What’s the first thing i should do?

Cosmopolitan (Philippines) - - You, You, You -

Both De La Paz and Que are adamant that be­fore you even start in­vest­ing, you need pay off debt and build your emer­gency sav­ings fund. Que says, “First, pre­pare—this in­cludes build­ing an emer­gency fund, learn­ing cash man­age­ment, and bud­get­ing.” There’s no point, af­ter all, in in­vest­ing money when you’re still in the red. All you’ll be do­ing is set­ting in­vest­ments on a rick­ety foun­da­tion that could mean more fi­nan­cial trou­ble in

cos­mopoli­tan the fu­ture—the op­po­site of what you want. “Make a bud­get, cre­ate a plan,” em­pha­sizes Que. “Bud­gets play a sig­nif­i­cant role in help­ing any­one pay off debt, put to­gether their nest egg, and make the most of their hard-earned in­come.”

What’s the first in­vest­ment i should put my money in?

Once you ac­tu­ally start in­vest­ing, it’s al­ways best to err on the safe side, which means start­ing small, start­ing close to home, and find­ing a trusted fi­nan­cial ad­viser. As with ev­ery­thing, there are no hard and fast rules that say you should put X amount in A,B, or C, but there are cer­tain guide­lines to keep in mind. “It re­ally de­pends on how much cap­i­tal you have for in­vest­ing. The norm is to start small,” says De La Paz, adding, “The first thing one should in­vest in is in­surance—health­care—and get­ting an in­surance pol­icy in your 20s is cheaper.” Af­ter

MARCH 2016 you’ve got­ten your­self cov­ered, you can move on to mu­tual funds (es­sen­tially, money you in­vest in a bank or other en­tity which is han­dled—along with other in­vestors’ money— by man­agers and put into stocks and bonds with large com­pa­nies). Typ­i­cally, get­ting older im­plies you’ll be earn­ing more, which means you might have more money to in­vest in the big stuff like prop­erty or even a busi­ness. Once you’re a few years into your money-mak­ing in­vest­ments and feel fi­nan­cially com­fort­able (i.e. no longer wor­ry­ing about monthly pay­ments), then you can con­sider look­ing the for­mer and even us­ing them as a pas­sive source of in­come.

this all sounds great, but i can’t af­ford it!

Ac­tu­ally, you can. Pi­nays in their 20s usu­ally fall into the trap of think­ing that in­vest­ing is some­thing they should put off, or that they’re not mak­ing enough to sur­vive as it is, much less in­vest. De La Paz and Que, how­ever, be­lieve that that this is noth­ing more than a myth. “In­vest­ing is re­ally about dis­ci­pline and ded­i­ca­tion. It doesn’t mat­ter how small the amount is when we start to save and in­vest – but it mat­ters that we do it now and that we do it reg­u­larly,” says Que. “It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you save.” De La Paz says, “If a per­son has a smart phone, or can af­ford to go out, then she has money she can in­vest. If she doesn’t have sub­stan­tial sav­ings, or all her in­come goes to ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties, then she should start ex­pand­ing her means. I don’t be­lieve in liv­ing within your means, I ex­pand my means. Time to be cre­ative—how else can you earn?” She adds, “Any­one can in­vest. For those who don’t make enough, think about why you want to be fi­nan­cially free, then find ways to make enough and achieve this goal.”

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