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Teaching kids to fend off financial scams.

When it comes to teaching Filipinos how to their money, it's best to, as most would say, 'start 'em young'-even as early as 5 to 7 years old, or as soon as they enter school.

According to a group of chartered financial analysts, it's one way to improve the country's financial literacy and protect more people from fraudulent investment scams.

At the CFA Society Philippines' third Philippine Retail Investors Conference held last month in Taguig City, Cristina Arceo, the society's president and China Banking Corp. Treasury Group's vice president and head of the fixed income desk, said that it would be 'better if parents instill in children the concept of saving and investing.'

'In my case, what my children earn from the holidays, I put into a savings account. When it grows big enough, I open a COL [Financial] account and I show it to them and say, look at your portfolio, it's growing,' Arceo said. 'I introduced them to the concept of investing around the same time they started school.'


Teaching the youth financial literacy also protects them from falling prey to scammers, said Dottie Bernas, Deputy Director at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, who touched on how to avoid fraudulent schemes. Bernas also shared how her son, a college student, almost became a victim of such scammers.

'Ultimately, security rests with the individual. [There is a] need to be financially educated,' she said. 'Some people know that they are being scammed, but they [get into it] anyway because of financial hunger. It's something we need to work on as a country.'

Cycle of wealth

The conference, which had the theme 'Ride the Virtuous Cycle of Wealth,' also had discussions on nontraditional investing, digital finance, dissecting fund selection, wealth management, and the country's economic outlook-something which Joey Cuyegkeng, senior economist of global financial institution ING, felt both 'optimistic and cautious' about.

'The fundamental [policies] in place are strong, solid; but the [political] changes are rocky,' said Cuyegkeng. 'But if government delivers on its promise of huge growth in Mindanao, that would be a plus in the economy.'

Arceo said they chose such theme because 'in whatever circumstance we are in, investing shouldn't take a backseat. By having discipline, we can always prepare for our future.'

She added: 'It's [also] our advocacy to protect investors, and we can only protect them if we empower them with the right information.' An organization of Filipino holders of the globally recognized CFA designation, the group promotes the highest ethical standards and professional excellence among local investors and is affiliated with a global network of finance and investment professionals in over 145 countries. The group is also a member organization of the US-based CFA Institute.


The event's speakers also included COL Financial Group business development consultant Marvin Fausto, financial services digital platform CEO Ron Hose, Citihub finance manager Nikki Yu, and former Association of Superannuation of Funds of Australia (ASFA) CEO Pauline Vamos.

Winners of the first CFA Society Philippines Best Managed Funds of the Year Awards were also recognized at the conference: ALFM Peso Bond Fund, under the Bond Funds (Medium-Term Peso) category; UB Gold Dollar Fund, for Bond Funds (Medium-Term Dollar); Odyssey Peso Bond Fund, for Bond Funds (Long-Term Peso); CBC Dollar Fund , for Bond Funds (Long-Term Dollar); SB Peso Asset Variety Fund, for Balanced Funds (Peso); and Philequity Fund, for Equity Funds (Peso).

'This recognition program aligns with out thrust of upholding the interest of the investing public. Through these awards, we hope to further help them make a decision by introducing the concept of risk-adjusted returns when looking at the performance of various funds, as well as heighten the morale and camaraderie within the industry,' Arceo said.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Dec 26, 2016
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