When we’re fired up to chase after our dreams, it’s pretty common to aspire for grand pursuits and aim to achieve them in as little time as possible. This was exactly what I did as soon as I started earning my own money.
I tried it all! I opened businesses, invested in real estate, dabbled in stocks, tried online selling, and explored side hustles. Looking back, it was a miracle that I was even able to put that much energy in my plans. However, I was quickly confronted by the cliché that there really are no shortcuts.
There’s value in investing while you’re young, but it’s also never too late to start.
Consistency tilts the journey to your favor
It was when I joined Sun Life that I realized there are easier ways to play the long game in the pursuit of my goals.
Conversations about proper financial management was normal among my peers and this motivated me to open my first mutual fund account back in 2015. Unlike many of my other endeavors, this was not hard and flashy at all. I just decided to start on a regular Tuesday and with just PHP 5,000 as my initial investment amount.
To my surprise, the share values of my newly acquired funds took a dive after just a couple of weeks. This was unsettling for a newbie mutual fund investor, but this also paved the way to one of the best pieces of advice I have ever gotten about investing: When share values are low, don’t withdraw. Instead, buy more to take advantage of the low prices and follow it up with regular investing so that you average out the extreme dips of your funds.
Don’t be spooked when the markets go down. That’s the best time to invest. To paraphrase Winston Churchill’s words: “Don’t let a crisis go to waste.”
My investments in the Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index Fund have since rebounded, and this advice has gone on to be a core principle in my investing journey.
Peace of mind is priceless, especially in an unprecedented crisis
Having my investments in place gave me the financial safety net for a lot of my life milestones: getting married, securing a home, and most recently, caring for our firstborn child.
It’s shocking how expensive it is to have a baby. The cost of vaccines alone can be quite steep. Unfortunately, like so many others, my husband lost his job during the early months of the pandemic, shortly after we found out that I was pregnant.
That would have been good reason to panic, but we were both at peace knowing that our mutual funds were there to tide things over. In fact, as soon as he landed a new (and better) job, we took advantage of the “crisis-priced” stocks by doubling down on our local and global mutual funds, including the Sun Life Prosperity World Equity Index Feeder Fund (WEIFF).
Opportunity caters to the prepared
We’ve barely just found our footing as new parents when we were given a shot at our ultimate dream: to own a beach side property.
I’ve always thought that this would be something we’ll do closer to our retirement age. But here we are, in my mid-30s, still in the throes of a pandemic, with an infant child, doing exactly that. And again, it was the investments that we made over the years that gave us the confidence and the means to jump on this opportunity when it presented itself.
Investing is the great enabler
With uncertainties surrounding us, anxiety remains strong and palpable. Yet, no matter what happens, I draw comfort in my family’s shared dreams and how we can get closer to their fulfillment.
Looking back, our investments were the crucial enablers during those key moments. It enabled peace of mind despite job loss, enabled us to pull the trigger to own our dream property, and most, importantly, it enabled us to protect the dreams of our child.
I have absolutely no regrets when I look back on the hits and (mostly) misses of my enterprising past. These were crucial experiences that directly pointed me to my biggest realization that a working financial plan need not be excessively risky or flashy.
Oftentimes, it’s quiet, persistent, and it fearlessly stays on course no matter the worries that surround us.