I’ve constantly heard of COL Financial (formerly CitisecOnline) as a reliable Philippine Stock Exchange broker from my credible friends and colleagues over the years. However I’ve always turned down ideas on investing in the stock market, as I know for a fact that I am a VERY emotional trader, as I’ve written in my forex article.
Times changed and for some reason I just woke up wanting to invest in the stock market, maybe because of the constant ‘nagging’ by my colleague (thank you my genius colleague, by the way), him showing me how he can easily earn up to 80K in 3 days. I am not going to discuss that in this article as I couldn’t understand how he was able to predict the 3-day market movement, and of course, that also took a lot of capital on his end. Every morning at our desk, he always showed me how it worked with all those technical jargons that I did not even understand. Then I asked him: since I already told you that I am a very emotional trader and I don’t think I can handle trading and monitoring the market on a daily basis, is it possible to just invest in the long term and just check my balances after maybe 5 years or more? His answer: Yes. He also showed me how much more I could’ve earned had I just invested in the stock market in the long term than investing on equity fund 2-3 years ago.
So I decided to give it a try. I mean, why not? My money has just been sleeping the bank for years now, and it’s time for me to diversify on my investments, as long as I follow my personal golden rules in investing:
- Have an emergency fund that you can easily convert to cash, like savings accounts. This way, you will not be forced to withdraw from your investment at a negative rate during financial emergencies. Most suggest 6 month’s to a year’s worth of emergency fund.
- Do your research – use the internet to your advantage. In this case, I Googled on the top Philippine stocks to invest on in the long term for 2015, like this article. Of course, make sure to read on more than one article, preferably from a reliable source, to ensure that you get a ‘second opinion’. Also, make sure the article you are reading on is up-to-date by looking at the date of publish.
- Think long term – this 3rd rule of mine actually depends on the investor himself/herself. As for me, since I already know that being an emotional trader is one of my weaknesses, I prefer to invest in the long term as I know that unit rates generally goes up in the long term (although not all). If you prefer day trading, that’s ok as I know of someone who makes money day trading.
- Be aware that any kind of investment constitutes a risk, to guide you on your investment.
- Do not be afraid to fail and keep moving forward.
Not that confident in picking stocks? Find out if copy trading is for you.
Now, I’m not going to discuss on how to open a COL account as COL’s website already has an easy step by step instructions on opening an account with them, however based on my experience in opening an account there are two helpful things you may want to know that are not on their site:
- You can have a COL messenger pick-up your signed application form and documents (within the day or next day, depending on circumstances) so you no longer have to go to their office or have your docs mailed to COL, as long as your location is within Metro Manila area. You can call them at their customer service hotline (+632) 6 515 888 to schedule a pick-up.
- Lead time on the creation of your account and password after your initial funding is 2-3 working days. However, you can actually expedite the creation of your account once you have successfully funded the same by calling their customer service hotline (+632) 6 515 888. At first, the rep will insist on following the 2-3 day lead time, but if you ask nicely and you really need to execute that auspicious trade, they will surely help to expedite the creation of your account with their operations department.
To cut the story short, I’ve opened an account which I had funded PHP 150,000.00 just last week and got the help of my colleague in executing my first few trades. See below screenshot – currently all red but I’m optimistic and i really hope it’ll turn all green not long in the future. I’ll let you know (maybe after some months and next after some years?) how this ‘long term’ investment turns out, and I hope you learn something from it once information is available. Do watch out for it.
***Oct. 22, 2015: Good news! I’ve just published my update post regarding my COL Financial account here!
***July 4, 2016: A year after investing in the PSE, I must say that my decision to invest was right. In fact, one of the company stocks that I bought (MPI) gained more than a half (53.06%). Read more on this update and the action steps that I took here!
If you wish to know more, I’ve also written about COL’s Mutual Fund Supermarket, and also about the time I ambush interviewed its founder Edward Lee. If you’re looking to find out alternatives, check out my reply to a reader who asks which is the better investment between COL stock market and BDO Equity Fund.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment, share your tips, or ask a question. Please also like me on Facebook and Twitter! Thank you!