Saturday, October 20, 2012

How to Start a FAMI Individual Account (and some thoughts on the Colayco Foundation)


I first learned about First Metro Asset Management Inc. (FAMI) when I attended a half-day seminar conducted by the Colayco Foundation. The speaker said that FAMI-SALEF (Save and Learn Equity Fund) was his mutual funds of choice and we would all do very well to open accounts there as well and take advantage of the high returns. However, he also emphasized how inconvenient it was to open a FAMI-SALEF account. How you'll have to go to the FAMI office in Makati to fill out forms and the same goes if you want to make additional investments. According to him, you'll have to take a day off from work and go to Makati, while you also have to factor in your commuting expenses and how much you will spend for your lunch or dinner during the day, double or triple this if you're bringing someone else with you.

Whew! He almost sold me on joining the Colayco cooperative, since the cooperative will do everything for you, and all you need to do is pay their yearly membership fee. However, a quick check with the FAMI website showed that it was very easy to open an account and make additional investments. It was so easy and the information was available in the website for everyone to access, that I had to wonder how the speaker could lie with impunity. Seriously, if you're going to lie about something, you better make sure that you won't get caught with a quick Google search. And that's why I don't trust the Colayco group anymore.

Anyway, without any BS, here's how to open a FAMI account

For your initial investment, you need to:

1) Read a copy of the prospectus- it's long and boring in parts, but it will give you an idea how FAMI will invest your money. It will also give you a background on what to expect with your investment without promising fantastic returns like the much-troubled Aman Futures Group. However, even when the market tanked and the worldwide economy was up in the air, mutual funds still outperformed savings accounts and time deposits, so that's saying a lot.

2) Click here for the downloadable forms (it's actually the same link that leads to the prospectus) and click on For Individual Account under the Account Opening heading. Print out the Account Opening Form. On the same page, print out a signature card and an investment application form.

3) Fill out the Account Opening Form (AOF), Investment Application Form (IAF) and Signature Cards and submit the documents together with a photocopy of two IDs.

4) Make your first Php5,000 investment either with cash (I don't recommend this though unless you open your account directly with the FAMI office) check or bank deposit with Metrobank. Click here for the account details.

5) Submit a copy of the accomplished forms and deposit slip and fax to (02) 816-0467 or email at FAMI@firstmetro.com.ph, then forward the originals to their  office address, or you can pouch it to any Metrobank Branches near you. FAMI Pouch Code# 90020. For checks received, booking of investment will be made upon clearing of the check.

And that's that. Expect your confirmation receipt to be sent to you by courier a few days after booking.

My friend pouched her forms through a Metrobank branch and she received her confirmation receipt almost 2 weeks after she dropped off her forms. Apparently, Metrobank doesn't send out the forms to FAMI right away, and only does so after a few days. On the other hand, I sent mine via courier and received my confirmation receipt about 4-5 working days later.

For additional investments, you can do so via bank deposit through Metrobank again or through Metrobank Direct, as you would a regular bill. Here's the link with full details and it's pretty straightforward.

The website says that you don't need to fill out an Investment Application Form (IAF) for additional investments, but my friend who made a bank deposit, called FAMI and was informed that she needed to fill out an IAF and fax or email the same with the deposit slip. I don't know why the FAMI rep and the FAMI website are saying different things, so don't ask me.

I made my additional investment using Metrobank Direct, following the video in the site to the letter, and received my confirmation slip within the week (3-4 working days later).

I chose to invest in the Save and Learn Equity Fund (SALEF) because I'm already subscribed in balanced funds with Sun Life, so this is my version of diversifying. To date, after only two months, my SALEF fund is up by 2.11%, which is just fantastic! Kaya ba yan ng savings account niyo?

P.S.
Hold on to your confirmation receipts and keep them in a safe place because you'll need those to redeem your shares.

30 comments:

  1. Thanks for the heads up, Ate Jills. :) Share ko lng din, that I also opened my FAMI account last year while I am here abroad. First, email muna ang customer service nila of all my required docs pra to make sure na I have everything bago ko ipadala for international mail. Mabait naman ang customer service nila, and just 5-7 working days, dumating ang documents ko sa kanila and na-ok na ang FAMI account ko. It's a good thing I have Metrobank account because I was able to do deposit to FAMI using online banking. Further, if meron ka Ate Jills ng FirstMetroSec (ang online broker ng Metrobank), you can opt na e-link ang FAMI account mo doon, and monitor all your mutual fund deposits. Pwede rin mag buy at redeem ng FAMI shares using FirstMetroSec. :D

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    1. paano ka naka pag bayad ng initial investment mo habang andyan ka sa abroad? d naman pwede sa metrobank direct kasi wala kapang FAMI account. tanong lang ako kasi balak ko rin mag open ng FAMI account kaso yong problema ko yong nga yong intial investment para magkaroon ng account number para sa susunod online nalang mag invest....salamat sana masagot mo tanong ko...

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    2. BTW nasa abroad din kasi ako...salamat ulit

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    3. Hello, you can send all your documents to the FAMI office while you're abroad, but to fund it, you will need a way to transfer money to FAMI. It's either you open an account with Metrobank so you can use Metrobank online or you have someone in the Philippines who can make the deposit for you. That's what most of the OFWs I know did. They set up their Metrobank accounts while they were still in the country.

      Here are some blogposts from other OFWs on how they opened and funded their FAMI accounts: pinasforgood.blogspot.com/2013/06/how-i-opened-investment-accounts-while.html and http://richardmacalintal.com/ofw-guide-on-opening-mutual-fund-account-in-fami/

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  2. Thanks for sharing this to us. I would like to ask the pros and cons between mutual funds and stocks. Thanks in advance.

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    Replies
    1. Here's an informative post on the difference between mutual funds and stocks, as well as the pros and cons between the two: http://www.differencebetween.net/business/finance-business-2/difference-between-mutual-funds-and-stocks/

      Thanks for dropping by my blog!

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  3. Hi,

    Nice post. Ask ko lang kung merong charge pag nag top up?

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  4. I get charged Php100 for every Php5,000 I invest with FAMI-SALEF. I'm not sure though if the charge changes if the amount invested is larger than Php5,000.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read somewhere po that they charge 2% :)

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    2. mgkano ang charge kung 1thousand ang itatop up ko

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  5. Is it necessary to top up monthly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. You can top up as frequently or as infrequently as you like.

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  6. thank you for your post. Im about to join colayco, hehe. pwede palang deretso sa FAMI. thanks ulit

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  7. pag nag top pa ka po ba eh kailangan ba talaga na i email din ung deposit slip?...

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    Replies
    1. If you top up by making a deposit, you have to send a copy of the deposit slip. But if you top up using online banking (I use Metrobank Direct), there's no need to send a copy of the deposit slip.

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  8. Nice guide Mam Jill. I do hoppe most pinoy invest in FAMI mutual funds or even in direct stocks. I invests P200,000 in FAMI SALEF,Keep blogging, I like your blog.

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    Replies
    1. I hope too that more Pinoys follow your example and start investing as well :) Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  9. Just want to clarify the steps, submit documents first then wait for confirmation and then after that, deposit the 5000?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fill out forms and make initial investment. Then submit forms and deposit slip to FAMI. You'll receive your confirmation slip a few days after that.

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    2. How about if you are in abroad how to make initial investment to have a FAMI account?

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    3. For your initial investment, you will need a way to transfer money to FAMI. It's either you open an account with Metrobank so you can use Metrobank online or you have someone in the Philippines who can make the deposit for you. That's what most of the OFWs I know did. They set up their Metrobank accounts while they were still in the country.

      Here are some blogposts from other OFWs on how they opened and funded their FAMI accounts: pinasforgood.blogspot.com/2013/06/how-i-opened-investment-accounts-while.html and http://richardmacalintal.com/ofw-guide-on-opening-mutual-fund-account-in-fami/

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  10. Ma'am Jill pa guide naman po sa column E & F ng aof form ng famil.. Thank po..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ver,

      You mean the E- Declaration and F- Signature Verification portion of the Account Opening Form? (http://fami.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/AOF.pdf)

      What's your question on those sections? E- Declaration is a standard disclaimer from the company (i.e. Applicant has read the prospectus, Company will not be held liable etc) and needs your signature, while F- Signature Verifier will be filled out by FAMI.

      Hope this helps!

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  11. Hi miss Jill nk page initial investment npo ako thru remittance last Monday, na i-email n den ung kopya ng remittance sa fami.gaano po kaya katagal ung booking sk ung COR bago ko ma-receive. Any idea po. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Mga 4-5 working days yan. Ganon katagal bago ko nakuha yung confirmation receipt ko.

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  12. Hi po.. Interested po akong mag invest FAMI as beginner saan po ako dapat unang mag invest? paano? and how much po? thanks po sa info..

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