If you’ve always wanted to learn investing in stocks but couldn’t figure out where to start, the first thing that should be on your to-do list is opening up an account with your stockbroker of choice. In my case, I use COL Financial.
Note that I am in no way associated with COL. And while COL is a reliable broker, there are many others out there you should also consider.
For now though, I’ll give you a step-by step guide on how you can open up your investing account and start trading stocks.
- Know your budget
To entice customers, COL now allows investors with as little as P5000 minimum capital to open up an account with them. And if you’re a little tight on the budget, this is good news for you. With a COL Starter account, you can basically access all features you need as an entry-level investor or trader.
You can also check out the list of features below to know the differences between each account type.
But to be honest with you, P5000 is the minimum requirement for a reason. It really is not enough to buy you any good deal and give you high short term returns if you’re looking into flipping stocks in the short term. So if you think you can go a little higher, just opt for a COL Plus with better trading features.
- Fill out the application forms
You can download the forms here. By now, you should already know whether you’re opening an individual or joint account. Important government identification numbers are also required such as TIN and SSS. The form will also assess your financial capability through the Financial and Investment Profile portion.
I did not encounter any issues in filling up the forms but make sure you read all instructions. Note that you are also required to fill out the FATCA form (just place N/A if not applicable) and read and sign the Online Securities Trading Agreement.
And that’s it, you’re done with step 2.
- Submit the forms and get verified
Once your forms are ready, make sure to append the following additional requirements as applicable and submit your requirements.
In submitting the requirements, you’ll have three (3) options: 1. Submit it personally in their office address. 2. Submit it through their iRemit branches and 3. Request for a messenger to pick up the documents from you.
I think the third option was not mentioned by the site but it’s what I did. Note that even before I opened an account, I was already in contact with a COL Customer Relationship Supervisor (CRS) and this helped eased up the process for me. If you need her email, just leave a comment below.
Once received, a CRS will verify authenticity of identification provided through video chat. Yes, they do that. For me, it was through Viber. I just had to hold up the ID I submitted beside my face and the CRS will get a screenshot to serve as proof of validity.
- Fund your account
The CRS will then send you an email indicating your COL Financial account number and instructing you to fund your account. Here, you have four options:
- Online Bills Payment
This is the best choice if you’re already maintaining an online account with your bank. In my case, I use BPI and I only had to enroll COL Financial under Bills Payments. I will then use my COL Financial account number as the reference number and submit. I had to wait for a little while before this got approved but after that, it was as smooth as can be.
If you don’t trust the reliability of online accounts, you can also pay over-the-counter through your favorite local banks.
- COL Business Center
This is the worst option for me. But if you must, then you can go to their office and directly deposit to your account.
- Overseas Remittance
Perfect for OFWs. This can be through BDO or iRemit.
For more details, please visit this link under 5.
5. Start investing
Once your deposit is confirmed through email, you can now start investing. Great job! But word of caution, know your risk appetite before investing. Study the market. Know the company you want to invest in. And learn as you go.
If you need more help on starting out with your COL Financial account, just leave a comment below. Best of luck to you!