Investing in the Stock Market – A Personal Experience

I’ve always thought that investing in the stock market is only for millionaires and rich people. I never thought that an average person with an average income ( or should I say a little more than average) can easily participate in this kind of game, should they want to. Let me tell you how I was able to enter this different level of investing – investing in the Philippine stock market.

Year was 2008 – month of May to be exact. I attended this seminar of Bo Sanchez ‘Truly Rich Seminar’. Then they have part 2, if you’d like to know more – sort of advanced learning. I signed up for that – it’s a 2day seminar for P6k. One of the topic was stocks investing and how Citiseconline (COL) has made it easy for anyone who has a computer and an internet connection. I wasn’t very much thrilled then since I’m more of a mutual funds guy at that time. Added the fact that they don’t advise getting in the stock market with money you can’t part with. Meaning, only invest what you can comfortably live without. Though I became a financial advisor that time, stocks wasn’t yet for me.

Fast forward to 2010. I met Nelson as a Sunlife client.  He signed up for mutual funds (with my help of course) then later got an insurance-with-investment not only for himself but also for his nephew and niece (guaranteed insurance with endowment, thanks Nelson). At one chitchat, he mentioned that he’ll be signing for a CitisecOnline account. I asked for the process which he generously shared. Just download the application forms, sign the papers and along with your initial fund of 25k (for trading account) or 5k (eip account),  submit to COL office then you can now trade on your own. So to make it short, I got in.

At first, it was like in first grade. You don’t know your way around. I don’t know what to buy or where should I base my buying preferences etc. I don’t know what I bought with my 25k that time. I think it’s SM @ P535 per share, Digitel @ P1.47 per share and ORE @ P3.06 per share (based on the recommendation of Nelson).  We became classmates, since we’re always online during trading hours. We’d usually compare notes on what to buy or when to sell. (Altho Nelson doesn’t fully disclose all of his portfolio).

With P25k, you can start trading in the stock market, but based on experience, you’ll find it very dull.  It’s kinda dull, since there will be times that you just bought something and the price got even lower. Instincts will tell you that you should add more to make for the instant loss. So whenever I have extra cash, I’d add something to my stock funds. It’s like chocolate for me, whenever there’s sugar rush, I’ll add to my stock funds (as long as there are funds to add).

And it’s true when they say that it’s a roller coaster ride in the stock market. One day your money is up by 5% and your very happy with it. But then the next day, it will be down by 10%. But for me, it’s exciting and addicting and frustrating when you want to buy more but don’t have any more funds to add.

I made my first profit when I sold my ORE stocks which was up by 15% from the time I bought it. How much is the profit? Just P600+. Second selling opportunity came when SM went up to 588. Sold mine by the time it went down to 574 with P1,000+ profit. How I wish it’s always like that, but it isn’t. There were times I had to sell at a loss like the case of DGTL. After some months of stagnation, I  sold it at a loss. Cutloss is what they call it.  A few times I bought speculative stocks with the thinking it will continue to go up but didn’t.

Oh, here’s another fact in stock investing. Every buy you do, you will be charged a certain fee. Every sell you make, you will be charged a fee. Although the fee is minimal, ranging from P20 – few hundred pesos, depending on the amount of your transaction. Still, you’re already at a loss the moment you buy.

Right now, I’m still invested in the stock market with an accumulated capital of P100k+ (and still invested in Mutual Funds, too). So far, so good coz I’ve already turned the table from losses to a very little positive earnings, at least for now. But tomorrow may be a different story. What’s up now can be the reverse tomorrow. So far I have been sticking to the 7% rule. As long as it is 7% up, it’s ok to sell. Profit is a profit. If I can make a profit of 7% a month, then I can surely outperform my mutual fund investment. Altho it hasn’t happened so far, hehe.

So was it worth it? I entered into stocks investing for the purpose of checking if I can outperform my mutual fund investments. Have I been successful so far? It’s only been months, so it’s hard to say. My equity mutual funds last year performed 41%. If I can’t outperform that, I think I’ll be better of with mutual funds. Less the stress, less the worries. Besides, both has the same purpose – for long term investment plan.

With stocks, you have to be updated with current news, always checking stock prices, etc. Meaning, you need to have a lot of time on your side. Time to read, time to check the prices and time to learn. Given those factor, and with my current lifestyle, I think this is something I can do and I’m willing to do.

On top of that, astig kaya pag sinabing Nag iinvest ako sa Stock Market, hehe. Although we both now know that it takes more than that. I’d still recommend getting into mutual funds first then go to stocks investing so that you’ll know your way around.

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Garry Zaldy de Castro is an advocate, Financial Advisor, Certified Investment Solicitor (Mutual Fund Representative), blogger, IT practitioner, husband to Aileen and a dad to Jacob and JohnD. He started Financial Planning Philippines in 2008 just to share his financial learning to friends, relatives and anyone who wishes to be financially independent.


  1. naka relate ako, hehe.dahil sa sobrang excitement,pagka  credit ng account sa COL, bumili agad ako ng BPI  wrong timing pala yon. Yung price na nabili ko,until now it is still  closer to the 52 week high.

  2. hello may tanong po ako, may ipon po kc aq na 5k… College student palang aq at walang work. Pwede na kaya ako makapag-Invest? like for ex. sa Mutual Fund? ano ba req.? kailangan ba may Work ka para makapag-Invest? senxa na po..newbie lang >.< curious lng ako

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