The Man Behind Pesos and Sense: Aya Laraya

Aya Laraya is the host of one of my favorite TV shows Pesos and Sense

Over the years, Philippines has been thriving in poverty, with its economy not having a real direction to what economic development might be. However, it has been recently labeled as a “Rising Tiger of Asia” because of its significant growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate by 6.6%, beating the other countries in Southeast Asia. Right now, economists say that Philippines is already an economically growing nation—and it was thanks to the change, or maybe, the improvement in mindset and determination of some Filipino businessmen. Pesos and Sense, an educational program that seeks to empower Filipinos by teaching them simple and practical knowledge in making independent and wise choices in handling their money, covers a wide range of personal finance and investment topics that usually intimidate the average Filipino: stock market, mutual funds, insurance, and etc. This program advocates for a change of financial mindset for the growth of the financial literacy of the Filipinos, which, albeit targets individual investment, can ensure a wide growth not only in individual money but also, for a lot of investors as well. The idea of pioneering an educational program such as Pesos and Sense belongs to none other than Aya Laraya.

Who is Aya Laraya?

Widely known as an Investment Advocate, Aya Laraya began his career in the field of finance when he made his first investment while he was still in highschool. Setting this as his cornerstone, he pursued his Masters of Business Administation (MBA) from University of Western Australia, where he also enriched his writing skills. His educational success was further enriched when he attained the ranks of being a Certified Securities representative, a Certified Investment Company representative, and as a realtor. Marking his first steps in the industry of stock marketing, Aya Laraya was initially a simple runner for the old Philippine Stock Exchange. Here, he furnished his knowledge and aptitude with the fundamentals of stock market, enabling him to become a licensed stockbroker who also knows the system in other industries such as real estate and banking, as well as mutual funds.

What are his contributions?

Equipped with exceptional knowledge in his chosen industry, Aya Laraya takes part in uplifting the financial literacy of the Filipinos by offering practical advice in determining the most suitable investments for their particular needs. One of his most significant contributions in his line of work is “Aya's Investment Triangle,” a an easy method that aids a person who wishes to start saving and investing determine which investment vehicle is the most compatible for him—knowledge, time, or money. If the person is most knowledgeable about a company's financial standings and gives a full effort in reading news and checking financial documents, then stock investment is the most suitable type of investment. If the person has a lot of free time that he can monitor investments during the scheduled trading hours, and can buy and sell transactions in as real-time as possible, then stock trading or forex trading can be his investment of choice. If the person has the extra money that he can buy properties, he can sell those properties later for a higher price to earn profit; an ability most fit in investing for real-estate properties. If the person can't seem to fit in any of these criteria, he can try investing for mutual funds, since the required investment is only little and a reliable fund manager will handle the transactions.


Aya Laraya's Pesos and Sense also had its show in GMA News TV 11, and was aired during Sunday mornings. Its thirteen episodes discussed personal finance and investments in a simple, approachable, and easy-to-understand way. He continues his advocacy on financial literacy by keeping interviews of highly-reputed business figures such as Bo Sanchez of Anawim and Truly Rich Club, and Edward Lee of CitisecOnline.com in his YouTube channel, PesosAndSense. Aya Laraya continues his advocacy by guesting in different seminars at various institutions and companies, such as Ateneo de Manila University where he taught as a professor, Asian Institute of Management, Chevron, Shell, and HSBC.

Mark Hugh Neri

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