This article is a continuation of the Going Global series. If you haven’t read the recent article, check it out here: Going Global: To Invest or Not to Invest?
Now that we have an understanding of the US markets and have been introduced to international trading as a whole, it’s time to truly begin our trading journey. To truly understand the markets, we must dive into them ourselves; however, this in itself is not an easy task! Below, outlined are some steps you can take to begin your journey and make sound decisions with regards to trading through a broker. We have also provided information on trading independently on international markets, if that is the route you want to go. There’s no better time to start trading than today, so read on to for some tips on doing just that!
Many Filipinos opt to trade through a broker as it is easier and more hands-off. If you do not want to invest all your time into monitoring the market, trading through a broker is the best option. The broker is able to make decisions for you and put your money in different funds that will grow over time without the need for constant monitoring. However, not all brokers are created equal; here are some steps to finding the right one:
1. Know your needs and your current financial standing.
Before looking into brokerage options, it is important to understand what it is you want to get out of your broker – do you want them to make all the decisions for you? Or do you want them to provide advice, but you still make the final decision on your investments? Knowing the answer to these questions will be a big help when communicating with potential brokers, as you will know exactly what you want from them. At the same time, it is crucial to have a firm understanding of how you are doing financially. Evaluate how much you are able to shell out for investments for easier and quicker communication between the two parties.
2. Based on your needs, research on potential brokers.
There are many brokerage firms in the Philippines, differing in the amount of commission they charge and the extent of services provided. Look for reviews online and get background information on the company as well. This will allow you to gauge whether the company is handling the money given to them well and if they are able to generate an adequate return on investments. Additionally, it would be helpful to get the opinions of friends, as they will be able to give honest, real-life advice.
3. Narrow down your brokerage options.
This will depend on the research you were able to do on the companies, how much they charge, and whether they are providing the best services that cater to your needs.
4. Contact brokers.
Before finalizing a brokerage company, it is important to communicate with them. This will be helpful in understanding whether they provide great customer services as well as to iron out any other concerns you may have. Having a voice call or any form of communication with them will also help you understand whether this is the right broker for you.
With those steps in mind, the best thing to do is to do your research thoroughly and don’t jump in empty-handed. You must have a clear understanding of what you are getting into, as this is a big investment to make. To start with, some top brokerage firms in the Philippines are COL Financial, BPI Securities, and First Metro Securities; however, there are many others out there, so be sure to still do your research!
Online Trading Platforms
Another way to trade internationally is through online trading platforms. This is for traders who want to take a more hands-on approach, and are interested in investing beyond just the benefits it reaps. This way requires more time and effort but is especially rewarding when you see the fruits of your work. Below are two trusted trading platforms to kickstart your journey.
eToro is a social trading company that provides a platform to trade assets such as Forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and more. Importantly, they have a patented CopyTrader addition that allows you to copy the trading portfolio of successful users. For beginners, this proves especially useful if you do not want to invest your time heavily in monitoring the market. There are no commission fees when trading on the platform, and blue-chip companies such as Apple, Facebook, and Amazon are readily traded. They have various educational materials such as blog posts and articles that provide knowledge on the financial markets. Overall, eToro is a great platform to use if you are just starting your trading journey, but still want the freedom to make your own trades.
XM is an international investment firm and an industry leader in providing trading platforms and tools. It delivers trading services in Forex, US equities, energies, precious metals, and indices. Additionally, XM provides its users with free account managers, financial market tutorial videos and webinars, live help, access to Forex data and analytics, and many more. For users that are still wary about entering international markets, XM provides the option to open a demo account, allowing you to trade up to $100,000 in virtual cash. Users can opt to start trading in real financial markets for as low as $30 to open an account. Given its wide array of services and tools it offers, it may be overwhelming to those who do not have as much experience in trading. However, they also offer many research and education tools, including live training and technical summaries, which will help ease the worries of many beginners.
With all this new information in mind, it may get overwhelming to narrow down your choices and begin, but do not be daunted! As with any new venture, the beginning is always the hardest part; however, once you get into the groove of it, the whole process becomes enjoyable. With this in mind, we hope that you will be able to begin your journey with confidence. The best time to start investing is now!
The Going Global series aims to introduce traders, whether beginners or advanced, to the international stock markets. Throughout this series, we will explore the pros and cons of international investing, how to kickstart your international portfolio, and many more tips to navigate this more complex trading world.
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