Online Stock Investing at Your Fingertips

Online stock investing has been made so easy with the advent of the Internet. In simple, easy steps you can now invest in stocks online. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world for as long as you have a computer connected to the Internet.

What is online stock investing?

Online stock investing is basically the purchase of shares of stocks in a publicly listed company through the stock market without leaving the comfort of your home. You don’t have to deal with stockbroker in person. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a list of licensed online stock brokers. I have chosen CitisecOnline, now COL Financial for my online stock investing strategy.

Read a related article for a quick review of stock investing concepts and a better appreciation of online stock investing.

Why I chose COL Financial for online stock investing?

  • Efficiency and excellent customer service, specifically quick response to my online queries.
  • Can provides you up to date fundamental and technical guides to help you pick good stocks, through its website.
  • I can view my portfolio and get live quotes anytime with its 24/7 online service.
  • It charges a very minimal commission rate for every transaction.

How to get started with online stock investing:

The steps that listed down below can also found in the website of COL Financial; but I am going to make them more straightforward following the steps I have taken myself:

  1. Visit COL Financial website for a familiarization tour. Then download the investment application.
  2. Fill out the investment application forms then mail to Citisec or COL Financial. Make sure all the spaces provided for are properly accomplished. Again, don’t forget to accompany the form with a valid copy of a government issued ID. The company’s address is indicated in the contact us page of its website.
  3. Open an account with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). COL allows both online and over-the-counter paymentS through its partner banks. I chose BPI Easy Saver account because it has no maintaining balance. In this account, I am charged with PhP5.00 per transaction but I don’t have to worry of my deposits falling below a minimum amount. Following the standard requirement of banks, don’t forget to bring two valid IDs with pictures. You may have to wait for a week to be able to get your ATM card. After claiming your ATM card, you need to go change the temporary PIN within two days. Instructions are provided for with the brochure that comes with your card. Changing the temporary PIN is important as ATM transactions are not allowed without doing so.
  4. Enroll your card for online transaction or BPI’s Express Payment System. Go to any BPI ATM and enroll your debit card for Express Payment System. Just follow the steps indicated by the machine’s selection options. You need to wait for two banking days before you can activate your account online. I strongly recommend the use the home Internet connection or any other secured places, never in Internet cafes. Go to BPI’s website and follow the step by step instructions on how to activate your card for the online payment system.
  5. 5. Explore how to do fund transfer from BPI to Citiseconline. You will be notified by Citisec of the approval of your application and you are given an account number. Your COL account number is the reference number that you will enter in enrolling COL with BPI’s online payment system. The instructions for enrollment are easy to follow.
  6. Register with COL Financial with your account number and password. You can now explore further and run through the technical guides on how to invest. I opted for the Easy Investment Program (EIP) as an investment strategy for the long term. Review the companies recommended by Citisec for the EIP. My initial EIP is with Ayala Land Inc. (ALI). Currently, my investment portfolio consists of several other listed companies recommended by COL for the EIP.
  7. Fund your investment. Transfer funds from your BPI account to COL. The next steps would be to regularly add to your investment. You can diversify adding other companies to your EIP portfolio.

That's online stock investing in seven easy steps. Let me remind you however that before you start investing, make sure that your financial house is already in order. Please read the article on investment advice and assess for yourself if you are now ready to invest.