10 Best Investments for OFWs in the Philippines

Overseas Filipino workers are nowadays called our nation’s modern-day heroes. They work hard in a foreign land in the hopes of providing a better future for their family back home. Payday for them doesn’t mean going on a shopping spree. It usually means heading to the nearest remittance center to send money to their loved ones. Foreign currency allows greater purchasing power for Pinoys, meaning there’s a larger opportunity to save and invest.

My family and I lived in Bahrain, so I somehow know the hardships of working abroad. Though my parents had a lucrative career that gave us a very fruitful life, reality still sunk in. They realized that they cannot work abroad forever. Sooner or later, they will need to retire and won’t be earning as much as they used to.

So whether you want to retire soon or you just want to go back to your motherland as soon as possible, here are 10 Best investments for OFWs which you might want to invest your hard-earned money in.

10 Best Investments for OFWs Philippines (2024 and beyond):

1. Stock Market

Investing in stocks is risky. But if you know the fundamentals and can invest properly, you can manage your risk and ride through the ups and downs of the market. If you want to equip yourself with the basic concepts and opportunities of stock market investing and online trading, there are online trading platforms such as philstocks.ph and COL Financial that offer free seminars on weekdays and weekends.

Moreover, the good news is that there are now several stockbrokers who cater to OFWs. An example is COL Financial which allows Filipinos living abroad to open an account without the need to visit their office.

Another online platform is Etoro and I’m sure you’ve seen it in ads. Copytrading is where you get to ‘copy’ the trades of your chosen stock market trader. By copying them, you get to earn money as well.

Why is the Stock market one of the Best Investments for OFWs Philippines?

Investing in the stock market has been proven to be worth the risk especially when you plan to invest your money for the long term (10 to 15 years) such as your child’s college fund or your retirement fund. History has a proven track record on how much your money can grow through dividends and capital appreciation, but of course, you need to put in the effort of learning and studying.

If you want to learn the basics of stock market investing, head on to our guide: How to Invest in Stocks in the Philippines

2. Unit Investment Trust Funds

UITFs are pooled investments that OFWs can participate in for as low as P1,000. They offer instant diversification for your money. The range of choices is also wide with different levels of risk that can cater to your preference.

For newbies, this post of mine might help you:

If you have a Philippine bank account, then you could be just a couple of steps away from investing in UITFs. Fortunately, banks have allowed the opening of a UITF account online. Yes! Personal appearance in their branches is not needed. In case you’re ready to open one, here’s my step-by-step guide on how I opened my UITF account online, and I must say, it was a breeze: How to open a BDO UITF Account online- A step by step guide.

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3. Mutual Funds

Similar to UITFs, if you want instant diversification, you can invest in mutual funds. You can manage your investment risk by choosing among several low, moderate, and high-risk mutual funds.

Thankfully, there are also mutual fund companies that accommodate OFWs today. If you already have a COL Financial account, then you can immediately invest in mutual funds through their COL Fund Source facility. You can also open an account with a mutual fund company such as Philequity, ATRAM, or Sun Life Financial.

Why are UITFs and Mutual Funds one of the Best Investments for OFWs Philippines?

Active participation is not really required here, meaning you don’t have to monitor it several times a day or week unlike investing in the stock market. You leave all that work to a professional fund manager who will manage your investment for you. Know more about mutual funds through our guide How to Invest in Mutual Funds Philippines.

4. Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities

Crowdfunding cooperative enterprises in the country allow you to invest a small amount of money to become a part-owner of a business franchise, a farm business, and many others.

Online farming follows the concept of crowdfunding or the practice of funding a project/ venture by pooling many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically online.

Investing in Agriculture can now be done online. There are online platforms such as FarmOn and Philcrowd. I have personally opened one in FarmOn.Ph. The minimum investment is P1,500 for 1 plot. Here is my step-by-step guide: How to Invest in FarmOn? A step-by-step guide

Why is Crowdfunding a good investment for OFWs?

Stocks, UITFs, and Mutual Funds may be too mainstream for you so why not try crowdfunding? Again, active participation is not required, just be vigilant in investing because scammers are everywhere.

5. Real Estate

OFWs usually lean towards real estate investments probably because these are hard, tangible assets compared to stocks and mutual funds which are paper assets. However, most of them fall into the trap of buying a property that only becomes an idle asset.

If you really want to INVEST IN REAL ESTATE then see to it you do any of the two:

  • have the property rented out or;
  • sell the property when its value goes up.

YOU ARE NOT INVESTING in real estate if what you’re buying is a future home or a place where your family would live. If you do this, then you’re just increasing your NET WORTH.

Fortunately, the popularity of short-term rentals via Airbnb and Agoda Homes makes it easy for OFWs to earn money quickly by renting out their idle apartment or condo units.

Why is real estate a good investment for OFWs?

Real estate has the potential to yield great returns. Also, if you end up selling your property, you will have a large cash reserve in the millions.

“But what if I don’t have enough funds to buy any property?”

Then you may opt for REITS which is similar to a UITF and mutual fund. With REITS (Real Estate Investment Trusts), the initial investment ranges from only Php 5,000 to Php 25,000. The income is usually generated from properties that earn rental income or any derivatives of a real estate project. If you’re interested to know more, check out our guide on How to Invest in REITs in the Philippines.

6. Condo Investing in the Philippines

Similar to the previous one, investing in condominium units is always an appealing option for OFWs searching for a haven in the heart of the city. The quality and convenience that condo units provide is perfect for those who seek a low-upkeep dwelling, with high-end amenities, seated within the metro where access to surrounding industries is easier.

However, more than the money matters involved in buying one, there are other factors that will come into play to assess the viability of a condo to meet your needs.

In the article below, I aim to provide you with your personal checklist of the top 10 helpful tips you need to know if you plan to do condo buying in the Philippines.

7. Business

In my opinion, if you really want to come home as soon as possible, then business investments are the best option. Having a business can eventually create enough cash flow for you to replace your OFW income.

One problem I usually hear is that putting up a traditional business has always been a challenge for OFWs. Their absence in the day-to-day operations definitely creates trust issues towards the one managing the business. Yes, they may have family members, friends, or business partners who are honest and trustworthy, but that doesn’t mean they can manage the business well enough for it to succeed.

Why is putting up a business a good investment for OFWs?

The good news is, online business opportunities and e-commerce sites have grown significantly. Fortunately, there’s still a lot of room for new ventures. This can be a good alternative for OFWs who want to become entrepreneurs.

Alternatively, they can also choose to join a network marketing business. With products, systems, and processes already in place, OFWs can just focus on growing their downline and not worry much about anything else.

8. Franchising in the Philippines

If none of the above is your cup of tea, then franchising is your next bet if you really want to invest on a business. Franchising lets you handle a business that has a proven ‘tried-and-tested’ system already.

Again, just be sure that you have someone hardworking, willing to learn, and trustworthy who can run the franchise while you are working abroad.

Why is franchising one of Best Investments for OFWs Philippines?

While you are away, you can let your family handle the franchise business. Guide them to be more productive in managing the business and earning income from it instead of merely having them depend on your remittances to cover their daily expenses.

9. Pag-ibig MP2

If you want passive but are quite hesitant to put your money in riskier investments, then Pag-ibig MP2 may be just right for you. It’s a low-risk and easy investment for 5 years which has better-earning potential than those offered in banks. As per records, the dividend rates for 2020 and 2021 are 6.12% and 6.00% respectively. The good news is that it is also open for OFWs as I have seen a lot of our kababayans in online financial literacy groups sharing their earnings through investing here.

Before investing in MP2, make sure you know the basics through this post. If you want to learn more strategies to increase your earning potential, check out our guide on Pag-ibig MP2: 4 Tips to make the most out of it.

10. WISP Plus by SSS

WISP, which is short for Workers’ Investment & Savings Program, is one of the newest savings and investing programs by SSS. As of this writing, it has no proven track record yet simply because it has just been launched but just think of it as an additional layer of social security protection in addition to the retirement benefits you will receive. You may invest for as low as Php 500 and can enjoy continuous crediting of interest earnings after the 5-year maturity.

Know more about WISP plus through this guide: How to Invest in WISP Plus SSS: A Complete Guide

Investing Tips for OFWs

It’s good that you’re thinking about investing. But before you put any amount on anything, be sure that you have your Emergency Fund that will serve as your backup fund in case things don’t go too well. Read my article below on how you can start establishing an emergency fund:

This means having an accessible emergency fund both for you abroad, and your family at home.

Lastly, never invest in something that you don’t understand. OFWs are a target of scammers. So always do your due diligence and study first, before investing your hard-earned money.

Related Articles:

10 Best Investments for OFWs Philippines (2024 and beyond)

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.