10 Major Financial Advantages That Filipinos Take For Granted

In the news and social media it’s very easy to find issues about what’s wrong with the Philippines and being a Filipino. If you read them all, you can’t help but think ‘kawawa naman ang mga Pilipino’, or ‘mahirap talaga ang buhay sa Pilipinas’. Honestly, I’m tired of these articles, because aside from it being depressing, it gives the readers a ‘false comfort’  that it’s okay to have a tough life, just ‘because you’re in the Philippines’.

The Philippines is a RICH country with a lot of financial advantages, and that what this article is all about. I believe it’s great to be a Filipino and it’s great to live here in the Philippines. So here are the 10 MAJOR Financial Advantages of Being a Filipino and Living in the Philippines! (There are definitely more advantages, but we’ll go with the 10 for now…)

1. You graduate without (or very little) debt. 

In the western countries, an average student would need to borrow money just to go to college. It is assumed that they will be the ones paying for it (and not their parents). So when they graduate, it is typical to have about $29,000+ in student loans. Imagine having a P1.25 Million debt to welcome you to the real world!

 

The fact that you’re able to graduate without any form of debt is already a HUGE advantage. You can already start saving, then investing without worrying about loans!

2. You don’t need to move out.

In the Philippines, it is widely accepted to stay in your parents’ house until… (well you can ALWAYS STAY at your parents house). Even if you are already married, and even if you already have kids – society would accept that and there’s no cultural pressure to move out. Your parents might even appreciate it because they have someone to take care of them in old age.

 

Then while your independence would certainly be limited, think about all of the expenses that you’re able to avoid because of this. You only need to partially pay for rent, electricity, and water. Easily, this advantage lets you avoid a financial burden of P10,000-15,000 of monthly expenses! This amount can go to your bigger dreams in life like travelling or starting a business. Or if your dream is to have your own place, then you can use this advantage to save up for the down payment rather than paying it on rent. (Note: This advantage of course doesn’t give you any reason to be irresponsible for your own life!)

3. House help is overly affordable.

 

You can hire a full-time kasambahay for only P4,000 to P7,000 per month. (Depending on how generous you are). Imagine the number of hours you are actually saving because you don’t have to do your own laundry, cook your meals, clean the house, empty the garbage, and the other household tasks?

Easily, that’s 10 to 20 hours per week saved. And this amount of time can be dedicated already to business and productive activities like setting up a second source of income, or learning how to invest!

4. You are proficient in English and the Internet.

 

This is an advantage that is truly underutilized. The internet is known to be the great equalizer because it grants access to all kinds of information. If you don’t know how to do something, just Google it and you’ll have a WikiHow article explain it, and a Youtube video demonstrating it. And most likely, all these online educational materials would be in English.

English + Internet = Unlimited Education

5. There are fewer credit card temptations.

 

Apparently, in the US each store would offer you a 5-10% discount to their products if you used their special credit cards. This means it is normal to have 5-10 credit cards! You have card per store you regularly shop in. That’s why most Americans don’t even keep track of their debts and only pay the minimum. (And to worsen it, they think this is NORMAL!) In the Philippines, at least people are afraid of debt, and that’s good for building a financial foundation!

6. There are no (or very little) debt traps!

The US financial system is extremely punishing, because the moment you miss a payment, your interest rates increase which would then make you miss more payments. It’s a merciless and endless cycle. Hirap ka na, pahihirapan ka pa. 

 

Thankfully since we are here in the Philippines, we don’t have that financial brutality yet..The major thing you just have to deal with here are the collection agencies PRETENDING to send you to the police, or ILLEGALLY harassing you at work and at home… (If this is being done to you now, learn how to fight back here).

7. It’s easier to borrow money!

Our banks may be strict when it comes to loans, but our friends and family are not. As a people, Filipinos are very welcoming and non-confrontational – so if you ask for financial help from the people around you, there’s a good chance they will willingly help.

 

But don’t abuse this because it can destroy relationships! Use it only when you really need the help. This is just an added layer of financial security on top of what you should already have like a personal emergency fund and insurance.

8. You get better investment returns
from Mutual Funds and UITFs!

In countries with big stock markets there are a several hundreds of mutual funds available. And aside from it being confusing, a majority of these mutual funds actually perform worse than the “Index”. (The index is the “average “of a specific set of companies in the stock market).  With this, western financial planners have already advised that it is much better and safer to just invest in index funds rather than mutual funds.

(Note: Theoretically, mutual funds should outperform the index because they are actively managed by a fund manager. While the index fund is sort of the ‘do-nothing, let it grow approach’. So why get a fund manager if it will only make the performance worse?)

Thankfully, this doesn’t apply in the Philippines. We have mutual funds actually able to outperform the index.

 

In the Philippines, we have fewer mutual funds, but most of them are actually outperforming the index funds. Which means more money for us when it comes to investing!

9. The Stock Market is About to BOOM!

 

This is actually an advantage that has expired last 2015, but is expected to restart come 2018.  The stock market trends comes in ups and downs. Currently (in 2017), the market is going sideways. This gives investors a good time to accumulate stocks at lower prices before the BOOM.

*This post was originally published in 2014. If you’re reading this in 2018 or later, it’s possible that our stock market will be on another major ‘uptrend’. Where traders can expect to triple their money, while investors can expect high double digit returns within just a few years.

If you’d like to learn how to invest, so you can ‘position yourself for the uptrend’, then click here to get our training on how to invest in the stock market.

10. It’s easier to start up a business!

 

Someone once told me that the Philippines is the wild-wild-west of entrepreneurship. What he meant was that you can start the business on any territory, then if it succeeds, register it. If it fails, then drop it. He said that at the start of a (small and micro) business, you should worry about generating sales, and not the regulations surrounding it. If it flourishes, then that’s the time you get the business permits and necessary papers.

The BIR of course wouldn’t agree to this, but on the side of practicality, this is something to consider for micro-entrepreneurs.

If you’d like to learn how to start a business, check-out our partner website: Business Start-up Blueprint

But the Most Important Part of the Article Is…

If you’re wondering, why these financial advantages aren’t felt by more Filipinos… then that’s the perfect reaction!

The answer is because they (or you) aren’t actively positioned to advantage of them! If you’re not investing, then how can you take advantage of the upcoming uptrend in the stock market? If just spend all of your salary, then you just wasted your no-debt advantage. If you’re just using the internet for games and social media, then you wasted the internet and your English proficiency!

Now that you know of these advantages, take advantage of it as much as you can! It’s great to be a Filipino and live in the Philippines! You just need to know where to look.

 

 

Can you think of other financial advantages of being Pinoy or Living in the Philippines? Post them in the comments below!

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