5 investments you can make with P20,000 or less

Posted at 08/24/2014 9:13 AM | Updated as of 08/26/2014 9:44 AM

(Editor's note: This article was written by iMoney as part of a content partnership arrangement with ABS-CBNnews.com.)

MANILA, Philippines - Let’s say you've been saving P2,000 every month from your paycheck, and now you have P20,000. Or you got that amount as a performance bonus from work. Or a particularly generous relative gave it to you for your birthday.

What would you do with it?

You might be thinking that it’s too little an amount to invest in anything long-term, enough that you're tempted to just go shopping with it.

But if you look around for wiser options, you can find ways to make that money work for you. Below, we’ve put together a list of investments you can make with P20,000 that are financially better for you than going on a shopping spree.

Unit Trust Investment Fund

You can easily dive into the world of investment with P20,000. For example, Security Bank offers a number of unit investment trust funds (UITF) which require an initial amount of only P10,000. But what’s a UITF?

Unit Trust Investment Funds “pool the funds of investors to create a large fund which, under the watchful eyes of professional fund managers, can productively harness these funds, taking advantage of economies of scale,” according to Banco de Oro. Thus, even individuals can access investments usually just available to big investors. UITFs are also heavily regulated by not only the banks offering the fund, but also by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, protecting investors.

UITFs are medium- to long-term investments that have historically better earning options over a long horizon than traditional deposit options, so if you can afford to leave your money in a UITF without having to withdraw from it for a long time, it can be a good option for you in the long run.

For example, if you had invested in Security Bank’s Peso Asset Variety Fund on January 1, 2014, these are the kind of returns you could be expecting (disclaimer: values from Security Bank’s UITF calculator. The investment value is only indicative of the value of investment as of a certain date. However, for redemption, please note that the net asset value per unit (NAVpu) will be not be known until the end of a certain business date.)

That’s an ROI of 13.42% over six months, which you can’t get with your regular savings accounts. Again, this is just an example, so please consult with your bank first to determine which fund is right for you.

East West Bank also offers the Infinity Peso Intermediate Term Bond Fund, another UITF which requires an initial deposit of P10,000. It’s a low-risk venture, because the money will be invested primarily in government securities and investment-grade corporate bonds. This is ideal for investors with a long-term investment horizon.

Health

For under P20,000 annually, you can avail of Maxicare’s MyMaxicare Silver Plan, so if you don’t have health insurance, you could easily get it.

For example, according to Maxicare’s Quick Plan Computation, a 30-year-old applying for the Silver Plan, with dental coverage included, would pay P17,083.00 annually. You can check the Quick Plan Computation for the fees you would have to pay at your age (and whether you want dental coverage or not), which you can set annually, semi-annually or quarterly according to your needs.

Benefits include emergency care, annual check-up and preventive care benefits. The Silver tier allows for semi-private room and board for hospitals, with a maximum benefit limit of P60,000 per illness per year.

Medicare’s Plan 2500 is another healthcare option, with a P15,876 annual fee. Hospitals include Asian Hospital and Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center-Quezon City, The Medical City and Cardinal Santos Medical Center.

Business

For as low as P15,000, you can own a siomai business. Shanghai Siomai has dealership packages that start with a one-time P10,000 dealer registration fee and a minimum order of P5,000 worth of siomai ingredients. Consult their website for details.

P20,000 can also get you started in owning your own rice business. Bigasanko.com, a rice distributor, wholesaler, and retailer, requires that amount as an application fee, which can be deducted from the down payment.

Before investing in a business, make sure you’ve done your research and have a plan for profitability.

Education

If you want to build up your management skills, the Advanced Managers’ Course at the UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries can help you.

The 10-day course, which you can take over 10 Saturdays and costs P18,000, focuses on leadership, innovation, technology, environment, people management, strategic management, risk management and customer relations management. Ideally, you should already have attended other management courses or been in a managerial position, though this is not required. Check the schedule to see if you can enroll.

Or maybe you’re looking for a raise and want to improve your negotiation skills before you go to your boss. For P10,800, Ateneo’s Center for Continuing Education offers Negotiation Skills: Deal or Deadlock, which will teach you when to negotiate, how to implement your negotiation plan and counter others’ tactics, and develop the core skills of a good negotiator.

Self-investment

What better way to invest your P20,000 than in yourself? Taking lessons and learning a new craft is a good way for you to grow your skillset and expand your career options, or just make your life better.

So if you want to start your own bakery, for example, or want to level up your skills in making pastries and desserts, take a look at the 5-Day Pastry Boot Camp at Enderun Colleges. This intensive 30-hour class will teach you how to make sponge cakes, choux pastry, chantilly cream, and more bakery staples. When you’re done with the course, you can use your new skills and techniques to start your artisanal bakery, or bring new desserts to family gatherings.

You could also beautify your home or workspace by learning more about interior design. The Interior Styling workshop at the School of Fashion and Art (SoFA) Design Institute, for P10,000, is an 8-week course which helps you develop an understanding and appreciation of color, pattern and furnishing, and how these can improve interior spaces, whether they be residential, commercial, or institutional.

Do you have any ideas for what else to do with P20,000?