There's this radio ad I hear on the AM channel and it never fails to annoy me. It goes something like this:
Matatapos na ang 2012, hard work pa rin ba ang solusyon mo para yumaman? Sumali na sa xxxx raffle bonanza at manalo ng limpak-limpak na salapi!!
(The year is about to end and are you still relying on hard work to get rich? Join xxx raffle to win millions of pesos!)
I think it's sad that that radio ad seems to be poking fun at working hard to earn your keep and plays on the typical Pinoy mentality of betting on odds to win an easy fortune. But really, that ad just mirrors how Pinoys think about finances.
Hard work is part of the strategy towards wealth, there's no question about that, however, it doesn't end there. There's also living within your means and making your money work for you, because if the radio ad sadly got anything right, it's that hard work is not enough. You have to work hard AND be smart with your lifestyle and asset planning at the same time.
But will anyone tell that to the dreamers who will join the contest? Nope.
For most of us Pinoys, retirement refers to our SSS or GSIS pensions and relying on our children to support us when we get old and sick. That's what seems to happens with the "study hard- get a good job- pray to God" upbringing that most of us were reared in.
I went to a good school but I was never taught about budgeting, how to balance a checkbook, open a savings account or use compound interest to my advantage. Honestly, I think learning skills like those would have served me better than the agonizing hours of trigonometry and physics.
So what's going to happen to us and the next generation? I actually am hopeful that things will turn out better, what with the prevalence of entrepreneurship and the accessibility of money market placements these days. For my part, I try to encourage my friends and family members to at least invest in mutual funds, specially when I see their bonuses going towards building up their wardrobe or replacing their phones. While I know Lyn-Lyn also regularly conducts mini lectures on wealth building among her fellow OFWs in the UK. Come to think of it, maybe I should come up with my own presentation as well, seeing that my friends are becoming more and more interested in financial planning as well. Hmmmm....
As for that contest, it involves consuming x number of liquor to get the bottle caps in order to come up with a qualified entry. At least somebody's going to get rich with this contest, and that's the liquor company.