I am a physician, currently practicing as an Anesthesiologist. My other passions are finance and investments. As of 2013, I have passed all three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams, all in my first attempts. I received my Masters of Business Administration degree in 2008. I received my certification as a securities specialist from the Philippine Stock Exchange in 2009.
Despite optimism for development, the Philippines continues to lag other major Southeast Asian countries in terms of infrastructure, per capita income, and other economic indicators. Could it be due to corruption? Security issues? Government instability? Overpopulation? The answer is probably yes to all; but other countries fare much worse with the above issues. Thailand and Malaysia, in recent years, have higher profile corruption scandals. Security perception had always been worse for most other countries. Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar suffered from years of war and turmoil. Indonesia has more than double the Philippines’ population.
Could it be due to taxes? The Philippines has the highest income tax rate in Southeast Asia. Is the country lagging behind because the citizens are being taxed too much?
The highest tax bracket in the Philippines is 32% for taxable income PHP 500,000 and above. If you live in another ASEAN country, how much will your marginal tax rate be if your taxable income (annual) is PHP 500,000?*
Social media is in everything this days, even in finance and investments. Unfortunately, finance related stuff doesn’t really trend in social media; at least here in the Philippines. The hashtag #ParaSaEkonomiya (For the Economy) is often used these days, but most of the posts don’t really relate to the economy. Sadly that hashatag has become a punchline.
Beginning with this post, Finance MD will regularly feature social media posts related to Philippine finance and investments. #ParaSaEkonomiya indeed.
First up is the petition against the new Bureau of Customs rules on “Balikbayan” boxes. Why are a lot of people opposed to these new rules?
The markets are not doing good right now. The Philippine Stock Exchanged (PSE) just experienced “Bloody Monday” on August 24 (news here). A down market doesn’t necessarily mean that it is already in a bear phase. Unfortunately, there are investments that have already entered bear territory in 2015,
COL Financial, the Philippines most popular stock brokerage firm, has just downgraded its 2015 yearend forecast for the Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) to 7,950 from the 8,300 it predicted in January.
Someone very important made an even bolder PSEi prediction — will he downgrade it as well?
Today is the 29th Anniversary of the People’s Power Revolution (also known as EDSA I locally, there are EDSA II and III revolutions as well) in the Philippines. The government decided to close a significant and centrally located part of EDSA (it is the main and busiest thoroughfare in Metro Manila) to celebrate the anniversary. Being a regular weekday, many people going to work were stuck in traffic for hours. The pile up of cars became similar to the traffic jam scene in World War Z or that in The Dark Knight, whichever was worse.
Kung Hei Fat Choi! Today, February 19 is the start of the Year of the Wooden Goat / Sheep / Ram according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. In this post, I will list some investment and money tips from experts in Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology.
The Economist invented the Big Mac Index in 1986 to better demonstrate Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). But does The Economist actually eat the Big Macs in their study? The Big Mac Index assumes parity in value; but I disagree, because Big Macs around the world are not equal in yumminess.
An economic theory that estimates the amount of adjustment needed on the exchange rate between countries in order for the exchange to be equivalent to each currency’s purchasing power.
In layman’s terms; if a basket of goods and services is worth US$100 in the United States and an identical basket of goods and services is worth only US$ 77 in the Philippines at current exchange rates, then the Philippine Peso (PHP) is undervalued by 23 %.
Unfortunately, many people in the world no longer use baskets, and deciding which good makes it to the basket may be contentious. Since McDonald’s (see MCD:US latest stock quote), the company that serves Big Macs, can be found in most countries, using the burger as a proxy for the “basket of good and services” makes sense. Of course, the Big Mac method is not accurate; but according to The Economist, this makes the PPP theory more “digestible”.
Digestible? Did The Economist staff actually eat the Big Macs? Do The Economist writers actually eat at McDonald’s? In my opinion, some Big Macs are yummier than others.
Here is a rundown from Big Macs from around the world, and a depiction of the countries’ under/ over-valuation against the US Dollar:
Big Mac from New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America. Average Price: US$ 4.79