by Dennis D. Estopace
(Ed. -- Mr. Ranque worked for nearly two decades in Saudi Arabia and is project development officer of the NGO Economic Resource Center for Overseas Filipinos. He also shares insights and tips on financial literacy to OFWs and their families here and abroad, such as during recent financial literacy seminars conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Cebu, Laguna and Pampanga.)
QUEZON CITY – He’s his own guinea pig. Former overseas Filipino worker turned stock trader Antonio V. Ranque applies his trial-and-error style on the Philippine Stock Exchange trading board on himself first before giving solicited advice.
DDE: I heard you traded in stocks while working in Saudi Arabia.
AVR: No, no. It was after six months when I arrived after working in Saudi that I went into online trading. My entry into stocks was due to difficulties that I saw start-up businesses experienced. Mabuti kung mahilig sa negosyo ang maiiwan mong pamilya dito; yung sa akin wala. Personally, I also experienced that when I went into a taxi business years ago, but the driver I hired cheated me on many things. I lost P200,000 and the parcel of land I sold for that business. From that experience I learned it's difficult to go into the taxi business, especially here in Manila. Kung gusto mong kumita dito sa taxi, kailangan big time ka kaagad: minimum na 3 to 5 ang taxi units mo. Isipin mo, you're parting with hard-earned money on a vehicle that would depreciate in the long run e yung amortization mo di naman bumababa so dun lang mapupunta yung kinikita mo.
DDE: But I heard you're in online trading and it began in Saudi.
AVR: Ah, yes, I'm really into the Internet even when I was in Saudi. I was involved in a computer society and my line of “specialty” there was Internet for communication. I started with electronic mail, chatting, and then joining e-groups. Besides that, ang pinakamaganda talagang gamit ng Internet for OFWs like me is online news and online banking. I usually use my bank account to send money, especially to my children. For example, I send them allowance through an online bank transfer service called third-party enrolment. They'll send me an email and then I transfer money from my account to their savings account. From online banking, nagtuloy na ko sa online investment but months after I arrived here in the Philippines.
For the full Q & A, click here