars are sprouting all over metro and of course, there is the ever-reliable Divisoria. When shopping at Divisoria, time is of the essence, so do it now. Plus, things are cheaper now than it will be on November. I got three pieces of toddler’s dress all for 75Php and two pairs of boy’s shirt and shorts for 75Php as well. Choices are not lacking in this shopping haven and if you do your thing right, you can fulfill everything on your list with just one shopping trip and with money to spare. Market! Market! at BGC is also a good place for Christmas shopping; it offers variety at slightly lower prices than department stores.

Have a shopping buddy – What is a great adventure if you do not have someone to share it with? Plus, a shopping buddy can keep you in check and help you make decisions when you are in a bind. A shopping buddy is also an extra pair of eyes and hands that can be immensely helpful. You can split the list with your shopping buddy so you can cover more area at a quicker pace. And when you are done shopping, enjoying a well-deserved snack is more enjoyable with a friend.

Go online – Shopping online has a lot of perks. No traffic, no crowds, no mall hours, and the items is delivered right at your doorstep. Sometimes, the prices are even lower. From online shopping websites to Instagram sellers, the world wide web offers shopping staples to ultra unique knick knacks. Online shopping is even more advantages if you are looking for something that are not easily available at the mall. But, it also comes with downside, you can’t inspect the item before your purchase – so its best to be really careful before you click that checkout button.

Christmas is a time of cheer and the stress of buying gifts should not get in the way of your celebration. Shopping should be fun and Christmas shopping is even more so because you are buying for the people you love. It should not be a total warfare that some people make out to be.

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5 Tips for Stress-free Sale Shopping

Sales are cropping up all over the metro! As another fashion season ends, your favorite stores are making space for new stocks and inching to get rid of their old items. The result – good, quality pieces at discounted prices.

However, most shopping lovers hate going to sales. More than the crowds, they were haunted by the items they bought on sale that they quickly regret. I used to be one of those people. I really dread going to sale events even as a kid. But since I started shopping with my own money, insane discounts can be so hard to resist. So instead of foregoing discounts, I developed shopping tactics that I especially use during sale events.

  1. Always set a budget – Every shopping trip should always have a budget, but budget becomes even more important during sales. Discounted prices can be so tempting. Without a budget, more often than not, you will end up spending more than you intend to. Don’t get fooled that you racked up some savings because you got shoes at 50% off, after all, no money was added to your account. Before going to the mall have a budget and stick to it. If you see a lot of cute pieces and their total price exceeds your budget, let go of the ones you least liked. You will most likely forget about those pieces during the next sale.
  2. Have a list – Impulse buying can be dangerous during sale.The crowds, discounted prices and sensual overload can dim your decision-making skills. Think about it, most things you regret buying on sale came from impulse buying. If you have a list, you can keep your focus – you can keep your eye only on the items you need and be more discerning on your choices. Keep in mind that you do not have to get all the items on your list. Your budget should always trump your list.
  3. Don’t lower your standards – Just because you got it on sale, doesn’t mean its okay for it to be less than perfect. Check the stitching, check the zipper, is it clean, does it have any stain? If the product has any defect, let it go. It is no longer a great steal even with the discount. This also applies whenever buying clothes or shoes that don’t fit. If it is too large, think how much would it cost to have it altered. If it is too small, how can you wear it? You just might end up giving the item away. If the shoes hurt your feet, even if they are so cute and cheap – let it go, it is not worth the pain. Only buy products that are in good condition and suits you perfectly. Stick to your standards for a no-regrets shopping experience.
  4. Shop early – I still have vivid memory of waiting outside SM Makati with my Mommy Lily for the store to open. I will even stand erect and sing-along with employees during the National Anthem. There are a lot of advantages in shopping during the first few mall hours – 1)very little crowds even during on sale, 2)salespersons are friendlier, and 3)the items are still neatly arranged. You don’t have to compete for the item you have your eye on or the attention of the salesperson to get the size you need. You can choose at ease, no distracting fellow shoppers looking at the same rack you are looking at. And, no line at the fitting room or at the cashier. For shoppers who hate going to sale events just because of the crowds, shopping between 10am to 12 nn takes care of that issue.
  5. Look around first, before heading to the cashier – We have all been through it. Right after paying at the cashier, we see an item similar to the one we just bought, only it is better and cheaper. Don’t let it happen to you again. Make sure you have surveyed the whole place before heading to the cashier. If you chance upon two similar items that you both like, fit them both. Make the decision right before you head to the cashier. Department stores now have carts you can use to just pile on the stuff you want as you go through the whole store. Disregard the items that didn’t pass your standards or the stuff you no longer feel like buying. Don’t feel guilty or get shy leaving them to the salesperson – since you shopped early, they are still not stressed and will gladly take it from you. Don’t be content with surveying the place once, if you want to be really sure g0 through the whole store again.

I hope these tips help because the surely work for us. There are still more tips that comes to mind, but I’ll just save them for part 2. If you have awesome sale shopping habits you like to share, feel free to do so on the comments box.

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