If you remember your Philippine History classes, you know that Jose Rizal lived a frugal life while he was studying in Europe. He had to cut down his spending on food and clothing and walked long miles so that he could save up for his studies and for the printing of his books.
He had his goals set.
But did our “National Hero” invest his money on an instrument for it to grow further?
The Philippine Stock Exchange has not been established during his time. Not even the Manila Stock Exchange.
But regardless if he invested or not, he definitely saved his money in the bank.
Which Bank Did Rizal Keep His Money In?
According to the “The General Banking Law Annotated: Book 2″ published by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), these are the following active banks during the later Spanish colonial years:
1. Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC)
2. Banco Peninsular Ultamarino (Spanish bank)
3. El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel (Bank of Philippine Islands or BPI today)
4. Monte de Piedad
5. Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China (now known as Standard Chartered Bank)
Which among the 5 banks Jose Rizal chose to keep his allowances?
The answer is in the book called “One Hundred Letters of Jose Rizal to his Parents, Brothers, Sisters, Relatives”, saying that Rizal wrote his parents while he was in Paris and gave them specific instructions on where and how to send the money:
(Paris, January 1, 1886 – Boulevard Arago 65)
“I received a draft of $200 which when collected in francs gave me only 192, so 4% is lost. With more reason I repeat to you now what I have told. If you are to send me money do it by the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China (Standard Chartered Bank) which is very much better.”
Lifestyle in Paris must have been very tempting for our national hero and I assume he was not the kind of person who withdrew all his money from his account whenever he received some from his parents. For sure he always kept a good little sum in his Standard Chartered bank account for emergency purposes.
Did Jose Rizal Invest?
As I mentioned earlier, there was no stock market yet in the Philippines then. Investment products were not that popular yet for the ordinary bank client. Comment below if I’m wrong.
So where did our national hero invest his money?
When Rizal was on exile in Dapitan, it was said that he loved agriculture (and lottery) very much.
According to “Rizal in Dapitan“:
The mail boat, Butuan, brought no Spanish officials but the happy tidings that the Lottery Ticket No. 9736 jointly owned by Captain Carnicero, Dr. Rizal, and Francisco Equilor (Spanish resident of Dipolog, a neighboring town of Dapitan) won the second prize of P20,000 in the government-owned Manila Lottery.
Rizal’s share of the winning lottery ticket was PHP6,200.00. Upon receiving this sum, he gave PHP2,000.00 to his father and PHP200.00 to his friend Basamin Hong Kong, and the rest (PHP4,000) he invested well by purchasing agricultural lands along the coast of Talisay, about one kilometer away from Dapitan.
Out of PHP6,200, he invested the 65% or PHP4,000 of his lottery winnings on real estate (agricultural lands). He believed that agriculture was the way for a Filipino to achieve progress and to earn more money back then.
I know, I shouldn’t advocate any form of illegal gambling. But in this case, we can learn some things from Jose Rizal. Apart from his addiction to the lottery.
- Don’t waste money, regardless if it’s from your lotto winnings or from your Christmas bonuses. Invest it. Grow it.
- Don’t spend beyond your means.
- Live a simple and frugal life.
Our national hero is also a personal finance advocate.
Thank you Ninang Ann (Angala-Shy) for this Jose Rizal ref magnet from Kultura Filipino.
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P.S. 2. Visit the Philippine Red Cross site to donate whatever amount you can for the victims of typhoons “Pablo” and “Quinta” in the Philippines.