Top Investment Platforms for Small Filipino Investors Who Want to Invest in Securities Abroad

Money Feb 4, 2021

I've received a lot of inquiries from different kinds of people who can't really cash out thousands of dollars for a brokerage account abroad, but would really want to diversify and/or invest overseas. Here I am going to provide platforms that I think are good enough and affordable enough for many small Filipino investors, including those on minimum wage.

I would first like to advise everyone reading this post that I am no professional, though I have been in the markets, investing, since I was 18. All information provided is to the best of my knowledge and may not be updated; some details may no longer be accurate at the time of writing. However, you can check their respective websites as there are links to them in this article. Also, please be advised that I don't recommend trading on margin nor investing money that you can't afford to lose, especially if you're not sure where you're putting your money. I am not liable for any capital that you might lose.

All the platforms listed below include commission-free trading and allow the use of a debit or credit card to fund your account. Also, they all allow the ability to buy fractional shares, enabling you to buy a thousand-dollar share even without a thousand dollars. 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 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. They are regulated by the FCA of the UK.

eToro (Cyprus) - $200 (about P10,000) to open, then $50 per deposit and trade after that

eToro is a social trading platform which lets you see other fellow investors' profiles and allocate a set amount of money to copy their portfolio. This feature 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. Additionally, there is a small flat fee of $5 per withdrawal, with a minimum of $30 per withdrawal request. Philippine customers are, I believe, under the regulations of the ASIC of Australia.

The thing I don't like about eToro is that you only get 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 believe is not ideal if you want to invest long-term. However, you do gain access to a wider range of assets, like securities in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, commodity CFDs, and cryptocurrencies. It's worth noting that your crypto holdings with them are not withdrawable to an outside wallet.

Here, I have listed two great options for small Filipino investors to get into the international securities market. Kindly message me if there are other brokers you know that we can include on this list, and I'll get this article updated as soon as I try them. Have a prosperous new year, people... and have a happy life... with me.

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