₱‎5,000‑worth investments even your excuses can’t resist

Cover art Samantha Gonzales

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Lifestyle Upgrade 101

Millions are not made without a single peso: this is how each of us should think when we grow our money. Many of us get too afraid or apprehensive with growing our money when we think that the capital requires large sums in order to reap high yields. While it is true that the more you invest, the greater the likelihood of returns, you don’t really have to start big immediately. There are numerous ways to start small and make the money grow incrementally. Why don’t we start with ₱5,000, shall we?


Getting into business isn’t all about franchising millions‑worth brands, especially if you are just entering the industry. With just ₱5,000 as your capital, your business may just be the next big buy‑and‑sell store or a go‑to‑supplier of chains and chains of restaurants in a matter of months or years. There are dozens of businesses you can get into and all you have to do is match your skill set with a need or demand.

If you’re into doing the easy day‑to‑day, you can start with the sari‑sari type of business. When there’s a demand for tingi or small amounts of cellphone load in your area, get a spare phone and do a pasa‑load business. In small communities, you can even be the taste of the town by cooking delicious flavored fries, street food like fishballs and squidballs, or grilling some tasty barbecue.

If you are into retail like selling shirts, bags or shoes, get into buying wholesale items in cheap markets and sell them directly online, or approach stores that can afford to get you as their supplier. With this, you dictate how high the mark-up will be and have a regular, stable cash inflow.

If baking and cooking are your hobbies, turn them into money‑making businesses. Consider being a distributor of cookies and cakes. A friend of mine buys and sells sausages to restaurants and even offers to get orders as their official supplier.

Just imagine how much your initial money can grow with just finding that sweet intersection of skill and need.


A mutual fund is one kind of investment where money is pooled from different people and then invested in stocks, bonds, short‑term money market instruments, and/or other securities. Here, a fund manager pools funds or money from clients, trades its underlying securities, realizes capital gains or loss, collects the dividend or interest income, and then distributes it among the investors. This is exactly what my father did with my money when I was in sixth grade. He introduced me to the stock market. My dad acted as my “middleman” and pooled what little I had with his to make our investment higher, allowing him to use it on companies that had higher yields. My initial capital grew and grew until it taught me to invest on higher stakes with higher returns.

I did some more research, decided on a handler who I trusted, and learned that I could start with ₱10,000. Harnessing my discipline, I saved up for it and dove right into my very first, independent investment. But I figured that the larger the amount I put in, the bigger the returns would be. I then committed to regularly adding as little as ₱1,000 to my fund. Every month, I set aside ₱1,000 to “top up” my account, knowing that it would be put to better use in my mutual fund rather than leaving it in the bank to collect dust. Someone once told me that putting money in the bank was as good as putting it under the bed. It was a dead‑end deal, while doing mutual funds—though small and incremental—still allows it to grow.

Fortunately, in this day and age, there are actually more options open to fresh grads, or anyone who wants to start small. Even the stock market has opened its doors to accommodate people from all walks of life. Agents or brokers, like COL Financial, have made it more accessible to the working class by putting the information on the Internet for people who want to study and trade in the market. They even have 7‑day trials for people who want to get a feel of trading with no strings attached. With as little as ₱5,000, you can try the stocks yourself. Every day, someone can earn from the stock market and that someone could be you.

There’s no shame in starting small because that very first step is what will eventually get you to your desired goal. Whether it’s ₱1,000 or ₱100,000, what’s important is as you decide to take on the challenge of growing your money, you also commit and allow yourself to grow with it. Remember that all this will be a learning process for you. You don’t have to get it right and big the first time around. It will be an exciting journey ahead so take the risk, make that first step. Even your shoe will tell you to “just do it.”