Okay. I have to admit that I am not immune to their charms. If anything, I love soft leather, and I certainly can appreciate wonderful craftsmanship. The ooohs and aaahs of the woman who realizes what it is is also a great incentive, I will not lie.
Stocks are on the upswing again. How do I know? I look at the stock market reports daily.
This was one of the first tips given by my financial planner to me – to look at the business page, particularly the big rectangular block full of numbers and letters, read it over, pick at least 10 stocks that I would watch daily, and watch them daily (yes, it is a commitment). He said that this way, I would develop a feel for it. This, he tells me further, is how the pros do it – everyday, full time. I looked at him, half-smiling (I was trying to convince him that I could do it) and half-wincing (I imagined it as a painful exercise). Sure looked like it was a lot of hard work. But I found out – it was not.
Let me tell you, I hardly ever looked at the business page before. It screamed boring! to me. After all, who cares about companies and mergers and acquisitions when there’s news that Actress A is pregnant and the dad is Actor B who is married and their story is played till kingdom come and I had 30 minutes to spare? Even the cartoon page would get first dibs.
D and I have been meeting resistance from our financial planner these days.
We (okay, I) had wanted to purchase a lot at Tagaytay Highlands (fine, Midlands) which will give me a free club membership. He said no. I wanted to buy a foreclosed house for which I would pay a pittance for. He said no.
It could be quite frustrating to be told that you cannot buy something that you really, really want to have. But that is the function of a financial planner – he will tell you if you can, when you can, how you can. He is my personal financial brakes, someone to tell me that I am going overboard, or that I am just being silly.
Believe me, no one at the start really is. Some say the stock market is a simple game and playing requires only gut instinct, or no instinct, since the rule is buy low and sell high. Timing is everything and nothing in this game. No one knows when the bottom will come, even when a downward curve is on the horizon.
You can play two ways: online or live. You can see a list of trading participants (brokers, in street parlance) in http://www.pse.com.ph/. Click the link on the left side that says “Trading Participants”.
Financial advise comes from the most unexpected source sometimes.
I met Warren Buffett through a Chinaman, a name the Chinese were called a long time ago, and which I use here with awe and as a form of endearment. My Chinaman, let us call my Chinaman Mr. S, ushered me into the wonderful world of stocks.
He came one ordinary day into the office, wearing simple unassuming clothes, wanting advice for a tax problem. He did not impress me on day one, nor I him. He did not shake my hand when the meeting was over, only did some form of a bow, muttering that he still had a bus to catch. That would not have been odd except that I knew that his net worth was 290 Million Pesos, up from 29 Million Pesos, because he was a stock market genius. Having started learning about stocks that year, I knew I should have his ear, and he mine.