10 + 1 Similarities of a Good Valentine and a Good Investment

10 + 1 Similarities of a Good Valentine and a Good Investment

Feb 15, 2023

How was your Valentine’s Day? I recently learned of the term “Galentine.” It is Valentine’s Day for gals, a day for women to celebrate their friendships with their lady friends. I looked up for the male counterpart. I thought it would be “Guylentine” but it’s Malentine.

My Valentine for over three decades now is The Honey Marvin whom I call my favorite person in the world. As I look back at our relationship – how it started, how it evolved – I can’t help but liken its basic qualities to that of a good investment. Anyway, on an interview several years ago when Cathy Young asked him about his best investment, his answer was me! (Click

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPjo1WhoObw to see this short feature.)

Although it doesn’t sound romantic at all to be called someone’s best investment, being in the finance industry actually makes me understand the context and let me break it down to you. The ingredients in a good relationship are what you should also be looking for and expecting when investing.

1. It is for the long-term. When we said “I do” in 1989 we had forever as our time horizon. It wasn’t going to be “until I find a better one” or “as long as I’m fond of you” or “until further notice.” We do not “sell” at the slightest sign of conflict, but just continue investing year after year. We are thankful that both of us had good role models in our respective sets of parents.

2. It is a decision. And because it is forever, we made a decision to make it not just a puede na kind of relationship but the best union we can possibly have. We know that emotions come and go and so we constantly remind ourselves about our commitment. When you invest, you have to make your decision firm and commit to doing it, no excuses.

3. Full disclosure. Because Marvin and I started off as friends with no romantic inclinations, we were able to get to know each other without having to always “put our best foot forward.” Today this full disclosure is still very much in practice in the way we deal with money, how we feel towards each other and in the other aspects of our union because trust is a very important ingredient of a successful relationship. It is the same thing when you invest in companies, choose the ones with trustworthy management teams.

4. Easy to understand model. Our relationship was straightforward from the start. We went from good friends to boyfriend/girlfriend to married couple. We didn’t go through vague relationship status such as MU (Mutual Understanding), friends with benefits, in an open relationship, it’s complicated, live-in, etc.

I think getting into difficult-to-understand relationships is no different from getting into investments that you don’t understand – nakiki-uso lang or following the mob.

I am not a fan of “derivatives” – both in investments and love relationships. There seems to be no one held liable when the music stops. But in the end, when it blows up, everyone gets hurt.

5. Good dividends. Good investments yield good dividends. When it comes to our union, I consider our three sons Martin, Enrique and Anton our best “dividends.” I call them God’s greatest gifts to us and our greatest gifts to the world.  Now that they’re no longer living with us, another great dividend is our enjoyment as happy empty-nesters.

6. Good design that makes things easier. Marvin and I are aware that we’re only humans so we design our marriage to make it easy for us to keep the “fire burning.” We have FriDates, which give us that opportunity to see each other in a still romantic way on a regular basis, and give us the opportunity to have good conversations away from home. We also celebrate our anniversaries, Valentine and other milestones in order to honor our union. We even incorporate our asset allocation meeting during our anniversaries.

Designing your investing such that you have an automatic and regular contribution that increases as you increase your earnings is very much like our FriDates. It happens regularly, no questions asked, and it makes your wealth accumulation automatic.

7. Patience. Oh you have to have a lot of this in order to have a good marriage. You have to go through the mundane aspects of family life, a little bit of drama, frustrations and other challenges. Just be patient. In the same way with your investment, you will get bored, get crazy and panicky at times, but just be patient.

8. Go for blue chips. In investing we always recommend blue chips. The same goes with marriage. We consider each other as blue chips, not in the boastful sense of being perfect individuals, or belonging to de buena familia (high net worth families) although I consider both our families to be lucky to have parents with stable marriage while growing up, so I guess that’s muy bien for me! But when I say blue chips, I mean knowing our respective worth as individuals, as children of God who deserve to love and be loved. We were both complete (but still improving) individuals before we said, “I do.” 

9. With clear goals. Investing needs clear goals in order to sustain the discipline of setting aside hard-earned cash regularly. We try to be as clear as possible in our couple and family goals on a regular basis, and that has helped us get to where we are now.

10. Smart risk taking. Any form of investment entails risks. When someone offers you an investment with no risk, run away. In the same way, no one can promise “I will never make your cry.” in a romantic relationship. No risks taken, no gains expected. It’s as simple as that. Even if you consider yourself risk-averse or with low risk appetite, you have to take some smart risks in order to protect your money from purchasing power erosion due to inflation.

When we got married, I was only 24 turning 25, and Marvin had just turned 28. We were earning decent, but far from high, salaries in our respective jobs, we both had our respective idiosyncrasies and we knew that there were uncertainties involved, but we took that smart risk when we said “I do.” We continue to take smart risks – when we built our house, had our children, when I left my job to be a full-time homemaker, when I wrote my first book, when he took his early retirement, when we put up IFE (Investing For Everyone) Management Advisers, Inc., when he partnered with COL in CMI (COL Investment Management, Inc.), launched COLEIF (COL Equity Index Fund), when we took our other respective engagements, and many more.

And you know why we are brave enough to take all these risks? Because somehow, we know that we are not just counting on ourselves when we do all these. Yes, we do our risk-benefit analysis (we can’t help it, we were both analysts in our first job), but ultimately, it’s our belief in God that propels us to take leaps here and there. We both know that this thing called marriage has big demands that humans cannot achieve on their own, but can only do so with His grace.

I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Week. Go hug your Valentine/Galentine/Malentine today, be it your spouse, your partner, your children, your parents, siblings, or friends, and remember to keep investing in your relationship with them.

And here’s an addition to the 10 items above:

11. Frugal. In investing, look for companies that are frugal in the use of their resources. This same quality is very important in a marriage. So today, I am practicing it once more, here’s my Valentine gift to my honey, “Happy Valentine’s Week Marvin! I love you.



  1. Have you planned for your Valentine celebration? No matter how you plan to celebrate it, include discussing about your investment – both in your relationship and your individual or joint investment portfolio. For starters or as refresher, take the FQ Test together, click here.

This article is also published in Philstar.

Attribution: Vecteezy