May 29, 2017
Lucia Edna P. de Guzman
Cover art Samantha Gonzales
“My dad came to the Philippines 30 years ago with nothing but ₱500 in his pocket,” said racer, actor, and now Sun Life brand ambassador Matteo Guidicelli. The 27 year‑old Cebuano, a grandson of the late Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan, was born to an Italian father and a Filipino mother. About his father, Mr. Guidicelli said: “(H)e climbed the ladder, driving his motorcycle around Cebu looking for products to export back to Italy. I want to climb my ladder too, starting from zero.”
He is aware of the pitfalls some of his contemporaries have fallen into when their fame started to fade. “We really have to be smart about what we’re gonna do with our finances,” he said. “It’s very, very important to know where your finances are going and how we’re saving it.”
Mr. Guidicelli, along with Sun Life bank and alternate distribution channels head Gerald Bautista and chief marketing officer Mylene Lopa in a press conference last May 17, announced an upcoming vlog (video blog) series called “Make It Mutual” which will be launched in June. The series, which stars Mr. Guidicelli, aims to explain mutual funds to millennials, and to get them to invest early, regardless of whether they’re already wealthy or aspiring to become wealthy. Managing mutual funds is only one of the financial services provided by Sun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
How does Mr. Guidicelli define mutual funds in a way that’s easy to understand? A preview of the vlog was shown during the press conference, where he likened mutual funds, or a pool of funds from different investors in different securities, to: “travelling with your barkada, you share the highs and lows of the trip, and you share the risks and the potential reward.” Meanwhile, he likened mutual fund managers to travel agencies, which would guide how the fund would earn over time just like how agencies handle the details of a trip.
And who doesn’t like to travel? Travelling, getting a new car, starting a family, and buying a house are among the goals of millennials as they charge towards the cusp of their careers to earn the money that they need.
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“In terms of finances, research says that adulting millennials are open to investing and they’re willing to allocate a portion of their earnings in investments,” Ms. Lopa said, defining “adulting millennials” as those above the age of 25, who are in the middle of their careers. However, she added, these millennials feel “locked” in a cycle of “work, eat, sleep, repeat, a very busy lifestyle.”
“But they have a lot of life goals—they want to travel, have a business, own their own house or car, but they’re not sure how to go about achieving their goals,” said Ms. Lopa. “If you don’t do anything, all your goals will remain goals unless we exert effort to achieve it.”
That’s where mutual funds come in as an option. While different financial agencies would offer different rates, investing in mutual funds with Sun Life’s prosperity card program starts at ₱5,000, more or less a month’s worth of designer coffee.
“My ₱5,000 gained 6% interest in less than a year,” Mr. Guidicelli testified. He has been a client of Sun Life for the past three years. Mr. Bautista, who serves as the young racer’s financial adviser (or in Mr. Guidicelli’s own words “ka‑MU [mutual understanding]” when it comes to money matters), described him as a meticulous investor who does due diligence, working with him in order to improve his finances.
“We’re trying to get millennials to start early, because the longer you wait. the longer it would take (to earn),” Mr. Guidicelli explained. “And it’s not true that you’re not gonna to be able to travel or do what you want. Imagine if you’re going to make ipon now, and you invest, you can have nicer travels along the way. You’ll have security, knowing that in five, ten years from now, you’ll still have money.”
Sun Life will be conducting free financial planning sessions from June to July in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao. For more details, visit http://brighterlife.com.ph/.
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