There are only two reasons. First is because I wanted to have the freedom to do what I want with my own time. After ten years of working the corporate life, I really don’t see myself cooped up in an office for the next thirty years. I guess everybody who’s worked has felt that way. So how I did know I could be one? It was when my sister asked me to check her life insurance proposal mid last year. I evaluated the projected returns using the annuity formula, which allows you to compute the future value of annual payments made of a period of time given an interest rate (a good and common example would be loan payments or even those painful tax deductions). Ever since I’ve learned that formula, I have used it to calculate the future value of my investments in mutual funds and stocks, which I put money into every month. That’s also probably why I’m frugal, because I’m very much aware of the opportunity cost when I buy things that lose their value over time.
Second reason, I didn’t know it at first and it’s the people who I’ve talked to that have pointed this out but I’m really quite passionate about personal finance. I’d rather talk about how my stocks are doing than gossip about local celebrities. I’d rather read books and listen to people who talk about business and how to make more money than talk about the latest fashion trends. I guess I’m geeky that way. That has inevitably translated to how I spend and look at money. I’ve always been the practical one. My phone is pretty basic (never owned an Apple and the only Samsung I had was the one handed down to me by my brother) but I do splurge on footwear since comfort is a priority to me. I have clothes which have been with me since high school and college (either because of sentimental reasons, they just fit me, or are just too comfy to let go). As for my bonuses, I just spend 10-20% on my wants while the rest would go to my financial freedom account (insurance, mutual funds and stocks). I know that will all change when I have a baby of my own, and that’s exactly the reason why I’m maximizing my savings now.
Five months into it and all I can say is, it’s damn hard because it doesn’t mesh with another side of me: my shy side (haha!). I don’t like approaching people and selling to them. What I do like about it is that I get a chance to share my thoughts on savings, investments, stock markets, etc. What I do like about it are the number of trainings I’m able to attend about the stock market and investments in general, especially those held by Sunlife’s very own fund managers and tenured unit managers. I know that if I were to make it here, I’d have to thicken my skin, and that’s quite a challenge for me.
To me, being a financial adviser is not just about selling life insurance. It’s about educating the ordinary man how he can move out of the rat race to achieve financial security and freedom. It’s about teaching them to plan and save for the rainy days. It’s about changing their mindset about money. After all, schools didn’t teach us about money, which is why many Filipinos are financially illiterate and struggle financially. More than just being a salesman, it’s a service rendered by every financial freedom advocate out there. If you’d like to be a Sunlife financial advisor, let me know. There’s a business opportunity forum at Sunlife Bonifacio Global City office next Saturday, February 28, 2015.