Updated: August 18, 2015
I am a BPI client for more than a decade now, and looking back, I can say that they have been a big part of my financial journey.
I am often asked by my readers which bank I recommend, and I would always say that they should go for the one that’s easily accessible to them so they wouldn’t feel lazy going to the branch to deposit money or invest.
In most cases, they’d tell me that the bank nearest to them would be BPI. I am not surprised because truth be told, the primary reason why I opened an account with them before is convenience. If you’re living in Metro Manila, I’m sure you will agree that BPI branches are everywhere.
However, BPI is more than just about convenience for me today.
Through the years, as I transformed from being an employee, towards becoming an entrepreneur and investor – BPI has been a great bank partner for me.
It’s not only a place where I pay my bills and business taxes, but it’s also where I first learned about basic personal finance and investing.
More than just a place to save money
Access to financial education is easy now. You can buy books from local authors, attend seminars and webinars, and even join Facebook groups to learn about money management.
It was not so easy for me during the early 2000s when I was still a decadent spender and clueless investor. During those years, investment seminars costs an arm and a leg, and the only financial books available were from foreign authors who wrote about things that don’t apply to the Philippines.
If you wanted to increase your financial literacy back then, you should be willing to spend a lot to access the information, or make do with the little learning that you can get around you, and figure out how you’ll apply the knowledge to the Philippine scenario.
A famous quote from renowned author, Napoleon Hill says, “The starting point of all achievement is desire.”
And I believe it was really my desire to get out of the corporate world, and achieve financial freedom, that motivated me to seek the knowledge that will equip me to achieve wealth.
It wasn’t easy, but with enough dedication and patience, I was able to discover and learn the tools that I needed to improve my finances. And looking back, the real key for me was to learn how to ask questions to the right people.
A verse from the Bible nicely sums up this struggle for me, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Indeed, when I started to ask questions, I discovered that there are people who are willing to give you the answers. Online forums became a channel for me to interact with those who are in the process of learning as I am. That was where we shared what he knew, and helped each other in understanding financial concepts that was new to us.
When I made financial education a priority, I was able to see learning opportunities with a new perspective. One of my biggest realization was that attending seminars may be costly, but it’s more expensive to be ignorant about savings and investments.
Most importantly, I realized that acquiring knowledge is just the beginning, and concretely applying those learnings was the crucial part of my financial journey. What we actually do is ultimately more significant, than what we simply know.
I knocked on doors, hoping that someone will open it for me. And BPI was among those who helped me understood personal finance better, and apply them concretely.
At a time when I thought that banks were just a place to save money, and apply for loans, I discovered that they’re also a place where you can invest, thanks to the knowledgable BPI bank officer in my branch who was always patient in answering my money questions.
It took a good amount of effort to learn about personal finance, saving strategies, investments during my early days. But because I wanted to learn, I was able to acquire the right knowledge.
Today, all these information are easily accessible, both online and offline. And all you need to do is simply to open your eyes.
I dare say that there’s no excuse for anyone anymore not to learn – so start asking questions, seek the knowledge, and knock on doors.
Standing out from the rest
In recent times, when most banks are heavily focused on promoting their loan products, and credit card facilities – BPI stands out for me because they are brave enough to go beyond and include personal finance and investing in their marketing campaigns.
Indeed, BPI remains as my favorite bank not just because of its stability and knowledgable customer service, but also because their vision is aligned with my personal advocacy on financial literacy.
And soon, I will be working with BPI on a special project that will aim to help you get the answers you need when it comes to money management. Watch out for the announcement on my Facebook page soon.