Filipino children are raised in a family-centric society. A Pinoy aspires not only for his personal dreams but also for his kin’s. It’s a gift to be part of such a society strengthened by the bonds of love, dedication, and loyalty.
Now that you’re earning for yourself, it’s time to start planning on how to better help your family. It’s important to make smart decisions in giving financial assistance to your parents, siblings, and other relatives because you might run the risk of bankruptcy at an early stage in your career. Secure your finances first, then choose the best investment tool for your goals. Here are sound advice and smart investments for millennials.
 Secure Medical Insurance for Your Parents. A trip to the emergency room can easily drain your investments. Quality healthcare in the country is beyond the means of many households because of the high cost of hospitalization and medicines. As your parents age, expect higher costs for their healthcare needs.
Inquire whether your company-sponsored HMO extends the coverage to your parents. If not, you can sign them up for medical insurance plans. The insurance coverage shall be the major protection against future medical expenses. Any credits you can get from government-sponsored insurance plans, such as PhilHealth, shall be an additional saving. Don’t rely on the latter for your family’s medical coverage.
 Invest in a Mutual Fund for Your Siblings in High School. If you’ve incurred debts, make sure you pay them off or at least keep them updated before offering assistance to others. Keeping your finances in order is the least you can do to help your family. If you receive bonuses or incentives from your company, you can start a mutual fund account for your brother in high school.
The minimum investment in a mutual fund in the Philippines is Php 5,000, and additional investments may be for a minimum amount of Php 1,000. Your investment shall be placed in a basket of equity or debt securities that can earn you extra money. In 2 to 3 years, you can redeem the earnings or the entire investment to pay for your brother’s down payment in college.
 Secure a Child’s Future Through College Investment. Parenthood can be costly. It entails the daily expenses for basic needs, and 15-plus years of education. If you want to help your married siblings, cousins, or if you are a young parent yourself, you can invest for the kid’s college education. Research on products offered by reputable companies designed to meet the rising cost of education in colleges and universities.
One recommended investment option to secure a child’s future, available here in the Philippines, is GradMaker by Manulife. It’s designed to meet the rising cost of education in colleges and universities. People who are interested can invest as low as Php 10,000 and as high as Php 120,000 per policy.
According to GradMaker’s policy, you can nominate a child from 0 to 13 years of age; either, they are you son, daughter, nephew or niece. This makes it ideal for young parents or people who are living in a big family. The best part of this product is that you are also insured, which makes it a win-win for you and for your family.
Just take note that these products may be invested in equities and debt securities that yield high returns with the appropriate level of risk. Also, there are investments that includes life insurance that will help you choose the right product. It is best for you to educate yourself first. With these college investment options, you’ll have the advantage of time to build the child’s future investment.
 Open a Time Deposit Account. In looking for an investment for young professionals, you should know the difference between savings and investment? Savings is the amount you set aside for the rainy days. It must be liquid, preferably deposited in a bank account.
Financial advisors recommend building a savings fund equivalent to your 6-month expenditure to answer for your living costs in the event that you lose your source of income. This short-term fund shall also be reserved for when you become incapable of reporting to work for a prolonged period. Investment is the money you “grow” for long-term expenditure such as your retirement or your child’s college tuition fee. “Long-term” may be for a period exceeding 5 years.
Banks offer savings and investment products. You can inquire about time deposit accounts that offer interests much higher than regular deposit accounts. Think of it as a snowball. The more you “roll over” your placement, the bigger your money grows. Unlike placements in mutual funds, the money in your time deposit account is guaranteed.
 Give Your Little Brother His First Savings Account. Instead of buying gifts for the young members of your family, consider opening a bank account for them and teach them the value of money at an early age. Most banks offer a special deposit account for children. Encourage your little brother or sister to keep a piggy bank for loose change and savings from his/her allowance.
Each month or quarter, accompany him/her to the bank to deposit his/her money. Having her/his own passbook as evidence of savings is beneficial for her/his growth and development. It will give your sibling a sense of ownership and responsibility.
 Educate Yourself About Investment Schemes. Knowing how to choose a reliable investment vehicle is not enough. You should also learn how to detect fraudulent investment schemes. The Securities and Exchange Commission provides a helpful checklist of red flags to detect scams including unwillingness or hesitation to give any information, lacking SEC registration or any appropriate license, and failure to give information or not being listed in the SEC website.
Also, if an offer is too good to be true, chances are, it is. Understand that every investment involves a risk-reward trade off. The higher the reward, the higher the corresponding risk. Investments are never guaranteed even if your money is placed in a fixed income fund, which is a low-risk investment. Only deposit accounts and debt securities, such as sovereign funds and commercial papers, have a definite interest/return.
If you’re in doubt about an offer, take the time to research. Check with the SEC if it’s a registered company. You can also search for relevant information online. Take time to read message boards where scam victims usually vent out. Never give your hard-earned money unless you’re fully satisfied about your fact-finding.
Being part of a support system is one of the many commendable traits of Filipinos. Helping some kin is almost second nature for Pinoys. But before offering financial assistance to others, make sure that your finances are on track – your debts are paid off or up-to-date, you have health and life insurance, you have sufficient emergency fund in the bank, and you’ve started investing for your retirement. The best support you can give your parents and siblings is by keeping your affairs in order at all times. It’s only then that you should offer help to others. Charity begins at home and your first home is yourself.
The article was written and submitted for publication (as guest post) by Freddie Santos Jr. He is an ambitious digital marketer and writer. He has a great enthusiasm for reading and creating content about marketing, business, money, and anything about pursuing happiness.