Philippines Investment Rating Upgraded by Fitch

Good news Philippines! The following article is essentially going to be a re-post of Bloomberg's article but hey, congratulations Philippines! Another reason why investors should invest in the Philippines is the upgrade on our investment rating!

The rating on the nation’s long-term foreign currency- denominated debt was raised one level to BBB- from BB+, Fitch said in a statement today. The outlook on the rating is stable.

“The Philippines’ sovereign external balance sheet is considered strong relative to A range peers, let alone BB and BBB category medians,” Fitch said, citing the net external creditor position.

An exit from so-called junk status bolsters Aquino’s drive to transform the nation into one of the region’s fastest-growing economies 15 years after the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. The upgrade may also boost capital inflows and complicate the job of the central bank as it tries to rein in an appreciating peso and curb asset bubbles.

“Funds are already pouring into the Philippines and an investment grade is a further endorsement,” Eugene Leow, a Singapore-based economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd., said before the report. “It allows a wider pool of investors to buy Philippine assets and there might be a slight bump up in inflows. The central bank has been sounding off on inflows and they could implement measures to deter speculative inflows.”

The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PCOMP) surged to a record in March and the peso is trading near a five-year high.

Personal Finance for Every Juan in Singapore

Personal Finance Seminar for Filipinos in Singapore

Personal finance, financial freedom, financial literacy, financial education and advocacy. These are just some of the things that are very close to my heart as I've always been advocating the importance of learning how to manage one's finances, save money and be able to have stable source of income aside from your day job. 

Personal Finance for Every Juan: An Event You Shouldn't Miss for Anything! 

I usually share a list of must-attend seminars through my blog, Saving is Sexy, as I like to keep track of personal finance events, webinars and other related activities that will help empower more Filipinos financially. I ensure that these events do not promote scammy activities and share only those who truly provide value to my fellow Filipinos, especially the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who wish to understand the basics of investing money and where to place their hard-earned money.  

However, my personal finance blog (focused on the first step which is saving money, is currently down). You may, however, click on its Facebook page for daily tidbits and tips (usually jokes!) on how to save money. 

I'm thrilled to share with you another event where some of my favourite personal finance advocates and personal finance bloggers are coming together to impart their wisdom and expertise in an event called Personal Finance for Every Juan. It's a really good event that I hope that my OFW friends in Singapore will blessed with financial wisdom through it.

The event will help more Filipinos learn how we can champion financial literacy and how we can push the advocacy of financial literacy to every Filipino. My all-time favourite personal finance expert and financial literacy advocate, Randell Tiongson, will once again visit Singapore to share us the importance of Insurance, why we should invest in Mutual Funds, and more about Personal Finance. You might remember how ecstatic I was when he first visited Singapore (read my post here and here) and do check out the photo during his seminar on Achieving Financial Security here).

Mr. Randell Tiongson, Personal Finance Literary Advocate and Expert 

Below is the line up of the speakers for the Personal Finance for Every Juan in Singapore

Randell Tiongson, Director of Registered Financial Planner (RFP) Philippines
Jess Uy, Licensed Independent Financial Advisor and a Filipino expat who's currently working here in Singapore as a wealth planner, will discuss about "diversification" and will show you more about the outlook in the global market.

Kenneth Musngi, Major Homes Properties

For details on how to attend the said event, do visit their event page

Also, some of my favourite personal finance bloggers will be attending and facilitating the said event such as Richard Macalintal, Rex Holgado of Alkansya ni Juan, Floi Wycoco of TGFI Singapore (The Global Filipino Investors) Group, whom I've met during one of the cashflow game sessions in Singapore, so it would be great to meet these financially-forward-thinking professionals who will definitely help and strive to guide fellow Filipinos in learning how to invest your hard-earned money. 

The Global Filipino Investors in Singapore during a Cashflow 101 Game Session

What: Personal Finance for Every JUAN
When: April 27, 2013
Time: 8:30 am - 12:30 pm / 1:30pm - 5:30pm


Randell Tiongson
Jess Uy
Kenneth Musngi

For details about the price of the seminar and how to register, visit their Facebook event page

5 Ways College Students Living off Campus Can Save Money

How to Save Money While Living Off Campus


Planning ahead is the first and foremost key to saving money effectively. Start saving before you have even left your former abode! If you can’t afford an end of lease cleaner take the time to clean yourself. Fix up any cracks in the walls or stains on the carpet yourself so you get your tenancy bond back and use it for your new off-campus accommodation.

Calculate how much rent, electricity, water, transport and food might cost every week. Factor in entertainment and leisure costs (be realistic!) and make sure you account for any unexpected medical expenses. Take a look at your exam schedules and factor in a lower income for that period, as you may not be able to work as much if you’re studying. Living in shared accommodation with other people is a surefire way to cut rental costs so start thinking about who might be a compatible roommate. 

2. Invest immediately in appliances that will cut costs
You’re not going to cook or clean yourself if you don’t have the facilities to do so. While they may be an expense at the time, good quality cookware and a decent vacuum cleaner will last you years. Buying stock cooking products(rice, pasta, olive oil) and core cleaning products (dishwashing liquid, bleach, kitchen spray) in bulk will save you bucket loads in the long run. Likewise, if you live close to campus invest in a bicycle to save on transport costs. Plus you won’t waste money on a gym membership!

3.Teach yourself to be thrifty

Instead of paying someone else to do things; learn how to do it yourself. A huge (and avoidable) expense for college students is eating out or ordering in. Learning to cook is one of the quickest ways to free up your budget. There are plenty of recipes available online and if you’re missing your Mum’s famous chicken pie then call her for the recipeand make it yourself! Avoid handyman costs by learning how to fix and repair things around your home yourself. If you can’t do it; someone on YouTube can.

4. Become an opportunist
Actively seek out opportunities to save on both education and leisure expenses. Check whether you are eligible for any scholarships, grants or governmental assistance. Enter competitions to win concert tickets, look up what night your local cinema has discount tickets, keep an eye out for free festivals and of course; always have pre-drinks at home!

5. Don’t stop saving!
When you have finished your degree and you are coming to the end of your lease don’t stop saving money then.Save money on a removalist by asking some muscly friends to help you relocate! Just because you have spent four years analyzing the fine nuances of English literature doesn’t necessarily mean you will be offered a job the moment you graduate. Keep all these tools in your thrifty tool-kit and use them in your post-graduate journey!

Image Credit via Accurate Leads