Thursday, March 06, 2008

Save Up?

Perhaps it's the really kuripot side of me that makes touching my savings unthinkable. I'm always thinking, What if something comes up? So, my money is pretty much going stale at the Pasig Cooperative, under the watchful eye of Ka-Impok. I didn't touch the money to buy a new laptop and I have no plans of touching that money to fix up my car. I'm not going to spend my life savings on such short-sighted things. A trip to the moon or a functioning green house in Antartica, now those are things I would spend money on.

A few years ago, back when we were still 2/3 of M13's "Powerpuff Girls", Patty Jhocson and I talked about managing money. She said something along the lines of, "It's not just that we have a lot of money, we do, but there are a lot of people who earn as much as our parents do. It's what we do with that money we have that counts."

And, newsflash, people, she's right.

I didn't realize until the people around me began earning money how most people really dealt with their money. The money that is left in the ATM account that the office uses to disperse salaries is always for something in particular, never for the future. No one saves for a rainy day, anymore. Well, I do, but I've been informed (with as much affection as possible) that I am weird.

But, is opening a bank account really what it's all about? I have a savings account at BDO, where the interest rate is 0.75%. Two years ago, the bottomless iced tea at Chocolate Kiss was worth P45. If I put that P45 in the bank, and I withdrew that money plus the interest it got two years later (which would mean, like, now), I would get P45.6775. That seems like a good deal, considering I just sat around and waited for my money to earn 68 centavos on its own. However, the last time I went to Chocolate Kiss, which was last Tuesday, the bottomless iced tea was worth P48. So my money from two years ago plus interest isn't even worth one bottomless iced tea with the honey watered down.

It's not just about saving up, it's about investing. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's risky business. I know squat about managing a portfolio and my bottomless iced tea money isn't even enough to buy a fund manager his own bottomless iced. So, right now, I'm considering putting some money into a Unit Investment Trust Fund, which is, to make a long explanation short, a fund that allows the bank's fund managers take care of investing your money for you. But I'm apprehensive about investing right now. The markets are unstable (because of social uncertainty and the US recession) and all the banks I've gone to have admitted that the value of their portfolios (and, effectively the money of their investors) are falling.

So, my battle plan is to stuff a certain amount of money (preferably money I earned and not the money I've been saving) into a short term time deposit, let it brew there a bit (earning a couple of pesos along the way), then invest half of it at the end of the year. I'm hoping that the US elections next year and the economic reforms implemented this year will help the market improve by 2009. If all goes well, the rest of my time deposited money will be invested by the end of March 2009.

Does that seem reasonable or should I just ask Ka-Impok to take care of everything?

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