How to invest in index funds in the Philippines

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Warren Buffet, the most successful stock investor, has always recommended to invest in stock index. But what is a stock index? And why do the world’s wealthiest man suggest that everyday people like you and me invest in it?

Related to the question above, why does Buffet suggest that people go for low-cost index funds? What is an index fund? In this article, I’m going to talk about why it might be a better way to go when you’re saving up long term, the investments that are available in the Philippines, and their returns for the past few years.

Stock index in the Philippines

But before we talk about the stock index, let’s first talk about Philippine Stock Exchange or PSE. PSE is the country’s marketplace for stocks. It is where stocks of big corporations and conglomerates are traded so investors can buy or sell them. When you acquire the stocks of these companies, you become their shareholder. You get to participate in their growth story as well as in their moments of slowdown. This is reflected on the prices of the stock. Here’s a really quick guide on how stocks can provide you earnings.

Buying the entire stock market

What if you decide to buy the entire stock market? This can be the case when you want just to buy at least a stock from all the companies that are listed on the stock exchange. Maybe, you’d like to save time from having to choose which one would you give the most gains.

Is that possible? It is.

However, it’s going to cost you a lot. Like, really a lot. That’s because most of the time, you’re not allowed to buy just one stock from each company. There’s a minimum number that you need to purchase called board lot.

Philippine Stock Exchange index

That’s why the stock index or equity index was conceptualized. It is a list of companies that are said to represent the entire stock market. (Other indices also exist such as those tracking the value of industries or assets like bonds.) So when the worth of the entire index increases or decreases in value, it is believed that the whole market moves similarly.

You would hear the index mentioned in the news regularly. It’s because it is used as a means to understand where the market is at and how well it is performing. So if it is increasing in value, experts can point out that the market is doing well.

If it is not and instead its value is decreasing, then experts might say that a sell-off is occurring or worse a recession if it’s been going on for quite some time.

Also, it is being used as a benchmark on how well stock investments are doing. Buffet usually measures his success by checking if his returns beat the index. Investment funds, traders, and investors in general similarly compare the returns of their portfolio to the index.

In the country, the list is called the Philippine Stock Exchange index or PSEi, which can be called either just the stock index or index. It is also called PSE Composite Index or Phisix. It is composed of the top 30 companies that are carefully selected on the basis of their being representative of the entire market. The table below shows our local stock index as of September 2020.

The stocks of these companies are also called blue chips. That’s because they demonstrated historical growth story and liquidity, meaning that they are bought or sold very frequently in the market. Some companies were taken off of the list over the past years, and others would then be added in their place. Additionally, the positions may change depending on the valuation of the businesses.

COMPANYTICKERCATEGORY
Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.AEVHoldings
Aboitiz Power Corp.APPower
Alliance Global Group, Inc.AGIHoldings
Ayala CorporationACHoldings
Ayala Land, Inc.ALIReal estate
Bank of the Philippine IslandsBPIBank
BDO Unibank, Inc.BDOBank
Bloomberry Resorts CorporationBLOOMHoldings
DMCI Holdings, Inc.DMCReal estate
Emperador Inc.EMPFood and Beverage
First Gen CorporationFGENPower
Globe Telecom, Inc.GLOTelecommunications
GT Capital Holdings, Inc.GTCAPHoldings
International Container Terminal Services, Inc.ICTLogistics
JG Summit Holdings, Inc.JGSHoldings
Jollibee Foods CorporationJFCFood and Beverage
LT Group, Inc.LTGHoldings
Manila Electric CompanyMERPower
Megaworld CorporationMEGReal estate
Metro Pacific Investments CorporationMPIHoldings
Metropolitan Bank & Trust CompanyMBTBank
PLDT Inc.TELTelecommunications
Puregold Price Club, Inc.PGOLDCommerce
Robinsons Land CorporationRLCReal estate
Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc.RRHIHoldings
San Miguel CorporationSMCFood and Beverage
Security Bank CorporationSECBBank
SM Investments CorporationSMHoldings
SM Prime Holdings, Inc.SMPHReal estate
Universal Robina CorporationURCFood and Beverage

Why invest in the stock index

It’s been proven that in the long term, the stock index is hard to beat. Experts like Warren Buffet, the most successful stock investor in history, suggests that ordinary people are better off investing in stock index.

Why? Because according to sources, index funds offer the most returns that only very few can match or exceed. And even when they do, they usually can’t sustain it in the long haul. One of the most famous cases is when Nobel winners were a part of the board of directors of a high-profile fund, only for it to close.

How much can you earn when investing in the stock index?

You may look back as far as post-EDSA stock market on the returns, but for the sake of discussion let’s limit the tracking since 2010. To understand the table below, here’s a few details:

  • Start means the closing value on the first trading day of the year.
  • End means the closing value on the last trading day of the year.
  • End of Year is simply the change within the year, which is obtained by dividing the difference between the two values over the Start.
  • CAGR or compounded annual growth rate is the yearly growth within a specific period.
YearStartEndEnd of YearCAGR
20103,005.014,201.1439.80%39.80%
20114,215.214,371.963.72%20.62%
20124,397.085,812.7332.20%24.60%
20135,860.995,889.830.49%18.32%
20145,984.267,230.5720.83%19.20%
20157,276.636,952.08-4.46%15.00%
20166,833.426,840.640.11%12.47%
20176,861.318,558.4224.73%13.98%
20188,724.137,466.02-14.42%10.64%
2019*4.68%10.06%
In 2019, PSE followed the total equity return or TER that accounts not only capital gains but also dividend payments.

As you can see, there are years where the return is negative. Overall, since 2010 you’d expect your money to grow on average 10% each year. Here’s how it looks like if we imagine that you invested P1 million in 2010. So a million pesos in 2010 would be worth 2.6 million in 2019. As an analogy, that’s like making a deposit to a bank account that earns an interest of 10.03% every year.

Remember that the estimate below does not include fees, charges, and taxes.

YearCapitalPSEi
20101,000,0001,398,045
20111,454,890
20121,934,346
20131,960,003
20142,406,172
20152,313,496
20162,276,412
20172,848,050
20182,484,524
20192,608,875

And here’s another table for a yearly investment of P100k.

YearCapitalPSEi
2010100,000139,805
2011200,000249,208
2012300,000463,529
2013400,000570,169
2014500,000820,787
2015600,000884,714
2016700,000970,637
2017800,0001,339,113
2018900,0001,253,767
20191,000,0001,421,198

The equity index funds

So if the stock index gives the most earnings in the long term, how can you start investing? I’ve already discussed that one way is to purchase the individual stocks of all 30 companies that are part of the list. However, it’s not really something a lot of people would like to do. It would require a really big capital.

So that’s why index funds are created.

They are investment funds that are managed in a way that they mirror the stock index. They achieve this by 1.) buying all 30 companies and 2.) buying them according to their weight in the index. What do I mean by “weight” in the index? Not all companies are created equal. Some are big, some are small. In the index, businesses like SM, Ayala, and BDO make up more weight than others.

Thus, the fund is going to create a portfolio that mirror such composition. In this way, its returns would stay as close as possible to that of the index.

So when you invest in an index fund, what exactly happens? Remember that the fund is going to be pooled from all investors like you. The money then is used to buy the stocks that comprise the index, which would become the assets of the fund.

The entire worth of the fund (which is asset minus costs of its operation) would then be computed, and then divided into stocks, shares or units. They will then be issued to you as proof of your ownership or participation in the investment. Each stock, share or unit already contains all of the 30 companies. Pretty neat, huh?

Benefits of index funds

There are many advantages of index fund investing including the following benefits.

  • Historically, according to numerous studies, the returns of index funds beat actively managed funds over time.
  • Low initial capital. If you buy all the index stocks directly, you’d need at least P128,266.50 and that’s just a stock of each company. One index fund share already contains a portfolio of the blue chip companies, and you can start investing in the fund with
  • Passive income. A fund manager looks after the investments. You don’t have to be skilled in stock trading, so you can enjoy potential earnings without being an expert.
  • Long-term results. Again, it’s worth repeating that it’s hard to beat the long-term results of the index.
  • Low management fees. The fees are usually lower than actively managed funds.
  • Diversified. Every stock, share or unit already includes the entire index, so it’s already diversified which lessens risks.

Types of index funds in the Philippines

In the Philippines, these are the available companies that offer index funds.

Top index funds in the Philippines in 2019

These are the top 10 index funds from January 2019 until December 2019 or until the first trading day of 2020. The FMETF stock is highest on the list with 5.61% followed by East West PSEI Tracker Fund at 5.38%.

TypeFund NameROI
ETFFirst Metro Phil. Equity Exchange Traded Fund, Inc.5.61%
UITFEastWest PSEI Tracker Fund 5.38%
Mutual fundPhilequity PSE Index Fund Inc.5.34%
Mutual fundPhilippine Stock Index Fund Corp.5.27%
UITFBPI Philippine Equity Index Fund 4.96%
Mutual fundSun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index Fund, Inc.4.87%
UITFMetro Philippine Equity Index Tracker Fund 4.87%
UITFUnionBank Philippine Equity Index Portfolio 4.70%
UITFPNB PHIL-INDEX TRACKER FUND4.67%

How to start investing in index funds?

So how can you invest in index funds that are available in the Philippines? I am going to exclude VUL from the discussion. The fee structure and its management can be quite complex, and discussing its investment component alone might not be enough to describe its features comprehensively.

Fees, charges and taxes for index funds

I’m going to discuss two different set of features for index funds, one for investment funds in general and another for exchange traded fund like FMETF. That’s because FMETF, although it is an investment fund, is traded like a stock, and that means that while it may share similar characteristics investing in it is quite different.

So let’s start with the investment funds such as mutual funds, UITF and PERA. (If you need to understand the structure of each, you may visit their respective links.) Generally, they have the following features:

  • Initial investment or starting capital is the amount that the fund requires you to put up in order to open an account.
  • Additional investment is the required amount if you choose to add to your investment later on.
  • Sales load (front-/back-end fee) is the fee charged every time that you invest. It is also called front- or back-end fee depending on the timing when it is charged. Only mutual funds have sales load, while those in UITF and PERA are waived.
  • Management fee is what the fund charges to pay the operation of the fund and compensation for fund manager/s.
  • Minimum holding period is a length of time you are expected to let your money stay invested.
  • Exit fee is charged when you redeem your shares within the minimum holding period.
NameTypeInitialAddFeeHoldExitSales Load
FMETFETF1,0001,0000.50%0.90%0.30%
UCPB Philippine Index Equity FundUITF1,0001,0000.75%30 calendar days5%
EastWest PSEI Tracker FundUITF10,0001,0000.75%30 calendarP500.00 or 0.25% of redemption proceeds, whichever is higher
Philequity MSCI Philippine Index Fund, Inc.Mutual fund1,0005001.00%90 days3%5.00%
Philippine Stock Index Fund Corp.Mutual fund5,0001,0001.00%3months1%1.50%
Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index Fund, Inc.Mutual fund1,0001,0001.00%6months1%2.00%
CTBC Bank – Sun Life Philippine Stock Index Feeder FundUITF10,00010,0001.00%30 calendar1.00%
Security Bank Equity Index FundUITF10,0005,0001.00%NoneNone
UnionBank Equity Index FundUITF50,000Not applicable1.00%30 calendar days0.25% or 500, which is higher
PNB Enhanced Phil-Index Reference Fund UITF10,00010,0001.00%30 calendar days50% of income earned
Metro Philippine Equity Index Tracker FundUITF25,00025,0001.00%7 calendars50% of income earned
BDO PERA Equity Index Fund PERA   1,000                    1,000 1.00%30 calendar days1%
BDO EQUITY INDEX FUNDUITF10,00010,0001.00%30 calendar0.50% of the Original Participation Amount
BPI Philippine Equity Index FundUITF10,0001,0001.00%0 calendarNone
BDO PERA EQUITY INDEX FUNDUITF1,0001,0001.00%30 calendar1.00% of the Original Participation Amount 
PAMI Equity Index Fund, Inc.Mutual fund1,0005001.12%6months1%3.36%
Land Bank Equity Index FundUITF5,0001,0001.50%30 calendar days25% of income earned
Philequity PSE Index Fund Inc.Mutual fund1,0005001.00%1yr1%3.50%

Index funds through mutual funds

Mutual fund companies actually offer index funds. There are currently five such investments available according to Philippine Investment Fund Association. Personally, I actually started with mutual funds. One of the big companies is located where I was working then. I was able to attend one of their free financial seminars.

For me, choose mutual fund when there’s one that’s located to where you are working or residing. It’s also ideal for people who would want to really talk to a rep or attend seminars for them to understand more before they get started. Online registration is also good for those who want to start immediately and already know what they’re doing. For more info, check this brief discussion on mutual fund benefits and disadvantages.

Here are the best performing index funds offered through mutual funds in the Philippines in 2019. (As a reminder, past performance does not guarantee future results.)

CompanyFund NameROI
PSEi4.68%
PhilequityPhilequity PSE Index Fund Inc.5.34%
ALFMPhilippine Stock Index Fund Corp.5.27%
Sun LifeSun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index Fund, Inc.4.87%
PhilamPAMI Equity Index Fund, Inc.4.20%
FAMIFirst Metro Save and Learn Philippine Index Fund, Inc.2.56%

How can you invest in index fund through a mutual fund company?

  1. Consider two things when picking the fund: fees and convenience. Check the table above and pick the one with the least fee. Another factor is to select the company with convenience in mind. It should be one that’s near your place of work or residence, has great customer customer service, etc.
  2. Prepare the following: minimum starting capital of ₱1,000, at least one (1) valid ID, and tax identification number.
  3. Visit the company website or drop by their office. Refer to the contact details of mutual fund companies.
  4. Fill out the forms.
  5. Wait for the confirmation through email, SMS, or mail.

Index funds through UITF

Next in the list are the unit investment trust funds (UITF). They are offered by UITF bank trust and trust companies. The data below shows the index funds according to UITF Philippines. However, I can only find the 1-yr return on investment (ROI). To help you make a decision, here is an article on the benefits of UITF.

Below is the performance of the index funds through UITF in 2019.

BankFund NameROI
EastWestEastWest PSEI Tracker Fund 5.38%
BPIBPI Philippine Equity Index Fund 4.96%
MetrobankMetro Philippine Equity Index Tracker Fund 4.87%
Union Bank UnionBank Philippine Equity Index Portfolio 4.70%
PNBPNB PHIL-INDEX TRACKER FUND4.67%
UCPBUCPB Philippine Index Equity Fund 4.65%
Security BankSB PHILIPPINE EQUITY INDEX FUND 4.61%
BDOBDO EQUITY INDEX FUND 4.46%
CTBCCTBC Bank – Sun Life Philippine Stock Index Feeder Fund 4.09%
AtramATRAM Philippine Equity Smart Index Fund 3.44%

How can you invest in index fund through UITF?

  1. Compare fees and choose the fund with the least charges.
  2. Decide on a bank or trust entity. You can check this link for all companies that offer UITF products.
  3. Prepare at least initial capital of ₱1,000, one (1) valid ID, and TIN.
  4. Drop by the bank or trust company. You may also check their website to see if they have online registration.
  5. Fill out the forms and pay the capital.
  6. Look forward to notification via text or email or mail.

Index fund (PERA account)

Personal Equity and Retirement Account or PERA is our country’s version of the 401 (k) in the United States. It is geared for helping people save up for retirement.

By saying that, it is not easy to withdraw the money. The only way to enjoy the investment is you’re 55 years old, die young, or too sick, whichever comes first. PERA accounts can be opened in any Bangko Sentral Pilipinas-licensed administrators. Currently, there are only three institutions that are granted so far: Landbank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Banco de Oro-Unibank. In the country there is only one index fund under PERA, and that is the BDO Equity Index Fund.

Below is its 2019 performance compared to the stock index.

BankFund NameROI
PSEi4.68%
BDOBDO PERA EQUITY INDEX FUND3.01%

How to invest in PERA index fund?

  1. Check the fees. There are additional PERA fees such as administrator’s fee, custodianship fee (the company in charge of keeping asset), and investment manager fee (optional).
  2. Prepare the minimum required investment of ₱1,000, one (1) valid ID, and TIN.
  3. Visit any Banco de Oro branch located nationwide. You may also visit the branch where you have an existing account.
  4. Ask for PERA representative and fill out the forms.

First Metro Philippine Equity Exchange Traded Fund (FMETF)

The First Metro Philippine Equity Exchange Traded Fund (FMETF) is actually a fund but its stock is traded on the Philippine Stock Exchange. It’s a cross between a managed fund and a stock.

So when you invest, you don’t go to a company like you do with a mutual fund or UITF. Instead, you open a stock broker’s account that can let you buy and sell stocks on the exchange.

Each FMETF stock that you buy already contains all of the index. Not only that, it follows the composition as close as possible. Its goal is simply track its movement, and that’s why the returns that you see in the chart below move similarly through the years.

FMETF and PSEi returns since 2014
CompanyFund NameROI
PSEi4.68%
FAMIFirst Metro Phil. Equity Exchange Traded Fund, Inc.5.61%

How can you invest in FMETF?

  1. You need to have a stock brokers’ account such as BPI Trade, BDO Nomura, COL Financial, First Metro Securities, etc. Check PSE complete list of stock brokerage company.
  2. Check their website. Some may allow online registration.
  3. Make sure that you have the following: a valid ID and tax identification number.
  4. Prepare the minimum capital to start your account. This varies between companies. You’d be ask to either deposit to their bank account or submit at their office.
  5. Once you have your log-in credential to the trading platform, you can now start buying FMETF stocks.
  6. For a more complete instruction, please check article on how to buy Philippine stocks.

Additional FMETF fees

Aside from management fee, anytime that you invest in FMETF would incur stock acquisition fee (which on the fees table is indicated as “Fee”). That’s because an FMETF can only be purchased as a stock in the stock exchange. The total fee is 0.295%.

And when you redeem your investment, you would also be charged for stock redemption fees (which on the fees table is indicated as “Exit fee”). This charge is assessed regardless if you gained or lost.

FeesAmount
Broker’s Commission₱20 or 0.25%
VAT 12% of commission
PSE Transaction Fee0.005%
SCCP* Fee0.01%
(Sell) Tax**0.6%
  • *SCCP is Securities Clearing Corporation of The Philippines
  • **When you sell, you will have the same fees plus the tax of 0.6%

Tracking error and index funds

Another important factor to consider when investing in index fund is tracking error. Remember that the goals of index funds are two-fold: acquire all blue chip top 30 Philippine corporations and acquire their stocks in a way that mimic the composition of the index.

This means that not only they are asked to buy 30 different company shares. Such shares must be bought in proportion with respect to the stock index.

One way to determine how well fund managers achieve this is through the tracking error. It measures the difference between the return of the index fund and the stock index. It is a way to know how close the fund is able to mirror the ROI of the stock index. All funds have tracking error because the net asset value per unit/share (NAVPS or NAVPU) is usually valued lower than the index because of the fees.

This means that the smaller it is, the better the fund is able to follow the index. When it’s higher, the higher risks that the fund manager is taking which may not be ideal.

NameTypeTracking error
EastWest PSEI Tracker FundUITF0.03%
FMETFETF0.04%
Philequity MSCI Philippine Index Fund, Inc.MF0.06%
BPI Philippine Equity Index FundUITF0.16%
BDO EQUITY INDEX FUNDUITF0.54%
Metro Philippine Equity Index Tracker FundUITF0.910%
CTBC Bank – Sun Life Philippine Stock Index Feeder FundUITF-0.10%
BDO PERA Equity Index Fund PERA1.44%
Philequity PSE Index Fund Inc.MF0.03% – 3.27%
Security Bank Equity Index FundUITF0.90% – 3.03%
UCPB Philippine Index Equity FundUITFNot available
UnionBank Equity Index FundUITFNot available
PNB Enhanced Phil-Index Reference Fund UITFNot available
Land Bank Equity Index FundUITFNot available
Philippine Stock Index Fund Corp.MFNot available
Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index Fund, Inc.MFNot available
PAMI Equity Index Fund, Inc.MFNot available

Issues about index funds in the Philippines

Now, one of the things that you may realize is that all of the funds offered in the Philippine market—regardless if they track the index or actively managed—are very costly. Take index funds for example. They only track 30 companies in the Philippines, but the management fee ranges between 0.50% to 1.50% per year.

Maybe part of the reason is that the PSE corporation has started charging a licensing fee starting 2019. The fee is at 3% of the assets under management (AUM) of all the funds.

However, compare that to index funds offered in American market. In the United States, you can actually purchase the Vanguard Total Market ETF (exchange traded fund) and the expense ratio or fee is only 0.03%. But here’s more. The Vanguard Total Market ETF tracks 3,606 American corporations.

Frequently asked questions

Are index funds safe?

All index funds are highly regulated by the government. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas oversee UITFs and PERA account, Securities and Exchange Commission on mutual funds and exchange traded funds, and Insurance Commission on variable universal life (VUL).

Another way to answer this question is to compare with other investments. Because they are invested in stocks, there is a potential for capital loss and the returns are not guaranteed, unlike conservative securities such as long term negotiable certificate of deposit, retail treasury bonds, time deposit or savings account. But if you compare with stocks, they are considered to be less aggressive. Their underlying assets of blue chip companies have established growth history, reputation, considerable market share in respective industry, etc.

What is the advantage of owning direct stocks over index funds?

When you own stocks, you become part of the business. You get to enjoy dividends, voting right, and invitation to annual stockholders meeting. The caveat is that you would need to have the expertise to manage your portfolio as well as the capital to buy all of the index.

Index funds are cost-effective means of investing. They’re affordable and easy. The funds own the stocks, while you as an investor is part of the fund. Any dividends that the fund receive from companies are most likely reinvested to provide more value to investors. For a more in-depth discussion, read Where to invest: direct stocks or investment funds?

Among the index funds, which one should you choose?

It depends on you. All of them are structured similarly, so it really boils down to convenience, minimum initial capital, facility for regular auto-invest, fees, and other factors like customer service. But if you’d like to know which one offers the least fee and the most return in 30-year projection, I would have to say it is the FMETF stock. See the full discussion on the best index fund.

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22 thoughts on “How to invest in index funds in the Philippines”

    1. Hi Joy, thanks for this very frank question. Personally, I chose institutions that I wouldn’t have a problem dealing with. I’m about an hour away from the city, so convenience, phone support, electronic fund transfer, and online access are important for me. I apologize that I wouldn’t name the companies as it might be mistaken as an endorsement, but check with your bank if they have 1.) UITF 2.) stock brokerage company 3.) sister mutual fund companies 4.) offers PERA accounts. So that you can have the flexibility to manage your index funds, banking, and investments all in one go.

    2. Hi! I would like to ask if it is better to invest directly to PSEI rather than mutual (index) funds to bypass expensive management fees?

      1. You can definitely buy individual stocks, just remember it’s going to require bigger capital and periodic fund reallocation to mirror the index. You may consider FMETF, which is a stock traded in PSE that follows the index. Just as mentioned above, buying stocks would incur fees, charges, and taxes (upon selling them).

  1. Under “Types of index funds in the Philippines”, you mentioned that there are 3 index funds you can invest in, but there are 5 items in the bullet points.

    1. Hi, John. The FMETF gave dividends by way of stocks a few years ago. Recently, it seems most, if not all, index funds reinvest the dividends back to the fund. You may check the effect of this reinvesting in this article from Philippine Daily Inquirer.

  2. Good day! You mentioned that aside from a management fee FMETF also incurs trading fees (buying/selling the stock), does this mean that, with regards to fees, it’s more expensive than buying a mutual fund from COL Financial that only charges a 1% management fee and no front-end load?

    1. Hi, BM. It is true there are overhead costs of buying and selling FMETF stocks, but its low management fee of 0.50% makes it an attractive index fund compared to other comparable funds. If you read this article on the best index fund in the Philippines, you’d see that FMETF would still give you the highest return compared to mutual funds and UITF. You may also review the projections in this Google Sheet.

  3. Ah, okay. Now I get it. Thank you, especially for this website–it really helps us a lot with our finances! Salamat kaayo and greetings from Southern Leyte!

    1. Hi, Bm. You’re welcome. Please bear in mind that these are projections. Actual results vary. They also do not take into account any future changes of fees and other charges that may occur.

    1. Hi, Ulysses. All funds charge management fee. For FMETF, it is 0.50% per year. You don’t have to pay this separately, it is part of the real-time NAVPS (net asset value per stock). You may check the FMETF profile on the Philippine Stock Exchange and also on their website.

  4. Hello po.Thank you for your very helpful info.

    Pero ask ko lng po, this may sound silly but as a new investor, I am just wondering why is there a lot of company offering an Index Fund if their same main aim is to track the Philippines Blue chip companies? Isn’t it redundant?Hindi ba pwd mag consolidate nlng so that everyone will just invest in 1 Index Fund then avoid confusions? hehehe.

    1. Hi, Elle. It’s really fine to ask questions, so don’t worry about it. You’re right, equities index funds are the same. The reason different companies offer them is down to having a comprehensive range of financial products that they can offer. A customer in a bank may be interested in opening a savings account, a time deposit account, and a UITF account that tracks the top 30 Philippine companies. If the bank can readily open all three accounts, that can be convenient for the customer and the bank also gains by maintaining multiple accounts.

      1. Dear Peso Lab,

        I truly appreciate po for answering my questions. So as a follow up question lng po, does it matter which company you invest (be it bank, mutual fund)with the same index they track? Kagaya po ng philequity index fund at philippine equity index fund.. Db pareha po silang index funds.. So how do we determine kung saan ang mas profitable? May possibilities po ba na one is better than the other?

        Maraming slamat po Pesolab..

  5. What can you advise for someone who is a beginner in investment? I am still in the process of saving for my capital, but as soon as I’m able to save enough, I will start on my venture already. I am still quite confused to these terms, but hopefully I can be enlightened more. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Penny Saver. That’s correct. Investing in yourself is the first step. Learn investment opportunities that are regulated by the Philippine government such as mutual funds, UITFs, ETF, PERA, VULs, MP2, SSS Flexi Fund, time deposits, etc. I’d suggest that you visit Facebook pages of PSE, FAMI, etc that offer free financial seminars. I’ve also learned a great deal by dropping by any bank that offers UITF. You can ask for someone to give you an overview. Learn as much as you can about personal finance: about planning for your financial goals, saving, passive income, budgeting, and investing, managing debts. I know this might sound a bit overwhelming, but just learn as much.

      Important: Don’t commit if you’re unsure. The best investment for you is one that is in line and may be able to help you meet your financial goal, and not because you like what the free seminar or agent is telling you. All the best.

  6. Hi! I’ve been reading Money Master the Game. The book is emphasizing to invest in Index Funds rather than Mutual Funds coz of lower fees (and there are a lot of hidden fees in mutual funds). But the setting of the book is in US. What is your opinion about this in Philippines setting? Also, what would you recommend? If for example, I can afford buying stocks of each blue chip companies in the long run, would it still be wiser to buy index funds? Beginner investor po kasi ako. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi, AGD. That’s great that you’re reading a book on personal finance.

      1. Yes, go for an investment with the least fees. The lesser the fee, the better your long-term returns would be. Among index funds, FMETF has the least management fee of 0.50%. Check this article that compares index funds.
      2. Buying stocks and investing in index funds will ultimately depend on your game-plan. What are your goals that are tied to your stock and index fund investments? How are you going to respond when the stock market is down? The answer depends on you.

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