I was 30 years old then and had been working in the corporate world for 9 years when a friend of mine asked me if I had any savings. I told him that I had a savings account and a time deposit amounting to no more than Php300,000 combined. He was surprised to hear that after spending 9 years in the corporate world, a middle level manager like me, with no dependents, would only have that amount of money. And so he started to lecture me about the need to invest. This friend of mine was just a couple of years older than I was but he told me that he had accumulated millions over the years he’s been investing in stocks.
This got me thinking. I wanted to start investing right then and there but I didn’t understand stocks and I was afraid of the risks associated with stock trading. I did recall hearing someone tell me about this investment called mutual funds and how for a minimum of Php5,000, one can buy shares of this fund that invests in a variety of financial instruments like stocks and bonds and that can give returns much higher than traditional bank products.
Within a few days, I had opened an investment account with Sun Life since they were one of the few companies I knew then that offered mutual funds. The advisor I spoke to told me that the best way to accumulate is to invest regularly, as in every month. So having resolved to earn my first million just like my friend, I followed the advice. I transferred Php 150,000 from my time deposit account to the mutual fund and committed to invest Php10,000 a month into the fund I chose. This wasn’t easy in the beginning as this was close to 20% of my monthly net take home pay at that time. But I was single and living with my parents so I didn’t have too many expenses to take care of anyway. It did mean cutting down on my impulse shopping sprees.
After the first 3 months or so, it was already a habit. I no longer missed the money that I used to spend on my whims. I was proud that the money I used to spend on needless things was now invested and I was very excited to see it grow. I continued my monthly contributions throughout the next years and even increased it whenever I would get salary increases. I would also add to my investment a portion of my 13th and 14th month bonuses, after of course, rewarding myself with a little gift or something first.
Five years forward, I received my latest Statement of Account with Sun Life and happy to share that my investment is already worth P1,078.363.50*! Never did I imagine 5 years ago that I could accumulate a million pesos in so short a time just by diligently setting aside a portion of my monthly salary. Now I’m a convert and a fan of mutual funds. I still keep a savings account but only for my emergency and day-to-day needs. In fact, I recently applied for my US VISA and when asked to present proof of financial status, I only had my certification from Sun Life for my mutual fund investment since the money I have there is about 4 times more than what I have in my bank account.
I am now a proud investor and a proud millionaire. I am an advocate of mutual funds and I intend to invest in it until I retire. It has not only given me confidence, it has given me wealth and the opportunity to make my long term goals come true.
To learn more about mutual funds, watch this…
*Invested in the Sun Life Prosperity Balanced Fund from May 30, 2009 to May 30, 2014 with initial investment of P150,000.00 and regular monthly investment of P10,000.00.
**This is based on a true story but values were changed to protect the privacy of the author.
Image used under Creative Commons from Simon Cunningham