Dreams & Deadlines, Part 1By Randell Tiongson on November 30th, 2009
Sometime ago, I had lunch with a mentor of mine, Rex Mendoza (of the giant real-estate conglomerate Ayala Land). Rex was one of my mentors in financial planning; there are many things I learned from him that pretty much influenced my career as a personal-finance coach and educator.
Financial planners are not known for extravagance and flamboyance—in fact, people have always looked at us as misers. Financial planners are very prudent people; they are not the kind that will spend money on a whim and will really take a lot of time trying to ascertain needs from wants.
My friend Rex was very much a financial planner in all sense, highly knowledgeable in the aspect of personal finance and one who really practices what he preaches. However, the Rex I was having lunch with seemed to be a different person, a changed man singing a different tune. What happened to my old mentor? Has he gone to the dark side? I was trying to figure out who I was having lunch with. Years ago, this was the guy who was telling me that every peso counts, that Starbucks coffee was evil (because of the cost) and that investing was the only activity we should engage in…get the drift? The “new” guy I was having lunch with was talking about expensive LED lighting, koi pond and exquisite veneers for his house renovation, playing golf every weekend, traveling all over…and I almost choked on what I was eating when he mentioned driving a Porsche. That’s it, I am certain that my old mentor and friend has been possessed, cloned or just plain, well, lost his marbles. I was just about to gag this guy to ask him what he did with my friend when he uttered something that pretty much left me speechless for a few moments: “Randell, after all these years, I finally realized that ‘dreams have deadlines.’” Er, what—say that again?
My lunch encounter with a former mentor got me into thinking, and the words “dreams have deadlines” seemed to me like experiencing LSS (last-song syndrome). Financial planners have been preaching about living a life of extremes while the real world has a totally different view with regard to the use of money. Filipinos and financial stability are two words you don’t normally see in one sentence. Just look around you—how many of your acquaintances do you know need a spanking with the way they handle their finances? Our country remains to have the lowest savings rate even in Asia, yet we see a steady increase in consumer debt among our population—a definite recipe for disaster. The solution: financial literacy. If our brothers and sisters become financially literate and have a better mindset with regard to the way they use their money, we would definitely see a lot more happier people. The solution is simple—or is it?
… catch part 2!