Mark Joseph Fernandez (Contributed photo)
Mark Joseph Fernandez (Contributed photo)

He can help your money grow

BEFORE he reached 30, personal finance geek Mark Joseph Fernandez gained prominence in the finance world through guts and hard work. Young at 32, he is one of most trending popular investors of eToro PH, an international financial services company and platform for copy trading. He is likewise a resource person for stocks, investments and money management. People learn more about how to make money, increase it and deal with taxes through his seminar company, Finance Ph.

Setting his own path which bore long-term, market-beating returns was not easy but Fernandez's innate risk-taking quality enabled him to beat the odds. Born in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental to a farming family, he worked his way at Silliman University while studying accounting. He took a partime job in the library to pay his way through his education. The library's study atmosphere cultivated his desire for continuous learning.

When he went to Manila to take up the board exams in accounting, his parents lent him money to pay for his reviews and accommodations. While waiting for the exam results, he looked a job at a prominent financial services company in 2009. There was no vacancy for an entry level position but there was an opening for a financial advisor. Without any knowledge of what it entailed, Fernandez bravely applied and learned on the job. It as his back-up occupation in case he failed the board exams.

Fortunately, after being certified as a public accountant, he was employed as an auditor at a major auditing firm.

Being an extrovert, Fernandez found the auditor job as routinary and felt more fulfilled as a financial advisor. "I get to know people's problems like how to save; how protect themselves if they get sick; how to pay for estate taxes and I help find solutions for them," he explains.

After six months as an auditor, he focused on being a financial advisor despite the disapproval from his father, who wanted him to be an accountant. Fernandez sought to prove that he would succeed by starting with a modest client base. He started with secretaries and security guards, who in turn, introduced him to their bosses and employers. These executives and entrepreneurs started investing small amounts in stocks and managed funds. When they were earning well, based on Fernandez's recommendations, these clients increased their investments. "They became more confident because they were given proper advice," he says. Confident with Fernandez's skills, they introduced him to high-net worth individuals.

Through the years, Fernandez became a sought-after speaker who has lectured at the Senate and appeared on TV business shows. His parents are proud of his success even without expressing it.

Fernandez likewise became the youngest member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), a global trade association of insurance brokers and financial advisors. Upon reaching a substantial income level, he was qualified to attend major conventions in the United States and Canada.

On his tenth year with MDRT, Fernandez gained the Top of the Table status. This sets him as one of the top professionals in the international financial services industry.

Fernandez says MDRT opened his eyes to the realities of the stock market and economics that he pursued these interests. "The stock market can give you more income than putting money in t he bank or running a business without the headaches of operations," he says.

Fernandez shares his insights through his website wherein he popularized copy trading. This is a platform which allows a beginner trader to duplicate a popular investor's stock market trade. He notes that "popular investor" is a jargon for a savvy and seasoned investor who produces a hefty level of income. "Inexperienced ones don't like to buy stocks on their own. They would rather copy a popular investor so they can also earn the same returns as the experienced investor," says Fernandez, who is one of the most copied popular investors in eToroPH.

His investment style is to aim for medium risks. "I go for stocks of companies that have a stable net income and minimal debt. Ideally, these stocks should be paying out regular dividends so that there will be two sources of income: from increase in stock price and from dividend payouts."

Asked about his best investment, Fernandez waxes philosophical. "My knowledge. I regularly attend training programs and seminars and go to other countries to learn what's new."

He cites his biggest contribution is in helping over 100 employees from his different companies ranging from insurance agency, IT company, seminar business and copy trading. "Our goal is to provide more employment opportunities to the less privileged and people in far-flung areas who can work remotely. This year, we hired one PWD to increase the opportunity for people who deserve jobs," says Fernandez

Keeping himself productive, Fernandez gathered friends to venture into conducting lecture series on accounting, taxation, stock market and other money matters. "It was a way for us to educate people and give back because we sometimes conduct free seminars," he says.

The endeavor evolved into Finance PH, a seminar company which has a developed a FB following 140,000 since its inception in 2014. The company has attracted a loyal following that believes in the credibility of its speakers. "With a promo fee of P499 or less for group purchases, you learn about stock market investment, apply what you've learned and make your money grow, you would have recovered from what you paid for."

In 2017, he and his wife, Mica, formed a company, Aetos, which provides financial advisory and wealth management.

"I love my job because I can help people to improve their personal and business finances," says Fernandez. (PR)

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