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Rich Money Habits Carnival – Frugality and Success

Welcome to the second edition of the Rich Money Habits Carnival!

In this edition we will highlight the top 5 frugality and success articles out of the tons of money stories we’ve received during the month of February.  May these articles inspire you to live a wealthy and successful life.  Enjoy!

Rich Money Habits Top 5 Picks


  • Steve C presents Why Being Frugal Can Only Take You So Far On Your Path To Wealth posted at RMH – A great read on the age-old dilemma of going too cheap.  Steve argues that raising your income by working on your business gives back way bigger returns than the measly saved income you gain from cutting back  expenses.
  • Faizal Nisar presents Secret of Success: YOU | Be Truly Happy posted at Be Truly Happy, saying, “Creating money begins in the mind. Once you learn that success is a mindset, you can become rich in any industry.” RMH – Inspiring article on taking responsibility for your own success.  The question at the end says it all, “will you take responsibility for your success, or blame others for your failure.”
  • KCLau presents Focus: Achieving Goals posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “A guest post by Sayeed, a senior manager in a large MNC in Penang on how he achieved his financial goals.” RMH – Interesting article on why we should keep on dreaming.  Sayeed offers 5 tips on how to focus on your dream and achieve it.  My personal favorite – “get 15 minutes a day to read a book, best before going to bed. Develop the habit from there…”
  • FIRE Getters presents A Simple Budget That Works? posted at FIRE Finance. RMH – Very helpful tips on how to make your budget “actually” work.  The article aptly describes the problem of budgeting as being “too complex and rigid” while real life demands “flexibility and simplicity.”
  • Wenchypoo presents Ending Bureaucracy posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket. RMH – Great article explaining what bureaucracy means.  While reading the article, I couldn’t help but compare it to how big companies “bureaucracies” disguised these things as “processes”…in reality, all these “processes” do is delay you from doing what you really need to do in the first place.

Other interesting articles in this edition

Money Stories


Personal Finance



That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Rich Money Habits Carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Bo Sanchez's Truly Rich Financial Coaching Program (Day 1)

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?

Real Estate

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 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!

Join the Truly Rich Club!
Join the Truly Rich Club

Business Life Lessons Personal Finance

3 tips on starting a business and why I am still clueless

Over the last couple of months I’ve been contemplating to go into business.  The thing is, I have no idea what business to be in.  Or how I plan to do that.  I don’t even have any background in business.  I’ve been raised from a family of hard workers, working for the government, working for other people, working for money.  I am not even particularly good in selling stuffs.  I’d end up giving everything for free. =)

Or maybe these are just bunch of excuses.

They say, do what you love and the money will follow.

I like to read books.

I like Rich Dad, Poor Dad written by Robert Kiyosaki.  It’s liberating to know that there is indeed a way.  There is hope.  There is freedom.  Freedom to do the things I love to do, without worrying about where to get the money to pay for my daily expenses.  Maybe someday I’d have a taste of that freedom.

I also like iWoz by Steve Wozniak, the creator of Apple Computer.  I love the book mainly because I can relate to what Steve was saying about designing and maximizing the use of computer chips, the adrenaline flowing when you find out a neat way to do something better, perhaps with fewer chips.  I do love solving problems.

In reading books, I particularly like to know how other successful people think.  How they managed to solve their problems.  How they added value to this world.  Perhaps, I too can add value to the lives of other people.  If I help them achieve their goals and solve their problems, maybe then, I’d have the strength to solve mine.

I also love watching TV series in DVDs.  I don’t want to wait another week to know what happened to the story.  I like having to devour the whole season of 20+ episodes all at once.  When “Heroes” came out, I was pretty impressed with the story line and the thrill of discovery, finally finding out who they really are.  At about the same time, I came across “Prison Break”, a story about a structural engineer, gifted with extraordinary problem solving skills who did everything he could to help his brother break out of prison.  When the two shows started, I liked “Heroes” better.  But after a few seasons, the story of “Prison Break” seemed to be more interesting.  In “Prison Break”, everything is a puzzle, and the better you figure it out, the better chances you have of staying alive.  Prison break also has this obsession of killing characters and then resurrecting them after some time. Remember Sarah?

Anyway, I still don’t know how to make money from these two things I like to do.  On the contrary, it seems to be going the other way as they also get heavier on the wallet as time goes by.

They say, do something that you’re good at.

Well, I am good at solving problems.  I love programming, and seem to be doing pretty ok with it as my day time job can cover daily expenses and I’m able to set aside a little money every month.  The thing is, most of my working life, I have programmed using mainframe languages like COBOL.  I know a bit of C and assembly language but the last time I used them was way back in College.

I am also good in automation.  At work, I always try to find ways to make my tasks (and life) a little bit easier.  I’ve never been good at routine tasks like doing documentation…For a programmer, it’s one of the unglamorous but necessary “evils” of the job.  I try to automate these things so that the computer can do it for me.  Then, I’d have more time to focus on more important and interesting things at work. =)

While we’re in the subject of automation, I remember having a great time back in college playing around with robots.  Me and my classmates created this autonomous line-following mobile robot for an inter-school contest .  It’s actually just an RC (remote controlled) toy car, with the remote replaced by a microcontroller chip to act as “brain” and teach it how to follow the line.  I had the most amazing time building that robot and writing the software to be written into the chip.  As I watch the RC car turned mobile robot glide through the track and sweetly following each and every curve, I could not help myself smile and marvel at this brilliant masterpiece.  It’s a labor of love.  And to top it off, we actually won first place and got to receive a small cash award! =)

Maybe someday I’d figure out how to apply this experience to solve other people’s problems.

They say, find a niche and stick to it.

Over the past couple of months I’ve tried to write various topics in my blog.  I tried to think up of a particular niche.  I love playing basketball, so I write about basketball.  I also like playing badminton and watch the great players display tremendous grace and flexibility executing those unbelievable shots at dizzying speed.  So I write about badminton.  I also tried playing tennis, and watched Federer and Nadal slug it out.  My breath stops when both Federer and Nadal display their best tennis and the rally is so long it seem to have no end.  And so I write about them.

I also like to travel and take some pictures. So I post some of that too.  I also love to eat.  So guess what?  I take some pictures of my favorite delicacies and write about them too!

I still don’t know what niche my blog posts are supposed to be in.  Maybe someday I’d figure out which niche I really want to be in, but for now, I’ll just post whatever it is on my mind, whether it is sports, books, DVDs, or just about anything in life.

I’ll leave time to tell whether these are things I could do business in.