Now is the best time to start investing your money to make it grow. This was the main advice offered by Sun Life Asset Management Company, Inc (SLAMCI)—the investment arm of giant insurer Sun Life Canada (Philippines), Inc—during its annual market outlook held recently.
SLAMCI President Valerie Pama advised those with regular income to begin allocating even a small portion of their earnings for carefully chosen investments. “Start early. Do it regularly. Be disciplined and focus on your long-term goals,” she said during the media briefing.
For Pama, it is their company’s obligation to continue convincing Filipinos to continue investing even in small amounts. “How do we encourage investors to stay in the market? We continue to educate them about the outlook, we analyze their behavior, and give them insights through testimonials,” she said.
Sun Life Chief Investments Officer Michael Enriquez is maintaining a bullish outlook of the Philippine economy in 2017. “Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the BPO industry, and the large number of Filipinos who are of working age are among the factors boosting our economy from the consumers’ end,” he said. “On the other hand, the rise in government spending (in infrastructure) is bringing about more jobs and has also increased the demand for construction materials.”
Fund management explained
Enriquez explained how fund managers and fund management firms like SLAMCI help people build wealth over time. “We fund managers, we manage long-term money. We create wealth for our investors over the long term. We have a process to create wealth over the long term for our clients, and we have done so given the fact that our equity funds have been growing 14% to 15% on average in spite of the volatilities and uncertainties over the last decade,” he explained.
For Enriquez, local investors should be more concerned about the long-term growth prospects of their money rather than trying to make a quick buck here and there.
“Fund investing is like putting up a business. You need to put more money for the business to continuously grow. The payback period is not one week. It would probably be about 3 years to 4 years.”
“Over the long term, if you have the discipline to continue to invest regularly especially in a very strong backdrop such as the Philippine economy, we can promise to create wealth for our investors,” he added.
Recommending investments on assets
When asked about his advice for investors to make the most in 2017 and in the coming years, Enriquez shared this insight:
“Overall, the economy is strong but it may not necessarily translate to a strong equity market for this year. There are a lot of factors affecting that. Earnings growth rate might not be as strong as what we’ve seen in the previous years but this is a best opportunity now to get asset prices cheaper.”
Enriquez thinks that once the government completes most of its planned infrastructure projects in 2 years to 3 years, asset prices could be higher than how much they are priced at the moment. However, he noted that majority of those projects are still in the bidding process but he hopes the current administration could get its act together on such development programs really soon.