Financial literacy is the most uninteresting topic as some of you may find but we got schooled by Home Credit and their advocacy.
Franchet Cardona of Home Credit says “We operate to 10 markets globally, we are the leader in in-store loans in the Philippines and served 5 Million Filipinos. Our advocacy is financial literacy and since we launched Juan Two Three, we tried to help people about understanding how to save and invest. A lot of people don’t know that and this is why more Filipinos don’t have access to banking, 77% and with us, 65% are all first time borrowers. In our program we go to communities and barangays to have interaction with people, do interactive games to teach our customers how to understand the value of money. Today we have reached thousands of households, how to save and take care of their hard earned money. We have also been recognized by Stevie Awards, and it is important we work with different agencies. At Home Credit, we teach the basics and do hands on stuff in communities. It includes farmers, soldiers, ordinary pinoys and go beyond videos and presentations. It is super important to reach our stakeholders, even in our own offices. We need to have inclusivity and help Filipinos prepare for their future. I hope you get a lot from this session.”
Fitz Villafuerte of Ready To Be Rich says “Thanks for inviting me. One of my advocacies is financial literacy and I am a registered financial planner. It’s a new profession but we are different from financial advisors. I am also an author, entrepreneur and blogger. We are talking about principles of investment matching. What is the best investment? I have always encountered that question on all my channels. Remember, personal finance is personal, which means it is your decision. For me you have to know the situation of the person before you can plan about it. We can’t argue about what you want. A lot of people base their decision with what other people expect of them. If you choose investments, it’s not just the profit or potential returns that you go for, you have to know who’s handling it. The usual pyramid scams from never heard companies always get people in with attractive returns. Knowing and comparing hundreds of investments is difficult, but it all boils down to what you need and want. Find the investment that you can do to achieve them. Do you need something for emergencies? Do you need it for retirement? Do a specific investment to do a specific goal. The best investments are not those that earn the most, but those that help achieve your financial goals. It’s where you have to classify different kinds of investments. For Liquidity, Growth and Income, you have to choose if you want Easy access to money, money reserved for the future, or increase your present cashflow. For terms, do you need it for short term, medium term (bonds), Long Term (Equity), you also have to know the risks (Low, Medium, High). Some people don’t realize risks and the need to wait several years for your money to grow. If you open investment accounts in banks, this is why you are asked so they could asses your goals. You set your objective, a target date and specify the value. This includes how many years away you would need to achieve it. Stock market and Equity funds are for long term. You don’t invest just because you want a large sum of money, you have to choose and have smart financial goals. You have your own, so make sure you plan wisely. Your cash flow should be bigger as the years go by. Look at your goals and set your priority. Invest according to it. There is no right or wrong decision, but every time you decide you are foregoing a lot of things versus your own goals. When you are more aware, you can handle it easily. If you want to know more, you can go to fitzvillafuerte.com.”
Atty Aileen Bautista of the CIC talked about Credit Information and says “What is your credit score? The CIC is a government owned and controlled corporation made by the law since 2008. The good news about this is that CIC has credit reports available since 2015 and is available. The CIC does structured data, the credit report and credit score is different. Credit registry and credit bureau is also different. The government owns 60% while private sector owns 40% of the stake. In the PH we are fond of informal lenders like 5’6, where a lot of problems occur for developing countries. Now as lenders, it is required by law to have them furnish credit information. The goal is to have lowest interest rates and less to no collateral. Understanding financial literacy is a bit negative, this infrastructure makes is all responsible borrowers. The law describes them as a submitting entity. It includes GOCC’s , banks, credit card companies, investment companies, insurance companies, cooperatives and trust entities. They track the previous payment behavior, those who submit data are listed in our website creditinfo.gov.ph. It is comprehensive, trustworthy, and have special entities who does credit scores. The rights of borrowers include access to credit information, sometimes for a fee, there are also rights to dispute incomplete or misleading credit information. KYC’s are done in office still. You can request and we can send it to your email. Lenders can make disputes if needed. We made disputes available online. We are hoping in the next few years there would be competition among lenders and adjust interests to low ones because there are a lot of good borrowers. Financial experts say that in order for an economy to grow you need credit data and information. Who can access data? Only for those submitting data, special accessing entities and data subjects (borrowers). Retention period for negative information on database is 3 years. This does not apply to the Philippine Data Privacy Act. Factors are history of payment, is it on time, or have you defaulted? The credit report also is part of it. We highly encourage you to check our website mentioned earlier.”
It was a lot to swallow but we all got to understand the few things which makes lending money and investments a huge matter which we all should be educated about. We all have obligations, pretty soon all these credit scores will matter (it actually does). So make sure if you are borrowing money, pay on time!