Philippine Stock Brokers (Or Lack Thereof)

I guess that one of the biggest hurdle to investing is how to actually start investing.

When you want to buy something, you usually just go to the nearest mall. Maybe not even that far. Heck, if you open up your pc or smartphone you'll probably see an ad for something willing to take your money right there and then.

With investments it's harder. You actually have to find out where to go first. If you want a mutual fund, you'll have to search online find their office and then plan your route to get there.

With UITFs, it's not much easier. You'll have to go to the nearest bank, and then talk to a bank representative who probably never heard of it until you asked. If you're so lucky, they might even bungle your application.

In both cases you'll have to prepare the requirements before-hand, unless you like making return trips. So usually the first step is a search online through blogs, forums, facebook. But if you're fortunate enough, you can just ask a friend who had done it before. Or maybe a friend of a friend since not a lot of people are investing.

Philippine Stock Brokers (Or Lack Thereof)   Did you know there are over 100 registered (i.e. legitimate) stock brokers in the country? But only 13 of those will let you invest online, and for less than 20,000.  Remember to check first with PSE's list of brokers to make sure they're still active (i.e. still allowed to take your money) or for any changes.


And with only 1% of the population reportedly investing in stocks, it's probably a little bleaker if you woke up and suddenly wanted to buy shares of your favorite fastfood company.

For example, did you know there are 132 registered (i.e. legitimate) stock brokers in the country? (source: official site of Philippine Stock Exchange)

I've been investing for yours and didn't know there was that many!

With so many brokers, it's a wonder they aren't going door to door in Makati. In contrast, think of all the credit card offers you've gotten; all of them probably came from 10 or less different banks. 

Of course, that's probably because only 97 of those are catering to individuals (i.e. not just corporations or pension funds).

And only 19 offer online services. Why is that important? If they're not online, they naturally have to prefer rich people (or at least people with a large amount to invest). Since they cannot handle as many clients as online brokers, they need to be "efficient" and after the "big fish".

And only 14 of those will let you invest for less than 50,000.

That's a far cry from the 132 we started out. But it's actually a little worse, since even if you frequent facebook gorups or forums about stocks, of that 14 you'll recognize  less than 10 names of stockbrokers.

And who hands over money to people they don't know and never heard of before?

Anyway, in the interest of helping people to start invest in the stock market (assuming they want this, and not just an equity fund). Here's 13 legitimate, online, stock brokers that will let you invest with 20,000 or less:

  • AB CAPITAL SECURITIES, INC.
  • BA SECURITIES, INC.
  • BPI SECURITIES CORPORATION
  • COL FINANCIAL GROUP, INC.
  • FIRST METRO SECURITIES BROKERAGE CORPORATION
  • MAYBANK ATR KIM ENG SECURITIES, INC.
  • MERIDIAN SECURITIES, INC.
  • PHILSTOCKS FINANCIAL, INC.
  • RCBC SECURITIES, INC.
  • REGINA CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT CORP.
  • TIMSON SECURITIES, INC.
  • UNICAPITAL SECURITIES, INC.
  • WEALTH SECURITIES, INC.

Since I only have experience with 3 of those, I can't really make recommendations. It's also best that you check first with PSE's list of brokers to make sure they're active (i.e. still allowed to take your money) or for any changes.


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photo credit: Tarsier via photopin (license)

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