How to Invest in Mutual Funds & UITF in the Philippines

Last Updated on – Nov 17, 2022 @ 5:59 pm

Do you know how much your Php 100,000 will earn if you invest it in a bank for a year?

Seven hundred fifty pesos.

I used a local bank’s savings deposit rate to get a rough figure of how much a certain amount of money will grow in a year.

I know what you’re thinking. “A full year of waiting and my Php 100k only grew a measly Php 750? That’s ridiculous! I bet there are better ways to grow that kind of money.”

The results are more abysmal as you invest less. What if you only had Php 10,000 to invest?

Ready the confetti because at the end of the year you’ll get—drum roll please—

Twenty-five pesos.

I’m not kidding. Your annual earnings will just be enough to pay for a cup of extra rice.

You might say, “Hey, at least I’m saving right? That’s the point.”

I’m with you, buddy. Having savings is better than no savings at all.

But at those rates, watching your money grow will be as exciting as watching paint dry.

And we haven’t even counted in inflation rates yet.

But more importantly, you lose on potential better returns on your money for a full year.

If we want better returns for our money, we have to look at other avenues for investing our hard-earned cash.

And today you’ll learn about two of the most popular investment vehicles in the Philippines, Mutual Funds and UITF.

What are Mutual Funds?

A Mutual Fund is essentially a company that collects money from different investors and then allocates them in a variety of investment options like stocks, bonds, money market instruments, and others.

If owning stocks lets you directly buy a piece of a company, being a mutual fund investor lets you pick a basket containing portions of stocks bought from different companies.

This means you do not directly own the shares of the company. Rather, you own shares within the Mutual Fund itself.

Also, unlike stocks, you don’t have to make the investment decisions yourself. Mutual Funds employ fund managers who—you guessed it—manage the funds.

These are experts who analyze the market and decide which investment options to seize.

I like comparing this idea with buying fruits. If you’re investing in the stock market, it’s similar to grabbing a basket and filling it up with apples, oranges and lemons (stocks).

You pay for it at the cashier, making you the owner of each piece of fruit you stuffed in there.

If we apply the same analogy to Mutual Funds, here’s what it will look like:

You and other shoppers hand over your money to a “Fruit Manager” who decides and picks which fruits to buy. Each person now owns a “piece” of each fruit in the basket.

So instead of owning a whole apple, for example, you share a “bite” of it with others. As well as several other “bites” on other fruits stuffed in the basket.


Types of Mutual Funds

Now that we have a basic understanding of how Mutual funds work, let’s take a quick look at its different types.

1. Stock/Equity Funds

This type of mutual fund is considered to be have the highest risk (relative to other MF types) but with the potential for the biggest returns in the long term (5 years or more) since it invests primarily in stocks and equities.

2. Bond Funds

This type of mutual fund invests in a mix of fixed-income investments like treasury notes, government securities, and commercial papers.

Investors who opt for Bond Funds are in it for the lesser volatility (vs. other MF types) while still providing potential for capital growth and safeguard their money against inflation.

3. Balanced Funds

This type of mutual fund features a combination of stocks, bonds, and/or money market funds in its portfolio. It’s deemed as the fund type of choice for investors with an appetite for moderate risk.

4. Money Market Funds

This type of mutual fund invests primarily in short-term debt securities like time deposits and corporate bonds. It’s considered to be the safest MF type but also generates the least amount of return for your money.

Generally recommended for people looking to invest their money in the short-term.


Mutual Fund Types Comparison Table

Mutual Fund TypeRisk TypeInvests InGoalInvestment Time Frame
Stock/Equity FundAggressiveStocks and EquitiesLong Term Capital Growth5 years or more
Balanced FundsModerate Conservative, risk rating higher vs. Bond FundsMix of stocks, bonds, money market instrumentsMedium to Long Term Capital Growth3-5 Years
Bond FundsModerate ConservativeFixed-income instruments (Gov’t securities, treasury bills/notes, etc) Stability plus Reasonable Capital Growth1-3 Years
Money Market FundsConservativeShort-term debt securities (time deposits, corporate bonds, cash assets, etc)Stability plus Minimal Capital GrowthLess than 1 year

Check out our: Live Price List Tracker of Philippine Mutual Funds


What is UITF?

UITF stands for Unit Investment Trust Fund. In principle, it works a lot like Mutual Funds. But instead of a Mutual Fund company, your money is managed by a bank.

In Mutual Funds, you own shares, making you a “shareholder”. The price of each MF share is referred to as Net Asset Value Per Share (NAVPS).  

In UITF, you’re an “investor” for owning units. The price of each UITF unit is referred to as Net Asset Value Per Unit (NAVPU). For example, if the NAVPU of a specific UITF is Php 2.00 and you have Php 20,000 to invest, you’ll own 10,000 units.

The bank will provide you with a certificate as proof that you own an X-number of units.


Types of UITFs

UITFs can be categorized the same way as MFs (Equity, Balanced, Bonds, Money Market). In similar fashion, allocation of assets is based on the investors risk-appetite.

UITF TypeRisk TypeInvests InGoalInvestment Time Frame
Stock/Equity FundAggressiveStocks and EquitiesLong Term Capital Growth3 years or more
Balanced FundsModerate Conservative, risk rating higher vs. Bond FundsMix of stocks, bonds, money market instrumentsMedium to Long Term Capital Growth1-3 Years
Bond FundsModerate ConservativeFixed-income instruments (Gov’t securities, treasury bills/notes, etc) Stability plus Reasonable Capital Growth1 Year
Money Market FundsConservativeShort-term debt securities (time deposits, corporate bonds, cash assets, etc)Stability plus Minimal Capital Growth3-6 months


Mutual Funds VS. UITF

Pros & Cons of Mutual Funds

Pros:

  • Taxes are not applied in your capital gains.
  • MF companies also has the potential to provide dividends and offer some shareholder rights.
  • Reports are more transparent and has a higher level of accountability overall compared to UITF.
  • MF is considered by many to be better overall in terms of regulation because MF companies are subject to full disclosure and issuance of reports

Cons:

  • MF companies charge Entry and Management fees.
  • May offer fewer investment choices because of high capital requirements
  • UITFs are technically easier to set-up since most banks offer them.

Pros & Cons of UITFs

Pros:

  • Easier to set-up versus MF since banks are almost everywhere.
  • No Entry fees, lesser Management fees vs MF
  • Wider Variety of Funds

Cons:

  • Owning units does not make you a shareholder (no potential dividends and shareholder rights)
  • Capital gains are subject to 20% withholding tax (case-to-case basis)

If MFs and UITFs follow the same investing philosophy, how do they differ then?

Let’s have a closer look.


Mutual Funds VS. UITF Comparison Table

 MUTUAL FUNDSUITFs
How to InvestOpen an account with a licensed MF agentOpen an account with the bank’s Trust Representative
Regulatory BodySecurities & Exchange Commission (SEC)Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
Price of FundsNet Asset Value Per Share (NAVPS)Net Asset Value Per Unit (NAVPU)
Fees & ChargesEntry Fee = 0.5% to 5% plus management fees, Sales charge = 1% to 5%, Potential Redemption Fees, No Entry Fee. Trust Fee = 0.5% to 1.00% annual. Sales charge = 0% to 2%, Potential Redemption Fees
Holding PeriodMinimum of 6 months (some MFs allow a 1-month holding period)Minimum of 30 days (some UITFs enforce a 45-day minimum)
Minimum Initial InvestmentPhp 5,000Php 10,000 (some offer Php 5,000 minimum)


Why should you invest in Mutual Funds and UITF?

I once read somewhere that investment vehicles like banks, MF, UITF, and the stock market can be compared to transportation vehicles. How?

Each offers a way to “reach” your financial destination.

Some compare putting money in banks as the same as walking. While it can take you to your financial destination, it will probably take a very looooong time.

Meanwhile, MF and UITF can be thought of as speedier vehicles similar to riding a bike or a car.  They can take you to your financial destination faster.

I thought it was a useful analogy that paints a simple picture explaining the benefits of utilizing other investment options.

But what are the actual reasons that make Mutual Fund and UITF investing worth a look? Here are some of them.

1. Better potential returns for your money

Compared to a savings account in a bank, your money will have better growth potential when invested in MF or UITF.

2. Professional Fund Management

Both UITFs and Mutual Funds employ fund managers who handle the allocation of your funds. This takes out the guesswork on your end unlike stock investing where you yourself have to decide which stocks to pick.

3. Diversification

Your money will be spread across a wide variety of portfolios of stocks, bonds, securities, money markets and other funds, making it considerably safer in principle versus stock market investing.

4. Low Initial Investment Costs

For as low as Php 5,000 you can open an MF or UITF account. Additional investments can be as little as Php 1,000 monthly.

5. Liquidity

Both UITFs and Mutual Funds provide an easy way to redeem your investment should you want/need to.

6. Protection against Inflation

Having better potential gains means you have a better chance of protecting your capital against inflation.

7. Easy to Set-up & Manage

It’s easy to open a UITF or MF account. All you need to do is visit your nearest bank (UITF) or MF company and submit the requirements and initial deposit.

In terms of “managing” your account, it’s really just a matter of putting in more funds since the fund manager will take care of the investing part.

8. Compound Interest

In principle, the longer the time your money is invested in investment options like MF and UITF, the higher potential earnings for your money.


How much can you earn from investing in Philippine Mutual Funds?

Earnings are highly dependent on how well a particular Mutual Fund performed for a certain time frame (computed via NAVPS).

If you do a bit of research online, you’ll see data showing average returns broken down in 1, 3, 5 and 10-year increments.

That being said, Mutual Funds are ideally considered a mid-to-long term investment venture with optimal returns gauged at the 5-yrs or higher horizon.


10 Best Philippine Mutual Funds in 2022

Here are the top 10 mutual funds companies in the Philippines – as of Feb 2022:

Mutual Funds CompanyFund Type1-Year Return (%)
Philequity Dividend Yield Fund, Inc.Stock Funds23.28%
ATRAM Alpha Opportunity Fund, Inc.Stock Funds23.04%
First Metro Save and Learn Philippine Index Fund, Inc.Stock Funds11.76%
Sun Life Prosperity Dynamic Fund, Inc.Balanced Funds11.49%
Philequity Fund, Inc. Stock Funds10.37%
First Metro Save and Learn Equity Fund, Inc.Stock Funds10.11%
First Metro Save and Learn F.O.C.C.U.S. Dynamic Fund, Inc.Balanced Funds9.58%
Philequity MSCI Philippine Index Fund, Inc.Stock Funds9.43%
First Metro Phil. Equity Exchange Traded Fund, Inc.Exchange Traded Fund8.99%
Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Equity Fund, Inc.Stock Funds8.94%

Best Stock/Equity Funds in the Philippines for 2022 [Mutual Funds]

Stock or Equity types of mutual funds are considered to be the riskiest but may provide the highest potential gains for your money.

Funds are typically allocated in the following stocks: growth, dividend, value, large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap (or any combinations of these).

Note: The data shown in the table below are based on the performance reports at PIFA – as of Feb 2022. We will be updating our list of Mutual Fund Companies on a quarterly basis. You can also view the full list of Philippine stock and equity funds by checking our MF price list tool.

Stock FundsInvested In:1YR Return (%)Website:
Philequity Dividend Yield Fund, Inc.Peso Securities23.28%Philequity.net
ATRAM Alpha Opportunity Fund, Inc.Peso Securities23.04%Atram.com.ph
First Metro Save and Learn Philippine Index Fund, Inc.Peso Securities11.76%Fami.com.ph
Philequity Fund, Inc.Peso Securities10.37%Philequity.net
First Metro Save and Learn Equity Fund, Inc.Peso Securities10.11%Fami.com.ph

Related: Best Index Funds to Invest in the Philippines


Best Balanced Funds in the Philippines for 2022 [Mutual Funds]

Balanced funds typically carry a moderate-risk rating and appeal to those who are looking into a 3-5 year horizon. Balanced funds are typically allocated in time deposits, bonds, and the stock market.

Note: The data shown on the table below are based on the performance reports at PIFA – as of February 2022. We will be updating our list of Mutual Fund Companies on a quarterly basis. You can also view the full list of Philippine stock and equity funds by checking our MF price list tool.

Balanced FundsInvested In:1YR Return (%)Website:
Sun Life Prosperity Dynamic Fund, Inc.Peso Securities11.49%SunLife.com.ph
First Metro Save and Learn F.O.C.C.U.S. Dynamic Fund, Inc.Peso Securities9.58%Fami.com.ph
First Metro Save and Learn Balanced Fund Inc. Peso Securities5.85%Fami.com.ph
Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Balanced Fund, Inc.Peso Securities4.67%SunLife.com.ph
NCM Mutual Fund of the Phils., Inc.Peso Securities4.58%N.A.


Best Bond Funds in the Philippines for 2022 [Mutual Funds]

Bond funds are tagged a notch higher above money market funds in terms of risk.

Still, they are considered as conservative in general since money is allocated in less volatile investments (relative to Equity and Balanced funds) like investment-grade and high-yield corporate bonds, and government bonds.

Note: The data shown on the table below are based on the performance reports at PIFA – as of February 2022. We will be updating our list of Mutual Fund Companies on a quarterly basis. You can also view the full list of Philippine stock and equity funds by checking our MF price list tool.

Bond FundsInvested In:3YR Return (%)Website:
Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Wellspring Fund, Inc.Foreign Currency Securities 4.42%SunLife.com.ph
Soldivo Bond Fund, Inc.Peso Securities4.17%Rampver.com
Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Bond Fund, Inc.Peso Securities3.98%SunLife.com.ph
Philam Bond Fund, Inc.Peso Securities3.85%PhilamFunds.com
Philam Managed Income Fund, Inc. Peso Securities3.68%PamiFunds.com


Best Money Market Funds in the Philippines for 2022 [Mutual Funds]

Also known as Fixed Income funds. Money market funds promise the lowest risk rating but at the expense of having the least potential returns for your money.

Money market funds invest in time deposits and other similar products.

Note: The data shown in the table below are based on the performance reports at PIFA – as of February 2022. We will be updating our list of Mutual Fund Companies on a quarterly basis. You can also view the full list of Philippine stock and equity funds by checking our MF price list tool.

Money Market FundsInvested In:1YR Return (%)Website:
Sun Life Prosperity Money Market Fund, Inc.Peso Securities1.47% SunLife.com.ph
ALFM Money Market Fund, Inc.Peso Securities 1.02%ALFM.com
First Metro Save and Learn Money Market Fund, Inc.Peso Securities0.98% PhilamFunds.com
Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Starter Fund, Inc.Foreign Currency Securities 0.72% SunLife.com.ph


How to Start Investing in Mutual Funds in the Philippines

It’s easy to set up a mutual fund account. Here are the usual steps required.

  1. Go to the MF company’s website and click on its MF registration page (refer to listed websites above).
  2. You might be required to answer a few questions to determine your risk profile. An MF sales agent should assist you in this stage.
  3. Download the required forms and documents.
  4. Submit all requirements by visiting their office or sending it via courier.
  5. Fund your account once you receive confirmation/statement of account arrives.

How to Invest in Philippine Mutual Funds Online

Once you have an account open, buying shares of mutual funds can be done through the bank or via in-person visit at the nearest MF branch.

For convenience purposes, most investors enroll their MF accounts in their bank’s online banking system which enables them to easily transfer money for funding their Mutual fund.

More savvy investors who already have accounts in COL Financial or First Metro Sec have the option to buy and sell MF shares directly through its online trading platforms. Both COL Financial and First Metro Sec are authorized MF agents.

SeedBox

Another way is to invest in mutual funds online via SeedBox.

Seedbox is an online investment platform offered by ATR Asset Management (ATRAM).

It is particularly handy for beginner investors who need help identifying a portfolio that match their investment goals.

And by making investment convenient and affordable, Seedbox helps newbies get into the habit of investing–even a small amount–regularly.

With Seedbox, you can choose to put your money in individual products or fund packages selected by their researchers.

SeedBox’s Individual Products:

NOTE: The data shown in the table below have been taken from Seedbox’s page on individual products as of August 2021.

Individual ProductsRisk Profile1-year return rateMinimum subscription amountMinimum top up
ATRAM Alpha Opportunity Fund, Inc.Aggressive45.34%₱1,000₱500
ATRAM Philippine Equity Smart Index Fund – UITFAggressive10.56%₱1,000₱500
ATRAM Global Technology Feeder Fund – UITFAggressive45.56%₱1,000₱1,000
ATRAM Philippine Equity Opportunity Fund, Inc.Aggressive13.58%₱1,000₱500
ATRAM Global Financials Feeder Fund PHP – UITFAggressive58.81%₱1,000₱1,000
ATRAM Global Consumer Trends Feeder Fund – UITFAggressive 23.42%₱1,000 ₱1,000
ATRAM Philippine Sustainable Development and Growth Fund – UITFAggressive 5.66%₱1,000 ₱500
ATRAM Global Equity Opportunity Feeder Fund PHP – UITFAggressive 8.88%₱1,000 ₱1,000
ATRAM Total Return Peso Bond Fund – UITFModerate1.04%₱1,000₱500
ATRAM Unicapital Diversified Growth Fund, Inc.Moderate5.15%₱1,000₱500
ATRAM Philippine Balanced Fund, Inc.Moderate5.79%₱1,000₱500
ATRAM Corporate Bond Fund, Inc.Moderately conservative-1.25%₱1,000₱500
ATRAM Global Bond Income Feeder Fund – UITF Moderately conservative 4.76%₱20,000 ₱1,000
ATRAM Peso Money Market Fund – UITFConservative0.45%₱1,000₱500

SeedBox Packages:

NOTE: The data shown in the table below are based on Seedbox’s product packages as of August 2021.

Risk Profile1-year return rate
Moderate Investor5.79%
Moderate Investor 25.15%
Aggressive Investor13.58%
Conservative Investor-1.25%
Moderately Conservative Investor2.97%
Moderately Aggressive Investor9.13%

Each product is matched with an investor’s risk profile.

Your risk profile will depend on several factors, including your personality and goals, and is among the questionnaires you need to fill out after activating your Seedbox account. 

Let’s say you have a risk profile of Moderate, but you want to put your money in aggressive investment vehicles.

You can do so in Seedbox simply by clicking the box beside the waiver to indicate that you are investing in products that do not match your risk profile.

Here’s how you can start investing through Seedbox:

Step 1: Sign up with Seedbox. You will be prompted to enter the activation code sent to your email. 

Step 2: Once your account is activated, continue filling up the online forms (i.e., KYC, FATCA, and Risk Profile).

Step 3: Sign the documents during a face-to-face meeting as required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Once your account has been approved, you can start investing. 

Step 4: Begin with the end in mind. Use the Goal Planner to identify what this investment is for. Is it for retirement? Your children’s education? A home purchase or another big spend? Indicate when or in how many years you’ll need the money and how much you’ll need by then. 

Step 5: In the Goal Planner, indicate your desired initial investment and monthly investment.

If your initial and monthly investments are not enough to meet your target amount, Seedbox’s Goal Planner will give you some tips. For instance, it will advise you to lower your target amount, adjust your timeframe, increase your initial and/or monthly investments, or take a higher-risk level.

With the Goal Planner, you can easily see whether you’re on track to meet your target amounts. If not, you can decide from the get-go to increase the amount you set aside for investments.
If this is not feasible for you right now, then you can manage your expectations. You can still reach your target amount, but within a longer timeframe.

Step 6: Seedbox will recommend portfolio models that can help you meet your target amount.

Step 7: Start investing either by paying through banks or online.

Step 8: To top up your investment, just go to your Seedbox Dashboard and click the “+” sign in the Portfolio section.


Investa

Investa aims to help Filipinos invest by giving them the right tools, technology, and education to improve their financial standing.

Since 2015, this startup has been offering financial tools for its users, and they have also organized some of the most successful stock market events in the Philippines. 

The platform has partnered with BPI Investment Management, Inc., Phil Equity Management, Inc., and Sun Life Asset Management Inc., so its users can easily invest in the best-performing global and national mutual funds, whether they want to take low-risk or high-risk investments. This can be done for as low as P100. 

Thanks to the new Investa app, investing has never been more affordable and accessible for Filipinos. 

Here’s how you can start investing through Investa:

Step 1: Download the Investa app on Google Play Store or Apple App Store. 

Step 2: Create an account. 

  • Enter your name, email address, and password. 
  • Create a Trading PIN (for unlocking the app on your phone). 
  • Complete your account’s investor profile requirements:
    • Verify your mobile number & email address
    • Fill up the application form
    • Read and accept the platform’s terms & conditions
    • Upload required documents (government-issued IDs)

Step 3: Fund your account. 

You can cash in through online banking and GCash.  

  • BPI Online Banking
  • BDO Online Banking
  • Unionbank Online Banking
  • Metrobank Online Banking
  • GCash (via Pay Bills)

Step 4: Choose the mutual fund(s) you want to invest in. 

The platform offers 20 different types of funds to choose from, including global/index feeder funds. As of this writing, the mutual funds available at Investa are:

  • PhilEquity Dividend Yield Fund
  • Sun Life Prosperity World Equity Index Feeder Fund
  • PhilEquity Alpha One Fund, Inc.
  • PhilEquity Fund, Inc.
  • PhilEquity MSCI Philippines Index Fund, Inc.
  • Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Equity Fund Inc.
  • PhilEquity PSE Index Fund
  • ALFM Growth Fund
  • Sun Life Prosperity Balanced Fund Inc.
  • ALFM Money Market Fund
  • ALFM Peso Bond Fund
  • Phil. Stocks Index Fund (Unitized)
  • Philam Managed Income Fund
  • Philam Fund
  • PhilEquity Peso Bond Fund
  • Sun Life Prosperity Bond Fund Inc.
  • Sun Life Prosperity GS Fund Inc.
  • ALFM Global Multi-Asset Income Fund (Peso)
  • Philam Bond Fund

Features: 

  • Invest for as low as P100
  • Easy to use app

Related: 15 Best Online Investment Platforms in the Philippines


COL Financial

COL Financial is one of the most popular online stock brokers in the country. For decades, it has been providing an easy and accessible way for Filipinos to try their luck in stock market investing.

In COL Financial, you can choose from 30 mutual funds from the top mutual fund houses in the Philippines, and pay no front-end fees when you buy through your account.

Because it’s all online, it’s more convenient. COL Financial also has an auto-investing feature that lets you automate your long-term investments.

For beginners, they offer expert guidance to help you choose the best funds so you can easily meet your goals.

Requirements:

  • 1 valid gov’t-issued ID with clear photo & signature
  • Philippine bank account details
  • Philippine TIN (for employed, self-employed, foreigners)
  • SSS/GSIS/CRN # (for locally employed)
  • Photo requirements:
    • Blank sheet of paper with 3 consistent signatures
    • Selfie with your ID
  • Additional requirements (if applicable):
    • For minors:
      • Birth certificate
    • For resident-foreigners:
      • 1 valid passport
      • ACR I-Card/SIRV/SRRV/ work permit from DOLE
    • For dual citizens:
      • 1 valid passport & dual citizenship papers
    • For US persons:
      • 1 US government-issued ID and accomplished W9 or W8-BEN IRS form

How to open an account:

  • After you get all your requirements ready, sign up here.
  • When your account is verified, you can start funding your account through online bills payment, overseas remittances, over-the-counter bills payment, or through the COL Business Center in Pasig.

Mutual Funds users can choose within the COL’s platform:

  • ALFM Money Market Fund
  • Sun Life Prosperity Money Market Fund
  • Philam Managed Income Fund
  • ALFM Peso Bond Fund
  • Sun Life Prosperity Bond Fund
  • Philequity Peso Bond Fund
  • First Metro Save and Learn Fixed Income Fund

Features:

  • EIP portfolio tracker (accessible 24/7)
  • Calendar schedule
  • Notification system 
  • Automated order placement and execution via the internet
  • Access to live quotes and other market statistics
  • Online portfolio tracker
  • Research materials and market commentaries
  • Price charting program and ticker system display

FundSmart

This is a FirstMetroSec investment funds supermarket that enables Filipinos to invest in the top peso and dollar-denominated mutual funds and Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITFs) in the Philippines.

FundSmart allows its users to quickly compare funds so they can identify the best ones for them. 

Requirements:

  • TIN
  • SSS or GSIS Number
  • Metrobank account number
  • Any government-issued ID with signature
  • Email address
  • Specimen signatures 
  • Proof of address may be under another person’s name AND should be the same as the registered address
    • Bank Statement
    • Credit Card Statement
    • Insurance Statement
    • Electricity Bill
    • Water Bill
    • Telephone or Cellphone Bill
    • Cable/Internet Bill
    • Association Dues
    • Remittance Receipt
    • ID with address

How to open an account:

  • Open an account here
  • Fund your account.
  • Take the risk assessment if you’re a first-time investor. This is required to ensure that your chosen funds are suited to your goals.

Shortlist of Mutual Funds users can choose within the platform: 

  • ALFM Growth Fund
  • Philam Bond Fund
  • PAMI Equity Index Fund
  • ATRAM Alpha Opportunity Fund
  • Sun Life Prosperity Balanced Fund
  • Manulife Money Market Fund
  • Manulife Asia Dynamic Bond Feeder Fund
  • PAMI Global Bond Fund
  • ALFM Dollar Bond Fund

Features: 

  • Client suitability assessment for automatic fund filtering based on their risk profile 
  • Fact sheets, risk rating, top holdings, feel information, fund overview, performance of funds
  • Fully online process·  No sales load and transaction fees

Best Unit Investment Trust Fund (UITF) in the Philippines for 2022

Here are the top 10 UITFs in the Philippines – as of February 2022.

Fund NameFund Type1-Year Return (%)
BPI Invest Philippine Infrastructure Equity Index FundEquity Index Tracker Fund43.0833%
BPI Invest US Equity Index Feeder Fund Class P (Phil Peso Class)Feeder Fund23.6560%
PNB High Dividend FundEquity Fund 19.8507%
Manulife American Growth Equity Feeder Fund (Php Unhedged Class A)Equity Fund19.5353%
RCBC R25 Dividend Equity FundEquity Fund18.5102%
BPI Invest Catholic Values Global Equity Feeder FundFeeder Fund 15.1061%
China Bank High Dividend Equity FundEquity Fund 15.0454%
PBCOM Value Equity FundEquity Fund 14.3087%
Manulife Global Healthcare Equity Feeder Fund (Php Unhedged Class A)Equity Fund 14.2360%
China Bank Equity FundEquity Fund13.5756%

Best UITF Equity Funds

A UITF Equity fund invests primarily in shares of publicly listed companies. It is tagged with a risk classification of Aggressive.

Note: The data shown in the table below are based on the performance reports from UITF.com.ph – listing the 5 highest performing equity funds from February 2021 – February 2022 (YOY). We will be updating this table on a quarterly basis.

BankFund Name1YR ROI (%)Fund Details
Philippine National BankPNB HIGH DIVIDEND FUND19.8507%PNB.com.ph
Manulife Investment ManagementManulife American Growth Equity Feeder Fund (Php Unhedged Class A)19.5353%Manulifeim.com.ph
Rizal Commercial Banking CorporationRCBC R25 Dividend Equity Fund18.5102%RCBC.com
China Banking CorporationCHINA BANK HIGH DIVIDEND EQUITY FUND15.0454%Chinabank.ph
Philippine Bank of CommunicationsVALUE EQUITY FUND14.3087%PBCOM.com.ph


Best UITF Balanced Funds

A UITF Balanced Fund invests primarily in equities and fixed income securities. It is tagged with a risk classification of Moderate Aggressive/Conservative.

Note: The data shown in the table below are based on the performance reports from UITF.com.ph – listing the 5 highest performing balanced funds from February 2021 – February 2022 (YOY). We will be updating this table on a quarterly basis.

BankFund Name1YR ROI (%)Fund Details
Robinsons BankRBank Balanced Fund8.3486%Robinsonsbank.com.ph
BDO Unibank, Inc.BDO PESO BALANCED FUND7.6133%BDO.com.ph
China Banking CorporationCHINA BANK BALANCED FUND7.5901%Chinabank.ph
Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.Metro Balanced Fund6.5533%Metrobank.com.ph
Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.Metro Aspire Balanced Feeder Fund6.1912%Metrobank.com.ph


Best UITF Bond Funds

A UITF Bond Fund invests primarily in large corporation and government-issued fixed-income securities. It is tagged with a risk classification of Moderate Conservative.

Note: The data shown in the table below are based on the performance reports from UITF.com.ph – listing the 5 highest performing bond funds from February 2021 – February 2022 (1-year ROI). We will be updating this table on a quarterly basis.

Bank Fund Name1YR ROI (%)Fund Details
China Banking CorporationCHINA BANK INTERMEDIATE FIXED-INCOME FUND0.9974%Chinabank.ph
Philippine National BankPNB PESO INTERMEDIATE TERM BOND FUND2.0760%PNB.com.ph
Manulife Investment Management Manulife Stable Income Fund (Class I)0.7903%Manulifeim.com.ph
Union BankUnionBank PHP Tax Exempt Fixed Income Fund0.6298%UnionbankPH.com
ATRAM Trust CorporationATRAM Total Return Peso Bond Fund0.5794%ATRAM.com.ph


Best UITF Money Market Funds

A UITF Money Market Fund invests primarily on short-term securities with maturity of less than 1 year. It is tagged with a risk classification of Conservative.

Note: The data shown in the table below are based on the performance reports from UITF.com.ph – listing the 5 highest performing money market funds from February 2021 – February 2022 (YOY). We will be updating this table on a quarterly basis.

BankFund Name 1YR ROI (%)Fund Details
CTBC Bank (Philippines) Corp.CTBC Money Market Fund1.3204%CTBCbank.com.ph
Maybank Philippines Inc.Maybank Tiger Peso Money Market Feeder Fund1.2459%Maybank.com.ph
BPI Asset Management and Trust CorporationBPI INVEST MONEY MARKET FUND1.1574%BPIassetmanagement.com
Robinsons BankRBank Peso Money Market Fund1.1209%RobinsonsBank.com.ph
China Banking CorporationChina Bank Short-Term Fund1.1084%ChinaBank.ph


How to Start Investing in UITF

Compared to stocks, which require you to make your own selection on the company shares-level, investing in UITF and MF only requires that you pick a fund based on your risk appetite.

The fund manager will take care of making decisions on where to put your money based on the fund’s strategy.

This makes pooled investments (MF & UITF) look more ideal to “passive investors” who don’t necessarily need or want to make the investment decisions themselves.

It takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation so that all you need to do upon setting up an account is to monitor it and put in more funds.


List of UITF Member Banks

AB CapitalAsia United BankATRAM Trust Corporation
Bank of CommerceBDO Unibank, Inc.BPI Asset Management and Trust Corporation
China Banking CorporationCTBC Bank (Philippines) Corp.Development Bank of the Philippines
EastWest Banking CorporationLandBank of the PhilippinesManulife Asset Management and Trust Corporation (MAMTC)
Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.Philippine Bank of CommunicationsPhilippine Business Bank
Philippine National BankPhilippine Savings BankRCBC Savings
Rizal Commercial Banking CorporationRobinsons BankSecurity Bank Corporation
Sterling Bank of AsiaUnion BankUnited Coconut Planters Bank

How to Open a UITF Account

Since UITFs are offered by banks, simply drop by the nearest branch of your choice.

Bank personnel specializing in their UITF products will assist you and have you complete a Client Suitability Assessment form. Most banks allow you to do the assessment and download the required forms from their website. You’ll still need to physically submit them though.

After choosing your fund, completing all requirements, and receiving your certificate of participation, you may begin funding your account. Initial deposits start at Php 5,000.


10 Tips on Mutual Funds and UITF Investing

1. Set clear financial goals 

This will lay the blueprint for your investing strategy. Are you investing for retirement? Or is it for short-term goals, like funding a new purchase?

Setting clear and measurable goals will set the tone for your investing philosophy and mindset.

2. Be mindful of your current financials 

Determine how much you are willing to set aside for growing your nest egg for UITF or MF. It’s ideal to have a separate emergency fund and not put all your savings into these investment vehicles.

Remember, gains are not always guaranteed here so you have to take into consideration your current assets and liabilities.

3. What kind of an investor are you?

Know your risk-appetite. Whether you’re risk-driven or full-conservative with your selection, what matters most is that you pick a strategy that suits your investment philosophy perfectly.

4. Do your due diligence.

Try to pick an MF or UITF product that meets your requirements and aligns with your investing strategy. Also, bonus perks like website platform usability and ease-of-funding are nice to have for convenience.

5. It always helps to gain more financial knowledge.

Even though you have professional fund managers handling your money, the actual process of selecting your MF company or UITF bank rests solely on you.

Doing some bit of homework in getting to know more about how UITF and MF works makes you a step ahead over those who are completely clueless and makes you less prone to acting on bad advice.

6. Past performance may not be indicative of future results.

You’ll read this quote a lot as you browse through your MF and UITF reports. It simply means that even if a specific fund is performing admirably for the last few years, it does not guarantee the same results in the future.

While it’s useful in gauging a fund’s performance, you should also take into consideration the timeline it covered.

7. How long do you plan to be invested?

Most seasoned MF and UITF investors will probably tell you that the best strategy is to be in it for the long term.

In theory, the longer you stay invested in a fund, the better chance for gains since the underlying investments become less prone to market fluctuations over time.

8. Be mindful of fees and charges 

Not all MF and UITF products are created equal. Some will have more (or less) overall fees required to operate and manage the fund. While it may look trivial, these small percentages can negate any potential gains especially if the fund is underperforming.

Know which products suits your preferences well when it comes to fees.

9. Manage your emotions 

Most new investors commit the mistake of calling it quits and withdrawing their funds at the first sight of a dip in their capital. Remember, these types of investment vehicles don’t promise instant gains nor guarantee a consistent positive value on your assets.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, more experienced investors extol the importance of having a long-enough horizon for MF and UITF to perform best.

10. Don’t limit yourself to MF and UITF investing

There are other ways you can get better returns for your money. Alternatives such as VUL, cryptocurrency, Personal Equity Retirement Account (PERA), and more are possible options for wealth building.

For a more in-depth look, you can check our list of the 11 Best Investments in the Philippines. 

Disclaimer: All information listed in this article is for information purposes only. Although utmost effort was made to ensure accuracy of information on this website, readers must not solely rely on it in making any investment or financial decision since it does not take into consideration the risk tolerance, financial situation, investment goals, and experience of readers. It is best to consult a professional financial planner or your bank before investing to make a more informed choice and limit your risk exposure.

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About Amiel Pineda

Amiel Pineda is the Head of Content at Grit PH.

He started freelance writing in 2010 doing product reviews and tech news. In 2018, he became a full-time freelancer, writing in the financial space and creating content for clients in various niches.

Prior to freelancing full-time, he worked 7 years in the financial services industry for a Fortune 500 company.

He also writes on his personal blog, Homebased Pinoy (https://homebasedpinoy.com/), where he shares tips and guides as a work-from-home freelancer, along with NFT-game guides.

Education: Technological Institute of the Philippines (Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering)
Focus: Freelancing, Entrepreneurship, Financial Products, Investing & Personal Finance

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Glenda says

    Good morning mam/sir
    Im OFW here in dubai
    Im enterested to envest mutual fund but i dont know how to apply and where?

  2. Ferlan Sotillo Lebrado says

    Which is the best among the three?
    ATRAM via Seedbox, BPI ALFM, or SunLife?

    Just starting here 😀

  3. Adrian R. Lloveras says

    Hi Sir, I just want to clarify since these are invesment vehicles (both MF & UITF). They don’t require monthly payments right? You just leave your initial investment like for example 5k and allow the fund managers or representatives to work on your investment. But you also have the option to have additional investment.

  4. Conrado C Baltazar Jr says

    I want to know what is PLAN RULES.
    I invested in EIP at BDO since 2015. However, now that I want to unsubscribe and redeem my shares, the bank is insisting that I should file in person. They rejected the SPA i sent thru my brother. The SPA is purely for filing the notice of unsubscription and redemption, yet it was rejected. Their reason is that I need to sign the COPs which my attorney-in-fact is authorized to do per the SPA. Any help is highly appreciated.
    Thank you and God bless!

  5. Edwin says

    Hi Sir,
    I expecting my retirement pay, but as of now I dont have in mind yet what business I should take. Is it ok to invest it first in UITF? What is the maximum amount can I invest just incase? Thanks.

    • Mario Manahan says

      Hi Sir Edwin,
      Para po matutunan natin properly how to invest in Mutual Funds or Indirect Stock Market Investing.

      We encourage you to Attend our Free Financial Literacy and Investment Seminar.Register here and select the Financial Center near you 👉 http://bit.ly/RegistrationFormFinancialLiteracyClass
      Nasa Online Registration na po ang schedule at address

      • Rey cajita says

        Maam/sir,can i try to invest 10k to mutual fund then every month maghuhulog ako magkanu? For example in 5 years gusto ko maka 1 million;

  6. Marius Dejess says

    Dear Sir:

    That is a very exhaustive article!

    Please bear with me, would you do some work as to get to know what persons are in charge mano a mano of for example, the aggressive funds in Bpi asset and trust management service, like say, like the BPI Invest Philippine High Dividend Equity Fund?

  7. Joemar says

    Very nice article Amiel! So much learning in just one reading. Thank you for sharing your knowledge to us. Looking forward to reading more articles from you.

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