(Tutorial) How do I start trading stocks?

James Ryan Jonas

I’m ready to start trading stocks, what do I do?

Are you sure you’re all set? Have you reviewed our stock trading tutorial about the types of stocks and other securities being traded, how profits are made, how much you need to trade stocks, and what types of orders you can make?

If you did and are ready to go, continue reading below.

Step 1. To be able to participate in the stock market, you need a stockbroker to buy and sell shares of stocks. A stockbroker is a person or a corporation authorized and licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to trade securities.

Click here to know more about choosing a good stockbroker.

Step 2. Apply for an account with your chosen broker. Normally, you will need to fill out a Reference Card and submit identification papers for verification. Once approved, you will be assigned a trader or agent to assist you in buying or selling stocks. In the case of online brokers, you can start trading online without the assistance of a personal broker. But first, you need to fund your account.

Step 3. Fund your account either by issuing a check payable to your chosen broker or by depositing cash directly to the brokerage firm’s bank account. Contact them for more details on how to send your payment.

Step 4. If your broker assigned you a personal trader, communicate and discuss with him/her your stock order, then wait for the transaction to be executed. Normally, your personal trader will contact you if the transaction was executed or not. If what you have is an online account, you can buy and sell stocks without anyone’s assistance. Check the FAQ or tutorial of online stockbrokers for guidance on how to navigate their online trading platform.

Trading stocks entail costs. Here’s a listing of taxes and fees when buying or selling stocks in the Philippines.

Step 5. Three (3) days after the buy or sell transaction, you will receive from your broker the cash proceeds, if you are selling stocks, or proof of ownership of the stocks (confirmation receipt and invoice), if you are buying stocks.

Easy, right? Happy investing!

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James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.