Check out Manila Bulletin’s feature about the Stock Market featuring UTrade’s CEO and President, Mr. Leonardo Roxas Arguelles Jr.




“Stock market is not gambling, it is serious investments,” said Leonardo Roxas Arguelles, Jr., president and CEO of Unicapital Securities Inc.



Arguelles stressed it is just like putting money in a particular business. So, one must study the company that they are interested investing into.



“Study the company, its people, and the executives working in that company, why are people attracted to this company,” he said. Do not invest in a particular issue because somebody gives you a tip. That is not reliable because, that is only hearsay.



“Look at the company’s track record and good earnings potential because investments should be long term-oriented,” he said.



“Choose your CEO and just ride on him instead of you running the company because it is all about good management. Investing in a good CEO is no rocket science. Filipinos are fond of betting at horse racing, they choose their jockey and the horse, if we only apply that same approach then we are doing right, that is a sure hit at the stock market. That should be our paradigm,” said  Arguelles.



“Instead of running the company yourself, just choose the CEO that you like and invest in the company that he is running.”




“Imagine, you have the Zobels and Injap working for you,” added Arguelles. The Zobels run the country’s largest conglomerate Ayala Corp. while Injap is smart entrepreneur Edgar “Injap” Sia, the founder of Mang Inasal, and DoubleDragon, with plans to build 100 community malls around the country.



Unicapital has also made stock market investing easier for small and medium entrepreneurs. Through UTrade, the company’s online stock trading platform, small investors with P5,000 can already open an account and start trading in the stock market on an installment basis.




“We even have P1,000 start up or even P500 initial investments through a savings plan,” said Arguelles.



UTrade envisions to empower the masses. True to its mission to make online stock trading accessible to the masses, UTrade was first launch in Cebu.




“Cebu is the seedbed of entrepreneurial spirit,” said Arguelles citing that most of the country’s big taipans started from Cebu. All the fast moving consumer goods are being launched in Cebu, as well.



Because the target is the SME sector, it is easier to track them down and follow in a smaller city like Cebu. UTrade has built a reputation as the first online stock trading company to set up shop in the country’s second largest city.




Already, 35 percent of the company’s clients are from Cebu and market has grown exponentially.



“In our case, everybody is somebody,” said Arguelles. Through the online stock trading, more investors are given a fair share of the stock market boom. Investors are earning at least 14 percent of their investments a lot better than the banks, which give you one percent interest only on savings.




The objective is to make every Juan dela Cruz becomes somebody.



According to Arguelles, the stock market is also where an ordinary investor can accumulate money.




“The stock market is the venue to make everybody become rich legitimately,” he added noting that all earnings at the stock market need not be reported to the BIR anymore because the one and a half percent capital gains tax has been paid already when you sell.



“That’s the best because when you go to a bank, there is a final withholding tax of 20 percent. In the stock market, you earn also dividends. PLDT alone gives an annual dividend of 6 percent, you don’t get that from a bank,” said Arguelles.




He noted that a lot of people in the US have become rich because Americans are investing in tech companies in Silicon Valley.



“They became millionaires because of the stock market,” said Arguelles.