I am big on CMM (Childhood Money Memory). I believe that in order to have a high FQ, it is important to understand our relationship with money and this entails going down our childhood money memory lane.
In this CMM Series, I will be sharing with you interesting childhood stories of different people. For today, it is that of Wilson Sy, also known as the “Warren Buffett of the Philippines.”
Three years ago, I had the opportunity to have an in-depth interview with Wilson at his office shortly after the launch of his book An Opportunity of a Lifetime. Among the things that he shared with me were stories of his childhood in Carriedo.
Wilson is the oldest among four children. They lived above the the department store run by his parents called Carson City Bazaar. They sold soap, toothpaste, perfume, and other items, and he often found himself sleeping beside boxes of Johnson’s baby powder, soap and other merchandise for sale.
He learned about the value of money very early in life as he shared, “You sell one piece of soap, you earn one, five or ten centavos, depending on the merchandise. Money was not that easy to make. To make more money, you have to sell a lot more. You have to work really hard, no time for gallivanting.”
Wilson studied at Xavier School and he considered his family belonging to the middle or lower middle class. He helped out in the shop, and that’s where he would do his homework. During the holidays, while his classmates would already be on vacation, he would still be working until 11 pm on Christmas eve.
He recalled a story about his supposed first trip abroad, “In 1969 or 1970 I was scheduled to join a school trip to Japan. I was excited for it was going to be my first trip abroad. Unfortunately, our store got burned and we lost everything. Of course, I didn’t join the trip anymore.”
This misfortune also gave him a lesson on trustworthiness, “It was a traumatic experience to lose everything in the fire. Fortunately, we were able to start again because our suppliers knew that my parents were trustworthy people who would not run away from their debt.”
Wilson recalled how his mother tried her best to give them the things they wanted.
Being the oldest child, he felt the responsibility of helping his parents. He also played his role as the dutiful son who studied well in school, “In Xavier, I was among the top in my batch. I graduated with honors. My groupmates and I used to be called the ‘nerds’ but we were not totally nerds because we also played basketball and were also into music. My mother wanted me to be a doctor. As far as my childhood ambition was concerned, I knew I wanted to be rich so I could give my family a comfortable life. Our high school guidance counsellor suggested that I take up Management Engineering in Ateneo and I did, together with some friends. Mangiyak-ngiyak kami sa hirap! I wanted to shift pero kahiyaan na lang. My grades were not so high but I finished the course in 1975.”
Wilson was lucky to have found his passion and calling early on in his life. From a summer job at Multinational Investment Bancorporation, to Bancom after graduation, to Barcelon Roxas Securities, to his own – Wealth Securities and Philequity, that made him earn the title “Warren Buffett of the Philippines.” Listening to him talk about the market allows you to experience his exciting and successful ride since 1975.
The childhood money memory of Wilson taught him lessons on the value of hard work, something he brought with him into his adult life, allowing him to fulfill his childhood dream to become rich! To hear the childhood money memory straight from Wilson, watch him share it at the FQ Book launch held last month.
(If you want to read my in-depth interview with Wilson Sy, click link.)
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- I wish to thank everyone who purchased my latest book FQ: The nth Intelligence. If you’re interested to see what’s inside the book watch this FQ Book Preview
You may now purchase the book in major bookstores, or if you want autographed copies, please go to FQ Mom FB page (click SHOP), or FQMom.com (click BOOKS), or email us at FQMomm@gmail.com
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Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom. She is a Behavioral Economist, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook & YouTube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom. Her latest book is FQ: The nth Intelligence.
ATTRIBUTIONS: Thanks to Kevin and Darlene Sy for providing the young Wilson Sy photos. Adult Wilson Sy photo from WilsonSy.com. To read the entire in-depth interview with Wilson Sy, click – https://fqmom.com/unraveling-the-heart-and-soul-of-philequity-fund-wilson-sys-story-and-book-launch/