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Use Catchy Terms To Avoid Nosebleed Finance Talk


    A lot of people are intimidated and or bored when the conversation is about finance. That is why I try to use catchy terms and memes to reach out to more people. It helps me explain the lessons and it is also easier for the reader or listener to remember. 

    From YOLO to…

    Take for instance the common problem of saving and investing for our retirement years. It is often postponed indefinitely because it is so much easier to spend now and make our present-self happy. We always hear that over-used term to rationalize spending: YOLO! You Only Live Once! 

    Inasmuch as it’s true that we only live once and we should enjoy this one and only life, we should also temper our spending because of this fact: YAGO! You Also Grow Old! Let us not always give in to the whims of the present-self at the expense of our future old self. 

    I hope the above image and catchy term will make it easier for you to remember that it is not right to depend on others for your financial needs in your old age. Do not burden your children and other loved ones when the time comes. Instead of doing Photoshop to make your selfies look like ageless celebrities, oldify yourself sometimes. Do you know that doing this helps you save more? (Note: Watch out for FQMom Oldify Experiment results coming out soon.)

    Since I wrote and talked about YAGO a couple of years ago, I am happy to observe that it has caught on with some people. If you google YAGO FQ Mom, you will find materials about it, including this talk during the first Financial Education Stakeholders’ Expo in November 2018 by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. (WATCH: Start at 07:30)

    The following year, during the second run of this major BSP event, I was again invited to take part as a moderator. A speaker from the Philippine Stock Exchange gave a presentation on Stock Investing 101. To convince the audience to invest in the stock market, she used my coined term YAGO with matching slide. Someone from the audience approached me to say, “Ma’am Rose, sa inyo galing yong YAGO. I know because I follow you. Nakalimutan nyang banggitin yong pangalan mo! Dapat na-patent nyo yon!

    But I didn’t mind at all. I was just happy to help people remember the FQ lessons with the aid of YAGO.

    My kind of LODI

    LODI is a relatively new Pinoy term for the English word that it spells backward – IDOL. We hear a lot of Pinoys say, “LODI ka talaga, ang galing mo!” (“You’re really an idol, you’re so good!” Here’s a kind of LODI that we should all aspire for. 

    Living on Dividends & Interest. This is the level when you’ve accumulated enough such that your regular living expenses can be covered by the passive income you derive from your earning assets such as bonds, stocks, properties, etc. This is the level that you don’t have to actively work for money in order to live. Take note the operative term is “don’t have to,” but please, by all means, continue working if it’s what keeps you alive and relevant. Incidentally, one of my “Lodis” (i.e. idols or life pegs) was the late Washington Sycip because he continued to do his work until his last breath. 

    Some may be lucky enough to inherit a fortune enough to be a LODI right away, but that’s a minuscule percentage of our population. And come on, what fun (and pride) is that when you’re not really responsible for reaching that level?

    From FOMO to… 

    FOMO means Fear of Missing Out. This is the anxiety of not taking part in an exciting or interesting event that may be currently happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media. It makes people want to travel, engage in this and that experience, oftentimes even if they could not comfortably afford it yet. 

    But there’s something that should make us more fearful. It’s more fearful than not being able to experience all those envy-inducing IG-posted activities. It’s the fear of what’s going to happen if you suddenly lose your cash flow at the time when you have not yet adequately built your safety net. 

    So what is more fearful than FOMO? It’s FOBU! Fear of Being Unemployed!

    Have you thought about it? What is going to happen if you suddenly lose your job or your current source of income? How long will it take you to replace your salary or your earnings from your business or profession? What if you suddenly get sick, meet an accident? What if you suddenly need to repair your car, leaking roof, etc.? Where will you get the money?

    While we call our Retirement Fund our YAGO Fund, let’s call our Emergency Fund our FOBU Fund. 

    So, what will you do the next time you’re tempted to do any the following?

    1. Book that flight so you won’t miss the fun trip that all your friends/ officemates are going to.
    2. Watch that expensive concert because you really love the music of the artists and everyone who’s cool seems to be going.
    3. Join your foodie friends in their next expensive tasting menu restaurant adventure.
    4. Shop like missing out on 11.11 or 12.12 or other invented catchy sale terms is a mortal sin.
    5. Book that facial treatment that promises to make you look like a million bucks (maybe because the price is close to it?)
    6. Rent that expensive accommodation because it looks like the house of the Kardashians.
    7. Buy or rent signature items so you can experience (and post) the thrill of wearing luxury.
    8. Leave your current job because it’s so hard and “you are not following your passion” anymore (Oh c’mon! Do you even know that the word passion comes from the Latin word patior which means to suffer?)

    The next time you feel like doing any of the above, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Do I already have an adequately funded FOBU Fund?” Is it worth at least three to six months of my expenses? If you have dependents, are you already insured adequately? If not, check what InLife products best suit you. Have you already started your YAGO Fund? Start now, check where you stand in your FQ by taking the FQ Test now. 

    Remember, it’s only when you prioritize your FOBU and YAGO funds over premature indulgence in luxury that you get to be a LODI!

    Go ahead, share this with someone you care for so you will all be LODIs in the future! Cheers to high FQ!


    Rose Fres Fausto is FQ Mom (FQ stands for Financial Intelligence Quotient). She was an investment banker turned full-time homemaker and now a writer and speaker on money and family. She’s a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and Behavioral Economist, having trained under Dan Ariely, the Father of B.E. Richard Thaler, and recently completed a B.E. course at the Harvard Business School. She wrote bestsellers Raising Pinoy Boys, The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions), FQ: The nth Intelligence. She has a weekly column in PhilStar.com and regularly contributes to other magazines. 

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    AUTHOR BIO Rose Fres Fausto is FQ Mom. FQ stands for Financial Intelligence Quotient. Investment banker turned full-time homemaker, she is now a writer and speaker on money and family.

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