We women surely know how to use money. Our men trust us when we do our monthly budget swiftly and effectively. And for this generation, we evolved our knowledge and take our financial skills to the next level. As we continue to teach our kids not just to save money, but to invest as well.
Joining the worldwide celebration of Women’s Month, First Metro Asset Management, Inc. (FAMI), the fund management subsidiary of First Metro Investment Corporation, hosted Smart Women Invest, a financial and investment literacy workshop specifically catered to help Filipinas transform from savers into investors.
FAMI president Karen Roa said, “The event was intended to motivate and empower women through the discussion of financial intelligence. This allowed the audience to learn not only how to protect existing resources, but more importantly how to grow one’s assets. By doing so, women are transformed from savers into investors.”
FAMI tapped two of the country’s leading female finance experts to help their fellow Filipinas in their journey towards investing.
Leading the workshop is FAMI’s first-ever female president Karen Roa, a 25-year expert in the field of finance. With a career that spans both domestic and international banking operations, she has a wealth of experience that fuels her financial skills. She has worked with some of the most renowned global companies in banking and asset management, such as Chase Manhattan Bank, SunGard Asia Pacific, trust banking groups of Philam Bank, and Citibank NA. She also served as President and CEO of Philam Asset Management, Inc. (PAMI). Roa was also a lecturer at the country’s top universities, Ateneo de Manila and UP, teaching business courses on strategy, investment management, and financial services.
Ms. Rose Fres Fausto on the other hand, is known as FQ Mom. She was an investment banker turned full-time homemaker and now a writer, speaker, and resource person on money and family. Her career draws its roots in banking as an analyst at Far East Bank and later on as assistant vice president for Corporate Finance at one of the country’s leading investment houses. She also had a consultancy stint for a USAID renewable energy project. Today she discusses money, parenting, women issues, and the use of Behavioral Economics principles in different aspects of life in her books, columns, online shows, talks, and workshops.
Figuring Out Finance
Roa and Fausto engaged an eager audience of fellow go-getting women in an animated discussion about finance. Roa said, “Finance doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Women can do it—and excel in it, too.” Both agree that part of self-determination is mastering the art of handling money.
One of the highlights of the workshop was the online FQ Test, which determines the participants’ standing in terms of Financial Intelligence Quotient (FQ). Fausto said: “In order to have a high FQ, women must first understand their relationship with money. She also added that those who didn’t fare well in the test need not worry because their FQ scores are not cast in stone. They can be improved by tweaking some of their money habits and unleashing the female characteristics that are actually good for investing, allowing them to go beyond saving.”
The best part about a healthy FQ is that its concepts can be learned and, in turn, shared with the family. Fausto said, “Women are large influencers in their community so a woman with high FQ can be a driver in raising children with smarter money sense, build a career and investment life that is fruitful and lucrative, and even lead a household and home that is sufficient and stable. Again, with fortified FQ—women have proven once again that they’re on top of their game.”
Securing a Financial Future
As a member of the Metrobank Group, FAMI holds a veritable reputation in asset management. FAMI’s mutual fund business is adept at promoting savings mobilization and advocates investment literacy, making it the perfect partner for women to learn, live and start loving finance.
Besides the women-centric learning in finance and investment, the attendees also received a free investment in First Metro Consumer Fund. Roa said, “This is our way of thanking the women who attended our workshop. The First Metro Consumer Fund is invested in industries that benefit from the Philippine family consumption and expenditure pattern. These are industries supported by women and mothers in our country. This is a great way to start their investment journey.”