At 24, Rafael Zialcita, or "Kito" as he known, is already speeding ahead career-wise as a hotshot insurance and finance adviser with Manulife. As early as now, he's already reached the Presidential division in his company, having been awarded repeatedly for excellence in meeting targets. He raises a banner for financial independence among local youth and bears a lifelong goal to help people become more secure and confident in investing financially. To Kito, it's all about helping people realize that laying the groundwork for a more covered future affords you more peace and security in the long run.
You know the saying, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?" What's cool about Kito is he works hard but in turn makes time to live a full, fun, and active life.
The former De La Salle University Swim varsity captain could have gone down many different career paths as a millenial prone to succeed in other fields. However, choosing financial service as a career and being down-to-earth enough to even be mentored by his mom has certainly borne fruit in Kito's life.
How did you decide to get into insurance, having been a student-athlete before?
"Ever since I was young, I wanted to be a pilot because a pilot earns well and gets to travel the world. However, a pilot is sort of at the mercy of a certain type of schedule. As outgoing as I am, personally I didn't think I could commit to that type of lifestyle. I saw how my mom was living her life as an insurance agent, earning good money, and traveling around the world because of incentive trips. At the same time, she was in all my school's extra curricular activities. I told myself that I wanted to have a life just like my mom after observing how she lived. My course was BS Entrepreneurship, so I can actually pretty much say that what I do now is comparable to having my own business. I'm in the business of helping people reach their financial goals in life."
Many millenials would rather carve out a path that's "their own" far removed from what their parents are doing. What was your mindset when you chose to work as a rookie insurance agent alongside your mother?
"My mom is my finance mentor and leader but she is not my boss. She taught me how to be the best financial adviser I can be but how I choose to deliver is still really up to me. I have my own clients to help and she has her own clients to attend to as well. She gets her own commission and I get my own commission. We are commission based in terms of income, no base salary, so basically if I don't work I don't earn. Done are the days of going to mom to ask for money. It's my turn to hustle for my needs and wants."
What's the most common financial mistake you feel that new graduates make as soon as they enter their first job?
"I believe the most common financial mistake new graduates make when they get their first job is they spend all and save later. I understand that it feels really good to earn your own money but at least try to save 10%-20%."
Give us a throwback story of a simple financial booboo you made once upon a time that you'd never want to repeat?
"I think the one and only financial booboo I made was when I entered the stock market without knowing anything about the market. Later on because of that I lost some money but not an amount that hurt too much. It was a learning experience."
What are the most common misconceptions regarding income that cripple young adults and prevent them from investing early?
"A lot of millennials have a common mindset of 'spend now and save later' because we believe we are still young and we have a long life to live anyway. They are also not aware of where to invest their money for compounding interest to play its part. "
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In a few words, what would Kito tell a fresh graduate who just earned his first salary?
"Think of how much you will save first before thinking about what you might spend it on next."
What was one way your parents practiced being good financial examples to you while you were growing up?
"They always kept track of their expenses and they explained to us what the difference is between a need and a want."
If a person isn't earning much at the moment at the very least, what type of savings or insurance plan should they prioritize before anything else?
"I suggest that they set aside 10% - 20% of their gross income for their bank savings and another 10% - 20% of their gross income for an investment/insurance plan."
We'd like basic cashflow tips personally from Kito Zialcita! What are your five best?
"One: Budget your money wisely everyday. Two: Save as much as you can while you are young because you'll need it in the future. Three: Dont spend more than you make. Four: It's not what you earn, it's what you save. Five: Take advantage of your youth, start investing and make your money work for you."
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Photos from: Instagram.com/kitokitsss