"Never invest using debts or loans."

POSTED ON June 07, 2019

Alex, writer, novice investor
How did you get started in investing?

I was already familiar with investing as early as elementary school since my mom worked in a bank. Back then, I started setting aside some of my lunch money in a passbook savings account. I gradually transitioned to investing when I converted my savings account to a time deposit, which was modestly performing.

My bank experience convinced me to move to buying stocks through old-school stock trading agencies where I had to make phone calls to buy or sell stocks. This was in high school.

Now that I’m in my early 40s, I’m more keen on investing, primarily because I now have the financial capability to stick to my investment goals. I’m more aggressive now given my age, but I spread my investment portofolio so I can choose to have some conservative and moderate investment plans.

What's the most important thing you've learned about investing? 

About 20 years ago, while employed as a journalist, I dabbled in investing in time deposits. Since I knew that I only needed to pay in 24-month increments, I took out a one-month salary loan from SSS and put it in a time deposit (TD) promo. I realized that the TD only gave a 4% return after 12 months, while the SSS placed a 10% interest on my loan; in short, I lost more money than I earned.

My lesson: never invest using debts or loans and to do due diligence on interest rates.