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Simple: It’s easy, saves time and money.
Have you ever tried depositing money at a bank on payday?
I have, one time—and boy did I regret it. I thought I was applying for an NBI clearance upon opening the glass doors at BDO in SM North.
My service number said 305. I looked at the monitor: It showed 195. “Aysus”, I mumbled.
But perhaps I can do some window shopping and come back after 30 minutes?
After mindlessly wandering around the gadgets area at the 4th and 5th floors, I came back to check the number on the monitor: It was 250.
Disappointed, I pulled out my phone and pumped a text to my wife: “Ma-lalate ako ng konti ha, haba pala ng pila dito e”.
Aside from wasting more than an hour and getting hungry waiting, my wife and kid had to wait an extra 30 minutes for me (who were now also hungry).
After that incident, I promised myself never to visit a bank on payday. But what if I really had to? Is there an alternative?
Fortunately, the answer is Yes—With an internet connection and a smartphone or computer, we can now easily do a multitude of transactions with just a few taps and clicks—including stuff that allows you to invest and grow our money.
Take, for example, OFWs. If you’re living abroad and want a more robust way of building assets (instead of just letting your earnings sit in a savings account), these online investment platforms promise potentially better returns for your money.
15 Best Online Investment Apps & Platforms in the Philippines
So what are the various types of investment apps and platforms available right now and how do you use them? This section will show our best picks.
Category: Stocks, Mutual Funds, ETF
Minimum Investment: Php 2,500 initial deposit (no minimum initial deposit for Metrobank or PSBank account holders)
With Metrobank Group and First Metro Investment Corporation backing this brokerage house, no one can question the stability and experience of First Metro Securities in the stock market industry.
They offer easy access to listed securities in the PSE. It’s great that clients can choose to be assisted by their seasoned brokers or explore on their own via their online trading platforms – a nice choice to have if you ask me because not all investment companies provide both.
First Metro Securities is also the market maker and among the authorized participants of the FMETF (First Metro Philippine Equity Exchange Traded Fund), the first and only ETF in the country.
They are able to assure their clients that they can buy or sell their shares whenever they need to.
Minimum Investment: Php5,000 (Starter account)
If you want to dip your feet into stocks investing, you can’t go wrong with COL.
Perhaps the most popular local option for investing in stocks online, they’ve grown exponentially in the last few years.
“The world’s leading social trading platform”, according to their site’s homepage.
Their aim is to make online trading of stocks, bitcoins and altcoins, foreign exchange, and more easy and hassle-free.
eToro also has a “CopyTrader” option that allows investors to copy another trader’s portfolio and trading activity automatically, hence the “social trading” description.
Their site and mobile app feature some of the most robust feature sets for easily managing your investments online.
You can also check out this beginner’s guide to copy trading by PinayTeenInvestor.
Category: Mutual funds
Minimum Investment: Php50
Investa.ph is an investment platform powered by InvestaFinancial Inc, a licensed mutual fund distribution company. This is from the same company that brought Investagrams, a popular stock and crypto trading education platform in the Philippines.
Through their Investa app, users can invest in mutual funds from the top performing mutual fund companies in the country. They have a decent selection of mutual funds to choose from and the app itself is easy to use.
Category: Retail treasury bonds
Minimum Investment: Php5,000
Investing in government bonds can now be done online through the Bonds.PH mobile app. It’s a 24/7 fully digital platform that enables Filipinos here and abroad to buy and sell bonds easily from home using their smartphone.
Operated by UnionBank in partnership with PDAX, Bonds.PH was launched by the Bureau of the Treasury in July 2020 to make bond investing more convenient amid the COVID-19 quarantine restrictions worldwide.
6. Coins Pro
Minimum Investment: Php10 (Minimum trade size)
In the Philippines, Coins.PH established itself as one of the premier platforms for investing in Bitcoin.
Their latest “Pro” version is still in beta as of this writing and what it does is allow you to “buy and sell digital currencies at unlimited volumes and with lower fees”.
Category: Venture Capital
Minimum Investment: Starts at Php50,000 (depends on the project)
It’s a platform that connects inventors/start-ups with people willing to invest in their products/service. Note that the funds do not go directly to Angel Investment Network.
Rather, once an agreement is made between startup and investor, it’s up to the two parties to set up the venture.
Category: P2B lending
Minimum Investment: Php1,000
SeedIn is a leading business financing platform in Southeast Asia that connects individual and corporate investors with local businesses that need short-term financing.
The fintech company offers its investors liquidity through short-term tenured investments ranging from one to 12 months, with monthly interest repayments. It also provides competitive annualized returns from 7%.
SeedIn’s investors are also assured of their funds’ security. Business projects of prospective borrowers undergo strict credit risk evaluation and are often secured by collaterals.
Category: P2P lending
Minimum Investment: Php5,000
Blend.PH is a peer-to-peer online funding platform that offers a range of online loans such as personal loans and salary loans, with monthly interest rates of 1% to 8% and repayment terms of one to 36 months.
The online loan platform provides investors a money-making opportunity as lenders. With just a minimal investment, you can use Blend.PH and earn 6% to 30% interest per year.
Category: P2P lending
Minimum Investment: Php15,000
Our top pick on our P2P lending guide. If Angel Investor Network connects investors with startups, FundKo connects investors with people looking to borrow money. As an investor, you’ll earn through interest gained on the money you lent.
11. SeedBox PH
Category: Mutual funds
Minimum Investment: Php1,000
While experienced traders will probably point you to either COL or First Metro Sec (they integrate their MF with their stock platform), Seedbox makes the list for striving to be the most simple and easy-to-use platform for Filipinos looking to invest in Mutual Funds (they even offer tie-ups with your employer for investing via payroll deduction).
Category: Online Business
Minimum Investment: Starts at $500 (but could go up to millions of USD depending on site valuation)
Real estate “flipping” or the process of buying-renovating-selling property is fairly popular, partly due to shows like Flip or Flop and House Hunters (and a whole bunch more).
In the world of online businesses, “flipping” refers to buying and selling a website. Flippa is one of the pioneers of the platform.
13. Lamudi PH
Category: Real Estate
Minimum Investment: Varies
Lamudi PH is the local operational arm of its mother company of the same name, along with 30 other countries.
They feature various types of property, which includes condominiums, apartments, townhouses, commercial properties, land, and much more.
Category: Investment Marketplace (Mutual Funds)
Minimum Investment: Php50
What GCash Invest Money promises is a hassle-free investment experience. You can start investing in different investment funds with just Php 50. It’s possibly the lowest minimum investment amount you can find right now.
If you’re a GCash user, you will find it convenient that you can invest right from their app.
GCash Invest Money partners with Seedbox and Atram, which are two of the most trusted companies in the Philipines.
Minimum Investment: Php52 (Minimum trade size)
Another online trading platform to consider for those into cryptocurrency investing is the Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX). It’s a legitimate company that’s licensed and regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Through PDAX, you can buy and sell Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, and other digital assets directly with Philippine Peso at the most competitive prices.
For an easier crypto trading experience, you may use the PDAX mobile app (available on the App Store and Google Play Store) with your mobile phone.
7 Rules for Investing: Best Investing Tips & Strategies
Spreading your funds across asset classes and varying investments helps to balance out the risk.
This may mean allocating your money on different types of investment vehicles (stocks, real estate, UITF, mutual funds, etc.,) so that a loss in one will not completely wipe you out of the game.
Say you have Php100k that you want to invest. Instead of going all in on stocks, you might want to put some on P2P loans, fund a small business, or maybe some on mutual funds.
Whatever your preference might be, it may be a good idea to employ some sort of diversification on your portfolio.
2. Only invest the money you’re willing to lose
Investing is not a guaranteed ticket to earnings land. In fact, it can be highly volatile depending on the investment vehicle you’ve chosen.
Which is why it’s recommended that you take care of the basic needs first (Food, Shelter, Education, Emergency Fund.,etc) before you start venturing out on the land of investing.
This way, there’s less chance of both emotional and financial hardship should the unfortunate loss happens (which occurs quite often in investing).
Remember, take care of your priorities first.
3. Research and due diligence
How do you make an informed decision? Before buying a new laptop, for example, we check out reviews and user feedback, right?
We read hundreds or thousands of words about the product, watch in-depth reviews on YouTube, even physically visit the store to have a feel of the product.
Once we have all the information we need, that’s when we start to really have an informed decision about the purchase.
Based on the research I did, was the product able to meet my primary needs and expectations?
Does it match my budget? What are the pros and cons?
The same core principles can be applied when deciding on an investment.
While not all information will be revealed, accurate, or guaranteed, making the effort to know as much as you can before jumping the gun gives you useful insight that will help you avoid problems in the long run.
This is also related with monitoring your investments. Check your reports regularly and see if it stays within your investment goal. Make adjustments as you see fit.
Not all investments are a set-it-and-forget it types. Some will require more maintenance than others, so make sure to set time to regularly check on your investments.
4. Be disciplined with your money
They say the most successful investors make it a habit—they’ve integrated saving and investing in their lives and have set up systems to ensure each peso in possession is not wasted and earning them more while they sleep.
It also means being disciplined on their purchases, holding off on buying the latest smartphone or car simply because they can.
They know that most material possessions loses its appeal almost instantly anyway, so they prefer to put the money into better use—one that allows them to build up their assets exponentially.
Warren Buffet has been recognized once as the richest man in the world yet he still lives in the same house and almost never buys a new car unless his daughter reminds him.
Oh, and his breakfast almost always never costs more than $3.17.
5. Adopt a stoic mindset
Investing can be an emotionally-driven endeavor.
Whether it’s greed or fear, our emotions can be the biggest factor that decides your fate in investments.
The key is to not be easily swayed by all sorts of external triggers when you already have an established and well-thought out game plan.
Listen, research and study these factors before you decide to make any drastic move.
6. Invest early
You’ve probably heard this phrase a hundred times: “The best time to invest is now”.
But there is some nugget of wisdom in there.
And if you factor in compound interest, you’re banking on an investment principle that has the potential to build you unlimited wealth.
Doing it early also allows you to test and experiment with your investments, make adjustments as you’re starting to learn the ropes.
I’ve heard numerous stories of people who wished “they got into the game sooner”, saying they would have probably made so much more.
7. Don’t be a sheep
Sometimes, it’s all too easy to follow the herd and join the bandwagon.
A “hot tip” suddenly becomes a must-have simply because other investors are doing it.
“People are doing it, it must be right”, you say. More often than not though, investing on something simply because of its popularity is already a bad first step.
Instead of doing due diligence and making moves based on your investing game plan, your mind gets clouded by FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).