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Got a 100k and don’t know what to do with it? Well, you’re lucky because we’re giving you the 12 best ways to invest and grow that money!
Don’t let it just sit in the bank. With low-interest rates from 0.5 to 1.5%, you’re better off investing it elsewhere.
And even if you don’t have a lot of cash saved up, there are still many ways to let your money work for you.
For many young professionals and entrepreneurs – in this information age – it’s conventional wisdom to consider investments early on.
Especially for young Filipinos, the time to think about investing is NOW.
If you want a more secure and brighter future for yourself, you shouldn’t put investing on hold.
What is an Investment?
An investment is a purchased item or asset that a buyer can identify as something that would appreciate its value in the future and can be sold at a higher price. It can also be viewed as an asset that can enable its owners to generate passive income and create wealth over time.
What is Investing?
Investing is using your money as capital to buy assets that can produce more money for you in the future.
It’s basically letting your money do the work for you.
Types of Investments
Stocks, Bonds, Annuities, Commodities, Real Estate and more. I bet we all scratched our heads the first time we tried to know more about these financial terms. We get overwhelmed with all the technical jargon and get buried with a ton of information that just doesn’t make sense.
This guide aims to shed some light on the different types of investments available out there to help you achieve your financial goals. Learning about them will open up ways and ideas for multiplying your money quickly.
Here’s our quick rundown of the different types of investments:
1. Bank Products
Perhaps the most popular and common of all investments, Bank Products come in different options. The money you deposited are federally insured to up to a certain limit and can be easily withdrawn. The following are types of Bank Products: Savings Accounts, Certificate of Deposits (CDs), Money Market, and Federal Insurance.
Bonds are loans offered by an investor to governments and corporations. In exchange, the borrower will pay the interest on the borrowed money at a predetermined schedule (Annual, Semi-annual) and will need to return the principal on an agreed upon maturity date.
Put simply, Stocks are units of ownership in a corporation. This means that if you own or invest in stocks of a company, you become one of its “owners”.
4. Investment funds
Capital or Money that is sourced from different investors. A mutual fund is one of the most common types of investment fund.
Money that gets paid at fixed intervals to an individual at an agreed upon time. That individual will first need to pay for the Annuity in one lump sum or through a series of payments also known as “Premiums”.
6. College fund
Saving money for college expenses in the future. Earnings of the money deposited in a College Fund are not subjected to Federal and State tax (depending on the location) as long as the funds are strictly used for college expenses only.
7. Business capital
Simply put, money that you put into a business to gain (active or passive) earnings or income.
8. Retirement fund
A way to have income cash flow upon retirement. While still able, workers can put money into a Retirement Fund and receive pension once they retire.
9. Commodity Futures
An agreement or contract designed to buy or sell a specified amount of a commodity at a fixed price and future date. This helps protect buyers by negating risks caused by fluctuations in price of the commodity in the future.
10. Security Futures
Similar to Commodity Futures. However, instead of commodities, its an agreement to purchase and sell a fixed amount of shares of a particular stock at a specified price on a specified future date.
Insurance is essentially protection against potential financial loss, damage or harm. The Insured/Policyholder pays “premiums” to buy a “policy” that states the terms and conditions in which the insurer is required to pay.
12. Real estate
Real Estate investing aims for the generation of income or profit through purchasing, leasing, managing or selling a piece of realty property for a higher price than it was acquired (when the property’s value appreciates over time).
13. Alternative and Complex Products
Alternative and Complex products are other optional investment vehicles outside of traditional stock and bond investments. Some examples of this are Notes with principal protection and risky high-yield bonds that have low credit ratings. Most are risky but provide high rates of return.
How Much Money is Needed to Start Investing?
The short answer: Not much.
If you’re just starting out as an investor, you don’t need five or six-digit figures from the get-go. Anyone—even college students and fresh graduates—can start investing with as little as Php 25 to Php 5,000.
The actual initial investment depends on where you’re putting money in and the bank or investment company that will handle your funds.
Here are the required initial investments for the common investment vehicles in the Philippines:
|Investment Vehicle||Minimum Initial Investment||Minimum Additional Placement|
|Mutual funds||Php 100 to Php 5,000||Php 100 to Php 1,000|
|Stocks||Php 5,000 to Php 1 million||Php 1,000|
|Time deposit||Php 1,000 to Php 100,000||N/A|
|UITF||Php 25 to Php 10 million||Php 50 to Php 1 million|
How to Start Investing with Little Money
The advantage of growing your money through investments is that you can start small.
There’s no excuse not to get started even if you’re a breadwinner with a lot of bills to pay, as you can increase the amount you invest later on when you’re more financially capable.
But it’s important to note that you should never begin an investment journey without a solid strategy.
Take these initial steps to invest even with a small amount of money.
1. Determine how much you can afford to invest
This step is crucial if you plan to invest regularly in the long term.
You don’t want to invest a certain amount initially and then stop it altogether after a few months because you could no longer afford the monthly, quarterly, or yearly investments.
Before you start off, set a realistic and reasonable amount to invest, taking into account your income, expenses, and savings.
2. Save up for your emergency fund
A common mistake many first-time investors make is jumping right into investing without having an emergency fund.
When a financial emergency happens (like the hospitalization of a family member or the need for home repairs after a typhoon) without emergency funds stashed away, you’ll have no choice but to withdraw your funds or sell stocks prematurely.
Ideally, you need to build an emergency fund equal to six to 12 months’ worth of living expenses before starting to invest.
Make the process easier by putting away a small amount every week or payday.
The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) recommends putting the emergency fund in short-term, liquid investments such as savings accounts and time deposits.
You can invest the rest of your savings in medium-term or long-term instruments, depending on your financial goals.
3. Put your money in low initial investment vehicles
Look for investment opportunities that allow you to begin investing with a minimal amount.
The best investment vehicles for this purpose are mutual funds and UITFs. When you put your money in these instruments, you can invest in a diversified portfolio of bonds and stocks with just a single transaction.
Here are your options in the Philippines with initial investments ranging from Php 25 to Php 1,000.
|Fund Name||Minimum Initial Investment||Minimum Additional Placement|
|Sun Life Prosperity Money Market Fund||Php 100||Php 100|
|Philam Managed Income Fund||Php 1,000||Php 500|
|Philam Bond Fund||Php 1,000||Php 500|
|Sun Life Prosperity Bond Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|Sun Life Prosperity GS Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|ATRAM Philippine Balanced Fund||Php 1,000||Php 600|
|Philam Fund||Php 1,000||Php 500|
|Sun Life Prosperity Balanced Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|ATRAM Alpha Opportunity Fund||Php 1,000||Php 600|
|ATRAM Philippine Equity Opportunity Fund||Php 1,000||Php 600|
|Sun Life Prosperity Equity Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|PAMI Equity Index Fund||Php 1,000||Php 500|
|Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|Fund Name||Minimum Initial Investment||Minimum Additional Placement|
|Unlad Kawani Money Market Fund||PHP 25||PHP 25|
|ATRAM Peso Money Market Fund||PHP 50||PHP 50|
|ATRAM Total Return Peso Bond Fund||PHP 50||PHP 50|
|ATRAM Philippine Equity Smart Index Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|ATRAM Global Dividend Feeder Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|ATRAM Asia Equity Opportunity Feeder Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|ATRAM Global Technology Feeder Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|BDO PERA Short Term Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|BDO Merit Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|BDO PERA Bond Index Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|BDO Institutional Equity Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
|BDO PERA Equity Index Fund||Php 1,000||Php 1,000|
15 Best Investment Vehicles for Filipinos
Here are the 15 best investments in the Philippines that every hard-working Pinoy should consider.
|Investment||Minimum Capital||Average Returns||Risk Level|
|Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)||P5,000||6 – 11% per year||Medium|
|BTID (Buy Term & Invest the Difference)||P2,000/month||High||Medium|
|Bonds||P5,000||4.7 – 6.3% per year||Low|
|Insurance (VUL)||P2,000/month||7.8 – 16.6% per year||Medium|
|P2P Lending||P1,000||10 – 15%||High|
|Stocks||P5,000||10.8% per year||High|
|Mutual Funds & UITF||P1,000||2-5% per year||Medium|
|Real Estate (Foreclosed)||P10,000 – P15,000||High||High|
|Blogging/Website Flipping||P2,000 – P10,000||High||Medium|
|Forex Trading||P5,000||1 – 10% per month||High|
|Angel Investing||P50,000||27% in 3.5 years||High|
|Personal Equity & Retirement Account [PERA]||P10,000/year||5% – 15% per year||Low|
|New Skills||Time & Effort||High||Low|
Minimum Investment: P2,000 – P5,000 (depends on the minimum board lot and market price).
What is ETF and how does it work?
ETF stands for Exchange Traded Fund. It’s a type of fund that owns assets like stocks, bonds, foreign currencies, gold bars, futures, and others—-similar to mutual funds (MF).
Ownership is divided into shares too. But unlike MF, these shares can be traded anytime in the market within the trading hours, making them easy to buy and sell.
ETFs are said to have lower operating costs compared to MFs since it’s more “passive” in it’s investing strategy (MFs are handled by fund managers) since in most cases it merely “mimics” popular indexes (Index ETF) and industries/sectors (Sector ETF).
How to Invest in ETF in the Philippines
As of this writing, only one type of ETF is available in the Philippines. The First Metro Philippine Equity Exchange Traded Fund (FMETF) by First Metro Asset Management Inc.
Buying and selling ETF is a similar affair with stocks.
To start investing, you need to open a trading account with an accredited stockbroker like Col Financial, First Metro Sec, BDO Nomura, Philstocks, and BPI Trade, among others.
There’s a long list of accredited stockbrokers in the Philippines so opening a trading account is fairly easy.
Once you have an active account, you may begin buying and selling ETFs via your preferred broker’s trading platform.
Read Next: How to Invest in ETF in the Philippines
Minimum Investment: P2,000 – P3,000 per month
What is BTID (Buy Term and Invest the Difference)?
Before we go ahead and define what BTID is and what it’s used for, let’s refresh our memories a bit on the two main types of life insurance:
Term Life Insurance
- A.K.A “pure life insurance”
- It will pay a death benefit to beneficiaries if the policyholder dies within the duration of the policy (5, 10, 20, 30 years)
- Premiums (how much you pay) are typically locked within the length of the policy
- If it expires before the policyholder dies then there will be no payouts. However, the policy can be renewed albeit at a more expensive premium (since the person is older and health has declined—-more risk in the eyes of insurance companies)
- It’s the cheapest form of life insurance since you’re only paying for the guaranteed death benefit.
Permanent Life Insurance
- Life insurance that features a “cash value” or savings component
- The policy won’t expire as long as premiums are paid/being paid (it lasts a lifetime, hence the name)
- Your premiums go to paying the death benefit and investing in the cash value
- This makes it significantly more expensive (5-10x more) than term life insurance
- You can borrow from the cash value savings on your life insurance (terms and conditions apply)
- Popular types include Whole Life, Variable Universal Life (VUL), Universal Life, Indexed Universal Life, etc.,
The concept of “buying term and investing the difference” or BTID is essentially an investing philosophy that favors buying a cheaper term life insurance then investing the “difference” (the amount that it would have cost to buy a more expensive permanent life policy) over buying permanent life insurance.
Let’s say it costs Php3,000 per month to pay for a Php 300,000 VUL policy.
Since it’s a type of permanent life insurance, a portion of the Php3k is invested in the cash value and earns interest.
Depending on the investment’s performance, it can increase significantly over the years, building you a nice little nest egg (or act as an emergency fund) that you can access when you need it.
For a similarly-priced policy (Php300,000), fans of BTID would rather buy a cheaper term life coverage that only costs, say, Php500 per month—-and then invest the difference (Php2,500) in an investment vehicle (stocks, mutual funds, etc.,) that they feel would give them better returns over the performance of the cash value in a permanent life insurance.
But of course, their policy won’t have the built-in “savings” mechanism. And if they outlive the policy, they won’t get anything back.
(Note: Figures provided in this example are purely for the purposes of explanation only and are not based on any real-world policies)
I know what you’re thinking, “So, which is a better investment strategy, BTID or get a permanent life insurance policy?”
There’s literally hundreds of content out there about the topic.
And while each side has strong, valid points, ultimately, it’s the policyholder’s personal needs and situation that will drive the decision. Life insurance (and investing in general) is not a “one-size-fits-all” thing after all.
It’s hard to pick a clear-cut winner between the two because each product has its own pros and cons (also consider that permanent life has multiple subtypes). There are just too many factors involved. And let’s be honest, there’s no sure or guaranteed result when it comes to investing.
Some people point out that BTID shouldn’t even be pitted against permanent life because each has its own place in a retirement plan strategy. One person might find the forced-savings mechanism of permanent life’s cash value and its lifetime protection as “worth it” features to have based on their circumstances.
Perhaps they’re “all good” in other forms of investing (or actually don’t want to dabble in it—-stocks, MFs, ETFs, etc.,) and are looking for another way to boost their retirement fund or savings fund and/or are worried their premiums might actually be more expensive if they renew a term policy later, for example.
On the other hand, a term life policy may make more sense to a person merely looking to have income protection as a breadwinner (so that his or her family will receive a financial benefit in case the unfortunate thing happens).
Note, however, that to only buy term life for income protection doesn’t really subscribe to the whole “Buy term and invest the difference” dogma, as that person will actually have to invest the difference themselves if they want to make the case against permanent life’s investment feature.
There’s technically more effort required in using BTID as an investment strategy when compared to the pay-it-and-forget-it approach of permanent life.
How to “Buy Term and Invest the Difference”
Well, purchasing term life insurance should be fairly easy, the hard part is deciding how to invest the difference.
For that, you can check out some of the following guides to give you some background first before you pull the trigger.
Remember, always do your due diligence when it comes to investing. Consulting with a financial professional could also be a good idea.
- Stock Trading and Investing Guide in the Philippines
- How to Invest in Mutual Funds and UITF in the Philippines
- How to Invest in Real Estate in the Philippines
- How to Get Life Insurance in the Philippines (w/ Top 10 Insurance Companies)
- How to Invest in Peer-to-Peer Lending in the Philippines
- 25 Best Franchise Opportunities in the Philippines
Minimum Investment: P5,000
What are Bonds and how do they work?
Bonds are very similar to how loans work, except that they differ in terms of whom the money is borrowed.
Say a company needs Php 1 million to expand its operations. They have 2 options: they can borrow from banks (loans) or they can issue bonds.
With loans, banks will provide the company with a lump sum that they’ll have to pay based on the interest rate and other terms that the bank(s) have set. In most cases, the company will be asked to pay in monthly terms, with the interest embedded in each payment.
With bonds, it’s like doing a reverse loan.
Instead of the company approaching the lender (bank), they will print a bond (contract) that might state, “In 5 years, our company will pay the owner of this bond Php50,000”.
Since they need Php 1 million, they decide to print 20 pieces of these Php50,000 bonds and issue them to institutional investors and the public. Aside from receiving the promised Php50,000 face value back after 5 years, bondholders will also receive “coupon payments”.
For example, let’s say that the Php50,000 bond in our example features a 5% annual interest rate.
Each year, the company will have to pay the bond owner Php2,500 for 5 years. In total, the bondholder would get Php12,500 in earnings after the bond matures (2,500 x 5 years).
But it doesn’t stop there. Since bonds are classified as IOUs (debt instruments) and can be circulated publicly, they can be traded—-like stocks.
It’s possible that a bond can be sold at a higher price than its face value if the net present value of the principal and interest payments have increased.
But if the bond owner decides to hold on to it until it matures, he or she gets back the original investment (making it a good way of preserving capital) plus earnings from interest (passive income).
Different Types of Bonds
Bonds are generally classified into two: by maturity or by the issuer.
- Maturity-based bonds – bonds that are classified according to the length of time it will mature
- Treasury Bills (T-bills) – Bonds that mature in less than 1 year (short term). The most common tenors (length of maturity) for T-bills are 91 days, 181 days, and 364 days.
- Treasury Bonds (T-bonds) – Bonds that have tenors of more than 1 year. The most common maturity lengths for T-bonds are 2-year, 5-year, 7-year, 10-year, 20-year, and 30-year bonds.
- Issuer-based bonds – bonds that are classified according to who issued it
- Treasury Securities – Bonds issued by the Bureau of Treasury
- Government Bonds – Bonds that are issued by various government agencies like HDMF, Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA), Federal National Mortgage Association, and others.
- Municipal Bonds – Bonds issued by the local government units (LGUs)
- Corporate Bonds – Bonds issued by public and private companies
How to Invest in Bonds in the Philippines
For corporate bonds, some banks advise the general public through their official website and/or mailing list. Information and requirements for investing in bonds are typically posted on their website.
Some will have you complete a quick online questionnaire to get your details and contact info. Afterward, a representative from the bank will call/email you to discuss the details and next steps.
For Government bonds like T-bonds, you can visit the Bureau of Treasury website for updates and listings for any upcoming public offerings.
You can also reach out to banks and check if they have any government bond offerings.
Like with corporate bonds, they’ll provide you with details and instructions along with the paperwork to complete should you wish to proceed with the investment.
4. Insurance (VUL)
Minimum Investment: Php 2,000 – 3,000
Life Insurance is something every young professional should consider.
Having an insurance is necessary if you’re thinking about getting a house or a car. But more importantly, insurance is a must if you want to ensure that yours and your family’s lives are secured.
What is VUL?
Something that people should look into is a Variable Universal Life Insurance or (VUL). According to Investopedia, a VUL is a form of cash-value life insurance that offers both a death benefit and an investment feature.
It is basically a type of insurance bundled with an investment component. You’re insured but you can also have the option to invest your money. It’s ideal because you get the best of both worlds.
Aside from that, there are other benefits to VUL that differentiates it from other traditional insurance policies, such as flexible premiums.
Any excess amount you add to the premium will go to your accumulated funds. In case of a financial emergency, on the other hand, you can choose to only pay the charges without the plan lapsing.
And speaking of financial emergencies, one great feature of VUL is its liquidity. You can still access your funds in times of need. And unlike traditional policies, this is treated as a withdrawal and not a loan.
Meaning the amount withdrawn does not incur interests. Although it is encouraged that whatever amount was withdrawn should be immediately reinvested to keep on track with your financial goals.
Tips on getting VUL/life insurance
- Do you really need life insurance? – Ask yourself if you really need insurance. If you have dependents then the answer is probably yes. But if you’re a single career person with no family as of now. You can consider putting it on hold if you don’t have the extra cash to spare.
- How much do you need? – If you’re thinking about retirement, ask yourself what your projected retirement fund will be. Will it only cover the replacement of your actual income or will it include expenses for leisure? That’s something to think about when getting your plan.
- Get Quotations and Plans from Insurance Companies – Call different insurance agent and ask for quotations or get them to send you proposals through email. This way you can pick and choose what would be the ideal plan for you. Most insurance agents now have tools that generate quick client policy proposal.
- Avoid Additional Insurance or Add-Ons – A lot of the agents you will encounter will push for additional insurance or add-ons because of targeted quotas which will mostly just benefit them and the insurance company. Stick to your basic life insurance. But it is advisable to get a critical illness add-on. You may never know if or when you’ll get a serious health problem.
- Get an Independent Financial Planner – Agents have a tendency to be biased about plans because of their quotas. So, it’s advisable to get an independent financial adviser who is paid to advise you and not to reach quotas based on plans and add-ons. It’s not necessary to do this but if you have extra cash to spend on a financial planner, get one.
- Get it now – The younger you are the cheaper the plans are. There’s no time like today to get a plan.
- Stable – Of course you have to make sure that the insurance plan you’re getting is from a reliable and stable company. Call the insurance company, or the insurance commission, and search the web. Look for reviews and research the company. Make sure they are legit.
5. Micro-Lending & Peer-to-Peer Lending
Minimum Investment: $25 (Php 1,250)
Another investment option young professionals and investors can get into is Micro-lending and peer-to-peer lending.
What is P2P Lending?
Peer-to-peer lending is the borrowing and lending of money through a platform without going through traditional means like the bank or other financial institutions.
What happens is, usually, an online company will bring together borrowers who need financing and lenders who would like to invest their money and earn through interest rates.
People are attracted to P2P because it cuts out the middleman – which is the bank, and provides better deals for both the borrower and the lender.
Because rates are a lot flexible compared to banks, borrowers can get relatively cheaper interest rates while the lender can still profit from a decent amount of interest rate.
Popular P2P Lending platforms:
Tips on investing in P2P lending
Here are some tips to consider according to Paula Pant, from Student Loan Hero.
- Research before you invest – This should be a no-brainer but it is something you must keep in mind. Research about the loan history of the company you’re going to choose to invest in. Look into things such as the percentage of borrowers who default (unable to pay back) and how they screen the borrowers. Also ask about the average returns of investors in the past and how they handle late payments.
- Know your risk tolerance – “Think carefully about how much risk you are prepared to take, bearing in mind that you could lose the whole of your investment in a loan if it defaults,” wrote Graeme Marshall, CEO of FundingKnight.
- Go slow – You don’t have to invest largely in one borrower. Take advantage of the fact that you can start investing at only $25.
- Diversify your loans – As what was mentioned earlier, you don’t have to go big with just one borrower. Diversify your loans. As the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- Reinvest your returns – You don’t have to cash out your returns once you can. Consider reinvesting them into new loans.
Minimum Investment: Php 5,000 (First Metro and COL Financial)
People may stay away from stocks because of having no knowledge about it. Most even just prefer to let their money be stagnant and stay in a bank.
But knowledge can be acquired so it shouldn’t stop you from investing in stocks considering it could make your money grow exponentially.
Investing in stocks allows you to buy shares of companies, you won’t be able to buy under normal circumstances, said Marvin Germo, author of Stock Smarts.
“The stock market gives you the opportunity to buy in companies, like partnering with SM, GMA, Jollibee,” he said.
Tips on investing in Philippine Stock Market
- Learn everything you can – Being too confident in the stock market can also be too risky. Learn from the books and experts first. Do your research, learn the terminologies and all the tricks, buy books, and attend seminars. If you can, get a mentor. Do everything you can to be knowledgeable on the stock market.
- Know your risk profile – Are you cautious or are you a risk taker? Your personality should reflect the stocks you buy. According to Marvin Germo, there are stocks that are volatile, with a great potential to go up but also a great potential to go down. Some are just steady but when the market goes down, the impact to the company won’t be as bad. Consider what type of stock would fit your level of comfortability.
- Buy Low Sell High – Buy stocks only when the price is below the “Buy Below Price”. The Buy Below Price is a level at which capital appreciation potential is already attractive relative to the fair value estimate. Any price below this is considered optimal to buy.
- Don’t expect money to double soon – According to an investor interviewed by Rappler, you shouldn’t expect our money to double within a year. In fact, you should be prepared to hold on to our equity investments for a longer period.
Want to get started with stock trading and investing? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Stock Trading and Investing.
7. Mutual funds & UITF
Minimum Investment: Php, 5,000
What are Mutual Funds and UITF?
A Philippine Mutual Fund is an investment company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which pools money from many investors creating a massive fund under a common objective.
This fund is then invested in specific types of securities to achieve the stated objective.
UITF or Unit Investment Trust Fund, on the other hand, has the similar functions of a mutual fund, but the main difference is that the fund is managed by a bank (instead of a mutual fund company).
This type of investment is ideal for young and new investors because you’re investing your money to experts who would know what to do to make your money grow.
There are four main types of mutual funds & UITFs offered:
- Money Market Funds –invest purely in short-term debt instruments (one year or less).
- Bond Funds– invest in “bonds” which are really long-term debt instruments offered by governments or corporations.
- Balanced Funds– invest in a mix of shares of stock and bonds.
- Stock / Equity Funds– invest primarily in shares of stock.
Tips on Investing in Mutual Funds
- Go with Competent Fund Managers – You’re basically entrusting your hard earned money to a third party company. So you must ensure that the fund managers they have are competent enough to bring growth not losses. A good way to know is to look at the consistency of the fund performance at least in the last five years.
- Add Regularly – Although you can start at a low price of Php 5,000 and there is no required regular addition. It is advisable to add regularly and use it as kind of your piggy bank for your long term goals.
- Assess Risks – All investments have their risks, so it’s important to do risk assessments. Online brokers who offer mutual funds usually have their risk assessment questionnaire which will help you decide which type of mutual fund is best for you.
- Set Goals and Objectives – Like with any other investments you must know why you’re investing. Is this for your retirement, leisure, capital for your future business endeavors? Be clear on where you want this to go to make the best decisions. Newbies may become disheartened when they see losses even if they still haven’t reached the end of their time frame. As with stocks, you must be patient enough to see your investments grow.
- How to Invest in Mutual Funds & UITF in the Philippines – a complete guide by Grit PH
- Best Mutual Funds in the Philippines – curated by SavingsPinay.
8. Small Business
Minimum Investment: Php 5,000
Small business is another investment that you shouldn’t pass up. A lot of people might not be inclined to try this out because of the fear of failure. But why should that stop you?
Failure is just a part of life and taking risks is important if you want make your money grow.
But if you’re still apprehensive, you could always start small. With just 5,000 pesos, you can get into the food business. You can go with street foods, gotohan or mamihan.
If you’re the type of person who likes Karaoke, with a few more money (around 25,000), you can do Karaoke rentals. There are several options for those who want to start a small business for under Php 100,000.
You can also check out our massive list of small business ideas.
Tips on starting a small business in the Philippines
- Find your passion – A lot of people wonder what they should sell, finding your passion can be important because it will help you push through with your business even if the going gets tough. If you have the passion for fashion, selling clothes would be ideal for you.
- Do Market Research – The thing about most Filipinos is that, when they think about starting a business, all they think about are the basics like where to get capital and what product to sell. Those may be the main things, but market research is always important in any type of investment. You have to know your products/services, your competitors, your demographics, trends in the industry, things like that.
- Secure Funding – Your funding will cover 2 types, Pre-operating (equipment, stock, deposits, permits, etc.) and Working Capital (salaries, rent, utilities, supplies, and contingencies). It’s advisable to secure funding for at least 6 months of operation.
- Build a website – We live in the age of the internet and social media. So, having a website is essential these days. Your website is the digital address of your business. And it’s also basically your digital store. Having a website or at least a social media account can provide you with a digital presence and also social media marketing opportunities.
- Network with other people – The more there are of people who know about your business, the better the business will be. So, as was mentioned above, online presence is crucial. Word of mouth is also great, but you get a wider audience through social media. Connect with people both online and offline. Attending seminars and business conventions is also a way to network.
- Consult Experts – Getting a mentor or at least some form of advice through experts is always important. You will learn from the experiences of those who have made it. If you can’t find a mentor in person, find mentors in books or go online. Watch seminars on Youtube or search for business articles written by experts.
9. Real Estate (foreclosed properties)
Minimum Investment: Php 10,000 – 15,000
For those who would like to own houses through installment, there are cheap mortgages that would only cost Php 2000 – 3,000 a month.
Another investment to of course consider is real estate. If you’re thinking about owning a property but you’re wary about how much you want to spend, you may consider buying Foreclosed Properties to get a cheaper deal. For as low as Php 11,000 you can own a foreclosed land.
Tips on Buying Foreclosed Properties
According to Lamudi.com, here are some tips for buying Foreclosed Properties:
- Know where to look – To find foreclosed properties, go to banks, Lending Institutions, SPAV companies (companies formed under the Special Purpose Vehicle Act of 2002 to help banks shed their nonperforming assets), and government financial institutions like the Social Security System (SSS), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund), and National Housing Authority (NHA).
- Get Your Financing Ready – When you already have a housing loan approved by the bank, sellers will take you more seriously. And so, you’ll get more negotiating leverage compared to other buyers.
- Attend Property Auctions – Attending these auctions will be a great way to discover properties not usually on online listings.
- Inspect the Property – You shouldn’t ever buy anything without properly inspecting it. You must see for yourself if it’s worth your money.
- Know your fees and taxes – Other than the down-payment and the property’s selling price, there are also fees and taxes charged to the buyer. For example, buyers must take care of notarial fee, registration fee, transfer tax, and documentary stamps tax, and if you’re buying a condo or townhouse units, the buyer will also be required to pay monthly association dues.
Tips on Real Estate Investing
- Be Goal Oriented – Ask yourself what you want to achieve in real estate investing. This way you can have a vision of what you want to get from investing and will also keep you determined. If you think real estate can be the easy money you’ve been searching for, well nothing in this world can really be called easy money. There will be challenges but having a vision and determination can keep you in track.
- Learn as much as you can about Real Estate – You need to familiarize yourself with the “ins and outs” of real estate transactions in the Philippines. Do research on the subject.
- Attend Seminars – Just as was mentioned above, you’d have to learn a lot about real estate and one of the best ways to do that is to attend seminars and conventions on real estate. Not only can you learn from experts but you can also check out potential properties.
- Join or start your real estate investors club – This is a great way to network and find out more from fellow investors.
Minimum Investment: $20 – $1,000 (Depending on the Cryptocurrency)
What are Cryptocurrency?
If you’ve never heard of Bitcoins or cryptocurrency, don’t worry. It may be an unchartered territory for many people but it’s basically a simple concept.
Cryptocurrency is simply digital or virtual currency that people on the internet use to trade. It uses cryptography for security to ensure the safety of the traders. It’s most appealing feature is the security from the government that it offers. Because your currency is encrypted, the government can’t monitor it.
Bitcoin is mainly the most well-known type but there are other types of cryptocurrencies that are actually cheaper and might be more ideal for you.
Now you may try to avoid this because of the sketchy ways cryptocurrency can be used. But Bitcoins and cryptocurrency are legal depending on where you are and what you plan to do with it.
The Central Bank of the Philippines has issued a warning on virtual currencies but has stated that they are not subject to any regulation.
Tips on Cryptocurrencies Investing
- Educate yourself – As with all types of investments, you must be knowledgeable on where you’re putting your money in. Coinpursuit and Slicefeeds.com are just some of the sites you can check out to educate yourself.
- Treat it as you would the stock market – Analyze trends and patterns on weekly charts. Analyzing fundamental data is key in your methodology to find a decent investment opportunity (you can also check out our guide on how to research altcoins).
- Invest in Fund Management Platforms – As was mentioned above, cryptocurrency can be treated like stocks where fund managers can handle your investment. You can even invest in mutual funds.
- Use it to solve problems – Find opportunities to use cryptocurrency to solve problems such as providing an alternative to traditional banking services. Some people cannot get access to traditional banking services whether due to geographical reasons or other circumstances. You can use this opportunity to provide access to products and services people cannot otherwise acquire.
- Crypto to Money – Don’t forget that Cryptocurrency can be exchanged for money. You can use this to trade with people who are in need of cryptocurrency for products and services physical money cannot buy.
Check out our Beginner’s guide to Cryptocurrency Investing.
11. Buy a website (for passive income)
Minimum Investment: $200 – $1000 (depending on the bid)
Buying a website is something you should definitely consider. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of building a website and gather an audience for that site, then buying a readymade one that’s already profiting is definitely advisable.
It’s a great and easy way to acquire a passive income. You can check out Flippa.com to look for websites being auctioned.
Tips on Buying a Website
- Know the History – You must know about the site’s history before buying it. Know about its net worth, how old the site is, and if it is legit. Just because it’s saying it’ll earn you $10k a month doesn’t mean it really will. Usually the older sites are the most trustworthy ones.
- Be familiar with the Platform – Is it WordPress, Joomla, or something else. This will make it easier for you to know the experts who can operate the platform.
- Demographics – Find a site that targets the demographic you want to reach.
- Traffic Quality – The more the visitors, the more money you’ll earn.
- Maintenance Cost – How much will this site cost to maintain? How many staff do you need to run the site? These are things you must consider.
- Price – Something to definitely consider to make sure the site is legit, an average site would cost around $2500. Although there are sites that cost lower, this can be considered a red flag.
12. Forex Trading
Minimum Investment: $100 (Php 5,000)
According to FXCM, Forex, also known as foreign exchange, FX or currency trading, is a decentralized global market where all the world’s currencies trade.
The forex market is the largest, most liquid market in the world with an average daily trading volume exceeding $5 trillion. So, it would really be advisable to dip your toes into foreign exchange trading if you want to grow your investments.
Tips on Forex Trading
- Choose a broker wisely – Choose a broker that will allow you to do the analysis you require. You must know each broker’s policies and how he or she goes about making a market.
- Choose a methodology and be consistent in application – Remember that fundamentals drive the trend in the long term, whereas chart patterns may offer trading opportunities in the short term. Whichever methodology you choose, remember to be consistent.
- Choose your entry and exit time carefully – You might get confused because of conflicting information regarding the trends and based on charts in different time frames. What may seem as a buying opportunity on a weekly chart can in reality show a sell signal on the intraday
- Perform weekend analysis – At the end of the week, when the markets are closed, review and analyze weekly charts to look for patterns or news that could affect your trade.
- Practice Makes Perfect – Like with any practical skill, trading is something you learn and improve on as you go along. You won’t be an expert on your first try but with constant practice you can be successful in the Forex trading business.
13. Angel Investing (Venture Capital & Private Equity)
Minimum Investment: P50,000
What is an Angel Investor?
Let’s break it down real simple. Say you want to launch your own food delivery business but don’t have the capital to begin with. After hearing about your plans, your uncle offers the necessary funding.
In exchange, he just wants the capital paid back plus 10% gain. Payable in 3 years. Happily, you accept his offer. “Thanks, tito! You’re an angel!”
You’re tito is an Angel indeed—an Angel Investor, to be exact. Often called “informal investors”, they are affluent folks who provide capital funding to start-ups in exchange for some gain or equity in the business.
What is Venture Capital?
Continuing with our scenario earlier, the money you received from your uncle is called “Venture Capital”. If you’re familiar with the tech industry, you hear about this a lot. Uber, Twitter, AirBnB, and a host of other big-name companies all received venture capital to kickstart their business.
In return, their success brought sky-high gains to their investors.
What is Private Equity?
It refers to monies or funds not included in a publicly listed exchange (e.g stock market). Funding injected by investors into a company in exchange of 100% ownership or control of the company is what makes Private Equity different from Venture capital.
Read our Ultimate Guide: How to Invest in Venture Capital & Private Equity Funds in the Philippines
How to Become an Angel Investor and/or Venture Capitalist in the Philippines
Join a network of Angel Investors
This site stands as a middleman between entrepreneurs needing funding and investors. Once you’re registered as an investor, you can proceed to choosing among the list of business proposals that you deem most worthy (and profitable) of your investment.
Most people don’t know this, but you don’t need to be uber-rich to be an angel investor or venture capitalist. If we’ll use our scenario earlier, your food delivery business might only need Php 100k to get everything up and running. It really depends on how big the project is and how much capital it requires.
There are a ton of established businesses in the country that are looking to expand, which you can easily fund for as low as P50,000.
Tips on Angel Investing
1. Have a deep understanding of what it takes to run a business
As an investor, your main job is to provide funding. However, the success of your picks will highly depend on how well you understand the nature of their business.
Most successful angel investors and venture capitalists are stringent in their selection process, often going through several rounds of in-person meetings and reviews. This helps in making sure they are not betting their money on a high-risk venture.
2. Connect with Angel Investors and VCs in the country
It wouldn’t hurt to try asking for an hour of their time to get a primer on the whole thing. A simple gesture of taking them out for lunch to pick their brains may work surprisingly well in some situations.
Most of these people are kind enough to share their knowledge. And if they can’t meet you face-to-face, online correspondence is still highly valuable.
3. Invest in something you’re familiar with
When we invest in something, it’s usually on something we truly believe in, or very familiar with.
Why? Because it takes out a lot of the guesswork figuring out stuff from the beginning. Your existing knowledge about the product or service allows you to ask the right questions.
It also gives you better insight on the future and success of the venture.
4. Don’t go all in
In just a single investment, that is. As cliche as sounds, “spreading your eggs in several baskets” also applies in venture capital.
Not only will it allow you to lessen the risk, it also opens up your pool of money to more promising investments (negates opportunity-loss).
5. Develop an investment game plan
As an angel investor or VC, it’s a good idea to come up with a solid plan that answers important questions like:
What’s my expected ROI and when will I hit it? How much capital am I willing to invest during the course of the start-up? What type of involvement does this company require from me?
6. Try investing with a partner
Or better yet, several others. Investing is risky. In fact, most venture capitalists in the US fail.
If you’re just starting out, it might be a good idea to team up with others so you won’t have to shoulder the whole start-up capital.
Sure it will reduce your potential gains but at least you’ve significantly reduced the risk.
How do Angel Investors make money?
After putting in significant funding into a business, Angel investors recoup their investments (and more) once the company starts seeing success. For example, an app or SaaS-type of company may begin growing its user base and starts getting paid for their offering.
This influx of revenue will naturally result to growth and increased chances of getting really massive (Uber, AirB&B to name a few).
While it’s mostly a hit-or-miss situation in the VC industry, the potential returns are enormous when you chance upon a real winner. It is said in the US, the average industry standard assumption for getting a winning portfolio is 10 investments.
Out of the 10, 6 will most probably be losers, 2-3 might break even or give slight gains, and (hopefully) your last one hits
14. PERA: Peronal Equity & Retirement Account
Minimum Investment: P5,000 – 10,000/year
Established through Republic Act 9505, the Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA) is a voluntary retirement investment program.
It takes after the 401(k) and Individual Retirement Account (IRA) in the United States.
This long-term saving program aims to serve as an additional source of funds upon retirement apart from GSIS or SSS pensions or any form of retirement benefits from an employer.
What is PERA and how it works
PERA is a purely voluntary retirement savings program that allows the contributor to earn tax incentives from the amount he or she invested.
Those who choose to sign up for the program have to make certain contributions every year until they reach 55 years of age.
Upon retirement, they’ll reap everything they invested, not to mention all other proceeds earned from the contributors’ PERA account.
Some benefits of PERA include not being required to pay tax from all income earned from PERA when the contributor retires or die and 5% income tax credit until the contributor turns 55 years old, among others.
With the 5% income tax credit, you’ll get 5% off your annual taxable income allowing you to save more money in the long run.
Contributors can withdraw from PERA once they reach 55 years of age provided that they have made contributions to PERA for a minimum of five years.
In case of death, the funds invested by contributors in their PERA account will be distributed to their respective heirs. Or if they have declared beneficiaries, the proceeds will go to them at this point.
How to Invest in PERA
If you are a Filipino citizen residing in the Philippines or abroad, is at least 18 years of age, have a Tax Identification Number (TIN), and is making an income, you can invest in PERA by following the simple steps below:
- Find an administrator to manage your account. You can either choose between BDO or BPI. Remember, you can only have
administrator, so choose wisely!
- Assign a custodian to receive your funds. Make sure the person or entity is officially recognized by the BSP.
- Select the PERA investment product you wish to invest in. You may choose from stocks, UITF, government securities, mutual funds, insurance products, and other accredited products.
If in the future you wish to distribute funds but have not yet reached the required age, you can still do so but not without penalties. Remember that there are only two qualified cases of distribution for PERA funds–death and retirement. Distribution of funds that do not meet these requirements will result to having to compensate the government for the total tax incentives you got, including the 5% income tax credit, waived income tax for employer’s contribution, and waived taxes on the total investment income.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, such as:
- When a contributor needs to claim it after being considered “permanently totally disabled” .
- When a contributor needs it for payment of hospitalization for more than 30 days due to an illness or accident.
- When the proceeds will be transferred to an eligible PERA investment product or administrator not more than two working days from the date of withdrawal.
Supporting documents such as certifications might be needed for the first two exceptions so make sure you secure them from the proper authorities before presenting your case.
15. Invest in New Skills
Minimum Investment: Only your time and effort
Investing in new skills and yourself is something that people tend to forget but is very important whether you want to invest in business or not. You don’t have to go to a formal school to learn new skills. But if you have the money, you can take courses or even get a post-grad degree.
For those who don’t have the money for expensive degrees, here are other alternatives you can consider:
- Online Courses – Take online courses which are usually cheaper and may sometimes even be free. Take courses on starting your business, choosing the right investment, financial planning, blogging, SEO, marketing, anything under the sun. There are infinite courses to choose from and you have to take advantage of the services offered online. Skillshare is a great website to take classes from and you can get coupons to get free classes for a couple of months.
- Seminars and Workshops – There are seminars and workshops you can attend to, some for as low as Php 1,000. As was mentioned above, you can take seminars for investments in real estate and stock markets to name a few. It will also be a great way to meet peers who are interested in the same endeavors.
- Books – Books are investments. If you want solid knowledge on any subject matter, then buying a book on it is always a wise decision. The trick to reading a book if you’re busy is to look at the table of contents and to just pick chapters that would seem more applicable for you. This way you won’t have to read the whole book.
- Youtube – Youtube is a website that is truly helpful for no cost. You can learn any skill from watching thousands of free videos on any given subject, may it be Bitcoin, Forex, stocks. You name it. The site is a wealth of information you can access with just your smartphone.
How to Choose the Best Investments in the Philippines
Filipinos are known to be risk-averse when it comes to investing. You’re probably one of those who are wondering what kinds of investments give the best return.
The best investment yields high returns with minimal risk.
But are there really low-risk, high-return investments in the Philippines?
This may sound impossible, but you can find them if you know where to look.
The key is to check low-risk investments such as money market funds and bond funds (through mutual funds or UITFs) with the highest returns.
Money market funds and bond funds are both invested in low-risk, fixed-income securities. Time deposits and government T-bills comprise money market funds, while corporate and government bonds comprise bond funds.
To view the best-performing investments, visit the Philippine Investment Funds Association (PIFA) website for mutual funds and the Unit Investment Trust Fund Philippines website for UITFs.
How to Invest your Money Wisely
1. Diversify, diversify, diversify
With the multitude of options provided in this article, it will be foolish to choose only one and invest all of your money in it. As what has been said earlier, putting all your eggs in one basket will be a bad idea.
Pick two or more investment options. This way if one fails you can still rely on the other. More importantly, if all will become successful you’ll generate more income.
2. Don’t worry, just grow your money
Worrying too much and panicking won’t help you or your investment grow. Sometimes relaxing and taking some rest to reorganize your mind and your priorities are important too.
If you think too much about failure, you’re already failing. Just sit back relax, and let matters take its course.
3. No regrets, it’s just cash
If one investment fails don’t dwell on it too much. Especially if it’s in stocks, forex, or cryptocurrency. Expect that there will be losses. But keep a positive mindset.
And it’s very vital to only invest the money you’re willing to lose.
4. No day, but today
There’s no better time to start an investment but now. You’re still young so if you decide to start now, you can become a millionaire not in your 60s but in your 40s or even 30s. So, don’t just sit there, invest now!