Happy New Year!

I just want to make this first post one that really piques my interest. It’s about how most of us think about wealth.

No, I did not do a comprehensive survey on this topic. This is just based on my observation, which I believe you can verify via your own as well. Two recent events (one national, and one personal) have suddenly made me ponder on how we Filipinos think about wealth. Anyway, if I have the time and energy later on, I might do a full blown research on this.

The first event is when the grand jackpot prize of Philippine Lotto crossed the half-billion-peso mark. Suddenly, lines to buy a ticket grew astronomically.

Via: 4.bp.blogspot.com

From this event, we can see that there are literally throngs of Filipinos wanting to get wealthy. Who wouldn’t want that half-billion added to their asset? However, the method of acquisition through lottery winning is questionable on many accounts.

First according to my statistics teacher, the chance to hit the correct combination of numbers is sub-atomically small. And so, there is no assurance that you’ll get your money back. It’s like throwing your bet into a black hole. Good as gone.

Secondly, my ethics professor said that betting in lotteries like this makes you covet the prize money. And coveting is — uhrm how should we say this — sin.

And there could be more. My friend Nathan Montenegro wrote a master’s thesis on the concept of swerte. This research is valuable if we want to get into the Filipino psyche on wealth.

And so, even from this simple event, we can glean the insight that most Filipinos wanted wealth — through the fast lane.

The second event that triggered these lines of thought is when I went to National Bookstore and saw a book on wealth by Colayco.

Via colaycofoundation1.com

It looks like nobody wants to buy this book. While it was quite crowded in the National Bookstore, there was no line (like the one above for the lotto outlets) for this book.

Well, it could be the price of the book that stops them from buying it. But at Php95.00, would one consider this expensive? I don’t think so.

I picked up the book and read the table of contents. Then it dawned on me why it’s not being bought. The book is about acquiring wealth THE HARD WAY. Uh-oh.

I looked around if anyone would be picking up that book and taking it to the checkout counter. No one else did.

Honestly, I also did not buy the book. It’s not because I did not believe in it. It’s because I already have a similar book I got as a Christmas gift from a friend. So in the spirit of Colayco’s book, I saved my Php95.00 for other things because I already have one similar to it. But had I not previously gotten a book on that same subject, I would  have bought it in a heartbeat.

So between easy to get wealth and hard to get wealth, I think the former wins hands-down.

My prayer and hope is that we as a nation rise up from this sad state. The Colayco Foundation is doing a valuable service to the nation by increasing awareness on wealth management on the grass roots level. I’m not a staff nor a member of that foundation, but I agree with their financial principles.

For us Christians, we give first to God what is right, then we manage wisely what is left.