Overcoming Obstacles to Saving

Obstacle - Man Jumping Over Word on Arrow

We’ve all said it, “tomorrow I’ll get to that”, or “maybe next week or next month when I’m not so busy and have a little extra cash”, but time passes on by and we never get to that one thing we’ve been avoiding – saving for our retirement. Here are some of the obstacles to saving that we may identify with:

  • Procrastinating – delaying savings or putting savings off for another time. Check
  • Poor Spending Habits – includes spending on unnecessary items; impulse buying and self-indulgent lifestyles. Check
  • Culture of Dependency – Being overly dependent on others for everything. Check
  • Lack of financial literacy – spending on liabilities or items that decrease in value over time; not knowing how to make your money grow or work for you. Check

Here are some ways by which you can overcome these obstacles:

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Investing in Challenging Times

Tips for investing in challenging economic times

Good Advice for Hard Times

An economic downturn usually makes people more aware of the importance of saving and spending their money wisely.  Here are a few tips you can adopt to help you manage your money wisely during such periods.

 Pay off your debt

The repayment of debt is the best investment you can ever make. A downturn in the economy means fewer job opportunities, wage cuts, and rising unemployment. In order to protect yourself, it is wise to repair your personal balance sheet. Reduce your spending and use the money you save to reduce personal debt first (credit cards, overdrafts, loans), then your mortgage. Build a cash cushion to help meet unexpected bills or to cover expenditure if your income falls.

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2016 Financial Resolutions

Life GoalsEvery year we make plans to start the New Year with a clean slate, or with new goals. Maybe you want to shed a few pounds, start a new course, or open a business; but have you ever thought about your long-term goals maybe a new car, house, a dream vacation, retirement. Planning for the future starts now and the New Year is a great time to overhaul your financial life for the better. One excellent place to start is by making sound resolutions that can help to get you closer to your financial goals.

Financial Resolution 1: Know What You Want

Have clear, concise financial goals for the year.

Unrealistic Goal – “I want to pay off my credit card and have more money in the bank”.

Instead, say, “I will keep the balance on my credit card down to $0 after every month, and ensure I have over $5,000 in my savings account.”

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Are you too young to plan for your retirement?

Many persons who are under 40 years old have not yet begun planning for retirement. However, is there such a thing as “too young to plan for retirement?” Does “the early bird catch the worm? The earlier you start to plan for retirement the more prepared and at ease you will ultimately be. Here are some helpful tips to help you grow your financial wealth and ensure that your retirement years will be well cushioned. Continue reading

TTSEC hosts Investor Education Webinar







The Commission continues to educate and empower consumers of financial products and potential investors

“Great webinar! Thank you.”

“I would like to commend the TTSEC on this initiative of Investor Education via Webinars. I think it is an excellent idea and I look forward to future webinars.” 

“Dear TTSEC,

I applaud your initiative to educate current and potential investors. The information provided in this webinar was certainly useful, mildly entertaining and most importantly to the point. Well done.”

“Good day the webinar was very compact and informative. The speaker was engaging and not boring. However I did experience some technical difficulties such as static and loss of audio. I do hope to see further webinars and recorded sessions available to the public.”

These are some of the comments that the Corporate Communications, Education and Information Division received from members of the public after the TTSEC’s first Investor Education Webinar[i] which took place on Wednesday July 03. To raise awareness of this Webinar, the Commission used traditional media such as radio Ads in addition to new media platforms such as Facebook Ads, sponsored messages and emails.

This free Webinar, which was conducted via the Go To Meeting platform, introduced participants to the fundamentals of saving and investing, types of investment instruments, rights and responsibilities as an investor and mechanisms to protect oneself against fraudulent investment schemes. Our analysis of the webinar showed that approximately 100 persons participated in the Webinar with the greatest participation coming from the 25-34 age group. Another interesting aspect of the post-launch analysis is the fact that 64 % of the participants were women and the majority of the participants were from North Trinidad. The Commission intends to do all in its power to ensure that more men participate in these financial education sessions and that persons from all parts of Trinidad and Tobago are present and willing to participate.

We will conduct more Webinars in the future which will focus on (but are not limited to) Financial Tips for Teens,  Financial Tips for Young Adults, Money Management in the Middle Years and Retirement Planning. Topics, such as the the role of a broker and how to make that first investment will also be included in subsequent sessions.

This first Webinar was posted to the our website and can be viewed via the following link: http://www.ttsec.org.tt/investor_resources.php?mid=96




Planning for Your Financial Future: Are You Ready?

  1. Planning for your financial future. If you intend to buy a house, finance your child’s education or cater for your retirement, you need to plan in order to achieve your goals. You can start by setting your investment goals and determining your risk profile. You should also explore different investment strategies and understand the expected returns of an investment relative to the amount of risk undertaken to obtain these returns for the specific products that you are considering.Image

How Do I Build An Investment Portfolio?

You should establish your investment strategy by deciding on the mix of investment products (assets) that you seek to purchase. The saying Don’t put your eggs in one basket” is very relevant to investing success. In building your investment portfolio you can spread your money across different classes of investments, including:

1. Cash and Cash Equivalents 

  • High liquidity,easy to get your money when you need it
  • Provide lower return, but with almost no risk

Examples: Savings accounts, money market funds, and treasury bills. 

2. Fixed Income Investments 

  • Offer a fixed rate of return that doesn’t change
  • Provide a steady flow of income
  • Can lower your investment risk

Examples: Bonds, bond mutual funds

3. Equity Investments 

  • Buy a share of ownership in a company
  • Are riskier than fixed income investments
  • Offer the potential to make far more than a fixed income investment or cash equivalent

Future value is uncertain, and will be affected by:

  1. How well the company is doing now and its future growth
  2. News events specific to the company
  3. Economic trends

Examples: You can buy shares of an individual company’s stock, or buy units of a mutual fund that invests in the stocks of many companies.

To build your investment portfolio, choose from one or more of these asset classes to get the right balance of risk and return for you.

Remember, a well thought out asset mix is the key to your investment success. In most cases, when you mix your classes of investments, you reduce the risks associated with investing.