I just finished Week 5 of my online course on Financial Markets under the Father of Behavioral Finance and 2013 Nobel Prize winner Robert Schiller, who’s a professor at Yale University. Part of this week’s requirements is peer feedback on the paper we submitted on Psychology and the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008. We were required to review at least five papers from our classmates; otherwise, we lose 20% of our grade on the paper.
I think this was included in the course because of the importance of feedback. Different perspectives are important in evaluating things. I wrote my paper using the tone of simple language easy enough to be understood by non-finance people. I have trained myself to explain things as if I were explaining to a seven year old maybe because while my sons were still growing up I would tell them about the books that I read on investing, life philosophies and other “mature” topics. I have yet to receive my paper’s rating from my classmates all over the world in a few days. I don’t know how they would react to my storytelling style. But I do know that the mark of understanding something is when you are able to explain it to a young mind.
For the meantime, I wish to share some of the emails/texts I received from my readers expressing their feedback on my articles:
1. From a mother in Canada
I just wish to thank you for your wonderful articles in Raising Pinoy Boys. I’ve been following your articles since I discovered it last year while reading Philstar.com. I actually have a copy of your e-book.
We’re based in Canada, immigrated here eight years ago. I have four boys (15, 11, 7 & 4) and a girl (14); hence, your column really got my attention, although my challenge is: raising pinoy boys in a western culture.
I specifically like your January 2, 2014 article – Invest In Your Family. I advised my husband to read your article as well and then we decided to start a “Family and Individual Dreams & Goals” meeting, as you’ve suggested. We just booked ourselves in a nearby hotel (as it’s not safe for out of town trips due to winter conditions) one weekend in January, which also coincided with the Family Day long weekend here. It was great! The kids actually said “We’ll do this again next year”.
BTW, I also like your articles regarding personal finance. I’m a DIY investor both here and there in the Philippines. I’m planning to let my older ones read your current article Lesson From EDSA Applicable to Personal Finance.
Again, thanks a lot. More power!
2. From a father in Cambodia
Finally, I found articles that deal with investments explained simply. The first time I read your column, I was delighted. I even copied your link and pasted it on my wife’s and my colleagues’ Viber accounts here in Cambodia.
I plan to invest in Equity Funds for our four kids’ future. I will recommend your book to my friends. Also, can you recommend other books to enlighten my kids on financial investments?
Thank you and more power to your informative articles.
3. From a Female OFW
I always read your articles and I find them so interesting and very informative.
Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. I’m an OFW and your articles really help me a lot to understand the importance of savings, how to prepare for my retirement and where to invest my hard earned money. Right now my money is only in savings and other cash deposits but when I go back to the Philippines I’m planning to attend some workshops on investments. I’m particularly interested in mutual funds.
I hope to meet you in person someday. I’m a fan.
Thank you so much.
4. From someone missing her mom
Hi Rose. I found myself teary eyed after reading your article on your mom – Money Lessons from Mommy. It made me realize how much I miss my mom. Nice piece and you have a beautiful mom inside and out.
These are the feedbacks that make it worth all the time I put in writing. It’s both powerful and amazing how people from all over the world can be affected and influenced positively by what you do. I think this is the gift of writing.
Of course, feedbacks from readers are not always as sweet and agreeable as the above. I received one questioning my patriotism because I use images of non-Filipinos in some of my articles. Others disagreed that “Poverty is a mindset,” after reading Why are we poor? (Why are we happy?). Someone said I have a limited perspective because (she thinks) I was born with a silver spoon. Well, I wasn’t but I admit that I have my own perspective. Limited? Of course, that’s why it’s called perspective. It’s a point of view. The thing to remember about feedback is that there are different perspectives out there brought about by different biases, brought about by different upbringing and other circumstances.
Last week I had a meeting with the head of PhilStar.com and I asked why readers’ comments are not automatically posted. She said it’s because there are some rude comments that sometimes hurt the columnists so they have to monitor before posting, but they do post almost all comments.
I’m a relatively new writer and here’s my take on readers’ comments. I spend considerable time writing my articles because I know it’s a privilege to share my thoughts with others. I write about things that I strongly feel about so you always hear my “voice” and even get a sneak peek at who I am as a person. I try my best to construct my pieces in a simple and understandable manner with bits and pieces of new knowledge, sometimes important, sometimes just interesting trivia. I always hope that the time my readers spend with my articles are worth their while. However, I acknowledge that my readers will not always agree with me. I am at peace with that and I’ve taken it as a compliment, “At least I know that my readers are not just limited to my mom, sisters and friends anymore!” I guess that’s what every writer should remember. It’s okay to write about things that are worth fighting over or arguing about. We all learn from the discussions.
I value each feedback considerably. I’ve read so many books and articles that had great impact on me and in most cases even if I wanted to write to the author to express my gratitude, excitement or even my disagreement, oftentimes, I didn’t because I wasn’t willing to devote the time to do so. And knowing this from experience makes me value readers’ feedback even more. Thank you very much for your time reading my pieces and even giving your comments if you find the time. So dear readers, keep your feedback coming, whether sweet or not.