Optimism is high, and confidence is strong, that life in the Philippines will be even better this year compared to last year. The Philippine economy has picked up steam of late, expanding by 6.7% in the first 3 quarters of 2017 on accelerating investment and robust consumption.
Public expenditure accelerated, particularly for infrastructure programs of the government.Small businesses are also emerging as several groups have been implementing programs to increase public awareness of the many opportunities in putting up small businesses. Even the big private banks are now offering loans to help prospective small businessmen, so the sources of financing are no longer limited to government-owned institutions.
The malls are a prime example of the growing number of entrepreneurs. Hallways are lined up with carts and booths selling fish balls, fruit juices, waffles and hotdogs, silver jewelry and car stickers, or offering services like printing T-shirts and business cards or duplicating keys.
Thanks to the Internet, opportunities for entrepreneurs can cross borders, oceans, and continents too.
One of the requirements of most small businesses is hands-on operation, so these are for people who can devote their whole time, or have trusted family members who can run the business.
Opportunities, however, are not limited to those with all the time in the world, or those with access to substantial capital. People who have no spare time, or who cannot leave their current jobs for one reason or another, need not forego their chance to make more money for their future.
Banks offer various products to help people build up wealth, with much less risk than putting up businesses. Bank branches now give away brochures not only for auto or housing loans but also for people who are looking not only for ways to save money but also to make money from them.
The banks are the safest places to invest, but generally, the less risk the less profit. There is greater risk in investing in the stock market but the profits are bigger than in banks.
At present, the Philippine stock market is one of the best performing in the world in terms of returns to investors. Stockbrokers, or the companies that buy and sell shares of stocks for individual or corporate investors, now offer free seminars to people who want to learn investing in stocks, and provide guidance to minimize the risk and raise the profit prospects.
In simple terms, investing in the stock market is not much different from trade in the stock market — it is buying a commodity (in this case the share of stock of a certain company) at a low price, and selling it at a higher price (for the profit). The difference is that dealing in stocks is mostly through paper transactions, but that is also an important edge over ordinary trade because there are no problems about deliveries, transport or storage.
Right now, everybody should benefit from the growing economy. High GDP growth rates do not mean anything unless these are translated to additional income for families. And the fastest way to reap these benefits is to exploit the opportunities knocking on every individual’s door.