Updated: March 9, 2016
I get asked a lot of questions everyday, and mostly about personal finance and investments.
People often send them through my email and social media accounts, and when I’m not busy, I try to give detailed and comprehensive answers.
However, when I’m preoccupied with something, I tend to reply with just vanilla responses — which happens more often than you could imagine.
Below are some recent questions I got, and how I answered them.
“How can I pay off my debts?”
Me: Spend less. Find extra income.
“What’s the best insurance company?”
Me: There’s no such thing.
“Is it good to invest in the stock market?”
Interestingly, there are some people whom I can’t help but answer thoroughly even if I’m busy at that time, simply because their questions call for it.
Here are a few examples of those questions:
“I’m finding it hard to follow the debt snowball strategy, can you give tips on how to be more consistent?”
“What are the things I should ask an agent when buying life insurance so that I can get the best product for me?”
“I’ve been doing monthly cost averaging on the stock market, is it okay to stop just for a few months because I’d like to save the money instead and buy something?”
The two sets of questions are similar, each one asks about the same financial topic as in the other set — debt, life insurance, and the stock market.
And yet, the concerns are different.
Going beyond the basics
The first set are basic questions about personal finance, which a lot of websites, books, magazines, television and radio shows have answered time and again. You don’t need to search far and wide to get comprehensive information on those.
The second set are uncommon questions about money, which I find more engaging and often feel compelled to answer in greater detail because they are topics not often discussed just anywhere.
It’s okay to ask the basic questions, they are a good starting point in learning; but I hope that you don’t just stop there. You need to continuously invest in your financial knowledge, so you can later on ask better questions and become more efficient in personal money management.
More importantly, you need to execute the knowledge and act because there are questions that you can only discover when you apply the financial lessons you’ve learned.
You can read about debt management and understand how the debt snowball strategy works, but unless you do it, you’ll never realize how challenging it is to be consistent about the method.
You can research about insurance companies all you want, but unless you talk to an agent, you might not realize how important it is to find one who will prioritize your needs above their sales commission.
You can learn everything there is to know about the stock market, but unless you actually invest, you won’t experience financial dilemmas that can help you become more analytical and critical on your spending habits.
So again, how do you ask better questions and learn more?
To quote Bo Sanchez: “You will need financial education and financial execution.”
A place for financial education and financial execution
Let me end this post by inviting you to check out the IMG Wealth Academy. They’re a company who has been giving Filipinos financial education and has also been helping people like you and me, with financial execution.
They are partnered with different healthcare, insurance, real estate and investment providers, thus making them a “one-stop shop” for all your financial needs.
I’ve been a member of IMG since 2012, and I’ve already met so many people whose lives have changed because of IMG — individuals and families who used to be big spenders, but are now huge savers, savvy investors, and better at asking financial questions.
Photo credit: kareneliot