Your maid could be financially-educated than you are

On my earlier post, ‘Your maid could be wealthier than you think’, I shared the inspiring story of how financial literacy is changing the lives of Filipino domestic helpers here in Hong Kong and generally all Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) around the world. Now in this post, let me inspire you more by saying that those household helpers are now certified financial planning professionals!

Yes, you read it right. I am a first-hand witness of their determination before and during the examination day as they were my batchmates in the first ever Philippine Associate Financial Planner (AFP) exams in Hong Kong. And as I write this article, I just got information about the results –  we got a 100% passing rate!

Those domestic helpers are now certified financial professionals and can now put the initials “AFP” on their names! Thanks to the Financial Planning Masterclass by FQBits.

The Financial Planning Masterclass by FQBits

I opted to stay in Hong Kong during the Chinese New Year break because I was enrolled in the Financial Planning Masterclass (FPM) of FQBits Management Consultancy, a business and financial consultancy of multi-awarded financial planner and now my new friend, Mr. Don-Don Crisostomo. Don is a young multi-awarded financial planning visionary.  Aside from being a registered financial planner, he is already an entrepreneur, business consultant, highly-sought speaker, columnist and author.

FPM is a program of FQBits and is designed to develop the financial planning skills of financial planners in the Philippines. The program highlights the essential concepts necessary to a successful career in financial planning and in fact, prepares the candidates to sit on the AFP exams being given by the premiere professional body of financial planners in the Philippines, the Registered Financial Planners Philippines.

The FPM course include a complete package of financial literacy concepts and financial consulting practices:

  • Financial Planning Practice
  • Financial Plan Fundamentals
  • Cash Flow Planning
  • Time Value of Money
  • Investment Planning
  • Education Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Insurance & Healthcare Planning
  • Tax Planning
  • Estate Planning

Being a CPA and a finance professional in general, the above subjects are familiar to me and some even I would say are my expertise like financial planning and strategy (more corporate though) cashflow planning, time value of money and tax planning. Don actually told me that I should be the one speaking on some of the topics but I declined and told him “Oh, it’s been 12 years since my CPA board exams. I can’t recall the concepts anymore haha”. That’s not true, of course. That’s just my way of immersing myself in the process and getting firsthand experience alongside the other 14 OFWs who took time to study and invest in this once in a lifetime opportunity – the opportunity to get a professional designation that can help them level-up and get their well-deserved financial freedom.

The Associate Financial Planner (AFP)® Designation

The Associate Financial Planner (AFP)® designation is one of the two certifications being given by the Registered Financial Planners Philippines. The other one being the more advanced Registered Financial Planner (RFP)® . To be an AFP, one need not necessarily be a college graduate as it values more the experience in financial planning than academic qualifications. As per RFP’s website, AFP applicants must:

  • Successfully complete Associate Financial Planner (AFP®) Program of RFP® Philippines.
  • Possess the following number of years of relevant work experience and corresponding education requirement: (a) 1 year for degree holders or (b) 3 years for applicants who are undergraduates.
  • Adhere to the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility of RFPI Philippines.
  • Acquire 15 hours of Continuing Education credit per year from accredited providers

It is to be noted that some of my classmates in the FPM actually have undergraduate degrees and are also financial educators through IMG. Hence, making them qualified already as far as the educational and experience requirements are concerned. In fact, it’s not surprising to me at all because I know some Filipino domestic helpers who are actually degree holders and professionals like licensed teachers, IT programmers, HR professionals and some even have masters degrees! It’s just due to unfavorable and inevitable circumstances in life that led them to take-on unglamorous day-to-day job of a household helper.

After completing the Financial Planning Masterclass held at Bayanihan Kennedy Town Centre in Hong Kong

This AFP program is an avenue for them to at least redeem and prepare themselves when they come home to the Philippines for good. Normally, a returning OFW in the Philippines opts to dive into entrepreneurship, and the finance concepts they learned in the Financial Planning Masterclass and the AFP designation they earned will be absolutely helpful for them.

As a fellow financial literacy advocate, Don was so proud of these OFWs. In his note he said, “I’ve got lawyers, presidents, etc. who took the AFP but your batch means a lot to me. ’Cause at the end of the day, it is not just about passing but the realization of how I can transform your potentials into something admirable and leveled-up stance.

In response, the newly-minted AFPs were all teary-eyed as they thank the Financial Planning Masterclass (FPM) by FQBits:

What’s next?

Don also encouraged the newly-minted AFPs to share the blessings forward, “The AFP is just the beginning. There is to be done such as 1.) Continuously upgrading yourself; and 2.) Helping other people to become more than what you have reached.”

I told Don that he just transformed the lives of 14 OFWs here in Hong Kong. That’s 14 out of the 300,000+ OFWs in Hong Kong and 14 out of the 10 million OFWs around the world.  There’s a big work there that needs to be done. So, together we’ll partner going forward and help elevating the financial literacy levels of Filipinos especially OFWs around the world through our combined financial literacy efforts and in partnership with other financial educators like IMG.

“Don’t be afraid to mentor others. Eye them to be better than you. You will be remembered by your words of wisdom and impact to people.”

– Don Crisostomo

Together, we continue the mission to “Include. Enlighten. Empower.”

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We are looking for financial literacy advocates, whether individuals or companies, around the world to partner with so we can spread the financial education mission. If you are interested, please send me an email at soloyaj31@gmail.com.