Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sun Life Presents 2017 Market Outlook, Foresees Continued Strength & Growth of Philippine Economy

So many things have happened these past months that had a lot of individual investors worried. However, as far as investing goes, it should be kept in mind that investments take time to earn so we should always think long term.

The good news is, according to Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc., the Philippine economy will continue to remain strong this 2017 and could even grow by 7%.

photo credit: Housing.com
During a press briefing at Shangri-La Makati last week, Sun Life Chief Investments Officer Michael Enriquez explained that with the increased consumer and government spending, the outlook remains fundamentally positive. He mentioned factors such as remittances from overseas Filipino workers, the BPO industry, and the large number of Filipinos who are of working age are among what's boosting our economy from the consumer's end. 

"On the other hand, the rise in government spending is bringing about more jobs and has also increased the demand for construction materials," added Enriquez. These positive developments, he said, have been offsetting the possible impact of recent events in the market, which include the weakening of the Philippine Peso against the US Dollar plus the drop in the Philippine Stock Exchange Index due to the shift of foreign funds to the US market.

"Stay the course and even boost your investments," advised Enriquez to investors. "With stock prices cheaper, it's a good time to buy so [you] can enjoy the greater gains once the market goes up."

Michael Enriquez says PH is still the fastest growing economy in Asia
How to take advantage of this scenario? One way is to invest in mutual funds such the Sun Life Prosperity Funds (read how I started mine, here) managed by Sun Life Asset Management Company, Inc. (SLAMCI). Amid the developments in the market, the funds have been performing strongly as of December 31, 2016. 

For instance, the Sun Life Prosperity Equity Fund yielded a five-year return of 39% and a 10-year return of 119% while the Sun Life Prosperity Balanced Fund marked a 28% and 89% growth in the five and ten-year returns respectively. Likewise, the Sun Life Prosperity Bond Fund lodged 12% and 44% returns for the same time periods.

SLAMCI President Valerie Pama expressed, "We're delighted that our investors are reaping the rewards of their commitment to invest for the long-term, and we hope to see more Filipinos treading the same path so they, too, can experience financial security."

the advantage of regular investingphoto credit: Sun Life Philippines
"We create wealth for our investors in the long term. [So,] investors should be more concerned about long term prospects rather than aim to make a quick buck," added Enriquez who advised that one should be patient enough to stay invested to see good payback.

To educate more Filipinos about the best ways to grow their money, Pama said SLAMCI will pursue this vision by championing financial inclusion and further boosting its financial literacy programs. The company also plans to strengthen distribution channels to reach new markets. 
"More partnerships with banks, brokers, and alternative channels will be launched and we will also enhance our online capability including the Money for Life e-Planner," she shared. (In relation to this, please read the recent partnership formed between Sun Life and USSChere.) 

Pama and Enriquez answer questions from the media
photo credit: Sun Life Philippines
SLAMCI will also be more aggressive in promoting its programs such as Sun RISE, wherein employees can invest a minimal amount regularly via salary deduction; and Auto-Invest, a regular investment program in cooperation with partner banks. Pama is also optimistic about a possible regulation from the Securities and Exchange Commission that may lower initial investment from P5,000 to P1,000. 

"The economy is strong but may not necessarily translate to a strong equity market this year," clarified Enriquez. However, "This is the best [time] now to get assets cheaper. It's a short term opportunity to rebalance your portfolio."

"Please start investing already. Do it regularly, be disciplined, and focus on your long term goals," concluded Pama.


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