Money Lessons OFWs Should Know


Year after year, millions of our fellow Filipinos work abroad to provide a better and secure future for their family.

True enough, OFWs are able to send their children to good schools, provide comfortable homes, and buy the things they need. But, in exchange for this, are the years they spend away from home.

What’s Happening Now

Every month, OFWs send a huge portion of their salary back home in the Philippines.

Whatever is left will be for their personal living expenses. More often than not, what is set aside for savings is spent for emergency expenses and other unforeseen circumstances in the Philippines.

Money Lessons OFWs Should KnowIndeed, they are our modern day heroes.

But, if this will be the usual scenario, when will these heroes be able to go home?

What Should Be Happening

Now, I am not saying that sending their salary at home is wrong. In fact, the main reason that OFWs leave the country is to be able to provide a better life for their families.

But OFWs should remember to pay themselves also by setting aside a portion of their income for savings and investments.

The 10-20-70 principle will help them accomplish this. (Read more about it here: How to Budget and Save Wisely)

A huge portion of their salary or 70% can go to their remittances to the Philippines and for other expenses. They can use the 20% for their investments. And lastly, the remaining 10% can go to their emergency fund, tithe, or pasalubong when they go back home.

This way, they will be able to balance their finances and have the peace of mind that they are doing something today for their own future.

What Should Not Happen

After working long years abroad, they go home empty-handed and without any investments.

They are the ones that assumed that after sending ALL their huge salaries back home, there would be enough for them to stop working and stay in the Philippines. They went home, without any savings and investments, and ready to retire because they were able to fulfill their duties to their families.

They should NEVER assume that someone will take care of their money more than them.

Can OFWs invest in the Philippines while they are abroad?

To prevent this from happening, OFWs should learn how to manage their money and how to properly save and invest.

A common question we receive from our OFW fans is can they invest in the Philippines while they are abroad? In this day and age where almost everything can be done online, the answer is YES they can!

For example, in the stock market, they can buy and sell their shares, and monitor stock prices just by having an account with an online brokerage firm. This is also possible for investment in mutual funds.

Every month, they can INVEST a portion of their salary in these investments using the Peso Cost Averaging Strategy. (Read more about it here: Peso Cost Averaging explained)

They can also invest in real estate, insurance, and other instruments.

The important thing to know here is to find out which investment is best suited for each one of them. No one can answer that except themselves.

My Advocacy

It is my hope to be able to teach my fellow Filipinos abroad how to manage and grow their money wisely.

In line with this, I recently partnered with a Filipino group called Arcjug of Zion LLC to hold the first International PESOS AND SENSE seminar in Dubai.

By reaching one country at a time, I am sure that through smart investing, more and more OFW families will be reunited sooner because they have already achieved their financial goals.

Aya Laraya, Investment Advocate

public seminarofw


  1. Maria Teresa Serrano says

    very informative…..i am hoping that soon you will have also seminars in Abu dhabi Mr. Aya…God Bless

  2. Al says

    Sir Aya, please let us know in advance when it will be, so I can work out in my schedule.
    I am very excited into this and can’t wait for this day. More power and God bless.

  3. Erma Lutao says

    Please let us know when this seminar will be held in Dubai?
    Sir Aya, would there be any chance of extending your leg of seminar here in Qatar?


  4. daisy says

    How about Abu Dhabi?
    More and more Filipinos here are wanting to save/invest…just don’t know how to go about it properly without being victimized by fraud practises.

    • April says

      @Daisy: Seminar in Dubai will be in July 5, 2013 which is Friday, I know if you really want to you can plan your weekend. You might want to consider to sacrifice your Friday to travel to Dubai for this event :)

  5. Rhoderick says

    Sir is there any possibilities that you can swing to QATAR after DUBAI, will be glad to see u in person and learned a lot through your experience..GOD BLESS..

  6. says

    Hello po gsto k sana mag joint sainyo kso paano po wla akong day off hrap po kc klgyan k d2 kya tniis klng kc po no choice ako s pinas bsde kundi lng salary k I hope maintindhan nio po ako at m help u din me ako may dlwa anak at hgh skul n po sla kya hard wrk m pra s knla.d2 m s ksa,riyah po.god bless u po

  7. says

    Wow! Pesos and Sense is now international! :D congrats!

    Yeah, I agree that OFWs should how to save their money and invest. Although they’re helping a lot of people by sending the money here, they can make that a self-sustaining endeavor if they invest.

    By saving and investing their money wisely they can return home for good, not as retirees but as business owners. Not only will they continue to be able to support loved ones, but they’ll be creating jobs as well.

    Even with the rise of BPOs, OFWs are still the greatest hope our country has of making the switch from third-wold consumers to a first-world, self-reliant economy. But it doesn’t happen if OFWs don’t properly handle their money and invest.

  8. Malou says

    Hi Sir Aya, can I invest for my 8 years old daughter? I mean it will be under her name as I already have my own.

  9. says

    mali ba ako sa 10,20,70% or sadyang ganun? wala man lang porsyento para sa pagkain, damit o araw-araw na pangangailangan ng isang OFW :)

  10. ben44 says

    Sir Aya,
    Sana meron din sa Saudi ( Al Khobar or Jubail Area) kahit din sana sa Cebu, im very interested.


  11. says

    Can OFWs invest in the Philippines while they are abroad?

    Of course they can! I am a living testament that it is possible. I opened my investments account while abroad.

    Thanks for sharing Sir. Great post indeed!

  12. Noli says

    Hi sir Aya,
    Kindly inform us if you are going to extend seminars here in Qatar.
    Hope to see you after Dubai. God bless po!

  13. nina says

    good day to you sir : sir I hope you can have a seminar also here in south korea. madaming ofws din po dito.thank you po.

  14. noeme puno says

    dear sir aya,
    nagpapasalamat po ako sa pesos& sense dahil po dito ay nagkaruon po kami ng kaalaman kung paano matutong mag invest ng tama. Marami po kasing kamalian sa kung paanu ang tamang pamamaraan sa pag iipon o pag papalago ng iyong pinag paguran,katulad ko po,dahil po sa kagustuhan kong makauwi ng maaga o magretire ay may mga negosyo kaming pinasukan,tulad ng sabi nyo dahil di gaanung natutukan,nagkaruon po ng malaking pagkakamali at ito ay nalugi,buti nga po at hindi pa kami nakauwi.hanggang sa mabasa namin o mapanuod ang inyong pesos & sense malaking tulong po na matutunan ng isang ofw ang tamang pag iipon,di po iyong basta negosyo e pinasok..nag aral po ako at ang aking mga anak kung paano pumasok dito sa stock market..pinag seminar ko po ang anak ko sa pesos& sense at lahat ng episode nito ay piang aralan naming mabuti..Hanggang matutunan namin,sa ngaun po ay nag iinvest na po ang aking pamilya dito,naniniwala po ako na ito na ang sagot sa matagal ko ng inaasam na makaipon sa aming retirement..

    maraming salamat po sa lahat ng informasyon at pagtuturo sa kung paano makaipon.


    Noeme Puno

  15. Dodong says

    Sir Aya, una sa lahat gusto ko magpasalamat sa programa mong pesos and sense. Ang dami ko natutunan. Dahil dun, gusto ko sanang maginvest sa stock market. Medyo naguguluhan lang ako kung saang stock market. Ofw po kasi ako dito sa abroad at sa katagalan ay may posibilidad na magpalit ng citizenship. Gusto ko sanang maginvest sa stock market sa pinas, pero pag nagiba ang citizenship ko, pwede pa din ba ako bumili ng stock sa atin? ok lang po kaya na hatiin ko ung savings at iinvest ko dito sa foreign stock market at dyan sa pinas? Thank you!

  16. stefan says

    Sir aya! Pwede po ba isend ang application ko sa col financial via email since dito po ako naka base sa middle east if possible po what is the email add? Salamat po talaga.

  17. Joven says

    Hi Sir Aya, I’ve pasted the link of this blog to my signature in one of the OFW blogs. Just a personal help in spreading the news to our “heroes”. Please just email me if it is improper so I can delete it. :)

  18. Stefan says

    Sir aya! Is it appropriate to send my application in col financial via email or do i had to mail thru lbc together with my requirements since im here at the middle east country? Thank you po!

  19. jewel says

    sir, thank the heavens for people like you ! tama ka, kelangan ngang mag invest ng mga OFW habang malakas pa sila para may magamit sila in their (so-called) twilight years.
    with all due respect, sir, i have some skepticism about long-term investment though. my sisters invested their hard-earned money for their kids educational plan. after many years, the company declared bankruptcy and my sisters ended up getting nothing but promises from the company.
    ano kayang pwedeng gawin para ma sigurado na after many years eh nandyan parin yung company to fulfill its promise ?
    i shall appreciate your response.
    more power !

    • says

      Pag-aaral at diversification lang po ang sagot diyan. WALANG investment — ke long-term or short-term, ang 100% guaranteed to pay-off. Kaya kailangan na intindihin ang pinapasukan ng pera natin. Tsaka dapat, you have more than 1 investment so that kung malaglag yung isa, may pambawi ka pang iba.

  20. arno says

    this is why Philippines will never grow. people take advantage of OFW…in the country they work…and with people like you promising fake future incomes. Invests in your family first that’s the only worth investment

    • says


      Kindly show where I promised “fake, future incomes”? :)

      In everything we do, we always say that there is NO guaranteed investment. We espouse knowledge BEFORE investing in anything. We also do not SELL any investment product in any of our events. So I find it pretty interesting how you arrived at your conclusion that I promise people “fake, future incomes”.

      Also, your own belief, that Family is the only worthwhile investment, while noble-sounding is also NOT 100% true as you make it seem. How many OFW’s have invested in their families — only to have their family lose the money? Mga inutangan ng kamag-anak na hindi na binayaran? Or do you mean wag na lang sila Mag-OFW at dito na lang sila sa Pinas magtrabaho? :)

      Kindly clarify your statements.

      • says

        Mentality! keep only the good one and throw the rest
        that kills us each other. Marami kasing makitid ang isipan
        na kung lalawakan lang sana bago magsalita at wag sariling
        experience lang…Be general advicer or commentor na makakatulong
        sa iba na mas nakakarami….

  21. awe says

    May kaunting correction lang po.. not all OFW’s get “Huge” salary, it may be look huge because they’ve sent it as one big amount. Now considering the current cost of living in Philippines, Im sure you’ll agree that to have a normal decent living, not even above average especially in Manila 25k to 30K monthly salary is just enough to survive a family as of today and for some OFW like DH and low service sector its a reality for them. We may apply the 10-20-70 principle but well have to eat unhealthy food, and other household bills as for example. Im sure you have your way how to beat this challenge and i’d like to see how.

    • says

      paano mag iinvest kung walang pang invest?
      kundi pang tawid lamang? Im sure check the way
      of our living style and analisahin natin ang in and out
      ng pera na kinikita kahit papiso piso lang sa bawat araw
      ay matayawag na ipon na maaring maging investment…

  22. mary says

    hi po!!!need to know kung pano po itong online investment na ito…may link po ba na pwede dun ako mgbasa at dun din mg umpisa?and2 po ako sa canada pero malayo sa malalaking city…i want to know how to start with investing on stock market or mutual funda online po…maraming salamat!!!

  23. deo says

    Sir aya. Can you please send me your schedule of the said seminar here in dubai?

    Tthanks and more power.

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  32. Norman L. Ocampo says

    you don’t need to look beyond your horizon there are so many FINANCIAL LITERACY online, in just a CLICK of a button you can ACCESS this, what we need is just a little bit of being RESOURCEFUL and CREATIVE, for me i learned FINANCIAL LITERACY on myself only, The problem is most OFWs are like blind and dumb…be RESOURCEFUL and CREATIVE.

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  34. Detchie Valenton says

    hi mr aya,

    We are into gas station franchising and investments.
    We would like to offer another good investment venue for our OFWs hope we can set a meeting and talk about this in detail.

    thanks and best regards,
    detchie valenton


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