Where To Invest In 2013

Updated: January 2, 2013

Let me start the year by giving you some advise on where to invest this 2013.

The Philippines certainly had a great run last year, and many are predicting that the local economy will continue to rally through the “Year of the Snake”.

So if you have some investment funds available and would like to make the most out of it in the coming year, then below are some tips on where you should put your money this 2013.

But before anything else, let me give you my first rule on investing, which is: Never invest without an emergency fund.

If you don’t have an emergency fund, then I highly encourage you to start saving for one first. This means you can stop reading this article now and perhaps, go here instead: Money Saving Tips For People Who Hate Saving Money

With that said, here are, in my opinion, the best places to invest this 2013.

investing plans

The Philippine Stock Market

As the country continues its economic growth this year, more foreign investors will come, which means local companies will get new business, or they’ll expand to stay ahead of new competition. Either way, the result would be a robust business environment that can move the equity market to new peaks.

However, many are saying that the market is already so high, and it could go down anytime soon. Truth be told, I am expecting some correction during the first half of this year, but barring any drastic economic disasters – I believe that the PSEi will continue its upward trend.

What to do?

Invest using cost averaging on companies with the G.E.M.S.S. criteria, or in a Peso-based Equity UITF or Mutual Fund.

Should you invest in speculative stocks? Too risky, but still possible. Make sure you do your fundamental and technical analysis first before deciding on a company.


Foreign Bonds

Watch Bloomberg and most of the global news you’ll hear is about the European Debt Crisis, the U.S. Fiscal Cliff and the slowdown of China’s economy. In short, most foreign governments are currently hard at work in finding solutions to their falling economy.

I don’t want to get into the “nosebleed” details of the monetary policies being implemented by each government, but if there’s anything you should know, it’s that in times like these, the bond market is one of the places where investors go.

Foreign bonds, such as U.S. Treasury Bonds, become appealing because stocks are expected to drop whereas bonds can continue to provide income in the form of interest payments – making them a relatively safe investment.

What to do?

Invest in a Dollar-based Bond Fund. Ask your bank for their available UITF that invests in foreign bonds, or your mutual fund company for similar products.

Should you do cost averaging? I would recommend it, but since investment requirements are a bit high for foreign-denominated funds, a one-time placement will do. But remember, bonds are moderate-risk investments so be sure to have an investment horizon of at least two years before putting your money here.

Start Your Own Business

Paper assets not your thing? Perhaps investing your money in a business is for you. If so, then the question now is, what’s the best business idea to pursue in 2013?

If you’re a long-time reader here, then you might know that I actually hate answering that question because I believe the best business that a person can put up will always depend on his or her skills, location and available resources.

However, I’ll indulge you today with some concrete answers but please, please remember that you shouldn’t start a business if you don’t have a passion for it.

Possible business ideas for 2013:

I actually have a few more business ideas in mind that I believe will do well in 2013. But let’s reserve that for another post, shall we? 😀

The Best Investment Every Year

As always, the best investment is in knowledge.

If you don’t have enough money to invest in any of my suggestions above, then consider buying a book, or attending a seminar, and see how increasing your financial literacy can help you earn limitless dividends.

And with that, I’d like to end this post. I hope you enjoyed reading and learned something useful today.

If you’d like to share your own thoughts on where to invest this 2013, then please feel free to write them as a comment below.

Let’s learn from each other and make this new year a profitable one for all.

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Photo credits: mytudut and s_falkow


  1. Great post fitz!

    Last year, I invested in knowledge by reading your blog. I was able to arrange my finances and put it into perspective. Now my goal for 2013 is to build up my emergency fund so I can invest wisely. Failed past investments have been hard earned lessons to support this goal.

    Thanks for all your tips and keep them coming!

  2. Hi Edmund. If you have surplus dollars, then you should invest that in US Treasury Bonds or locally, in funds that invests in foreign bonds.

    If you don’t have surplus dollars, then invest in peso-denominated instruments.

    But if you have a good appetite for risk, then you can certainly convert your pesos and invest in USD.

    As they say, the best time to buy is when the market is down, and it is down right now. The only question really is when it will go up again.

    Lastly, if you’re savvy enough and have around 8-10 years investment horizon – I’d say you can invest in precious metals, specially silver.

  3. Hi Sir!
    Thanks so much for your reply… You’re right as to the question of when the dollar will go up in value… Although I take risks, I strongly believe it is too risky to convert my peso to dollars..

  4. Hi Fitz,

    I liked when you said “Never invest without an emergency fund”. Investment should be their “extra money” and never sacrifice anything. Build something first that generates income to support investment. Otherwise, gutom din :-). Hope i am right.

    By the way, do we have a what we so-called-type of investment where you’ll be receiving a monthly income? One time kasi, i’ve heard one guest in a show telling that she’s earning monthly thru investment. I don’t know if i am right or maybe i’ve overheard it :-). Pls. enlighten me. Thanks a lot.

  5. Your blogs are very informative, I have been reading them for the past few months and it helped me a lot to set my financial goals in a more systematic way. Like Elleica, I also consider reading your blogs as one my knowledge investments.

    More power to you and to all your followers like me 🙂

  6. Hi Fitz,
    I’ve always wanted to invest and thanks to you, I was able to jumpstart on my plans. End of Dec. 2012, I bought stocks from Citisec thru their EIP, UITF Fixed-income from BDO & also applied for BDO’s EIP program this time for Balanced fund. See, I don’t have much lump sum so most of my investments are done via EIP.

    Right now, I’ve been wanting to learn about speculating in stocks. Do you think PSE’s online stock game can help me learn the ropes? Also, this year I’m planning to get an educational plan for my 2 kids. One thing that holds me back are the bad experiences my parents had with CAP. There were 4 of us siblings & only I got to benefit from it. Do you have any suggestions? or what company did u got for your kids? Its really hard to tell which insurance companies can last for 15 more years or so.

  7. @Roland

    Yes there are investments that give you monthly passive income. However, most if not all, are private-type investments or simply put, not open to the public.

    One example is a company owned by a friend’s in-law who decided he wanted to expand his travel agency business and started looking for “silent” investors to get more capital (instead of applying for a business loan).

    The offer reached me and I decided to “take the risk” in exchange for the opportunity to earn monthly dividends from the business. Three years after, I’ve already earned around 70% of my initial investment and expecting to “get everything back” by 2014.

    After that, the dividends will continue to come (as I am technically a part-owner of the business), and all that is already passive income for me.

    The lesson here is actually to always have “extra cash” for investments because you’ll never know when such an opportunity can come – and that’s one reason why I’m “addicted” to saving money. 😀


    EIP is a great way to invest, very affordable and it “forces” you to save.

    As with stock trading, PSE’s online stock game is a good way to learn that. Read up also on the “Research” tab of Citisec – you’ll get a lot of fundamental and technical analysis lessons and stock recommendations there for trading.

    Lastly, as for a pre-need educational plan… I’m going to tell you my honest opinion, and say it’s a bad idea. (Pre-need insurance plan agents, please don’t hate me).

    The reason why I am against it is because they’re too risky, the returns are mediocre and policy provisions are usually tilted to the security and benefit of the company, and not the plan holder.

    I’ll write more about this soon as I realize many are concerned about this issue.

    In any case, what’s the better option? Make a hybrid plan (also called a “do-it-yourself” educational plan).

    First, get a term-life insurance with the option to upgrade to a variable universal life insurance at end of term. This will ensure that your child is taken cared of just in case something happens to you.

    Second, invest in UITF or mutual funds. Cost averaging (like EIP) is similar to paying for insurance premiums but your policy won’t get cancelled if you miss a payment.

    Depending on when you’ll need the money, choose the fund that’s appropriate for your investment objective. The amount you should invest also depends on how much you might need for your child’s education.

    Hope I was able to help.

    @elleica and joan
    Thank you for the kind words. I highly appreciate them and keep up the good work. 😀

  8. Hello sir,

    Do banks have restrictions when converting pesos to dollars?

    I was actually interested in putting some of my money into foreign currency funds similar to what you’ve suggested here, but when I asked a bank about converting some of my pesos to dollars, they said they didn’t sell dollars unless for travel purposes and required a plane ticket as proof that it will be used for travel.
    How then can I invest in dollar or other foreign currency denominated funds if I can’t get the necessary currency to invest? Are there requirements or other things needed to convert pesos for investments?

  9. Greetings and Happy New Year of Investing Mr. Fitz:

    Which investments offer compound interest and how much is the minimum investment required.

    Thank you and hope for your wise tips.

  10. @Paolo

    You’re right, banks very rarely sell dollars for investment purposes. My suggestion is to go to a money changer, which by the way, has better exchange rates than banks.


    Unfortunately, there are only two products I know which offer compound interest earnings.

    First is the bank savings account, and second is the time deposit account. Both of which I don’t recommend for long term investing.

    Put your emergency fund there, but not more than that because the growth is very small (despite being compounded).

    In the U.S., there are zero coupon bonds which pay compound interest rates. As far as I know, there’s nothing similar to that here, but I’ll still ask around. 😀

  11. […] degree of risk, so be careful what you're doing! I wish you good luck with your investments! Investment in Brazil Today said the Brazilian stock market today. The loss of revenue up and down d…lly in a foreign country. However, in this article, I will not say that the Brazilian stock market […]

  12. Good Day to you Sir Fitz,

    Is it ok for me to invest an index tracker fund such as the Philippine Stock Index Fund from BPI since its convenient for me and it mimics the benchmark.


  13. Yes Monique. It’s okay. But be sure to diversify and invest also in one or two other products, particularly those that have instruments other than equities.

  14. I have a nosy question, what mutual fund company would you personally endorse if I want to invest in equities?

    I currently have holdings with PAMI’s PSGF and now I’m thinking of FAMI for my next investment venture. Please advise. Thanks!

  15. Sir,

    I also set my eyes on a Bond Index Fund to diversify further that will go hand-in-hand with the PSIF (I simply love index funds because it’s less costly in terms of fees compared with actively-managed funds)

    Aside from these funds that I mentioned, I also want to have a Whole Life Insurance from PRU Life UK and so much more.

  16. Sir Fitz,

    What would you recommend for long term maybe 8-10 years, BPI Philippine Stock Index Fund or FAMI???

    we already have investment in Philequity for college funds of our daughter.

    TIA and More Power!

  17. Hi Alvin. I’m leaning towards FAMI because you already have equity (stock market) investments, and FAMI’s mutual funds can diversify your investments with other instruments.

  18. Good day to you Sir. I am starting an account with Citisec. Any tips on which specific stocks I should choose to jumstart my account? Thank you.

  19. Sir,
    tks a lot for ur free blogs it helps a lot. some advises pls.. plan to reinvest usd with insular variable dollar return asset for insurance. balance plan to invest with bpi dollar index bond metro bank dollar uitf, cocolife or philequity. some peso saving plan to invest witb insular growth and equity fund. have already put some saving on bpi growth fund. tks a lot.

  20. Hi sir fitz,

    I’ve been browsing COL website and planning to open an account there. I hope you could write a post about the basics of using online stockbrokers like COL.

    Thank you

  21. Hi Sir Fitz,

    Good day!

    I would like to ask re: investing. Im a newbie and i’ve been reading your blog since late last year and learning a lot. Thank you very much.
    As my first time for investing, I’m planning to put my hard earned money through long term Time deposit (5 years tenor) that earns 4.5% annually. Is this a good choice for an OFW like me?

    I have emergency funds invested placed in 30days TD.

    Please help!

    Hoping for your promt reply Sir.

    Regards and God bless

    Ms D

  22. I have an outsourcing business (medical transcription to be specific) for 5 years now but about to close middle this year because my US client is getting into VR or Voice Recognition machine. I would like to ask your help if you could help me market my company. Pls give me your email address so I can send you privately all infos about my company. Thank you.

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