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Why SEO Is Important For Businesses

Sourced SolVibrations | Guest Writer | December 6th 2014

If you are like many webmasters, you might think about advertising your website on social media profiles or with paid advertisements. Although both of these options can help you get the traffic that you want, you should also understand the importance of search engine optimization. By understanding why SEO is important, you can understand why it is something that you should do for your website.

It’s Affordable

To keep traffic coming in with paid advertisements, you have to pay for them on a regular basis. If you quit paying for them, chances are good that your traffic will go way down. With search engine optimization, however, you can enjoy a lot of traffic for free.

Search Engines are Immensely Popular

Nowadays, many people use popular search engines when seeking information about a business, products and services that might be available and information that they are interested in. If people can’t find your site easily through search engines, chances are good that they will go to another site for the products, services or information that they are interested in. Since search engines are so wildly popular with such a large audience, taking advantage of this popularity can really help you succeed.

You Can Get Help

If the idea of tackling a search engine optimization campaign on your own is enough to make you go crazy, you shouldn’t worry or give up on the idea of promoting your site on search engines. Instead, you can consider checking for help with SEO services. These companies generally don’t charge a lot for their services, but you might be surprised by the many benefits that you can enjoy after hiring one of these sites.

You Can Do it Yourself

If you don’t want to hire a professional SEO company, you can consider doing it yourself. Although it might take a while to learn the ropes, knowing how to optimize your own site can help you in the future and can help guarantee that you continue to bring in traffic.

It Works

The important thing to realize is that search engine optimization really does work. Although some people worry that it will be dead in a few years, this isn’t something that you should be worried about. As long as you can keep up with the changes and times in the search engine world, you can continue to see results well into the future. Since search engine optimization can work so well, it is definitely something that you should work on; otherwise, you could be missing out on a ton of traffic.

Many people don’t understand search engine optimization, but it is an essential thing to learn about if you are a website owner. By taking the time to learn more about SEO, you can make serious changes for your website and can bring in more traffic than you probably ever imagined, and you can enjoy benefits that you can’t really get from other forms of advertising, such as paying for pay-per-click or pay-per-view ads. Therefore, if you haven’t started an SEO campaign for your site yet, it is definitely something that you should consider in the near future; you might be surprised by all of the traffic that you can bring in if you do.

Role Of SEO In Digital Marketing

Sourced SolVibrations | Betty Elizabeth | March 24th 2015

SEO is the very important part of digital marketing. We cannot imagine digital marketing without SEO. It’s the only technique to gain maximum attention of customers for any product and services. Cost and time required for marketing in SEO is very less when compared to traditional marketing techniques. Online marketing is becoming so popular for people to purchase the gadgets or services. It’s became very important for every business to optimize their website and it can only done by SEO.

SEO is the strategy used by every business to gain a top position in search engine results. Search engines will place the website at the top position if that website has enough traffic, and if it provides people information they actually want. If we enter any query in the search engine it will give you relevant results at the first page. If we didn’t get the result at the top position, then we will try up to two pages to get that information. Because of Google updates we can be able to find relevant information in the first page itself. Google launching new updates to help online visitors to find their result at first page instead of some irrelevant information. If you enter the correct query in the search engine, you will definitely get your information at first page only.

There are many elements which we have to consider in SEO like keyword density, Meta tag titles, inbound and outbound links, content writing and many more. Because of updates it’s become very important to have quality content which will be informative, unique and should not be short. Writing content is not the main area to focus on, but should grab the sufficient audience to the website; otherwise, it’s of no use. Visitors become customers because you have good content on your website. In SEO, content plays a very vital role for promoting your business through social media. Many SEO services companies are following the same technique to optimize their website.

Another important area in SEO is keyword density – many content writers use too many keywords in the content, and it shows you’re writing content for promotion, so avoid using too many keywords and don’t add so many repetitive words in the content, as It will affect the quality of your content.

Inbound linking is the other area where SEO has to be focused. Inbound links are our links which we are placing on another’s website. Google will consider those links because we are placing our links in other websites. If traffic of that website is more, then it could be an advantage to our website because visitors may open our link and in this way you can get traffic to your websites.

Planning of titles also are important. If your content doesn’t match with the title, then your content will be considered as spam. The structure of your Url should not be lengthy and try to include keywords in your Url structures. Professional SEO companies will do the same for optimizing websites.

From the above mentioned information, it is clear how important SEO is in digital marketing.

Are you financially ready for a family emergency?

By Mike Aquino for Yahoo! Southeast Asia | BDO Money Matters – Mon, 20 May 2013

To have children, the author Elizabeth Stone once wrote, “is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

Sleepless nights ensue—once, you were the sole subject of your financial priorities, now you’ve got your spouse and kids to worry about. Even if you’ve got things well in hand now… are you sure you’ve got everything covered, even the emergencies?

While Filipinos are generally not lacking in the sacrifice-everything-for-their-children department, most of us don’t have the financial savvy to properly prepare for a future emergency. “We have this, ‘sige, bahala na, the money’s there’ mindset,” says personal finance consultant Randell Tiongson. “A lot of people start with the life insurance policy, the educational program, all these things, but what about emergency funds?”

Tiongson believes in a certain order to laying the financial groundwork for a family emergency. “There are certain things you have to satisfy first,” explains Tiongson, pointing to your home finances and your debt. Tiongson suggests you do the following, in order:

1. Sort out your finances. “You should spend less on what you make, be able to balance your checkbook, see that you’re spending less than what you’re earning, and generating enough savings. That’s one,” says Tiongson. “If you’re in debt, then the next step is getting out of debt.”

2. Start an emergency fund. “It seems to be uncommon to a lot of us Filipinos,” says Tiongson. “But right financial planning necessitates that you set aside a certain amount of money for emergencies—what we call an emergency fund.”

Tiongson varies the amount he advises you reserve for your emergency fund, depending on your employment situation. “For employees, I’d say three months is the least,” he explains. “If you’re in business, six months to a year. In business kasi, hindi mo alam what’s going to happen.”

Emergency funds are not to be invested in stocks, property or mutual funds. “Ideally, it has to be cash or near-cash,” says Tiongson. “Time deposits are okay, if they can be cashed easily. When you put your emergency fund in, say, a bond fund, there’s that risk of fluctuation: if it fluctuates and it’s the time you need it, lugi ka.”

3. Buy life insurance. For the worst emergency of all—the kind that takes you permanently out of the picture for your kids—you’ll want to make sure they’re taken care of even in your absence. “If you have a dependent, like children, you want to cover that,” says Tiongson. As a rule of thumb, Tiongson suggests you get coverage equivalent to “between three to five times your annual salary.”

4. Cover health emergencies. If you’re an employee, chances are most of your medical expenses are covered (to a certain point) by the office HMO. But if the office HMO doesn’t cover your dependents—or fails to cover them to your satisfaction—the option to buy further coverage is always there. “You buy something that you can afford,” says Tiongson. “Of course, the really good ones are expensive. You may want a bigger room, but can you afford the premium?”

Tiongson suggests you make a priority of keeping tabs on your HMO and insurance premiums. “You also have to track that these things are being paid,” he warns. “Baka mamaya hindi naman bayad ang premium. If it’s not paid, what good is it?”

5. Get a lifeline. Tiongson advises that you use a line of credit—personal loans or credit cards—as a backup emergency fund: not to be used until all other options are exhausted.

“The idea is you start a savings program, but you keep credit handy,” explains Tiongson. “That’s why you should be very careful managing your credit—baka mamaya kung kailan mo kailangan, na-max out ang credit card mo!”

Take note, the order of these items is not interchangeable: the first two items should always be first on the agenda, though not necessarily in consecutive order. “I recommend you do this simultaneously,” says Tiongson. “Fix the way you spend, slowly get out of debt, and at the same time, build your emergency funds before you do other things like buying insurance.”

Piso ‘Yan Principle

By | Wed, 24 April 2013

3 very powerful budgeting principles

Nakakita ka na ba ng taong nag-planong sirain ang buhay niya? Malamang, hindi pa. Pero bakit maraming taong sira ang buhay? Kasi, hindi sila nag-plano ng kanilang buhay. 

Kurot PrincipleAng sabi nga nila, “People don’t plan to fail, they just failed to plan.”  

Ito ang isa sa pinakamalaking problema ng mga Pilipino. Hindi tayo marunong mag-plano. Asar na asar tayo sa pagpa-plano. Kaya hindi tayo yumayaman.

Eh tayo, ano ang ginagawa natin? Bara-bara ‘bay, o kaya, “Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be!  The future’s not ours to see!  Que sera, sera!” Ganyan tayo!

Ang pagyaman ay hindi tsambahan. Itanong mo kay Tony Tan Caktiong, Henry Sy, o kaya kay Lucio Tan o kay John Gokongwei. Hindi sila tsumamba sa pagyaman. Nasa plano nila iyon. So ang buhay, pina-plano! Kaya napaka-importante ng pagpa-plano.

Ito ang Step No. 5 on how to unleash the highest potential of your money: You must plan to achieve your goals by having a… budget. Paano mag-plano sa pera? Dapat mag-budget.

What is a Budget? 

A budget is a plan that balances income and expenses. Napakasimple ng budget. Babalansehin mo lang ang iyong kinikita sa iyong expenses! Ganoon lang? Oo, ganoon lang.

Pero bago ka namin turuan kung paano mag-budget, tuturuan ka muna namin ng three very powerful budgeting principles! Sa totoo lang, gawin mo lang ang tatlong ito, gaganda na ang buhay mo (kahit hindi mo gawin ‘yung iba). Pero mas maganda kung gagawin mo itong tatlo at gagawin mo rin ‘yung iba. Tatlong prinsipyo, tandaan!

The First Budget Principle 

Ang unang prinsipyo: “Piso ‘yan.” 

Ano ang gagawin mo kung sa paglalakad mo sa kalye ay nakakita ka ng piso? Ano ang gagawin mo? Dadamputin?  Dadamputin mo ang piso? Ang dumi-dumi na ‘nun!

May halaga pa ba ang piso ngayon? Aber, ano ang mabibili ng piso? Ano? Kendi? Alam mo, ang laki-laki ng problema nating mga Pilipino. Ang pisong madumi, pinupulot natin. Ang pisong malinis, tinatapon natin.

Ano ulit? Ang pisong madumi, pinupulot; ang pisong malinis, tinatapon!

Anong piso ang tinatapon natin? Heto: gaano na karaming piso ang itinapon mo sa walang kakuwenta-kuwentang text?

Ito ang sinasabi ko sa iyo: importante ang piso. Ang problema, kapag lumapit sa iyo ang anak mo at humingi ng piso, anong gagawin mo?  Bibigyan mo?  Hindi! Bakit? Wala ng bata ang humihingi ng piso! Hindi na sila humihingi ng barya! Gusto nila, papel!

Ang sabi ng Nanay, “P20 bibigyan ko. Sir, P20 LANG naman ‘yan e! Pag-aawayan pa ba ‘yan?”

Kapag nagpunta ka ng mall, nakakita ka ng T-shirt. Dating P500, ngayon ay sale. P200 na lang.  Bibilhin mo?

“Syempre naman, Sir!  Nakatipid ako ng P300!”

Nakita mo lang ay nakatipid ka ng P300. Hindi mo nakita na gumastos ka ng P200! Sa isang T-shirt na hindi mo naman gaanong susuotin.  Nandiyan ka pa ba?

“Sir, sayang naman. Sale!”

Hindi mo malaman ang gagawin mo. Nanginginig ka pa na parang ayaw mong umalis kasi baka pag-alis mo ay mawala na yung T-shirt! Kaya ayaw mong umalis! Ayaw mo pang umuwi. Ang laki ng problema mo! Sayang kasi P200 LANG!

Ito po ang unang-unang prinsipyo sa budgeting: Piso ‘yan! Piso ‘yan! Basahing muli… PISO ‘YAN!

Mula sa araw na ito, bago bumitaw ng piso, ilagay sa isip, PISO ‘YAN! Hindi piso LANG ‘yan! Napaka-importante niyan. Bago bitawan ang piso, pag-isipan muna nang matagal. Pangako, yayaman ka.

Sino ang pinakamayayamang tao sa Pilipinas ngayon? Mga Chinese taipan!  Tony Tan Caktiong, Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, Gokongwei! Iyan ang mga mayayaman! Alam n’yo ba kung bakit sila mayaman? Dahil sa kanilang budgeting principles.

Ano ang budgeting principles ng mga Chinese? “Hindi mabubuo ang piso ‘pag walang singko.” Sa kanila, importante ang singko. Kaya bago sila bumitaw ng singko, pinag-iisipang mabuti. Tayo, tapon na lang nang tapon.

Kung gusto mong yumaman, bago bumitaw ng piso, isipin muna, piso ‘yan!

Application: Halimbawa, nagte-text ka at mag-se-send ka na, pero naisip mo, piso ‘yan! Huwag mo na lang i-text! Napaka-simple! Nakatipid ka ng piso. ‘Pag nakatipid ka ng 100 na P1, P100 na iyon. ‘Pag nakatipid ka ng 10 na P100, isang libong piso na iyon. Alam mo ba na ‘pag may isang libong piso ka, P999,000 na lang, milyonaryo ka na?

Paalala lang, ang ibang mga text, related sa trabaho ha!  Hindi ‘yun ang pinag-uusapan natin. Iba naman ang mga walang kakuwenta-kuwentang text at ang mga text na “Wer na u?”, “Here na me!”, ”K” – ito yung mga ‘yun. Iba po ‘yung office-related. Doon po tayo kumikita. These are not expenses.  Ano’ng tawag doon? Investment. May ROI (return on investment) ‘yon!  Okay ‘yon!

So, kapag humingi ulit ang anak mo ng piso, ano ang gagawin mo? Ako, kapag humihingi ng piso ang anak ko, hinihingan ko ng justification. Tinatanong ko, “Anak, bakit ka nanghihingi ng piso?” Ang sagot ng bata, “Kasi Daddy bibili ako ng candy.”

Tanong ko ulit, “Bakit mo kailangan ng candy?” Ang sagot ng bata, “Gusto ko po kasi… uh… uh…” Wala ng masabi ang bata. Wala ng maisip. Kaya, “Uh… gusto ko lang po!”

Hindi puwede ‘yun! Kayo ba sa kumpanya n’yo, puwedeng, “Sir, kailangan ko po ng P10,000.” Kapag tinanong ka kung bakit, ang sagot mo ba ay, “Gusto ko lang po!”  Hindi puwede!  Dapat may dahilan!

So, anong sasabihin mo sa bata – “Bakit mo kailangan ng candy?” Kakamot na lang ng ulo ‘yun at sasabihin sa iyo, “Sige po, ‘wag na lang po!” Nakatipid na ako ng piso!

Next week, pag-uusapan natin ang ikalawang budgeting principle.

(Excerpted from Vic and Avelynn Garcia’s book entitled Kontento Ka Na Ba Sa KaPERAhan Mo? available in National Bookstore, Powerbooks, Fullybooked, OMF and other leading bookstores nationwide. Also available in Unleash International Bookstore. For details, please contact 0922-UNLEASH (8653274) or 664-0892, 632-0148 local 8002-8003.)

Kurot Principle

By | Wed, 24 April 2013

3 very powerful budgeting principles

Last week, I discussed the first principle in budgeting. Ito ay ang Piso ‘Yan Principle

Now, let’s go to Principle No. 2: Kurot Principle.

Kurot PrincipleAno ‘yung Kurot Principle? Ay, ang ganda nitong Kurot Principle na ito. To better understand this, I will tell you a story of a person na balak bumili ng cellphone worth P1,000. Nagkataong mayroon siyang P100,000 na savings. Puwede ba siyang bumili ng cellphone? Puwede, kasi yung P1,000, kurot lang ‘yon sa kanyang savings.

May pangalawang taong balak bumili ng cellphone. Ang bibilhin niya ay worth P1,000 din. Mayroon siyang savings sa bangko na P1,000. Bumili siya ng cellphone. Anong tawag dun? Dakot na ‘yun! Dinakot lahat ang pera niya!

May pangatlong tao, balak bumili ng cellphone, pero walang savings.  P1,000 lang naman ‘yung bibilhin niya. Bumili siya. Anong tawag ‘dun?  Utang na ‘yun!

Ang tanong: ano’ng prinsipyo ang ginagamit mo sa buhay mo? Kurot, dakot, o utang?

Magtataka pa ba tayo kung bakit tayo naghihirap o baon sa utang? Ang gagaling nating dumakot! Ang gagaling nating umutang! Gusto mong yumaman? Starting today, matutong kumurot. Kapag may bibilhin, dapat kinukurot lang! Nagkakaintindihan ba tayo? Kapag ginawa mo ito, pangako, yayaman ka.

Pag-aralan nating muli ang mga pinakamayayaman sa Pilipinas, ang Chinoy. Again, bakit sila mayayaman? Ang gagaling nilang… kumurot!  Tayo ang gagaling nating… dumakot! Sasampolan kita…

Pinoy vs. Chinoy Businessman 

May dalawang negosyanteng nagsimula ng kanilang negosyo, isang Pinoy at isang Chinoy. Ang capital nila pareho ay P100,000.

Sa unang buwan, si Pinoy, kumita ng P10,000. Ano ang iniisip bilhin? Cellphone. Si Chinoy, kumita rin ng P10,000. Ano ang gagawin niya? Idadagdag niya sa puhunan.

So magkano na ngayon ang puhunan ni Chinoy? P110,000! Si Pinoy, P100,000 pa rin, pero may bago siyang cellphone. Ang ganda!

Ituloy natin. After a few months, maganda ang takbo ng negosyo. Si Pinoy kumita ng P50,000. Ang Pilipinong may P50,000, ano ang balak bilhin? Bibili siya ng home theater, DVD, at LCD TV! Si Chinoy, kumita rin ng P50,000. Anong gagawin niya? Idadagdag uli sa puhunan niya. Magkano na ang puhunan niya? P160,000 na!

A few months later pa, ang Pinoy kumita ng P150,000! Ang Pilipinong mayroong P150,000, ano ang balak bilhin? Second-hand na kotse o pang-downpayment sa bagong kotse. Ang Chinoy, may P150,000. Ano’ng gagawin niya? Idadagdag sa puhunan! Magkano na ang puhunan niya? P310,000!

Buwan-buwan, si Pinoy kumikita. Dagdag siya ng dagdag ng gamit. Magkano ang puhunan niya? P100,000! Si Chinoy, buwan-buwan kumikita. Ano ang ginagawa niya? Dagdag ng dagdag sa puhunan niya. One day, Chinoy was able to save P1 million!  So ginawa niya, he approached one supplier and said, “Supplier, kung bibili ako sa‘yo ng worth P1 million, bibigyan mo ba ako ng discount?” Hulaan mo kung ano ang sasabihin ng supplier. “Of course, ang dami mong bibilhin, kaya bibigyan kita ng additional 5% discount!”

Ngunit naisip ni Chinoy, “Hindi naman yata maganda na sa akin lahat ang 5%. Ang gagawin ko, bibigyan ko ang customers ko ng 3% discount at sa akin na lang ‘yung 2%.” Ibig sabihin, bababa ang presyo ng kanyang mga ibinebentang produkto.

It just so happened na magkatabi ang tindahan ni Chinoy at ni Pinoy. Pareho sila ng mga produktong ibinebenta. Given the situation, kanino kayo bibili? Kay Chinoy, because it’s cheaper. Ano ang mangyayari sa negosyo ni Pinoy? Malulugi na. Kasi mas mahal ang kaniyang produkto. Ano ang gagawin niya? Ibebenta niya ‘yung kotseng nabili niya ng P150,000. Sino ang bibili? Siyempre, ang maraming pera, si Chinoy. Tatawaran pa ni Chinoy ang kotse ng P80,000. Dahil gipit na si Pinoy, kahit palugi ay ibebenta na rin niya.  Si Chinoy ngayon ay nagkaroon ng kotse na murang-mura lang!

After a few months, mauubos din ang P80,000 ni Pinoy. Ano ang susunod na gagawin ni Pinoy? Ang home entertainment niya ay ibebenta na rin. Magkano? P20,000 na lang. Sino ang bibili? Si Chinoy. Darating ang araw na pati ang cellphone ni Pinoy ay ibebenta na niya. Magkano niya ibebenta? P2,000 na lang! Isang araw, magsasara na ang negosyo ni Pinoy. Ano ang gagawin niya? Malamang, magtatrabaho na lang siya kay Chinoy. Ito ang kuwento ng bansang Pilipinas!

Naalala mo pa ba noong araw, mas mayayaman ang mga Pinoy kaysa sa mga Chinese. Bakit nagbago? Ano ba ang problema natin? Dakot kasi tayo ng dakot! Sila, kurot lang ng kurot!

Mayroon kaming naging participant before na nagsabi, “Sir, hindi naman totoo ‘yan! I know a Chinoy, he drives a BMW. That’s a P5 million car! Kurot ba ‘yun?” Malamang kurot ‘yun! Noong binili niya ‘yun, mayroon na siyang P100 million na savings!  So kurot lang ‘yun!  Nandiyan ka pa ba?

Isang Kahig, Isang Tuka 

Saan ka makakakita ng mga taong isang kahig, isang tuka? Saan? Sa squatters area? Magtigil ka! Gusto mo’ng makakita ng mga taong isang kahig, isang-tuka? Sa Ortigas, sa Makati, may makikita ka.

What do I mean? Kapag hindi ka sumuweldo ng isang buwan, mabubuhay ba ang pamilya mo? Kung wala kang credit card, kung mawalan ka ng trabaho ngayon, ilang araw ang aabutin para mabuhay ng matino ang pamilya mo? Kapag nawalan ka ng suweldo, patay ka!

Ang mga Chinoy, kahit hindi muna kumita o magnegosyo, mabubuhay ng maganda. Bakit po?  Kasi many years ago, kumahig sila ng kumahig at tumuka lang konti. Kaya marami sa kanila ngayon, tuka na lang ng tuka. Maraming Pinoy, kapag hindi tayo kumahig, wala tayong tutukain.

Ito ang masakit–sometimes, kahit matanda na tayo, kahig pa rin tayo ng kahig. Gaano karaming Pilipino ang 60 years old  na ay trabaho pa rin ng trabaho? Puwede ba, simula ngayon, kumahig ka nang kumahig at iwasan munang  tumuka. I-deprive ang sarili ng kaunti.

Ang pinakamasakit sa lahat ay ito–one day, you want to work, but you cannot work. You are already old. Why? Nagpakasasa ka kasi noong bata ka pa. Inubos mo na lahat ng lakas at kalusugan mo sa bisyo.

Tanong: Masama ba’ng bumili ng mahal? Sagot: Hindi! Basta kinukurot lang! Kapag nakakita ka ng kasamahan mong naka-Nike shoes, huwag mong husgahan kaagad iyong tao! Malay mo, kinurot lang niya iyon. At the end of the day, what is happening to other people is not important. What’s more important is what is happening to you.

The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:11, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.” 

Next week, I will discuss the third principle in budgeting.


(Excerpted from Vic and Avelynn Garcia’s book entitled Kontento Ka Na Ba Sa KaPERAhan Mo? available in National Bookstore, Powerbooks, Fullybooked, OMF and other leading bookstores nationwide. Also available in Unleash International Bookstore. For details, please contact 0922-UNLEASH (8653274) or 664-0892, 632-0148 local 8002-8003.)

When Does Buying a Home Make More Sense Than Renting?

iMoney Phils. – Wed, 16 April 2014

Many of us working-age folk grew up in an environment where home ownership is held in high esteem. Our parents and grandparents have instilled in us the importance of owning a home where to raise a family and live out the rest of our day.

My dad, for instance, was able to save up for a parcel of land in his mid-30s, build a house for his family of 11, and then eventually bought a small farmstead not far from our home. Although both houses are projected continuously being improved, he’s now looking forward to his retirement as all of us kids are of working age and have fled the family nest.

The Filipino dream of owning one’s home where one can raise a family is much akin to its American counterpart. Most baby boomers—my dad being one—grew up firmly believing in this philosophy.

But after having watched the U.S. Housing market collapse in 2007–2008, taking the global economy with it, many people of my generation are wondering whether owning A home is as sturdy an investment as our predecessors have heralded them to be. After all, the properties are not liquid assets, they can depreciate, and hot spots come and go. The notion that properties make smart investment has time and again dispelled even by the most respected of economists, chief of which is the Nobel Prizewinning Robert J. Shiller (of the Case–Shiller Index).

money jar The Easy, One Step Guide To Becoming a Successful Long Term Investor

According to Shiller, housing traditionally is not viewed as a great investment because it takes maintenance, it depreciates, and it goes out of style.

“And there’s technical progress in housing… the new ones are better…so why consider it as an investment?” In a nutshell, housing is not really an investment vehicle.

Unless you’re an end-user and wants to buy real estate for your personal reasons.

And to this I agree with Mr. Shiller wholeheartedly. The importance of purchasing a piece of real estate for one’s residence cannot be overemphasized. Living in one’s own home gives families a great sense of security. Sure, there are maintenance issues, but owning lets them sleep soundly at night knowing there’s no landlord who’ll kick them out anytime.

However, because a home purchase in itself is a costly pursuit, buyers are well advised to read these four considerations before making a purchase, even for one to be used as a place for residence.

1. If You Plan to Stay Put for at Least 5 Years

As a rule of thumb, it is generally not advisable to purchase a home unless the property is expected to be owned for a long enough period of time to recoup expenses. If you plan to relocate to another city, say Cebu or Davao, or even overseas, within the next five years for an impending job change, then renting is for you. Or if you plan to start a family soon, then a one-bedroom condo may not be for you. Spur-in-the-moment decisions in home buying may result in firesale if circumstances require moving, and fire sales usually do not work in favor of the seller. As home buying will make the buyer short on liquid cash reserves, he or she must make sure that the property is to be used for a fairly long time.

2. If You Look at the Non- Financial Aspects
The more I read and learn about real estate, the more I realize that the notion of home ownership as a magical path to wealth is just a marketing ploy of the real estate industry to sell more units. Historically speaking, home prices generally barely keep pace with inflation, so why invest in one?

However, there is a nonfinancial aspect of real estate investing, and it is a rather important one. Buying a house makes perfect sense because it gives us stability and freedom. Financially, it may not be the best bet, but there is still a certain level of financial independence that home ownership brings, such as not having to pay for monthly rent, not to mention taking a pesky landlord out of the equation and the eventuality of finally owning the property once the mortgage loan has been paid.

3. If the Price–Rent Ratio Is Lower Than 20

If the housing market’s price–rent (P/R) ratio is lower than 20, then it makes more sense to buy rather than rent. But what is this number and how do you come up with it.

A P/R ratio gives you a rough idea whether homes in your area are fairly priced. All you have to do this is find two similar houses (condos or houses)—one for sale and one for rent—and divide the sale price of the one place of the annual rent for the other. The quotient is the P/R ratio.

For example, there are two identical condo properties (94 sq. meters, three bedrooms) in Penhurst Place in Bonifacio Global City. The first one is listed for sale for Php10 million, while the second is for rent for Php65,000 per month (or Php780,000 per year). If you divide Php10 million by Php780,000, you get a P/R ratio of 12.82.

According to David Leonhardt, in his article published in the New York Times, a P/R above 20 means that the monthly costs of ownership will exceed the cost of renting. A little opaque, but it gives an idea when it makes more sense to buy than to rent. In the case of the Penhurst property mentioned above, it makes much more sense to buy as the monthly rent is greater than what the homeowner would pay on a monthly basis if he buys the property.

4. If You Look at the Financial-Use Aspect

Finally, every home buyer should consider the personal-use aspect when making a purchase. When the house is purchased as a residence, then the property provides both personal-use return and investment return. This means the homeowner can live in the house and avoid paying rent while he or she also experiences gained in the house through appreciation (though appreciation is locked in as the owner cannot use it without selling the house—and lose the place to live in the process).
But in this case the personal use aspect is more important. An initial comparison between renting and buying offhand might favor the former, especially if one takes into consideration the combined costs of mortgage, maintenance, insurance, and taxes.

However, mortgage payment is finite and fixed, whereas rental costs may and will increase. In addition, the mortgage should eventually be paid off, providing the homeowner with a rent-free place to live, which is a great retirement strategy—if the mortgage is paid off at the time of retirement, there will be a reduction in expenses at the same time income falls.

money jar goal The Easy, One Step Guide To Becoming a Successful Long Term Investor

About ZipMatch

ZipMatch is the first comprehensive online community of sellers, developers, brokers, and buyers in the Philippines. It offers everything to make your home purchase easy, from finding the right property and broker to tips on how making money from real estate investment. For more information, visit

About the Author

Rodel Ambas is a former editor-in-chief of a property magazine, has written extensively for Philippine-based publications, and is now in charge of ZipMatch’s content strategy. He attended the University of the Philippines, where he majored in Development Communication.

Figuring out how much of a house/condo you can afford

By Mark B. Aragona for Yahoo! Southeast Asia | BDO Money Matters – Mon, 10 June 2013

For the average Filipino, buying your own home is a major life event. There’s a great sense of joy and satisfaction when you can settle your family in a place you can call your own. But for those who take out a mortgage loan, there is also the corresponding burden of a great financial responsibility.

While part of shopping for a home is looking at its location and overall appeal, the first practical move is determining how much you can actually afford to pay for it. And unless you are moneyed enough to buy any house or condo you want with cash, chances are you’ll need to take a mortgage in order to start being a homeowner. That requires prudence and careful planning. Here are some steps to help you determine how much of a home you can afford to purchase.

1. Look at your current monthly budget
The path to being a homeowner requires a practical first step: identify all your income streams and figure out how much you make each month. This will include your spouse’s if they are contributing to living expenses.

Do NOT base your income on how you expect it to grow in the future; after all, you may not get that raise or promotion later on.

Next, subtract your usual monthly expenses such as groceries, tuition fees, car loan payments, taxes, savings, and other monthly dues. Keep a sharp eye out for items that are unnecessary or even wasteful—any amount you can free up some cash will help you own your home sooner.

2. List down your projected monthly expenses as a homeowner
Here you can simulate what your monthly budget will be like once you have a loan and living in your dream home. You can leave out expenses that won’t apply once you become a homeowner, (such as rent for your current residence) but factor in insurance charges, association dues, perhaps hidden costs that are particular to your neighborhood, such as toll fees.

You may not get them all, but try and incorporate as much of it as you can find. Then incorporate them into your current budget. This will tell you how much amortization you can pay on a regular basis.

3. Determine your down payment
Checking whether or not you have you set aside an amount for purchasing your house is another important question. If the financial institution will loan 80 to 90% of the house or condo unit’s appraised value, that down payment should cover the difference between that and the sales value. Also, the size of your down payment will greatly impact your interest rate, so the bigger the amount you have, the less charges you have to pay.

4. Determine the loan you can afford

Now here’s the critical part. Doing this computation will you save you time and effort by narrowing down your search to homes within your price range.

To make things easier, you can use a free online mortgage calculator, or use an amortization factors table. By using the value of the house you want, the lender’s interest rate, and the length the loan’s term, you can find the price range you can afford and how much of a loan you’ll need. While this calculation may give an indication on the financing you need, it’s still best to approach your financial expert or someone from your bank to solidify the figures and find ways to make a home loan work for you.

Here’s an illustration using the aforementioned tools: Say the sale price of the condo unit you wish to purchase is P2.5M. You already have 500,000 for your down payment and only need to borrow P2M more. If the financial institution you plan to approach is currently offering a housing loan of 8%. You decide on a 30-year amortization. Based on the amortization factors table, you will be paying P14,657.21 a month for 30 years before you can own your home. Now you have an idea of whether or not your budget can take that P2M loan.

It takes time and effort to plan the purchase of your home, but it’s preferable to buying one that you can’t afford and only to have it foreclosed years later. Proper planning now saves you a lot of pain and money later on. Do it right and have a wonderful home life.

Are You Mature Enough To Buy A Home?

By Mark P. Cussen | Investopedia – Fri, 30Nov2012

If you are contemplating buying your first home, you must carefully evaluate your financial situation and understand what you would be getting into. Money is not the only operative factor in this equation either; there is much more to homeownership than mortgage payments, property taxes and the cost of furnishings. Homeownership is a life decision, and it will affect almost every aspect of your life in one way or another.

Buying and moving into a home is a vastly different proposition than moving into a rental house or apartment. If you discover that you don’t like your surroundings as a renter, then you will only have a lease agreement to contend with if you decide to move. Changing houses is obviously a much different proposition, as this requires you to go through the entire home sale and purchase process all over again. Most financial experts will also tell you that you will have to stay in your house for anywhere from two to six years in order to make up for all of the initial closing costs and other expenses that inevitably arise when you buy a home.

One of the biggest disadvantages of homeownership is that there is no landlord to call when something needs to be fixed. Keeping your home structurally and mechanically sound and maintaining an attractive property can cost you thousands of dollars above and beyond your normal upkeep expenses and also require a major commitment of time and effort. Some of the major maintenance projects that you may face include:

Repainting Your House
Your home will likely need a new coat of paint at some point, either inside or out. If you have this done professionally, you can usually expect to pay at least two thousand dollars, depending upon the size of your house and the amount of work that it will take to do the job. Doing this job yourself will be a major undertaking.

Replacing Your Roof
This is one project that you will not likely be able to do yourself. The average cost of a roof can easily range around $10,000 to $15,000, and the price depends upon the type of roof and type of shingles that are used.

Foundation Problems
Foundational erosion and collapse is every homeowner’s worst nightmare, and fixing this problem isn’t going to be cheap. Mud jacking can cost thousands of dollars if the problem is severe.

  • Plumbing and electrical repairs


  • Furnace and air conditioner repairs and replacements


  • Treatments for termites and other pests

Relationship Security
Your pocketbook is not the only thing that needs to be healthy before you buy a home. If you are married or in a domestic partnership, you need to evaluate the stability of your relationship before you commit to purchasing a home together. When two people who live in an apartment together divorce or break up, one of them simply moves out. When two people are listed on the title deed for a residence, getting one of them removed is much more complicated. When this happens, the person who stays must shoulder the entire cost of the home by him or herself (albeit with the help of child support or alimony in many cases). If you are having problems in your marriage or other relationship, then you need to seriously consider where the two of you will be in five or ten years. If you think that there’s a good chance that you will split up, then homeownership should be approached with caution.

Personal Health
If you have physical or mental limitations that may prevent you from being able to perform normal maintenance tasks on your home, then you need to have a clear idea of how you will accomplish these things before you sign on the dotted line. If your health is in decline, then buying a fixer-upper is probably not a good idea unless you can clearly afford to pay for all of the repairs and maintenance.

The Bottom Line
Buying a home requires a certain level of emotional and mental maturity. The ability to think ahead and foresee possible problems down the road is key before making the commitment, especially for first-home buyers.

6 must things to have by 40

Sourced Rappler | | June 12th 2014

Nearing 40 and have nothing yet to speak of? Put your finances in order—now

Twenty-somethings have the time and strength but not enough money to buy and do things they want. Retirees can have enough money, but have the least time and strength.

Thus they say “life begins at 40.” It is true in a sense that most people should be stable, ideally, in all aspects of their life when they turn 40—the “prime” stage in a person’s life.

It is when you are 40 when you can do and be in your greatest potential—and at least, have already achieved the following:

1. Property

When you reach 40, society expects you to be living on your own and having a family. If you get married at around 25, the first thing that you should consider before or right after your wedding is acquiring your own home. If you availed a home loan, you should be fully paid or nearing it by today.


2. Good credit score

Your life will be stressful when you are still paying debt at 40. Considering that as you age, more responsibilities are coming your way—wedding bills, birth, education, emergency fund, and so on. If you do not pay your debts early on, it will be harder for you to pay for it as you go along with your life.


3. Stable cash flow

By the time you’re 40, you should not be in a situation wherein you are clueless on where to get money for what. You should have the budget for everything and it is clear to you where will you get it. Proper financial management takes time and discipline to master, and by this time, you should have mastered it after years.


4. Investment

Following stable cash flow is your financial ability to invest. Investing is great because you let your money work for you instead of putting it in your bank, which only earns little in interest. Stocks, mutual fund, and bonds are some investment options available.



5. Insurance

Life is unpredictable. You get sick, you get hospitalized, and you die.  You do not want to stress yourself further on collecting money for such unfortunate incidents. If you are insured, you can save time and money while saving you from unnecessary stress.



6. Retirement fund

The misconception about retirement fund is that you should have it when you are old. But there is a difference when you want it that way or you really need to work as long as you have the strength to do so. If you build your retirement fund early, you will have that freedom to stop when you want to.


Do not wait until you are 40 before considering to prepare for these things. While you still have the time, strength, and opportunity to work on building the life you want for you and your loved ones, maximize what you have today so you will have a comfortable life after 40 and beyond. –

How to help OFWs make hard-earned money grow?

By Ellen | VERA Files – Sun, 19 January 2014


IT is a question that has perplexed government policymakers and academics for years: where has the money been going?

Since 2006, Alvin Ang, an economics professor at the University of Santo Tomas, has been conducting research into the Filipino migrant worker diaspora for aid agencies, the World Bank, the International Labor Organization and other institutions.

“All these years we’ve been receiving a lot of money, but how come nothing is happening. In general, lots are happening in the economy. It has pushed everything up. It has encouraged a lot of investors to come in,” says Ang. “But for the ordinary person who has a family — who is working abroad — not much has changed in his life.”

It is an all-too-familiar story line for generations of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs): a member of the family leaves for better pay abroad, hoping to build a better life for those left behind — only to come home years later with little or no savings.

An estimated 10 percent of the Philippines’ nearly 100 million population work abroad and they are often hailed by the country as heroes. Nearly every one has a family member or relative abroad. Over 3,000 leave daily for jobs overseas.

In 2012, OFW remittances totaled over $21 billion — forming 8.5 percent of the Philippines’ economic output — according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. That was expected to rise by at least six percent last year.

To get a perspective of how much money Filipinos abroad have been sending home, imagine this: the 102,000-ton, 1,092-foot long Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush cost $6.2 billion when it was completed in 2006. The Philippine government’s defense budget for 2014 is $1.9 billion.

Ang partly blames the failed attempts of Filipino migrant workers to escape poverty on their lack of financial literacy.

“OFWs are entrepreneurs, in a way, because they are willing to take a risk much larger than a businessman would take. They are risking their families,” says Ang, who uses his spare time as president of the Philippine Economics Society to give lectures and enlighten OFWs and their families on the need to make intelligent decisions on money matters.

“A businessman will take a risk if he knows the full valuation around him. But an OFW is willing to take a risk without any information at all,” says Ang.

He tells of a trip that he made last year to Jordan, where he met with Filipinas working as maids for a mere $200 in salaries. “That is just 8,000 pesos and you are leaving your family for that,” relates Ang, shocked.

He added that it may have been better for them to find work as maids here, where they are guaranteed rights and benefits by the Kasambahay Law, which was enacted last year to improve the lot of domestic helpers.

“What do you lose by working abroad? The social cost is so huge. You may no longer have a spouse when you get back, or your child may no longer recognize you,” Ang says.

The government relies on the money they send home to prop up the fragile economy. Countries that host Filipino migrant workers know that. Last year, Taiwan froze the hiring of Filipinos to force Manila to apologize over the May 9 shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman caught poaching by the Philippine Coast Guard. The sanction was lifted after three months.

In early 2010, the Arroyo administration offered so-called “OFW bonds” worth $500 million in an attempt to directly tap into the remittances. Much of the money Filipino migrant workers send home go to education, household expenses and consumer goods.

Commission on Filipinos Overseas Chairperson Imelda Nicolas argues, however, that the economy can get a further boost if Filipino migrant workers plow some of their hard-earned money into investments instead of just buying stuff. The agency has several programs teaching financial literacy, but very few take them up because of various reasons.

“Our culture is that we tend to get frightened when it comes to money matters. That is why very few people put money in banks,” explains CFO program manager Nico Herrera. He emphasizes that there are people who do have money and they want to go into business, but they do not have the business acumen.

“They don’t have anyone to advise them,” says Herrera. “Many think of what they are most familiar with, such as computer repair shops or sari-sari stores. But these can only earn so much. They also don’t look around, so they don’t realize that there is plenty of competition.”

Since the start of the Filipino exodus in the 1970s, the government has focused on protecting the rights and safeguarding the welfare of Filipino migrant workers following horror stories of abuse by employers and crimes by human traffickers. But clearly the numbers show that that is no longer enough.

For Ang, he feels that it is his civic duty to teach financial literacy. He says,“Someone has to go there and talk to them and explain to them these things.”