Friday, February 20, 2015

Selling Stocks Like Crazy

I've mentioned in this post that my Mom was asking for her investment, and that she wants 10k from it. Around that time, I wasn't really paying attention to the stock market world- as in wala talaga! I don't know if I call myself lucky or what, but when my mother asked for her 10k, that was the time that the market has been going up and up (bullish, they call it.) That's when I got crazy and started to closely monitor the market.

I also mentioned in my last post that I'm in the process of extending my little abode. I already have a budget for it, but since the market has been doing really well, I decided to not touch my "house extension budget" but to take my stock market gains (not all) and make that gain as the "house extension budget" instead.

That's what I did. I have been constantly monitoring the stocks, selling and taking my gains. I withdraw my gains from COL (took 3 days for the money to be credited to my bank account) and now I have a house extension budget!

Budget: Php 350k

I am getting giddy now thinking of it! Naka pa extend ng bahay dahil sa gains ng stock market? Ang saya!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Had to Fire the "Engineer"

I am in the process of extending my little abode. My plan is to build a small store in front of the house, build a garage where I'll expand my little peso net business, build a room on top of the garage, renovate the kitchen and the bathroom. These and all are what keeps me busy these days.

I hired an "engineer" who lives just inside the subdivision. I thought he was really that good coz he said that he used to work in Guam for 25 years blah blah blah. Me being naive and all, I believed him. I guess I could relate because he used to be an OFW just like me, who took the risk and went home just like me. I think I got my first taste of a Filipino scammer.

I believed him coz he is currently working with an Australian inside the subdivision, he said he did the gate and all. I saw it was good, so I said yes.

His original asking price: Php 650,000 with materials; Php 170k labor without materials. I went with the labor because I really wanted to choose the materials and all. I went with 170k because my house really needs renovation, I wanted to change the stairs from wood to concrete, build a laundry room, install a water tank to name a few.

He asked for a deposit of Php 15,000. I asked my friend if that's the standard practice of an engineer here, if they usually ask for deposits. He said yes, and I gave it to him, let him signed and all that.

The other day, they started digging for the posts. That day, I don't know what got into me but I went to one of the officers of the subdivision and asked her about the measurement of my property. We started talking. She asked me who my contractor is. When I mentioned the engineer's name, she told me horror stories upon horror stories about him. I don't know if I'll call myself lucky or what, but I am darn thankful I heard those stories on the first day of his work with me.

One of the things the lady told me was that he doesn't pay his workers well. So I asked his workers if it's true. They were hesitant to tell me at first until I told them that they got to tell me the truth so I can make things right and/or do something about it. They told me the real story. I was shocked. How can someone take advantage of people who really work hard while him, he just stand there and nag at them all day... on why they work so slow and all. He isn't really a civil engineer, I feel like. He is so dependent with his construction foreman and I feel like he doesn't know a thing about construction. I also learned from that lady that he did the gate, but they had to hire someone else coz he didn't do it right, that the gate was sagging after 2 weeks, plus he was asking for money all the time.

After I learned that his workers weren't treated well by him, plus all the horrors stories I heard, I decided to fire him.

The next day, I stand my ground and told him that I cannot continue working with him. He looked so guilty and told me not to listen to rumors, that rumors are just rumors. I don't know why he get so defensive about it. (He learned through my Mom that I was talking to an officer of our subdivision. My Mom told me that after she told him, he seem panicky. My Mom never knew the rumors about him. When I arrived after I talked to that lady, she told me that the "engineer" seems worried when he learned that I was with that certain lady.)

If he is really a professional, he would have continue to come here and check his workers' work because he already took 15,000 from me, but he never did. He only came back to ask for another deal from me. I declined, of course.

Now, if his workers are really good with their work, I might hire them but not through him. The foreman, I heard, is not really educated that's why he has been taken advantage by that "engineer."

I don't know why but I feel like I got to be fair with the foreman and protect him and his workers. I know what it feels like to be in that level. I started in that level after all, though not with construction, you know what I mean.

The next day, the foreman talked to me in private. Thanking me profusely for giving voice to their concerns about the engineer.

I also overheard from the mouth of that "engineer" that he needs to collect Php 150 per worker for the ID ( subdivision's rule.) I was angry because it's only Php 50 per person, and him being the contractor should shoulder that ID thing not them! It's just common sense! I was really pissed, talagang kahit ang liit ng sweldo nila, tini-take advantage pa niya. UGH!

This, my friends, is my first taste of a Filipino scammer. A lesson learned indeed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Meet My Son, Ganni

One of my "Random Thoughts" posts became a reality. I finally have a dog! I named him Gannicus, named after my favorite gladiator, but I call him Ganni. I am so, so in love with him. I look forward to going home because of him. He snuggles with me at night. Such a sweetie.

He is part labrador, part husky. Can't wait to take him running, will wait till he grows bigger, though

Look at the picture, he is even with me while I deal with stocks. haha! Isn't it a cutie?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Mom's Investment: Php 50k to Php 116k in 2.6 Years

Almost 3 years ago, my Mama received a windfall. I kept bugging her to give me a part of the windfall so I could invest it for her. She wasn't convinced on that whole stock market thing back then. She said she'll invest part her money through her sister who works with Richard Cannon, an American 'investor.' She told me about the interest of the investment and all. It was clear as a day that it was a scam. Long story short, I convinced her to give me 50k, she invested 30k to Richard Cannon together with all her siblings' money, and the rest was spent fixing our leaking roof. Turns out it was a scam, almost told her "I told you so" but I am happy I get to invest part of her windfall, that it didn't disappear just like that.

I know, given her age it wasn't right to put all her money in the stock market. I was still supporting her with my monthly remittance and all, so I thought it would be okay.

Yesterday, she told me that she wants to get Php 10,000 from her investment so I calculated it. She was shocked, I was shocked too, calculated it several times even. I wish I could have captured her reaction after I told her how much her certain investment is now worth. Yah, for some, it's not much but for her, it is a lot.

Details of the Buying Transaction:

Stock:  Jollibee Food Corp (JFC)
Date: August 30,2012
Price at that time: Php 98.25
Total shares bought: 500 shares
Total amount paid: Php 49,125

Yesterday, I checked how much JFC is currently worth and it is Php232 per share, so:

500 shares X 232 =  Php 116,000

Man, she was happy! Thanks JFC! Well, that's why I invested her money on JFC coz she loves her Mang Inasal, which is owned by JFC. Unlimited rice kasi doon! haha.


Is there something wrong with my calculation?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

To all Bank Tellers Who Think They Own the Place

When I left Philippines, I don't have much of a financial footprint. My very first bank account was with a rural bank in our province, that's about it. When I became a financial nerd, you all know the story, I have been going in and out of the bank, been exposed to different bank strategies and all. Now that I'm back in the Philippines, been visiting banks several times for the past weeks to open dollar account and deposit dollars to that said account, I noticed how Philippine banks work. There few things that irks me and me being idealistic, it gives me that "ugh, they should never do that" with matching roll eyes.

  • Palakasan lang yan: When I open my dollar account, after I filled up those tons of application form, I proceeded to the deposit counter to deposit the account. I told the woman who entertained me, "What's with the line?" She said to go directly to the deposit counter and that I need not to worry about it coz priority daw ako (she knows that I am about to deposit 10,000 dollars cash.) I did what she said and felt bad after, I mean there are people who went early just to be able to get things done and here I am, getting prioritized just because I am depositing a huge amount of money. After I knew about their "number strategy" ( you get a number from the guard and then wait for that number to flash on that screen) I vowed that I wouldn't be like that ever again, that I'd be in line just like the rest no matter what.

  • Snobby bank teller: I went to that said bank 3 times to deposit dollars, I never encountered problems with serial numbers up until recently. The bank was about to close when it was my turn, the woman behind the counter wants me to write the serial numbers, I told her I never did that in my other 2 deposits and she gave me that "you are inferior and you don't know the rules" look, which I'll never forget, and said "Next time Maam, before you approach the counter make sure you write the serial number." I just stand their silently, shook my head in disbelief. I mean, really? The costumer should write the serial number? What if I am a fraudster who happen to just write any serial number I can think of? I said talaga after I sat back on my chair, with the intent that she'll hear it, "It's not my freakin' job to write the serial numbers." I was thinking that maybe, she really wants to go home that's why she treated me like crap. Oh well.

Only in the Philippines where bank tellers think they know everything.
Just a friendly reminder to all the bank tellers out there, bank costumers and depositors keep your bank running so don't treat us crap, your salary came from us bank costumers though not directly. You have a job because of us and if you don't like your job and you treat us depositors shit, go ahead and quit. Your bank system isn't really the best out there, you know?

I wonder, if we have loads of money in the bank, would they treat us differently?

Only in the Philippines indeed.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mending Broken Relationship


Waiting for Sunrise in Pagadian City

If you have been following my posts for a while now, you would have known that we have fights/misunderstandings among relatives all because of money. One of my goals for this year is to "Mend Broken Relationships" and I think I am slowly getting there. I thank the Big Governor up there for giving me the courage and the humility to face my relatives despite the awkwardness. 

Money is not everything, I came to realize. We will eventually die and everybody will eventually forget us, but life here on earth is too damn short to waste on stupid fights, especially if it is materialistic in nature, such as money fights. Yep, money is important part of life but I am in the point of my life that I value relationships more than money.

Thank God for giving me the opportunity to mend broken relationship coz  a lot of people don't have the chance to do just that. The feeling is damn good, I'm telling you.