Updated: January 4, 2021
The beginning of this year is unlike recent years, especially for Filipinos. The country is in an economic recession, with politically-divided citizens, and navigating through a pandemic.
Despite this, in my observation, people were still reasonably optimistic in the last quarter. Probably because many have already adjusted and accepted their new normal.
But it isn’t yet time to be complacent because things can still drastically change in the months ahead. And only when this public health crisis is resolved can we have more certainty of our future.
Furthermore, last year actually presented unique and excellent opportunities to make money. However, only those who were prepared and agile enough to act were able to take advantage of them.
Stock market and cryptocurrency traders are the clear winners from my perspective. With content creators and live streamers coming in at a close second. While in third place, are e-commerce entrepreneurs and online freelancers.
And in my opinion, it won’t be much different this year.
This is the consideration I have in mind when I created this list of the best investments for 2021. It may not be your expected list, but I believe these 3 tips can give your personal finance the best opportunities for growth this year.
1. INVEST IN A SOURCE OF INCOME
In an economic crisis, having multiple sources of income gives you financial security.
When stock markets fall, the bond markets typically go up. If we see another steep decline in equities, then turn your eyes towards fixed-income securities.
Alternatively, you can invest in instruments that give regular dividends, especially those that give rates higher than 4% per annum. Those that immediately come to mind are:
- Pag-IBIG MP2 (if it fits your investment horizon)
- REITs or Real Estate Investment Trusts (watch out for the IPO of DDMP this 2021)
- Cooperative and crowdfunding investments (like Flint Philippines)
Do a side hustle
A lot of online freelancers I know were not financially affected by the pandemic. So, brush up on your skills and consider becoming one this year.
Alternatively, you can use your free time to do these side hustles, which have great monetization options:
- Become a content creator (especially as a video blogger on Youtube).
- Be a live streamer (if you’re not a gamer, try streaming on Kumu or even TikTok).
- Trade the financial markets (trade U.S. stocks, forex, ETFs, Bitcoin, etc. on eToro).
As a side note, there was a huge growth in podcasting for the Philippines last year. If you’re thinking of starting one yourself, then here’s an article on how you can make money from podcasting.
Start a business
Build a home-based business and sell your products online. The question now is, “What can I sell?” Fortunately, I shared an important tip in Episode 45 of my podcast, which you can listen to below:
Alternatively, you can also explore these types of businesses:
- Online coaching or consultation business (learn more about this here)
- Join a network marketing business (fastest way to have a product you can sell online)
- Create a digital product and sell online (ebooks, templates, stock photos, music, etc.)
2. INVEST IN YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS
Investing is not about making more money, it’s about growing your money to make your dreams a reality. There are numerous investments out there, and the best way to choose which one is right for you is to anchor them to your goals.
Short-term goals (2 years or less)
Your investment should be low-risk and liquid. A digital bank account is a great option for this. But also, money market and other short-term investment funds.
Medium-term goals (2 to 5 years)
Invest in moderate-risk instruments such as balanced funds. For those who will need the money after 5 years, Pag-IBIG MP2 is a good choice. Alternative options are cooperatives and crowdfunding investments (again, like Flint Philippines)
For those who want to passively grow their money in the financial markets, eToro’s Copytrading feature is a legitimate option. Check my recommended people for copytrading here.
Money for long-term goals such as retirement is always best to be put in high-risk but high-return investments. The stock market is the primary candidate for this, but investing in index funds and equity funds are equally good options.
3. INVEST IN GOOD HABITS
Your best investment will always be on yourself. Having a growth mindset is important and you should never stop learning. When it comes to good habits, these three have helped me last year to become healthy, happy, and productive.
This is a no-brainer. Having regular physical activity is definitely good for your health, happiness, and productivity. Research shows that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day is good enough. Reducing sitting time is important, too. (I’m investing in a standing desk this year).
The pandemic has brought to light the importance of mental health. And one of the most effective ways to improve it is through mindfulness. In fact, a lot of studies have already shown that having a meditation practice is beneficial to one’s state of being and productivity.
If there’s a habit that can help compound your happiness and motivate you to be productive, then it’s practicing gratitude. And this is backed by science, as you can learn from my previous article: Why a Gratitude Journal Will Help You Become Rich
If you want to invest and grow your money in 2021, then you should look into creating additional sources of income because challenging times are still expected.
When it comes to investing, it’s not simply about where you can make the most money and have the best returns. Your investments should first and foremost, be able to take you to your financial goals with the least amount of risk.
Lastly, remember that learning and self-improvement are lifelong activities. And my hope is by the end of 2021, that we’ve all become a better version of ourselves.