Randell Tiongson is a multi-hyphenate in the field of finance. He has twenty-five years’ experience in banking, financial planning, and management consultancy.
He is the Author of three bestselling books (No Nonsense Personal Finance: A Step by Step Guide; Money Manifesto: Lessons in Personal Finance; Everyday Moneyfesto: 365 Days of No Nonsense Personal Advice) and co-author of another bestselling book (Money Matters, with Efren Cruz and Henry Ong, published by Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI).
His column, “Money Matters,” for the PDI which comes out twice a month has been running for more than five years and has been nominated three times for the Catholic Mass Media Awards. He also writes for MoneySense Magazine which named him as one of the 12 Most Influential People in Personal Finance.
Randell is a local and international Speaker. He is asked to speak at different educational institutions (like the Asian Institute of Management, Ateneo, De La Salle, Mapua University, University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University, Miriam College, etc.); at Top 500 corporations; churches, and other organisations.
He is a Financial Coach; Trainer; TV Resource Person for shows like TV Patrol, Bandila, 700 Club Asia, Mornings at ANC, Shoptalk, Business Nightly, Failon Ngayon, On the Money, Umagang Kay Ganda, Unang Hirit, Aksyon TV, and News to Go among others; Director of the Registered Financial Planner Institute Philippines, advocate of financial education for Overseas Filipino Workers.
Randell is loving husband to the beautiful Mia Mapa Tiongson (for twenty-five years and counting), and has four children. His second daughter is currently training to be a campus missionary.
Last July 29 at the Nick Vujicic afternoon event, Limitless Possibilities, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum , I had the blessing of seeing Randell backstage. He, Mr. Andrew Liuson, and Chinkee Tan with Karen Davila were the front act about Finance before Nick came onstage.
Bless his heart, Randell cheerfully agreed to an on-the-spot interview. Here is that chat:
BUTTERFLYINTHESPRING (BITS): Why do you do what you do?
RANDELL TIONGSON (RT): I saw a need to really educate Filipinos. By nature, Filipinos are not well-versed when it comes to money. A lot of us have wrong money behaviours and a lot of us are susceptible to scams and wrong financial decisions… I believe that this is a calling for me to be able to go out in the advocacy and at the same time in ministry as well.
BITS: What inspired you to get into this kind of (work)/ ministry?
RT: I grew up in the financial service industry from Banking to Mutual Funds to Insurance companies so this is really what I do. I’m a Finance person. I think it’s really my exposure to the churches and the plight of other people. I’ve been giving counsel to a lot of people. I felt I would like to do this on a full-time basis.
BITS: Are there real life stories of lives that have changed…?
RT: A lot. The advantage with social media is I get a lot of updates. There are a lot of people who in a way got out of debt or were able to recover from a scam or changed their lives on the way they handled their money. I’ve seen a lot of these changes and even stories of reconciliation between couples and parents fighting about money. There’s a lot of stories to encourage me to do what I’m doing right now.
BITS: Whats the most challenging thing about your work/ministry?
RT: The problem is Filipinos by nature—a lot of them— don’t want to talk about money; a lot of people have greed issues or ignorance issues. We’re not so used to things about money so that becomes a problem. It’s still a niche, a few people, that we can tap into.
BITS: So part of the problem is because people refuse to address the matter?
RT: It’s a social/behavioral issue. We weren’t really trained and brought up about (money). Even the middle class has that problem also.
BITS: How early is it ideal to educate kids about this (money)?
RT: You want to teach kids as young (as possible) but you want to contextualise… like the concept of savings or giving is something that you can teach a young kid say six or seven years old. They can now understand that concept so it’s a good thing to start them off that way.
BITS: So do you actually talk to all these ranges of ages?
RT: Not so much. I go High School and up. Some people are really good at talking to kids. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. I do well with the Millennials or colleges students. These are the type of people who read my stuff and attend my seminars.
BITS: What’s the most fulfilling part of your ministry?
RT: I see the changes. At the end of the day, because of what I’ve done, I’ve led a lot of people to the Lord… that alone is enough reason for me to continue doing it.
BITS: How do you sustain your ministry, day in and day out?
RT: I have to do a lot of work. My work allows or finances me to do my ministry. Let’s say I go to a place, I do some work there. At the same time, I connect with churches or groups so at the same time I do my ministry. It has to have that balance. I still have to feed my family and earn a living. But it’s allowed me to do my ministry at the same time.
BITS: How much does “alone time with God” play in your work/ ministry?
RT: That has to be there all the time. Sometimes I do (quiet time) in the morning and sometimes at night or in between the day. There’s no formula for me… I…spread (my alone time with God) over the day… (while) driving, in the airplane, before you sleep, as you wake up. That’s pretty much what I do: short bursts throughout the day.
BITS: I heard that when somebody wants to get you (for a speaking engagement), you have to also have your wife with you.
RT: I want to protect my family… all these things…and it’s hard for me to travel alone, in most cases, my wife travels with me. Sometimes when she’s also busy, a member of my family or my assistant will go with me. I never travel alone.
BITS: Would you encourage other speakers to do the same?
RT: Yes. That’s something Francis Kong advised me to do. You wanna protect yourself. I’m not good looking but when you have the microphone and when you’re speaking, people get this idea thatI have so much money.. I talk about money… It’s just an issue of wisdom.
BITS: You’re considered a great mentor but do you have your own mentor?
RT: Yes. Up to now I still have my mentors. My pastors, Francis Kong, Chinkee, all these friends. I have mentors from different (walks of life)… some of them are CEO’s, some of them are big men but they always wanna be able to teach me as well.
BITS: What is your greatest accomplishment thus far?
RT: Surrendering my life to Jesus.
BITS: Wonderful. Would you like to share a message in general for those who are interested in finance?
RT: First of all, visit my website, www.randelltiongson.com. Facebook, Instragram, and Twitter. Also, you wanna be able to prioritise stewardship. At the end of the day, everything is the Lord’s and in God’s economy, there are no recessions.
One of the UCC 2010 Vision Planner’s “Beacons of Change,” Randell lives up to his calling heralding positive change in the field of finance.
Lord, the gift of financial literacy and teaching You gave Randell is blessing a host of people in many countries. For lives to be changed, restoration to come about, drastic mistakes avoided because people are mentored towards wisdom in handling money, that is awesome! May You continue to use, enable, protect, favour him (and his family) mightily as he uses his gifts and life to serve You in Your name amen.