Random Acts Of Kindness, Senseless Acts Of Beauty

Random Acts Of Kindness Senseless Acts Of Beauty
“Random acts of kindness, senseless acts of beauty” has been one of the alluring concepts I’ve encountered in this life. I would like to share how this concept might change your life in little ways.

But first, we should understand the reason behind kindness. The word itself lets me imagine opening a box of questions. Questions like: What is kindness, really? Does the world deserve kindness? Do people really return favors? Do we do something beautiful even nobody notices it? These and so on…

I’ll be honest, I considered myself as a selfish person. It seems that being selfish is my second nature. I want to grab all the attention, I want to win so badly, I try to be right so hard that I don’t mind what people feel. This is pretty much the story of my life well, for a while. I’m very much hopeful that one day I’ll totally liberate myself from that image.

Here’s the thing, after a few seminars and books, I realize that there’s no point in being selfish. We live in a world shared by everybody. No one can really be at the top. No one could really win all the time. Once we think selfishly and pursue our selfish desires, everything becomes more like a pursuit to nothing. Selfishness leads to emptiness.

On the other hand, I realized that kindness is one aspect that solves a lot of problems for human race. A few benefits you might have thought are reconciliation, courtesy, and prevention of conflicts. But there are actually more.

Kindness to others can actually cure depression, a study show. Kindness to ourselves helps us cope and become a better person. Kindness to the world, somehow (sometimes in ways that we don’t see) returns kindness to our lives as well. This is something really important.

Kindness is beauty in every aspect

Genuine kindness is one that we do good things and not think of any reward.  If you ever tried giving without asking anything in return then you may have experienced the miracle of kindness.

Now this concept of random acts of kindness, senseless acts of beauty is a practical method that helps everyone become a better person. I’m not saying it’s rocket science, but I do believe that a few episodes of random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty makes people feel that they are a part of something - a communion of contribution.

How it works?

One can do random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty just by doing things out of the blue. Paying a fair for and old person or a blind person is one. It could be hugging your mom before going out or as a surprise first thing in the morning. It could even be treating someone for lunch just because you’re happy that he/she is part of your life.

I don’t aim to change the world. My voice wouldn’t be loud enough anyway. But I do know that I can help one or two people in a week or perhaps even just one person in a month. It might not matter to me, it might not even matter to you, but it could mean the world to that one person.

From what I understand, we should never stop believing in the goodness of people and of the world in general. Sharing and being kind just to let others know they matter is one of the best things we can offer to this world.  I’m starting to believe this is one of the reasons why we’re here to begin with.

Anyhow, what are your random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty that you made recently or that you think you might be able to do? Share it in the comments below.

Mutual Fund Curious

Mutual Fund Curious
Hey guys. Here’s another financial post regarding one more investment model called Mutual Funds. I have been into Stocks for a year now but that does not stop me from reviewing other investments models.

Mutual funds for one is a very interesting model that I’ll be joining very soon. I firmly believe that when it comes to passive investments, it is always best to diversify. This is exactly what I’m trying to do in this early stage of my life - that is is to try every investment option and eventually figure out, through a means of evaluation, what’s the most effective of them all. By then, I’ll focus on the strategies that are most effective for me. 

An American colleague called the very logical method above as the “shotgun effect.” I think it’s effective. Furthermore, at this stage of my life, it seems like I got nothing to lose. It’s not like I have people relying on me already, the thing I just worry about perhaps only include phone bills, food, gasoline, and other stuff (socially related stuff and anything in between). I guess to put it simply, this stage of life as an optimal period to try everything especially as it relates to long-haul investments. So yeah, (I do apologize for the long chitchat) let’s get on with my basic understanding of MF.

What is Mutual Funds?

From what I understand, mutual funds is where you put up money to professional stock or security trader, who in turn do the trade for you for a little and at most on a standardized fee. This works best for people who are not really into trusting themselves in picking up companies as what you do on active stocks. You just have to put up the money with someone who’s capable of making the decision for you and hope everything goes well, which is hopefully that they make the right decisions, and by then you could get a raise of your money after a length of time.

However, the option of Mutual Funds also works best for people like me aiming to diversify investments. In addition, it pays to have an option that gives people a “worry less” setting (that, if you trust your MF company’s performance enough).

Don’t get me wrong. Mutual Funds is not a fast money scheme. It’s also a long-term investment unless you place a bulk amount of money, I’m talking about millions of pesos, which could give you high gains right away. But if you don’t have that sum, then you could just, you know, drop money once a month or whenever you can, and enhance your portfolio as time goes on. You reap what you sow perhaps after 10 years or 15 years, well that depends on you already. Mainly, that’s how I think I’m going to do it.

Of course, there are a lot of MF companies/association out there. I’ve heard about PAMI and PhilEquity and other MF companies. I’ll be checking them out, and I’ll certainly post something about them once I get to join them, which includes my experience and probably some tips and how to’s.

Risk Profiles

As to any investments, there are risks involved. Although a lot of people say that mutual funds are safer than manual trades in the stock market, I don’t entirely agree with that. They also have risk profiles. It means you could settle for an aggressive, moderate or safe approach (not all companies use the same terms). Also, I heard that you could transfer from one risk profile to another to make the most possible gains. I heard this is very possible for PAMI and they allow you up to four changes free of charge in a span of a year. I’ll certainly get you more details as I join them and move along.

Basically, aggressive approach gives you the highest gains but probably the highest loss as well, while safe approach gives you the least gains while having the lesser risk of losing. You have the freedom to choose which profile to take, and also the ability to check the companies the traders invest in, including progress reports, statistics and so on.

That’s all about this topic for now. As usual, I’m hoping for the best. It’s funny. While writing this, I recall a conversation with a friend. We were saying that we all prepare for the future but what if the future becomes a bitch (sorry for the term) and you know, become unpredictable and ruin everything that we’ve done so far. Well, it’s not our hold anymore -- it’s a fact that the future is uncertain. I think the process of all these investing and managing our money is not about what you get in the end. I came to realize that the process is what really counts. The lessons are the ones lasting, the ones that stay with you - just some random thoughts. Thanks for reading.

I Don’t Know How To Write

I Don’t Know How To Write
I have a problem with writing that is, I don’t know how to write. I always feel unskillful with the way I put my ideas to words; and I’m going to be honest I don’t know how to construct a sentence, effectively that is.

I came to know myself as more of an idea guy who can’t relay his message properly. I see this because when I speak, people either don’t get me or don’t listen.

Furthermore, when I had a writing job before, I always get negative feedbacks from the copywriter. They said that I just don’t sound well, the voice, it’s not native sounding, improper use or not using idioms the right way, ideas are not cohesive or congruent, etc. Unfortunately at that time, I got so overwhelmed with the comments that I dwell on it and eventually lose the job.

This became like a disease to me. Each time I want to say or write something, The thought of me spreading inferior grammar and all comes to my head almost automatically. Because of this, I decided not to write instead. Well, as you might have guess, the results are unproductivity and eventually depression. This goes on a cycle.

How I manage to get off the loop

However, It wasn’t long that I realized that there are reasons to keep going and to write no matter what. It’s amusing that recognising my lapses and the process on how this got me depressed, both allowed me to think.  Eventually, I tried to find meaning in my incompetence and learn to acknowledge them. As of the moment, I still suck in writing. But one thing is for sure, a year ago, or even a month ago, I was suckier.

Thanks to my reading of uplifting books and having an open mind while listening to moving speakers, I discovered that there are many more reasons to keep on going. Here are some of them that applied well to me.

Laughing stock

I learn to laugh at myself. Sometimes when I look back from the past, and thought of my wrong decisions, I smirk (sometimes alone) as I realize how awful a decision maker I was. This also goes true to my writing. I know I’ll look at this 5 or 10 years from now. By that time, I’ll be “better” and I’ll see these posts and laugh at them. How I was such a loser and all. But if weren’t for those stepping-stones, I wouldn’t be here.

There’s nothing you can’t learn

One thing about us humans is that we adapt and learn things. As long as we keep on doing things, we continuously learn and improve on doing those things. So if I keep on writing, then probably I’d get better. There’s no telling when, but it’s already sort of certain.

A higher purpose

I discovered a higher purpose. I really wanted to share my thoughts about the world. I am also a fan of success stories and I want my life story to be successful someday. This is why I share strategies, learning, and secrets I learned from mentors, YouTube videos, Google, blogs and so on. I want to share these to people, especially to those who want to improve too. You might say I am a wannabe financial advisor as you look at my recent posts.  But hey, I don’t see anything wrong with that; and probably I don’t care what you think at all.

As usual thanks for reading this post. Hope you always keep in mind that we can become who we wanted as long as we keep on moving forward.

Investing Versus Saving In Bank

Perhaps you’ve thought of saving money? If you haven’t, you can read my previous post about savings. In this post, I will share my views on investing in comparison to saving in banks.

You may already have encountered some people who talk about investments and how it is way better than saving your money in banks. Yet, in some instances, you might also hear that investments are not worth it and it’s better to be safe and save your money in the bank. Well, the answer is, it depends. The choice greatly relies on what you see as purpose of your money.

You have total control of the cash that you carry right now. In fact, you could spend all your money down to the last cent this very moment. These days, it’s easy to buy anything and spend any amount of money. That’s how fickle money is. You may recount some news you hear on lottery winners who had poorly spent their enormous capital in just a matter of months, which most thought as impossible.

On the other hand, you also have the power to use your money wisely. For most people, using money wisely means saving it in order to allot it for a better use in the future.

However, just putting money in the bank may not entirely be a wise decision. You’re 100 thousand pesos today, might not buy as much goods in 5 years compared to what you can buy today.

Yes, inflation is real and it has a yearly average of 8 percent here in the Philippines. The annual interest gain rates for your money in the bank is about 3 percent. As you can see, money is not really growing and it definitely depreciates over time when you put it solely in the banks.

However, placing money in the banks also has its benefits. You can withdraw your money anytime and it is perfect for dire situations where you need the ready cash.

In investing, you do have a chance to increase your money significantly. This depends on what investment modes or vehicle you avail. There are lot of investment opportunities out there. It’s important to note that a considerable amount of Filipinos are not into investments yet.

Here are some of the common modes of investments:

Stocks - a very good way to invest and you can take a role as daily trader or long term trader. Gains are likely, yet risks are moderate to high. This depends on how you do your trades.

Mutual Funds - if you think stocks is not your thing but you still want to gain, then you may want to trust your money to established organizations of professional traders to do the decisions for you. This is how mutual funds work. Most banks offer mutual funds. Mutual fund organizations have their own risk profiles that you can compare and help you decide which one is for you.

Cooperatives - it’s another famous investment model. Though I have to be honest I’m not so particular about this. I know however that you trust a cooperative for your money and it will be used as a central fund for the members, optimizing it for gains, thus increasing the value of the money you put up.

What do they all have in common? They have risks. You have to note that you may lose all your money.

If you’re a person who’s afraid to risk or a person who’s not willing to lose, then investment is probably not for you. However, there’s a smart way to invest and it’s just taking a small percentage of your income for these investments. You can check this type of allocation in my previous blog.

What’s the verdict? As you can see, it really depends. If you were to ask me, I’d save in the bank and at the same time invest. It doesn’t really matter if you started small, as long as you stay consistent and set your eyes on the long-term goal.

Want more tips? Here’s something interesting I learned.

Since we’ve mentioned on the benefits of saving in the bank to use in a difficult situation such as losing a job, hospitalization and unforeseen events, there’s a way to solve this.

An interesting technique I read from a book is to save money in the bank that equals to 6 months of your monthly needs.

Assuming that your  monthly salary matches your monthly expense, then you just multiply it by 6 to come up with the money you want to put in your bank. So if you lose a job or an emergency happens, you have spare money to use. Six months is an adequate period to land a new job. Now, you have a secure amount in the bank and the rest of it can be invested.

But for the risk takers, you may just want to invest most of your money. If emergency situations arise, they think abundantly and see through it that they can find money they need, at any given time. That’s one audacious approach but very plausible.

As usual, thanks for reading. Don’t forget to leave your comments below.