January 17, 2022

Needs-based advice with Efren Ll. Cruz – Transcript

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Gwen Lazarito
Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the financial planners Southeast Asia podcast when here and today I am with Coach Efren Cruz are very excited about this because he is the chairman and CEO of personal finance advisors, Philippines, and he’s also a best selling author of two books. And not only that he is a registered financial planner of the RSP. Philippines. So thank you so much for being in the show. Coach.

Efren Cruz
Thank you for having me, Gwen.

Gwen Lazarito
It’s such a pleasure to have you here. And what a great way for, for us to start the year because I know that this podcast will be up and running this January of 2022. So glad to have you on the show. Definitely. And I guess, coach to start the podcast I want for the people who don’t know you yet, because you are actually one of the celebrities here in the financial industry in the Philippines. But for those of you who don’t know, um, can you tell us? How did you get into the financial advice industry in the first place?

Efren Cruz
How much time do you have? I’m just kidding. Way back in college, for some reason, but my professor in finance, showed me how to construct an amortization table and displayed how magically, your balance turns to zero at the end of the term that fascinated me so much. I don’t know weird, so weird. So when after graduating from college, whenever I’d see installment loans, like somebody selling a car, and saying visit the amortization, or the term, as you very well know, they don’t disclose the interest rate. So I found it challenging to try to find out what the interest rate was using the formula and amortization table, basically the time value of money formulas. And that got me started, you know, and then eventually, I ended up with a job in finance. And that was my dream to be in finance. And then I took my MBA and all, but then later on, I actually was sort of guided by by the good Lord, to leave corporate work, leave the corporate world, and actually start my own business, which is in personal finance. Okay. And that, from 2009 onwards, that is what I’ve been doing. And that was, fortunately, the time when the industry also blossom. So I actually was one of the first and I grew with the industry. That’s why they call me the grandfather. But that’s more of an insult than anything else.

Gwen Lazarito
Right? Yes, because you were at the forefront. And we spoke about this before we started the podcast that it was around 2004 2000 2009. So you started in the personal finance advisor show things? Well,

Efren Cruz
technically, I wrote my first book in 2004. I incorporated my company in 2006. But it became full time because, again, through the infinite wisdom of the good Lord, he actually had me written dated from my work. Yeah. And I left that company in 2009, a year after I wrote my second book. Yeah. So you know, he gave me the ammunition already to start the business with the two books I have.

Gwen Lazarito
Right. That’s wonderful. And just for context, the the books that you’ve wrote is the first one is for dinner. Or in English. It’s what do you say that?

Efren Cruz
You can you can already you can already Yeah, I hate guide. A Complete Guide. on personal finance. Yes. 2004. Yeah. But it was more applied to the Philippine culture, because the complete title is Wadena, the complete Pinoy guide Pinoy for the Filipino,

Gwen Lazarito
yes, and personally. And that’s wonderful, because we do have like a different set of beliefs here in the Philippines that is unique to us. And that’s why some sometimes some of the teachings that we see from international books don’t really apply to us here. So it’s very good that yeah, you and you were one of the first ones to have that one. Because you, you published that in 2004 to be followed by your second book. That is quite dinner, the Complete Guide to Retirement and estate planning, which I haven’t bought this book, but I’m excited to get this one because it’s something that we don’t talk about here in the Philippines, right.

Efren Cruz
Well, don’t hold your breath because that book is out of print.

Gwen Lazarito
Ah, that’s bad. So

Efren Cruz
but the thing is that we’ve come up with two books already. And we’ve even written for written the 50th anniversary of the Philippine deposit Insurance Corporation. One, the first few articles we’re writing for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, were put in a book called Money Matters, which is the name of our column. But, you know, all throughout, we were giving rules and how to manage money the Filipino way. But many times they don’t work. So we tried to really dig deeper, why don’t they work. And that’s why we came up with our latest book. And this is, I guess, the most interesting book, it’s called taming the rebellious shoe. It is our take on the fish geology and psychology behind money management in the Philippines. And that’s why I wrote it so that I will have some sort of right to write it. I wrote it with a well renowned Filipino urologist, and a well renowned Filipino psychologist.

Gwen Lazarito
Ah, that’s very interesting, because it’s very, it’s something that I do hear a lot of Australians, financial advisors and financial planners talk about, because it seems like for it is that psychology or human psychology plays a great role in how we manage our finances. So it’s good that we’re finally talking about that, like how our mental health affects affects our purchasing, purchasing, not not even ability or how we purchase in general, right, like how we consume anything and spend our money. So I can’t wait to hear to read about that. Where do you where can we find that book?

Efren Cruz
Well, we don’t sell it in bookstores. So we just sell it, you have to text us so that you can get a copy. And then we’ll just send it to you. Ah, so we talk about the actually we have created that not really great, we just coined the four pillars of personal finance. And this applies to any culture. But the application itself is that what we did is for the Filipino in our book. So those four four pillars are cash management, which is, which ranges from your earning money, all the way up to saving it budgeting, a providing emergency funds, all of that stuff, then there’s debt management. And then there’s risk management, which is insuring yourself against possible losses. And then wealth management. And we what we always say is that you should follow the the pillars in the way I enumerated them, which is cash debt risk, Wealth Management, because you you wealth management is fine, but nothing is guaranteed. And for my career, I’ve been a fund manager for most of my career, and I can challenge any other fund manager to show me an investment that is fully guaranteed, there’s no such thing. So why get into something that is that has risk, when you haven’t even protected your downside. What if something happens to you health wise accident, or even you’re taking from this lake. That’s why before you apply wealth management, you have to apply risk management. The only problem is that buying insurance is also expensive. And you have to have a budget for that right. But what if you have a mountain of debt, you probably prioritize the debt because collectors will be running after you may be at the expense of paying your premiums and keeping your policies enforced. So before you venture into buying insurance, make sure your debt is not necessarily zero, but manageable. That’s where you also have to practice debt management before risk management. And lastly, because it stands to reason, how can you pay your debt if you don’t have any cash? That’s where you need cash management. So it’s cash debt risk management or in short, because it’s an old technology, but it still works. Yeah. See the R W.

Gwen Lazarito
Yeah. And I actually read about this. Koch, when I was researching about you in the lead up to the podcast, and at first glance, and I saw this, because I’ve always thought that risks should be the foundation of building wealth. And so I had to research more, or at least go through other blogs where you explain this, and I finally found one. And when I read about it, I said, Yeah, that makes sense that you should actually start with cash management because no matter how much money you have, if you don’t really know how to manage your, the money that you currently have right now, you won’t be able to reach the right for the wealth that you desire. You won’t be able to move forward. Yes, because there yes, it gets I do see a lot of people and I guess myself included, so I actually had before working here I was in my mid 20s I actually found a job that paid a lot of money when I was a freelancer. But and more money than I had now actually more of a bigger salary than I had no. But the problem there was I never really felt like I had enough. I never I was, I wasn’t able to do the things, I want to go to the places that I wanted to go. Whereas now that I learned, after a few years, because I learned, I learned a bit more about financial planning through my husband, who was a financial advisor. Now the we’re not earning as much as we used to, before both of us, were actually able to build a house, we weren’t able to, you know, buy a car, or we’re not buying it because we don’t need it during COVID time. But we can actually have, or we actually have the amount that we need to be able to purchase things in cash, we don’t need the credit card anymore. And it’s astounding to me how this change in this positive change in our life, just brought upon good money management. And and I thought that I didn’t I was already good at money before because I didn’t had debt. And but it turns out that there’s actually a lot more to be learned about personal finance. And that’s why I think that it’s very important for people who think that they have money but who always feel like they have less than to reach out to a financial planner, not just a financial advisor because here in the Philippines, we have a distinction right like a financial advisor is technically an insurance advisor, whereas financial planners or registered financial planners are those from the PFA are they are what was your what was the term for this independent? So you you don’t push for there is unbiased advice, that

Efren Cruz
the distinction is murky. But before I continue, is in the Senate fee is so empowering what you said that you’re able to buy things, but you’re not yet buying, but you know, you can. It’s so it’s so empowering. No. But on the on the financial planner. They’re normally life insurance agents call themselves financial advice source, yes. Okay. Financial planners will tend to call themselves in and financial advisors. But they’re actually basically the same thing. We don’t have financial advice source in our in our company. But we they know that their place is to first give objective advice. And if the client asks how to execute, then that’s the only time they will, you know, offer their products.

Gwen Lazarito
That’s good. So but yes, I guess, because I’ve brought that up, because, as you said, the the definition is still murky, because I’ve heard a lot of my friends who are not not in the financial advice industry that cannot distinguish a registered financial planner between the insurance or risk advisors that they see in Facebook, perhaps. So they and I guess this is the topic that I would like to discuss with you because you started the personal finance advisors, Philippines. So can you tell us more about that?

Efren Cruz
Well, you know, as I said, the company was incorporated in 2006. Only because people that started to ask me to give talks and training programs after my first book, and they wanted official receipts. So I set up a company. I didn’t want to borrow somebody else’s receipts. I was actually selling financial products before. I was selling mutual funds. In fact, I’m in my 40s right now. Not in age in years of service in the financial services industry. But anyway, yeah, I was selling and then I realized that my calling was different. I wanted to be on the on the buy side of personal finance. I didn’t want to be on the other side where you’re selling products, but giving advice to the clients. Now, if you mean, it’s more lucrative to be on the sell side than on the buy side. Yes, it is. But I said that’s my calling. That’s what they want. So that’s what I did. And fact there was a time when I was done dated, were taken out of work. My wife was telling me why don’t you get a job again as a try because that was another option but at the age of 48. At that time, it was very difficult to find a job. But you know, I was blessed to have done all of these books and continue to improve on our offerings. And, yeah, we’re now taking the lead financial planning, we try to constantly improve that people need that, you know, in the Philippines, there is a saying that you shouldn’t, especially for those living in the in a far flung province, as they would say, loads of people will say, why should you say, if you’re saving for, let’s say, an eventuality, like, maybe you get sick or whatever, or face on accident, the more you save, the more that will come true. Sounds weird. But anyway, so that’s why we came up with our your latest book, teaming that value shoe, it is all about trying to find out what goes on in the mind of people, especially the Filipinos, and how can we help them in practicing their finances? One of the things that we found out from from our study says this, If you want to say, don’t tell yourself that you’re going to say that you’re going to say for example, 20% of your income, you’re going to perceive that as a, an outright loss, because you were enjoying already 100% of your income. And now you’re telling yourself, let’s cut back. That’s a loss, that that’s the reason why also people cannot find it hard to go on a diet because they’re thinking they have to cut back on their, their their food intake now. So behavioral economists are saying, don’t phrase it like that. Because there are already rules in our brain that have been created from the time of the caveman up to now. And one of the rules is that we do not like to lose period. Okay, that’s, that’s our survival instinct. So if you don’t, if you want to save 20% of your income, do not say, Save 20% of income. Ask yourself, can I live on 80% of my income? Because it’s phrased positively, your brain tends to agree with it more, it’s considered a foregone theme. And believe you me, we tested it time and again, with our clients. And they they funny, they will say, they cannot say, but they can live on. But when we say you cannot save 20%, but you can live on 80% of your income. Isn’t that the same thing? Yeah. So that’s the lessons we’ve learned that we convey to other people as well.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes, and I definitely agree with that. Because what I do personally, is before I even think about budgeting, I then go ahead and set aside or put a certain chunk of my salary to another bank, and then I check my balance. So when I see that balance, I perceive that as my salary. So I think that’s I hopefully that’s a similar thing to what you said.

Efren Cruz
Because what you see is what you can only spend, right? Yes, you don’t see the entirety. So you don’t figure out that well. I could have spent more No, you’re just looking at what is there? What is left? Oh, that’s right. That’s That’s how to

Gwen Lazarito
do it. Yeah, that’s wonderful. And it’s so easy. It’s easy, and it’s not easy. And I think that’s why so sometimes, or for actually for for the most part, people need to hear this from other people as well. Because, as you mentioned earlier, and this one is so true. People don’t talk about se people don’t talk about insurance, because it’s like thinking that something is going wrong or something wrong is going to happen. So that’s I don’t know if it’s a mentality for everyone or does the Filipino mentality, but it like it is what it is. And I think it’s high time that this talk about money about insurance is is normalized. And it starts with people reaching out to financial planners and financial advisors.

Efren Cruz
Yeah, because financial planners, their objective was are not pressured by quotas. They have more pressure with making their clients understand how they can improve their lives. Okay, then the if they’re selling them, fine. Now, that’s a bonus. But for example, when it comes to insurance, we tell people, we ask them, do you think you’re gonna, you’re gonna be taken from this life next year, and many of them of course, you say, of course not have a long life to be and our role is to show them that life insurance companies want you to live a long life because if you are going to pay them premiums now and you go next year, it’s not profitable for them. So they really want you to do on the lead because they need to grow that small premium you paid them to pick a master be paid out to your their relatives and beneficiaries now, so they are praying every single day for you to live a long life and they’re working hard to make that money grow. They need that time. But they also have that financial strength so that Just in case, you’re taken away from this life early, they can pay the benefits. But for the most part, they want you to live a long life. That’s why it’s not called death insurance. It’s called Life Insurance. Yes,

Gwen Lazarito
that’s so true. It’s just so funny. And how you phrase it is very interesting as well, like, how does one become a personal finance advisor here in the Philippines,

Efren Cruz
when I started, there were no certifications, I was actually invited by RFP grandfathered in to RFP, Philippines to be one of their instructors and given the title. But if you have enough experience, and you show that sincerity, and in being objective in providing advice, I think you can get along, it’s just that so many are trying to get that certification and using it as a badge. But you know, at the end of the day, it’s just a bad show. If you don’t really talk, the true language of financial planning, then it’s a useless badge. So it helps, it helps. So here’s what I’ve told our our coaches, by the way, we call them in, in Pilipino. Well, well, this young man, so we call them young man coaches. So what I tell them is this, here’s what you do, invite free, you invite three friends, tell them, You’re going to give them free advice, you’re not going to sell them anything. But there’s a condition, each of them has to invite one other person that, that you will also give advice to not entirely free, maybe 90% off. And then those that you gave 90% of they have to invite other people, but they will only get the 90% if you invite other people, and you will give those other people 80% off. So you slowly reduce the discount until you get to their their normal price. But the point is, we need to really get the message across. We are here to help to be on the buy side. People don’t advertise financial services. Yeah, a better way to do it is word of mouth. And that’s the way to do it. Please them so that they will be the ones talking to other people about you.

Gwen Lazarito
All right. And yes, I definitely agree. It’s it’s different when another person two talks about a service or a person, and they hear through another person, especially that they trust and that’s why word of mouth is very effective. Which leads me to another question that I have is that, like, what are the challenges that you see right now, Filipino financial advisors and financial planners are currently facing, especially at this time of COVID or after the pandemic?

Efren Cruz
Okay, the main challenge right now is that, because a lot of people lost their jobs, a lot of people maybe also still retain their jobs, but lost some of their pay. So their debts piled up. And the main problem here in the Philippines is the loan sharks have sprouted again, in in official, I’m sorry, in formal channels, because there was a time people will be lending like 20%, over 40 days. But because the five, six here. Now the SEC clamped down on that they said, You guys who are lending informally, you have to register with us, or else we will hunt you down. So a lot of them went to the SEC registered their operation, they went online, okay. Now the problem is that they were still practicing their practices before they were informed. But sorry, before they were formed. So what would they do, if you miss out on even an hour of your due date, due time and due date, they would start sending collection letters to all of your contacts on your phone, that is a way of stealing your data. And that is against the data privacy app. Because for you to borrow, you have to download an app and that app actually steals your contacts, that’s illegal. And not only that, they will bully you in the collection letters, either through your contacts or through your you directly you know, they will say I’m going to hold you to court, I’m going to kill you I’m going to in you know, do all sorts of stuff to you. So that’s illegal. So the SEC again, because they’re these small lenders are under the socials. Sorry, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC clamped down on that. So what did they do now? They bought unregistered Sims like burner phones in other countries. And then they started to send text messages again, threatening text messages without identifying which online lending company they were, we were representing still pressured the borrower. So that’s why I’m so happy that the bill that requires all SIM cards to be registered, has passed the third and final reading in the lower house. But it’s just up to the Senate and then see signature of the President, because that’s also one way of stopping all of these scams. And that’s part of personal finance, they will offer you jobs, high paying job, but they’re actually just fishing. They’re scams, you know, so if you have the registered Sims, it will be easy to track them.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes, that’s, that’s true. And that it’s high time that that happens, right? That it and hopefully it gets passed on because it is important for us. And I do receive those texts. And I will, I’m wondering, like, where did they get this number, and you can never track them, like offering jobs, and you just wonder where they come from. And I guess that that’s true. And another thing to note about that is a lot of Filipinos actually buy into scams where in their texted that, like they are going to receive a certain amount of money. All they need to do is transfer an A like a lesser amount, but still a significant amount of money to claim that. Have you heard about that kind of scams? Coach?

Efren Cruz
Yes. Because my mother was a victim, oh, my mother is 85 years old. And she doesn’t know. She knows squat about these things. She she was told she would somebody called her phone or mobile and said, Ma’am, your back is going to give away money. This is what you have to do. We’re going to send you a message with a call. Okay. All you have to do is dictate that code to us. Are you ready? And my mom was excited, okay to get him ready? And then the code comes in? Or what’s the code ma’am? She dictates that was actually the one time pin. These guys were buying stuff on Lazada and telling her to dictate the one time pin that’s appearing on her phone. It’s a good thing. That amount was not too much. She ended up paying those. But you know, you have a lot of people who are not just gullible but really don’t know, technology. And they’re the ones being victimized by all of these scams.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes. And that is a very big problem for us here. And I guess that’s where financial education comes into and how we in the financial advice industry can do more into educating people about I guess, I think we should start in this fear of what is long term investments. And you know, getting out of scams or not getting into scams in the first place. And I think that’s very helpful. Now, do you see the like, do you think it’s a good idea for? Because I see this all the time for financial planners to give off free advice in the internet? And I’m raising this question because I do see some advice in the internet that is not from financial advisors.

Efren Cruz
But that’s really that the clothes, their clothes that are that are ready to wear, and their clothes that are tailor made. But when it comes to financial advice, because it’s your livelihood, it’s your Manage hard earned savings, and all of that it’s your future. It always has to be tailor made. It cannot be ready, ready to work ready to implement. So people are giving advice on social media don’t understand who is listening. If for example, I say, ah, the stock is good, it’s a buy and all of that. How do you know the person who’s listening to you understands really what you’re saying. And if he does, he might not even have need to invest in the stock market or he may already have that stock and buy more, we’ll be buying too much of this stuff. That’s why we need to actually as financial planners, sit down with a client and understand his situation first, before we open our mouths. That’s why I have said that the best the best guide for us was given by this popular group, they’re now disbanded. Oh, and actually they reunited in a very popular girl. I’m sure you know them. They’re called the Spice Girls.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes, yes. We were actually just talking about them.

Efren Cruz
So what did they say? In their song they said so tell me what you want what you really really want. Those are the first words that should come out of the mouths of financial planners. Not would you want to buy this. So we have to understand each piece of proof we have to understand what they need. And then we we adjust Stop, whatever they need, we actually quantify that we compare it with try to find out when they’re going to need it. And we compare it to what they have now what they can periodically add. And then we can derive what need what return, they have to make a stamper by the risk they’re willing to take. And that’s the only time we can sell them products. So if you give advice on social media without doing that process, you may even be doing a disservice to people.

Gwen Lazarito
That’s really sound advice. And I do agree, a lot of and I think that’s why I see some videos from lawyers, when they give us like, say a YouTube video about an advice at the end of the video, they actually say that this video or this advice is a general advice and you need to contact your personal lawyer, etc, etc. Yes. To to get like a more personal advice for their needs. For the case, yes. And I agree. No, I guess my next question would be like, because we were talking about all this technology and posting in social media, I’d like to ask like, how has financial planning, or at least the financial planning industry here in the Philippines, grown from when you started up until now?

Efren Cruz
Well, one of the things we actually pioneered in or several, not one of the things we’ve done is that our latest book, they’ve been the rebellious shoo, it actually comes with one year of texting, on personal finance lessons daily. So all about the CDR W we will text you daily. So it’s like reading a page of our training program every day. And we hope that in the process of doing that, you develop the habit of really waiting for that and reading it and understanding now, you know, when when, and I’ve heard people say, if our machine sort of become slow, or has a temporary breakdown, they actually complain, they rate they’re waiting everyday for that message. But that’s just one small thing we’ve done. The other thing is this solution is the most important part. But the analysis takes time. Okay. And of course, execution as well. So the analysis takes time, what we’ve done is we’ve come up with the country’s first and actually only comprehensive and objective financial planning app, we call it the mighty F app. And when we ask financial advisors, advisors, whoever, have you seen an app like this before? No, because it will talk to you about creating your personal balance sheet income statement, how much of human capital can be value that is yours, planning for education, buying a car buying a house retirement, estate planning, insurance, planning, monitoring, your investment, all of that stuff? They’re all in one neat app? And it is it is continually improving? Because the innovation we’ve done is that it improves based on the recommendations of the users. Yeah, so it’s always growing, always developing, we have a new version every month. That’s wonderful. That’s it. That’s how it is. So we just, we train people how to use it, and a growing number of people have actually started using it. In fact, there is one bank that has actually officially endorsed it.

Gwen Lazarito
Ah, that’s wonderful. So I will go ahead and save the link to that app in the description or where to find it. So that other people who are listening to the podcast can check it out as well. So I guess, like, why did you start this app?

Efren Cruz
Because, you know, when we when, when we were when we train people in RFP, it’s always with checklists. I said, checklist is like it’s like scary to the client. It’s like, it’s like you’re going for a medical checkup? And have you done this? Have you done this? You know, it’s, it’s unnerving. So we said, we have to do this faster in a more, you know, in a simpler way, and more and more friend friendly way. So I said, Why don’t you send a simple Excel file now so and you run it like, you’re just, you’re just, you know, creating a conversation with your client, where before the app, when we will talk to a client, we would get the data, okay. And then the other guy, Alright, give us a week to do it. Then we do the computations. And then maybe during the week, we would even say, oh, sorry, I forgot. What what is this data that I need from you. Then one week later, we show the plan, and the plan might not even be acceptable. So we have to go back again. With this app. We actually can provide a comprehensive financial planning app in the past, have we done 40 minutes? We’re done. Yeah. CD RW, we’re done. So now you focus on the solution. Not not just on the analysis, you’re not bogged down by the analysis solution.

Gwen Lazarito
Right. And that should be very helpful for financial planners. Yes. Right, because it’s easier for them to provide advice, good advice to their clients without having for their clients to wait for for a week and not even like approving the initial plan and do the whole back and forth again and again.

Efren Cruz
Yeah, because the clients also are not that, that are not that free with the time now. In fact, one of the things we’re doing now is we’re doing financial planning advice, a very busy professionals like doctors, they, you know, they’re they’re always busy, you know, that sometimes are there on emergency calls? Yeah. So with that kind of speed in doing the analysis, and then providing the solutions. The app really plays well into that.

Gwen Lazarito
Wow, cool. And that’s how that’s to show how technology has really helped the financial planning industry. Make its advancements to better serve people in a more efficient way.

Efren Cruz
Yeah. And there’s, there’s more that’s going to come because we’ve, we’ve continually invest in technology so that we’re going to come up with new offerings be perhaps next year.

Gwen Lazarito
Ah, that’s wonderful. And that’s so good to hear. And 2022 is approaching really closely. So I’m very excited

Efren Cruz
right now, because the texting I mentioned to you, that’s only available for low cost, because we have to go to globe and smart. But eventually, we can go global next year.

Gwen Lazarito
Ah, that’s good. Because we do have a lot of Oh, f W’s. And people are Filipinos residing in other countries, but the they’re still tied very closely here in the Philippines, because they may be sending money to loved ones or also still have families here in the Philippines that they are constantly interacting with. So that

Efren Cruz
you know how much that cost taxing them a year. It’s only 50 pesos.

Gwen Lazarito
All right, so and so that’s very efficient, financially as well.

Efren Cruz
It’s more of sharing the knowledge than really anything else. Yes,

Gwen Lazarito
yes. Yes, I would agree. Because I recently had a friend who is based from Malaysia. And he started this a month long, like reminders on what how, what to check in your finances. So he would post every day in LinkedIn. I would read it every morning, as part of my routine to check LinkedIn. And I would think and ponder about, like what he posted. So I remember that he posted one day about being able to save more money if you meal prep. And I know this already. I know that information already. But I’m not very, I don’t usually take that advice. But when I read his post, it was actually just a very short post. And I was reminded that Yeah, I know that you say you can save money on this. So I should probably do it again. So I guess that’s one of the things that are helpful in your everyday text messages is that or to reinforce that message on a particular lesson?

Efren Cruz
That’s that’s the that’s the operative word reinforce. That’s what we have.

Gwen Lazarito
Yes. And so that’s very cool. And I don’t really hear a lot about that kind of services offered elsewhere. Right? Because if I had I would have taken it. Yeah, so I’m so excited to share this to not only

Efren Cruz
this program, yeah. So this program, give me your Give me your cell phone number, I will send it to you to

Gwen Lazarito
definitely that would be wonderful. All right. So and I guess before we end the show, Coach, I guess my final question for you is what would be your advice to financial planners and financial advisors who are really pushing to provide excellent service and to pushing to educate people, especially Filipinos on the, the essence of and the importance of financial advice here in the Philippines?

Efren Cruz
Well, I usually use a story for that. There’s this kindergarten teacher who brought balloons to her classroom. She inflated them all put the names of various students there. And she said, Children, I’m going when I blow my whistle, I want you to find your balloon. Huh, and you have to do it within five minutes. But what the teacher did was she put all of the balloons, she jumped up, jumbled them off. And then she put them in the middle of the classroom. So that she blew her whistle, the children rented a balloon support, they in the process, they kicked them around, they were flying all over the place. Five minutes had gone by, nobody was able to find his own balloon. And the teacher blew her whistle and said, children stay where you are, look down, pick up the balloon, see whose name is on it, and then give that balloon to that person. She She counted the minutes, it only took them two minutes to finish that. And then the teacher said children, the balloons represent our happiness. If you are only looking after your own happiness, it’s going to be very difficult. But if you look after other people’s happiness, eventually it will only also lead to your own. So be selfless. That’s what that’s my message to financial planners. Put the client’s interests first, your interest will follow.

Gwen Lazarito
That’s excellent. Such a good story and it hits the right spot. So thank you so much. Coach Efron. It was such a pleasure chatting with you today. And yeah, before before we end the show. Where can people find you if you want to get to know more about you? Or if they want to take on your services?

Efren Cruz
Okay, well, I’m on Facebook. We’re actually all over the place. We have a program called Ask a friend, ask Efren. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, but just look for me on Facebook. Look for Efren Cruz or you can google my name but please google Efren, L L. Cruz. Because if you Google Efren Cruz, the search is going to come out with the first saw a person who was convicted of murder in California. That’s not That’s not ll Cruz, because it gets there also a lot of effort l cruisers out there. Yeah, from LA. And for the local people. They can just text me if I can I get my number. Oh, yeah, sure. So for the local people, it is 09175050709.

Gwen Lazarito
All right, thank you so much, coach. And I’ll put all of these information in the podcast description or show notes. So again, thank you so much for coming into the show. And I can’t wait for people to hear this and then pass it around as well. It’s very good value. Have a good one.

Efren Cruz
Thank you. You’re most welcome. Thank you.

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