ASEAN Integration and what it means to our country’s Real Estate business

ASEAN Integration and what it means to our country’s Real Estate business

Over the years, the real estate industry here in the Philippines experienced a tremendous increase in demand due to the rise of our country’s economic growth. The country’s economic growth caused property value’s to increase which later on, attracted a lot of foreign investors. But with ASEAN Integration at hand, can the Philippine real estate industry compete with the best of these ASEAN Nations?

First of all, what is ASEAN Integration? According to, ASEAN Integration envisions to “build a single market that will give way to a freer flow of capital across borders and faster movement of goods, services, and skilled labor”[1]. An intense competition will therefore raise the bar for innovation, quality and productivity, which will enable businesses to compete head on with other players. But really though, how will this impact the country’s real estate business? The website believes that this regional collaboration of ASEAN countries will “spur demand for Philippine real estate properties, which translates to more jobs and business opportunities for Filipinos.” Personally, I agree with the belief of But in order to maximize this opportunity, entrepreneurs need to plan strategically and differentiate themselves on service quality despite their best intentions as they become occupied with short-term, day-to-day tasks.

Real estate firms are largely operating in what can be seen as “commodity” business. With the ASEAN Integration, a tighter competition means lesser options of being differentiated to other firms. That’s where marketing graduates come in to the picture. Before, any college graduate with any degrees is being accepted as a real estate agent. But now, marketing graduates are being prioritized due to their knowledge in customers as companies shift in a more customer-oriented approach. The service is also being highlighted due to recent studies that analyze the service quality differentiation. With the “boom” of real estate business here in the country, large firms like Ayala Land, Megaworld, etc. are developing condominiums that are strategically located in the country. I think that’s their way of differentiating their service to other companies.

Going back to the implication of ASEAN Integration in the real estate business, for professionals and businesses that are in the local real estate sector, the integration would require more commercial and residential infrastructures for highly-urbanized cities within the region, including key cities of the Philippines. This means that a higher demand for commercial and residential infrastructures is forecasted. Companies now a day’s understand the link between technology-customer, technology-employee, and technology-company within the quality-value-loyalty chain. Customers appreciate and value the use of technology in their relationship with the company. This could mean a greater opportunity for local real estate companies in order to take advantage ASEAN Integration. They need continuous innovation in order to build relationship with the foreign market because the service quality of a firm is ultimately linked to the perceptions formed by consumer and their preceding expectations.

A wealthier Southeast Asia also means that there will be an elimination of tariffs on goods and services. In relation to this, a higher disposable income is foreseen and this will equip consumers with more money to spend. So, the need for more commercial spaces such as malls, retail complexes, and shopping establishments is expected to grow. This is expected to give local real estate companies a big opportunity or a big threat. It really depends on how they’re gonna play their cards. They need to maximize the resources they have in order to turn it into an opportunity. Continuous innovation with the incorporation of technology is also one key success factor that they need to take into account.

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Wealth and Wealth Management – in different views

Wealth’s definition varies from person to person, depending on how the way they view the issue. That’s why financial planners and estate planners must put the interest of their client first before their own interest, but really, what makes up the clients’ interest? The topic is kind of the same from the previous blog but here, the definition of wealth and its different aspects are further explained.

Initially, people might probably think of wealth as the amount of money or financial assets one has. Because of that, wealth management, viewing from that perspective, becomes the development of financial plan aimed at acquiring and keeping as much of one’s financial assets as possible. However, Aristotle, The Greek Philosopher, in his book “The Nichomachean Ethics” gave his view and a broader meaning of wealth. In that book, Aristotle came up with the term “real” wealth. According to Aristotle, the “real” wealth is found in achieving eudaimonia, the Greek word for happiness, which is best translated as living the fulfilled life. Before we dig deep in that Aristotle view, let us first see on what the internet has to say with wealth and wealth management.

According to, Wealth is a measure of the value of all of the assets of worth owned by a person, community, company or country. It is found by taking the total market value of all the physical and intangible assets of the entity and then subtracting all debts. Wealth Manager on the other hand is defined by as the science of solving/enhancing one’s financial situation. From the financial advisor’s perspective, wealth management is the ability of an advisor or advisory team to deliver a full range of financial services and products to an affluent client in a consultative way. But theoretically, a wealth manager can provide a single financial product in existence. In Aristotle’s view, monetary wealth is a desirable thing but it should not be sought merely for itself. It should be used to attain further goals or the ultimate goal – which is living well.  What is especially debilitating about accumulating wealth for its own sake is that you’ll lose sense of limits. Because if gaining financial assets is your only goal, you can never be satisfied, since there is always more to obtain.

The issue though, is how will the Wealth Managers handle their clients and serve these clients’ best interest. As I said, this is kind of similar with the previous topic, which is Social Responsibility Investment. Wealth managers may be faced with situations that makes them question the extent of their ethical involvement with their clients. They are faced with questions like do they overreach when Aristotle claims that if it is an advisor’s responsibility to look out for the client’s interest, it behooves that advisor to take note of the differences between fiscal and real wealth and develop ways to get the client to recognize those differences when they are relevant? Or do they need to make their clients aware with the obligations that are tied with the possibility of harm?  That’s the questions that there wealth managers need to ponder on.

In summary, wealth management is the consultative process of meeting the need and wants of affluent clients by providing the appropriate financial products and services. Wealth management entails coordinating a team of experts to address the needs and wants of affluent clients. There’s considerable research showing the income advantages of financial advisors who are wealth managers to those that are principally investment oriented. Basically, the understanding of a wealth manager’s clients should be more elaborated and should not be limited to what is important. They should also know the process on how it works and that their ultimate goal should not be focused only on the short run but more on the long run.

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Fund Managers’ incorporation of SRI

There is a recent trend of fund managers incorporating social and environmental factors in their investment policies in order to meet the client’s ever changing demands. They incorporate ethical strategies for investment portfolios to meet those demands – or in other terms, Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). But the question at hand is, do these different regulations that investment companies set for themselves really control socially responsible investment? Or do they just say it to make their company look good?

First of all, let us define Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). According to Wikipedia, Socially responsible investing (SRI), also known as sustainable, socially conscious, “green” or ethical investing, is any investment strategy which seeks to consider both financial return and social good. The basic idea behind socially responsible investing is to make ethical investment decisions across the board.  This can be defined both positively and negatively.  The negative definition would be “do no evil,” while the positive definition would more narrowly require investments in companies with a proactive social or ethical mission. Paying attention to social and environmental issues can characterize a business that is well-managed generally.

There are different approaches that fund managers use when taking into account Socially Responsible Investment. Approaches that fund managers may want to consider can be divided into ‘house’ and ‘tailor-made’ approaches. House approaches are based on issues and a strategy developed by the fund manager, while tailor-made approaches entail implementing the client’s own ethical investment policy. Some investment managers decide to combine both approaches whenever they see it fit to use with a unique situation and unique client.

Of course, there are decisions that fund managers need to make whenever they are hired. There are number of areas that they need to take into account whenever they handle clients. But remember, each client that they handle has unique situations that need developing tailor fitted approach. Of course, fund managers need to take into account the resources available, the company’s organizational structures, and how does SRI fit that company’s organizational structure. The SRI approach is to invest in stocks and bonds from those companies and counties or municipalities that promote certain actions or eschew those, which participate in offending actions. Fund managers need to know the ethical policies company has in order to develop their ‘tailor fitted’ house policy to offer the clients.

In conclusion, developing new policies to take into account the environmental, social, and ethical considerations in investment strategies is likely to develop and be continual in the coming years. The different regulations that fund managers incorporate for their SRI needs to be followed thoroughly. They need to make good of that regulation and not just for show, they need to walk the talk. Fund managers need to remember that whenever they do not offer any ethical investment selection and monitoring services, they are losing competitive advantage both in winning and in retaining investment business in the future.

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Investment Management – Then and Now

Through the years, Investment management has gained attention and developed into a new norm in the business and dominated the investment management business. But aren’t you curious how it all started? Really – how did the investment management worked from the past and now – the present?

Before, two significantly changes happened in the investment situation in the mid-1960s. Pension assets had become quite large, and having so much money with one manager was questionable. In addition, the performance of bank trust departments had been given more importance because of investment counselors. Investment counselors look for the output of that performance because of some workers that are underperforming. These changes in the situation of investment started a string of another changes and development, mainly because of investors seeking specialist managers to handle their investment properly.

Technology is one of the reasons that our world continues to reinforce the saying that “the only thing constant in this world is change”. Technology is very progressive; it continues to evolve every day. Science and Technology influences people’s way of thinking or how they do something, that’s why in Investment Management, it’s not surprising that people came up with innovative strategies. The new ideas and strategies developed in Investment Management helps investment companies sustain their competitive advantage over their competitors.

17 Former Hospital Patients Reveal What It Felt Like To Be In A Coma

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Found on r/AskReddit.

1. He’s now paralyzed

I was in a near-fatal motorcycle accident. I was never really in a “coma” but I was out for a few days. Mainly because of trauma, surgery and drugs. I don’t know if I had just listened to this song before my crash or something, but I was living a version of the song “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi.

They were giving me large doses of dilaudid nonstop because of all my injuries and the pain I was in. I would hallucinate that I was walking out of the ICU and suddenly the walls would turn to stars. Then I would see people just doing weird stuff. I would start walking again and realize that I couldn’t walk (I was paralyzed) and I would feel like I was falling, but instead I was trying to get up in bed.


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21 Creepy Accounts From Real People Who Were Terrorized By A Stranger

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Will FolsomWill Folsom

I discovered a strange man hiding under my bed

I had just moved into my first apartment and was in the process of moving in. The door that led into my apartment locks itself automatically when closed.

So, I was going to the entrance of the apartment complex to get my mail while talking on the phone with my boyfriend. I returned to my apartment and sat on the bed while opening the mail while using the phone, I dropped the phone on the floor and it landed under the bed so I had to lie on the floor and stretch for it. I saw something that caught my eye, there was someone under my bed…

My eyes widened and I choked the urge to scream. The person under my bed was lying still with his back towards me and his head to his chest, so I…

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The Answers We Don’t Have: The Struggle Of Graduating College

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Chris BackleyChris Backley

“What are you going to do with the rest of your life?”

It’s a pretty daunting question. 

It becomes even more daunting when you realize that you don’t have an answer. 

If you are like any of us who are completely clueless and graduating in May, you mumble something regarding maybe going to grad school or that you are on the job hunt. Anything just so the next question they ask isn’t “Well…what if you do this?” or “Why don’t you…?”

I speak for the rest of us when I say we have probably already thought about any possibility you are going to throw out to us. Career counselors? We’ve seen those…multiple times. Personality tests? We’ve taken way too many to no avail. Grad school? We’ve searched for hours about what we would even go for. Job market? We have bookmarked, circled, and tabbed everything that looks remotely interesting. 

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