Bolstering financial literacy amid the pandemic, First Metro Securities Davao Business Development Head Roberto Marco N. Samson urged the students of Ateneo de Davao University not to fear investing in stock markets despite the decline during the first month of community quarantines as long as appropriate investment mindset is maintained.
Based on the Philippine Stock Exchange Composite index (PSEi), the index closed at 4,623 last March 19, the lowest since January 2012 at 4,611. The highest index level recorded during the five-month community quarantine period was last June that exceeded the 6,500 mark. Currently, the index is in between 5,900-6000.
Noting that people had overreacted to the sudden decrease of the stock index last March, Samson said the situation prompted them not to invest despite it being normal.
“Masyadong dinibdib ‘yong pagbagsak ng market noong March na parang natakot na sila mag invest kasi iniisip nila na ganito pala yung stock market na pwedeng bumagsak nang ganoon kalaki in just a short amount of time when in fact, a recession is part of the typical market cycle,” Samson said.
“The challenge is educating people na this is what the stock market actually is. It is possible to go down or go up but as long as you maintain the proper investment mindset that is appropriate for you, you should be able to make money,” Samson, also a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-licensed Certified Securities Representatives (CSR) and Certified Investment Solicitor (CIS), added.
During Samson’s discussion in a webinar entitled Stock Markets 101, he introduced the First Metro (FM) Philippine Equity Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF), which is an investment fund traded on stock exchanges, allowing the investors to invest in a basket of stocks of large companies.
In his presentation of infographics by the First Metro Asset Management Inc., transparency, diversification, liquidity, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness are reasons why people should invest in FM-ETF.
“Investors can now own shares of companies included in [a] specific index at a fraction of a price giving everyone a chance to build wealth over time,” the presentation read.
Advice to potential investors
Considering students who plan on investing, Samson urged them to begin with FM-ETF, the first to offer such service, as its trading strategy is generally passive and the minimum investment it requires depends on the price and board lot.
“Investing is putting your money to work… even if we did not work for it, our money still managed to grow… what matters is that we made our money grow [itself] for us,” the Ateneo BS Industrial Engineering alumnus emphasized.
“All you have to do is invest regularly, ako twice a month ako nag-iinvest yung iba once a month but it depends… The point here is to invest regularly. Do it with FM-ETF because it contains certain bluechip companies already.”
Samson, who is also a Bloomberg Certified Financial Markets Professional, also shared how the pandemic, despite its negative effects, provided a boon for the company.
“Simula noong nag-move to GCQ noong March, mas madami pa yung nag open ng account sa amin kasi nga we are well-prepared for the shift to digitalization, to be tech-savvy. Because of the lockdown, walang lumalabas pero we’re still able to [cope],” he stated.
Meanwhile, in an online interview, Junior Finance Executive (JFINEX) President Clarissa Cayanong highlighted how the webinar on stock markets will help the student community.
“In these times, it is important to understand what involving yourself in the stock market means and see if you are truly ready to invest or trade in the stock market. You might jump into the stock market without knowing your current financial status which might give you more harm than good especially in these trying times where sources of income are scarce,” Cayanong said.
Asked on the grounds of the webinar, Cayanong also shared that the inspiration came from media outlets mentioning the potential opportunities that the stock market can bring to capable investors or traders.
“Students in our university can make use of the key information once they decide to grow their money in the stock market and make use of their finances wisely. With the fact that even students as early as today, can participate in the stock market, it is even more relevant for the club to be driven to include such an informative and useful webinar.”
Stock Market 101 was the first webinar among the roster of events initiated by JFINEX.