Last month, ADVFN, owner of Finance Manila, co-sponsored one of the biggest investment conferences in the Philippines as its official data provider, held at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura, in Taguig City.
Now on its eighth run, the Money Summit and Wealth Expo 2015 attracted thousands of individuals at different stages of investing experience to a two-day event which featured a simultaneous stock market summit and real estate summit, alongside an expo of over 40 exhibitors from the country’s top performing companies, including banks, insurance companies, investment firms, real estate developers, and stocks and forex brokerage firms.
The event also featured leading investment experts, including former Finance Secretary, Roberto de Ocampo, investment banker Antonio Herbosa, founder of online discussion group Traders Apprentice Pilipinas, and Mica Tan, President and Chief Finance Officer of MFT Group, among other respected analysts and real estate experts.
I was fortunate to be one of the audience to this huge event and listened as the speakers discussed the world of the investment – Philippine-style. For those who missed the event, despair no more as I am about to share with you some of the advice the experts gave during the two-day affair.
On Understanding the Market
Investment banker Antonio “Tony” Herbosa had this to say about the stock market – any stock market for that matter: it is chaotic, and therefore, one who is willing to invest in the stock market must also be willing to embrace chaos.
Mr. Herbosa was almost close to saying that a stock market has a mind of its own that defies logic. He went as far as saying that those who will make it good in the stock market are not the smartest ones in the bunch, whose preoccupation is toward order and regularity. His reason? Because playing in the stock market is all about “instincts” – that feeling in your gut, which, when coupled with “diskarte”, could get you a long way in your investing career.
“A trader gets to play the game as the professional billiard player does – that is, he looks far ahead instead of considering the particular shot before him. It gets to be an instinct to play for position,” Herbosa quoted Jessie Livermore, an American stock trader in the early 20th century famous for being called the Great Bear of Wall Street.
Herbosa’s view on the stock market is also echoed by Ralph Samson with respect to the foreign exchange market.
“Forex market has a beat and a rhythm”, according to Samson, Country Director at the international brokerage firm, FBS Markets Philippines. “You just have to go with the flow”, he said.
For those who intend to invest in the Philippine stock market, Herbosa “revealed” that the local bourse has a six-year bull cycle that coincides with the Presidential elections. According to him, the local barometer PSEi falls months after the elections and will start its bull run for the next six years until the following Presidential elections.
“Humans are creatures of habit,” Herbosa said, and that mentality can be taken advantage of to beat the odds of stock trading.
“Patience literally pays in the stock market,” Luis Limlingan of Regina Capital, reminded the audience.
Where should I invest my money?
“Stocks, real estate, and art” – these are the top three investments one should engage in, according to Tony Herbosa. Investment banker Carlos Jalandoni, for his part, advised that one should stick with blue chip companies when building a stock portfolio.
Jalandoni stated bullish property means bullish banks, which, in turn, results in bullish holding companies. Specifically, Jalandoni mentioned BDO and Ayala Land as his top picks for stocks.
“Pick only two leading stocks ‘among the industry’,” Luis Limlingan advised.
But Noli Alleje and Fitz Villafuerte share a different view as to where one can invest his money best – and that is on real estate.
Nicknamed “El Subastahero”, Mr. Alleje earned the moniker for being the pioneer of property auction sales in the Philippines. Speaking during the first day of the event on ways to make money in real estate, Alleje prefers to invest in foreclosed properties.
“I’m so bent on foreclosures because I always get good value,” stated Noli, who has bid out over 4,000 assets to date and has sold foreclosed assets worth as much as Php 8 billion.
Other ways to make money in real estate include brokerage, or by selling real estate on commission, flipping – or selling a bare unit, free of all rotten parts, buy-fix-lease/sell properties, auctioning off real estates, renting/letting, buying and holding the property, engaging in rent-to-own strategy, and co-ownership of real estate.
Fitz Villafuerte, author of The Ready To Be Rich Guide to Investing, for his part, stated investment in real estate is a good way of investing for retirement in the future.
When is the best time to invest?
As is already a cliché, market experts were unanimous in saying that the best time to join the equities market is NOW. But for Maria Francesca “Mica” Tan, her best time was when she was at a young age of 13.
Speaking to inspire the crowd to get into investing, Mica Tan, whose advocacy now is to help struggling entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed, said she does things she is afraid of doing and that in learning the ropes of stock market investing, one can learn from anyone.
“No one ever became successful by playing it safe,” Tan stated.
“Start small. Practice. Learn and feel the market,” Ralph Samson advised.