Sunday, March 20, 2011

Forced savings

Lack of, or absence of capital, is a common excuse among people who cannot go into business or invest for future income, although they are fully convinced that having their own business or investing in profitable ventures is the road to prosperity, or at least a source of supplemental income.

Taking out loans to finance a business venture or to invest in the stock market is costly and risky. Costly because the investor is already saddled with interest payments even before the business takes off. Risky because very few businesses produce profits at the start; often, entrepreneurs usually strive to break even at first before thinking about making profits. Also, losses and even shutdowns are realities that would-be businessmen should consider.

If loans are necessary to start a business, then these should be supplementary to "internal" funds, or the investors' own money. If the business loses or is closed, then the burden of paying creditors is not so heavy compared to a 100-percent borrowed capital.

This is where the concept of forced savings comes in. Banks realize that saving money requires personal discipline. Many people are unable to keep savings accounts not because they have no money to save, but because they have accepted that all the money they earn is just enough for their expenses.

What banks do is to offer innovative savings schemes, like offering to double the depositor's money after a certain number of years. This type of account requires the depositor to make fixed amounts of deposits and maintain their accounts for an agreed period, after which the bank turns over the accumulated deposits and interest earnings.

This type of innovative savings is usually offered to young or young couples just starting their families, or for their children.

The stock market also offers provides a way to encourage forced savings. Some stockbrokers offer easy investment plans, under which new investors agree to invest as small as P5,000 every month or every quarter in shares of stocks.

The stockbroker recommends stocks that are good to buy because of the profitable operations of a certain listed company or the prospects of higher prices for its shares. The investor, however, is not required to follow the stockbroker's recommendations - he or she can buy other stocks - and decides whether or not to sell the shares in the portfolio.

The agreement to invest P5,000 every month or every quarter is also not an unbreakable obligation. The investor may or may not make the investment at the agreed month or quarter, but is encouraged by the stockbroker to do it as an exercise at self-discipline and to ensure that the goal of reaching an investment level at a certain date is achieved.

Forced savings, which may also be called financial discipline, should actually start at home and at a very young age. Actually, this is part of Filipino culture: parents encouraged their children to save in piggy (bamboo, actually) banks instead of spending all their allowances.

For such kids, saving money becomes a habit, which serves them well in adulthood. For other people, acquiring the habit should not be difficult; all it takes is to set a goal, like building a personal fund within a given period, or committing oneself to make fixed investments, also at preset dates, and then set aside certain amounts to reach the goal.

The first deposit in a "forced" savings account or for an initial purchase of stocks can come from foregoing a date at a fine dining restaurant or postponing an out-of-town vacation, or simply taking out a portion of the take-home pay that is not for essential items.

Monday, March 14, 2011 receives the 2010 Interactive Award of Distinction in the 16th Communicator Awards in the US

Together with Stray Interactive, the digital agency of the Ayala Land Residential Business Group, is now recognized by an international award giving body.

The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program honoring creative excellence for Communications Professionals. Founded by communication professionals over a decade ago, The Communicator Awards receives over 9,000 entries from companies and agencies of all sizes, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world.

The Communicator Awards provides winners and their clients the recognition they deserve and gives communications and creative professionals proof and validation that their work is outstanding and highly regarded by their peers. The Communicator Awards provides an equal chance of winning to all entrants regardless of company or agency size and project budget.

The Award of Distinction is presented for projects that exceed industry standards in quality and achievement.

The 16th Annual Communicator Awards is being overseen and sanctioned by the International Academy of the Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a "Who's Who" of acclaimed media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms. IAVA members include executives from organizations such as Alloy Media + Marketing, Coach, Conde Nast, Disney, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Estee Lauder, Keller Crescent, HBO,, MTV, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sotheby's Institute of Art, Tribal DDB, Victoria's Secret, Wired, and Yahoo!

For the past 5 years, garnered awards locally. Ayala Land Residential Business Group is commited to provide unparalleled service and world-class products to the Filipino here and abroad. It serves not just the future buyers of Philippine properties but is also useful to Ayala Land owners, marketing partners and sellers due to its wide range of tools, features, content and functions.

The Ayala Land Residential website will continue to make its presence stand out in the global online community by providing web users all the tools and information they need in the most engaging and interactive way possible.