Filipinos who encounter eToro for the first time often question its legitimacy. Some of the features of the social trading platform, after all, may sound too good to be true. How can it allow users based in the Philippines to trade foreign stocks and other financial instruments? Aren’t we limited to investing only in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE)?
Rest assured, eToro is a completely reputable trading platform, and the site boasts many features that make it ideal for Filipinos new to global markets. The most powerful is the copy trading feature, which allows Filipinos to select a trader who matches their preferred risk appetite, investment style, and other metrics, and then duplicate all their future trades with the push of a button.
If that feature may still sound too good to be true, you ought to take a look at the Filipinos who have already succeeded on the platform. Their stories show that financial success often comes at the intersection of forward-thinking and technological innovation.
1. Sonny de Asis Villamer
In April 2019, Sonny de Asis Villamer won eToro’s Trading Challenge after his portfolio demonstrated an impressive return of 75.92% – this after only joining the platform at the beginning of the year. Villamer is also not a professional trader by any means. While he had been trading local stocks since 2016 – mostly learning via books and articles – Villamer works as an engineering manager for an elevator interior design company in Singapore.
As an overseas foreign worker (OFW), Villamer liked the fact he no longer had to adhere to Philippine time to trade stocks, as that conflicted with his work hours. He could instead trade when the NYSE opened at 10:00 pm, when he could focus on swing trading.
“I believe the key to success is being disciplined. I set Stop Loss and Take Profit points on my trades and stick to them. The most important thing is to follow a trading strategy that fits your risk profile and appetite. It doesn’t matter if the system is basic or complicated. Different strategies work differently for all investors and as long as one works for you, stick with it,” shared Villamer.
2. Jeremie Caringal
Like Villamer, Jeremie Caringal is also a contest winner. He beat out over 1,000 contestants with a return of 621.03% on his portfolio to win eToro’s UFC Trading Challenge. Caringal was awarded an all expenses paid trip to Las Vegas that was capped with tickets to the International Fight Week event and an exclusive tour of the UFC Performance Institute.
Given his recent success, Caringal admits regretting not taking finance-related courses back in college.
“I did not have any trading experience prior to joining eToro. I chose eToro because the platform it offers is quite intuitive and very user-friendly for someone just starting out on their investment journey,” said Caringal, who works full-time as a laboratory technician for a government agency.
Caringal is a fast learner – the UFC Trading Challenge is not his first victory. He had previously earned US$1,000 by ranking in as one of the top ten traders out of a pool of 3,000 participants.
3. Lloyd Bazar
Lloyd Bazar is a thought leader in financial literacy, and he’s turned over many Filipinos – including Villamer – over to eToro, primarily through his educational Facebook group, posts, and videos.
But Bazar doesn’t only talk the talk. He is most popular Philippine-based “popular investor” on the platform. As of this writing, over 275 users were copy-trading his account, collectively dedicating more than US$100,000. Bazar thus has two revenue streams via eToro: one, from his trading; and two, from the incentives he earns from eToro from being a highly coveted “popular investor.”
While Bazar may have achieved his own financial success, his main goal is helping more Filipinos realize they can also do the same. “Take a risk and try it. You will always hear this from successful people: If you don’t take risks, you won’t be going anywhere,” he said in an interview with Newsbytes, an approach that could very well apply to eToro in particular as investing in general.