Allianz Guru Series by Henry Yang: One Punch Man’s Workout and Building Up To Your Retirement

Have you watched One Punch Man (it’s an anime series and to be honest, I only watched the first episode), but the short version of it is that he’s a hero who is so strong he defeats his opponents with literally one punch. His secret for that strength is his workout routine – 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats and 10km running, every single day! I’m feeling fitness fanatics already cringing with the lack of rest days, training phases, variation of movement and other issues with this workout (the show is a satire and parody of the superhero genre, anyway) but for the benefit of our discussion, we will focus on the value of daily habits and its underestimated impact over time. 

Hmm. Maybe connecting this anime to achieving our financial goals is a tall order. But let’s give it a try.

There’s a good chance that you’re a coffee drinker. In 2020, Filipinos consumed about 198 million kgs of coffee according to Statista, that’s about 1.8kg per person for the year! One of my favorite drinks is Starbuck’s Caramel Macchiato. Let’s say we drink a Tall order (Php165) of this drink every working day:

20 working days x Php165 = Php3,300 per month! (for some people, this is just a small amount. I had an officemate before who would drink a venti, 20 ounces, every day. On days that he’s stressed – which is almost every other day--he would drink 2 or 3 of those! Maybe one thing we should also consider is a healthier and cheaper way to deal with stress. If you’re like this guy, I suggest you try guided meditations; just search for those videos on Youtube.)

What if we still order from Starbucks, but instead of lining up and ordering every time, let’s just buy their house blend medium roast whole bean which is at Php525 for every 250g pack? With a typical serving of 7g per cup, that is already more than enough for a whole working month.  You can buy a French press for below Php500 and that will make you seem sophisticated as you “brew” your own coffee at your desk. (You also avoid fats and sugar!). Let’s take a look how much is saved with this move:

In a month, that’s savings worth Php2,750.

In a year, that’s about Php33,000.

In 5 years, that leaner coffee habit will already build up to Php165,000.

In 20 years, that’s Php 660,000!

(we’re not including inflation to simplify our example)

But wait! That’s the savings portion. That’s only the equivalent of One Punch Man’s bodyweight workout. There’s still the daily cardio. Just like our bodies, which will have better resilience if we train both strength and cardio, these savings can be put to higher growth if you invest them! 

Let’s take the middle road and invest in a moderate risk position. In the long run, it’s highly possible for that investment to have annual returns of about 5%. For the sake of simplicity, let’s not talk about volatility for now- we will tackle that in a separate blog entry.

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My experience in school (or maybe it was just my bad study habits, shame on me) programmed me to cram as any deadline approaches. We tend to overestimate what we can achieve in a day or two but we severely underestimate what can be done with consistent effort. The example we discussed only focused on coffee, but as smart readers, I’m sure you will be able to apply it to other areas of your life. Building up our savings, especially for retirement, is something that is very hard to do in a very short timeframe. But with the power of consistency and discipline over a long period of time, the possibility of achieving our financial goals and dreams can turn into reality.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This document is for general information purposes only. It is not an investment advice and does not constitute any offer, or a solicitation to buy or sell any investment product. Further, any opinion stated by the author does not necessarily reflect the position of Allianz PNB Life.
Head of Investments
Henry Yang is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) holder and a graduate of the University of the Philippines with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He spent the initial years of his career in building maintenance, electrical design and installation of construction projects, and teaching engineering. Later, he pursued his Master's in Business Management from the University of the Philippines - Los Baños as well as held investment-related roles at a top local bank, a U.S.-based investment company, and a global insurance competitor. Currently, he serves as the Head of Investments at Allianz PNB Life Insurance, Inc.