How Can I Start Investing if I am in Huge Debt?

Debt ManagementThe question mentioned in the title, is a common question from readers of this blog as well as messages from my Facebook Page and personal account.

When people started learning about Financial Literacy, they want to start immediately. NEWS that they are hearing as well as different comments that they are reading in the forums triggers them to do so.

Many want to start immediately but due to their debt they think they cannot start investing.

Did you know that you could start investing indirectly even in debt?

Let me explain what I mean with that statement. Well this is how you start investing even in huge debt.

First Pay off your debt, paying your debt is like investing, just imagine if you have paid off your debt earlier than what you expect, you have already earned those interest that was supposed to be given to whom you are in debt.

You can do this in two ways, either increase your cash flow or decrease your expenses. Know the priority.

When everything goes well. It only means that you have already earned from paying off your debt by not giving more interest.

As an example, if you are in debt of Php 100,000 with 20% interest per year. And you paid the Php 100,000 earlier than 1 year let say 6 months, the effective interest will now only become 10% of the capital (20%/12 * 6). So you save the 10% interest which is supposed to be given as part of the interest for the whole year.

Next, since you have already made a decision to pay your debt chances are, you have change your lifestyle and learn about delayed gratification.

Decide to have a mindset that even you are not in debt you need to continue doing things while you are in debt like delayed gratification, less wants, less social life and more, and now your money that was saved because you have not changed your lifestyle can now be placed in your emergency fund (3 months of your expenses).

Next, after completing your emergency fund, start getting Insurances, Mutual Funds and if you want more, go to the stock market.

Just a friendly advice, don’t start in stock market while in debt, especially if you are in debt, specially in debt with  credit card or debt to people which is commonly know us as “5-6”.

There is a very small chance that your earnings in stock market could beat the compounded interest that is being given by those credit card company.

I know that the steps I mentioned above is not easy to do, but if you have your goal for your family and for your retirement I believe that you can do it.

Remember the following verses:

Proverbs 22:7

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”

Romans 13:7

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Paying your debt is not easy, it takes courage and determination. So to avoid being servant of lender, pay off your debt and prioritize your payment. First pay those debt that yield the highest interest.

Lifetime PhilHealth Membership, Is It Possible?

I just learn that there is a PhilHealth lifetime membership for those who can reach the minimum required monthly payment by law (Thanks to OFIE M-Qatar Facebook Group).

To help our readers, I have made links and copied some of the useful content of PhilHealth below so that you could find out the information that you may be required upon application.

According to their website the following personnel are qualified to have their Lifetime membership:

The following members shall be entitled to PhilHealth’s lifetime coverage as Lifetime Members:

  • Old-age retirees and pensioners of the GSIS, including uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the AFP, PNP, BJMP and BFP who have reached the compulsory age of retirement before June 24, 1997, and retirees under Presidential Decree 408;
  • GSIS disability pensioners prior to March 4, 1995;
  • SSS pensioners prior to March 4, 1995:
  • SSS permanent total disability pensioners;
  • SSS death/survivorship pensioners
  • SSS old-age retirees/pensioners;
  • Uniformed members of the AFP, PNP, BFP and BJMP who have reached the compulsory age of retirement on or after June 24, 1997, being the effectivity date of RA 8291 which excluded them in the compulsory membership to the GSIS;
  • Retirees and pensioners who are members of the judiciary;
  • Retirees who are members of Constitutional Commissions and other constitutional offices;
  • Former employees of the government and/or private sectors who have accumulated/paid at least 120 monthly premium contributions as provided for by law but separated from employment before reaching the age of 60 years old and thereafter have reached 60 years old;
  • Former employees of the government and/or private sectors who were separated from employment without completing 120 monthly premium contributions but continued to pay their premiums as Individually Paying Members until completion of the required 120 monthly premium contributions and have reached 60 years old as provided for by law;
  • Individually Paying Members, including SSS self-employed and voluntary members, who continued paying premiums to PhilHealth, have reached 60 years old and have met the required 120 monthly premiums as provided for by law;
  • Retired underground mine workers who have reached the age of retirement as provided for by law and have met the required premium contributions.

And here are the requirements as shown in their website:

Submit the following to any PhilHealth Office nearest you:

1. Duly accomplished PhilHealth Membership Registration Form

2. Two (2) latest 1″ x 1″ ID picture

3. Certified True Copy (CTC) of the SSS or GSIS Retirement Certification or the following as applicable:

  • For SSS Retirees/Pensioners:
  • Printout of Death, Disability and Retirement (DDR) from any SSS office indicating that the type of claim is retirement in nature and the effectivity date of pension; and
  • Printout of contributions issued by any SSS office indicating the latest contributions (if he/she retires after March 4, 1995.
  • For GSIS Retirees – any of the following:
  • Certification/Letter of Approval of Retirement from the GSIS indicating the effectivity date of retirement;
  • Service Record issued by the employer/s indicating not less than 120 months of service excluding leave of absences without pay;
  • Certification/retirement Gratuity from the employer indicating not less than 120 months of service.
  • For AFP, PNP, BFP and BJMP Retirees/Pensioners – those who are in active military service until they retire at age 56 and those separated by retirement or other reasons prior to the said age but have reached the age of 60, shall submit any of the following:
  • Statement of Services issued by previous employer indicating not less than 120 months of service excluding leave of absences without pay;
  • Certification/Letter of Approval of Retirement from the GSIS indicating not less than 120 months of service;
  • General, Bureau or Special Order indicating the effectivity date of retirement.

4. Certified true copy (CTC) of Birth Certificate or any two of the following:

  • CTC of Baptismal Certificate
  • CTC of Marriage Contract/Certificate
  • Passport
  • Driver’s License
  • SSS Members ID
  • Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR)
  • Service Record/s
  • Employee ID
  • School records
  • Voter’s ID
  • Senior Citizens ID
  • Duly notarized joint affidavit of two disinterested persons attesting to the fact of birth of the registrant

5. Any other valid documents acceptable by PhilHealth

Member will be issued his/her PhilHealth Lifetime Member Card which is a valid ID to be used in all PhilHealth transactions.

I believe that being a constant member of PhilHealth, will give you a long term health care after the age of 60. But please be noted that PhilHealth’s benefit is limited and cannot be the full source of your long term health care. My father is supported by PhilHealth (Part only) on his dialysis but it is only for a specified number of dialysis. What I am saying is that it is good to have PhilHealth and at the same time you need to think of an additional source of health care expenses at old age.

SSS and Philhealth alone is not enough to sustain our old age. Remember if you Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail.

This could be one of you goals when planning for your retirement age. Set your goals and start to invest.

Creating Life Goals, Know How To Prepare

Once, I heard that Vision should be defined and written so that it could be called Vision and not just a dream. Before investing or going to investment, we need to make sure that we have defined our vision and Life Goals.

There are different types of life goals that we can make, examples as mention below:

  • Wealth
  • Home and Family
  • Health
  • Self-Improvement
  • Philanthropy (Generosity)

Having merely a financial plan is not enough, you need to prioritize your plans. Which should come first? House Fund or the Education Fund of your kids? Your car? Or your vacation?

You need to prioritize each and every goals that you have so that you will be able to know which is the most important and which is the least important.

Remember Habakkuk 2:2

Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.

Another thing that you need to do is to put a present money value to each of your goals. The target time frame, time that you can execute your goals, shall also be defined. The time is important because it will tell you the future value of your dream using the compounded formula and taking into consideration the inflation (How the value of money depreciate over time).

While planning for your future, you need to have a sound foundation and steady growth for your finances.

Life stages are categorized into three steps:

  1. Protect
  2. Build
  3. Transfer

Creating Life Goal (PinoyInvestmentGuide_Page_05

Protection means having an Emergency Fund which is equal to 3 – 6 of your monthly expenses (Very Liquid). Getting an Insurance and Long term Health Care is also suggested. We also need to secure the risk of having a Critical Illness and untimely debt.

Proverbs 27:12 (NLT) ”A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

On the Build Stage, You need to go into investment or even business. You can do paper investment like, stocks, mutual Funds, or even VUL (Investment + Insurance). On this stage you accumulate wealth for your future. You are preparing for your retirement age.

On the Transfer stage, you make sure that whenever you die, your family will not have any problem on getting your acquired wealth because you have not prepared for the estate tax or you were not able to make testament to where your finances goes.

More ideas about Goals in Life

  • The Younger You are the cheaper it is to protect
  • You need to avoid procrastination (Act now)
  • Time can help you create more money
  • Some might prefer BTID – Buy Term and Invest the Difference

Our goals should be SMART.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time Bound

Bible Concepts in Investing and Life Goals

But in everything we plan we need to understand the concept of the bible.

But Jesus also said “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6.

If you set up your goals with God in your heart, you will not have any problem for whatever happen to your investment in the future. You need to trust the Lord on what he can do for you.

We need to be wise in our investment.

Proverbs 21:20 (NIV), The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down. Do you always buy on wants basis? Or need basis?

The Bible also teach us about Diversification. Ecclesiastes 11:1-3 ESV

Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth. If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth, and if a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.

So when you study about your goals, you need also to diversify your investment portfolio.

And the most important thing is that we need to be very vigilant when it comes to temptation:

1 Timothy 6:9-10 ESV

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

We want to have a happy retirement and a good life for our family, but we should not be greedy. Remember I teach before on how to increase your giving.



Mitigating Risk Via Diversification, Mentioned in The Bible

Ecclesiastes 11:2, clearly says that our investing should be diversified, so whatever happen to one, the other can compensate for the lost. When we do investing, a thorough study should be done in each investment that we make. Research is the main thing. All investment has it’s own risk but if we study it very well, we will be able to see that each investment has different risk. We might find a risk in a type of investment like mutual fund but it is not a risk when it comes to real state.

What a Wise Person Does

11 Invest your money in foreign trade, and one of these days you will make a profit. Put your investments in several places—many places even—because you never know what kind of bad luck you are going to have in this world.

No matter which direction a tree falls, it will lie where it fell. When the clouds are full, it rains. If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything. God made everything, and you can no more understand what he does than you understand how new life begins in the womb of a pregnant woman. Do your planting in the morning and in the evening, too. You never know whether it will all grow well or whether one planting will do better than the other.

It is good to be able to enjoy the pleasant light of day. Be grateful for every year you live. No matter how long you live, remember that you will be dead much longer. There is nothing at all to look forward to.

As an example doing a diversified portfolio in stock market is the best thing to do, if you want to mitigate some risk. In choosing stock, you need to choose from different sector. As an example, you might have some stock from Banks, Construction, Holdings, Industrial and more. Normally this different sectors will not perform the same. There will be gain in one sector and losses at other.


Image Credit :


Ecclesiastes 11:4 says that we should not wait, but we need to act now. Procrastination should not be performed. And Ecclesiastes 11:6 it says that you need to be constant investor. In stock market there is what we called cost averaging. So it only means that you can buy anytime, even low or high it doesn’t matter. But of course this could only be applied to Long term investors and not for traders.

We will all go to the end of our life, we need to be a happy investors and not a stressful investor. Investing aims to make our life better and not to make our life in a misery just because of stress in the stock market.

If people will just follow what was mention in Ecclesiastes and just believe that God can do everything about your plans then be at peace whatever happen to your investment. If diversification fails it only means that the whole economy is going down. So do your part share what you have learn and make people financially literate but not greedy.

Be wise and learn the ins and out of investing. The riskiest thing is when you do not know anything. Happy Investing.

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IMG (International Marketing Group) Review and Reasons in Joining

First of all I need to introduce you to IMG which means International Marketing Group. IMG is a marketing company that is dedicated to serving the financial needs of individuals and families from all walks of life. They also conduct FREE Financial Literacy Seminar to educate people on how to manage their money. In Philippines, members can get the full set of FREE seminars in the Head Office.

Even I am in Saudi Arabia, I have completed the 2 FREE Seminars customized for OFW which is being conducted by IMG wealth Academy. I am also being mentored by Fely Santiago, of the IMG – Truly Rich Maker Group.

Yup, IMG also exist in Saudi Arabia.


IMG helps people makes critical financial decisions that can help move them from where they are to where they want to be. The 2 seminars give details about the importance of 6 steps to Financial Security.

Through the seminar, listener would be able to understand about the importance of financial planning and how your present situation could affect your future.

I have learned through that seminar that, there is a high percentage of OFW, which are not financially literate and ended up working in Saudi Arabia for a long time without any goal in life.

There were also times that an OFW who resign from his work in Saudi Arabia, ended up having a misery life because he was not able to prepare for his future. It is also sad to know that there are some Filipinos who work in Saudi Arabia for a long time, 15 years perhaps, and retiring poor in Philippines. Those OFW did not think about their future but instead, spend all their money on wants and not on needs needs. It is one of the reasons also why I joined IMG, to have a planned financial future.

In IMG they make sure that your practice what you preached.

This is the Common Pinoy Financial Mistake as mentioned in the seminar:

  • Overspending / Not Living Within One’s Means
  • Credit Mismanagement
  • Overly conservative in Investing Money
  • Lack of Financial Education

Our mission is To Make Your Family’s Dream into Reality. We are committed in helping families achieve your dreams, through our business opportunity, as well as our products and concepts.

Actually IMG is a one- stop shop, for every Financial Investment Vehicle that Filipino may need. Ranging from Insurance, Mutual Funds, Stock Market, Real State, Non-life Insurance and more.

You could actually earn form your own investment portfolio.

I could actually see a big business potential with-in this company, members will not only be financially literate, but will also be financial secure during retirement age.

IMG is teaching individual on how to have a strong foundation about financial security.

Perhaps this link could give you more idea about the company –

I know I have lots to learn from the company, but I believe that I have made a step towards my Family Financial Security.

I have been in Saudi Arabia for 10 years, and If I only became financial literate long time ago, I would be probably a millionaire and a big time investor by now.

I always believe in Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails

As well as Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

That is why I know that being financially prepared is the will of the God. God doesn’t want us to be poor during our retirement age.

Do you want to learn more about the IMG and Wealth Academy and how you can attend the FREE Financial Literacy seminars? Then just enter your details below, and I will contact you as soon as possible. If you are not within my vicinity, I will let our IMG associates contact you as soon as possible.

You could be in any part of the world.


And as I detailed my journey to Financial Freedom, I will continuously update our readers of my journey to Financial Security.

Invest Through SSS Flexi Fund – Know Its Advantage & Disadvantage (Exclusive for OFW)

Yesterday, when I was browsing SSS Website, I came to know about the SSS Flexi Fund. Here is an idea about the Fund.

The SSS Flexi-fund is a voluntary provident fund for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). It is an additional of the SSS on top of its regular OFW membership. The program gives OFWs the opportunity to set aside part of their earnings abroad and maximize the return on their Flexi-fund contributions, thus providing good security for their future.

SSS Flexi-fund is a risk free investment that is being invested in government securities, with Interest earnings are computed based on the average 91-day Treasury bill rate, thus ensuring a transparent, high yield and risk-free investment of members’ hard-earned income abroad.




It’s a good time to invest through SSS flexi fund due to the fact that we recently have an investment Grade from Fitch.

SSS Flexi Fund, is any amount beyond Php 200 from the maximum monthly SSS payment. As of this time, the maximum payment or contribution for OCW Members is Php 1,560 monthly. So if you pay Php 2,000, the Php 440 will automatically go to SSS Flexi Fund, which could be withdrawn anytime, should you need money.

Here are the list of bank that could receive payments.

  1. Allied Bank
  2. Asiatrust Bank
  3. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
  4. Equitable PCI Bank
  5. International Exchange Bank
  6. Land Bank of the Philippines
  7. Metrobank
  8. Philippine National Bank (PNB)
  9. Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)
  10. Security Bank
  11. Luzon Brokerage Corporation (LBC)

According to the SSS website:

Interest under the SSS Flexi-fund is. . .

  1. Tax-free
  2. Based on prevailing 91-day Treasury bill rates, quoted on a per annum basis
  3. Subject to quarterly re-pricing, to make it more reflective of current market conditions
  4. Computed at actual date of payment of Flexi-fund contributions, and posted to individual accounts at the end of the month.
  5. Compounded monthly, such that earnings at the end of each month are taken into account in the computation and application of earnings in the succeeding months.

I am paying my SSS via Metrobank Online banking System. I have also accessed the SSS Online portal by using the “Host Server Number” that was provided by Metrobank upon online payment in replacement for the SBR number which is a requirement for accessing SSS Online Monitoring System.

Updates : At this time since the prevailing rate of T-Bill is only 0.4%, I am not recommending investing in SSS-Flexi Fund, however keeping your SSS payment up to date is  I belived a necessity for every Filipino.