I have been receiving many emails and comments about how to start investing in the Philippine stock market or how to open an account with an online stock broker. Hence, I decided to write this short article to share about how easy and economical it is to open an online account with the leading online broker, COL Financial.
First things first. Be sure you are ready to take the high risk of direct investing in the stock market. You should have at least basic knowledge of how it works. I suggest you attend a free seminar provided by COL Financial itself, if you are a newbie, before opening an account so you can understand the fundamentals.
Also if you are just starting in building your financial plan, be sure to build it the right way by prioritizing to meet the foundation aspects. You can read about it building a strong financial plan in this article.
When you’re ready, it’s time to open a COL financial account.
I recommend COL financial as I am a client/account owner myself, and I experience their user-friendly online platform, premium system and customer service. When you’re a newbie, you will appreciate the comprehensive research and investment guides they provide.
Now, here are 5 easy steps to open a COL financial account:
1. Decide on your account type
You can simply base your selection on the initial investment you currently have. Suppose you have less than Php25k, then choose COL starter account with minimum investment of Php5k. You can anyway, easily upgrade it to COL Plus when you reached investment of Php25k.
2. Download, print and fill-out Application Forms.
There are 3 forms you need to complete to open a COL financial account. You can download these here.
- Customer Account Information Form (CAIF)
- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
- Online Securities Trading Agreement (OSTA) should be read and kept by the account holder
Note that TIN is required. Make sure you provide your own email address as this is where COL financial will contact you regarding your application. All transaction notifications and confirmations regarding your COL financial account will also be sent in your email address.
3. Prepare Photocopy of 1 valid government issued ID.
You can prepare any of these with your specimen signatures:
- Driver’s License
- PRC ID
- SSS ID
4. Submit Forms and Requirements
Have your completed forms and requirements delivered to COL Financial’s address. I submitted mine by personally visiting COL Investor Center – Makati. Forms are already available in their office so you can complete the required forms when you visit their office, just make sure you bring the other requirements.
If you are not in Metro Manila or an OFW, you can submit your documents through iRemit branches . COL will receive your documents the next day and will email you with the message, on how to fund your account.
Here’s COL Financial office address:
COL FINANCIAL BUSINESS CENTER
2403B East Tower, PSE Centre,
Exchange Road, Ortigas Center,
Pasig City 1605, Philippines
COL FINANCIAL MAKATI INVESTOR CENTER
Mezzanine, Citibank Center,
8741 Paseo de Roxas
Makati City 1227, Philippines
5. Fund your account
Make the initial deposit to fund your COL account. You can directly fund your account in COL Financial main office or thru online/over-the-counter bills payment (for BPI, BDO, Mertobank, AUB).
I am a BPI account holder so I enrolled COL financial as a bill to easily fund my COL account online. There is a minimum charge of Php 10 pesos per transfer.
COL Financial will then email the user and log in password for your account and confirmed that your account is now active.
That’s it! You are now ready to buy your first stock. If you are a beginner, I suggest you study about fundamental analysis and invest in blue-chip companies who are stable and with national reputation.
You can also check COL Financial’s investment guides advising clients which stocks to buy or sell on a daily basis. You can get started from there.
Investing can be thrilling and fun especially when you find your money really growing. It can also be devastating when you make losses because of decisions you make based on your emotions. I learned this the hard way.
My advice for you is to never stop learning. The best investment is investment in knowledge.