#ReaderAsks: How Did You Learn About the Stock Market & Could You Suggest Books?

While I may not be an expert when it comes to investing in the stock market but I've been getting emails from some of my readers asking me on how they could start investing in the stock market, what books should they read so they could jump start into investing, what is a good online broker in the Philippines and the basic questions that someone who has just recently realized the value of investing in the stock market would ask. 

Therefore, I would dedicate a blog post each week in trying to answer these questions. To ask questions, feel free to tweet me on Twitter using the hashtag: #ReaderAsks. I will try to answer each of them the best that I can based on my experience and from the tips of those who know better than I do. So without further ado, here's a question from Joann:

I stumbled on your site while reading about mutual funds. Anyway, I've read that you're into stock market? How did you learn about it? Could you suggest sites or books? I'm really interested about PSE and investing. 

Thank you so much


How Do You Learn to Invest in the Stock Market?

While there may be a lot of blogs and resources (here's a complete list of my resources and links to the blogs that I frequently visit for tips and updates) wherein you could read about firsthand experiences of people who have long been investing in the stock market, the first and most important step is to visit the official website of the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. wherein you could learn about the commonly used terms, the risks of investing, the minimum amount required to invest, among others. Familiarize yourself with the website and the most commonly used terms so you will have an idea once you start investing

What Are the Listed Companies in the PSE?

Since the listed companies are identified through their tickers, you can use this symbol look up tool in the PSE site so that by the time that you're investing, you will not have a hard time memorizing or looking the tickers and company names up. It would greatly help if you keep the said tool handy. 

What Books Do You Suggest?

When I started investing, I didn't really had the chance to read a lot of books since I focused on the latest trends so I consulted my favorite blogs instead. I was also very fortunate to have found group mates who sent me e-books to read such as Security Analysis 2nd Edition, Stock Market Strategies That Work and Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor. If you wish to have a copy of these ebooks, simply follow me on Twitter, use the hashtag #ReaderAsks and I'll send you a copy to your email for free. I don't want to give out my email address and I am always on Twitter so that's the best way to get in touch with me. 

Should you have any questions about investing in the stock market, don't hesitate to send me a tweet and I will do my best to answer them here in my blog. 

For the meantime, you might want to check out my other investment related posts. See you till our next #ReaderAsks session!

photo by pfala

How I Turned My 100 to 100,000 in 10 Steps

 The Importance of Saving

While there's no easy and quick way to turn your money into bigger amounts and longer digits, it is always possible to reach your goal once you put your dedication to it. There is no magic trick either. The way I turned my Php100 to Php100,000 is not from some get rich quick money investment scheme. 

The journey to getting more than you currently have without sacrificing too much is both fun, challenging and fulfilling. The following tips which I will be giving to you are the steps which I took in order for me to turn my meager money into the amount that I wanted to have.

Everyone Can Have 100,000

The main purpose of this article is not to brag but to demonstrate that once you  dedicate your mind and actions into something you want to accomplish, you would be able to do so. May it also serve as an inspiration to those my age that no matter in what situation you are, you would be able to reach your goal as long as you constantly work on it and believe in yourself. 

1. Find someone who can inspire you to reach your goal
What drives a person to constantly work on his goal is to have someone inspire and constantly motivate them to keep doing and keep going where they want to. I have been working in a call center for over 6 months when a friend asked me how much money was I able to save. Since it was my first ever full-time job, I wanted to reward myself with various things that I want so I splurged my salary into various bags, shoes and dresses that I could lay my eyes on. Then the reality hit me when my friend asked me about my savings. I felt guilty that I haven't even taken any step or effort to try and save because I indulged into buying the things I thought I deserve. 

From that time on, I was like a drug addict who decided to quit what I was addicted to. Trust me, it was difficult.  Especially when I pass by boutiques that display the latest fashionable bags and shoes!

However, I have already decided. It may not be easy, but it IS possible.

Find someone who could push you to your limit and constantly motivate you to work out on your goal. Later on, it has also helped me when I added my mom to my inspirations since we live in the same house and she would always follow up on my goal. Think of someone whom you feel that inspires you to be better. 

It could be your boyfriend, your best friend, your pet, your teacher. Just think of anyone. Do it. Now!

2. Opening a Bank Account - Not the ATM
Getting to my goal wouldn't be possible had it not been for the steps which I took after that single most important decision to save. Clutching my Php100, I opened a savings account with a local bank. Don't open an ATM account! You would be easily tempted to withdraw your savings with such an easy access. It would defeat the purpose of saving. Also, opening a regular savings account requires lower maintaining balance when compared to that of ATM account. 

3. I Got a Savings Account...Now What?
Just like everyone else, I struggled keeping up with my goal. You know my story. I don't have rich mom and dad to turn to when I don't have money to put on my piggy bank. Just like you, I wondered if my savings account would survive. 

4. Frugality goes a long way
Remember my addiction to shoes? I quit that. I also made sure that I differentiate the need from my wants. The needs needed to be taken cared of while the wants needed to be cut off. Everyday I would remind myself of the 6 digits of the money which I always wanted to get my hands on. Every day I would go to work with much clearer purpose that I want to save. When I got my salary the next month, I paid my tithing, paid my bills, bought my essentials and everything went straight to my savings account. 

No more new shoes since I only have a couple of feet to wear them so why invest in twenty? No more new bags. I only have two shoulders that could carry them. With that thought in mind, it was much easier not to give in to the temptation of buying new things. 

5. You can skip meals but not your savings
No, I don't really encourage skipping meals but you get the idea. Skip your favorite TV show if you must but never skip a month without putting a few bills on your savings account. Once you skip, you will be tempted to skip a few more, then a few more months until you get used to the habit of skipping to the point that you will no longer to dedicated to save. Trust me, skipping is just as addictive as shopping. 

6. Monitor and compare
Do not be afraid nor be discouraged to monitor your savings. Sometimes the amount for a specific amount could be higher than the others but don't be sad. Instead be glad that you are able to save more in some months than the other but don't rest on your laurels either. Monitoring your savings will also help you to assess what extra mile have you done for a specific month why you were able to save much more than the others.

7. Let your inspiration be your constant motivation
Remember the inspiration I told you about? There would be times in your saving journey when you would constantly tempted to splurge into unnecessary things again. However, you could bank on your inspiration and turn it into your constant motivate to battle those temptations. Since my mom is one of my inspirations, I would always talk to her about my goals and being ever supportive that she is, she would always remind me when I tend to forget. Talk with your inspiration and let them know about your plans so they could assist in reminding or helping you reach your goal.

To give you an inspiration on how one could constantly be motivated, kindly watch the video of how a young man rose above all the trials in his life and eventually became an inspiration to millions. Despite how difficult the goal may be, you are given the ability to be able to get through all the challenges and eventually reach your goal.

8. Get a job and a second job
In my article 3 Effective and Practical Ways of Saving Money, I emphasized the importance of having a job and a second job. There is no way I would be able to reach my goal of turning my 100 into 100,000 if I didn't have the income to eventually save. Think of a hobby or skill that you have which you could eventually monetize on such as cooking, writing, sewing or just about any skill that you could make money from. Don't waste time, be sure to get a job that requires such skill. 

9. Invest in the stock market
I only learned about how investing in the stock market while you are young in the latter part of my journey. I wish I knew about it sooner so I could have turned my 100 to 200,000 or maybe 500,000 - the possibilities are endless. (The greater the risk too, I must say ;) Investing in the stock will not only help you increase your money but it will also help boost your country's economy. It will teach many principles on how to better manage your finances and will also teach you on how to better disciple yourself, develop entrepreneurial mindset and of course, be able to gain more returns on your investment (ROI).

10. There's no magic trick
I told you, there's no magic trick in turning your 100 to 100,000. You just need to have that goal and constantly work on it. Last year, I was able to withdraw P110,000.00 from my savings from my savings account in order to pay for my rent-to-own townhouse's down payment.

May this inspire you to make the most of what you have - whether it be talent, trust or money. Be sure to make it a goal to double, triple or to multiply what you have by deciding what you want, identify steps on how to achieve them and be undaunted when challenges come - for surely they will. And yes, your Php100 could be turned into Php100,000. I just did! :)