5 Ways on How OFWs Can Invest in the Philippines

Filipino Overseas Workers should realized that they cannot work forever.

They will retire sooner or later and won’t be able to earn as much and most likely come back home to the Philippines. They need to make the smart financial move to make their earnings work for them by investing. Whether it’s buying their own home or participating in the stock market, investments are an opportunity for financial independence overseas Filipinos shouldn’t miss out on.

On today’s post, some investment vehicles Filipinos can avail of while they are overseas or working abroad will be shared. There is no one simple way to invest. Depending on your financial goals, there are several ways for overseas Filipinos to make their money work for them, and here’s five.

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1. Mutual Funds

Mutual Funds are pooled investments which Filipinos can participate in with as little as Php 5,000. This fund is considered to be one of the simplest type of investing, because they do not require much effort and time compared to others (e.g. stock market, own business). These funds are managed by a professional fund manager, whose job is to grow the money you invested, without you having to monitor it constantly. All you need to do is put in the money. With some companies, you can view the performance of your mutual fund online.

How Can I Open a Mutual Fund Account?

You can open a mutual fund from overseas. Mutual funds are usually offered by investment companies. Once you’ve selected the mutual fund you want to participate in, contact the company so they can assist you with opening an account. You can submit the forms via courier, and deposit your funds via wire transfer to specific accounts for the mutual fund. Several investment companies also accept deposits from major Philippine banks

Here’s a list of mutual fund investments that you can try: ATRKE Alpha Opportunity Fund, ATRKE Equity Opportunity Fund, First Metro Save and Learn Equity Fund, Philam Strategic Growth Fund, Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Equity Fund, ALFM.

2. Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITFs)

Unit investment trust funds (UITFs) are another type of pooled investments which OFWs can avail of. UITFs work pretty much the same way as mutual funds. Investors pool their money, a fund manager handles the money, makes the investment, and the returns are given back to the investor. This is usually offered by banks and differs from mutual funds in the sense that it involves per unit investment, as opposed to shares in a mutual fund. For most banks, you can also monitor your investments’ performance online.

How Can I Open a UITF Account?

Many banks require a personal appearance for you to open a UITF account with them but some banks can help you open an account overseas if you already have a savings account with them. Contact your Philippine branch via e-mail or telephone and they can facilitate your application for UITFs by sending you the required forms, which you can fill out, sign and then send via courier.

Here’s a partial list of banks that offer UITFs: Metrobank, BDO, Union Bank, BPI, PNB, Chinabank, Security Bank, EastWest Bank

3. Stock Market

Overseas Filipinos can participate in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) outside their home country. If done right and a little effort of learning and studying, stocks are a good investment to make your money grow. Unlike mutual funds and UITFs, you would have total management and control over your investments. And, the good news is that you can manage your investments online from anywhere around the world!

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How Can I Open a Stock Market Account?

Online brokers allow OFWs to open a trading account without a personal appearance. Once you’ve chosen an online stockbroker, send them an e-mail and they will assist you in your application. Usually, you will need to fill out some forms and send scanned copies of a government-issued ID via courier. Funding your account will involve bank wire transfers or remittances. Numerous online brokers allow you to open an account with as less as Php 5,000.

Here’s a list of online stock brokers accredited by the Philippine Stock Exchange: AB Capital Securities, Inc., Abacus Securities Corporation, Accord Capital Equities Corporation, Angping & Associates Securities, Inc., BPI Securities Corporation, COL Financial Group, Inc., Yap Securities, Inc., First Metro Securities Brokerage Corporation, RCBC Securities, Inc., Wealth Securities, Inc.

4. Real Estate

Some OFWs prefer to invest in real estate rather that other assets – because owning a home is tangible and concrete compared to stocks and mutual funds. This form of investment requires a higher amount of money to start because you have to make the payments for the land that you have purchased. Real estate is a good investment because your property has the potential to provide you great returns either through reselling property or renting out the property.

How Can I Invest in Real Estate While I’m Overseas?

You need to entrust the purchase of the property to someone physically present in the Philippines, such as a relative. You will have to give them Special Power of Attorney (SPA) to act on your behalf, a form that needs to be notarized by the Philippine consulate. If you are purchasing a from a real estate company, the property developer will assist you in the process of purchasing from them as well, but it’s your representative that will be handling everything so it’s very important that you pick someone you trust.

5. Small Business

Investing in a small business is a great option especially if you wish to retire in the Philippines. Being a small business owner offers OFWs the opportunity for additional income, but you must have partners you trust. As you try to save money for a local business, you can attend business seminars or livelihood classes to get extra training. OR you can also go into franchising. For small franchises, such as food stalls and carts, starting capital ranges from Php 35,000 to Php 170,000. For bigger franchises, capital is much higher and starts at around Php 800,000.

How Can I Run a Small Business?

Being an OFW, you are not always in your home country, and someone will have to run the day-to-day operations. It’s important to find people you trust. While you are away, you can let the people you trust handle the business.

These are just some of the ways that OFWs can invest in the Philippines. It is not as easy as it seems, but it’s definitely doable. Remember, diversify your investments and always invest according to your investment objectives and time frame.

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