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Mar 04, 2015

What is the role of money in your life?


Understanding roles is key to happiness and satisfaction. Don’t you notice that we get upset with something or someone, and may just be totally fine with another person? A girlfriend who didn’t receive flowers last Valentine’s Day from her boyfriend might have considered breaking up with him, while another girl was not so thrilled to receive her dozen roses because she knew how expensive they were on that day.

Perhaps Girl A considers flowers as the ultimate expression of romantic love and it was their first Valentine’s Day together, while Girl B has not assigned that “role” to flowers in the way she receives her boyfriend’s love expressions. This is not an article on how difficult it is to please girls, but one that discusses how important it is to understand the roles we assign to the things and even people around us.

Money is the most misunderstood commodity in the world. We assign different emotions and roles to money in our life, knowingly or unknowingly.

I asked a few of my friends the question, What is the role of money in your life?” Let’s hear it from them:

  1. Randell Tiongson (finance & life coach): “It’s a tool to make me achieve my purpose in life.”
  2. Jim Paredes (songwriter, singer, actor, photographer, writer; should I just say ARTIST): “To provide comfort and amenities; to finance dreams, ambitions, projects and passions.”
  3. Gus Cosio (First Metro Asset Management, Inc., President):  “Money’s role has always been that of a resource used primarily to meet current and future needs.”
  4. Omeng Tawid (Investing in the Philippine Stock Market – Tips & Tricks, Founder): “Enabler. Having the financial resources makes you forget about it and focus on the things you believe matter more.
  5. Marvin Germo (author, stock trader, speaker): “Money is a tool to make a difference in the lives of people, to fulfill the purposes God has placed in our hearts. Money is not an end goal but a starting point to ride your passion and fulfill your destiny.
  6. Jo Valerio (Mag-invest ka Pinoy and Overseas Filipino Wais, Founder): “Money is just one of the many tools in achieving my dreams but not that important compared to the other tools.”
  7. Tony Herbosa (Traders Apprentice Pilipinas, Founder): “When I was younger I was driven to make money as it was a symbol of financial independence from my folks. Then in the early years of my career, for a while, it was more like a status symbol vs. my peers, as we would compare our initial salaries. Those were my yuppie years. Being an equities trader today, I would say that money now is just a way of keeping score. While I enjoy the game more that the money itself, it is psychologically reassuring if you see early profits in a trade and you can’t enjoy the game if you can’t keep score. I also believe that money by itself is a dead end to wealth creation. Money loses value. I think more in terms of “assets” today than money itself. Being in the right assets is the key, money will then follow, or we need to make money to acquire the right assets, even art.
  8. Floi Wycoco (The Global Filipino Investors, Founder): “Money is a tool necessary to have life’s necessities.”

 The importance of understanding the role of money

It’s important to know the role that money plays in our life. It may actually evolve like how it has in Tony’s case. This way we are able to manage our expectations. I liken money to the air that we breathe. We can’t live without it. But we cannot just live on it, for there’s so much more to living. It has to come from a good source because no matter how much we have of it, if it’s polluted, it won’t make us happy and can actually do us harm. Sometimes we take it for granted, but once it’s gone, we scramble like crazy to have it because we can’t do anything without it. To have a great source of it, we have to take care of the things around it.

There has to be a balance in the attachment/detachment we have with money. And I guess the best way to achieve this is to consider it a gift from Him. And that we are just stewards of the gift. We may have been gifted because we can do something great about it. Once we fail to take care of it, it will be gone.

Like my friends above I also consider it a scorecard and an enabler. No matter what we say about the measure of success, money is hands-down the most universally acceptable and quantifiable measure that we use to determine if we are doing something successfully. (But let’s not forget the analogy of the dangerous polluted money above.) Moreover, any success in the other aspects of life can be easily eroded or distracted once our financial affairs are in a mess. 

Money is an enabler, an exaggerator. If you’re a jerk and suddenly you have a lot of money, you become a bigger jerk. On the other hand, if you’re a good person, it will enable you to spread your goodness even more. In fact, the very heart of my advocacy to teach our children about money lies on this enabler role. Let’s not allow money to get in the way of our and our children’s passion. If we are able to raise their children well with high FQ, we mitigate the fear of seeing them hard up with money in the future. This way, we can sit back, relax and allow them to follow their passion, no more dictating of what course or career to take. And consequently, it’s when we allow our children to follow their passion that they become successful.

So let’s bring money talk to the ground, the basic unit of society – i.e. the family. Let’s talk about money in a healthy atmosphere. Discuss with your family members your money values, the role that money plays in your life right now. 

The longest summer break is coming and we enroll our kids in different summer activities left and right, book our family vacations, and that’s good. But may I invite you to set aside a half-day bonding event with your family to learn together this essential life skill? Join me, my husband Marvin, sons Martin, Enrique and Anton talk about money in a fun way on May 9, 2015 at SM Aura SMX Convention Center. Email me at to reserve slots. Discounts start at 5 tickets. (See Announcement No. 2 below for details.) 



  1. I will give a talk on Investment 101 on March 11, 2015, 10:30 am at the Event Center of Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave. cor. Salamanca St. Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City. This is in line with the Annual Mutual Fund Awareness Week of PIFA (Philippine Investment Funds Association). Interested participants may get in touch with PIFA at 813 7312.
  2. Family FQ Workshop by the Faustos, our major event for the year, is happening on May 9, 2015 at 1-5pm at the SMX Convention Center of SM Aura in Taguig City. Come one come all! Tickets at P1,000 each with merienda and workshop kit. Reserve your slots now at Interested ticket underwriters may contact me using the same address. Thank you very much to our major partners COL Financial, DNL Industries, 8990 Holdings, Inc. and Sun Life Asset Management Corp., Inc.; also to McDonald’s for providing happy meals. We’re going to have fun while learning so Save The Date and reserve your slot now!


Attribution: Image from modified by the author to help deliver the messages. Facebook profile photos added as well.

This article is also published in and


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