Social trading platform eToro gung-ho on PH market

Social trading platform eToro is stepping up its efforts in the Philippines where it is seeing encouraging uptake and huge potential for its patented “copy-trading” and multi-asset platform.

eToro business head of Southeast Asia Paul Familiaran

“It’s been said that Filipinos are not investment-minded due to lack of awareness, knowledge, and a degree of intimidation with financial instruments. Perfectly normal. But from what we are seeing, social trading is now democratizing participation in stocks and other assets trading,” said Paul Familiaran, eToro business head of Southeast Asia.

“eToro is achieving this by ‘socializing’ the prerequisite financial analysis,” Familaran added.

Founded in 2007, eToro is one of the first financial technology companies to introduce a social element to online trading and also apply copy-trading technology. The idea is that by interacting with other traders, watching others, and essentially copying their trades, one can start trading easily without any previous trading experience, but more importantly, learn — which strategies work and which do not.

In the past three months, eToro has hosted two big events in Manila, with hundreds of traders in attendance. With the focus to continuously grow its community in the Philippines, eToro is set to organize several offline events along with their consistent online campaigns to attract more Filipino traders to the eToro platform.

“To Filipino traders, eToro also opens up more global markets allowing traders to diversify their portfolios and hedge risks, given that the local market has been slow during the first half of the year,” said Familiaran.

“And then there’s the new wave of cryptomania sweeping through the region where a new generation of investors has emerged.”

According to the data published by eToro, more than 80% of newly registered users on the platform from South East Asia invested in cryptocurrencies and then moved on to invest in other asset classes. The company is convinced that it can attract more Filipino investors from across the spectrum given eToro’s rich product offering.

“We consider the Philippines a major market. It helps very much that Filipinos are very social-savvy. As a social trading platform, the ability to share insights and information so as to enhance trading performance is inherent to eToro thathas actually patented an ingenious copy-trading feature,” added Familiaran.

The particular feature allows users on the platform to copy other traders. The copiers can check the trading history, portfolio, risk score, and performance among other things to decide who they wish to copy, providing even beginners without any experience an opportunity to invest in financial markets.

As for the copied traders, they earn a fixed payment every time they are copied, and can get up to 2% of their Annual Assets Under Management (AUM) — the amount traders allocated to copy their portfolio —  monthly, should they apply under eToro’s Popular Investor Program.

“It is much akin to the sharing economy brought mainstream of course by the likes of Uber and Airbnb,” said Familiaran.

In fact, the platform already has an active and growing Philippine online community wherein traders and investors meet, ask questions, share their knowledge, get tips, and discuss strategies to make better investment decisions.

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