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:
A global broker with access to 1,500 global markets and offering CFD trading stocks, ETFs, indices, shares, cryptos, commodities and Forex.
Targeted for more experienced investors, Interactive Brokers offers a wide range of products from many exchanges worldwide.
💡 Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for novice investors.
80% of retail CFD account lose money.
XTB at a glance
Founded in 2002, XTB presents itself as a market player with extensive worldwide experience, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The trading platforms (MT4 and xStation 5) offer very advanced software oriented to CFDs and forex trading with competitive costs.
The available tools are made for technical analysis rather than fundamental analysis. On the latter, XTB reveals minimal fundamental data indeed.
The fees charged will depend of the type of products you are trading. Stock CFDs and ETF CFDs Fees present an average of 0.08% spreads and Forex & Commodity fees start from 0.1 pips. Besides, you will face an inactivity fee of €10/month after one year of non-trading and if you have not made any deposit in the last 90 days. Opening an account and transferring money is a quick and hassle-free process (demo account available).
XTB is fully supervised by top-tier regulators such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (PFSA or KNF in polish), and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), and the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC).
Want to know more about XTB? Check our XTB Review.
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, Options 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.
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 United States, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Japan, and Australia.
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.