COL Fund Source (Mutual Fund Investment) Review

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COL Fund Source (Mutual Fund Investment) Review
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COL Fund Source is the first and only mutual fund investment supermarket in the Philippines that gives investors instant access to a wide array of mutual funds. It is an online mutual fund investment platform made available through COL Financial account.

COL Financial Group Inc., formerly CitisecOnline, is the fastest growing online stock broker in the Philippines with over hundreds of thousands of customers and multi-billion customer assets (COL Financial Philippines website).

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Mutual Funds (Overview)

Mutual fund investment can be a wise option for investors who safeguard diversification of portfolios and those who struggle monitoring and timing the market. With COL Fund Source, you can already organize, diversify investments, and consolidate portfolio of various mutual funds, in addition to stocks, in a single online account.

Mutual funds are professionally managed investment products, registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In a nutshell, mutual funds pool together a collection of paper assets usually stocks, bonds, cash, or a combination thereof – held by several shareholders for investment purposes. Read more…

General Types of Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are classified based on investment products where the pooled assets are invested. Most, if not all, of these funds are available through COL Fund Source. You can choose the funds that match your investment horizon, risk tolerance, and financial goals.

Money Market Fund. It provides conservative investors with a safe vehicle to invest easily accessible, cash-equivalent assets; hence, it is characterized by a low-risk, low-return investment (e.g., ALFM Money Market Fund, Philam Managed Income Fund, and Sun Life Prosperity Money Market Fund).

Bond Fund. Being primarily invested in bonds and other debt instruments, it may include government, corporate, and convertible bonds, and others like mortgage-backed securities. (e.g., ALFM Peso Bond Fund, First Metro Save and Learn Fixed Income Fund, and Philam Bond Fund).

Balanced Fund. Usually of stock, bond, and money market components, it provides investors with moderate opportunities for diversification as it combines safety, income, and modest capital appreciation in a single portfolio (e.g., ATRAM Philippine Balanced Fund, PAMI Horizon Fund, and Sun Life Prosperity Balanced Fund).

Equity Fund. Invested primarily in stocks or termed as stock fund, it can be an ideal investment vehicle for aggressive investors who have a large amount of capital but with a limited knowledge and experience in financial investments (e.g., Sun Life Prosperity Equity Fund, Philam Strategic Growth Fund, and ALFM Growth Fund).

Equity Index Fund. In the Philippines, it is a special type of equity fund in which the pooled capital or fund is invested in the Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) (e.g., Philippine Stock Index Fund, PAMI Equity Index Fund, and Philequity PSE Index Fund).

COL Fund Source Review (PROS)

COL Fund Source can be your partner in building wealth, hence providing tools and resources that make mutual fund investing easy and a delightful experience. In this section, I’ll explore the advantages of using COL Fund Source:

One-Stop Mutual Fund Shop. It’s totally online. COL Fund Source is an online investment supermarket currently with twenty-six (26) kinds of mutual funds from six (6) top fund providers in the Philippines – ATR Asset Management (ATRAM), BPI Investment Management (BIMI), First Metro Asset Management (FAMI), Philam Asset Management (PAMI), Philequity Management (PEMI), and Sun Life Asset Management Company (SLAMCI).

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With mutual funds from these reputable fund houses in a single online platform, you can do your shopping of investment products conveniently 24/7 as you make your COL Financial portfolio diversified.

Expert Advice and Investment Guides. As COL Fund Source promises a partnership in building your wealth, it offers helpful online tools and research from in-house investment professionals. As said, COL Fund Source Fund Research Team has done the homework for you and compiled essential data to help you make well-informed decisions.

For instance, Fund Information includes COL Risk Rating (conservative, moderately conservative, moderately aggressive, and aggressive). Performance Table shows fund performance over the years since its inception.

Mutual Fund Product Guide summarizes general information about the different mutual funds offered such as minimum investment requirements, additional placements, minimum holding periods, management fees, and early-redemption fees. Mutual Fund FAQ is a comprehensive guide for mutual fund beginning investors.

Automated Investment (through EIP). COL Easy Investment Program (EIP) facility allows investors to schedule fixed additional placements on a regular basis. Ideal for long-term investment in mutual funds, it makes investing even more convenient with helpful features such as auto-calendar and auto-reminder tools.

Waived Front-End Fees. All mutual funds available in COL Fund Source have zero front-end fees. With a minimum initial placement of PHP 5,000.00, you can maximize the amount as a capital in purchasing mutual fund units or shares, hence no deductions for front-end fees.

A front-end fee (also, front-end load) is a commission or sales charge paid at the time of the initial purchase for an investment, usually in mutual funds and insurance policy purchases.  Deducted from the initial investment amount, it lowers the size of the investment capital (investopedia.com).

Easy Online Monitoring. COL Fund Source account can be accessed online 24/7 unless COL website is under maintenance. You can check, monitor, and rebalance your mutual fund portfolio in the same way you do with your stock portfolio, both in a single online platform.

COL Fund Source Platform

COL Fund Source (CONS)

However overwhelming the advantages of using COL Fund Source platform are, still there are a few disadvantages that are also worth considering.

No Access to Other Performing Funds. COL Fund Source may be currently limited to an offering of just twenty-six (26) mutual funds from six (6) fund houses. Other performing mutual funds based on 2017 first quarter returns include Soldivo Strategic Growth Fund (Equity), Bahay Pari Solidaritas Fund (Balanced), Cocolife Fixed Income Fund (Bond), and Ekklesia Mutual Fund (Bond).

COL Fund Source has been around for over two years now, but there has been no increase in number of mutual funds offered, hence the same available funds since its launch in the market.

No Personal Fund Advisor. Although COL Financial offers free investor education seminars that can be helpful in choosing the most appropriate mutual funds, it does not assign investors their personal fund advisors or mentors.

Personal fund advisors are certified professionals who provide financial guidance all throughout the mutual fund investment, however for a fee. Generally, fund advisors understand well investors financial needs, help formulate long-term investment goals, match these needs and goals with appropriate mutual funds, monitor individuals’ mutual fund portfolio, and explain the technical aspects of mutual fund investment.

With COL Fund Source, you can have full control over your mutual fund choices. You can have the do-it-yourself investment risk assessment, buy fund units at your own decision, and redeem your investment at any time subject to settlement procedures of the specific fund.

Other COL Fund Source Reviews

As I was doing my research and preparation for this article, I came across a few COL Fund Source online reviews that are also worth reading. You may visit the websites indicated and learn more about COL Fund Source.

If you are a long-time COL Financial client, I highly suggest that you avail and access these mutual fund products from your COL online account. But if you are a newbie stock investor and still have no idea how mutual fund works, getting it straight from fund houses or their direct distributors is a more recommended move — Rock to Riches! 

COL Fund Source sure does have the bragging rights when it comes to the convenience part where you can invest on multiple mutual funds with different companies with just a single account. However, also note that there are other high-performing mutual funds from other sources such as BDO and BPI which you cannot invest in from your COL account — Frustrated Billionaire.

COL Fund Source is an excellent platform to buy mutual funds in one click of a button. This platform saves a lot of time in sorting out and finally choosing which fund suits your risk profile — Investing Engineer PH.

To cap off, I honestly think that COL Fund Source is a very well thought out and innovative product. I trust that the people over at COL have done the numbers to ensure product sustainability. This new product has even increased my admiration for COL Financial as an institution – Manic Investive.

Final Thoughts

Nearly a consensus, investing in mutual funds provides great benefits including portfolio diversification, divisibility, liquidity, and professional management to investors with limited knowledge, time, and money. However, still there are risks brought by market fluctuations that may lead to returns below the overall market.

COL Fund Source, as an online mutual fund investment platform, can be of great help in consolidating investment portfolios, including stocks. As it requires a do-it-yourself approach and a little technical know-how, beginning mutual fund investors should still seek guidance from professional fund advisors or experts.

Disclaimer: The author is not affiliated with COL Financial Group, Inc. (COL), however an online stock investment account holder. Please take this article as an objective review of COL Fund Source, an online mutual fund platform of COL Financial Group, Inc. In addition, the author is not a mutual fund expert; hence, the article is simply based on his experience, research, and insights.