Stock Trading and Mutual Funds are some of the investments that the typical Filipino has no deep knowledge of. Usually when we talk about assets, typically what people think about are the tangible ones like jewelry, cash, real estate. But often overlooked are some of the intangible ones like stocks, bonds, securities, or patents.
Stock investing does seem complicated to the typical Filipino, but this shouldn’t be. We should help provide people the knowledge on how to be able to earn more. With tools now online, it is easier than ever to start investing.
Basics of Stock Trading / Investing
Since this is a guide on how to invest in ColFinancial using GCash, then as a first step, let’s do some introductions first.
What are stocks?
Stocks are units or shares of ownership in a company. If you buy shares of stock, then you become part-owner of the company. You can buy these shares at a stock market.
Why would I need to invest in stocks?
Because these stocks have non fixed prices. Depending on what is happening in the company (or in the market as a whole), stock prices can rise or fall. It is these differences in price that investors look for to invest in. When you buy low and sell high, then you have a profit.
Also generally if you look at a stock price at a long enough term (in terms of decades), it gives a better return on your investment compared with many typical investments like bank time deposits or treasury bills.
How do you make money in stocks?
There are two ways — either your capital appreciates (or gains in value) or you earn dividends. Dividends are parts of the profit a company shares with its shareholders.
When is the best time to invest in stocks?
Generally, the best time to buy is when there is a recession (like now during this pandemic). The best time to sell is when the market is bullish. But if you know what you are doing, anytime is a good time to invest.
Is it hard to invest in the stock market?
If you need pointers on how to invest, you can take a look at SmartPinoyInvestor beginner’s guide on this subject.
Creating your COLFinancial Account
As this guide is about COLFinancial and GCash, I’ve compiled some how-to’s below:
How do I create an account with COLFinancial?
There are three types of accounts with COL:
- COL Starter – minimum investment is Php 1,000
- COL Plus – minimum investment is Php 25,000
- COL Premium – minimum investment is Php 1,000,000
As a beginner, I would recommend a COL Plus account. I find that the minimum investment for a COL Starter is not enough to buy shares even for a single company most of the time. Typically, when you purchase stocks, it is divided by lots. Each lot can have different sizes, for example, 5, 10, 100, 1000 depending on the share price.
For example, PLDT (stock abbreviation TEL) has a price of around Php 1,200 per share currently but is being sold with a lot size of 5. So that means buying this stock can reach Php 6,000 in just a single transaction.
However, if you are not comfortable with the amount, then COL Starter is fine. You can find other cheaper stocks to test the waters.
What are the requirements to open an account?
Here are the requirements for creating one:
- One valid government-issued ID
- SSS/GSIS/CRN (UMID) Numbers
- Bank Account Details (for Withdrawals)
- Selfie with your ID
- Specimen Signatures with your ID
After collecting your requirements, you can sign up in this portal. You will also need to sign some documents.
I don’t have a TIN (Tax Identification Number). How do I get one?
Unfortunately, the online portal for getting one is not working. So you would need to process it at a BIR RDO (Revenue District Office) near you.
The requirements listed depend on what type of taxpayer you are. If you are unemployed, you can apply with Form 1904. If you are self-employed, apply with Form 1901. You would also need PHP 500 as processing fee.
How do I fund my account?
After creating an account, the next step is to fund it. There are several ways of funding your account, but most of them involve paying bills via your preferred channel (like banks or over-the-counter options). Since we have GCash, we can use pay bills to fund your account.
There is a Php 20 transaction fee, and you need to wait for your payment to be successful. Once your payment is accepted, you will be receiving your log-in details in your registered email address.
Buying Stocks Using your COLFinancial Account
How do I use my account as a beginner?
You will need to research first on what stocks you plan to buy. You can use this tool to check out the stock codes for companies in the stock market. Find out your risk appetite, seek out the fundamentals of companies you admire.
Once you’re ready, you need to log-in to your account and you will be able to see this screen.
The main tabs of note are Quotes, Trade and Research.
Under Quotes, you can check out specific stock info and put it into your watch list. If you want to buy or sell stocks, or look at your portfolio, click on Trade. As for Research, you can find out some tips and research outputs from COLFinancial analysts regarding company specific information or general market trends.
Explore and tinker around as you get used to the interface.
How do I buy or sell shares of a stock?
You’ve done your research. Now, how do you buy shares? Here are the Steps:
First, you need to do your buying during trading hours. Basically, you can only trade at certain hours every weekday. Here is the schedule:
Next, check your portfolio under Trade > Portfolio to check if your funds came in.
Third, you need to get the price of the stock you are planning to buy, click on the Quotes tab, and enter the stock code of the shares you are planning to buy.
Here is what a quote looks like. Bid means these are the buyers and Ask are the sellers.
For this example, the first row under Bid means that there are 14 buyers buying at 1.99. The first row under Ask has 28 sellers selling at 2.00. Buyers would always want lower prices, and sellers would always want higher prices.
Fourth, you can put in your buying price near or at the cheapest ask price. You can do this by going to the Trade tab, and clicking on “Enter Order”. Input your Order details and enter your password. Your order will then be posted.
Once your order is fulfilled, you will be seeing your shares under Trade > Portfolio. If you want to sell your shares, the process is similar, you just need to post a sell order instead.
Some Supplementary Information
Can I buy or sell mutual funds in COLFinancial?
Yes, you can click on the “Mutual Funds” tab to check out their selection. You can also buy or sell anytime, without any exit or entry fees.
Can I top up my funds in my account?
Yes, you can use GCash or other payment or billing channels to top up your account anytime.
How do I withdraw my funds?
Under the Trade > Portfolio, you can click on the “Withdrawal Request” link. You will then need to input the amount you are going to withdraw and whether you prefer it to be deposited to the bank account you enrolled. Take note that this isn’t instant and would likely take a few days to be processed.
We talked about some stock trading basics, then moved into how to create a COLFinancial account, fund it using GCash and buy your first stocks.
Please take note that stocks are generally volatile investments and it is recommended you do a good deal of research before investing. Also, it is better to buy and hold stocks for a long time if you are not a day trader.
If you are the enterprising type, here are some links that you might be interested in:
If you’d like to learn more about GCash, I created a how-to on the basics of GCash.
Here is a list of links if you’re interested in the main GCash features: