With the advent of the internet age, online research, online shopping, online banking, online gaming, online surfing, chatting, or meeting – just about anything online has become part of everyday life. It should therefore come as no surprise that online stock trading should follow as a matter of course.
Stock market investing had been on my mind for several years now, but other priorities have always needed immediate attention (monthly family expenses, education, debt servicing, etc.). This year, however, I FINALLY decided to stop procrastinating and start investing, because with investing (especially long-term investing) – time is on our side.
So how does one go about stock investing online? Being a newbie, I decided first and foremost to look for a mentor so I don’t have to wade through a sea of unfamiliar jargon that could dampen any resolve I have made to finally invest in the stock market. Chronicled below are the steps you can likewise take to start your financial journey into the world of stock market investing:
1. FIND A MENTOR who can explain stock market investing to you in plain, understandable English!
I found one in the person of Preacher Bo Sanchez. Heck, if he could guide his househelp and staff through all this, I was pretty confident I could hack it as well.
2. CHOOSE A STOCK BROKER. In my case, I chose COL Financial Philippines – the online stock broker (yes, you read it right – online stockbroker) recommended by my mentor. Since it’s online, you can invest in the Philippine stock market even if you’re not a Philippine resident or citizen. Why COL Financial? First, it offers an Easy Investment Program which is a simple and more convenient way of investing in the stock market for as low as Php5,000.00! Second, it claims to have the lowest commission rates (as of this writing, my account is being charged Php20 for each purchase transaction). Third, my sister has been using the services of CitisecOnline as well for several years now and she seems happy doing so. Fourth, customer service support takes prompt action on my queries and complaints. Fifth, well it WAS recommended by my mentor 😉
3. DO THE PAPER WORK. For COL financial, just download and fill up the required forms. Remember to attach a photocopy of any of your Philippine government-issued ID, then bring/send all documents to:
COL FINANCIAL BUSINESS CENTER 2403-B East Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Centre, Exchange Road Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines 1605.
Additional requirements may be necessary, depending on your case (i.e, if you are a non-resident, a foreigner, or you’re opening an account for your minor child, or you’re sending your documents via courier and not personally).
4. GET YOUR ACCOUNT DETAILS. Expect a sales officer to contact you regarding your COL Account No. and status of your application. I sent mine via LBC on Easter Sunday, and received an email three days after to confirm receipt of the documents. The New Accounts Officer asked me to email a scanned copy of my ID (she needed a clearer copy than the photocopy I sent) and to send the additional documents since I was also opening ITF (In Trust For) accounts for the kids. She subsequently confirmed receipt of the other requirements. Four days after, I was informed via email of our account approval, account details, and online tutorials for further instructions.
5. FUND YOUR ACCOUNT. COL’s bank partners are BPI, BDO, Metrobank. You can enroll your COL account in online banking for hassle-free transfer of funds — and so you’ll have one less excuse for not making investing a habit ;). Otherwise, you can pay over-the-counter and fax or email the deposit slip. Non-residents may do a wire transfer via BDO.
6. BUY YOUR FIRST STOCK. Expect to receive a notice of your Account Activation (and a Deposit Acknowledgement Receipt) via email, with your log-in details. Watch this short online guide to buying and selling stocks. Log into the COL Financial site and go buy your first (of many) shares of stocks!
The 6 steps above do seem very doable right? To help you get started, my mentor, Bo Sanchez is giving away a FREE COPY of his book here.