If you’re planning to invest in the stock market, then the name COL Financial should not be new to you. After all, for as low as P1,000, you can already start investing in their brokerage platform.
But before you get too excited, make sure you know the basics of investing in stocks. It’s never risk-free. But if you want to learn more, keep reading to know more about the COL Financial investment platform, what to consider before opening an account, and how to get started.
What is COL Financial?
COL Financial is an online stock brokerage in the Philippines that was established in 1999. It allows you to invest in the stock market using online investment tools, like access to stocks’ current prices and live charting tools, just to name a few.
If you want to buy and sell shares, bonds, and UITFs in the Philippines, you need to open an account in a legitimate, SEC-registered brokerage.
With that said, you can buy and sell stocks and pay the investment platform commissions whenever you make a trade if you have a COL Financial account.
What are COL Financial products and services?
COL Financial offers different types of products and services to serve the needs of both beginner and veteran investors. Read on to find out more about what they offer and what you can access.
COL Easy Investment Program (EIP)
This is the easiest and quickest way to start investing in stocks, available in three types of accounts — Starter, Plus, and Premium.
For as low as P1,000, you can register for a Starter account. If you have extra funds, you can go for the Plus account with a minimum deposit of P25,000. Meanwhile, the Premium account’s initial deposit is P1,000,000.
Aside from being able to check current share prices, you can also execute an order straight from your computer without having to call an actual broker. You have full control of what stocks to buy and sell. Thus, you manage your portfolio on your own. So this means that you’re also in charge of researching and analyzing market trends.
COL Margin Account
It’s a credit facility that allows traders to borrow funds against their current marginal stocks in their portfolio. Typically, when you buy stocks, you have a cash account, and you can only purchase based on the funds you have. But with a margin account, you can borrow from COL, and your current marginal stocks will serve as collateral.
This facility is geared towards advanced users as you need to be an existing COL customer with total equity of at least P200,000 to qualify. The total account equity is the total market value of all your stocks that are paid and the remaining cash balance.
On top of these, you need to maintain a minimum balance of P50,000 to keep your margin account.
COL analysts and experts provide relevant market research and analysis to keep you informed as you grow your personal portfolio. Daily, weekly, and monthly reports are published based on global and local developments.
Access to Investor Seminar Series
COL Financial provides free seminars for beginners about the stock market fundamentals and advanced topics such as technical analysis and how to use margin accounts.
COL Professional Equity Advisors
COL Financial also provides consultancy services by a pool of equity advisors that will help you sort out your investment goals for the long-term. If you choose this service, you will be assigned to an equity advisor who will take charge of your portfolio.
How much does COL Financial charge?
When choosing an online stock brokerage, always consider the trading and handling fees because you pay for them whenever you execute an order.
Below is a screenshot from the COL Financial website for fees on buying and selling, as well as other applicable charges.
Screenshot: 05 November 2020, COL Financial Website
While there are no monthly fees, take note of the broker’s handling charges, such as lodgement fee, electronic share transfer, and upliftment fees.
Screenshot: 05 November 2020, COL Financial Website
All in all, make sure you read the FAQs about handling charges on the COL Financial website.
Some reminders before signing up for a COL Financial account
If you have little or no investment experience, sign up for the free seminars to see how the stock market works.
This will help you make wise decisions, whether for the short or long term or if you ever plan to become a day trader.
COL Financial also offers a 7-day free trial account. It’s your chance to get a feel of the platform and discover the pros and cons of the services.
How do you open a COL Financial account?
To get started, register for an account online and get verified using your mobile phone.
You may also download the form on the official website. Print, sign, and submit the original documents to the COL Business Center or COL Investor Center.
Online registration is highly recommended during this time as it’s more convenient. To be eligible for an account, you must be of legal age, of any nationality, or a legitimate registered company.
Prepare the following required documents:
- 1 valid government-issued ID
- TIN ID for self-employed, locally employed, and foreign citizens
- 1 valid passport and ACR (Alien Certificate of Registration), or work permit from DOLE for non-Filipino residents
Sign up via Online Express
The Online Express option allows you to send all requirements online using your phone. Make sure you prepare the documents as stated above and follow the instructions.
- Visit www.signup.colfinancial.com. For photo requirements, you need to have 3 signature samples with the valid ID, plus a selfie with your ID. Click ‘Get Started’
- A trading agreement will pop up. After carefully reading the terms and conditions, click ‘Agree’
- Fill out the digital form with your personal information, your active email address, and mobile number. Click ‘Next’
- Click the verification link sent to your email address and follow the next instructions.
Signing up will take you about 10 to 15 minutes. After that, you will receive an email from COL Financial with a detailed guide on how to fund your account for activation.
You will also receive your account number, which you will use to fund your account. Keep in mind that the processing of your application may take 1-2 business days.
Lastly, login credentials will be sent to you once you fund your deposit.
Deposit to your COL Financial account
Depositing money into your account can be done in two ways — mobile banking via online bills payment or over-the-counter via bills payment.
If you have a savings account with an active mobile banking feature, the mobile banking option is more convenient. Otherwise, you need to make an over-the-counter deposit to fund your account.
Here’s an example of funding your account via mobile banking via the UnionBank app.
- Open your UnionBank app and go to Bills Payment > Select Biller
- Tap the Biller List, click the search button, and type “COL Financial”
- Enter the necessary information, your COL account name, and account number.
- Enter the amount to be deposited and click ‘Next’ to confirm your payment.
For over-the-counter deposits, fill out the form or the payment slip and choose the mode of payment (cash or check). It should be payable to ‘COL FINANCIAL GROUP, INC.’
Make sure that your COL account name and account number are correct before submitting the form.
COL Financial will email you once your deposit has been credited to your account. You will also receive the login credentials with a temporary password that you can change anytime.
The good thing about this platform is that it offers a 7-day free trial and seminars to educate beginners and advanced users about the market trends.
If you use an online brokerage platform, you will manage your own portfolio and do your own research and analysis.
According to existing users, one of the disadvantages of this platform is that it can be relatively slow and often experience hiccups during the trading hours.
With that said, you can also explore other online brokers, such as FirstMetroSec, BDO Nomura, 2TradeAsia for comparison purposes. Make sure you read up on third-party COL Financial reviews as well before funding your account.
Stay tuned as we will also publish reviews of other online brokerages in the upcoming weeks.
So what do you think of COL Financial so far? Willing to start at P1,000? Let us know in the comments below.