More Filipino middle class, millennials investing in stock market

MANILA, Philippines – The number of accounts in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) broke past the one-million mark, with more millennials and middle-income earners joining in to invest.

In the PSE's 2018 stock market investor profile report, total accounts reached 1,089,443, which is 25.4% higher than the 868,810 accounts in 2017. The PSE said this was spurred by a 60.9% increase in the total number of online accounts to 625,763 in 2018 from 388,864 a year before that.

Investors aged 18 to 29 comprised 21.5% of the total stock market account holders, from just 16.2% in 2017. Those in the 30 to 44 age range accounted for 43.1%, while 45 to 59 and 60 and above had 21.6% and 13.9%, respectively.

PSE president and chief executive officer Ramon Monzon said the surge of millennials getting a piece of some shares was due to the growing popularity of online trading, providing rapid growth of stock market investors in the last 5 years.

Majority or 62.4% of investors earned less than P500,000 annually. Those who earned P500,000 to P1 million annually comprised 21%, while those earning over P1 million stood at 16.6%. (WATCH: Rappler Talk: Bulls, bears, and other beasts of the stock market)

"Some people still have stereotypes of stock market investors which are debunked by our latest investor profile report. Investors nowadays are younger and a significant number of them are women. It also shows that it is not necessary to have a big salary to be able to invest, what is important is to know how to set aside money for investment," Monzon said.

The report also noted that the gap between male and female investors was further reduced with 51.6% male investors compared with 48.4% female investors. In 2017, there were 54.6% and 45.4% male and female investors, respectively.

When it comes to location, majority of investors are still based in Metro Manila, accounting for 62.2% of the total retail stock investors. Luzon had 21.5% of investors, while Visayas and Mindanao had 8.9% and 4.4% of the investor count.

Monzon noted that while hitting the one-million mark is an achievement, it still took a while for the local bourse to hit that mark and it was still a small percentage of the total Philippine population.

"It may have taken some time to breach this one-million milestone, but as they say, better late than never," he said.

The PSE conducts free stock market seminars and webinars which can be accessed through the PSE Academy website. The PSE can also be reached through its social media accounts.  

Year-to-date, the PSE index has yielded a return of around 5%, with a 52-week range of some 6,790 to 8,213. –

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.