We all want to be more responsible with our finances. However, I bet it is easier said than done. Therefore, I take my hat off because of the dedication and commitment of a young man who will inspire us today about money management.
Tyrone Charles Solee achieved his goal to become a millionaire at the age of 26, and he is now one of the top personal finance bloggers in the Philippines with his blog, Millionaire Acts. He is now enjoying his life as a young entrepreneur and personal finance coach and traveled to many places locally and abroad as a speaker.
RBT: Could you please tell us a brief background who is Tyrone Charles Solee?
Tyrone: I am a graduate of BS Mathematics at the Ateneo de Manila University. Corporate wise, I have experienced in investment banking on distressed assets, market research and competitive intelligence, and business and investment analysis.
RBT: What is your advocacy as a personal finance coach?
Tyrone: My main advocacy is to help people by teaching them on how to manage their finances to alleviate poverty in the country.
RBT: Please tell us your experience as a speaker and resource person in personal finance and how you have been invited at ANC On the Money, GMA News, and other magazines?
Tyrone: I was invited and appeared five times in two TV shows: twice at ANC On the Money and thrice at Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho. In ANC On the Money, I discussed how I achieved my first million at the age of 26 through the power of compounding. In Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho, I presented topics about mutual funds, savings, and network marketing.
In addition, I was featured in Good House Keeping Magazine by writing articles about personal finance aside from newspapers like Sun Star Cebu, Philippine Star, Inquirer, and Manila Bulletin. There were also some write ups about me in various websites such as ABS-CBN News, GMA News, MoneyMax.ph, and Mint. Most of the write ups are about the tips I gave to readers on how I became a millionaire.
On speaking engagements, I already gave talks to companies such as RR Donnelley, Infosys, Maynilad, Towers Watson, and the latest one is at Grand Land Cebu. Most of these presentations tackled about personal finance particularly savings and investments.
RBT: How important is the mindset in handling money?
Tyrone: Money management is 80% discipline and only 20% skill. Therefore, mindset is very important. In fact, even if you have skills and know a lot about saving and investing but if you don’t have the proper mindset and discipline, you will fall into debt trap. You will be tempted by a lot of outside factors such as peer pressure from friends and you will be easily swayed by these temptations.
RBT: How do you advise people who are currently suffering from debt?
Tyrone: Savings is always the foundation of wealth. Therefore, the need to save money is indeed important for someone who is suffering from debt. This can be done by living below the means and proper budgeting.
RBT: What is the best way to get out of debt?
Tyrone: To get out of debt, you will only need to do two things: to earn more and desire less. Earning more means finding a better job opportunities or doing sideline and freelance jobs on top of your regular job. The purpose is to generate multiple sources of income. Desiring less, on the other hand, means watching your expenses closely and cutting back more on the wants and prioritizing the needs. It means learning how to budget and to live below your means.
RBT: Mutual funds and stock market: is it safe and worth to invest?
Tyrone: Yes certainly it is worthy to invest. However, the word “safe” is vague because every investment carries a certain risk. The higher the return carries higher risk. Assess yourself first on your risk appetite and liquidity needs before investing in these types of investments. Most of all, as always, study first before you invest your hard-earned money.
RBT: “I am still young and I don’t think I have to be serious on saving and investing.” How would you respond to this mentality?
Tyrone: This is the instant gratification mentality. In investing, the early bird catches the worm. The earlier you invest, the more potential income for you as time is your ally in investing. You will only have to choose between two options: enjoy now and sacrifice later (instant gratification) or sacrifice now and enjoy later (delayed gratification). So, better to choose wisely.
RBT: Any workable tips for those people with overspending habits and impulsive buying? Do they still have hopes?
Tyrone: Just think of how many hours you have to endure at work to save that much money you spent and then ask yourself: Is it worth buying these items? If you are earning 20,000 pesos per month and you are thinking of buying a 5,000 worth of shoes, how many hours have you sacrificed at work just to buy that shoes given your salary? Can I endure those overtime at work, those times that I am being scolded by my boss, those times that I have to endure the hassle of commute going to work, just to buy that shoes? There is always hope. You just need to start saving NOW.
RBT: When was the last time you encounter people being felt guilty about his expenditure? How did you advise him?
Tyrone: I met a man in my previous company and I encouraged him to invest. I showed him the performance of my portfolio and the passive income I am getting from investing. I had invested a one-time big time through Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITFs) and the returns was high since I had invested a big amount of money. However, I advised him to save first prior to investing. Eventually, he got interested and started to invest.
RBT: I’m sure you agree with me that emergency fund is essential as part of handling our personal finance wisely. Any consideration and practical tips on this?
Tyrone: If you are a breadwinner in the family the emergency fund needed is an amount equivalent to 1 year of your monthly expenses. Take note, it’s monthly expenses and not your monthly income. If you are not the breadwinner, you should save 6 months’ worth of your monthly expenses.
You should place this amount of money in an investment that can be easily pulled out in times of emergencies. This can be placed in savings account or checking accounts.
RBT: Why do you think having a mentor is necessary in investing?
Tyrone: Finding a mentor is necessary because you will have an example to follow. You can learn from the experiences of that mentor. You can follow what worked for him or her and learn from the mistakes of that mentor. Find someone who have experiences and not someone who has gained knowledge by just reading books. Experience is always the best teacher.
RBT: How and why you do start the Millionaire Acts? What is your purpose?
Tyrone: I watched the documentary film “The Secret” which talks about the Law of Attraction. I started the blog because I wanted to become a millionaire and know how a millionaire acts. I also want to share my experiences about financial management. This is my way of helping people.
RBT: For an OFW who is currently reading our blog, what do you think is the biggest challenge in terms of money management?
Tyrone: OFWs are oftentimes pressured to spend because their families here in Philippines think they are financially well-off when they go back home. We call it “one-day millionaire” mentality because they spend lavishly.
My advice to them is to control spending. Never mind what other people will say. Have a discipline in spending your hard-earned money abroad. I am sure you don’t want to spend the rest of your life working abroad. You want to go home and be with your family. In order for this to be realized, start saving, be prudent in spending and learn about investing to multiply your savings.
RBT: If you have one piece of advice to our young people out there who are just starting out acquiring knowledge in personal finance and investment, what would it be?
Tyrone: Four words: EARN MORE, DESIRE LESS.
RBT: Thank you so much, Tyrone. We appreciate your time and willingness to share your experience about money management.
Tyrone: Your welcome.
JUN AMPARO is the author of OMG! OFW’s Money is Gone: Practical Tips on How to Be Wise with Your Hard-earned Money which was featured at GMA News Online. Being an OFW for over a decade, he’s aware about the common financial challenges of many Overseas Filipino Workers.
Jun is investing in mutual funds and stock market for over three- years and conducts financial literacy seminar.