I just checked AAFP Philippines and guess what? I received 2 comments in the form of questions. At first, I intend to answer them one by one by simply giving them the answers (link) to their respective questions. And what do you know. I’m sure I’ve received similar questions in the past and answered them, but when I was looking for the exact link, I found nothing. Funny how I’ve been writing about mutual funds for 2 years but written nothing on the specific question on how to open a mutual fund account (in the Philippines).
Basically, the questions were How to Open a Mutual Fund Account? (in the Philippines, that is). One coming from a college student (Blackbishop28) asking if he can invest even without a work and another one (Joyce) asking the exact procedure in opening a mutual fund account.
Let’s start with Blackbishop28. Opening a mutual fund account in the Philippines requires you to be of legal age – meaning at least 18 years of age. Or via confirmation of trust (In Trust For) for ages below 18. Can you invest even without a work? Yes, of course. Source of funds can also come from inheritance, diversification of funds etc. and not only from income or salaries.
For Joyce, here’s the exact procedure on how to start a mutual fund account in the Philippines.
- Decide which mutual fund company you’d like to invest in
You can choose from different mutual fund companies in the Philippines in the Investment Companies Association of the Philippines (ICAP) website – http://www.pifa.com.ph (best viewed on Internet Explorer)
- Look for a Licensed Mutual Fund Representative of your chosen mutual fund company.
You can simply do this by looking at the website of the mutual fund company you have chosen. Chances are, you’ll need to contact them thru the phone number and will advise you to go to their office or meet with them. When you meet them, always ask for their ID so as to avoid posers. They will now serve you as your agent. Another way of finding a mutual fund representative is by asking your parents, friends, officemates, relatives etc. You’d be surprised that some of them might be connected or invested with some mutual fund company. Use that connection.
- Ask for a copy of the prospectus of the mutual fund company and carefully read it.
You do this once the mutual fund representative has finished explaining everything to you. The prospectus includes all the important information about the mutual fund company – fund objectives, board of directors, holding periods, sales charges etc. Make sure to ask further information from your agent should you not understand any info in the prospectus.
- Fill out Application Form, Signature Form or any account opening form that they might require you.
Some mutual fund companies accept investors thru online – that is sending of all scanned documents, signature cards via email. Others don’t accept if you’re not in the Philippines at the time of signing. Choose the best scenario that applies to you especially if you’re an OFW.
- Submit requirements.
a. For individual accounts, photocopy of at least 1 Government issued ID (SSS/ GSIS / PRC/ Passport/Driver’s License etc).
b. For corporate accounts, photocopy of the following; Articles of Incorporation and by-Laws, SEC Certificate of Registration, Secretary’s certificate / Board resolution, authorizing the investment, Secretary’s certificate on the percentage of ownership/capital stock held by non-Filipino shareholders.
- Initial investment / Payment
Most mutual fund companies in the Philippines requires a minimum of P5,000 / P10,000 for Peso funds and a minimum of $500 / $1,000 for dollar funds. Succeeding investments starts from P1,000 / P5,000 for Peso funds and $100 for dollar funds. You can either pay this thru your chosen agent (always ask for receipt) or via Bank Deposit especially if it’s a big amount of money.
- Always ask for Receipt (either Acknowledgement Receipt or Official Receipt bearing the company’s name, address and contact details. Also ask for a business card of your agent.
- Confirmation of Investment
You should receive a confirmation of your investment either by SMS (if they have this feature) or via mail. Official receipts are also sent via mail. Statement of Accounts are sent every quarter.
In case you’d like to open a mutual fund account with Sunlife, I might be able to help you. All you need to do is fill up the form in this page