Philippine Stock Market Slowly Bouncing Back

By: Martin Luigi Lagustan

Turning your RFO house and lot into a rental property is a smart investment if you want passive income. But lately, the Philippine stock market has been improving, which may get you thinking that maybe you should find more ways to invest. 

In this article, we’ll show you the latest news about the Philippine stock market, the best trading platforms you can use, and how to choose the right platform for you.

Philippine Stock Exchange index up by 0.73% 

Last October 4, 2022, The Manila Times reported that the benchmark index in the local market rose 42.08 points, or 0.73 percent, to finish at 5,783.15. According to Philstocks Financial Research and Engagement Officer, Mikhail Plopenio, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) traded in the red zone for the majority of the day but managed to bounce back. Because of this, the PSEI has managed to stay above the 5,700 mark, which had previously served as its immediate support.

According to Plopenio, investors were delighted by the narrower budget deficit for the month of August and the rise of the universal and commercial bank loans, both of which contributed to the day’s favorable close.

The improved data on the Philippine manufacturing PMI, which increased to 52.9, led to a correction higher in the PSEi. According to the Chief Economist of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), Michael Ricafort, after the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was among the highest levels seen in any three consecutive months 

Meanwhile, Luis Limlingan, Managing Director of Regina Capital Development Corp., explains that investors who were betting that global central bankers would intervene to control inflation and ensure growth would not falter purchased up Philippine shares at the end of the trading day. 

If you invest in stocks, you might have heard that weak trading was a result of investors staying on the sidelines due to ongoing headwinds such as the Peso’s weakening and recession fears.

The P3.73 billion in net value traded was much lower than the P6.19 billion monthly average for this year so far. 

Holding companies led the pack in growth, up 1.07 percent, while mining and oil lagged, down 1.37 percent. The number of declining stocks outnumbered the number of rising ones by 139 to 51, with 43 holding steady.

With that, aside from turning your RFO house and lot into an investment machine, you might want to diversify your portfolio and start investing in the stock market and stock mutual funds as well.

Top Online Investment Platforms in the Philippines

Investing in just one thing, like your RFO house and lot, is not the smartest way to invest. You need to make sure that your investment portfolio is diversified in order to ensure that you have different income sources entering your bank account regularly

Since we are discussing the topic of stock trading, a good place to start would be to find out which financial institution platform you should utilize to get your online investing business off the ground or add to your stock portfolio.

1. COL Financial

COL Financial Group, Inc., which was originally known as CitisecOnline, is considered to be one of the most successful and well-known online stock brokers in the Philippines.

Since its founding in 1999, COL Financial has provided Filipinos with an online trading platform that makes stock market investing convenient as well as within their financial means.

COL Financial is an online platform that is designed to be user-friendly for novice stock investors. This platform not only enables users to buy or sell stocks on the Philippine stock market, but it also provides them with the tools, knowledge, and up-to-date information they need to make intelligent decisions regarding their stock investments. Some of its online trading and information services include:

  • Trades executed in real-time
  • Access to real-time stock quotes in addition to other statistics regarding the market
  • Online monitoring system for portfolios
  • Online order placement and processing that is fully automated
  • The price charting program and Ticker system display
  • Research reports on the stocks and commentary on the market

Their requirements are also simple. You can submit your requirements and open an account through their website. All you need are:

  • 1 valid government ID with a clear photo and signature
  • Philippine bank account details
  • Philippine TIN
  • SSS, GSIS, or CRN number if you’re locally employed
  • Blank sheet of paper with 3 consistent signatures

For foreigners, they have additional requirements including the following:

  • For resident-foreigners: 1 valid passport, ACR I-Card/SIRV/SRRV/ work permit from DOLE
  • For non-resident foreigners: 1 valid passport
  • For US residents, 1 US government-issued ID and accomplished W9 or W8-BEN IRS form
  • For dual citizens: 1 valid passport & dual citizenship papers

COL Financial offers three account types: COL Starter, COL Plus, and COL Premium.

The COL Starter is best if you are just starting out and want to invest for the long term. Basic services include end-of-day charting data, basic research reports, and standard market information. The minimum investment for this account type is only 1,000 pesos.

The COL Plus account is best if you consider yourself an active trader or someone who buys and sells stocks for short-term profit. This account has more features, including comprehensive research reports, live chart data with customizable features, and streaming quotes. The minimum investment for this account type is 25,000 pesos.

Finally, the COL Premium account is for their premium clientele. This is most likely targeted at corporations or enterprises that want to increase their investment capital. With this account, you get access to all of their features with dedicated assistance from COL’s personal relationship manager. The minimum investment for this account type is 1 million pesos.

2. First Metro Securities

First Metro Securities is a stock brokerage company owned and operated by the Metrobank Group. With this service, you have access to every security that is listed on the stock market. You may do this using their cutting-edge FirstMetroSec trading platforms or with the assistance of their highly trained brokers.

First Metro Securities make it simple to purchase securities that are listed on the PSE. What’s great about them is that you have the option of receiving assistance from their experienced brokers or exploring on their own via their online trading platforms. This is a pleasant alternative because not all investment businesses offer both of these services to their customers.

On top of all that, The FMETF (First Metro Philippine Equity Exchange Traded Fund) is the first and only exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the country.

First Metro Securities is also the market maker for the FMETF and is one of the permitted participants in the fund. This means that you can take advantage of the following benefits:

  • High levels of liquidity, as it is possible to buy and sell it on the exchange when trading is in session.
  • Observed and controlled by both the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), so you’re more secure
  • Instantly diversify your investment portfolio, so you don’t rely solely on your RFO house and lot investment
  • Since it provides access to a larger market at a reduced price, this is one of the most cost-effective ways for investing

Their requirements are also a little simpler compared to COL Financial. To open an account, prepare the following requirements:

  • One valid ID
  • Proof of Billing
  • Email address
  • Blank paper for signatures
  • TIN and SSS or GSIS numbers
  • A bank account

Visit the link for the full list and details about First Metro Securities’ requirements.

You can open an account through their mobile app, FirstMetroSec GO. They offer a 15-day free trial while giving you 30 days to complete all the requirements.

3. eToro

eToro is an online investment platform that gives you access to multiple investment streams, including stocks, crypto, forex, ETFs, commodities, and index funds.

Traders can imitate the trades of experienced investors on the eToro platform, which is a winner due to its user-friendly copy-trading functionality. Traders can also gain special rewards in exchange for sharing their own trading techniques.

eToro provides a full trading experience. It offers over 3,000 tradeable symbols. This power, of course, comes with a pricey trading experience. The minimum initial deposit for an eToro account is $10-$10,000.

eToro, which is a broker that deals in multiple assets, goes above and beyond to ensure that its clients have a positive experience. For instance, the trade-ticket window on eToro allows users to choose between trading CFDs and the underlying assets directly. A non-obtrusive feature, but a very helpful one.

When it comes to trading cryptocurrency, eToro’s prices are, on average, very comparable to the average of the industry. On top of the spread, users are responsible for paying a single flat charge of 1% for each side of the trade, regardless of whether they are buying or selling — both when opening a closing a position.

While the cost to trade bitcoin can be very expensive, eToro has leveled the playing field by charging the same 1% flat rate on almost 200 crypto assets, which might be useful when trading new cryptocurrencies that would otherwise be more expensive to trade.

As for their mobile app, they have two: the eToro app and eToro Money. eToro Money is used for sending and receiving cryptocurrency and fiat currency. You may get either app from the respective app stores: Google Play for Android, and the App Store for iOS. The eToro mobile app is visually consistent with the website, and it has many of the same practical features, like dark and light mode themes and synchronized watchlists. So you can trade all you want even when you’re on the go.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Investment Platform

Aside from what we provided in this article, there are still many online investment platforms or stockbroker applications. To help you choose, you have to know what to look for. Here are some of the things you need to consider before you start trading on a platform:

1. Fees and costs

Online brokerages compete for clients by offering low cost per trade. Create a list of your potential platforms and their cost-per-trade fees. This allows for a straightforward comparison to the competition. However, it would be best if you were wary of relying on a single expense, such as the price of a stock trade because brokers often charge a wide variety of fees.

Ensure that you weigh all potential expenses. One broker might have the best stock transaction commission rates, but if you focus on options trading or mutual fund investing, their rates might not be as competitive.

Most online platforms charge you about the same commission and processing fees. A few centavos or a few pesos is the difference for low-dollar purchases. However, as the value of your initial investments increases the fees will also rise. 

2. Access to information

Having your broker provide you with access to investment research is not only convenient but also cost-effective. Investing in studies on stocks and mutual fund research can get pricey. To save money on trading, think about using a bargain broker who gives away free research papers.

You should also test out the brokerage’s search bar on its website and educational resources. New investors should have access to resources that help them learn the lingo and make sense of the numbers. Try out the search feature to see if you can find the answers to any questions you may have or have a better understanding of any metrics you may be unfamiliar with.

Keep in mind that what one investor finds simple and straightforward may be a frustrating maze of pointless searches for another. This makes it all the more vital to pick a platform that you feel comfortable with.

If you can’t get to the information quickly and readily, it doesn’t matter how many books or online courses exist. To ensure that users can quickly and easily discover the information they need, a good platform or website should give a variety of educational offers in several mediums.

A platform’s features will be useless if you can’t figure out how to use the platform.

3. Deposits and withdrawals

In what ways are you able to fund your brokerage account? Find out if you can make a deposit using a credit card (this isn’t advised, but it may still be possible), bank transfer, or check. Even while most brokerages don’t charge for deposits, it’s still a good idea to double-check whether or not there are any fees associated with these choices.

When you make a deposit, how long does it take for the money to really become available? When you’ve found a fantastic trade entry but don’t have the funds in your account to act on it immediately, settlement times become crucial. The time it takes for money to be deposited and then invested should be checked.

The duration of time it takes for a deposit to be settled can change based on the bank making the deposit. It’s important to remember that if you don’t trade frequently or keep a large balance, settlement periods may be longer than usual.

When you sell investments, how long does it take for the money to settle into your account? The settlement timings of the various securities you want to trade should be researched in advance. Moreover, determine what withdrawal options are available to you and how long it will take for the money to reach your bank account. Find out if there is a withdrawal cost as well.

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