Contributed by Melvin J. Esteban, FLMI, AFSI, RFP, CFC
With practically a bank on every corner, how can you choose a bank that is right for you? And though there are fewer mutual fund companies, I still use the same principles in choosing the institution that will match your needs. Consider the following:
Stability. You may want to consider the bigger banks. With things being equal, bigger banks will most likely be more stable than the smaller ones. And since most of the big banks nowadays are publicly listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange, it’s easier to get information about them. Try to maximize the use of your Internet as well.
Reputation. What is their investment and management philosophy? Are they too strict or too lenient? It is always best to ask your friends or family who have dealt with these companies. Try to also look at the reputations of the owners. Look at their other lines of businesses and what their business practices are.
Returns. Even if different institutions offer the same products, they may differ in the returns. Some banks may also offer some enhancements like earning some points or getting some form of a reward. Take advantage of this as it will enhance your return. For UITF and MM Mutual Funds, past performance is a good indicator. I prefer funds having consistent returns than a fund getting high return on one year and a low return on another year. Shop around.
Relationship, Service, Location. These should also be considered. Savings is a commitment that is long term. Make sure the institutions you choose is accessible and pleasant to deal with. All in all, choose the one that you’re most comfortable dealing with.
Now, as you develop your savings plan and emergency fund, you are one step closer to achieving Financial Freedom.
Melvin J. Esteban is CEO of Motivating Minds, one of the leading consultancy groups in the country. He is the first Filipino to win the prestigious “Young ASEAN Manager Award” given by the ASEAN Insurance Council in 2007; and was the youngest to achieve vice presidency during his stint in insurance at AIG and Philamlife. Melvin has over 14 years of experience in the financial services industry, working in financial services marketing, product development, and strategic business development. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.