Allianz Guru Series by Henry Yang: 4 Habits That Pay Off Huge Dividends

In the action movie “Kingsman,” a memorable quote says “Manners maketh man.” I believe though that instead of manners, the more accurate term would be habits. How often do you automatically order the same thing whenever you go to a coffee shop or a restaurant? Do you notice checking the same apps whenever you light up your smartphone first thing in the morning? A huge chunk of what you do are born from habits, whether you are aware or unaware of them.

As habits are actions that we perform regularly, usually with no hesitation or even procrastination — paying attention to building good habits will help us improve our lives significantly. Here are some ideas on programs that we should embed in our system.


1.      Regular Exercise

Gyms are usually full in January as people would usually have this on their resolutions’ list. Physical activity not only helps you become more fit and look good, it can also make you feel good, boost your brainpower, and allow you to live a longer life.

Exercise doesn’t mean just going to the gym. Why not revisit sports that you enjoyed in the past or trying out activities that you’ve been meaning to do? Exercise can also be as fun as joining your friends in their workout routine.


2.      Time Management

No matter who you are or where you are, the number of available time in a day is practically the same. Let’s not go into the arguments of polyphasic sleep (the idea that instead of having a full good night’s sleep, you’d have multiple shorter naps at daytime) as it has been tested false.

To effectively manage your time, define your goals and priorities. Schedule essential activities first and put them into a calendar that you can regularly check and track. Learn how to say “no” to avoid putting a lot of energy and time into activities that are not aligned with your top priorities.


3.      Self-Learning

Learning new skills and developing one’s knowledge has never been easier with the availability of information at your fingertips. Decades ago, if you wanted to find the recipe for a carrot cake, it’s either you turn to your parents’ cookbook or visit a library to get the material. Nowadays, you can even watch video tutorials and rely on consumer reviews.

Pick a priority skill that you’d want to develop. Schedule your self-learning sessions (see time management above). Find a resource — can be a website, video, book, group class, or mentor. Finally, apply and practice what you learn, and seek feedback so that you would know what adjustments can be done. Rinse and repeat like any of your habits!


4.      Building Financial Fitness

Financial fitness is the ability and discipline to effectively manage your finances to make sound decisions. To achieve this, firstly, you have to build the right mindset about money with a long-term plan. Secondly, create a budget to carve out regular savings. Find investments where these savings can grow in time.

Last but not the least, have adequate insurance like the Allianz Shield so you can protect yourself and your loved ones. This regular-pay, unit-linked insurance plan safeguards you from financial stress during the most difficult times.


In summary, good habits can contribute to personal and professional success, health, and wellbeing. And the same principle applies even to your financial strategy. Start small, track your progress, and value consistency instead of expecting huge results right away. It may take some effort and commitment in developing these habits. But the long-term benefits are well worth it!

Head of Investments

Henry is a graduate of University of the Philippines for Electrical Engineering - the first few years of his career are in building maintenance, electrical design and installations for construction projects and even teaching engineering to the next generation. Afterwards he took his Masters in Business Management also from UP Los Banos and worked at various investment-related roles from a top local bank, a US-based investment company and a global insurance competitor. He is also a CFA Charterholder. 

Currently, he is the Allianz PNB Life Head of Investments.