Last Friday and Saturday, my wife and I attended Bo Sanchez’s Truly Rich Financial Coaching Program. The event is a two-day seminar showcasing financial lessons and tips from Bo Sanchez and his mentors on business, real-estate, stocks, mutual funds and internet marketing. In this 2-part series, I will try to share what I’ve personally learned from the seminar. This is part 1 which includes the insights I’ve learned during the first day of the coaching program.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Confucius
We arrived at Valle Verde Country Club around 2pm Friday. We were actually late because we came all the way from Makati and we still had to drop by our house in Mandaluyong, have lunch and take a taxi going to the venue.
When we arrived, the seminar already started. We were just in time for the first talk of the day. Thanks to the small note outside the room and a little luck, we managed to find which room the seminar was being held. The funny thing was, we actually arrived at around the same time as the first speaker. When the speaker entered the door, we took a quick peek inside and saw that the organizers and the other participants were already inside the room. We registered right away, took our seats, settled down and prepared ourselves for a very exciting and interesting financial coaching seminar.
Online Stocks Investing
The first speaker was Juan ‘Juanis’ Barredo, the VP of CitisecOnline, which is an online stock brokerage firm in the Philippines. He has 18 years of experience in the stock market. What struck me about Juanis is the way he spoke very fluent English. I thought – “this guy can speak!”. The way he captures the right words to explain the most intricate subject of stock investing is excellent.
One of the first things I learned from his talk is that less than 1% of the Philippine population invests in the stock market. Which is really very small compared to other countries like US, Hong Kong, and even for our neighboring countries such as Indonesia. In the US, even cab drivers invest in the stock market.
The main idea of stock investing is – you buy “shares” of a company to become a part-owner. That means you are actually investing on a business. Just like in business, one of the strategies used to gain a profit is to buy “low”, then sell “high”. The tricky thing about stocks is how to know if the company’s shares are being sold “low” or “high”. Is it based on the “market price”? Or is it based on the “actual value” computed from analysis of the company’s earnings and performance? Or is it both?
I realized that investing in the stock market is a lot like buying a pair of jeans on sale. How do you know if it’s on sale? First, you need to know, how much is it truly worth? That is, how much is it really selling for when it’s not on sale? For jeans, usually it’s around 1,000 to 2,000 pesos. Of course, you can buy cheaper jeans from Divisoria, or more high-end jeans from branded stores. So if they say it’s 70% off, they’re selling the 1000 peso worth jeans for only 300 pesos. Would you buy? If it fits and you like it, why not?! The same is true with stocks. When a share of the company is worth 1000 pesos and they are selling it for 300 pesos only, would you buy? If you like the company, and based on your analysis it is really worth 1000 pesos, why not? Among other things, it should also fit you. Is the company something you want to be involved in? Do you and those people running the company share the same core values? If you have all the money in the world, would you build the same business?
During the seminar, I asked Juanis which companies he personally invests in. Many people in the room laughed. I’m guessing because it’s a familiar territory almost similar to asking your classmate what the correct answer to a question on your exam is. The main reason I asked is because I wanted to know if he is practicing what he is saying. To me, more than the information that he shares, it’s the integrity he exudes that really matters. When he shared what he personally invests in without hesitation, I knew he was someone who really walks his talk.
Business is about relationships
The second speaker was actually the owner of CitisecOnline. His name is Edward Lee. Actually, I already saw him in one of Bo Sanchez’s videos for Truly Rich Club. When I spoke to Bo during one of the coffer breaks, I said it was kind of surreal to be able to actually see some of the guys in person, where before we only saw them from the DVDs that we received as a member of Truly Rich Club.
Edward Lee has a very long track record of business success and he shared with us some of the key things he learned as an entrepreneur. What struck me was that here was a man who’s very successful and wealthy. But when he speaks, you can see the integrity and passion in his voice. He’s really excited in sharing the lessons that he learned, occasionally sharing some personal stories from which he derived most of his business success.
One very important thing I learned from him is that – business is all about relationships. It’s building relationships with your people, your customers, and your suppliers. As Bo mentioned later, “you buy from your friend”. Upon reflection, I realized that “yes, I am like everyone else, I really buy from my friends.” When I want to know something, I ask my friends. When there’s something I want to buy, I try to find out who from my friends are into that business.
I realized we are just one piece of a big puzzle. We do our share. When we buy from our friends, what we’re really doing is sharing what we have to the world. It’s the same thing when we sell. Because we address a problem that our friends are facing, we’re making their life a little bit easier.
Business is about Integrity
The second thing I learned from Edward is that it’s very important to be very trustworthy and keep your word. Even if it losses you money. Even if it costs an arm or a leg. This is a core value that rings very close to my heart. I like to deal with those I trust. I realized that when I don’t really believe in something, I hesitate to share it to my friends. I am a silent man, but when I share, I want to make sure it is something my friends will benefit. More than the money, it’s because they are my friends. Friends look out for each other. We want the best for them. Isn’t it great to give and be able to share something valuable with your friends?
The third speaker was Larry Gamboa, the author of Think Rich Pinoy. He shared about the idea of franchising in the world of real estate. Perhaps because it was something new and still in its infancy, I had a hard time following where the talk was going. I guess because it is something that was still in the works, it was also hard for him to explain. What I appreciated about him is that he realizes what people are going through. He recommends learning while also earning at the same time to shorten the gap between dreaming and execution.
Internet Marketing part 1
Bo also shared some tips on internet marketing. He mentioned that Kerygmafamily.com is making money through donations, all through the power of the internet and marketing. The website is actually making lots of money from those donations which all goes to the many programs that Bo is organizing to help those in need like the Anawim – a place for abandoned elderly, or the charity that aims to help pregnant women. This is a very good example of showing that the ultimate purpose of money is to help and love other people.
This is only day 1 but there were already so many things I’ve learned. Watch out for the part 2 of this blog post where I’ll share personal insights I’ve learned from day 2 of the Truly Rich Financial Coaching Program.
Do you like to attend Bo’s Truly Rich financial seminars but you are based outside the Philippines? Here’s your chance!