Print Books Aren’t Dead – I Have Convincing Proof

Anyone who predicted the death of printed books years back in lieu of e-books are probably scratching their heads in disbelief. Ebooks and their various formats (Kindle, iBook, etc) have not killed traditional print. In fact, print has made a resurgence in recent years.

Last week, the 36th Manila International Book Fair (Facebook page here) was held at the SMX Convention Center in the Mall of Asia (MOA) complex in Pasay City, Philippines.

36th Manila International Book Fair at SMX signage
36th Manila International Book Fair at SMX Convention Center (Sep 16-20). Image Credit: thefinancemd.com

 

Print books were the main attractions of this book fair. How did the fair do? Did it succeed or flop?

 

Continue reading Print Books Aren’t Dead – I Have Convincing Proof

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Investing in A Car for Uber / Grab Car? Is It Worth It? – Part 1

For over a week now, I have been exclusively using Uber to get to work. I have a car – but traffic congestion, bad weather, parking costs and space unavailability, corrupt traffic policemen, road rage drivers, accident prone roads – have discouraged me from driving. Since I’m a doctor who take frequent car trips daily, Uber makes a lot of money from me.

This had me thinking – How can I turn the tables and make money from Uber or Grab Car?

Uber pickup point at SM Megamall
Uber cars ready to pick me up at the mall.

 

Is it wise to invest in a car for Uber or Grab Car use?

Continue reading Investing in A Car for Uber / Grab Car? Is It Worth It? – Part 1

The Philippines Has The Highest Tax Rates in Southeast Asia – But The Quality of Government Services Is One of The Region’s Worst

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.

Association of South East Asian Nations - Flags of Countries
Guess which has the highest tax rates? Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries. Image from sminvestments.com

 

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?*

Continue reading The Philippines Has The Highest Tax Rates in Southeast Asia – But The Quality of Government Services Is One of The Region’s Worst

Did Cebu Pacific Cash In On the AlDub Phenomenon Without Paying or Even Asking for Permission?

AlDub (stands for the love team of Alden Richards and Yaya Dub) is breaking all sorts of social media records recently. Ratings for Eat Bulaga, the show that features the two, are at their highest in years. 

It is expected that many companies will cash in on the popularity of the AlDub phenomenon. To get the business of the millions of AlDub fans, these companies (especially the larger ones), should compensate Eat Bulaga, Alden and Maine Mendoza (who plays Yaya) for riding on the trend. This is especially true if the likeness of “AlDub” is used.

#ALDUBest seat sale Cebu Pacific
Did Alden and Yaya Dub even know about this promo? #ALDUBest seat sale Cebu Pacific. Screengrab from Cebu Pacific twitter account

 

Wait…. Did Cebu Pacific just sign Alden and Maine as endorsers? Did Cebu Pacific even ask permission from the producers of Eat Bulaga?

Continue reading Did Cebu Pacific Cash In On the AlDub Phenomenon Without Paying or Even Asking for Permission?

#ParaSaEkonomiya : Philippine Finance Social Media Roundup

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.

 

Balikbayan boxes Change.org petition - Confirmed Victory
Confirmed Victory! – Change.org petition to stop new Customs rules on Balikbayan boxes. Screengrab from change.org.

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?

Continue reading #ParaSaEkonomiya : Philippine Finance Social Media Roundup

Are We “Bear” Yet?: The Assets That Have Entered the Bear Market in 2015

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,

 

Bull and Bear Statues near Frankfurt Stock Exchange
The bear seems to be winning in 2015. Bull and Bear Statues near Frankfurt Sock Exchange. Image by EvaK from wikipedia.org

 

What does “Bear Market” mean anyway?

Continue reading Are We “Bear” Yet?: The Assets That Have Entered the Bear Market in 2015

Celebrities Promote MLM Suspected of Being A Pyramid Scam

Celebrities Dennis Trillo, Tom Rodriguez and Daniel Matsunaga promote GoldXtreme, an Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company, that is a subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) advisory against illegal investments.

In your opinion, why do you think these celebrities are promoting GoldXtreme? Type your answer in the comments section

 

 A. They think this is legit, and they are probably investors themselves

B. They may not be that smart

C. They don’t read or watch the news

D. They’ll do any gig that pays a lot of money

E. All of the above

 

See the photo proofs, courtesy of Instagram

Continue reading Celebrities Promote MLM Suspected of Being A Pyramid Scam