Trading forex in the Philippines has become extremely popular among residents. But finding the right broker that is authorized to offer financial services in the country and allows you to trade exotic currencies such as the Philippine Peso can be a challenge.
To help you get started, we have listed the top Forex trading apps in the Philippines as of 2020. In this guide, we also discuss the most essential factors to look for in a forex broker and show you a step by step guide on how to open a trading account in the Philippines and set your first order.
How to Trade Forex in the Philippines in 3 steps?
The official regulatory agency that is responsible for monitoring Philippine’s economic activity and ensuring a safe environment is the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). However, unlike other countries that restrict offshore online forex broker, Philipino investors are able to open an account with any broker they choose. In the past few years, many international Forex broker companies have entered the Philipines market, offering forex and CFD online trading for Philipino investors.
If you wish to open an account without reading our full guide, below you’ll see three quick steps that you need to follow to open a forex trading account in the Philippines.
Step 1: Open a trading account
To open a forex trading account in the Philippines, you will need an account with a trusted broker.
Step 2: Deposit funds
Setting up & funding your account is quick and easy with the top online brokers.
Step 3: Start demo and live trading
Once you have your account and you've done your research, you are ready to start trading forex!
67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
1. eToro – Best Social Trading Platform in the Philippines
eToro is a multi-asset social trading platform that offers a huge selection of markets and products to trade on in more than 140 countries, including the Philippines. This broker is considered safe and secure as it is regulated by top-tier regulators such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
The eToro trading platform is simple, intuitive, and is quite similar to other social media dashboards. Further, investors can use the CopyTrader tool to copy the positions of other high performing traders. This makes eToro an excellent platform for beginner traders that are looking to build their knowledge without the hassle of learning a complicated trading platform.
Investors at eToro get access to 47 currency pairs at a leverage ratio of up to 1:300. But apart from forex, eToro offers users to trade on shares, indices, commodities, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and the built-in Copy Portfolios.
- Largest social trading platform in the world
- Features the CopyTrade tool that allows users to copy trades of other successful traders
- Highly regulated broker
- eToro does not offer an advanced trading platform
- Charges a withdrawal fee of $5
2. AvaTrade – Best Trading Platform in the Philippines for Automated Trading
AvaTrade is another highly regulated forex broker that accepts clients from the Philippines. This broker was founded in 2006 and has expanded enormously since then. Today, AvaTrade has more than 200,000 users worldwide and the broker executes more than two million trades a month. In terms of regulation, AvaTrade is regulated by several regulators across the world that includes the Central Bank of Ireland, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, the Financial Services Agency, the Financial Futures Association of Japan, and the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority.
While AvaTrade does not offer a wide range of products as eToro does, this broker focuses on providing professional trading platforms and advanced trading tools. Moreover, it is one of the best trading apps in the market for investors who want to automate their trading. AvaTrade offers different auto trading platforms, including the popular Expert Advisor. But unlike most of the trading platforms in the market, AvaTrade integrates third-party Forex signals providers such as DupliTrade, ZuluTrade, and MQL5.
Another advantage of trading with AvaTrade is the ability to trade FX options on the AvaOptions trading platform that is available on desktop and mobile. This means you can trade more than 40 currency pairs on any options trading strategy.
- Offers Islamic (Swap-Free) trading accounts
- One of the best platforms for automated trading
- AvaTrade offers FX options trading
- Not suitable for beginner traders
- Limited selection of markets and products
4. IG – Best Forex Trading Platform for Highly Active Traders
IG Markets is one of the most popular and well-known trading apps in the world, and deservedly so. This broker, which was founded in 1974, allows trading on a wide range of more than 17,000 financial assets, including stocks, ETFs, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. IG Markets is also heavily regulated with top regulators such as the FCA, MAS, CFTC, NFA, and ASIC. By being a highly regulated forex broker, IG Markets are well suited to investors from the Philippines.
Filipino investors at IG Markets can enjoy highly competitive spreads that start from 0.6 pips for EUR/USD and fast order execution. For highly active forex traders, IG offers the Direct Market Access (DMA) trading account that enables currency trading at the market price, with liquidity from major providers.
Setting up an account with IG Markets is relatively simple. Before being able to trade, you will have to fill in your personal details and confirm your identity by submitting a government-issued ID. Moreover, the broker maintains a minimum deposit requirement of $300 in order to open an online trading account.
- Offers a wide range of more than 17,000 assets
- Highly regulated forex broker
- Offers a DMA account for orofessonal active traders
- Inactivity fee is charged only after 2 years of inactivity
- Not suitable for beginners
Step 2: What to Look for in Forex Trading App in the Philippines?
If you are located in the Philippines, choosing one of our recommended brokers from the list above will save you a lot of headaches and ensures your funds are well protected. Yet, there are some crucial factors you should check before getting the right broker for you.
Automated Forex Trading
Automated forex trading is a method of trading forex with a computer program. The computer program extracts a preset of parameters and automated the process of trading without any human involvement. In recent years, automated trading has become available for retail traders due to technological progress. Most forex traders that automate their trading use the Expert Advisor feature available on the popular MetaTrader4.
Among the brokers above, you can automate your trading with AvaTrade and IG Markets.
A regulated Forex broker ensures that your funds are protected in safe accounts and that you are guaranteed to receive a fair and safe trading environment. Therefore, it is important that you invest your money with a regulated and well-reputed broker that operates in the industry for a long period of time. Some of the recognized forex regulators include the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Keep in mind that the regulator must solve any dispute between the broker and the client and these brokers must be a member of Compensation Schemes that compensate investors in the case of the broker’s insolvency.
A trading platform is an essential tool that can either improve your trading performance or worsen it. Because the majority of forex brokers offer the same variety (more or less) of financial assets, these brokers offer different kinds of trading platforms for different types of traders. eToro, for example, offers a less professional trading platform but an innovative social trading experience where traders can interact with each other and mimic trades of other traders. On the other hand, AvaTrade and IG provide advanced trading platforms for professional investors.
Additionally, if you are looking for a forex broker that gives you access to your account through various platforms, then AvaTrade and IG have a wide selection of platforms, unlike eToro and Plus500 that offer their own propriety trading platforms.
Forex Analysis Tools and News
There is a great variety of technical indicators and analysis tools that forex traders can add to their platforms. Some of the most well-known and used Forex analysis tools that you should become familiar with:
- The FX trading signals
- Economic calendar
- Markets sentiment – Bullish/bearish/neutral
- Analysts recommendations
- Volume indicator
- Live FX news
- Technical analysis advance indicators
- FX currency pairs correlation matrix
- Interest rates
- CME FedWatch Tool – CME interest rate hike probability
Forex brokers try to offer the most favorable trading instruments for clients. The majority of CFD brokers offer the following markets: forex, indices, commodities, stocks, and cryptocurrencies. However, some brokers like eToro and IG Markets, are offering much more than that. eToro offers Exchanged Traded Funds (ETFs) and the CopyPortfolios, which are a collection of CFD stocks, commodities, or ETFs, according to a pre-defined sector.
In terms of tradable assets, IG Markets is most likely at the top of the list of the ‘CFD brokers with the widest selection of products’. This broker offers more than 17,000 tradable assets to trade on that include options, IPOs, ETFs, bonds, and interest rates.
Alerts and Notifications
Nowadays, it very important to follow market news, however, it is also a challenge for many traders. There’s a stream of market news and real-time economic data that can confuse traders rather than help them.
Yet, Forex traders often make use of forex trading signals and market news. It is still one of the most important data coming into the forex market. Many forex brokers have stepped into this new system, offering users alerts and notifications. For example, Plus500 has a service that enables users to get a real-time email, SMS, and push notifications based on price alerts or daily/hourly percentage change. Further, you will find other brokers such as AvaTrade that focus on trading signals services rather than alerts and notifications. These services allow users to automatically follow experienced traders’ and analysts’ signals and strategies in real-time.
Step 3: Open a Trade using a Forex Trading App
Our review finds eToro as the most user-friendly and intuitive trading platform, whether you are a beginner or professional trader. If you are ready to place your first forex order in the market, then simply follow the three steps below:
Create an Account and Verify your Identity
First, you will have to visit eToro’s official website and sign up for an online trading account. eToro requires you to fill in your personal details and submit the necessary documentation that verifies your identity.
Next, you will have to deposit funds into your account. In the Philippines, eToro allows you to make instant deposits directly from your bank account with a maximum deposit of $10,000. According to eToro PayPal country restrictions, it appears that investors from the Philippines can also fund their account with PayPal.
Once your account has been approved and the funds have reached the destination, you can place orders in the market. Search for the currency pair you wish to trade on and click on the ‘Trade’ button. You will be immediately transferred to the asset page where you can find Twitter feed, stats, charts, and research (market sentiment, analysts recommendation, etc). Whenever you are ready to place an order, click on the Trade button at the top right corner of the screen. Then, set the amount of the trade, the leverage ratio, and a stop-loss order (recommended). To complete your trade, click on the ‘Set Order’ button.
Pros and Cons of Forex Trading
- You must be fully aware of economic data and updates
- Highly volatile and unpredictable
- There’s a risk involved with forex trading
- High leverage means high risk
The regulatory framework in the Philippines is not yet clear. The BSP does not have a role to play in regulating the Forex industry, and the SEC is more concerned with improving the integrity of the Philippine financial markets but has no sufficient power to enforce laws and regulations on Forex brokers operating in the Philippines. Furthermore, the legality of forex trading in the Philippines has come under question for many years with the SEC advisory from 2018 remains the most notable piece of information.
Nevertheless, offshore Forex brokers still accept clients from the Philippines. Also, it seems that the Philippines authorities will take note of the growing popularity of forex trading among residents and soon, will allow forex trading activity. Keep in mind that if you decide to open a trading account with one of our regulated brokers, the same regulations and laws apply to all and therefore, your funds will be protected in a segregated account.
Is it safe to trade with online brokers in the Philippines?
As long as you use the broker's provided payment method in the Philippines, then yes, it is completely safe to trade with an online broker in the Philippines. Reputable CFD brokers such as eToro, Plus500, and IG are most likely to be in contact with regulatory agencies in the Philippines and state on their official website that they currently accept clients from the Philippines.
What is the minimum deposit required to start trading with a forex broker in the Philippines?
The majority of the forex brokers that are authorized to offer service in the Philippines maintain a low deposit requirement that ranges between $50-$200. eToro, for example, maintains a minimum deposit requirement of $200 in order to open a trading account and start trading forex.
What will you need to open an online trading account in the Philippines?
If you choose one of the recommended brokers on the list above, you will have to fill in your personal details that include name, email address, occupation, phone number, etc. Further, you will have to submit a government-issued ID/passport and utility bill to verify your identity and home address.
Can I Trade the Philippine peso (PHP)?
The advisory issued by the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is not completely clear when it comes to the legality of online forex trading brokers as well as trading the Philippine Peso. But there are no laws against trading the Philippine Peso through an online CFD broker that allows you to trade the USD/PHP currency pair. IG Markets is one of the few brokers out there that provides investors the possibility to trade the Philippine Peso versus the US dollar.
Is it legal to trade forex in the Philippines?
At the time of writing, any engagement in foreign exchange trading activity through unlicensed brokers is illegal in the Philippines. However, you can get access to the forex market via a reputable broker based outside of the Philippines such as eToro, AvaTrade, and Plus500.