How to Select the Best Online Stock Broker in the Philippines in 2020?

How to choose the perfect and best online stock broker in the Philippines? This is probably the most common question that beginner trader or investor needs to answer not only in the Philippines but worldwide.

How about you? Do you also want to open an online investing or trading account to participate in the Philippine Stock Exchange?

The number of Filipinos investing and trading in the Philippine Stock Market is growing year after year. It seems that many are becoming aware of this investment medium to possibly grow their wealth and to beat inflation. I can actually guess why you are here. Because you want to do the same :-).

There are over 300 companies listed in PSE that are available for the public to invest in. The possible ways to buy shares of these companies based in the Philippines are through traditional, and online stock brokers.

In this post, I will share the 4 essential factors to consider when choosing the best online stock broker that fits your preference. This will help you narrow down the choices so it will be a bit easier to select the perfect one. I will also share here my top 5 online stock broker which you can also check to jumpstart your search.

There are hundreds of accredited stockbrokers in the Philippines that are into traditional, and or online stock brokerage service.

For beginners, it can be overwhelming to choose the right broker to trust for the long term that you will be investing or trading in the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Table of Contents

What are Stock Brokers?

Stockbrokers are simply defined as a licensed professional or registered firm that performs the buying and selling of stocks /shares on behalf of their respective clients. The clients can be a trader, investor and also an investment company.

In return, stockbrokers receive compensation in a form of commission for the transactions that they have done for their clients.

How many Stock Brokers are there in the Philippines?

Based on the directory of PSE as of 2020, there are 130 registered stockbrokers in the Philippines, 33 of which offers an online trading platform to its clients. These firms cater to investors/traders classified as retail, institutional, and foreign.

4 Essentials when Choosing the Best Online Stock Brokerage Firm in the Philippines

There are many factors to consider before you choose your preferred brokerage firm. Here are the most common concerns:

Ease of Opening an Online Account and Minimum Starting Balance

You have to consider the process of how you can open an online account. Especially, if you are a beginner based in the Philippines, more so if you are working overseas (OFW). The ease of acquiring the requirements and how to send it to the broker. It can be a hindering factor for some, that is why they don’t pursue their plan to invest in PSE.

Aside from that, you also need to consider the starting minimum balance of the broker. Simply because even if you have all the documents, but you do not have the funds, then starting your online account will just be delayed. There are also top of the line online stock brokers that require a premium starting balance.

Depending on the broker’s requirement, you can open an online account with just Php 1000.00. There are brokers that require a minimum of Php 5000.00, 20000.00, 50000.00, to as high as Php 1 Million.

Features, Charting Tools, and Ease of Use

The things I will mention are crucial, particularly if you plan to become a short-term stock trader. You need a state-of-the-art feature such as availability of the mobile apps, aside from the usual desktop (web browser) based trading platforms to buy and sell stocks with ease. Example of the mobile app is from Philstocks:

online stockbroker mobile app philippines

Another question is whether the trading platform for both mobile app and desktop are easy to use. This is a big concern if you will be into day trading. The number of steps to execute a trade is a big factor to maximize potential gains and minimize losses. It is advisable for beginners to open a demo account to get a first-hand answer to this question.

Almost all the online stock brokers I have stated in this post allow prospective customers to open a demo account, which you can try for a certain number of days. Take advantage of that opportunity to check the user experience of the broker’s trading platform.

You also need to consider the availability of charting tools because you need it when studying stocks chart patterns.

Ease of Funding and Withdrawal

There are online stock brokers that are tied-up with banks. Consider your existing bank account, and also the tied-up banks of the broker. The reason is, to minimize incurred extra charges every time you will fund your account, and also when withdrawing your earnings.

OFWs sometimes need to visit a remittance center on their host country to send money to fund their account. Unfortunately, only a handful of Philippine based banks have ties with remittance centers abroad. Consider that too!

Several online stock brokers can deposit your earnings directly to your bank account upon your request. This is a good feature to minimize hassle on your part. You do not need to receive your earnings in the form of a cheque.

Here is my sample withdrawal request emailed to my stock broker:

online stock broker email sample

Customer Service Assistance

This basically is how the broker’s customer service representative responds to your queries and provides fast and accurate assistance.

You can gauge this by opening a demo account. Send them an email to know how fast they would respond. Ask them questions regarding their features to see if they will be able to persuade you to open an online account with them.

After considering all the factors I have stated, decide which among the online stock brokers deserve your trust to be your partner in your stock trading and investing journey.

To kickstart your search for the worthy brokerage firm, I have listed below the stock brokers that offer have an online trading platform.

Online Stock Brokers in the Philippines List

Based on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) official website pse.com.ph, there is a total of 33 accredited stock brokers that are currently offering online trading platforms to its current and future clients.

I have listed all of them here including their website, and minimum starting balance. This will help you get a glimpse of what the particular online stock broker has to offer.

Take note, however, that some data may have changed from the time of posting so be responsible to at least check their updated website and latest starting balance.

Stock Brokers with Starting Balance of Php 5,000

Brokerage Firm Name: Alpha Securities Corporation
Website: https://alpha.psetradex.ph
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 5,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: COL Financial Group, Inc.
Website: www.colfinancial.com
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: 5000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: Eastern Securities Development Corporation
Website: www.eastern-sec.com
Platform, Services: Online, with research
Minimum Starting Balance: 5000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: Globalinks Securities and Stocks, Inc.
Website: www.globalinks.com.ph/
Platform, Services: Online, with research
Minimum Starting Balance: 5000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: Lucky Securities, Inc.
Website: http://luckyseconline.psetradex.ph
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 5,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: Philstocks Financial Inc.
Website: www.philstocks.ph
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 5000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: BA Securities Inc.
Website: http://baseconline.psetradex.ph
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 5000.00

Stock Brokers with Starting Balance of Php 10,000

Brokerage Firm Name: Triton Securities Corporation
Website: https://triton.psetradex.ph/
Platform, Services: Online, with research
Minimum Starting Balance: 10,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: UCPB Securities, Inc.
Website: www.ucpbsec.com/
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: 10,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: Unicapital Securities, Inc.
Website: www.utradeph.com
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: 10,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: RCBC Securities, Inc.
Website: www.rcbcsec.com
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: 10,000.00

Stock Broker with Php 20,000 Starting Balance

Brokerage Firm Name: Meridian Securities Incorporated
Website: www.meridiansec.com.ph
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 20,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: Timson Securities, Inc.
Website: www.timson.com.ph
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: 20,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: Wealth Securities, Inc.
Website: www.wealthsec.com
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 20,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: AAA Southeast Equities, Inc.
Website: www.aaa-equities.com.ph
Platform, Services: Online, with research
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 20,000.00

Stock Brokers with 25000 Php Starting Balance

Brokerage Firm Name: F. Yap Securities, Inc.
Website: https://fyapsecurities.com/
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 25,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: HDI Securities, Inc.
Website: www.hdisecurities.com
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 25,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: Regina Capital Development Corporation
Website: www.reginacapital.com/
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: 25,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: Optimum Securities Corporation
Website: http://optimumonline.psetradex.ph
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: 25,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: JAKA Securities Corporation
Website: www.jakagroup.com/
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 25,000.00

Stock Broker with Starting Balance of Php 50,000

Brokerage Firm Name: A and A Securities, Inc.
Website: http://aasecuritiesinc.psetradex.ph
Platform, Services: Online, with Research
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 50,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: AP Securities Incorporated
Website: www.apsecuritiesinc.com.ph
Platform, Services: Online, with research
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 50,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: COHERCO Securities, Inc.
Website: www.coherco.ph
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: 50,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: DA Market Securities, Inc.
Website: https://itrade.ph
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 50,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: Investors Securities, Inc.
Website: https://investorsonline.psetradex.ph/
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 50,000.00

Brokerage Firm Name: Papa Securities Corporation
Website: www.papasecurities.com
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 50,000.00

Stock Broker with Php 100,000.00 Starting Balance

Brokerage Firm Name: ABACUS Securities Corporation
Website: www.abacus-sec.com/
Platform, Services: Online, with research
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 100,000.00

Stock Broker with Php 1,000,000.00 Starting Balance

Brokerage Firm Name: Maybank ATK Kim Eng Securities, Inc.
Website: https://maybanktrade.psetradex.ph
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Php 1,000,000.00

Stock Broker with Not Indicated Starting Balance

Brokerage Firm Name: AB Capital Securities, Inc.
Website: www.abcapitalsecurities.com.ph
Platform, Services: Online, with research
Minimum Starting Balance: Not Indicated

Stock Broker Name: BDO Nomura Securities, Inc.
Website: www.bdo.com.ph/bdonomura
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Not Indicated

Stock Broker Name: BPI Securities Corporation
Website: www.bpitrade.com
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Not Indicated

Stock Broker Name: First Metro Securities Brokerage Corporation
Website: https://www.firstmetrosec.ph/
Platform, Services: Online
Minimum Starting Balance: Not Known

Stock Broker Name: VC Securities Corporation
Website: http://vcsecurities.biz/
Platform, Services: Online, with research
Minimum Starting Balance: Not Available

Now that I have listed all the online stock brokers in the Philippines, what you need to do next is choose the right one for you based on the 4 factors that I also mentioned. Check their respective websites, read their about page, and open a demo account.

You can also attend the free stock market seminar offered by the Philippine Stock Exchange and some online brokers to boost your learnings about this particular financial instrument that you want to utilize.

online stock brokers philippines

5 of the Best Online Stock Brokers in the Philippines

Here is the list of top 5 online stock brokers in the Philippines so you can kickstart investing or trading in the stock market. These brokers require you to register for an account with them.

You also need to send the photocopy of your valid IDs, TIN number and need to send them the minimum starting amount.

Stock Broker Name: AAA SOUTHEAST EQUITIES, INCORPORATED

  • Office Address: Ayala Tower One and Exchange, Unit 1511, Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas Makati City
  • Contact Details: (02) 84-03-29-27 / Email: support@aaa-equities.com.ph
  • Website: https://aaa-equities.com.ph/
  • Minimum cost to open an account: P20,000
  • Platform Availability: Desktop/Website, Smartphone, and Tablet App
  • Requirements to open an account: properly filled out a registration form, and 2 valid IDs including but not limited to your Philippine passport, driver’s license, SSS ID, and valid Philhealth ID.
aaa equities philippines stock brokers online

AAA Equities is currently the first and only stock brokerage firm in the Philippines that offers conditional orders.

This means you can set your buy and sell triggers and their platform is the one that will execute it for you. When the triggers are hit, you can buy on breakouts and cut your losses automatically. You can trade anytime, anywhere, even when you are not in front of your computer.

Broker Name: 2TradeAsia

  • Office Address: 17th Floor Lepanto building 8747 Paseo de Roxas Makati, 1226 Philippines
  • Contact Details: (+632) 8856-7680 / Email: customercare@2tradeasia.com
  • Website: www.2tradeasia.com
  • Starting investment to open an account: P25,000
  • Platform Availability: Desktop/Website, and Mobile App
  • Requirements to open an account: Properly filled out online application form, print and sign your application form, photocopy of two valid IDs showing your photo and signature. Send all your requirements to their office address.

2TradeAsia was launched in September 2000. They are a licensed stockbroker that has been part of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) since May 2000.

online stock brokers 2tradeasia in the philippines

2TradeAsia is recognized by the Board of Investments as the first online trading site that offers services such as integration of trading, portfolio management, and financial planning back in 2001.

Broker Name: COL FINANCIAL formerly CitisecOnline

  • Office Address: 2403B East Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center, Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City 1605 Philippines
  • Contact Details: +632 86515888 / Email: helpdesk@colfinancial.com
  • Website: www.colfinancial.com
  • The minimum investment to open an account: P1,000 for starter account, P25000 for plus account, and P1,000,000 for a premium account.
  • Platform Availability: Desktop / Website
  • Requirements to open an account: Properly filled-out forms, 1 photocopy of Philippine government issued valid ID.

COL Financial formerly known as CitisecOnline is the leading online stock broker based in the Philippines. It is established in 1999 by Edward Lee. Currently, it is serving more than 200,000 customers comprising of individuals based in the Philippines and foreign citizens.

stockbroker colfinancial philippines

COL Financial has this Easy Investment Program (EIP) that helps retail investors maximize returns and minimize risk through Peso-cost-averaging. They also offer free stock market seminars at their various offices in the Philippines.

Broker Name: Timson Securities, Inc. (TIMSON TRADE)

  • Office Address: Suite 3310 Robinsons Equitable TowerADB Avenue Ortigas, Pasig City 1605 Philippines
  • Contact Details: (+632) 8 633 0344 / (+632) 8 631 0876 / Email: cs@timson.com.ph
  • Website: https://timson.com.ph
  • Minimum cost to open an account: P 100,000.00
  • Platform Availability: Desktop
  • Requirements to open an account: Properly filled out Customer Account Information Form (CAIF), print it and sign. Photocopies of 2 valid government IDs for Filipino citizens. Photocopy of proof of billing such as your credit card bill, bank statements, and utility bills.
timson trade philippines

Timson Securities Inc. is one of the leading stock brokerage firms in the Philippines. The company was incorporated in May 2013. It caters to retail and institutional investors based in the Philippines, and abroad. If you want to be familiar with their trading platform, you can open a 5-day trial account.

Broker Name: Philstocks Financial Inc.

  • Office Address: G/F Unit EC-05B East Tower Philippine Stock Exchange Center Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City Philippines 1605
  • Contact Details: (+632) 8588-1900 / Email: info@philstocks.ph
  • Website: www.philstocks.ph
  • Minimum cost to open an account: P5000.00
  • Platform Availability: Desktop and Mobile app
  • Requirements to open an account: To register for an account you can visit https://registration.philstocks.ph/ fill up the necessary information. Then follow the instruction thereafter. You also need to provide 2 valid primary IDs or 1 primary ID and 2 secondary IDs. Bring or send all the requirements at the Philstocks head office in Pasig City or branch office in ETY Building in Binondo Manila.
philstocks online stock broker philippines

PhilStocks formerly known as Accord Capital Equities Corporation was established in 2001. Their aim is to provide precise and top quality trading experience utilizing state of the art technology and offering a high quality of service and customer support. Their headquarters is in Pasig city and they also have a branch office in Binondo, Manila.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Requirements to Open an Online Stock Trading Account

Based on the online stock brokers that I have checked, the basic requirements to start a trading account are the following:

  • Valid email address
  • Personal contact number
  • Completely filled out application form
  • Scanned or photocopied 2 valid government or company-issued IDs
  • Photocopy of a valid passport for non-resident foreigners
  • Alien certificate of registration for resident foreign citizens, work permit from DOLE
  • Minimum starting balance
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)

The requirements vary depending on your residency status or citizenship.

How to Open an Online Stock Trading Account for Beginners in 5 Easy Steps

1. Fill up the application form

Depending on the online stock broker, you need to download, print, and completely fill up the application form.

You need to type in the details of your complete name, permanent and alternative mailing address, beneficiaries, country of birth, citizenship, SSS number, permanent and present address, occupation, business, and other personal details.

2. Prepare the Requirements

Photocopy all the requirements. Inquire with your chosen stock broker about the additional requirements.

3. Mail All the Documents to the Brokerage Firm Address

In some cases, and to make the application faster, some brokerage firms may request you to email them the scanned copies of your documents. Afterward, you need to mail the hardcopy of the documents to their office mailing address.

4. Deposit the Starting Minimum Balance to the Stock Broker

Every accredited stock broker has its own minimum peso value for the starting balance. Based on their requirements, deposit the value to their bank account.
Email them the copy of your deposit slip or money transfer reference number for fast verification.

5. Wait for your Username and Password

This is usually sent through your registered email address. Wait for a few hours or days as it may take time for them to verify your money transfer. Afterward, start trading or investing in the stock market.

How much Funds Do I Need to Start Investing in the Stock Market?

For beginners, you can start investing in the stock market in the Philippines with just 1000.00 pesos through COL Financial’s Easy Investment Program (EIP).

In general, the minimum balance depends on your chosen stockbroker. There are stock brokerage firms that require starting balance ranging from PHP 5000.00 to as high as Php 100,000.00 before you can open an investing or trading account with them.

How much are the Stock Broker Fees and Charges in the Philippines?

The broker’s commission fee is around .25% of the gross trade amount. However, there is a minimum charge of Php 20.00 per transaction, or whichever is higher.

If you want a broker-assisted trade, meaning the broker will be the one to execute the buying and selling for you, the commission cost will be much higher.

Aside from the commission, there are other fees and charges when buying and selling stocks through a brokerage firm. The fees include value-added tax (VAT), Philippine stock exchange transaction fees, Securities clearing corporation of the Philippines Fee, and Sales tax.

The fees usually are computed based on the gross trade amount of the transaction, and the number of shares.

If you want to transfer your current stockholdings to another stockbroker. The cost would be Php 75.00 per stock name/company regardless of the quantity of the shares.

Can I buy Shares of Companies in the Philippines without a Stock broker?

You need to open an account from a PSE accredited brokerage firm before you can start investing/trading in the stock market.

You can buy stocks the traditional way, which is by giving phone calls or written instructions to assigned licensed stockbroker of your chosen brokerage firm buy directly online using your electronic trading account.

Can I Grow My Investment Through Stocks Investing / Trading?

The answer is both ‘YES’ and ‘NO’. This may be subjective but allow me to give you an example scenario of how you can grow your investment and also how you can end up in a ‘Loss’ where 50 to 60 percent value of your investment were sadly gone.

Here is the first stock example: Macroasia Corporation with stock code MAC
If you were able to buy on a breakout of the stock and sold it after it broke down from 20MA moving average. You probably grow your investment 100 percent in just a span of 3 months. This particular scenario answers your question with a ‘YES.’

Here is the second stock example: Xurpas Incorporated with stock code X
If you were able to buy on the breakdown of support and hold the stock for one hundred trading days. Then in a span of roughly 4 months, your investment has incurred loss equivalent to 67 percent of its original value. This particular scenario answers your question with a ‘NO.’

The outcome is really based on the stock you will buy and the time you bought and sold it.

There you have it. I hope this helps guys when you are about to start choosing your online stock broker and also when you are about to invest or trade in the Philippine Stock Exchange.

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