Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Teaching A Man To Fish

I believe in helping, but I don't believe in giving them their daily fish. I believe that helping is truly helping when we help them establish their lives in the foundation of self reliance. That is the only way through which a person can truly escape poverty, not by leaning to someone else's arm.

Sometimes we over do the assistance we give to our relatives that it leads to the peril of the one we're trying to help. They end up to be lazy and dependent. Unconsciously we are making them feel they are incapable of doing anything for themselves. We are trying to put into their minds that we are more blessed and great because were able to accomplish so much while they are waiting for the mercy of our help. They just have to wait what we will give them, because they will never be capable of achieving something as much as we do. They pity themselves for the circumstances they have, and misses the opportunity to experience how it is to accomplish something great.

When making decisions, instead of making their own, they usually seek for what our say is. We thought their are asking for our opinion, but the truth is they are incapable of making their own decision for fear that they could be wrong. And if things go the wrong way, they couldn't be blamed for it because they only took our advise. They refuse to take responsibility on anything and start to act carefree, the care is ours anyway not for them.

Pride, cowardice and fear are family. A person may refuse to acknowledge the circumstances they are in, they refuse to take responsibility on what's going on in their lives. They wouldn't accept any help that is less than what they expect to be given them. And anything that doesn't meet their expectations offends them. They wish things will be better for them, but they fear the possible outcome once they make any move or any decision. They are scared to take responsibility, wouldn't dare do anything about it for fear that things might get worse. But they hope someone will take responsibility on doing it for their sake. Hopefully someone who will sympathize with them. As the youngest in the family, a young man has been pampered so much by his mother. In spite of his age, he still lives with his mother, no job and they were given a comfortable home and monthly allowance.

Humility, courage, and faith are another family. Usually those who succeed in life have this attributes. They are humble enough to acknowledge their circumstance, thy try to sympathize to those who are less fortunate. They feel grateful with any amount of help you extend to them and will look in every possible way to return the kindness and generosity extended to them or if possible pay it forward to others who might need their help. Many years ago, a friend of mine is in so much need. His family have so much going on with siblings studying while another sibling is sick, and another sibling with special needs. They were grateful for the help extended to them, and they sought ways to return the the favor by doing services in return. Their family sold snacks at the overpass near their home. They looked for part-time jobs no matter meager the pay is because they know no matter how small they earn from it it will help in their expenses. They knew that with hard work things will be better. As I look back on those days and the way I see their family now, I couldn't believe it. All his siblings are successfully engaged in meaningful activities and have good jobs. Their family has started a small restaurant business. He is now a successful engineer and is a good provider to his family. 

Self Reliance: Key To Strengthening Families

Bread winner, family head... these are only two of the many names most OFWs represent. Many Filipinos doesn't understand the life and sacrifices of OFWs. And many are misinformed thinking that when a person works abroad they have unlimited flow of income. That is not true. But the truth is that they work hard, they work full time and sometimes they even have to find part time jobs to cover the expenses. 

We have known many OFWs who send 85-90% of their income back home to the Philippines -for their family and relatives to share.  And what's left to the OFW is a meager amount of money just enough to cover his food expenses for the entire month. There are also times that they have to resort to borrow money from someone in order to make ends meet. This cycle goes on and on until the OFW loses his job or goes for retirement. He comes back home with nothing, or perhaps some money enough to last for few months, and he also has debts. The worse part, they would sometimes receive feedback that they are not sending enough money or we all know it can be worse than this. 

I am also sure that this kind of situation is not only limited to OFWs but to many local workers in the Philippines as well. Those who are taking the responsibility as head of families, (yes I meant families, not family and you know why).

Filipinos, not only OFWs- are helpful specially to relatives, they are compassionate and selfless, to the point that we sometimes loose track of ourselves, our priorities and real responsibilities. Because they would take in all the responsibilities if they could. That is the way we show love for our extended family. But is this way good for them,  does it also build their welfare? 

Pick Just One

How many families can one person support? Raising one family is a big challenge and responsibility already, but how about those supporting not only one family but their relatives and other extended families as well. Should not our focus be the welfare of our immediate family. One of the best advise I heard is quoted this way, “therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife". What does this mean?
To be married takes a lot of responsibility, to have a successful family takes many long strides of fulfilling that responsibility. We needed to keep our focus primarily on our immediate family. Our spouse and our children. Cleaving is about making choices that reflect our priorities. Without appropriately leaving and appropriately cleaving, a couple can never expect to fully become one. It is always best to be together as a family and have your own space, even if what you can afford is just a small room.  I have seen and witnessed the difficulty a person experiences when they live under one roof with their in-laws. This kind of situation if not avoided can result to quarrel, family feud and misunderstanding. Our full responsibility is our wife or spouse and our children- their comfort (this is not limited to their needs but also what will make them happy) and their welfare (we have to think of their future). We are not obliged and it is not a responsibility to support our relatives who doesn't have work but we can help them without extending financial assistance,  by teaching them how to properly manage their finances, and to let them take responsibility for the choices they make- don't we all learn from the mistakes we make.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other”. True enough, many families quarrel and end with broken marriages, unhappy spouses and family clashes.  

Strength and Weakness

We believe that a family could be made stronger if we focus on it. But once the mothers and fathers lose that focus, and take in the responsibility of another to support another family. Their support to their own family becomes divided thus making it weak. Those who have to support more than one family tend to spend more time looking for ways to earn extra income. They spend more time working so they can meet the needs of their family and those relatives who rely on them, rather than spending the time with their spouse and children.  If the mother and father in the home is solely focused on the comfort and welfare of their own family, they gain better capacity to provide for them and offer a much  better future for their children. While those who takes in the responsibility to support another family or relative, gets destructed on their focus and ends up being a weak support, that could result in a broken home and more problems.

We show our love through kindness and generosity that sometimes we are overdoing it to the peril of the one we're trying to help. They end up to be lazy and dependent. Unconsciously we are making them feel they are incapable of doing anything for themselves. We are trying to put into their minds that we are more blessed and great because were able to accomplish so much while they are waiting for the mercy of our help. They just have to wait what we will give them, because they will never be capable of achieving something as much as we do. They pity themselves for the circumstances they have, and misses the opportunity to experience how it is to accomplish something great.


Do you remember the first steps of a child or when you have to teach a child to ride a bike. We cannot teach independence if we will always hold on to them and never let go of their hands. It would be hard, but if we let our extended families depend on our help, we are depriving them the opportunity to grow, discover their talents and potential. We are depriving them to experience the joy of being able to achieve something, and provide for themselves. Let them fall if they must, that is the only way they will learn how to get up. A friend of mine said "We have to let them be in-charged in their lives, and let them live within their means...Very rarely, there will be emergencies, we can assist them but we should not relieve them of their responsibilities". 

Our culture made us think that turning our backs from relatives who are asking for help and support is selfishness. We are not abandoning them. We have to stop thinking that way. We have to stand by their side and be the voice of encouragement that will remind them and give them inspiration to keep going because we know they can do it. Teaching them to stand on their own feet, even if it has to be the hard way- is not selfishness. But that is the only way that will lead them to experience the joy and feeling of pride that can only come when you accomplish something after enduring hard work. And on our part it would also give us freedom to fully focus on our real responsibilities to our own family (spouse and children). 

Responsibility To Our Children

As parents, one of our responsibility is to teach our kids to work, that is the way we can have the assurance that they will be ok. We need to teach them the value of education it is their key to success. We may secure their future with money in trust funds they could survive life with that, but if they know how to work and how to be self reliant they will not only survive because they will be successful. 

It is also essential that we prepare for any their future in case something happens to us. No one would care better for our children than us parents. We needed to learn that extra money should not be spent all on our "wants" but we have to prepare for contingency- that will protect them and provide them with their needs in case they lose us. No person who has a family will take over to care for our child and make his/her needs their priority over their own kids. 

Duty to Ourselves/Spouse

As parents, we have duty to ourselves. We can have full time employment now, and earn more than enough to cover our needs. But the time will come that we will grow old, we will retire and we have to stop working. Our children will have their own families and their own children. They will be taking in responsibility to raise their own family. A French woman said, "parents will always be part of the family of their children". Grandparents should also think how their children can provide well for their grandchildren. As parents one of the best gifts we could give our children is to free them the obligation to support us. We know they will love us, we know they will be there. And if we prepare now, we will make it easier for them to fulfill their responsibilities to the family that they will have, so that they can also focus on providing well for our grandchildren.

Ways To Earn and Be Financially Self-Reliant

We always think that getting a job for our relatives who needs our constant assistance is the key. I would like to say it is not true. There are many full time housewives who manage to earn money without leaving their home. I am one of them and I didn't have capital nor did I have to pay anything to do it. 

I have done part time shopping job, I kept a blog with my husband and earned through it from advertisers. The money we receive from this jobs has been put together with the savings from his monthly salary and have invested it in stocks, mutual fund and use a fraction for trading. We believe that this will not only help us manage our current finances, but will also prepare us for our retirement. There are also websites like where you can sign up and they offer many contractual jobs from article writing, virtual assistant and countless more. 

You can learn skills using youtube. Google is a best friend you can always ask when you want something. He can suggest other free websites that have great tutorials and videos for any specific skill you may want to learn. I have learned how to bake and decorate cake, sew simple dresses for my daughter and pajamas for my boy. We followed tutorials to make holiday crafts that saved us a lot of money specially on birthdays when we don't have to buy store bought cake. Those skills had also became source of income to us when friends asks me to make some cake for special occasions. The things you could learn using the technology is unlimited and you just have to be diligent in searching and be patient in learning. We are all born to learn, all things can be learned. No body acquired their knowledge, talents and skills at birth, we acquired it because we chose to learn it while growing up. 

Some creative people do crafts and sell their product online.  I have a high school classmate that is good in crocheting, she has used the social media to get customers and pre-order products that she creatively make with her own hands. There were some who cater food. 

A friend shared a story about her son who doesn't know to cook not even an egg, but is now one of those well-paid chefs in France. He started by cutting onions, tomatoes and vegetables. He almost gave up. But his parents told him he couldn't stay home playing on the computer all the time. And that if he wouldn't work he wouldn't eat. He had no choice but to continue working. Until he learned so many things in the cuisine, deboning salmon, making deserts and then later he was hired by Italian chef and learned more about Italian food. He didn't earn a diploma as a chef but he worked with a team of chefs who graduated from a prestigious school for the chefs in France, and was well paid. Soon he will be managing his own business. Each one in their family is now financially self-reliant. All of them enjoys a very comfortable life. Their mother taught them well to work hard and gave them the freedom to manage their finances, she proudly said they eat out as family but they split the bill, they don't relieve them of their responsibility to provide for their personal needs, and at the same time they have the freedom to manage their finances for their future. 

Family is the basic unit of every society. If our country has to improve, we have to start it within the walls of our home. What our nation needs are strong families. We can strengthen it if each member of the family will take responsibility. If we want success in the family, each one has to do their own duties and obligations. We have to help each other by not passing on to another the weight of our responsibility. We cannot leave all the responsibility to just one person, and expect a good result. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Choosing Stocks To Invest

I sure did learn a lot for the past week since I started trading. But I feel sorry for not being able to write it here, it just kept me busy staring whats going on in oour stocks.

But for the past 3 days we realized you don't only earn from the increase on the value of stocks but also from dividends. To invest means you have to let it stay there for a period of time and not go about closing and opening a portfolio every wave. You actually don't need to watch it every second, but after you've carefully selected which stock to buy and trust it's on a stable position leave it there and wait for dividends to come. Certain corporations declares and distribute stock dividends and you have to research that before you decide which stock to buy.

Today, I learned that Google, one of the stocks we bought don't distribute dividend in cash, there are some that do so on a quarterly basis like Exxon Mobil, Mcdonalds, ConocoPhilips and Bristol Myers. These are only few of the many, but I sure would love to put some money on these stocks when money becomes available.

Commodities have not been favorable investment as I lose a lot during my first week of learning, when I thought that oil could be good because it went peak to 112, I bought few barrels for 110 and now it's down around 107-108 and the movement is not stable as it could go up and down depening on many external forces, and so is corn. Apple didn't do me justice as newbie after buying it for 500 it went down drastically.

I learned some charting tools that had been helpful for the last three days during the time when I thought trading means buying and selling as the wave of up and down comes along. I'll do it on my next post hopefully when I get the time. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Taking It To Stock Trading

For a very long time I've been wanting to learn and do stock trading. When I was in college, I was hoping to find a course for stock trading but there is really not a real one. About a year ago I was so excited that someone who is a CEO of the biggest banks in Saudi Arabia, our friend, is willing to teach the basics on stock trading... but sadly they have to move back to the States and the plans to demo/teach didn't push through. I've tried quite number of online stock trading software but looking at how complicated it looks with those colorful charts, numbers and terms just made me step back and keep hoping I will learn somehow. Reading books gave me interest but I can't really give my whole time studying its complicated terms and computations with my 2 kids at home. I'm not really the kind who learns from books, I learn from investigating on my own and hands on experience.

So I was so happy because I came to this online stock trading that is so easy. So I started investing last week, I invested about 1,000 SAR which is not big enough but will be fair as I learn. I know using the demo mode will make me lazy and not be attentive on it. My husband is excited and supportive also, so we used the money we earned from mystery shopping which we kept in our paypal account hoping losing it wouldn't make us feel so guilty. This are part of our sidelines and according to his words of wisdom, losing is one way to learn, and experience and lessons are priceless. And your interest will be into something where you have invested something into. Well I have invested my bag fund to stocks, and I'll be losing the nice bag I've been aiming at, working our butt on mystery shopping to fund for it.

Anyway, when I invested corn happen to be rising at a tremendous rate, I bought at minimum, and it went up so fast overnight, then I accidentally closed the position when it was only starting to come up. Next time, I noticed I missed a lot of opportunity for corn because it was making it way up to 500 then 505, I decided to buy. Just after I bought, next minutes it came down crashing, and hoping it will go back up to 505 and rise some more so I can earn, it went all the way down and never looked back to me. I was so devastated, then I noticed this trailing stop button, I searched how it works and the way it was explained to didn't make much sense so I tried it on some other stocks I bought. Then when my stocks were gaining it didn't close because I didn't set it right to the proper pips, but it closed when I made a lot of loses without giving opportunity to gain back those loses, and to think that those I invested into are gold, and oil. I was more devastated, my money crashed and I lost more than 30% of what I invested.

But because of it, I've never been more eager to learn how the trailing stop works. I had never been more enthusiastic in stock market news and reviews. I even had been more aware of the climate and weather conditions not only around me but all throughout because it does affect the investment specially in crops. And I've never been more social in stock trading forums.

I still didn't close my investment in corn, hoping it will make its way back even just to my initial capital, hoping and praying that the market will go to our favor.

My next posts shall be a journal of what is going on in my stock trading investment ADVENTURE. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Coming And Going

Almost 7 years in the desert and I will never get used to this thing, it will always be my most liked and hated thing, I like meeting new acquaintance and I will always hate saying goodbye to friends. Lets just say I'm not getting any better or mature enough when it comes to coping up with the sad feeling of friends leaving or leaving friends - considering our case when we moved out from Al Khobar back in 2010. 

I don't want to be too close to acquaintances knowing one way or another we will say goodbye, I know so immature right. But even if I tried not to be too close to anyone, that depressing feeling still stings me whenever someone we know leaves, be that we are close friends or simple acquaintance, I wonder why the feeling strikes like a whip.  This month really sucks because our family have to say goodbye to a lot of acquaintances, "good friends" actually- even if I try to disregard or ignore the words.  I wish I can be more mobile and could visit everyone anytime I want, without the hassle of securing visa or paying for expensive  plane tickets. This made me realized the world is still too big, with friends who could be anywhere around the world, nothing can replace their presence, not facebook, not phone. My kids will still miss playing with their playmates/friends, even if at times they don't get along well because they have to fight over a toy, Heavenne will miss a teacher who listens and laughs at her stories and compliments the good things she does. As time flies memories could fade away but the fact that once in our lives someone had been a part of the story of our lives can never be erased. 

They said saying goodbye gives a promise that we might say hello and be reunited again someday, and so we cling to it.