So you have your own business. Good job! Congratulations! Planning and executing your own business is a noble act of anyone thinking of preparing his family’s future via a riskier road outside the bonds and limits of employment. But do you think you’ve done enough? 


An important aspect normally overlooked by business people now that they are on their own is protecting themselves, as there is no employer doing that for them anymore. The tendency is to plow back everything into the business when, in fact, they have to pay for or invest in themselves first. The budget is appropriated only for basic necessities, such as food on the table, house amortization or rent, and utilities. 


What about funds for health? You’ve heard of stories about entrepreneurs getting their savings wiped out to regain their health, but the continuity of business is threatened because they depended on their business to finance their treatments. You don’t know how your health will turn, considering the stress and challenges of running a business. That is not a bad omen.  That is what you call uncertainties, and uncertainties are anticipated. 




There’s also the children’s college tuition fees. Do not forget that this is one expense that you cannot control in terms of cost escalation. You will need to sustain this for at least 22% of your lifetime, assuming you have only one child, and you live till 68 years old, the average life expectancy of Filipinos. In other words, it is not wise to expect your business to sustain your children’s entire education. However, there is such a thing as setting aside a small budget to prepare for this part of their future. 


And then there’s the matter of insurance. True, one of the many reasons you embarked on your own is the capacity to earn more than just being a plain employee. If you used to work for a big company prior to being an entrepreneur, you probably know that the strongest benefit you enjoyed before you bravely left your job was a life insurance paid for by the company. Ever wondered why that was designed, and why companies grant that to employees as a benefit? It was supposed to ensure that your family will have something enough (normally based on your annual income) to get by should you be gone unexpectedly or suddenly be rendered incapacitated.


Accept the inevitable. Do not forget that the inevitable is a reality. Whether you like it or not, nature can set in and interfere with the regular course of your business. This may impede, delay, or even erase all your efforts to beat inflation. That is not a wish; that is a risk, and risk is a reality. 


Of course, your dream is to make the business grow, and comes with this article is a fervent wish for every reader to indeed achieve this. Let’s claim and assume you already have. The question again is, have you done enough? 


Prepare for your retirement. It’s a given that you are currently working for the money. However, there’s a point in your success that you start downshifting your gear. Life is short so you must not postpone enjoying the rewards of your hard work for the next life. You should do that while you can still smell the flowers and appreciate the flavors of good food; unfortunately, time will come you won’t anymore, even if you are the honoree at your own wake. So plan a rewarding retirement by discovering financial freedom. Add some passive income to supplement until eventually it will then be the money that will solely work for you!


Plan for your estate. But wait, there’s more! Make sure that when you reach the finish line, the empire and wealth that you have built are properly endorsed so no one from the members of your family would want to call you back because they are in conflict over sharing the fortune you have left behind. That is estate planning 101.


Learn from others. Seriously revisit your funds appropriation plan and start investing on protection, especially on yourself.  There are a lot of successful stories about SME owners who have trusted and taken this route and are very thankful. I’m sure you will somehow pick a story to which you can very much relate to. Learn from them on what they did, and be safe than sorry. Then be happy and wealthy.


The good thing is, gone are the days when you talk of protection as an insurance expense only. Nowadays, there are insurance products linked to investments that not only satisfy protection, but also act as non-traditional savings to enable you to ride against inflation and thus answer for all your future financial needs. It has also evolved; several classes have been designed to provide diversification, and to cater to different types of investors whose appetites for risk differ.   


So the next moment you glance at your business, be kinder to it and do not expect it to be burdened by these uncertainties. Let it concentrate on making profits alone and that alone.


If at this point you at least believe that the next step is to seek an appointment with a financial advisor, then “Congratulations!” is already in order. Start your personal financial planning and you’re halfway through doing the right thing.


The Columnist

Roberto “Bobby” T. Borromeo is a financial advisor/licensed investment solicitor, and is currently the President/CEO of Asian Center for Legal Excellence, Inc. He had over 30 years of extensive experience with various financial institutions, particularly in the areas of consumer banking, corporate banking, correspondent banking, product development, foreign exchange, trade and investment advisory/consultancy and lease financing. Apart from the Philippines, his market exposures have been in the financial centers of Singapore, Europe, Middle East, and the United States. He was the 2009 president of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) and the 2010 Chairman of the FINEX Research and Development Foundation. Currently, he is the President of the FINEX Foundation for Entrepreneurship Inc. (FFEI), which co-publishes this website with Writers Edge, Inc. He can be emailed at, or reached through his mobile number +63 917 810 4274.