Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight | Inquirer Business
Money Matters

Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight

/ 04:02 AM January 26, 2022

Question: How would you explain personal finance in the context of family life? Asked at “Ask a Friend, Ask Efren” free service at, SMS, Viber, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook

Answer: If you have traveled on an airplane, I am sure you would have paid attention, at least once, to the flight safety instructions. Personal finance safety instructions are similar.

In an airplane, you are allowed your personal bag and a small suitcase that is not heavier than the specified weight limit and that can fit either under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin. Depending on the type of travel, you are also allowed a certain number and weight of free checked-in baggage; otherwise you will pay extra for the excess number or weight.


In personal finance, you will pay in terms of missed investment opportunities or heavy cash flow burden with too many possessions. So, be sure to create and follow a sensible budget that does not rob you of your future by enjoying too much today. And make sure that debt, while not needing to be zero, is manageable. Debt that is used to buy assets, and preferably earning ones, is the best type of debt.


It is not impossible for you to charter or even buy your own plane and fly it yourself to get to your desired destination. However, on top of being very expensive, you would not be able to watch any in-flight movie, doze off, be served a meal, or even go to the lavatory (i.e. at least you would not dare to even when in autopilot). That is why it is much less stressful to just book a commercial flight where, if you pay up for your seat, you can even be treated like royalty.

In investing, you can either do it yourself or entrust your hard-earned money to professional investment managers in pooled funds (e.g. mutual funds, unit investment trust funds, single-pay variable unit-linked insurance) who will pilot you through occasional turbulence and get you safely and comfortably to your desired financial destination. And if you have more to invest, you can be treated like a business or first-class investor with a lot of perks by opening investment management accounts with banks and standalone companies with trust licenses. You will have a separate entrance to and waiting lounge at the office of your investment manager on top of the access to better investment deals and critical market information, data and analyses.


Before taking off, airlines will announce that you must fasten your seatbelt at all times just in case there is air turbulence along the way. In the unlikely event of a water landing (i.e. statistics show that there was a 1 in 3.37 billion chance of dying in a commercial airline plane crash between 2012 and 2016), there is a life vest located under your seat that you can use. In case of rapid loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling, and you are to put on your mask first before helping your children or the person next to you.

There is no investment in the world that is fully guaranteed. That is why before embarking on your investment flight, you will need to protect your downside. And the most prudent way is to get companies to provide for your family just in case you encounter your own turbulence in life like accidents, damage to property, critical illness, disability and even death. Insurance acts as your seat belt, life vest and oxygen mask all in one. And just like with oxygen masks, parents need to insure themselves first. Insuring their children against death is but an option. It would be better to just get health insurance or HMO plans for children after. And do not go around tempting fate by having vices that can shorten life like smoking, drinking, gambling and even engaging in extramarital affairs.

Oh by the way, I ended up just buying a substantially cheaper Gibson guitar strap. INQ

Efren Ll. Cruz is a Registered Financial Planner and Director of RFP® Philippines, seasoned investment adviser, bestselling author of personal finance books in the Philippines. To consult with a YAMAN Coach, email To learn more about personal financial planning, attend the 93rd RFP Program this January 2022. To inquire, email or text at 0917-6248110

Copyright 2022 Efren Ll. Cruz, RFP®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written consent of the author.

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