How to Pick the Best Online Stock Trading Platform for You

Published: May 19, 2020 | Updated: October 12, 2020 | Posted by: Moneymax | Personal Finance

Online Stock Trading Platforms | Moneymax

Online stock trading platforms have made stock investing more available and convenient for Filipinos. You can simply buy and sell stocks online with just a click of a button (or a tap on your smartphone if you’re using a mobile app). It’s so easy to monitor your investment portfolio anytime in the comfort of your home.

Online stock brokers in the Philippines have made all of these things possible through their respective online trading platforms. Gone are the days when you have to visit the broker’s office or make a phone call each time you want to place or cancel a trade order.

With different online stock brokers in the Philippines to choose from, you’re unsure of which to pick. How do you determine which option is the best trading platform for you? Keep reading to find out how to select the best online stock trading platform for you.

What is an Online Stock Trading Platform?

What is an Online Stock Trading Platform?

An online stock trading platform is a web-based or app-based tool that allows investors and traders to build, track, and manage their portfolio in one place through an online stock broker. Users can make investment or trading decisions without assistance from their broker.

Online trading platforms in the Philippines[1] are accessible only to clients of online stock brokers. This means you have to open an online stock trading account with a stock brokerage company first before you can use its online trading platform for buying and selling stocks.

4 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Stock Trading Platform

1. Your Budget

Online Stock Trading - Guide to Choosing the Best Platform

The first and most important consideration for beginners is how much they can afford to pay for opening an online stock trading account.

Online Stock Brokers with a Minimum Investment of PHP 5,000 or Less

If you want to start investing but don’t have hundreds of thousands worth of capital, you can start with as little as PHP 5,000.

Even better, if you already have a BDO, BPI, or Metrobank account, there is no minimum deposit to start investing through their respective online stock trading platforms. Listed here below are some of the online stock broker you may choose from with a minimum investment of PHP 5,000 or less.

Online Stock BrokerOnline Trading PlatformMinimum Investment
AB Capital Securities, Inc.ABCSINone
Alpha Securities CorporationALPHASECPHP 5,000
BA Securities, Inc.BASecOnlinePHP 5,000
BDO Nomura Securities, Inc.BDO NomuraNone
BPI Securities CorporationBPI TradeNone
COL Financial Group, Inc.COL FinancialPHP 5,000
Eastern Securities Development CorporationGoTradePHP 5,000
First Metro Securities Brokerage CorporationFirstMetroSecNone
Lucky Securities, Inc.Luckysec OnlinePHP 5,000
Philstocks Financial, Inc.PhilstocksPHP 5,000


Online Stock Brokers with a Minimum Investment of PHP 10,000 and Above

If you have more than PHP 5,000 to invest, consider also the PSE-accredited online stock trading brokers in the Philippines below.

Online Stock BrokerOnline Trading PlatformMinimum Investment
A & A Securities, Inc.A & APHP 50,000
AAA Southeast Equities, Inc.AAA EquitiesPHP 20,000
Abacus Securities CorporationMyTradePHP 100,000
AP Securities, IncorporatedAPS OnlinePHP 50,000
Coherco Securities, Inc.CohercoTrade.phPHP 150,000
DA Market Securities, Inc.iTradePHP 50,000
F. Yap Securities, Inc.2TradeAsia PHP 25,000
Globalinks Securities and Stocks, Inc.GTradePHP 20,000
HDI Securities, Inc.HDI Securities PHP 25,000
 Investors Securities, Inc. Investors OnlinePHP 50,000
JAKA Securities CorporationJAKA Securities OnlinePHP 25,000
Maybank ATR Kim Eng Securities, Inc.MakeTradePHP 1 million
Meridian Securities IncorporatedMSi Trade OnlinePHP 20,000
Optimum Securities CorporationOptimum OnlinePHP 25,000
Papa Securities CorporationP2P Trade OnlinePHP 50,000
RCBC Securities, Inc.RCBC ezTradePHP 10,000
Regina Capital Development CorporationRegina Online InvestingPHP 25,000
Timson Securities, Inc.Timson TradePHP 20,000
Triton Securities CorporationTritonSecPHP 10,000
UCPB Securities, Inc.MyStocksPHP 10,000
Unicapital Securities, Inc.UTradePHP 10,000
VC Securities CorporationVC TradePHP 10,000
Wealth Securities, Inc.WealthSecPHP 20,000


Online Stock Investing Fees and Charges

Aside from the minimum portfolio balance, it’s also important to be aware of fees and charges when trading.

Every time you buy or sell your shares, you are charged the following fees:

  • Broker’s commission – 0.25% of the gross trade amount (number of shares x unit price) / Minimum of PHP 20 per stock per day
  • Value-added tax (VAT) – 12% of the broker’s commission
  • Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) transaction fee – 0.005% of the gross trade amount
  • Securities Clearing Corporation of the Philippines (SCCP) fee – 0.01% of the gross trade amount
  • Sales tax (selling transactions only) – 0.60% of the gross trade amount

To easily compute your stock trading costs, you can use the PSE Academy’s online investment calculator[2].

When choosing a broker with your budget in mind, it’s best to get the most bang for your buck. If you have only PHP 5,000 and want to start trading now, consider a broker with a low entry fee and low commission.

2. Convenience

Online trading platforms ease the buying and selling of stocks. In the same manner, adding funds to your account should be convenient as well. Online deposits and withdrawals add a level of convenience you can’t disregard.

Check the FAQ page of your broker of choice to know the different options for funding your account.

Most online stock brokers in the Philippines allow clients to fund their accounts through over-the-counter and online bills payment with various banks, overseas remittance services, and directly in the brokerage company’s office.

However, the easier and faster way to fund an online stock trading account is through platforms of brokers that are affiliated with major banks.

For example, BDO Online Banking clients can directly transfer money from their savings account to their stock trading account through the BDO Nomura platform. If you have a BPI Online account, opt for a BPI Trade account so that you can quickly deposit and withdraw your money online.

The same can be said if you have a Metrobank Direct account and a First Metro Securities trading account (the stock brokerage company of the Metrobank group).

3. Online Stock Trading Platform Features

Online Stock Trading - Guide to Choosing the Best Platform

Online trading platforms in the Philippines are generally user-friendly and easy to use even for beginners. What sets them apart are the various features they offer that help their clients in making the right stock picks.

It’s important to know the features you need in an online brokerage account before opening one.

For long-term investors, here are some key features to look for in an online stock trading platform:

  • Real-time stock quotes
  • Morning notes and news
  • Company reports
  • Research reports and investment guides, both fundamental and technical
  • Charting tools with analysis on stock price
  • Stock picks/recommendations

If you decide to be a day trader instead of a long-term investor, the features of your online stock trading account need to have live and streaming data instead of end-of-day numbers.

If you’re an online stock trading beginner, you can open a trial account with different brokers to get a feel of their platform before you sign up for their service.

Related: COL Financial Guide for Stock Investing Beginners

4. Value-Added Services

Online Stock Trading - Guide to Choosing the Best Platform

Value-added services are features that go beyond the standard. For example, COL Financial’s Premium Account, with a minimum portfolio balance of PHP 1 million, provides additional features such as a relationship manager and a more detailed portal of your stock picks.

Another thing to consider is if your online stock trading account comes with a mobile app. BDO Nomura Mobile, FirstMetroSec GO, and Philstocks Mobile are among the stock trading apps that are mobile versions of their main trading account. This makes stock investing even more convenient, letting you buy and sell stocks using your phone.

Aside from these services, you can also look into free seminars and other learning platforms offered by online stock brokers in the Philippines. Seminars typically cover a wide range of topics, from fundamental analysis to technical analysis, which beginners need to know. Take advantage of these additional resources and services to learn the ins and outs of investing in the stock market.

Related: How to Invest in Stocks for Beginners (Even with Little Money)

Final Thoughts

Stock trading is one of the best ways of making your money work for you. However, you can’t just jump in blindly. “There are no shortcuts when investing. Learning and practicing are key,” says Marvin Germo, author of the Stock Smarts series of books.

One way to learn more about the stock market is by picking the brokerage firm that provides an online stock trading platform tailored to your needs. If you want to know more about making the right stock pick, read this article focused on coming up with your stock investing strategy.

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