How to Choose an Online Stock Broker

Let’s say you’ve already done your research about the stock market and you’re almost ready to take the next big step, which is to open an account.

The next question is, who will be your online stock broker and how do you choose one?

Remember that before you could buy your first stock, you need to choose your online stock broker first.

And choosing an online stock broker requires serious research and careful contemplation.

As of this writing, there are 20 online stock brokers listed in the PSE website.

  • AB Capital Online
  • Abacus Online
  • Angping Online
  • BA Securities, Inc.
  • BPI Trade
  • COL Financial Philippines
  • DA Market Securities (iTrade)
  • 2Trade Asia Yapster E-Trade Inc.
  • First Metro Sec
  • Investors Online
  • Make Trade
  • MSiTrade
  • Optimum Online
  • by Accord Capital
  • RCBC ez Trade
  • Regina Capital
  • Timson Trade
  • Utrade
  • Wealth Sec

3 Things to Consider before Choosing your Online Stock Broker

Even though they basically provide the same services, you may still want to consider certain factors before you choose a particular broker.


You should consider if the stock broker provides clients with research to assist them with their investments. If you have just started investing, you may want to go with a broker who provides this service.

2. Online Accessibility

Another thing you may want to consider is online accessibility. Some brokers allow their clients to place orders via the Internet. If you have a hectic schedule, going online and placing orders on your broker’s website may be convenient for you.

3. Company Background / Track Record

Furthermore, see to it that you check the track record of your preferred broker. Do they have a good track record? Find out how long they have been offering their services to clients and if previous clients have had any complaints or issues with them.

You should also verify if they abide by the rules and regulations of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Need recommendation on what online stock broker to choose? 

COL Financial and PhilStocks are two of the most prominent online brokers in the country.

I personally have an account with COL Financial and I’ve never encountered any problem with my account since I opened it back in 2014.

You also have the option to open accounts with different Online Stock Brokers. One of my friends has an account with BPI Trade, COL Financial, and FirstMetroSec.

Though not necessary, having an account with different online stock brokers can also be a good way of diversifying your accounts or portfolio.

For example, your long term investment fund is with BPI Trade; while your short-term or trading account is with COL Financial.

In this case, there’s a higher risk associated with your trading account than with your long-term investment account.

Getting Started

Most online stock brokers require an initial investment of Php 5,000.

And If you want to open an account and be an investor in the Philippine stock market, you need to have the following requirements:

  • 2 valid ID’s
  • a proof of billing
  • specimen signature cards
  • cash deposit

But how about if you do not have Php 5,000?

Would you still be able to invest in the stock market?

If you do not have any capital, do not worry because you can still open a trading account. Yes, the Philippine stock market allows people with zero capital to trade.

How can you do that?

You can contact the online stockbrokers from BPI Trade and FirstMetroSec.

All you need to do is open a bank account with BPI or Metrobank.

  • If you already have an account with these banks, you can proceed to opening a trading account.
  • Just visit their official websites and download the forms available.
  • Then, print out your completed forms and send them to a BPI or Metrobank branch near you.

When your account has been approved, your log in details will be sent to your email. Then, you can begin to use their website.

You should be familiar with their features as well as gain access to their market updates.

Take note:

BPI Trade requires you to have at least Php 500 in your BPI Trade account.

FirstMetroSec, on the other hand, does not require you to have any balance and you will not be deducted any amount if you have zero balance in your account.

Perhaps, the best thing about opening accounts with these stock brokerage firms is that you get to deposit and withdraw money without undergoing any paperwork.

You don’t have to go to the bank every time you need to fund your stock market account because online banking is easily available and it’s very convenient.

You can check your portfolio and buy or sell stocks whether you’re in the Philippines or abroad.

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