Philam Life sees rosy outlook for investors in RP
Speakers at a recent Wealth Management Forum hosted by Philam Life pointed at key indicators that show the Philippines is in the midst of a bull run that is likely to extend for the coming years.
Addressing a crowd of about 500 during the year’s first Philam Life client forum, they urged audience members to take advantage of growth opportunities and start investing as a means to improve financial health in light of the economic climate. Philam Life has scheduled a number of nationwide wealth management forums throughout the year, with the most recent one held in Davao.The talks are part the company’s thrust to improve financial literacy in the country. This recent one was the culminating activity for the company’s Chinese New Year celebration.
“While there is really no wrong time to invest, all economic indices are telling us that now is the best time to invest,” said Philam Life VisMin director of agencies Rolan Enriquez. “Investors have been sitting on the sidelines for a while, just waiting for signs for when to jump back in. I’m here to tell them that the indicators are all there and the time is definitely now.”
Enriquez said that the country has luck on its side with its strong macro-economic fundamentals. A strategic location, stable dollar inflows due to OFW remittances, strong revenues from tourism and BPO industries, and low dependence of petroleum products connived to bring a stock market performance that has been nothing short of encouraging. With sustained efforts for jobs creation, improved access to education and health services, and programs to reduce mass poverty, inclusive growth should be unabated.
In February last year, the World Bank indeed recognized the Philippines as an emerging Tiger Economy following the government’s economic initiatives and political reforms. Efforts have led to achieving the goal of Investment Grade Rating from Fitch Rating, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s –all recognized global leaders in providing credit ratings, debt instruments and securities research and analytics – in March, May, and October, respectively. Notching a 7.2 percent GDP growth in fiscal year 2013, the country was the best performing economy in South East Asia, second only to China, the world’s fastest growing economy.
The financial phases of life
One of the most sought-after wealth management speakers in the country, Philam Life president and CEO Rex M. Mendoza then shifted and dovetailed the economic portrait into investment execution. He identified three life phases –man at work, man and his money at work, and finally a man’s money at work–as the main episodes of a person’s financial journey.
“All of us start working for the money. At the second stage in our lives, we should be setting aside financial assets that can earn money for us,” said Mendoza. “The key is to plan your financial track so you can be capable (of retiring) at that age when you want to retire.”
Strength despite the challenges
Coming out of the global recession, the Philippines is well on its way towards prospects of high growth. Mendoza insisted that the investment outlook remains strong, in spite of the U.S. experiencing a stout beginning in 2013 but weakly tapered off towards the end, and a Black Swan phenomenon – events that are extremely rare and unexpected but have very significant consequences; as was the case in Typhoon Yolanda for the Philippines.
New and existing investors will be wise to continue investing and taking advantage of the opportunities through investment products that are positioned to capture the surge. Mendoza identified the Philippines’ 2014 GDP growth as being driven by increased consumption, post-typhoon Yolanda reconstruction, evident sustained private construction and investment, and furious ramp-ups in public infrastructure spending.
“Five years after the global financial crisis, the world economy is showing signs of bouncing back, pulled along by a recovery in high-income economies. And our country is in a ‘demographic sweet spot’ due to a prominent proportion of its population being of working age,” he points out.
According to the United Nations, the current median age in the country is 22.2 years. Mendoza cited that in spite of a projected burgeoning population of 62 million, a positive forecast by HSBC economist Karen Ward will be far from the imagined dystopian scenario. Ward sees that the earning potential of the populace will only serve to add to the nation’s income per capita, increase GDP by a factor of 15, and place the country among the top 16 economies in the world, advancing more than 10 spots by 2050.
Investment products for growth
Mendoza found it curious that children are taught algebra, trigonometry and calculus in schools but agonized that they are never taught how to handle money. Wealth management talks are now being conducted by Philam Life to bridge this deficit. While earning money is the cursory answer to why people invest, beating inflation and achieving financial goals are the definitive reasons for sound financial planning.
Mendoza said that clients have expressed growing interest in Philam Life’s many products. Getting a lot of attention is a life insurance policy that also doubles as an investment portfolio, as the client’s insurance premiums are also deposited in high yield stocks.
“It is about people’s dreams and their realizations within a certain lifetime,” said Mendoza. “You fulfill the dreams of your life at the right time. Luxuries very early in life will give you sacrifices in the end. Sacrifices early will give you luxuries in the end.”
“In the Year of the Horse, our company’s aim is to continue empowering Filipinos to take the reins of financial security and prosperity,” closed Mendoza. “And now is the best time to do it.”
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