Why Such a Portfolio (Part 2)

In my previous post, I started writing about the reasons why I have such a lineup of portfolio. I’ve written about Jollibee Foods Corp. (PSE: JFC) and Cebu Pacific Air (PSE: CEB). In this post, I will briefly touch on Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. (PSE: VLL) and San Miguel Corp. (PSE: SMC).

VLL

I purchased VLL because, first and foremost, I live in one of the projects under Crown Asia, a VLL company.

When we acquired the property in 2007, the price is PhP2.7 million. The funny thing is that, according to the agent, if we will not reserve the property within the week (second week of June, to be exact), its next price will already be PhP3.2 million in the following week (he said we will save PhP500,000 if we sign on that day and pay the reservation fee of PhP40,000.00).

People might say that that is one of the most stupid sales pitches that one could fall for. However, we still did go for it, and we didn’t really consider it stupid. What we considered is the location. The subdivision is 30min away from Manila; 20min away from Muntinlupa (Loob, literally, because the wife’s dad is a commander of the prison guards); 20min away from Imus, where our good aunt and granny lives; 15min away from Alabang (especially Town Center and Festival Supermall); and 10min away from 15min away from SM Molino (where the groceries are done). It is along Daang Hari, so travelling is comfortable as well.

Correct me if I am wrong, but from where I came from, having your own house, or home actually, is something of a symbol. Not really of status, but of how much you have persevered and worked hard. Having your own house is having something of a legacy to leave to your children and grandchildren. A generation or two later, your house will be the “ancestral house” of the family or “clan”.

Although our house and lot, rather, home sweet home, may appear pricey at the time, do you know how much that unit – and it is the smallest model/unit in the subdivision – is right now? Close to PhP5 million. Really.

I can’t really explain why the value of a house and lot there will jump that much in just about five years. But I can try with a layman’s reasoning. One of our country’s many resources is the workforce – a combination of professionals and highly skilled workers. And there are a whole lot of them abroad.

One of the main thoughts of these people, after working so long away from home, is coming back to retire. And where should they do it? In their own place. Their home. Something that they can proudly say as one of the fruits of their labor.

And so there we have it. As simple as that. Our hundreds of thousands of OFWs will either buy a house for their family if they plan on retiring in the Philippines, or buy a house so that they have a place to call their home every time they go back for a vacation.

In fact, more than two years after we moved into our home, the Phase 2 of the subdivision started. And that’s only in our area. Along DaangHari, subdivisions after subdivisions are emerging. Unit acquisitions (if that is the right real-estate lingo) are also ramping up. A development comparable to Ayala Land Inc.’s (PSE: ALI) Nuvali is also set to happen in our area.

And majority of these developments are under VLL. Which is why apart from having a property under VLL, I have also acquired some stocks of the company. I acquired 1,000 shares in 5 October 2011 at PhP2.90 per share. As of 27 February 2012, a stock costs PhP3.75 – a cool 29% gain so far (if not for the selling that I think has been happening due to recent gains in the market, this might have been more than 30%). Well, I am into long, actually. I am just waiting for the right time to buy some shares again. But just imagine how much its worth will be two to three years from now.

SMC

I bought SMC because it is something that symbolizes being a Filipino. San Miguel, without thought, is the beer [San Miguel beer (SMB)] that everyone knows. Of course SMC is far greater than that. But for most of the Filipinos, that is the basic piece of it. And beer means merry making or partying. And that is truly Filipino – at least the part that is being happy all the time: through thick and thin, through adversaries and challenges.

Quite simply, there are no parties without “inuman”. And there’s no “inuman” without SMB. I, for one, am friends with San Mig Light. It might sound a bit off, though, but actually, even a priest, who is a childhood friend, agrees that a beer or two a day is not bad.

But I didn’t buy SMC for its beer brand, as I’ve said. I bought it for everything that SMC is. My kid loves Pure Foods Hotdogs and Magnolia Chocolait.

We also favor Magnolia chicken or Monterey brand of meat. At every party where San Miguel beer is found, one of the deserts will always be Magnolia Ice Cream.

Not only that: San Miguel is also present in fuel and oil – SMC has a stake in Petron Corp. (PSE: PCOR) – infrastructure, power and energy, mining, telecom, banking, and properties.

For more than 120 years, the company has been providing its services for the country. It is tradition. It is Filipino.

And I am proud to have a piece, and “share”, of it.

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