Hands down, of all Philippine online trading platforms I have used and/or seen, FirstMetroSec Pro is the best. It outstrips all other Philippine trading platforms by a mile.
I had the chance to use FirstMetroSec Pro since the beginning of April and what I have seen so far impressed me. I’ve been comparing it to other local platforms – I have AB Capital Securities and BPI Trade and watched a lot of COL videos and tutorials in Youtube – as well as with US downloadable and web-based platforms like TD Ameritrade’s Sink or Swim and the ones I used to have while working in a BPO. I also accessed it on my PC, MacBook, and mobile phones. And although I haven’t traded using FirstMetroSec Pro yet, I feel like I used it enough to share my opinion with the world.
A disclosure: Mr. Andro Beltran of First Metro Securities Brokerage Corporation reached out to me to try out their platform. Apart from my access to FirstMetroSec Pro, I did not receive any compensation to write this review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
GREAT WEB-BASED PLATFORM
Like most Philippine trading platforms, FirstMetroSec Pro is web-based, which means you can access it anywhere with an internet connection. This impressed me because when you log in to your account, this is what you see:
The home screen is already packed with information and provides users with the ability to trade upon sign in without navigating to another menu. At the top, there is a ticker tape display which can be customized to show several measures. On the left side of the screen, you have two tabs: one shows infographics on the PSEi, funding sources, and information on other indices. The second tab is for your watchlists. You can have 5 watchlists, four of which you can customize. The first watchlist is the PSE index component stocks.
On the right side, you have two tabs: one to trade and the other to view your portfolio.
It’s great that FirstMetroSec is able to pack all these information and customizability in a web-based platform. Based on my experience, this level of information and customization is mostly available in downloadable programs. As long as you have an internet connection, you can have access to your FirstMetroSec Pro account, including your personalized watchlists and page preferences, anywhere. No need to worry about navigating strange-looking, non-personalized pages when you travel or when you step out of the home or office.
I remember when I was working in a BPO servicing US brokers, many clients feel angry and lost when they mess up their carefully customized pages and watchlists. So even though more experienced users may think that FirstMetroSec Pro lacks customizability, for example, in terms of resizing panels and which measures to be displayed, I personally think it’s a great idea. I’ve seen a lot of people basically just fuck up their screens (in other programs with other companies) because of too much customizability. I am not a day trader but I can imagine how important it is to have all the screens and measures you usually use to be exactly right where you expect them to be.
STOCKS AND FUNDS TRADING
FirstMetroSec Pro allows you to switch between stocks trading and funds transactions. I think it’s a really neat feature to have. You can take a test to measure your risk tolerance and the platform will suggest matching funds. It’s very convenient for people who want to have all their investments in one place.
IN-DEPTH INFORMATION, FAST
If you’re the type of person who gets impatient really fast, FirstMetroSec is perfect for you. It delivers in-depth information very quickly with almost no latency (at least where I’m at). This is crucial if you are a day trader and want to be able to take advantage of spreads. Take note that you would still have the ability to view the ticker tape even when viewing other screens, as well as the ability to buy or sell shares. No need to abandon a page to execute a trade or check the ticker.
It also offers more detailed information compared to its competitors. Other trading platforms usually only display the top 5, or at the most, top 10 bid and ask. FirstMetroSec Pro offers the full depth and order book view. It also has more information on company news and disclosures compared to other platforms.
For those of you who rely on research for trading and investments, you will find that FirstMetroSec Pro’s research is a great resource. The company research page is very useful if you want to get in-depth information about a company including profile and stats, past valuations, ratings and targets, board members, and company disclosures.
Compared to other companies whose Research pages are sparse, FirstMetroSec Pro’s research page is full of the latest weekly, company, and macro research and technical analysis by in-house researchers.
COMPREHENSIVE DETAILS ON MUTUAL FUND SCREEN
I mentioned earlier that I loooooved FirstMetroSec Pro’s fund screen. I just want to double down on that and show you how amazing it is.
When you first open this page, you need to take a little test to gauge your risk tolerance. It will then show you what funds you should invest in.
You can also just straight up look at the list of all the funds offered through this platform. Obviously, the selection is limited to mutual funds offered by Metro Bank and by mutual fund companies. So you can’t subscribe to UITFs offered by BDO, BPI, Union Bank, etc. FMETF is also not offered on this page since it trades like a stock. You have to trade FMETF in the STOCKS screen.
By the way, if you need information on which index fund to invest in, head on to this site’s most popular post: The Ultimate Guide to Philippine Index Funds.
Fund screen shows you all the information you could possibly need to make an educated choice as to where to puy your money. In this screen, you can find the minimum investments required, minimum additional investment, annual fund performance, some ratios, even the fee structure including management fees and early redemption fee. There’s literally no need to guess.
I don’t remember being sent/watching instructions on how to use FirstMetroSec Pro when I first got access. No matter. Upon logging in, you will see that this tool is intuitive and easy to use. You will be able to make your own customization and watchlists and select your preferred color schemes just by pointing and clicking at things. And since editing pages is actually limited, you don’t have to be scared that you will lose some functionalities when exploring around.
HOW TO GET FIRST METRO SEC PRO
So how do you get this magical tool? According to their website you have to:
- Be FirstMetroSec client (the regular platform);
- Trade a cumulative amount of Php 100,000 (buying or selling) within the month or maintain a mutual fund/stock portfolio of at least Php 200,000;
- PRO access is valid for 1 month and will be automatically renewed while criteria are met
Basically, the company will inform you via email if you are eligible for the Pro version when you hit these criteria.
SHOULD I GET FIRSTMETROSEC PRO?
First off, I think that FirstMetroSec Pro is the best online trading platform in the Philippines now. If you don’t have an online trading account yet and you’re thinking of opening one with at least Php200,000 portfolio/funding, I definitely think you should open your account with FirstMetroSec Pro.
I also think that if you are an active trader who puts a premium on having access to fast and easy to navigate trading platform that rarely (or never) lags or crashes, FirstMetroSec Pro is perfect for you.
Have you tried or thinking of trying FirstMetroSec Pro? Share your experience in the comments!
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