Friday, May 29, 2009

A Guide To Investing Early

Young people often think they don’t know enough about the market to jump in and start investing. But fear of the unknown and the misguided belief that retirement planning can wait can cost you big in the long run. There are numerous advantages to getting into investing while you’re young, but the single biggest advantage is time. When you start investing in your 20s, you get way more returns for you money. With compounding interest, your money grows significantly over time, and a little more time can make a big difference. Additionally, the more time you have to invest before retirement, the more ability you will have to recover from any market losses. Here are some essential points for young people to remember when they start investing:

Start now no matter how much money you have to invest

You don't need a large sum of money to start investing in the market. There are mutual funds that have minimum investments of $250 or less. Mutual funds are ideal for young investors because they allow you to own a bunch of company stocks without putting up a bunch of money. The earlier you start investing, the less you will have to put in the market to meet your goals. For example, if you wanted to have $1,000,000 saved for retirement at 65 years old and assumed a 10% rate of return, you would only have to contribute $179 per month if you started investing at 25 years old. That’s a total of $85,920 over 40 years. If, however, you waited 20 years to start contributing at 45 years old, you would have to put out $1,381 per month. That’s a total of $331,440 over 20 years. It will have cost you $245,520 by waiting to invest.

Keep Your Eye on the Long-Term Horizon

When investing in equities, you can't let the day-to-day trials and tribulations of the market scare you off. Both new and old investors are often spooked out of the market by short-term losses, but if you try to time the market, you can lose more than you save. In the current market cycle, stock prices have fallen sharply, but that does not mean you shouldn’t still invest in some equities. In fact now is probably a good time for young investors to buy in because you can get more shares for your money. If and when stock prices rise again, you’ll enjoy even larger gains.

Don’t Forget Debt and Savings

As important as investing is, you can’t neglect to pay off your debt and build a healthy emergency fund. Getting out of debt will save you in interest payments and improve your credit score. If you have a credit card with an 18% interest rate, paying it off is almost like getting a return of 18% on your money. The current economic crisis has shown the true importance of having liquid savings on hand. Financial advisors have long advised people to have 3 to 6 months of expenses in emergency savings, but lately that recommendation has been revised up to 6 to 12 months. Your savings should be kept in a short-term vehicle like a certificate of deposit (CD), or money market account, so that it’s easily accessible if you lose your job or have to cover for emergency expenses like car repairs or medical bills. When starting out, it’s important to allocate your money to paying off debt, building savings and investing. When your debt and savings obligations are met, then you can focus primarily on investing.

source:; photo from

TRC Training Schedule (June 2009)

Available Courses for June 2009 Date/Time Price
Trendy Balloon Decors
Lecture/Hands-on: material requirement and supplier, cost requirement, balloon twisting and how to make balloons as decorations.
June 1
Hair Trimming, Perming, Dyeing and Make-up Techniques
Lecture: Structures, divisions, forms, characteristics and styles of hair; purposes of make-up, facial balance and applications. Hands-on: Hair trimming (short, medium and long length), perming, dyeing, make-up (daytime, evening and glamour) Bring model, scissors, cape, towel, hairpins and comb.
June 1-2
Basic Digital Photography
Lecture and workshop: fundamentals of digital photography, photo shooting techniques including indoor and outdoor photo activities. Bring digital camera and USB.
June 2-3
How to Make Fashion Accessories
Lecture: Methods used, sources of tools and materials, costing. Hands-on: necklace, earring, cellphone charm, bracelet, bag charm and ID holder. Bring long-nose pliers and sharp scissors.
June 3-4
Operation and Management of an Import-Export Business
Lecture: basic of exporting and importing including technologies, procedures and products in big demand locally and abroad, sales and marketing aspects of export-business offer, packaging and alternative profit centers for overruns.
June 4-5
Silkscreen Printing
Lecture: computer/digital art preparation, photographic stencil making, finishing - curing and drying, pressing techniques. Hands-on: t-shirt, ceramics, decals, glass and metal printing. Bring #0.5 technical pen, ink and USB.
June 5-7
Accounting and Record Keeping for Small Businesses
Lecture: bookkeeping, reporting and analysis of transaction results for small business operators and owners. Bring calculator.
June 6-7
Fresh Flower Arrangement and Flower Shop Operation and Management (with field trip)
Lecture: creativity, balance, proportion, texture and color harmony, flower shop operation and organizational management, costing, pricing and sourcing of materials. Demonstrations on standing flower arrangements for inaugural, funeral and other important occasions. Hands-on: traditional round center piece, long and low arrangements, floral bouquet, line, plane and mass arrangements. Bring garden scissors.
June 6-8
Setting up a Travel Agency
Lecture: role and functions of a travel agent, organizing the business, requirement for travel agency set-up, rules and regulations governing travel agencies, basic travel agency operations and office procedures, professional code of ethics, the travel agency and other providers of travel products - transportation, accommodations, etc.
June 8
Personal Care Products
Lecture: material specifications, whitening and anti-ageing product formulation, BFAD regulation, supplier sourcing, costing and pricing. Hands-on: whitening and anti-ageing soap, lotion and cream.
June 9-10
Layer Production (Table Egg) (with field trip)
Layer breed, production management, housing, nutrition, feeds and feeding management and production economics.
June 9-11
Setting up a Micro Lending Business
Lecture: lending act, financing act, type of microloans, simple interest & effective interest rate, different method of computation, micro-lending & credit cooperative, procedures in granting loan, documents used in granting loans.
June 11
Commercial Breadmaking and Bakery Management
Lecture: Functions of ingredients, proportions and product formulations, equipment and material sourcing, costing and pricing, bakery management. Hands-on: pan de sal, monay, ensaymada, raisin bread, buns, bread rolls, loaf bread, and bread with fillings. Bring calculator, apron and canister.
June 11 & 13-15
Jewelry Appraisal and Pawnshop Operation
Lecture: gold testing and diamond grading, pricing, valuation and identification of gemstones, government laws and implementing guidelines related to pawnshop operation. Hands-on: determining genuine stones and appraising of gold and diamond, plating of jewelry (gold to gold). Bring calculator.
June 13-14
Perfumes and Colognes
Lecture: starting a perfume business, formulations, blending of essential oils, types of perfumes and colognes, product requirements, materials specifications, cost and return analysis. Hands-on: oil-based and water-based, cream perfumes for men and ladies, body splash, gel colognes and eau de toilette.
June 15
Event Planning, Marketing and Management
Lecture: basic knowledge of event planning and management for wedding, parties, local trade exhibits, meetings, consumer events (tiangges), seminars, conventions, conferences conceptualization and topical development, etc. and profitability and traffic for the event; a thorough knowledge of management functions is a requisite for successfull events.
June 16-17
Quail Raising
Quail egg production and management, feeds and feeding, cost and return analysis, health management.
June 16-17
Coffee Shop Management and Operation (with field trip)
Lecture: personnel administration, organization, site selection, marketing, materials and equipment, cost analysis. Hands-on: different coffee concoctions/preparations.
June 17-19
Aromatic and Decorative Candle Making
Lecture: types of waxes, formulation, art of blending of essential oils and uses, melting method, proper wick fixing, techniques in forming/moulding candles, design techniques and cost and return analysis. Hands-on: hurricane candle, floating candle, hand-formed candle, and candles in glass containers with application of aromatherapy oil.
June 18-19
Laundry Soap and Detergents
Lecture: material specifications, product formulations, costing and pricing. Hands-on: Laundry bar soap, liquid and powdered detergents. Bring calculator.
June 20-21
Operating a Laundry Shop Business (Small-Scale)
Lecture: plant layout and design: production flow, job function; customer service and its place in the textile care industry; operating a small laundry washing machine, pressing, laundry washroom chemistry, market strategy including pricing, promotion, site selection. Environmental management concerns.
June 20-21
Swine Production (with field trip)
Starting a piggery business, general management for piglets and fatteners, housing and equipment, feeds and feeding, record keeping, analysis and interpretation, health management.
June 20-23
Chinese Dimsum
Lecture: principle of Chinese cooking, utensils and equipment, functions of ingredients, etiquette of Chinese dining, costing. Hands-on: wonton soup, siomai, almond jelly, quekiam, siopao, pork dumplings, crispy spring rolls, seafood chow mein and crispy butterfly prawns. Bring apron and hand towels.
June 22-23
Pangasius Culture
Lecture: status of the industry, site selection, hatchery/nursery operation and management, grow-out culture mixturing various types of culture systems, nutrition, cost and return analysis.
June 23-24
Specialty Cakes and Pastries
Lecture: material and equipment specifications, functions of ingredients, product formulation, costing and pricing; Hands-on: mousse cake, black forest, crema de fruta, sans rival, apple pie, swiss roll, puff and danish pastry varieties. Bring calculator, apron, hand towels and canisters.
June 24-25
Jewelry Appraisal and Pawnshop Operation
Lecture: gold testing and diamond grading, pricing, valuation and identification of gemstones, government laws and implementing guidelines related to pawnshop operation. Hands-on: determining genuine stones and appraising of gold and diamond, plating of jewelry (gold to gold). Bring calculator.
June 25-26
Basic Meat Processing
Lecture: meat preservation technology, production and quality control guidelines, packaging, handling and storage, new trends in the business. Hands-on: bacon, tocino, pork and chicken ham, pork sausage (fresh native and canton), corned beef, hamburger and beef tapa. Bring apron and hand towels.
June 26-27
Setting up a Travel Agency
Lecture: role and functions of a travel agent, organizing the business, requirement for travel agency set-up, rules and regulations governing travel agencies, basic travel agency operations and office procedures, professional code of ethics, the travel agency and other providers of travel products - transportation, accommodations, etc.
June 27
Basic Reservation and Ticketing for Travel Agencies (with field trip)
Lecture: introduction to travel agency ticketing procedures and preparing a passenger ticket.
June 29-30
Catering Business Operation
Lecture: table setting, equipment, menu planning and preparation, costing and pricing. Hands-on: table skirting and napkin folding techniques. Bring calculator.
June 30-July 1
Commercial Breadmaking and Bakery Management
Lecture: Functions of ingredients, proportions and product formulations, equipment and material sourcing, costing and pricing, bakery management. Hands-on: pan de sal, monay, ensaymada, raisin bread, buns, bread rolls, loaf bread, and bread with fillings. Bring calculator, apron and canister.
June 29-July 2


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Swine Flu Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment

One of my close friends just texted and asked what are the symptoms of swine flu. I immediately checked the Department of Health website and got the following info:

What is Influenza A (H1N1)?

  • Influenza A(H1N1) is caused by a novel virus that resulted from the reassortment of 4 viruses from pigs, human and birds.
  • It is a new virus causing illness in people.
  • It was first detected in people in April 2009 in the United States.
  • This virus is spreading from person-to-person, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread.
  • There is no vaccine yet to protect humans from this virus.
  • There are existing and recommended medicines that are effective in treating these Influenza A(H1N1).
  • Influenza A(H1N1) can be fatal to humans due to severe respiratory distress (pneumonia)

Why this new Influenza A(H1N1) virus is sometimes called “swine flu”?

This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory tests showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and avian genes and human genes. Scientists call this a “quadruple reassortant” virus.

Do pigs carry this virus and can people catch this virus from a pig?

At this time, there is no evidence that swine in the United States are infected with this new virus. However, there are flu viruses that commonly cause outbreaks of illness in pigs. Most of the time, these viruses do not infect people, but influenza viruses can spread back and forth between pigs and people.

Are there human infections with this virus?

Yes. Cases of human infection with this virus were first confirmed in the U.S. in Southern California and near Guadalupe Country, Texas. The outbreak intensified rapidly from that time and more and more states have been reporting cases of illness from this virus. Other countries with confirmed cases include Mexico, United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, China (Mainland China, Hongkong), Portugal, Poland, Guatemala, Spain, Costa Rica, Colombia, Denmark, El Salvador, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina, Panama.

In the Philippines, there are now seven new Cases Under Observation (CUO), all of whom are from NCR. Since May 1, 2009, the DOH has monitored 120 CUOs, two of whom were confirmed cases of A(H1N1). Of the 120, 111 have been discarded since they are negative for Influenza A(H1N1). The laboratory results of the remaining seven are still pending (Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 May 2009 15:48).

Is this new virus contagious?

Yes, Influenza A(H1N1) virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. However, at this time, it is not known how easily the virus spreads between people.

What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in humans?

Similar to the symptoms of regular flu such as:
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or joint pains
  • Lack of appetite
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Some cases have reported diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
How severe is illness associated with this virus?

It is not known at this time how severe this virus will be in the general population. Experts are studying the medical histories of people who have been infected with this virus to determine whether some people may be at greater risk from infection, serious illness, or hospitalization from the virus.

How does Influenza A(H1N1) virus spread?

  • Coughing or sneezing by people with influenza
  • Touching things with flu viruses on it and then touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes

Can I get infected with Influenza A(H1N1) from eating or preparing pork?

  • No, you can’t get influenza A(H1N1) by eating properly handled and thorough cooked pork and pork products
  • The virus is killed by cooking temperatures of 160 F/70 C.

What is the incubation period?

Seven (7) to ten (10) days from the time of exposure to the first onset of signs and symptoms

How long can an infected person spread Influenza A(H1N1) to others?

Infected person maybe contagious from one day before they develop symptoms to up to 7 days after they get sick. Children might potentially be contagious for longer periods.

Are there medicines to treat infection with AH1N1?

Yes. Oseltamivirr or zanamivir are the recommended drugs to treat and or prevent infection with this virus. You have to consult a doctor before using these drugs to avoid resistance.

Is vaccine available to protect people from getting infected with AH1N1?

No, at present there is no vaccine against this virus.

How can we prevent the spread of the virus?

1. Observe proper personal hygiene:
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water, at least for 20 seconds (or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers) especially after handling patients and specimen, before and after eating, after using the toilet and as necessary.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
2. Increase your body’s resistance
  • Have at least 8 hours of sleep
  • Be physically active
  • Manage your stress
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Eat nutritious food, especially fruits and vegetables
3. Social distancing
  • Avoid crowded places.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home if you are sick until you are free from symptoms to prevent the spread of the virus.
What to do if somebody gets sick?

If there is flu like symptoms, consult the doctor immediately. Report to the proper health authorities .

Is there a pandemic risk on Influenza A(H1N1)?

Yes. If the Influenza A(H1N1) establishes efficient and sustained human-to-human transmission then it can cause an influenza pandemic. The impact of a pandemic is difficult to predict. It depends on virulence of the virus, existing immunity among people, cross protection by antibodies acquired from seasonal influenza infection and host factors.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Good Debt. vs. Bad Debt

When it comes to debt, most consumers fall into either of two camps – those who fear debt and those who embrace it. Let’s call the first group the debt-o-phobes. To these folks, debt is to be avoided at all costs. They don’t carry a credit card and refuse to buy anything, except a home perhaps, on credit. We’ll call the other group debt-thusiasts. As long as they can have whatever they want right now and can afford the monthly payments, they don’t care how much debt they are in or interest they will pay.

Neither extreme is healthy. The debt-thusiasts never get ahead and have little chance of building wealth.

The debt-o-phobes, on the other hand, can save a considerable amount of money in interest, but they have less money available to fund revenue-generating investments.

Bad Debt

What exactly is bad debt?
Bad debt is availing of a loan that would be used to purchase something that would depreciate or decrease in value over time. It is money you owe on something that does not increase your earning potential. Generally speaking, if you go on a spending spree with your credit card, you are taking on bad debt.

Good Debt

Good debt is
when you avail of a loan to buy an asset that would appreciate over time or will give you good value or use over the years. It is money you owe on something that increases your earnings potential sufficiently to pay back the debt. Examples of good debt include availing of a loan to buy a house or fund a business that would generate income for you.

Debts have a cost attached to them. You have to pay for the cost of borrowing, which is interest. And when you miss a payment, you would also have to pay other charges including penalties, depending on what's covered in your loan contract. This is why one should think twice about going into debt. If you can, take only good debt.

Consider these things if you are serious about availing of a loan:
  1. When choosing a home, consider its location. It should have the potential to appreciate in value over time. Some indicators of good location and appreciating value include proximity to schools, shopping malls, business districts, and commercial areas. Visit the location first before committing to buy a home.
  2. Think of ways to maximize the use of the asset you’re buying. For instance, you can rent out the property if your family will not use it as a residence, or rent out one room to a boarder. If you are getting a car, consider carpooling so as to lower your gasoline cost.
  3. Shop around for the best terms before signing on the dotted line. Go to several banks and financing companies and compare rates and other terms. Generally, in-house financing offered by real estate companies and car companies are the most expensive. Choose the one that offers the best.
  4. Find ways to lower your cost of borrowing. Check out loans available with the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, and PAG-IBIG Fund. If you are buying a car, consider trading in your old one to lower the cost of purchasing a new car. It may even be wiser to buy a one-year-old car than a brand new one. It will be cheaper, yet still give you good mileage.

  5. Always read the fine print before signing documents. Read about penalties, defaults, and the like. Find out if there are penalties for prepayments. If none, pay off the loan faster if you can to save on interest expense.

  6. Safeguard loan documents. Keep them in a safe place but make sure your spouse knows where these can be located.

A debt can be a good tool to secure your financial future. Go into it only after careful thought and manage it well. Financially healthy, wealthy, and wise individuals are not opposed to taking on debt, but they are very proactive in limiting bad debt and maximizing the power of good debt.

source:, (photo)

*Disclaimer: Readers are solely responsible for their own investment decisions and should thus conduct their own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What you want vs. what you need

There is nothing wrong with wanting things that you don't need, but there may be a problem when you buy things that you don't need and you can't afford. When you want something and it is not a priority in your life, the wise thing to do is to save the money to buy it.

There is a difference between what you want and what you need:
  • What you want are things that you see, or hear about, that makes you feel the urge to possess them, whether you need them or not.
  • What you need are basic items that help sustain you for the good of your health and your everyday living experience.
There is nothing wrong with getting something that you want at a later date by saving for it but your priority should be spending the money that you have on the things that you need.

Saving your money is possible, especially if you develop and incorporate a good plan for saving and a budget strategy that you can live with. Learning self-control and self-discipline can go a long way in helping you save for the things you want.

Remember, if you start a savings account and put money into it on a regular basis, your savings will soon grow and you will have more buying power in the future.

I'm reposting this from my blog at destroydebt.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

How to make strawberry jam

For this project, we will make strawberry jam. Keep in mind, though, that other similarly pulpy and juicy fruits can also be made into jam.

You will need a total of P2,508 to buy the ingredients for this project in bulk. If you just want to try out making jam, though, you need not buy the whole lot. For instance, you can simply buy 200g of citric acid for P50 instead of paying P110 for a whole kilo.

Most of the utensils and equipment you will need for this project should already be available in your kitchen: measuring spoons and cups, gas stove, casserole, pressure cooker, ladle, containers, mixing bowl, and packaging bottle with lag-type cap (a box of 24 pieces of this costs P150).

Measure the ingredients and put them in individual containers. Then mix all the dry ingredients—the sugar, the food gel, and the citrus pectin. You may also mix the citric acid together with the other dry ingredients. Usually, though, the citric acid is best added after cooking the jam. This is because jams, depending on the quality of sugar and fruit used, tend to become either too sweet or too sour after cooking. So to get the desired taste—whether you want it on the sour or sweet side—add just the right amount of citric acid.

You must also carefully choose the quality of the sugar you are going to use. Keep in mind that commercially available granulated sugar is milder in taste than the finer sugars. Recommended for this particular jam recipe is the refined sugar that’s available in public markets.

After putting all the dry ingredients onto the bowl, mix them thoroughly until all the ingredients could no longer be individually identified. You need to make sure of this because if the ingredients are not mixed well, the citrus pectin won’t dissolve in the mixture. (Citrus pectin also does not dissolve directly in water.) Afterwards, set aside the mixture. Get the strawberries, wash them thoroughly, and remove their sepals (these are the leaf-like parts on top of the fruit). Press the fruits in a bowl using a spoon until you obtain 1/4 cup of the crushed fruit, including its juice. Make sure that you have thoroughly crushed the strawberries. Set aside.

Pour the water into the casserole, followed by the crushed strawberries, the juice and the mixed dry ingredients. Stir and blend all the ingredients until they are thoroughly mixed.

: When the ingredients, except for the pieces of the crushed strawberry, have already dissolved, allow the mixture to simmer on high fire. Continuously stir to prevent scorching and forming bubbles. When the mixture starts to boil, lower the fire and allow the mixture to simmer until it achieves a thick enough consistency.

There are actually two techniques for determining if your jam is thick enough and ready to be packed—the plate test and the gelling test. In the plate test, you need to scoop out some jam using a ladle or spoon and then let the jam drip from the edge of the ladle or spoon back into the casserole. If the jam does not drip completely from the edge of the utensil, then the jam is already thick enough. If it drips completely, then you would need to simmer it a bit longer. The gelling test, on the other hand, is done by dripping a drop or two of the jam in water placed in a container. If the jam does not disperse in the water, then it is thick enough.

Add the flavoring and check the jam for taste. If the jam is too sweet, then add a little citric acid and mix. Although the strawberry flavoring is artificial, it has the exact taste and aroma of the real fruit. This is what makes it a “nature-identical” flavor.

You can now pack the jam in bottles. Don’t wait for the jam to cool before packing it; otherwise, the jam would solidify into gel. You may pasteurize the product to prolong its shelf life to up to a year.

Pasteurization is the process of heating a substance to kill pathogens that can cause spoilage or disease; it also slows down the growth of microbes in the product being pasteurized. To pasteurize bottled jam, you can use the kitchen pressure cooker, designed to create 10 psi (pounds per square inch) to heat the bottles for two hours.

Entrep Tip:
Don’t use a blender to press the strawberry fruits because doing so would make your jam cloudy instead of clear. Bubbles will form when you use a blender. Don’t use too much flavoring. Your jam won’t smell good and won’t taste well if you do this. Use labels that will appeal to your target market. If you’re targeting kids, the labels must be colorful and attractive. If you’re targeting health buffs, it would be good to make the label carry health tips and cite the nutritional benefits of the fruit.

Production cost & pricing

To compute your production cost, divide the buying price per kg of each of your ingredients by 1,000, then multiply result by the volume you actually used in making the product. For example, white sugar is P38 per kg. Divide that amount by 1,000 to get the cost per gram (a kilogram is equal to 1,000 grams). You will get a quotient of P0.038 per gram, which then has to be multiplied by 250g, which the actual amount of sugar you mixed with the jam. Do the same arithmetic for the rest of the ingredients. Add up the results to get your total production cost.

Following the above formula, you should get this equation: P9.50 (sugar) + P0.275 (citric acid) + P0.5 (strawberry flavoring) + P7.20 (strawberry fruit) + P3 (food gel) + P7.20 (citrus pectin) = P27.68. Add to this sum the cost of the bottle, which is P6.25 per piece, and add 10 percent for your overhead costs (electricity, gas and water).

You may price the jam at P80 to P100 per 230g bottle. However, depending on your market, all-natural fruit jams may be priced from P150 to P200 per 230g bottle. You may choose to just add 100 percent profit margin to your total cost.

source: Mishell Malabaguio of

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Buena Mano Concept

Buena mano is a Spanish phrase that literally means “good hand.” In Philippine business practice, buena mano means the first sale of the day, which is believed to bring good luck to the business for the rest of the day. The meaning of the phrase is flexible, however; it can refer either to the transaction itself or to the first paying customer of the day.

One of the quaint rituals Filipinos perform in homage to this belief is patting goods with the money they received from the first sale of the day. It is believed that the ritual will make for better sales.

Whatever its true origins, buena mano is something many Filipinos take very seriously. This is why local customers always make it a point to ask for a discount if they think that theirs is the first transaction of the day. Filipinos expect that if they are the buena mano, their requests will most likely be granted. Only in the Philippines!

source: Reeza Singson of

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Make Big Bucks

I always wanted to put up a school supplies business. I've learned that we have a very huge market as school opening is a great chance to make big bucks! These items doesn't have expiry dates so there's no fear of losing your money.

Filipinos tend to put a premium on education, and buying their children’s school needs is usually on top of any family’s list. This is good news for entrepreneurs, especially since school opening season in June is fast approaching.

This is indeed a huge market, and the numbers will support it.

There are an estimated 20-million school-age children that will enroll for the current school year. That translates to 20 million potential customers, with needs ranging from shoes, school bags, uniforms, pens, pencils, and the like. That is of course assuming that each student will only get one set of their basic needs. For children whose parents are better off, that number could double.

They would require at least 100 million textbooks, assuming that only one book per subject is bought for them for these five basic subjects in the elementary and high schools: mathematics, science, English, Pilipino, and Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies).

3. The weather will also factor in. Since June is also the start of the rainy season, these schoolchildren would need millions of personal accessories like jackets, umbrellas, raincoats, and rubber boots—not to mention medicines for colds and other season-related ailments.

4. And,
with the advent of technology, they will also need cellular phone loads, not to mention they will ride jeeps, eat meals, and do other activities.

College students will also come in droves. They will need dormitories, coffee shops, internet cafes, printing shops, and other creature comforts. All 13 million of them.

Although a school opening business may sound seasonal in nature, its ever-growing range of services and the growing needs of its clientele makes it an evolving and ever expanding business. You too can grab a slice of this huge market, and hopefully make lots of money doing so.

We have a forum member at entrep PH who offers an initial inventory package for starting a school supply business for a minimum investment of P10,000. For inquiries, you can email him at jefmarenterprises(@)


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