Readying for 2022

I track my net worth on a quarterly basis. For the third quarter of 2021, I'm happy to report that my net worth increased by 7.67% from the second quarter and by 19.78% from the start of 2021. My investments are either automated (i.e. coop investments are deducted from my paycheck) or I've trained myself to make monthly top-ups (i.e. peso cost averaging with my equities investments). In short, they're blah and boring. Exactly how I like them.

In preparation for the new car we'll be buying in a few months and the car payments I'll be shouldering for 24 months after that, I've reviewed our monthly spending in order to determine how to best go about with the upcoming additional expenses. 

The easiest way to free up cash is by deleting the Lazada and Shoppee apps on my phone because my impulse purchases usually result to a few thousand pesos every month.* The next step is to allocate majority of future bonuses towards car payments. We plan on selling our current car once we get a new one, so the bulk of its selling price will go towards car payments too. The goal is to have at least 3 months worth of car payments as a buffer in my checking account or ADA account.

I also want to fully pay-off one mortgage by 2022, since it currently stands at only Php297,000.00. But with car payments as the priority, I don't think I'll be able to wipe it off next next. However, I'll still give it my best shot. Aja!

With car payments and a fully paid off mortgage at the top of my To Do List for 2022, I have no business snooping around for new investments but investing in the US market has been on my mind for the longest time so I can't help but research on it too.

As a Filipino citizen in the Philippines, my options for investing in the US equities market seem to be limited to (1) convenient but expensive and (2) upstarts who are still building their goodwill. For the "convenient but expensive", local banks offer feeder funds with the S&P 500 as the underlying asset (BPI, BDO and Security Bank). It's ridiculously easy to open an account and then top up your account with these local feeder funds, but the large management fees of 0.75% to 1% make me think twice and even thrice about jumping in.

On the other hand, the "upstarts" I'm referring to are online brokers like GoTrade and eToro who allow Filipinos in the Philippines to buy and sell US stocks, ETFs and index funds. 

I've begun researching on them but most of the reviews I've read are clearly sponsored posts (I'm looking at you GoTrade!) so that's not very encouraging. Anyway, I have more than a year to mull over where to invest and I should be able to decide in due time which is the best method for me.

There's a third option of opening a brokerage account with established US brokerages but investments have to be made in US dollars and I don't want to go through the hassle of buying dollars and then wiring them. I know myself and having those barriers to investing will just make me lazy. If you're also interested in this, I highly suggest this comparison post from on the different ways us locals can invest in the US market.

Lastly, I'm preparing for 2022 by exercising my right to vote the best people I know into office. Sana kayo rin.

* Reinstalling the shopping apps every time I need to buy something will create a barrier and will make me rethink if I really want/need that new and shiny thing.


edelweiza said…
Tried eToro last year just for the sake of trying. Minimum amount lang ininvest ko, nagcopy trade ako sa isang copy trader at nagstick na ako sa kanya hanggang ngayon. So far, may gain naman. Nagtry din ako dati magshort sell ng oil dun, pero di pinalad, natalo yung sign-up bonus ko na $50. Sabi ko saka na lang ulit. Haha. :)
Jillsabs said…
Hi Edel! Naku, I'm not even going to venture into short selling, it seems complicated and goes against my lazy girl investment strategy.

I opened an account with GoTrade na and bought VTI, which tracks the US total stock market index. The plan is to observe for now and then do dollar cost averaging kapag nakaluwag na sa budget.
Great to know my kababayans in PI have access to US investments. I used to own iShares Philippines (EPHE), but sold out after I lost my patience. Regards.

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