It’s easy to fall prey to get-rich-quick schemes, especially when you feel your hard work isn’t getting you anywhere near your financial goals. But chances are if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Learn more about how you can get the most out of your hard-earned money from a Philam Life Financial Advisor, Edna Liz Medalla-Damaso.

Edna had worked in the banking industry for over 16 years before deciding to leave her high-paying corporate job for good. She was among the first batch of Financial Advisors trained under Genesis by Philam Life.

Genesis is Philam Life’s flagship strategy in growing and nurturing its pool of full-time Elite Advisors. It aims to reinvent the Financial Advisor practice across the Philippine life insurance industry, and it's aligned with the company’s mission of helping close the country’s huge protection gap. “Genesis provides holistic support to develop high-potential talents as they transition to this new career,” Edna shares.

Edna, now entering her third year with Philam Life, gained a lot from it and has often shared to her valued clients the different ways they make their money work harder for them, and ultimately help them achieve their financial goals:

1. Set S. M. A. R. T. goals.

Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timebound. “Give yourself goals to reach for each stage of your life—20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, retirement. Our needs change over time, and we must take note of them at regular intervals to make sure we are on the right path,” says Edna.

Take, for instance, Edna herself. After 16 years of working in the bank, she re-evaluated her goals and eventually decided to prioritize work-life balance. She entered Genesis with this in mind, and is now able to work at her own pace while achieving her S. M. A. R. T. goals.

2. Save before spending.

“Save at least 20 percent of your income,” says Edna, in reference to the 50/30/20 budget rule where 50 percent of your income is spent on needs, 30 percent on discretionary items, and 20 percent is put away as savings. Instead of letting your savings sit idly, consider setting aside money in insurance to give your family the protection they need for the future.

3. Focus on your needs, not your wants.

Never engage in impulsive buying or shopping for unnecessary wants. Discipline is the key to achieving your financial goals. What most people don’t realize is that financial protection from critical illnesses should be a top priority. If you don’t have a policy with critical illness coverage, a prolonged hospital stay can wipe out your entire life savings—even if you have health insurance.

4. Keep track of your expenses.

Don't spend more than what you earn. By monitoring your expenses, you can easily eliminate unnecessary expenses. Living beyond your means is the quickest way to financial ruin, especially with credit cards, which often come with high interest rates if you can’t afford to pay your bills on time.

5. Invest, invest, invest.

“The best time to invest is yesterday,” Edna points out. Once you’ve taken care of your basic needs, start investing as soon as you can afford to—a little can go a long way if you take a long-term approach.

“Philam Life’s long-standing commitment to people development is embodied in the practice of training the Financial Advisors. In Genesis by Philam Life, the comprehensive training and development curriculum, and business-building support equip us with expert knowledge and skills we need to help us serve our customers better,” she adds.

6. Invest early and wisely.

Do your research before investing, and choose established and stable companies to manage your funds. It may be tempting to go with a company or individual who promises high returns, but always take a look at the track record of the company you will invest with, as well as the person who will invest the money for you.

7. Diversify your investment.

Do not put all your eggs in one basket. To minimize losing your savings, it’s best to spread out your money among different products to reduce risk.

8. Build your wealth slowly but surely.

Don’t trust get-rich-quick schemes. Investments take time to grow. A popular concept to keep in mind is the financial pyramid, which has life and critical illness insurance at its base. With this strong foundation, you can then start saving, which leads to the next level, investing or wealth building. It can be a long process, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

9. Talk to a licensed Financial Advisor.

“Our job is to provide expert advice when it comes to finances. Do something today, so your future self will live a worry-free life,” says Edna, who highlighted how Genesis paved the way to a more meaningful and rewarding career as a Philam Life Financial Advisor.

Learn more about Genesis by Philam Life here.

This article is sponsored by Philam Life.