Best Online Brokerages for ETF & Unit Trust Trading 2020

Finding an online broker can be difficult. Our investing team makes process transparent and simple by analysing all of the options available in Singapore. In this article, we've identified the best brokers for ETF trading by comparing trading fees and market access.

Table of Contents

Saxo Markets: Best Online Broker for ETFs

Consider this if you seek to invest in ETFs while minimising fees

According to our research and analysis, Saxo Markets is not only the top broker for general online trading, but also the best for trading ETFs at a low cost. The platform has low fees, a user-friendly platform and access to more than 3,000 ETFs. Saxo charges less than half in commission fees compared to most of its competitors at just 0.08% commission on trades, with a minimum cost of S$10 for Singapore ETFs ($4 for US). The industry leading broker has even lower commission fees for high volume traders. For example, investors with at least S$300,000 in their accounts receive preferred pricing.

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Saxo Markets: ETF Trading Fees

ClassicVIPIndustry Average

Interactive Brokers: Best for International ETFs & Unit Trusts

Consider this if you seek to invest at least S$100,000 exclusively in international markets

Interactive Brokers is a great broker for Singaporeans seeking to invest exclusively in international markets. The brokerage platform charges the lowest commission fees for regions outside of Singapore. WIth that said, it is crucial to understand that Interactive Brokers cannot be used to buy stocks or ETFs in Singapore as it is not MAS-licensed. Additionally, Interactive Brokers has a monthly fee of S$10 minium (for investment accounts of S$2,000-S$100,000). While minimal, this fee can impact the total cost of trading ETFs for those trading only a few thousand dollars in total.

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Interactive Brokers vs. Saxo Markets: ETF Trading Fees

MarketInteractive BrokersSaxo Markets
U.S. Commission Fee (Min. Fee)$0.0035 ($0.35)0.04% - 0.06% ($4)
Hong Kong Commission Fee (Min. Fee)0.08% (HKD 12)0.15% (HKD 90)
Japan Commission Fee (Min. Fee)0.050% (JPY 80)0.15% (JPY 1500)

TD Ameritrade (thinkorswim): Cheapest for US ETFs

TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade

Consider this if you prefer to trade US stocks and ETFs exclusively

TD Ameritrade is a good choice for investors seeking to trade a large volume of U.S. ETFs. It does charge higher commission fees compared to Saxo for smaller trades, but becomes a cheaper option for more substantial trades. For example, TD Ameritrade's flat fee of $10.65 is the cheapest option for investing in ETFs with total investments greater than about S$25,000 at a time. However, Saxo is a cheaper option for those seeking to trade a variety of securities (e.g. futures, options, bonds and FX), especially those seeking to trade in smaller amounts or increased frequency.

TD Ameritrade vs Saxo Markets: ETF Trading Fees

TD AmeritradeSaxo Markets
Stock Trading CommissionUSD 10.65 per trade0.06% for US (USD 4 min.)
For Trade of S$5,000S$14.46S$5.43
For Trade of S$30,000S$14.46S$18

How to Choose The Best Broker for ETF & Unit Trust Trading

When comparing the top online brokerages for investing in ETFs, there are a few key factors to consider. First, it is necessary to compare fee structures. Some brokers will charge a flat fee (e.g. S$10) per trade, while others charge based on the size of the trade (e.g. 0.10%). Additionally, it is worth investigating each platform's ease of use. Our research team has found that some online brokerages, such as Saxo, offer smooth user experiences, while others are quite clunky. Finally, traders that want advanced features, such as live-data API connection and the ability to conduct margin trading will have to further compare platforms.

Online Brokers in ValueChampion's Study
CitibankCity IndexCmC
DBS Vickersi*TradeIG
Interactive BrokersiOCBCKGI Fraser
LCGLim & TanMaybank Kim Eng
OandaPlus 500POEMS 2.0
RHB SecuritiesSaxo MarketsStandard Chartered
TD AmeritradeThebinaryoptionsexpertU Trade
William Hofmann

William is a Product Manager at ValueChampion Singapore, focusing on banking and SMEs. He previously was an Economic Consultant at Industrial Economics Inc.

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