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Betting on stocks


Manila, Philippines – When I got married, I had zero knowledge on investing in the stock market. My husband was already into it and he would take charge of buying and selling stocks. A few years into the marriage, he challenged me to learn how the stock market worked so I could help him invest. Numbers are something I dread so I resisted.

Then one day I decided to open an online trading account with BPI Trade (www.bpitrade.com). It was an obvious choice because I already had a BPI payroll account for the office, and I paid my bills online using BPI Express Online and therefore the transfer of funds would be easier. To balance things out, I also opened a Citisec Online account (www.citiseconline.com). I personally prefer the variety of stock market reports that Citisec offers. I used the BPI and Citisec reports and compared it to the reports from my husband’s stockbroker which I subscribed to via email. You need about half an hour to read all the reports because they tell you what’s happening in the stock market, they give advice on which stocks to sell or buy, etc. I even have a notebook to take down my notes because there are so many details to remember!

In the event that all the three reports would agree to ‘Buy’ a particular stock, I would buy. Or if they recommended ‘Sell’, I would sell. As a beginner, my other lookout points were ‘Fair Value’ price and ‘Upside’. Fair Value is the stock’s estimated worth or fair market value. Upside is the potential amount by which a stock could rise. I would list down all the stocks with the ‘Buy’ recommendation, compute for their Upside and buy those stocks with the highest potential.

Another recommendation would be to stick to blue-chip stocks — stocks belonging to well-established companies with stable earnings who can weather the ups and downs of the market. Since I didn’t have the time to check on my stocks often, they just sat there and appreciated in value.

Of course, a few of my purchases weren’t good ones and the negative value in red still bothers me. Which brings me to another tip which I learned after taking an online course on Financial Trading: set a limit for your losses and Sell before the stock even goes lower. In some instances, if the stock recovers, then you’re fine; but again, that’s a risk you have to take.

On the flipside, you should also set a limit to your gains, in the unlikely event that the stock loses it’s momentum and starts going down. If your objective was to make money off the stock, and if you already reached that objective, there is no need to be greedy.

A year ago I discovered that the Philippine Stock Exchange had an online site (www.pse.com.ph) with their own reports too! I like their chart history per stock but I use the site mainly to help me keep track of all my transactions from BPI, Citisec and the stockbroker. The only downside was there seemed to be a 25-entry limit for the transaction history.

I’m sure there are other sites out there to help you get started and invest in the stock market. Find one that suits you and start to grow your money. You may start small and invest more as your confidence grows. They say investing in the stock market is similar to gambling. You take the risk and you either win some or you lose some. Fingers crossed, we can win more than we lose.