You have probably heard about the Robinhood app on YouTube and want to know if it’s available in the Philippines, right?
Robinhood is a modern and easy-to-use investment app from the US, which has introduced the concept of commission-free trading in financial products such as stocks and ETFs.
Do you want to know if the Robinhood app is available in the Philippines, its expansion plans, and the alternatives available in the Philippines? We’ve got you covered!
What is Robinhood?
Robinhood was founded in 2013. Since then, it has played a major role in disrupting the brokerage industry by allowing US retail investors to trade with no commissions, alongside its biggest rival, Webull. Robinhood is defined as a commission-free online broker that offers the possibility of trading stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies.
The results are clear: over 18 million users! The competitors of Robinhood have been monitoring this exponential growth closely, and, in October 2019, some major well-established brokers in the US, such as E-Trade, TD Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab, announced in quick succession that they were eradicating trading fees.
Is Robinhood Available in the Philippines?
Unfortunately, Robinhood is not yet available in the Philippines, nor any other country outside the US.
It had planned to open in the UK in 2020, but it was postponed indefinitely.
Most recently, in early 2022, Robinhood has set aggressive goals to “open their crypto platform to customers internationally”. With this in mind, Robinhood has signed an agreement to buy Ziglu, a London-based crypto trading app, to help accelerate their international expansion, both in the UK and across Europe.
But do not lose hope! Meantime, you can still find some Robinhood alternatives in the Philippines that have proven reliable (and perhaps even more reliable than Robinhood!). The covid-19 stock crash during the first quarter of 2020 showed some vulnerabilities of the Robinhood platform. The app collapsed several times, and investors could not trade during the most volatile markets in history. The company is facing some lawsuits due to these outages.
Besides, Robinhood has faced several security breaches in revealing sensitive information about its clients, and, at one point, it even allowed “infinite leverage” that was shortly corrected afterwards. Still, it did not avoid significant losses for some clients.
Robinhood Philippines Alternatives
To help us answer this question, our assumption was only to focus on low-cost brokers available in the Philippines. Given that, here are our suggestions:
Commission-free stock and ETF trading. You can also copy other traders/investors. Slick, modern, and easy for anyone to use. It is trusted by over 25 million clients worldwide.
Disclaimer: 67% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
A 0% commission platform that provides low overnight fees, tight spreads, and no currency conversion fees! With access to over 6,100 markets, It offers stocks and ETFs plus CFD trading in indices, shares, cryptos, commodities and Forex.
Disclaimer: 83.45% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
eToro at a glance
Founded in 2006, eToro is a well-known worldwide fintech startup and the leader in the social trading field (follow other people’s trades), with over 25 million users worldwide. You can also invest in other products such as CFDs, ETFs, stocks, commodities, Forex, and cryptocurrencies through their platform, which is intuitive and simple to use, making it a good choice for beginners. Plus, they have started offering commission-free stock and ETFs trading in the Philippines (not all ETFs are commission-free).
Opening an account and depositing is easy, and you can even try it out with virtual money. On the downside, the only currency accepted is the USD, so you’ll pay currency conversion costs upon deposit and withdrawal if you use PHP, and spreads can be high for some products, like cryptocurrencies. A full review of eToro in the Philippines is available here.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
2# Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers at a glance
Founded in 1978 and publicly listed in NASDAQ (ticker: IBKR), Interactive Brokers is a global online broker which surpassed major financial crises, showing resilience and a rigorous risk management process.
Interactive Brokers offers an advanced investment platform that includes a wide range of products (stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, bonds, and currencies) from 150 markets, solid trade execution (IB SmartRouting), and a set of technical and fundamental tools to help you in your investment decisions.
Beginners and intermediate investors have educational tools to explore, but the learning curve will be steep. That´s why we mainly endorse it to more advanced traders. Besides, the customer service gives crystal clear answers to your doubts, so there is no need to go back and forth.
On the downside, Interactive Brokers’ fee structure is quite complex, the registration process is lengthy but fully online, and the broker doesn’t offer commission-free trading. However, when considering FX fees, narrower spreads, and the stock loan program, Interactive Brokers’ clients still get significant savings compared to most brokers.
Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks and ETFs, ideal for beginner investors. Some of the features of IBKR GlobalTrader include automatic currency conversions, fractional shares, demo account, and more.
Want to know more about Interactive Brokers? Check our Interactive Brokers Review.
Capital.com at a glance
Founded in 2016, Capital.com is a fintech group of companies committed to building the world’s best trading experience. They utilise AI-enabled technology and integrations with the likes of Trading view to offer a unique trading experience.
With 500,000+ active users, Capital.com is a commission-free broker in stocks, ETFs and CFDs in indices, shares, cryptos, commodities and Forex. The only charges you will notice are spreads (the difference between the buy and sell prices) and overnight fees (only if you have leveraged positions).
The trading platforms on desktop and mobile are highly customised to your individual trading preferences. You have access to news feeds, extended trading hours and a wide range of orders types. Investors also have lots of educational content to explore, the minimum deposit is only €20 (except for a wire transfer: €250), and the customer service is available 24/7 through different channels (live chat, e-mail, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger,…).
Besides, Capital.com is supervised by top tier regulators such as FCA, CySEC, ASIC and NBRB. You are under Investment Protection Schemes, Negative Balance Protection, segregated funds, two-factor authentification and data protection.
On the downside, stock and ETF trading is not available in all countries, the platform does not offer Options or Bonds, and it may be overwhelming for beginners.
Want to know more about Capital.com? Check our Capital.com review.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 83.45% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and/or CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Which platform should you choose?
Some factors you should know when choosing an online broker are the fees charged if it is regulated by top-tier institutions such as the FCA in the UK, the range of products it allows you to trade (not all platforms allow you to trade EU stocks), among others.
The best online broker in your specific case will depend on your profile, preference, and objectives. Explore the websites above and decide for yourself!
A reminder that the above should not be seen as investment advice and should be considered information only. Investors should do their own research and diligence about the best-suited services and opportunities for their risk, returns, and impact strategy.
Hope we helped, and leave your comments below.
Is Webull available in the Philippines? Can I use Webull in the Philippines?
No, Webull (Robinhood’s biggest competitor in the US) is also not available in the Philippines. Due to compliance rules, Webull is not able to do trading besides the USA and Hong Kong.
Does Etrade work in the Philippines? Can foreigners use Etrade?
No, Etrade is not available in the Philippines either. Only US citizens/Green Card holders can open an account on this platform (some exceptions apply).
What about other US-based investment platforms? Are Acorns or M1 Finance available in the Philippines?
No, Acorns and M1 Finance are not available in the Philippines either. Only US citizens/Green Card holders are eligible to open an account on these platforms.
How exactly does Robinhood make money?
The online broker earns money from interest earned on customers’ cash balances (money in your account not invested) by selling order information to third parties (high-frequency traders, for instance) and margin lending.
Regarding selling orders, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is still investigating Robinhood for not fully disclosing its practice of selling clients’ orders to high-speed trading firms.
Until October 2018, Robinhood would not clearly state that it was receiving payments for order flows. By law, any financial company must reveal all the material facts an investor would want to know before making any investment decision.