November 1, 2021

Purpose-driven advice with Jay Adrian Tolentino – Transcript

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Gwen Lazarito
Welcome to the Financial Planners Southeast Asia podcast, a show dedicated to driving the positive evolution of financial advice specifically within South East Asia to join a global community of financial advisors sharing and learning with one another to drive the positive evolution of financial advice. Head to XY advisor.com.

Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the financial planner, South East Asia podcasts on here and today I am with Jay Adrian Tolentino, aka The Purpose Driven advisor, aka Korea j. So J is an independent financial coach to overseas Filipinos in Dubai, UAE. And he also hosts the podcast banter and purpose podcast. So Jake is almost for coming to the show. And yeah, welcome.

Jay Adrian Tolentino
Oh, thank you for finding me online. How you did it. But I’m really glad that I’m here. I’m blessed to share my message. And my love for financial planning. So thank you so much, Gwen.

Gwen Lazarito
You’re welcome. So I’ve, I’ve mentioned this to you a while before that, I’ve been listening to your podcast, I actually saw it as a recommendation in iTunes. That’s where I found you. And yes, I’ve been listening to it. So I love podcasts, because I can just go ahead and just zone out well, you know, doing the dishes and all that. So yes, and I actually love, especially some of the topics that you talk about, and I’ve been sharing it to my friends. But we’ve while we’re on that subject. So for just for context by that your podcast is about financial advice. So that’s why I’ve been sharing it to my, my friends, so that they can learn about financial literacy as well. But I guess my first question is, how did you start in financial advice.

Jay Adrian Tolentino
It was actually, just by chance. When I was new in Dubai, that was six years ago, my first year, I got scammed. Because I don’t know how to invest. All I know is that I wasted so much time in my younger years, and I wasn’t able to maximize the income that I was getting from. From my work I worked in, in a BPO for seven years, before I came to Dubai. Now I felt that it was too late for me. So I thought that there’s this investment that was offered to me by a roommate, which guarantees three or four times returns in three months time. So in addition to that, my parents contacted me said that this particular investment that originated in Dubai, has helped many Filipinos in the Philippines become rich. So I thought, hey, why not give it a try, they gave me the money. And then after three months, it never went back until now, those the money that I’ve invested there didn’t come back. So there’s a first lesson I learned in investing. And the greatest lesson there is that if you’re ignorant, and you’re greedy at the same time, that is a perfect recipe for financial disaster, it was shameful. There’s so much guilt in that experience. And because of that, I thought that I should not or I will never ever be in that same kind of investment again. So I tried different types of investments. I was offered with insurance products or investment products that are way beyond my income, or it’s a great portion of my income is being is being eaten or given to that particular product. Yeah, and then eventually, I wasn’t able to sustain it because it was too much for me. And when he had an emergency, I had to give up one of my investments. So there those are a lot of those are illegal investments. But I still like incurred so many losses. And because of that, I thought that maybe if I cannot find the right person to offer the right investment, who doesn’t have I mean, who that who doesn’t focus more on their Commission’s or who own who only wants to get a piece of your hard earned money for their own sake, then I need to be that person. I need to be the person who gives the Filipinos here in the UAE to give that advice without any without any bias, if I may say or without any intention to to make so much money out of that advice, because I understand that many, many people People go into this industry because of the money because there’s the commission is high, and they can become really wealthy in this. But I realized that financial literacy is, is so important that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are different ways to help people. And as my as my, as my love for this subject grew, I’ve transferred or I’ve transferred careers, probably when I was 3132 already. And I became a financial planner they’re hearing here in the UAE. And then I’ve met so many people as well in the Philippines. And they’ve, I mean, they’ve helped me in shaping my core foundation, and my mindset of how to be the best financial planner that I can be. So yeah, and that that’s how it all started. And because I love creating content, I love sharing ideas. I created a podcast and before that I think you’ve already checked the the Empowered expats that we started with. Yeah, so I’m not sure if I’m gonna proceed with the story with that. Or you can ask me.

Gwen Lazarito
Definitely. So yes. That is actually my my next question. So because you you started in financial advice. And you mentioned that you you wanted to change the perception, you didn’t want to become like the salesman financial. Right. So you so you’ve started creating free content that people can consume in order to build their financial literacy. And that’s where I guess the Empowered expats came in. So can you tell us more about that?

Jay Adrian Tolentino
Yeah, so that was September of 2018, when I first met Sigmund about also known as Hmong Mo, and he’s my partner in crime with that project of ours, because late 2018, I love reading stuff. And I read that the most consumed type of content by many Filipinos or many people in the UAE and in the Philippines, is video form. So I understand that I don’t have the talent or creativity to create captivating videos. So there was one time this guy segment came to the office, and he showed me the videos that he made, he’s doing it like, like, it’s one of his hobbies back then. And I told him, You have the talent to create such awesome videos. So would you mind if we create a vlog that is focused on financial literacy, I’ll do the research. I’ll do all the things that are needed for for the content, you just do your own stuff, and use it as a way to enhance your skills in filmmaking. So good thing he agreed and January 120 19, we started our first episode, or we launched it. And then after three or four months, we got interviewed in ABS CBN Bolita. Yeah, it was really, it’s, I couldn’t believe it happened. I mean, that 2019 was, was like the best year of our lives for both of us because our our network grew, our connections got better man, he got interested in financial literacy and because he really is good in filmmaking, he made it easy for many Filipinos to to be entertained, and be educated as well. So we we shared our passion. Mine is for education, and his is for entertainment. So when we did that, it’s like edutainment, that’s what we call edutainment. Yeah, and not a lot of Filipino vloggers we’re doing financial literacy stuff, many just love to travel, travel, eat out, buy stuff, but ours is totally different. I mean, it’s not we don’t actually call it a vlog. It’s more of like a financial literacy video. Because we don’t want to be, we don’t want to be named as bloggers or influencers. We just want to be known as people who love sharing the idea of personal finance and personal development. Now fast forward today. segment B segment is now one of the most sought after filmmaker here in this side of the world. And yeah, we pursued our passions. We actually started the business two years ago, and we had to close it down because of the pandemic and we really had to pursue our each of our passions. So once every once or twice every month. We still need we we find ways to catch up and be with our trusted friends. Like, like Doc Rex Baqarah was our inspiration as well if you’re ever gonna listen to this podcast, so shout out to you, Doc. So yeah, that’s how it started. It’s it started with the love, love for sharing the idea of financial literacy. And for people for many Filipinos not to experience the same experiences that we had, especially for me, I get scammed, I bought unnecessary, expensive financial products, and I lost so much money on investments. So if overseas Filipinos are gonna fail in their finances, I think they can fail better than what I did. Right. So that is the that is the main that is the that is the main message of what I’m doing. So if you if you can see my soul, my T shirt, it’s it shows your prosperity. The purpose, right is I want to help people use money as a tool to live a meaningful life. That is the exact core message of whatever it is that I’m doing right now.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes. And I love that quote, or your slogan? Because I think it’s, it’s easier to pursue something if you have a purpose. Like, you can always chase money, right? It always it can always come to you. But it can easily get away from you if you don’t have the purpose, or if you if you don’t have a target, if you don’t have a course. So yes, I think that’s very fitting. And it’s such a wonderful story that you shared with, with with Mung Wong. I think yes, because I know that a lot of financial advisors are looking into expanding through, like, videos like in YouTube podcast, but they don’t know where to start. And so it’s actually a really good idea to partner with someone who actually has the expertise and wants to hone in with you your knowledge, right, in order to come up with something that can be meaningful, and at the same time profitable for both you and your partner. So I think that’s an excellent idea. Which leads me to your next endeavor, which is the podcast but but before the podcast, I believe you started purpose driven finance.

Jay Adrian Tolentino
Yeah, I was actually confused with, with the brand that I’m going to do because there’s no clarity back then the only thing that’s clear for me is the my message. Since day one, that has been the message to help people use money as a tool to live a meaningful life. But the name the branding the name, it’s, it’s quite, I’m quite confused for it, because I realized that I wouldn’t be a financial advisor forever, I there might be a time that I evolved into an entrepreneur, or probably I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be an advisor forever. So I changed it to purpose driven finance, because finance is the kind of subject that I would always love to talk about. Regardless, if I’m, if I may be in a different situation. In the future, I may not be doing hardcore financial planning anymore, but finance will always be at the center of my heart. And that is why I rebranded into purpose driven finance. And then you’re going to look at the podcasts that I created. It’s fair on purpose, meaning for us Filipinos it’s money and purpose, purpose means meaning, right? And a lot of people are the narrative of many Filipinos, as I understand, okay, man, you cannot entangle or join money, and, and God or your, your purpose in life, but but for me, money isn’t it’s not an end goal, but it is part of your process. It’s part of your journey, it’s part. It’s part of your purpose in life that you should fulfill, like, many people could not maximize their full potential, they couldn’t pursue their purpose because they are in debt, they have bills to pay, they couldn’t manage their finances better. And they might be good in their finances. They’re living a purposeful life right now. But then an emergency happens, they’re not insured, income is not protected, and then they go back, they slide back on their finances. And because of that, it derails it derails them from living a purposeful life and helping other people with their message in their story. So that is why, for me, financial literacy is so important for every individual. And, yeah, that’s just how that’s just how I want to use my time on this earth. Doing content and creating this message that you can pursue your purpose if you just manage your finances better.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes, that’s so true. And I think that’s one of the things that you’re you’re right, like not a lot of Filipinos have figured out that one yet, right? So to merge Their purpose with the thing that can that can sustain them financially as well. Because a lot of times, if you see a Filipino is earning well, chances are if you talk to them, like they’re really stressed out, they don’t like what they do. They can’t wait to retire if they can even retire at all. Because, you know, we have so many mouths to feed. Right? Um, and I think but and also because we are in we’re the generation certainly in the sandwich generation. Yeah, most most of the people are, yes, I myself am in the currently in that position. And I want to change that. And I know that a lot of parents who are like me, wants to change that story as well, here in the Philippines, because it’s one of the things that are keeping us from reaching better goals for for ourselves and for our family. And that’s why a lot of people go to other countries, right, and Dubai, like most of them are. There other Overseas Filipino workers are working abroad, because they want a better life for their family members. But as I listened to your podcast, a lot of them still go back home here in the Philippines, and they don’t have enough money, they still cannot retire, even if they have been earning more. How does financial advisor for Overseas Filipino help? Or if double use for that?

Jay Adrian Tolentino
Yeah, well, the good thing is that I think I’m the only registered financial planner, that is that has practiced financial planning, or what has been part of the industry. And at the same time, an overseas Filipinos Well,

that’s why I can totally relate to many of those overseas Filipinos, who came here and couldn’t manage their finances, and then they want to go back without having anything at all. So don’t the way I help them is by I mainly focus on the behavioral, behavioral side, not on the mathematical side. Although I’ve done so many certifications, and different disciplines about financial planning, both here and in the Philippines. The entire approach that I’m doing is always mainly about behaviors. Like, that’s why coaching is so important. A financial planning doesn’t just stop in one session, right? It is a continuous process. And for me to help them is to give them regular, and that’s why I keep my, my lines open for my clients and for even non clients. If they just want to ask questions. I’m always open for them. And that that is also the reason why I’ve created the podcast because there are people who approached me and then they tell me that they have problems in depth. I tell them Okay, listen to this episode. I’ve spoken to an Overseas Filipino who had overcome 500 Durham’s worth of debt that is like, I think, seven or 8 million pesos worth of debt. So they get inspired with that they get inspired with that story. And they know for a fact that if they are in a 50,000 debt situation, then it means that they can overcome it because there’s one person who has overcome a 500 Durham’s worth of debt. And that is why right now I am, I am adding segments to interview overseas Filipinos on how they manage their finances, not necessarily the the wealthy ones, or the people who who are high income, as you can say, but those who are those who are knowledgeable, and also those who are practicing the right habits of an oversea Filipino who wants to retire properly or retire Well, sooner or later. So I just want to use the platform that I’m that I have right now. For them to have a story that they can model on, because that’s how I that’s how I also started. I mean, I looked for the people who I wanted to model and from there I tried replicating how they’re doing it is I understand that success leaves clues. So that’s also why I’m so passionate in sharing this. So financial planners, I think are not just those that you see in the office or outside wearing a suit and tie that’s I don’t want to wear suit and tie anymore because they think many many people think that financial planning is expensive. It’s only for the rich. And I want to tell everyone that financial planning is most definitely For those who could not, could not afford to spend life or who are mainly in debt, and the reason why many people are in that situation is because they lack financial planning. That is why they need financial planning more than the rich ones, because the rich ones probably they’ve, they’ve already learned how to manage their money better from their parents, because I unders I know that wealthy individuals have wealthy behaviors wealthy mindset and that they know how to manage their finances better and those who are not in that situation means that they need to improve their, their their thoughts, their mindset and their actions on money. And that is why I believe that those are the people who need financial planning more. And the sad part is, not many of them, want to accept that. They don’t want to get that opportunity. And that is why this is why I’m telling people my content is free. You can if you want to pay for me pay for my time, that’s the only thing that I’ve asked for, because there’s so many things that I do with my time. But if you can afford it, if you think it’s still not within your means, then but by all means, go to my page, go to my Guru, my podcast, I am doing my very best to bring the right people in so that I can have that thoughtful conversation. And instead of you go into them, let me do that part. Let me do let me let me be the person to have that conversation to ask the question that you are so shy of asking. So you can learn from that conversation as well. So yeah, that I think that is how I practice financial planning. In this part of the world, it’s it’s not the typical one, though.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes. And I know that there have been a number of financial advisors who have gone to the that side as well to promote financial literacy. Because it’s I think it starts with conversations, right? It starts with conversations between friends, and what better way to start that conversation. But with one person listening to a podcast, or seeing a post about financial management, and then sharing that to a friend or a family member, and then having that discussion about money, because one of the things that is prevalent here in the Philippines as well is that we don’t talk about money. Yeah, yes, it’s a taboo, right. And that’s one of the reasons why Filipinos don’t reach out to financial planners because they’re afraid that they would be judged or that the products or services that the planner or the advisor is offering is something that they can afford. And they can say no. So and that’s why it’s important to see these kinds of content, the content that you do, which are free, and are very accessible. So, and I’ve also listened to I think one of the reasons why I love sharing your podcast to other people as well is because I too was inspired. So I think I remember you talk to forgot her last name. I think her first name was veneer or mental. Yeah. She’s a trader. Right? And

Jay Adrian Tolentino
that’s Diane, most likely then Fernandez. She’s the first.

Gwen Lazarito
Yeah. Dragon Boat lady.

Jay Adrian Tolentino
Ah, that’s why that has the most listens. I think so far. You shared your thank you for sharing.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes. And yes, that because that was the first episode that I listened to. And the reason why I was inspired is because I realized that could never be one. Because I’ve been thinking that, hey, I should start trading, because I wanted to learn how to trade and invest. And I’ve seen a lot of my friends who were trading and they seem to be happy. And they’re posting all of these like graphs gain. Yeah, the gains. Like it was some kind of exciting and exciting world. And after listening to that podcast, I taught or I realized that I’m like, we Ajay. I don’t like to trade and that’s because it’s not my forte and I don’t think that it will ever be my forte and that’s okay. So, because I know that some people try our trading because they hear from their friends that it’s so good. Even if at the back of their mind that they don’t have the patience. They don’t have like the willpower or the like the disconnection from their money divided because it If you’re a trader, you have to be disconnected with emotionally disconnected with the money and the numbers that you see on screen. And so I realized that what I’m doing it now is good. I’m just investing for the long term, not looking at my investments every day. And that’s fine. So and I think those are like, yes, because it can actually really lead to ruin, right? If you’re not good at something, if not properly educated, and you jump into it. I think you mentioned this in another episode of your podcast that, or yes, you mentioned this earlier, ignorance and greed. It’s not a good formula. So and we know that there are still a lot of people who have that mindset. get rich quickly. So yes, that’s

Jay Adrian Tolentino
all for that. Yeah.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes. And, and that’s where financial advisors and financial planners come in, and financial content, right. So with your content with the podcast that you do, as long as people hear these messages, even if it’s over and over, one day, it will sink in. So yeah. Now, I wanted to share this because I’m also an avid reader, and I know that you have, you are also fond of reading books. And and I know that you’ve got good taste, because I think like one of the books that you you’ve referred to read is The Richest Man in Babylon, which is also the first book that I read. So any other books that that you would like to Filipinos to read, or financial advisors 30 as well, so that they can help other Filipinos

Jay Adrian Tolentino
in terms of personal finance, right? So, yeah, the richest man in Babylon if I read that, before I came to Dubai, I wouldn’t be scammed. Yeah, that’s for sure. And then, if you are probably even if you aren’t Philippine expat or a person living in the Philippines, you can get so much value of Andrew helms book. It’s the millionaire expat, it will teach you how to invest, look with low cost, exchange traded funds. And I think now, there are ways on how Filipinos in the Philippines can invest in global ETFs. Because global ETFs are low cost. They’re diverse, and they perform better over time. That is why, if you read, if you read the article of Warren Buffett’s bet against the hedge fund investors, and for a decade of doing that bet, he slayed all those hedge fund investors. And that is why I’m not a huge fan of stock picking of day trading of forex, of what else have leverages or futures, I don’t deal with that kind of investment. Because I know for a fact that there are time tested ways and how you can grow your money patiently and more profitably. Because a lot of I mean, I think it’s it’s common for medical bills, because we are considered as an emerging country, third world as they say, but if we just become patient with our investments with our money, we will eventually get there. And that is why reading books like this can help us become more financially savvy and financially better versus the typical Filipino who just goes to work, spend money in the Yolo kind of stuff. I mean, there’s a better way to do YOLO, right? Yes, you just have, you just have to be more purposeful and intentional with your spending and what else? Those are the book. I’m currently looking in my books right now. So Randall Johnson’s no nonsense, personal finance, I read that before I became a financial planner, and then you can also book or you can also read the book of coach Efron damask Cruz, this is taming the rebellious you This is more on behavioral finance is important. Yes, it is important. I would recommend people to instead of instead of focusing on on on the just the investment vehicles, I want you to focus more on your behavior and your thoughts also, in addition to that, you can read Dr. Becker’s book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind that there are a lot of ways on how you can rewire your thinking in relationship about money. And then you can also read Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. That’s one of the books that I’ve started with. The main learning there is the difference between assets and liabilities for me, but you have to discern the teaching of Robert Kiyosaki these days. It’s not the same But,

but I love how he, he, he made the book, but do more research. And this is what I always tell my clients and my, my audience don’t just follow what I say because you have your own path. And then the content that you’re listening that can listen to the can read. They it worked for them, but it may not work for you. That is why you have to have this thirst for learning, because you have to find yours. Until now I’m yet that that is why I, I I’ve learned to embrace my investment discipline, because I’ve tried and tested some of those theories. And it some didn’t work for me, but some work. So my our strategy may not work for you it might but it might work for other people. That is why you have to keep learning as young as you are, take risks as well. Because when you’re young, you take risks, it’s easier for you to get back up, you have the energy and you have the experience. So those are the things that I would want you to read also, probably not they’re not really a personal finance book. It’s atomic habits by James clear. Yeah, it can you can use his practical approach to habit forming in, in your finances. I’ve done that I think I made a post about it, the habit stacking stuff, you can do that. So there’s a lot in the if there’s one other book, The last book that I mean, one of the few books is purpose driven life. Yeah. And that’s when I requiring Yes. After I read this book, I think after three months, I resigned from my office job and totally pivoted because I never had any background in finance. I only I just had clarity with my purpose, that’s all. And of course, savings invested or emergency fund saved in the bank, I know that within and then I made sure that I had insurance before I made that shift. So those are some of the books that you can read. And also last book would always be the Bible. There’s so much wisdom in that book, especially Proverbs, The Book of Wisdom.

Gwen Lazarito
I agree actually agree because they’re actually, if you’re not even religious, there is still a lot of wisdom that can be extracted in the Bible, because there are there are passages there that relate to money and

Jay Adrian Tolentino
Haste makes waste.

Gwen Lazarito
I think I the one thing that I will always remember. And I’ve gotten this because I had like, Bible school when I was a child. But it’s the parable of talents. And I’ve always I like that. That Yes. So you will be rewarded if you spend if you handle your money. Well, that’s like the short end of that. The message for that. And that has always stuck with me. Because so this is like a very funny story. Like before, I also started my financial literacy journey and my late 20s When I met my current husband, who was also starting as a financial advisor, right. And so before, I didn’t have any debt, but I also didn’t have insurance because I had the my parents mentality that insurance agents are scammers, because they run off with your money and all that stuff. And so I just saved my money in the bank. So that is an equivalent to like the first servant right? So who was given the money, but he only planted it? Or I think it was that was that the third servant who planted it to the ground? And so do you think every third one? Yeah, yes. And I saw that in my life, because although I didn’t have any debts, I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere with my money. And now and I had my salary was actually bigger before than what I have now. But now I actually have, I feel like I have more. And I have this peace of mind. And I guess that started when I had my financial advisor or which was now my husband. So all worked out well. And so that’s why I’m I’m also an advocate for financial literacy because I think that there are a lot of people that can really get out of proper poverty, especially here in the Philippines and can get out of the unnecessary stress that comes with uncertainty of not having something to look forward to in the future. Right. So, yes, so yes, and thank you so much for also Sharing all those books. I’ve read some of the ones that you’ve referred, but I certainly haven’t read all so I’ll be sure to check out my our,

Jay Adrian Tolentino
I’ll give you the link

Gwen Lazarito
bookstores as well, because I do love the hard copies. But thank you so much for covering today’s show, Jay oh my gosh, no time is not enough for this conversation. But anyways, before we end the show, can you tell us more about like, where to find you? What is happening right now if you want if people want to reach you, where can they reach

Jay Adrian Tolentino
you? Yeah, well, right now, I’m heavily focusing on my podcast, that spirit and purpose podcast, you can find it on Spotify, Apple podcast, and any other streaming platforms. If you can, if you type para, you can easily find it or even purpose, you can easily find the podcast with those keywords. And then I also have a Facebook page. That’s, that’s purpose driven finance. Now, I also have a YouTube channel and the Tick Tock just look for Kuya J, or hey, Kuya J, those are my YouTube N tick tock tick tock accounts. And on LinkedIn, you can just find me by searching J. Adrian Tolentino. That’s my full name. And I also have a website I think it will be up by the end of the week, or by the time you listen to this episode is already there. So it’s Jane didn’t valentina.com Yeah, so I shared there all the all the things are some of the things that I usually give too many Filipinos, especially if you are an Overseas Filipino or you know someone who is an Overseas Filipino, they would benefit from the podcast so much. So yeah, those are my those are my social media handles.

Gwen Lazarito
All right, thank you so much, again, Jay, for coming into the show for sharing all of the wealth of knowledge that you have accumulated and making sure that it’s free. For the Filipinos. I hope there are more financial advisors and financial planners who take on what you do as well and so more power to you and to your business and to your purpose. And you’re right so I hope to see you soon. Hope to have a conversation with you soon but till now have a good one. You too. Take care.

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