One night my uncle and I were stuck in a heavy traffic. Running out of stories to share, our topic arrived at the possibility of investing in the stock market. He asked me a number of questions such as “Ano ba ang produkto nyan?,“ “Paano yan ibebenta?,” “Kanino yan iaalok?” etc. Though apprehensive, I tried to answer him to the best of my knowledge. I guess my answers were fairly compelling since in the end he agreed to do so. However, his questions couldn’t get of my head even after we parted ways.
Base on an article posted in PSE Academy website, the Philippine Stock Market has 498,838 accounts in 2010 which means not even 1% of the country’s 94 million population has invested in the stock market. There are so many stories in the internet testifying that investing in the stock market has a powerful potential to earn great returns. If the stories are true and verified, what are the possible reasons why only few Filipinos are into stock market?
Just a Personal Analysis
1. Lack of knowledge. I remembered recently that stock market was actually one of the topics that I reported in a Management subject way back in college. I started and ended it reading a number of paragraphs scribbled in a Manila paper. Totally forgettable. It was a subject matter that even my professor couldn't give a speck of input.
We don’t really study stock market in school. PSE’s Market Educator, Jay Penaflor, even admitted that his primary purpose of taking up a masteral degree was to learn how the stock market works. He was delighted when he heard his professor utter “stock market” on the first day of class only to realize it was also the last time that he would hear it. Thus, if stock market is not taught in regular school (even in much higher education), how would we know that stock market is a great avenue to create wealth?
Good news for this generation, I learned in one seminar that there is a proposal in our government education agency that a subject about financial literacy would be very beneficial specially for the youth. In this subject, all forms of investment will be discussed and other money matters. Perhaps, this plan is formed with an intention to help put a solution to every human’s problem: money.
2. Stock Market Looks Intimidating. I’m sure you have seen or heard the term stock market in all forms of media. Economic issues are usually discussed by English proficient people in corporate attire. Personally, this example leaves me an impression that stock market is just for the society of the rich and famous. This explains why it took me years before I had the guts to attend a seminar fully concentrated about this matter. Just the thought of being surrounded with English speaking men in black suit pretty scares me. Worst, the speaker in front would ask me “Do you have any idea how the stock market works?” Let’s just say, I didn’t wish to humiliate myself in front of the members of the high society. With this in mind, I felt that my ability to learn the stock market is limited to reading informative articles and hearing news. But I was completely wrong. If you wish to educate yourself through seminars, all you need to do is register, appear on the scheduled date, sit and listen. And by the way, blue jeans are not prohibited inside the training room. And most importantly, there are various seminars that are free of charge. PSE, for instance, conducts basic stock market seminar every last Tuesday of the month. Online Stockbrokers, Colfinancial and First Metro Securities Brokerage Corp or FirstMetroSec, also have set of free trainings. Just check out their website for more information.
To put this long story short, education plays a vital role to help increase awareness about the pros and cons of investing in the stock market or any other forms of investment. But as a popular saying goes, It takes two to tango. I believe that the government and private sectors actually have numerous projects underway. But it will only take effect, if we Filipinos will respond to the call.