Do you want to invest in the stock market too? Are you a newbie when it comes to investing in stocks? On today’s blog post I will narrate how my first six months investing in Philippine stock market went. I’m also going to share about my first investment portfolio and tips for beginners when it comes to investing stocks.
In January 2014, I withdrew my last paycheck and opened a mutual fund account in First Metro Asset Management (FAMI). I have no prior knowledge back then about mutual fund. All I read were testimonials and investment update from other financial bloggers and got curious.
I see mutual fund as a safer investment vehicle than direct stock market, but can bring better returns than traditional a savings account.
But last year, everything went from gain to pain in my account. I began losing money and seeing negative result. I was SHOOKED!
Even though the return of my investments were poor, I manage to stay invested. I used the Peso-Cost Averaging method and invested the same amount of money monthly. I also started researching other avenue where I can invest my surplus money.
Insert – Directly Investing in Philippine Stock Market
So in 2017 I set a goal to also open a direct stock market account.
People always ask me anu ba daw kaibahan ng mutual fund sa stocks. [What is the difference between mutual fund and stocks?]
Here’s a simple explanation:
When you invest in mutual fund you are basically investing in a selected portfolio already. This portfolio includes stocks from different listed companies in the Philippine stock market that could potentially answer your objectives as an investor.
I, for example, is long-term capital appreciation. This means, I don’t mind keeping my money in the stock market in the next 10-15 years. The type of mutual fund that matches to my goal is an Equity Fund, composed of high-yield stocks from top listed companies in the Philippines.
If you are investing in a mutual fund you don’t have a say which stocks your investment will go with. Every money you invest will be pooled together with other investors’ money and will be traded accordingly not by you, but by your fund manager!
When you are directly investing in Philippine stock market, you are basically doing it on your own. You can select which stocks you will buy, how many shares you will own and how long you want to stay invested in that particular listed company.
Your online broker will provide you with the technical indicators as guide or seminars to know how to analyze the movement of the market, but at the end of the day you will be deciding on your own.
Are the returns the same?
My first six months of directly investing in the Philippine stock market gave me 100% better returns than what I achieved from the first two years of my mutual fund!!!
But, may I also say that the risk involved in the stock market is WAY, WAY HIGHER than the mutual fund and if you don’t have prior knowledge and experience, you might lose MORE MONEY instead! Although I am enjoying the returns of my direct stock market investment I still keep my mutual fund because it offers exclusive advantages! You can read that more in this post – 7 Advantages of Mutual Fund.
Investing in Philippine Stock Market – How To Choose Your Online Broker?
But something happened in March 2017. I got a new job at none other than FAMI. Yes!! I am now working as System Documentation Associate at FAMI, creating process manuals for the company.
I already have investment with FAMI three years prior, so I approached the opportunity as a blessing. I was able to attend the Annual Shareholder Meeting last June 30.
A workmate of mine then introduced me to First Metro Securities, the brokerage arm of Metrobank and sister company of FAMI!
Upon research I decided First Metro Sec has a ton of advantage. I am not getting paid to promote either First Metro Sec or even FAMI to you. These are all based on my experience. Also, I don’t think they even know I blog, haha.
First, it is easy to open
You just basically have to do three things — 1.) Fill up the application forms and requirements, 2.) Enclose forms and requirements with two identification cards a.k.a. ID (photocopy only) and 3,) Submit to First Metro Sec’s office.
Second, First Metro Sec is “a sister” of First Metro Asset Management Inc. (FAMI)
Where I already have a mutual fund account since 2014. They both are part of the First Metro Investment Inc., the investment arm of Metrobank.
My payroll account us under Metrobank so this means funding my First Metro Sec can be easily done online!
Still all transaction will be done to the platform provided when you open a First Metro Sec Online stock trading account.
Fourth, I can reinvest to First Metro Sec my existing FAMI mutual fund
This deserves a separate post because it would be very confusing. But to put briefly, you can use a fraction of your FAMI mutual to invest directly in the stock market.
Last but definitely not the least, when you are a Metrobank owner your opening fee a.k.a. initial investment is FREE!
Yes, you can fund your account as low as 1,000pesos or 3,000pesos. Other stock brokers in the Philippines have account opening fee of 5,000pesos to 25,000pesos.
When it comes to choosing your online broker please consider the following:
- Number of years in the business
- Permit to operate
- Testimonials from clients
- How the online platform performs. Is the platform easy to understand and follow? Do you experience any difficulty when it comes to logging in? Are you provided with technical guides? Most online brokers offer free trials so take this chance to get to know the functionality of the platform.
- Fees included
A good article you can read is Sir Omeng Tawid’s Guide in Choosing Your Online Broker.
Some say it doesn’t matter who your chosen broker is but I beg to disagree. I have other workmates who are investing through COL Financial and they really love the platform and the guidance COL provides.
I am happy with First Metro Securities and I don’t see any reason to change my broker yet.
Investing in Philippine Stock Market – My First Purchase
I completed my application process on a Thursday and received confirmation of my account details for the online portal on Monday the following week.
What’s nice about First Metro Securities is you can simply answer the form online and print everything. Also the only identification I presented were my employee ID and NBI clearance. Katabi lang namin si First Metro Sec kaya wala ding gastos sa pamasahe.
The moment I received my account details I logged and checked the portal! This is also to activate my account. Also please note that during my account opening I did not pay anything to First Metro Sec.
For the initial investment, I still have to transfer money from Metrobank Direct to First Metro Sec online.
I followed a simple procedure for this:
1. Go to https://personal.metrobankdirect.com/ and log-in using your account details.
2. Click on Pay Bills.
3. Under Category, select Others
4. Under Biller Name, choose First Metro Securities Brokerage Corporation.
5. Enter Subscriber / Account No., your FMS Account Code (OTxxxxx)
6. Enter Reference Code, 660 (Note: This is the fixed reference code for FirstMetroSec)
7. Enter the amount you wish to transfer and Click Continue.
8. Waited for 15-30 minutes for the amount to reflect as “Buying Power” on my First Metro Securities account.
The initial money I used in investing in Philippine stock market was 5,000php. You may think that’s too low but since I already have a mutual fund, I intended my direct stock account as a way of diversification only. Thus, I only use my surplus money to buy the stocks I really want to own.
For my 5000php initial investment I bought 100 shares of Puregold (PGOLD). It was on top of my mind since I already know that it is one of the top-performing stocks on my equity mutual fund. Also the performance of PGOLD throughout the years has been phenomenal not to mention it is part of the undervalued stocks in the Philippines.
Other factors I considered Puregold are the following:
1. It is well-known in the Philippines.
2. It has solid endorsement from Eat Bulaga, country’s long-time variety show
3. There are Puregold everywhere
4. My parents does grocery shopping at Puregold.
Picking what stocks to buy in the Philippine stock market can be very tricky. I suggest visiting Dailypik website for some good recommendations. The website is updated daily on the best of undervalued stocks to invest with. They also give buy-below-price and target price.
Investing in Philippine Stock Market – My First Stock Portfolio
My first six months investing in the Philippine stock market turned out to be full of lessons learned. There are truly so many things I still need to know when it comes to the stock market.
For the first six months the total money I invested is 12,787.45. This money is scattered with the following stocks:
As of this writing the market value of my investment is now 13,397.26. A positive 608.81 difference!
In total, out of the four companies in my stock portfolio only two are gaining – PGOLD and WLCON. I personally think I got lucky buying Puregold (PGOLD) and Wilcon (WLCON) on my first month of directly investing in Philippine stock market. Both stocks are now performing really well.
I bought PGOLD for 44php/share last March and now naglalaro na siya sa 51php/share.
While I successfully bought 100 shares of WLCON every month and the average amount per share I spent is 8.22php. As of this writing it is 8.40php/share already!
The other two, MWIDE and CHP are sadly, not responding well than I thought they would be.
But if you think of it my money earned 608 php PASSIVELY! Meaning I didn’t do any active work to earn that! My money is definitely working FOR ME and not against me.
Lessons and Tips from My First Six Months Investing in the Philippine Stock Market
I have such a long way to go when it comes to the stock market. Unlike others, I visit my portfolio every single day! At exactly 9:45 am when the market is already open. I feel extreme happiness knowing what stocks are high.
And of course a bit pain when my other stocks remain bloody red. It’s been a roller coaster ride of emotion to be honest, but I am learning a lot.
Here are some of my tips for beginners investing in Philippine stock market.
1.Investing in the Philippine stock market is not for the faint-hearted.
You should know how and when to separate your emotions to your investments. If you are easily swayed by the sudden movement in the market or by seeing too much red in your portfolio then you are bound to commit some grave mistakes.
Many investors sell their stocks at significant loss when faced with bad news. They leave the stock market convinced that the stock market is bad and is a gamble.
When I first bought PGOLD in March 2017 at 44php/share, it unexpectedly went down to 41.7php/share in the succeeding months. I got really scared with what’s happening with my investment.
Thankfully, I hold tightly on my shares amidst the fear that I’m feeling inside. Now, PGOLD is 51php/share already! Winner!
2. Investing in the Philippine stock market is just ONE WAY you can invest your money
You must realize that investing in stock market is just another investment vehicle like mutual fund, personal equity retirement fund, small business or real estate properties.
You actually have a choice where you would place your money. Each investment vehicle has its own pros and cons, and may answer your goal as an investor.
How would this relate to you as a newbie investor?
Don’t invest all your money in the stock market. Try (and study) other vehicles too!
I’d love you to read the article I’ve written months ago where I answered a reader question – Where should I invest my money? That post will give you an idea which investment vehicle is a match for you!
3. Stop making excuses why you can’t start investing in the Philippine stock market
I seriously regret that I prolonged opening my own online stock account. How I wish I did it three years ago when I got my first paycheck!
Double Dragon (DD) opened in 2014 for only P2 per share, now it is P44 already!!! What the—
Laking hinayang di ba?
If you are delaying investing in stocks because…
- You don’t know how to open an account
- You have no idea which stocks to buy
- You want to wait for more money to invest
- You are afraid to lose money on stocks
- You don’t know how investing in Philippine stock market works
Then, you will never know unless you try!
So, stop making excuses and just invest now!
I am not an expert when it comes to the Philippine stock market but I know for a fact that TIME IS MY GREATEST ALLY.
4. When it comes to investing in the Philippine stock market, you should learn to DIVERSIFY.
One way you can apply diversification in the Philippine Stock Market is to buy stocks from different sectors in the stock market.
The companies listed on the Philippine stock market is divided into main sectors – financials, holding firms, industrial, mining and oil, property and services.
Don’t just focus on a particular sector. Try to have stocks for each sector if you can. This way you can also diversify (and minimize) the risk of losing money in case a particular sector fails.
Just like what the great Warren Buffet once said, never put all your eggs in one basket.
5. You don’t need that much money to start investing in the Philippine stock market
Before I started SavingsPinay, I thought the stock market is only for the rich and famous. Reading books and a number of good Filipino personal finance blogs opened my mind that you don’t need that much money to start investing in the Philippine stock market!
As a matter of fact I started investing with only 5000php!
The Board Lot shows the minimum number of shares you can buy at the buying power (or money) you have. So if we look with the Philippine stock market board lot you will realize that your 5000php will go a long way.
For example, Megaworld (MEG) trades at 5.28php/share as of today. The board lot 100 shares minimum.
5.28 x 100 = 528php
With your 5000php you can buy up to 900 shares of Megaworld. This is the only amount you need to be a stock holder of Megaworld. If in a year MEG stock went high up to 6php per share you have almost 600php gain already.
Of course, the more money you have the better. But my point here is, if you keep on waiting for that big money to come, you are also wasting big opportunity to make your money grow.
Maven of I The Corporate Slave shared her first COL portfolio last month and her 25,000php is scattered to more than 10 different stocks! A-MAZ-ING!
6. Investing in Philippine Stock Market is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme
When I first shared that I’m finally investing in stock market, I received numerous personal messages from colleagues asking how it works, how they can get started and how much they can gain.
Most thought that investing in Philippine stock market is a get-rich-stock-quick scheme. It is absolutely NOT. Although there are investors who might get rich quicker than normal, it will generally take several months or even years to see significant returns.
Don’t expect to get rich overnight in the stock market.
7. Investing in Philippine stock market takes time and a lot of learning
My first six months investing in Philippine stock market forced me to become more financially literate. I found myself reading and devoting time on best investing blogs in the country. I also read the business section of online news just to see what current events could possibly affect the stock market.
You can’t just invest your money and wait for it to grow. Spend time learning how the market works, what different investment strategies there is today and how you can apply each strategy to your own portfolio!
I also encourage you to attend basic and advanced seminars about investing in Philippine stock market. Top online brokerage firms in the country organize one almost every week! Attending seminar will help you gather knowledge (and courage) on your journey to financial freedom. You can also network with fellow individuals who have the same aim as you!
Attending seminars, reading different blogs and investment books will also make you understand common terms in the stock market.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
It has been my first six months investing in Philippine stock market and I can pretty much say it was a fruitful six months for me. There is a greater feeling inside when you tell people that you are investing in the stock market. I am proud that those 12k I have are now on its incubation period. I have a personal feeling it will flourish in the next months and years to come.
Stop doubting yourself and your ability to invest for yourself! Don’t procrastinate because time is running, my friend. Study the basics of investing in Philippine stock market and open an account now. Use your extra money! I repeat, use your extra money.
Overall, the best way to learn is to experience it yourself. Again, you will never know unless you try. And I hope this post helped you decide.
What is/are your biggest fear when it comes to investing in the stock market?
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Izza of SavingsPinay helps Filipinos bridge the financial literacy gap one content at a time by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing, side hustle and growing your net worth. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglinofull.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at firstname.lastname@example.org