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Hi, I’m Emelito Torres. I was just like everyone else. I was told to do good at school, get a job and help out the family. No one ever told me if there was a way out of the rat race.

Until I discovered investing.

I started investing several years back, thinking I knew more than enough to know my way around. I have been happily setting aside a part of my salary every month, gleefully reviewing the rise of my portfolio. I also joined a start-up company together with some friends.

When disaster struck. My brother died, and the hospital bills run into six-digits.

I divested everything, all of my investments. I pulled out from the business. I took in debts that I would have never thought of doing if the circumstances were different. It was also humbling that I found myself asking for aid from government agencies.

For the next few years, I did not want to go back investing again. It was stinging to realize that what I knew back then was not enough, that life can threw some nasty stuff at me and shake everything up that led me back to where I started. Which, financially-speaking, was to go back to square one.

I learned a lot from that experience. I learned that I needed to be taught. That it is okay to ask questions. To be the stupidest person in the room.

I joined financial seminars and organizations. I read books about managing money. I took everything in, even when what I have learned seem to be in conflict with what people are saying. I got hired as financial strategist for an international company. Though short my stint was, it opened my eyes to the universality of personal finance.

That’s why I decided to be a financial advocate. I don’t want to see my mistakes repeated in other people. And I also don’t want to see people working all their life, and losing their sense of self in the end.

I lost a lot. And I gained a lot more in life. This is what PESOLAB is all about.