Category Archives: Conventional Wisdom

How can we avoid irrational behavior towards finances?

Hacking your brain to make the best financial decision is not easy as it sounds. Every day we make thousands of decisions from what to buy, eat, dress or watch. Using behavioral economics to shape financial planning in the country is necessary in avoiding biases and intuition that lead to irrational decisions.  Here are the following recommendations in identifying and avoiding such costly mistakes.

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Mindfulness – Knowing yourself is the best way to start and observing how you make decisions will bring you to a higher level. If you are considering investing a large sum of money, or you would like to buy or sell your current stocks, it is highly recommended for you to step back, list the cost and benefit of having that decision. Evaluate and see for yourself the good and bad side of jumping into that decision in the long run.

 

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Be a visionary – Most people are currently suffering from myopia (near sightedness) but by thinking and seeing your life 10, 20, and 30 years from now, will give you an advantage. Seeing the lifestyle that you want and able to afford with a disciplined financial plan will help you to avoid expensive mistake and able to manage the risk involve. Compare that with the potential savings over time in your financial plan to help you stay aligned with it. The importance of it was also mentioned by Helen Keller when she told us “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision”.

 

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Discipline – Willingness to continue over time will put you to momentum. When you create and maintain an overall financial plan and stick to it no matter what happen, the result is a stronger muscle of willingness that’s helpful when a tougher situation arises such as resisting the temptation of buying that expensive bag that you love or to bail out during unpredictable times, knowing that a buy-and-hold strategy performs better over the long term than trying to time the market. At the same time, discipline also can mean knowing when to sell. Gains and losses may happen over time.

 

 

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Schedule it first –Doing nothing at all is often the easiest choice so having automatic savings and investing plan each month for important long term goals will save you so you can retire with dignity. For many, Myopians (near sighted people) they spend their money in different ways as fast as they can on short-term wants with nothing left or worse buried in debt.  Even investors who want to save for retirement or know they should rebalance their portfolios often fail to take action because they never put their plan in a calendar.

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Put it in writing – When emotion is up the logic goes down that’s the strategy of some investors work with advisors to set up a written investment strategy that includes scenarios and how they would act under those circumstances. This allows for flexibility within the parameters of a financial plan and helps avoid making decisions based on emotion. For example, the plan is like a playbook, it consist detail action to be taken if the market increased by 50% or went down by 25%. These game plans are not binding agreements but can provide meaningful ways if an investor begins to have uncertainty with his or her long-term strategy.

 

 

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Get an accountability partner – According to Charles Duhigg “human beings behave well if someone sees what they do, while we behave our worse when no one else seems around”. Our human tendencies tend to go back to our old habit of comfort zone. Doing mental accounting like disregarding savings for an out of country trip while having so much debt with credit card and high interest loans proves to be insane. Find a coach, a buddy or even a community that will help you watch out for your irrationality.

 

 

Your finances will be in a bad situationif you don't stop chilling with the wrong people (17)

 

David Isaiah Angway is a RFP and a financial consultant for IT-BPO-Banking, HealthCare Industry and Manpower Agencies. He is a conference speaker and was featured in ANC On the money, Bloomberg TV Philippines. He is also columnist at BusinessMirror, Rappler, and MoneySense magazine. He is a licensed nurse and a former Senior Fraud Specialist of the largest bank in the world, JP Morgan Chase & Co.

He is the CEO and founder of WinLongTerm Financial Consultancy, helping young urban and educated millennial (Gen Y). It sets and achieves their long-term financial goals by empowering them through behavioral finance.

For more information and concerns subscribe to winlongterm.com Facebook page or contact me at david@winlongterm.com, here’s also my mobile number 0925-787-7796

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Financial Planning for awesome single moms


 

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I just want to honor all single moms out there who never grew tired of taking care of their kids while managing their finances. I hope this will give you clarity. Not all single moms are in a similar situation but these are my recommended items in your personal finance kit.  This is a multidisciplinary approach that includes spiritual, mental, emotional and social aspects as we explore the world of financial planning. It will take a lot of your time to master everything but the process is worth it.
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Get closer to God You may either have sufficient funds or not but without peace inside you won’t last this journey. Tough battles are ahead of you but being with God will keep your sanity within. Many single moms are distress with too much stuff in their minds. Without faith to the One who holds the future you may end up in chronic depression that may lead into suicidal thoughts. According to circleofmoms.comthe most common problems of single moms are no sounding boards when making decisions, taking care of the kids without someone to consult with during the middle of the night. You are not on your own. God cares for you His daughters no matter what happens specially with your life .

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Decide what you really want in life  Remember that you are still alive and not dead, dream more for yourself. Your self- concept should not focus on your past rather focus on what you can achieve. You need to get back up because you were born to be a champion.  You might be in a tight budget right now but again once you try to focus how to look for the opportunity things will turn out differently, finances will surely be positive. Lack of money doesn’t mean scarcity of favorable circumstances. nothing beats you when you Decide NOT to  glorify the past.
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Talk to a legal expert  In the family code of the Philippines it says that whether you got a legitimate or an illegitimate child, the father should be responsible in supporting your kids financially. This is not voluntary but a responsibility of the father. Never be afraid to ask for financial support because your child deserves it. Dismiss the issue with the father and claim the rights of your beloved child. Withholding the father from supporting won’t make the situation better. Single moms are  often smart, hardworking and a champ! Do not let those guys who messed up with you,continue living the way they want to. Let them be involved. Talk to the public attorney’s office Philippines. They can help you answers with your questions.
Support is defined under the Family Code of the Philippines (1988) as follows:
Art. 194. Support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.
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Master the art of budgeting Doing this means understanding more about your priorities in life. As a single mom you will always juggle a lot of things. You will always be in lack when you don’t organize your money. The best friend of chaotic life is  a troubled plan.  I suggest you to have fun with a personalize excel file or an app that will remind you the allocation that you got for this week. You can experiment and analyze your behavior towards it. It’s like looking in a mirror.  As a Financial Planner I used an excel file to keep me on track. I visit it everyday for 2-3 mins and this keeps on reminding me about how I manage my funds well. Again it is a matter of preference, whatever fits you and make you progress, go for it.
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Create an emergency fund  There will be an earthquake that may shake  your life  but most of the time you don’t know when this will happen. That’s the principle behind the emergency fund. This will prevent  you to be in debt and beg from other people when you encounter this kind of emergency. Preparation is the key. If you are currently saving some funds make sure to name that account. Study the behavior of   billionaires, entrepreneurs because they know the value of this. When you get your paycheck, transfer automatically at least 5-10% of it. Build it on time and you will have an umbrella when it pour it all out.
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Get an insurance  When you die accidentally without any safety net your immediate family especially the young ones will suffer. Think about your kids future. If you will use the cost benefit analysis, You will only pay for a certain amount so that you can be covered with a bigger amount that can help your love ones survive. Nothing can replace you, especially the joy that you bring while you are still alive but you will take that away when you suddenly demise. Insurance will give them a way to start a new life knowing that you cared for them. This will help them back  up. For more info about the legitimate insurance companies check the insurance commission.
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Long term financial goals   In order for you to win long term you need to act and think long term.  Your kids are looking up to you, they are inspired to see you waking up every single morning working hard. Look at yourself 10-20 years from now. What are the aspirations that you want to attain. Heller Keller said “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision” Don’t look too much with the  side mirror. Look at the windshield. Your life is much more bigger.
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Credit card debt  Never ever use your credit card as your emergency fund.  If you are already in debt don’t lose hope. There are a lot of ways how to take care of those things. Talk to someone who is financially inclined. Don’t talk to your family members or friends who are also broke. They will not give you the best advice to win.  Just find a winner who have gone the same issue and found a way. Keep asking. Look for forums. Use the internet and the mighty power of google. There a re a lot books who talks about debt.  U2 said  a famous line Sometimes you can’t make it on your own.
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Invest in the education of your kids  After you carefully manage to put up emergency funds, eradicate debt and built your savings. Yes, you can still invest long term. Beware of scams  and always check the legitimacy of the company.  As early as your child was born whenever you have extra resources put it  to a mutual fund specifically to an  equity fund. Historically our funds in the Philippines are doing great. Even at the peak of financial crisis we were able to recover.   
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Find support from a community. Life will knock you down but remember that you have your own tribe.  You are designed to be with a community who will support, love, hug , cry out with you when you are on your lowest point. When you are highly emotional you will commit  more mistakes including on handling on your finances.  When you are confuse with your situation there are mentors, friends, encouragers, winners  who can help you. This will prevent you from losing more money and manage the funds while you are enjoying the journey of single motherhood.  After all the struggles  with your finances  there’s a light at the end of the tunnel..
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Be an entrepreneur or ready to change your career  Nothing is certain specially in your career. You try to embrace the fact that you have a higher calling. Being a single mom should not confine you within the box of your current situation. You got dreams that you want to achieve like baking, making lovely dresses, selling your coaching services. Whatever makes you productive please pursuit it.
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Self evaluation  You got the most awesome job in the world and like any other job there’s always this performance evaluation.  Rest days should be for self reflection. This is mandatory and not optional. Evaluating yourself will give you opportunity to drive your finances to the next level and prevent common mistakes.
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Create a will or trust   This is related to estate planning. Never underestimate this tools. It is really important for you to have a knowledge with this to make things easier for you once uncertainty take place.  According to Elder Law Answers,  A will is a document that directs who will receive your property at your death and it appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes. A will covers any property that is only in your name when you die and it allows you to name a guardian for children and to specify funeral arrangements.  
A trust can be used to begin distributing property before death, at death or afterwards. It is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another person, called a “beneficiary.” A trust usually has two types of beneficiaries — one set that receives income from the trust during their lives and another set that receives whatever is left over after the first set of beneficiaries dies. a trust can be used to plan for disability or to provide savings on taxes.
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Teach your kids about money   Kids look up to you everyday. Being a role model will create an impact to them. Once you neglect to explain to your child the way you spend they will immediately assume something. When gray area struck confusion sets in. Remind them about your inner values and priorities in life so they can put the money in a proper place..
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Romans 5:3-5 ESV

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us

 

David Isaiah Angway is a Financial Evangelist

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