THE NUMBER of young Filipino investors has been growing since the coronavirus pandemic as they now recognize the importance of ensuring they can meet their future financial needs, Manulife Investment Management and Trust Corp. (Manulife IM Philippines) said. 

“Because of the pandemic, the number of our young investors, the millennials and Gen Zs, actually nearly doubled since March 2020,” Manulife IM Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Aira Gaspar said in an interview on Oct. 14.

Ms. Gaspar said 48% of their agency channel’s client base are younger generations as of September. Inclusive of direct and broker clients, millennials accounted for 50% of their customers. 

The firm’s assets under management (AUM) also grew by 325% over that period on the back of its expanding client base, outpacing its agency channel’s AUM growth rate of 300%.

“This experience of ours actually dovetails with the study that was done by Manulife on understanding the behavior of Gen Ys and Zs. In that study, we actually found out that the pandemic has somehow accelerated the financial adulting of the young Filipinos included in that survey,” Ms. Gaspar said. 

“Some of them lost their jobs or experienced reduction in the total family income because of the pandemic-induced economic disruption. So, the pandemic has caused a shift in their behavior that puts savings, investing, and necessities, in their priorities,” she added.

Ms. Gaspar said it is never too early to start investing since a lot of professionally managed funds can be accessed at affordable amounts. 

“Our goal is to make investment solutions very affordable to young investors,” she said, adding that their money market fund can be accessed for as low as P1,000 and their offshore funds can be tapped for as low as P5,000 or $100. 

She added that Manulife IM Philippines has also been holding webinars and virtual learning sessions to help investors rebalance and diversify their portfolios.

“Financial education is really important as it empowers individuals to make informed financial choices that can help them meet their current needs, as well as their long-term financial goals,” Ms. Gaspar said. — Keisha B. Ta-asan