This article describes the 3 tips on how to do online stock market investing in the Philippines. This is part 2 of a 3-part series on the lessons I’ve learned from the recent Money Summit and Wealth Expo. If you missed the first part, you can read the real-estate investing tips in the Philippines here.
Online Stock Market Investing in the Philippines
It’s been months since I’ve started online stock market investing. As I’ve shared in my 2010 Financial Goals Mid-Year Update, investing in stocks has been an eye opener for me. This is the reason why I was so glad to learn more about online investing in the stock market during the Money Summit and Wealth Expo seminar.
Lesson #1 – Investing in the Stock Market Requires Discipline
According to Conrado Bate of CitisecOnline, Inc. (COL), one way to successfully invest in the Philippine Stock Market is to invest continuously and regularly on good quality companies with predictable earnings. This investing method is known as cost-averaging.
That means, you need to invest a fixed amount of money every month (or quarterly) regardless if the market is up or down. If the market is down, your money buys more shares of the company. If the market is up, your total investment would also go up in value. So even if the market is up or down, over the long term, your investment will still yield a pretty good return.
This is a pretty simple strategy. But it is NOT easy. For one, you have to have the discipline to buy the stocks even if the price is too high and still buy the same stocks even if the price is too low. Your tendency is to get greedy when the price is too high, and become afraid when the same stock is priced way too low.
Personally, this has been my experience. The reality is I am an emotional being and I too am driven by 2 emotions – greed and fear. For example, initially I planned to invest monthly through EIP but my over excitement has gotten the best of me. When I bought my first stocks, I was so excited, I bought 3 different stocks right away. Then I learned about the Super EIP and realized some stocks are being sold 47% below their price. So I bought some of those stocks too. That’s greed in action.
With so many stocks in my portfolio, I don’t have enough money to invest in each of them every month now. In addition, the price of some of my stocks is down 5% (ouch). Worse, I don’t know what to do (fear). Should I buy more of this stock now that it is priced lower? How about those stocks I own that are now 30% up? Should I sell them now?
Sometimes, answering these questions is not always easy. In times like these, having the discipline to stick to your plan will come in handy.
Lesson #2 – Invest Only What You Save, Not What You Need
One very useful advice from a COL agent (I can’t remember her name) during the seminar, was to invest only what you save, not what you need. The stock market is subject to market fluctuations. You have no control over how the price will go. This is the reason why some investors advice on investing only what you save (or what you can lose), and not what you need.
You should NOT borrow money to invest in the stock market especially if you’re a beginning investor. Save first. Unless you have the discipline to save, you won’t have the discipline to invest.
Don’t invest what you need. Money spent for your needs should NOT be invested into the stock market. Never use money from your emergency fund. Never invest the money you are using to pay for your debts. The stock market is risky precisely because you don’t have any control over the investment.
With consistent saving and investing, your small amounts can become big amounts over the long term through the power of compounding. Your money is leveraging the consistent growth of the company and the power of compounding to give you a nice return in the future.
Lesson #3 – Don’t Watch The Market
One very good habit that I’ve realized recently, is NOT to track your investments on a daily basis. This may sound contrarian. Maybe it is. Maybe for some they need to watch the market daily. But personally, I have not found a very good reason to track my investments on a daily basis.
I do track my investments every now and then, maybe once or twice every month. But it has never come to a point where I would have to watch over it on a daily basis.
This is both to make the most of my time as well as for my own sanity. I cannot imagine myself being glued to the screen monitor tracking the stock price every minute and then and worrying about the problems of the world such as the European debt crisis, oil problems, election results or what not.
I understand that my money will be able to work for me over the long term, only if I give it time and stick to my strategy. I am not investing all of my money in the stock market. Stocks is only a small portion of my investment portfolio at the moment. Besides, I don’t invest what I need. I invest only what I can lose. That simple thought helps me sleep at night.
Readers, what other stock investing tips can you share? do you think cost-averaging method actually works?