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Friday, November 28, 2014

Stock Broker Comparison: COL Financial vs BPI Trade

I encountered a detailed comparison between  BPI Trade and COL Financial by G. M. Domingo and thought it was pretty detailed hence It would be useful to guide the Filipino Investors out there in making their decision on choosing their first online Stock Broker.

Enjoy his comparison between the two from his personal experience. Cheers!


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I have accounts on both BPI Trade and COL Financial. Sadly, as much as I like the bank, BPI Trade has caused me lots of headaches, whereas COL is better in almost all criteria. I sincerely hope BPI does some bold moves to fix their processes.

Here are their comparisons based from my personal experiences:


BPI Trade

  • Application: So hard and so complicated (this is the most tiring part, believe me -- you apply online, print, bring the form personally to any branch, wait for weeks for their email to arrive, then the email arrives but everything is confusing and you still won't be able to open your account, then finally you call their hotline to ask for the initial password. And as additional surprise, you still have to enrol your BPI Trade Account Number to your BPI Express Online so you can do fund transfer. To do this, you have to again enrol online, print, bring form to the bank then wait for days again until you see it in your Express Online account. Note that all of these take about 3-5 weeks to finish.
  • Funding Your Account: You may fund by logging to your BPI Express Online and do fund transfer from your Savings Account to your Trading Account, but the fund takes 1-2 full days to be credited, what's up with that? Also, I'm not sure if you can fund thru other banks.
  • Customer Service: Just sucks. You email them, they don't reply for days and when they finally answer your inquiry, multiple agents will again still answer your email days apart, it's like they don't tag a query as closed. Oh and their email server cannot accept emails with attachments, whut?
  • Website: It was down for 3 days from Fri to Tue last week, could be a server problem or an upgrade gone wrong. However, I can't deny that their website is down from time to time for minutes to hours and that sometimes you can log-in but won't be able to access your portfolio and do trading. Design-wise, their website can do better (hope they remove that hovering menu, it's hard to navigate on a phone). One thing to also note is that the website times-out due to inactivity after only a few minutes. While this is appreciated for security reasons, they need to increase the inactivity buffer to 30-60mins since this is a trading site anyway. Also, seems i can't find the Watchlist menu and the stock prices are not updated automatically?
  • Dividend Notification: They don't email you if you will receive a dividend, they just credit it to your account, albeit 2-4 days late, so it's hard to track.
  • Mobile Application: none


 COL Financial

  • Application: Fast and efficient. (apply online, print, bring/mail to their office in Ortigas, wait for their email, fund, wait another mail for password; finish all these in about 3-4 days).
  • Funding Your Account: Takes only 15-30 minutes to be credited via bills payment from BPI, BDO or MetroBank. (Yes, even from BPI. I find it weird that doing funds transfer from BPI to BPITrade takes at least a day to be credited. Maybe BPI could just utilise bills payment instead of fund transfer?)
  • Customer Service: Fast as per my last email with them. I asked a question, they responded 20 minutes after.
  • Website: Seems good enough though just a bit cluttered. After 6 months of usage, it was only last week that I encountered a problem when clicking Buy/Sell from their Watchlist. This lasted that afternoon but was immediately fixed the next day. Other than that, there are just minor complaints like ticker not working for iphones and for some computers, etc. and that there are very few instances when the site is laggy.
  • Dividend Notification: They email you if you will receive dividends.
  • Mobile Application: None yet but already doing beta testing and will be released soon in iOS and android.

I believe the problem with BPI Trade is that they think like a bank and not like a broker. They need to become a totally separate entity from BPI to be able to give better service to common traders.

40 comments:

  1. What if I am a newbie. Which one should I choose first?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      If I were to choose one, I would choose COL.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Delete
    2. COL apply much more tax than the amount you will get from your stocks. And based on my experienced their system was down about 30mins. and after that i check my profile and i already lost 5,000 pesos without doing anything with my stocks. And when i emailed the customer service it takes 5 days for them to reply...

      Delete
    3. I don't have an account with COL but would abandon BPI Trade anytime for COL. I am just overseas. I have been trading with BPI Trade for years now and it is only frustrating. So I suggest go to COL.

      Delete
  2. how about the tax? it seems that a big change in commission was applied when citiseconline changed to COLFinancial ...was thinking of switching to BPI Trade until, I read here that it takes a day before funds get credited... that's a total rip-off.

    however,that might change if BPI trade charges less for every trades done..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Icy,

      I believe both COL and and BPI have the same level of commissions w/c is 0.25% of the gross trade amount. In fact, in my last check, all of the online stock brokerage in the Philippines has the same level commission structure.

      Regarding taxation, COL and BPI should charge the same because the tax is something you and they pay to the government w/c means it is not in their control. I doubt that moving to a different brokerage would lower your tax in trading because it is the same level for everyone.

      When selling a stock you pay two types of taxes:

      1. Additional Value-added tax on commissions (12% of the brokerage commissions)
      2. Sales tax (0.5% of the gross trade value)

      I'll post about the actual cost trading some time in the future for a clearer view on the computation.

      Finally, regarding BPI taking a day to credit your funds - this was true based on the time of this writing article. Since I believe a lot of customers are requesting for faster reflection of their funding in BPI, it is possible that BPI has already improved their system/process. Hence it is best to double check with them now so you can make a more better decision, and if it's not a hassle we'd appreciate if you can share with us the updates.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Delete
    2. Attaching the link about the detailed cost of trading stocks in the Philippines.

      http://www.filipinoinvestor.com/2015/02/cost-of-trading-stocks-in-philippines.html

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the feedback. I was skeptical to open a stock trading account in BPI (since I have savings and a UITF account with them), because of their less-enhanced website. And yes, their customer service hotline needs improvement, too. Better to open with COL Financial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thank you for sharing with us your experience.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Delete
  4. i want to open an account at col financial but additional requirements says 1 valid government issued id and a billing statement. the only id i have is tin id, is it acceptable? because it was rejected when im opening bpi trade account and presenting tin id they are looking for picture embedded ids. does it goes the same with col? another thing, i dont have any billing statement yet. i do want to start my investment as early as possible but these attachments mess out with me. please, any help will be highly appreciated. tnx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what do you mean by picture embedded ids??thank you

      Delete
    2. Hi Anonymous,

      I believe the TIN ID is being accepted. However, I would suggest you start working on getting your UMID since I haven't encountered an institution in the Philippines that does not accept it - this is also so you won't have any ID acceptance problems in the future.

      Thanks,
      Kenny

      Delete
  5. is voter's i.d accepted in COL??thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Unknown,

      I'm not very sure. But I think they should because it's a government issued ID.

      Thanks,
      Kenny

      Delete
    2. COL accepts Voter's ID.

      Delete
  6. goodmorning friend,, i almost completed my requirements for col.. but one thing i dont have is the billing statement... im 19years old now pa kasi ,, kaya wala akong billing statement... also im residing in davao city ,,, i cant go to thier office.. can i still be qualified to open an account ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bugna Medina,

      First of all good job for deciding to invest even at an early age of 19. I am not 100% sure about this but perhaps in proxy for a billing statement named after you, you can use your parents billing statements and just include a letter noting that you are still living with your parents (or renting w/ someone w/c ever is applicable). You can confirm this with them if this process is possible.

      Best of luck on your application.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Delete
    2. As per COLs website:

      Who can open an account?

      Any individual(s) of legal age of any nationality or legitimate corporation may apply for a COLFinancial account. Management reserves the right to approve/deny any application as it sees fit based upon its measures of standard.


      For non-appearance a Bank Statement will do. I suggest open a savings account which you will be using once funding your COL account. The following are COL funding banks:

      a. Bank of the Philippine Islands – www.bpiexpressonline.com
      b. Banco de Oro – www.mybdo.com.ph
      c. Metrobank – www.metrobank.com.ph
      d. Asian United Bank - www.aub.com.ph

      Delete
  7. How do you withdraw your money from col financial? Eg. When sell your stocks and what to partially withdraw your money from your col financial account

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Here's how to withdraw your funds through email/online with COL Financial in three (3) easy steps:

      http://www.filipinoinvestor.com/2015/04/how-to-withdraw-funds-in-col-financial.html

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Delete
  8. How do you withdraw your money from col financial? Eg. When sell your stocks and what to partially withdraw your money from your col financial account

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon,

      Please refer to my response above.

      Delete
  9. Hi I am from Bacolod City negros Occidental PH.
    I want to open an account in colfinancial..only think is..how can i forward my information or application form to them.. is it okey to scan the documents and send it thru email?

    let me know..just send me an email on:
    dailenexus1993@gmail.com thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Daniel,

      I believe you can forward the documents through email. You may also call them to follow up if they've received it on their end or follow up on the status.

      Just make sure though that all the items specially the ones containing your signature is clear.

      Cheers,
      Kenny

      Delete
    2. Here is COLs email: helpdesk@COLFinancial.com

      Delete
    3. You need to Mail your documents via LBC or other couriers...Scanning is accepted for checking if its all complete, then the will advise you to submit the original copy to there office...

      Delete
  10. Hi everyone,

    Im just want to start investing, im 23yrs old. it is possible to invest 5k only as starting or theres a minimum fund for investing for both COL and bpi trade. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Yes, you can actually start with 5K.

      COL's minimum to open an account is 5K. While BPI Trade does not need any minimum deposit provided you already have a BPI savings account with expressonline capabilities.

      To avoid confusion, let me clarify that BPI is the bank while BPI Trade is the stock broker.

      Cheers,
      The Filipino Investor

      Delete
  11. Hi Filipino Investor,

    Big fan.

    Seeing as this post was done some two years ago, i was wondering if there have been improvements in the BPI platform.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thank you for the kind words.

      There are definitely some improvements from BPI Trade in the last 2 Years, or perhaps additional arguments on why you may want to pick BPI Trade over COL.

      1. COL recently implemented a fee when you add additional funding in to your account w/c ranges from P5 if done through online banking and P110 if over the counter. BPI Trade is still free if the funds were deposited through BPI.

      2. BPI Improved their website interface making it aesthetically better.

      3. The downtimes are not totally gone (as with any broker) - but it is now less frequent, so kudos BPI Trade! :)

      Note that I still have accounts in both COL and BPI Trade.

      Hope that helps,
      Filipino Investor

      Delete
  12. Last week is sent the required documents to COL. I was so excited to open my first ever trading account. My choices were BPI and COL and obviously i chose the latter. A day after i sent the documents i received an email from COL requesting me to forward additional documents (Bank Certification) and another application form. My signatures were inconsistent according to them and does not match with the signature on my ID. Seriously! I have 4 savings account in 3 different banks and I never had any problems with my signature. So i just wasted my money, time and effort in sending them the documents, now they are asking me to forward the same documents AGAIN plus i will have to obtain a Bank Certification. Because of that, i'm choosing BPI. Already printed the forms and will forward it tomorrow (monday). Hoping for a hassle less transaction. Coz if it's true that it'll take almost or more than a month, i'll just forget about opening an account and invest my money somewhere else.

    ReplyDelete
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  15. When is my COL Trade Settlement Account debited for purchases?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vin Cat,

      Philippine equities follow a T+3 settlement cycle.

      Delete
  16. I have account in COL. Their platform sucks during morning session! Very slow to load. Their charting isn't realtime/auto-refresh. You have to manually refresh it every time, and very slow to reload. Not for intraday traders.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi, I am planning to engage in stock trading under COL but unfortunately I only have PNB account, can I use pnb to fund my account? The only banks nearby are landbank and pnb.

    ReplyDelete
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  20. Hi, how often do they give dividends? Monthly?

    ReplyDelete