Last June, the SoMoms trekked over to our current favorite hotel in Manila, New World Makati. Have you been to the new New World? Crossing the street from Greenbelt 3, it looks the same but as you get closer, you’ll notice the interesting new details like that metal sculpture on the front.
It gets way better when you go inside. It is totally upgraded from the New World of before. The feel is very clean, very modern Asian.
Aside from the lobby, the staircase and Jasmine restaurant, some of the nicest changes are in the function/ meeting rooms. They renovated the meeting rooms where they added the unique feature of an open kitchen. It gives it a very homey, comfortable yet still classy and formal feel. It’s like you had a meeting in your multi-millionaire boss’s home. Haha.
New World was one of our sponsors for our #BetterMe session that day on financial planning and this setup was perfect because we wanted it to be informal, intimate and comfortable for everyone.
I organized this event because from several discussions with the SoMoms, one of the key aspects they wanted to improve on was handling their personal finances. I was wary of getting a sponsor linked to life insurance because I was worried that we would be asked to sell life insurance to our readers. However, after my meeting with their Marketing and Communications Head Dandee Adapon, I saw that AXA was sincere in their financial education advocacy. They’ve been doing #FailProof financial pocket sessions like these for small groups and we were just one of the groups. AXA and I worked together in choosing the right speaker for our session and we found the perfect one to be Rose Fres Fausto, a mom to three boys, a former investment banker and a friend to mompreneur Candy Yaw of Nurture Nook.
I guess I realized this was going to be a different financial talk when she showed this slide.
I forget whom she quoted but anyone who shows a slide so nerdy yet so spiritually practical and interesting would get my attention.
And then, it became more interesting. She asked us about our money memory, inspired by Suze Orman. A money memory is a childhood memory that stands out in your mind about anything to do with money. My money memory was about me and my mom. As a child, I would always be around her in the home office. She, in turn, empowered me to help her even at a really young age. At 7, I was filling out vale forms for the carpenters and giving them cash advances. She also made me go to the palengke by myself. At 12, I was manning our clothing store in Dau alone. Then, I realized (in that very session), that that was when I became an entrepreneur — not when I left the corporate world in 2004 to put up my small marketing agency — but when I gave out that 5th or so cash advance form. It was when my mom inspired and empowered me to be an entrepreneur.
And yes, in a financial session, the SoMoms started crying as each of us shared our own money memories.
That was when we realized that finances are actually very emotional and go way back to your childhood. And being moms already, it also dawned on us that we have a big responsibility to develop good money memories with our own kids.
In Rose’s talk, she called it developing a Financial Intelligence Quotient — or making sound financial decisions grounded on your family’s values. (Recently, this got me thinking about Napoles and her kids. If to begin with, your values are corrupted, the way you treat money is also corrupted and you can easily pass this onto your kids. OK, moving on …)
After Rose, Peachy Felix, an employee of AXA talked about how she got breast cancer in her late 30s. She had 3 small girls and I couldn’t imagine the ordeal she went through, very similar to one of our moms in the room, Patty of Nonstopbabble. Ironically, Peachy didn’t have any insurance that covered critical illness. Thankfully, with the best treatment costing her a big chunk of their savings, the cancer is gone.
The session was pretty emotional and there was no talk whatsoever of AXA products. Dandee just really wanted to get the word out on their financial advocacy. As part of the advocacy, AXA has their FB page, which actually offers financial information on the market, tips and advice on managing money. I do suggest you like the page for the practical tips. Also, they are currently doing a raffle where your family can win a trip for 4 to Legoland Malaysia and other cool prizes!!
I signed up the other day and I was happily surprised to get so many coupons — Mr. Choi’s Kitchen, Little Asia, Ideal Vision, Chris Sports, etc. The raffle ends next week so you have 1 more week to keep getting entries. I want to go to Legoland!!
OK so back to the emotional discussion. If there are 3 things I would like you readers to reflect on after Rose Fres Fausto’s talk, they would be:
1. What is your money memory?
2. What are your core values as a family?
3. What money memory will you impart to your children?
Think about those three and feel free to answer one or more in the comments section.
At the end of the talk, a few of us were actually looking for AXA agents to talk to because we wanted to learn more about their products but there were none around. I did feel relieved because I knew they were sincere in not using the event to sell. However, I set an appointment with their Ortigas branch and after our meeting and my analysis of what the best product is for my family, I’ll blog about it.
Follow AXA on
Rose Fres Fausto’s site: Raising Pinoy Boys
Follow her article on the Philippine Star.