Ed’s Note: Ask an Advisor is a new column where a financial advisor responds to readers' questions on anything about personal finance and investing. Want to ask something? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lately, my friends are talking about starting a business and other money stuff. But we are all stumped when it comes to INVESTING and mutual fund (which we have been hearing a lot about). How can we start? And how long should we be investing our money?
- Amanda, 22, working and dreaming
If we’re talking about Investing, it refers to your own activity or agenda on how you make your money grow or appreciate for long term financial goals. Compare this with saving, which involves putting money aside little by little so it helps you reach a particular goal, usually a short-term one.
With a boom in our economy, investing these days can prove to be ideal. And you can start off investing, not by millions, but with just P5,000! This is made possible by opening a mutual fund or MF account. It is currently gaining popularity especially to young-professionals like you (some thinks MF is savings account in steroids), and may be your key towards financial freedom.
A mutual fund is a financial/investment product where you, along with other investors, entrust your money to professional fund managers who invest these funds into different investment channels. Your money earns depending on how the market performs.
Starting a mutual fund account is easy, just be sure that you entrust your money to a partner with a dependable and long-standing background. For instance, Sun Life offers its Prosperity Funds where you can start investing for P5,000 and do regular subsequent investments for as little as P1,000 once your account is active.
Now if you’re undecided on how long you should keep your money invested in mutual funds, I advise you to invest it as long as you're comfortable with its risks. This means the amount of time you would be willing to let go of your money so that it can earn and beat inflation. Remember that in the world of investment, time is your partner. If you get used to setting aside money using only a savings account, you might be missing a good opportunity to make your money grow.
Mutual funds works best if an investor holds his or her money in a fund, give it more time to grow, and let the effects of inflation be as minimal as possible. Always keep in mind your financial goals and stay the course. All the best and happy investing!