I've received a lot of inquiries from people who can't really cash out thousands of dollars for a brokerage account overseas but would really want to diversify and/or maybe be able to invest overseas. This is an attempt to give what I know is good enough and affordable enough for many small Filipino investors, including those in the minimum wage.
I would first like to advise everyone reading this post that I am no professional though has been in the markets, investing, since I was 18. All information provided is just to the best of my knowledge and may not be updated, that some may not be true anymore at the time of writing or false. You, however, can check their respective websites for yourself. Also, please, be advised that I don't recommend trading in margin nor investing money that you can't afford to lose, especially if you're not sure yet of where you're putting your money into. I am not liable to any money that you might lose.
All the platforms below includes commission free trading and allows the use of a debit or credit card to fund your account. Also, the ability to buy fractional shares which lets you buy a thousand dollar share even without a thousand dollar. Let's start.
- Trading 212 (UK) - $1 minimum to open and buy shares
What I like about Trading 212 is that it is very accessible. You can already start buying stocks for as low as 1 USD/GBP/EUR on shares that are available for fractional buying which is I think available on almost all of the stocks except for a few ones (those that don't trade as much I think). Again, $1 minimum on so many shares to pick from. Their catalog of assets is pretty good as well, you have the US and many countries in Europe to invest in. They don't charge any withdrawal fee and inactivity fee. It is regulated by the FCA of UK.
2. eToro (Cyprus) - $200 (about P10,000) to open then $50 per deposit and trade after that
eToro is a social trading platform which let's you see other public trader profiles and allocate a set amount of money to copy their portfolio which can be attractive to those who don't want to make their own decisions on which assets to buy. The minimum amount to trade shares is $10 which can be limiting to some people. There is also just a small $5 flat-fee per withdrawal, with a minimum of $30 per withdrawal request. You are required to login to your account at least once per year as well, as it may charge you a $10 fee if you're not able to login within 12 months. Philippine customers I think are under the regulations of the ASIC of Australia. The thing I don't like about eToro is that you only have CFDs when buying shares or assets outside the US stock markets, so you're not really buying the underlying asset when you buy European stocks, which I think is not a good thing if you're there to actually do long-term investing. You get access though to more assets like securities in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, commodity CFDs and cryptocurrencies (though not withdrawable to an outside wallet).
Here I have listed 2 options for small Filipino investors to get into the international securities market. Kindly message me if there are other brokers you know we can include on this list and I'll get this article updated as soon as I try it. Have a prosperous new year, people...and have a happy life...with me.
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