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If you are following this blog, you know we like to keep things simple. We are not experts in many areas, which includes investing, but we are passionate learners. A few years back, we wrote a post about why it is smart to save with GCash. We explained in simple terms what it does and how it can help you deal with inflation.
Today we will take a look at GCash’s investment feature called Ginvest.
How do you earn in GInvest?
As a whole, an investor earns money in GInvest through Capital Gains. It means buying shares (or units) low and selling them via the GCash App.
But the reality is your money is not with GInvest per se, it is with ATRAM.
ATRAM is the company that manages our investments. GInvest is only the medium where you can send and track your money in ATRAM. I hope I am not confusing you. Perhaps this illustration will help:
Now, what will ATRAM do with your money?
It depends on what investment product you choose. But in a general sense, ATRAM will use your money to lend or buy ownership (equity) from a company.
Our money will be used for short-term or long-term loans and earn interest upon return. It is mostly referred to as a fixed-income investment — Because it tends to give regular monthly earnings. The investment here is generally safe but makes less profit.
Examples of lending investment products available in GInvest:
- ATRAM Peso Money Market Fund
- ATRAM Total Return Bond Fund
With these funds, we can lend money to the government and some corporations. (But there are times when our investment also gets parked on time deposits to add some variety).
In a sense, when we buy shares from these funds, we become LENDERS who make money from the BORROWERS.
RELATED: How I Make Money with Credit Cards
Our money here allows us to become part-owners of different companies. As shareholders, we get to earn a percentage of the income when the business performs. But at the same time, suffer losses when they flounder. Consider equity as a high-risk, high-return investment option.
Example of equity investment products in GInvest:
- ATRAM Philippine Equity Smart Index Fund
- ATRAM Global Technology Feeder Fund
- ATRAM Global Consumer Trends Feeder Fund
These funds allow us to become part-owners of top companies in the Philippines and abroad.
Are you still with me? Here is an updated diagram to ensure we are on the same page:
And this, my friends, is how we earn in GInvest — I mean, ATRAM. Actually, this is how we make money, even with other investment management companies.
But please take note, whatever we earned with ATRAM will remain on paper until we sell our shares. As mentioned above, an investor only makes actual money when he sells at a higher price.
Can you lose money in GInvest?
It is possible to lose money in GInvest. All types of investments come with a certain level of risk. To minimize it, an investor should give a careful study of the funds before making any decisions.
But the same principle applies to both our earnings and losses. It will only be on paper until we sell our shares. Thus, do not sell your shares when they are down! — unless, of course, you need the money for an emergency.
I have invested P2,000/month in ATRAM Global Technology Feeder Fund for the past four months.
Here is how my fund is doing as of now:
As you can see, I currently have a paper loss of P667.22. I have invested a total amount of P8,000, yet the sum reflected is P7,332.78. If I sell my shares today, I will suffer an actual loss. But I am a long-game investor, so I do not mind these losses for now. My plan is to continue to put in P2,000 a month for five years and see how the fund performs.
Patience is the key if we want to earn money (or prevent losses) in investing. But it is also crucial to get familiar with the factors that contribute to our success:
- Investment vehicles — where we put our money as investments.
- Investment capital — the amount of money we are willing to invest.
- Investment horizon — the amount of time our money stays inside an investment vehicle.
Answering the where, how much, and how long will enable us to make better investment decisions.
Where to invest in GInvest?
Let us answer the first question: Where should I invest in GInvest? (Investment vehicles)
There are five investment products inside GInvest as of this writing. But before you choose any of them, you have to assess your risk tolerance first: Are you conservative or aggressive?
If you are unsure, do not worry. GInvest will give you a risk profile test before you begin investing with them. It is a requirement of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). It will assess whether you prefer low-risk, low-return investments or high-risk, high-return. Once you know what type of investor you are, it will be easier to decide which product is right for you.
If you are conservative to moderate, go for either a Money Market Fund or a Bond Fund. For aggressive investors, select from the two Feeder Funds or the Index Fund.
Here are the recent returns and losses from GInvest’s investment products
ATRAM Peso Money Market Fund
“The objective of the Fund is to maximize income and achieve higher returns compared to regular bank deposits while preserving capital by investing in a portfolio of very liquid, fixed income instruments and maintaining an average portfolio duration of 1 year or less.“
Fund composition: (Where ATRAM allocates the money for this fund)
|Cash & Equivalents||1.49%|
Let us say you have invested P5,000 in this fund in January 2021. Based on the chart, your money has more or less grown to P5,010 (0.20%) by May.
But we have to take note of the 0.50% a year Trust Fee. If we apply it, we will be at a -0.30% paper loss as of May 2021.
Get the latest information about this fund here: ATRAM Peso Money Market Fund.
ATRAM Total Return Peso Bond Fund
“The objective of the fund is to maximize total return of a fixed-income portfolio, that is, to achieve capital gains while maintaining a level of current income consistent with the maintenance of principal and meeting of liquidity requirements.”
|Cash & Equivalents||2.34%|
No earnings yet as of May 2021. Paper loss of 1.87% including Trust Fee.
[Formula: % earnings = Year-To-Date (YTD) – trust fee]
Get the latest information about this fund here: ATRAM Total Return Peso Bond fund.
ATRAM Philippine Equity Smart Index Fund
“The Fund is designed to generate excess returns compared to its benchmark through an enhanced index approach, combining the elements of passive and active management.”
Top Holdings: (The companies where ATRAM buys equity from)
|SM Investments Corp.||15.9%|
|SM Prime Holdings Inc.||10.1%|
|Ayala Land Inc.||8.3%|
|BDO Unibank Inc.||6.2%|
|Bank of the Philippine Islands||5.5%|
|JG Summit Holdings Inc.||5%|
|International Container Terminal Services, Inc.||4.4%|
|Universal Robina Corp.||4.3%|
|Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.||4.1%|
No earnings as of May 2021. Paper loss of 8.26% including trust fee.
Get the latest information about this fund here: ATRAM Philippine Equity Smart Index Fund.
ATRAM Global Technology Feeder Fund
“The Fund seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation by investing all or substantially all of its assets in a collective investment scheme that invests principally in equity securities of companies throughout the world that derive or benefit significantly from technological advances and improvements.”
Top Ten Holdings:
|SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO LTD.||4.8%|
|WESTERN DIGITAL CORP.||3.6%|
|ANALOG DEVICES INC.||3.2%|
|XP SEMICONDUCTORS NV||2.9%|
|FACEBOOK INC. (Meta)||2.8%|
ATRAM’s feeder funds are still new, so we can only see the recent data. It has a positive YTD return thus far. But this information seems to contradict my fund’s performance that I showed earlier. Remember? The one with the screenshot?
How come I have a paper loss of P667.22 when this figure shows they have a positive return?
We can only suspect. But the logical explanation is it might have had an excellent January to March and a terrible April to July. — (April is when I started investing with them.)
Oh, by the way, the trust fee for this fund is 1.15% per year.
Get the latest information about this fund here: ATRAM Global Technology Feeder Fund.
ATRAM Global Consumer Trends Feeder Fund
“The Fund seeks to achieve long-term capital growth by investing all or substantially all of its assets in a collective investment scheme that invests in companies that cater to the discretionary needs of consumers.”
Top Ten Holdings:
|Norwegian Cruise Line||3.3%|
The fund has positive Year-To-Date earnings. The trust fee is 1.15% per year.
Get the latest information about this fund here: ATRAM Global Consumer Trends Feeder Fund.
How do you find the information above? I hope it gave you good insights on which investment product is right for you.
If it was me, where would I invest?
If I were a conservative investor who is starting today, I would go for the Money Market Fund. If I were the aggressive type, I would go for the Index Fund.
Now let us go to the second question: how much should I invest? (Investment capital)
Before I proceed, let me first lay down the minimum investment amount per fund in Ginvest.
|ATRAM Peso Money Market Fund||P50|
|ATRAM Total Return Bond fund||P50|
|ATRAM Philippine Equity Smart Index Fund||P50|
|ATRAM Global Technology Feeder Fund||P1,000|
|ATRAM Global Consumer Trends Feeder Fund||P1,000|
I guess most people can invest these amounts without sweat. But are these the ideal investment capital? The reality is, the answer to how much you should invest is “it depends.” There are lots of factors to consider before we should even start investing. You can check out my article, Assets and Liabilities Management: Our simple plan to financial freedom, to get deeper into details.
But, of course, I do not want to leave you hanging. I want to honor the time and attention you are investing in this post. I do not want to simply give you the “it depends” answer and then move on.
My initial investment capital in 2017 was P8,000. Somewhere between P5,000 and P10,000 is my ideal starting point. It is not too small for us to not take it seriously and not too big to ruin our lives if we mess it up.
But investing is not a one-time big-time affair. Investing is a habit. Once you have invested your capital, make it a practice to put at least P1,000 into the fund every month.
I appreciate how Ginvest made investing affordable with a P50 minimum investment. But I am puzzled about the intention behind this offer.
Fifty pesos is fifty pesos, but I do not see the logic behind a P50 investment. It is too small to consider any returns, plus the amount will already be subject to the yearly management fee. I do not know. Perhaps the rationale is to help new investors build their investing muscle? Or to encourage people to try Ginvest without too much commitment?
Anyhow, if I had P50 to spare each month, I would not go to Ginvest yet. I prefer to put it in Gsave or other similar apps to earn 2% to 4% a year without the management fee.
You can follow these links to learn about Gsave:
When to sell in GInvest?
Generally, it is ideal to sell the shares in Ginvest once the investment goal is attained. It is also prudent to exit and move to a better investment vehicle. — Or when money is needed for emergencies.
Now we proceed to the final question: how long should I invest? (Investment horizon)
Again, the answer is “it depends.” But do not worry, I will give you something you can take on your journey.
I like to think of investing as farming. You have to decide on what type of food you want to grow. For this article, let us choose between potatoes and coconuts.
Potatoes are generally harvestable within 60 to 90 days after planting. Coconuts, in contrast, take 5 to 8 years to mature, plus a year to flower and bear fruit.
Potatoes are much faster, but once reaped, you have to replant them to get another batch. As for coconuts, it will take a long time to bear fruit. But once they do, you can enjoy it for the next 60 to 100 years.
Okay, let me tie this idea to investing.
Some investors are goal-driven. They invest to buy a car, a house, or for their children’s college fund. These are the people who grow potatoes. They invest, and then sell everything once they have reached the amount of the item they wish to buy.
As for the other investors, they do not have any specific goal in mind. They simply want to grow their money, so it can provide a passive income in the future. These are the people who grow coconut trees. They are those who pinch an amount here and there. But overall, they preserve their investment capital to make it bigger.
Now the question is, which investor are you? The potato investor or the coconut investor?
If you are a potato investor, your investment horizon may go from 3 to 5 years. If you plan to buy a house, most likely it will go up to 10 years or more.
As for the coconut investors, their investment horizon is from 10 years onwards. They can keep going and going. The longer, the better passive income they enjoy.
Can I be both? Sure, but you cannot magic time. Your goals will take longer to achieve.
What about me?
I consider myself a coconut investor. As mentioned earlier, I do not mind the short losses. I have already set myself for the long haul.
I appreciate the time you have given me. As thanks, let me answer a couple of related questions before I close.
Does GInvest have fees?
There are no transaction fees when investing with Ginvest. But their investment partner, ATRAM, deducts an annual management fee from the fund.
GSave vs GInvest?
Gsave is a form of high-interest savings account, while Ginvest offers UITF. Both are helpful financial tools to make money earn interest. Gsave is the safer option as it gives a fixed monthly interest. Ginvest, in contrast, can deliver higher returns but comes with a level of risk.
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