Money and insurance

Marvin Germo: How to win in spite of the uncertainties going on in the macro-economy

“We don’t know what will happen in the macro-economy but we can control how we save, how we invest, and how we protect our finances.”

FWD Life Philippines

The secret to trading is that there is no secret to trading. That’s according to Stock Smarts CEO Marvin Germo, who partnered with FWD Life Insurance in its advocacy to spread financial literacy. Germo’s ability to break down complicated investment concepts into understandable language makes him a sought-after investment speaker in the country.

 The stock market trader and analyst says in his YouTube video that there’s no secret to success either. “It’s something you must work hard for. People who hustle hard have the ability to manifest their dreams. Eventually, you will be in a position where you could actually earn more regardless of where the economy is. You need to deploy your capital into three things: savings, investment, and protection. These will help you manifest your goals, dreams, and desires even when the economic conditions are uncertain.”

 Investment-linked insurance

 If you’re at the point where you’ve saved enough from your employment or business, where do you invest your money? According to Germo, one asset class that allows you to grow your money and get life protection is variable unit-linked insurance (VUL). Germo explains that VULs give you the ability to have investments and allow you to have exposure in either or both the stock market and bond market. “When the market is down, prices are lower. The narrative in investing is that you invest in something when it’s generally lower and that happens when people are scared, when there’s a lot of uncertainty around—and that’s what’s going on right now.”

 If your appetite for risk is more conservative, VULs give you the option to position in bonds, which are generally less volatile. “If you want the best of both worlds, they also have balanced funds, which give fund managers wiggle room to invest either in stocks, which are more volatile, or in bonds. VULs don’t just give you investment but also protection.”

 Germo emphasizes that VULs have the ability to make your money grow when you are very strong and have the capacity to earn, and at the same time the life insurance component will help your family and allow your dreams to manifest should there be untoward incidents happening in between. “That’s what I like about VUL—it’s a product that’s a hybrid for people who don’t want to maintain multiple investments.”

 FWD Manifest

 We’re not all like Marvin Germo who can analyze the stock and bond markets, but like us he wants his money to work for him, not the other way around. He says he had a meeting with an FWD financial advisor who asked him about his goals, and “the things that I need to be protected, which is highly important if you want to streamline your investments. It was a good and fun moment where I got interviewed and shared the targets I want to hit and how I wanted to invest.”

 From there the financial advisor gave Germo his uniquely structured plan customized to his lifestyle and goals. For Germo, what stands out about FWD Manifest are the bonuses. “Manifest gives you a Start-up Bonus so you get rewarded for giving your wealth more time to grow. Up to 30% of your basic annual premium will be invested in the first policy year and added to your account value in the 5th and 10th years.”

 Germo adds, “What’s also interesting about Manifest is its Premium Extension Bonus. It gives you an additional 2% invested in your account for just continuing your premium payments after the required period. This way you also get compensated just by continually investing more. Investing is all about building a base and creating a large amount of volume in your investments. It’s very prudent to stock and to add. FWD Manifest is structured in a way that incentivizes you.”

Not only that, “the Loyalty Bonus gives you a non-guaranteed cash reward in the 10th year of your policy, plus you have it recurring every five years, so the longer you hold, you have the ability to get more returns. This is on top of what you get from the capital appreciation of the equity funds or the balance funds and the life insurance protection.”

FWD Manifest also gives you Investment Protector Bonus. “We don’t know where the Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) will be over the next 7 or 14 years. With FWD Manifest, the loyalty bonus will be doubled if the PSEi is lower compared to its price five years ago. Meaning if you invest and the PSEi, for example, is at 6000 today, and five years later it’s at 5900 or 5800, your loyalty bonus will be doubled. So, this plan is structured in a way that allows you to somehow get compensated if the market is not as favorable after five years.”

 Germo also talks about Manifest’s Guaranteed Milestone Increase. “A very big milestone for me was that my wife just gave birth so I’m a father now. Manifest gives you additional perks when there’s a new milestone in your life. You get the one-time pre-approved 20% benefit amount increase up to a maximum of Php2 million.”

“You also get additional cash benefit should you pass away due to an accident before the age of 75 years old. Your beneficiaries will get three times the benefit if it happens on a covered Philippine holiday. Lastly, one of the things that’s so interesting about it is that FWD will waive future premiums should you be unable to pay due to major illness, permanent disability, or death.”

How to manifest your goals

Germo concludes, “You can never go wrong if you take the time to study and learn; and if your goal of investing, saving, and protecting yourself is for you to be able to hit your goals of financial freedom.”  

“It’s never about getting rich quick; it’s about getting rich right and loving the process. The way for you to manifest your dreams in the future is to act on them today. Do the work right here, right now. Start deploying capital, start studying, saving, and investing.”

 Book a free financial session with an FWD financial advisor today to know more how you can manifest your financial goals.

Jun Marasigan
Chief Agency Officer, FWD Life Philippines; with over 26 years in the financial services industry

Financial wellbeing coincides with your overall wellness as a person. Marasigan believes it doesn’t matter how much money you have or what age you are now and that you don’t even have to be an expert on finances to start a financial plan that will lead to a worry-less, more enjoyable life for you and your family.

Ready to be financially healthy? Follow these three tips from Jun Marasigan’s talk in FWD’s “Be the Stronger, Better You in 2022” workshop last December 2021. They are easy ways of getting your financial track on the right one:

1. Set a goal.

A goal is a must. What is your ultimate dream for yourself? What do you want in life? Do you want to protect your family? Secure your health? Or invest your money?

Listing goals gives you direction and makes you want to do something. A more telling question is this: why is this my goal? It will now give you a deeper motivation to accomplish the plan.

It’s easy to come up with resolutions but being clear on its purpose shifts your perspective on why it matters and why you should achieve that particular goal. Being clear right at the very start helps you develop a financial plan that supports the achievement of your goals. This step includes checking your present state with your finances so that you can pivot or take a clear action based on whatever goal you set up for yourself.

2. Develop a financial plan.

Building a personal finance plan isn’t something you can take for granted. Perhaps you already have a financial plan but you’re just not following through, or you don’t know your next steps. Realistically, keeping your plan together is not that simple but with a clear milestones in mind it’s something you can develop as long as you do it.

“Every person requires different approaches to financial planning. What may be right for someone might not be right for you.” Marasigan explains that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to your accomplishing your financial goals. He believes every person is at a different life stage, which means that they require a unique approach to financial planning. Where you are in life calls for a different financial plan. His tip is that you shouldn’t wait for life’s important events to happen before you act. You need to pull ahead.

When taking the first steps towards your plan, keep these considerations in mind: (a) your goals, needs, and wants; (b) your current financial health or financial progress; (c) your willingness to take risks; (d) a timeline; and (e) your budget. Put each aspect in the right place and you’re off to a good start.

If you struggle with coming up with your financial plan, talk to a financial advisor. Everyone needs help, especially when it comes to money. So, seeking and talking to a financial advisor is a huge help in starting and eventually fulfilling your financial goals.

3. Come up with a protection plan.

Obstacles, risks, and emergencies are inevitable in life, so how do you handle these things?

You manage by preparing for it. When you are primed for the unexpected, you focus better on what matters to you. Preparation is protection from future stress and troubles that you may encounter. Marasigan suggests, “Don’t discount your financial well-being. Think about what future you want for yourself and your family,” A backup plan or a safety net, like insurance, is one way to get yourself ready for the unexpected and protect what you worked hard for, for yourself and your loved ones.

So, what are you waiting for? All it takes is three steps to start you on a journey towards financial wellbeing and celebrating living.

At the end of it all, it’s all about living life holistically and the only way to do that is by being secure in the equally important aspects of life—social, emotional and mental, physical, and financial.

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