- Brokerage Overall: Saxo Markets
- Cheapest Online Trading in Singapore: moomoo
- Best Online Trading Platform for Beginners: Saxo Markets
- Best CFD Trading Platforms: City Index & IG
- Best Brokerage for International Markets: Interactive Brokers
- How to Choose an Online Brokerage Platform
- Frequently Asked Questions
Comparing the Best Brokerages and Trading Platforms in Singapore
When comparing trading platforms, consumers are faced with many different factors to consider (i.e. UI/UX, market access, product offering, etc.). It can be overwhelming, but a great place to start is by looking at the fees associated with each trade. Some platforms offer free or promotion periods where fees are waived along with other perks and benefits. Below is a graph showing the minimum commission fees for Singapore markets by brokerage or trading platform.
Best Overall in Singapore: Saxo Markets
|* Saxo min. SG: S$5; US: US$0 (Until Sep 3rd,2021); JP: JPY1,000-1,500; HK: HKD60-90; EU: EU6-12|
|* figures based on min. advertised spreads|
Saxo Markets is the best online brokerage in Singapore because it combines low cost, great market access, and an easy user interface into one platform. First, Saxo charges just 0.08% commission on trades, with no minimum cost for Singapore stocks ($4 for US stocks), roughly a quarter the cost of what most of its competitors charge. Not only that, Saxo doesn't charge any hidden fees, i.e., no inactivity fee, no platform fee, no maintenance fee, etc. Saxo is currently holding a great promotion (until April 30th, 2021) where new customers will not have to pay a minimum commission to trade SGX equities. Because of these features, Saxo can be effective not just for long-term investors, but also for frequent traders who invest S$100,000 or less.
On top of its low fees, Saxo offers online trading in 36 global markets, and market-leading commission rates for the major international markets such as the U.S., Hong Kong, and Japan. Through its Saxo Rewards programme, you can get even lower commissions if you invest at least S$300,000 (S$300,000 platinum, S$1,500,000 VIP). Additionally, Saxo is one of the best platforms for trading foreign currencies, since its FX spreads are consistently among the lowest available, beating competitors by a significant margin. Finally, our analysts found Saxo Markets's trading platform to have the most intuitive user interface.
Cheapest Online Trading in SG, US, and HK: moomoo powered by FUTU
|Trading Fees||Min Commission||Industry Average Fee||Industry Average Commission|
|SG||0.03%||SGD 0.99||0.22%||SGD 25|
|US||$0.0049||USD 0.99||0.27%||USD 15-29|
|HK||0.03%||HKD 3||0.21%||HKD 100-200|
|US Stock Options||USD 0.65||USD 1.99||-||-|
|The U.S.||Hong Kong||Singapore|
|Products||Stocks, ETFs, Stock Options, ADR||Stocks, ETFs||Stocks, ETFs, REITs|
moomoo (investment products offered by FUTU) has the lowest commission fees on the market, a new intuitive trading platform, and access to US, HK and SG markets—making moomoo an excellent choice for new investors. With their special welcome promotion, new accounts can receive real-time level 2 market data for free.
As the cheapest online trading platform in SG, the commission charged for every trade in SG and HK markets is only 0.03%, which is much lower than other online trading platforms who range between 0.08%-0.28%. Similarly, moomoo only charges USD 0.0049 per order for US stocks, ETFs, and American depositary receipts (ADRs). Furthermore, with their current promotion, you can enjoy commission-free trading for 90 days in all 3 markets. Even after the promotional period ends, new investors will still enjoy the lowest commissions in the market.
If you are looking for a simple UI/UX mobile application, moomoo's intuitive app offers tools like community chat functions, technical indicators, ratings, and insights. So, those looking to trade SG, HK, and US stocks can quickly download the app, setup an account, and begin trading. Unfortunately, moomoo's product offering and market access are currently not as broad as some of their competitors. However, they are relatively new and are expecting to broaden their product offering soon.
Similar to moomoo But With More Market Access: Tiger Brokers
|Tiger Brokers Fee||Min Commission||Industry Average Fee||Industry Average Commission|
|US||$0.01||USD 1.99||0.27%||USD 15-29|
|HK||0.06%||HKD 15||0.21%||HKD 100-200|
|The U.S.||Hong Kong||Singapore||Australia||China|
|Products||Stocks, ETFs, Stock Options, Futures||Stocks, Warrants, CBBCs, Futures||Stocks, ETFs, Rights Issue, Futures, REITs||Stocks||A-shares (in HKEX Northbound Trading)|
Tiger Brokers has one of the lowest commission fees on the market, an easy-to-use platform, and live prices for the US and Singapore, making it a great option for new and seasoned investors. The commission charged for every trade is just 0.08%, which is much lower than other online brokers who charge around 0.08%-0.28%. Furthermore, Tiger Brokers are offering 60 commission-free trades for new customers, when it will return to 0.08%. This is still impressively lower than the average in Singapore, which is 0.21%. Additionally, new customers can also enjoy 500 Tiger Coins and 1 share of Disney once the account is funded with an initial deposit of S$2,000 or more. Moreover, Tiger Brokers charges neither a custodian or currency conversion fee, and it's fairly quick to open an account (1-3 days).
For those looking to invest abroad, Tiger Brokers' platform gives customers real-time access to markets in the United States, Hong Kong, China, and Australia. For trading in the US, you can invest for as little as USD $0.01 commission with a minimum fee of USD $1.99 per trade. For those who prefer to trade in Hong Kong, Tiger Brokers' minimum fee is only HKD $15. This is one of the most attractive rates in Singapore, as most firms charge around HKD $100-HKD $240. Trading futures is also simple, as there are built-in features on their platform to give customers support with these deals. With low trading fees, a user-friendly platform, and access to current market data, Tiger Brokers is a great platform.
Honorable Mention For Best Market Access: Interactive Brokers
|Interactive Brokers||Saxo Markets Classic|
|U.S. Stocks Commission Fee (Min. Fee)||$0.0035 ($0.35)||0.04% - 0.06% ($4)|
|Hong Kong Stocks Commission Fee (Min. Fee)||0.08% (HKD 12)||0.15% (HKD 90)|
|Japan Stocks Commission Fee (Min. Fee)||0.050% (JPY 80)||0.15% (JPY 1500)|
Interactive Brokers charges a monthly minimum fee of S$10 for accounts between S$2,000 and S$100,000. Though this cost can be offset with trading commissions, it can still be a meaningful cost if you are trading only a few thousand dollars in total.
In terms of trading securities in non-Singapore markets, Interactive Brokers' commission levels are hard to beat. This is attractive to investors that may feel limited by the number of stocks on the Straits Times Index and feel inclined to consider other options. As you can see in the table below, Interactive Brokers has the lowest commission costs for any region outside of Singapore. Still, Saxo is the best option for those who want access to every market including Singapore.
Best Online Trading Platform for Beginners
|Market||Commission Fee||Minimum Charge|
|Hong Kong||0.10%-0.15%||HKD 60-HKD 90|
|Japan||0.10%-0.15%||JPY 1,000-JPY 1,500|
|EU||0.05%-0.10%||EUR 5-EUR 8|
Saxo Markets offers the best online trading platform for those who are looking to invest online. With SaxoTraderGO, their platform designed for less-experienced traders, customers gain access to a variety of tools to help them research the best products to the trade. For example, their Fundamental Analysis Tool analyses company indicators to help you determine whether or not you want to invest. Interactive learners can also benefit from annotation features to save and take note of listings, graphs, and more. Furthermore, the platform synthesizes both in-house and third-party research to constantly feed you up-to-date information, whether you are on your mobile or desktop.
Saxo Markets also delivers some of the lowest fees in the market (for, among others, Singapore, the US, Hong Kong and Japan), has the largest international market scope, and allows you to trade a variety of products like stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, foreign exchange, futures, etc. Finally, prior to opening an account you can both preview the platform on their website and try a 20-day demo trial to practice using the platform. Although beginning to trade online can seem daunting, Saxo Market will supply you with all the tools you need to get started at low rates.
Best Platforms for CFD Trading
Contracts for difference (CFDs) allow individuals to speculate on the future price of an underlying asset, without actually owning the asset. CFDs are also traded on leverage, giving traders additional buying power. For these reasons, they are popular among experienced traders in Singapore. Below we highlight two platforms that stand out for CFD trading.
Best Online Brokerage for Trading CFDs: City Index
|City Index||Saxo Markets (Classic Pricing)||IG|
|CFD Commission for Stocks & ETFs:|
|Index CFD Spread:|
|US SP 500||0.4||0.4||0.4|
|US Tech 100||1||1||1|
|Hong Kong 50||10||5||5|
City Index is a great option for expert traders who seek a trading platform for buying and selling CFDs exclusively. CFDs are basically instruments for margin trading, meaning you are borrowing to invest more money than you have on hand. As such, it can dramatically increase both your gains and losses. Because of this nature, CFD trading is generally most advisable for seasoned experts.
When it comes to trading CFDs, City Index stands out as one of the lowest-cost options. While Saxo Markets' platform is still the cheapest for some options, City Index's CFD offering provides a more diverse CFD market access and its commission fees and CFD spreads are both competitive with Saxo's. City Index also offers a robust and competitive trading platform for forex trading. However, Saxo is still a better fit for investors who seek access to a diverse set of asset classes (e.g. equities, ETFs, bonds, etc.) with market-leading commissions.
Honorable Mention for Trading CFDs: IG
|IG||City Index||Saxo Markets (Classic Pricing)|
|CFD Commission for Stocks & ETFs:|
|Index CFD Spread:|
|US SP 500||0.4||0.4||0.4|
|US Tech 100||1||1||1|
|Hong Kong 50||5||10||5|
|Monthly Aggregated Contract Value (USD)||Monthly Bonus KrisFlyer Miles Payable||Total KrisFlyer miles after 1 year for each tier|
IG is another leading brokerage with CFD offerings. While its commission fees are generally higher than those of City Index, it offers a few features that make it worth considering. First, IG allows investors to adjust their exposure by trading fractions of a contract (e.g. 0.5 contracts of spot FX EUR/USD). Furthermore, IG offers Knockout CFDs, which are a unique product that allows traders to determine their maximum losses before entering a position. This product automatically adjusts margin requirements based on the user's specific "knockout level", or maximum loss.
IG also offers a comprehensive CFD education platform through IG Academy, which helps new traders get up to speed and even practice risk-free with an account with simulated funds. Finally, IG's collaboration with Singapore Airlines allows users to earn KrisFlyer Miles on every trade. For more information, please refer to the toggles below.
How to Choose an Online Brokerage Platform
Finding a trading platform that fits your needs is crucial to becoming a successful investor. You should consider the following features and requirements before picking an online brokerage.
1. Brokerage Fees and Minimum Funding
Brokerage fees are one of the most important factors when choosing a trading platform. Active traders should look for a firm with the lowest commission rates in markets they invest in most frequently. Investors who make fewer, larger investments should prioritise finding a platform with a low, flat fee per trade.
You should also consider the minimum funding requirements of different brokerage accounts to find one that fits your budget. Some trading platforms like Saxo Markets have different account tiers depending on the size of your total investment.
2. Market Access
Another crucial factor when selecting a brokerage account is market access. While amateur investors may be content with access to a few markets, experienced traders may seek access to stocks and ETFs in dozens of countries. If you are interested in trading CFDs, gold, crypto, or Forex, make sure you find a brokerage that offers these products. Trading platforms that offer advanced trading products and broad international access tend to have higher fees.
3. Usability and Quality of the Brokerage App
Make sure to explore the interface of different brokerage platforms and see which devices are supported. You want to use a platform that you can easily understand and have access to your finances from a desktop and mobile device.
4. Educational Materials and Customer Support
Many brokerage firms offer research materials, informative visuals, and live stock quotes that can be helpful for making informed investments, especially for beginner traders. You should also make sure the brokerage firm you select has responsive customer support and security features to protect your account from fraudulent activity.
5. Automated Features and Advanced Tools
AI and technological advances are making it easier than ever to invest. Brokerage platforms like Interactive Brokers offer algorithmic trading which allows consumers to speed up execution, improve pricing, and time the market with ease. You can also leverage robo advisors to help you set goals and manage your trades.
Summary Table of Online Brokerage Commissions
Below, you'll find a summary table of SG trading platform fees. Being aware of these fees will help you determine which broker provides the cheapest rates for trading on their platform. For more information about a particular broker, you can read our reviews or click "Learn More" to get connected with the platform.
|Online Brokerage||Min. Fee||< S$50k||S$50k-S$100k||> $100k|
|City Index (CFD only)||S$10||0.08%||0.08%||0.08%|
|IG (CFD only)||S$10||0.10%||0.10%||0.10%|
|i*Trade||S$25||0.275%||0.22%||0.28%; min $15|
|Maybank Kim Eng||S$25||0.275%||0.22%||0.18%|
|Lim & Tan Securities||S$25||0.28%||0.22%||0.18%|
The table below provides commission, minimum fee, and market access information for online brokerages that will let you trade in a variety of global markets. To help you compare brokerages across various markets easier, we laid out fees for US, HK and Japan markets.
|Online Brokerage||US Commission & Min. Fee||Japan Commission & Min. Fee||HK Commission & Min. Fee||# Intl. Markets|
|Tiger Brokers||$0.01/trade; min. $1.99||N/A||0.06%; min. HKD 15||4|
|Saxo Markets||0.06%; min. S$4||0.15%; min JPY 1,500||0.15%; min. HKD 90||36|
|City Index (CFD only)||$0.15/share||0.05%||0.15%||26+|
|IG (CFD only)||$0.2/share||0.20%||0.25%||30+|
|Interactive Brokers||$0.0035/share; min. $0.35||0.05%; min. JPY 80||0.08%; min. HKD 1||24|
|Standard Chartered||0.25%; min. $10||0.25%; min. JPY 1,000||0.25%; min. HKD 100||10|
|U Trade||0.275%; min. $19||N/A||0.28%; min. HKD 139||4|
|Poems 2.0||$20 (flat)||0.18%; min. JPY 1,500||0.18%; min. HKD 100||21|
|iOCBC||0.3%; min. $30||0.75%; min. JPY 3,000||0.25%; min. HKD 240||26|
|KGIFraser||0.3%; min. $20||0.5%; min. JPY 1,500||0.275%; min. HKD 100||15|
|i*Trade||0.275%; min. $15||N/A||0.275%; min. HKD 125||6|
|Citibank Brokerage||0.3%; min. $25||N/A||0.3%; min. HKD 120||3|
|DBS Vickers||0.18%; min. $25||0.35%; min. JPY 3,000||0.18%; min. HKD 200||7|
|RHB Securities||0.3%; min. $20||N/A||0.25%; min. HKD 115||7|
|Maybank Kim Eng||0.28%; min. $12.50||0.5%; min. JPY 3,000||0.25%; min. HKD 100||9|
|Lim & Tan Securities||N/A||0.8%; min. S$70||0.18%; min. HKD 100||12|
|TD Ameritrade (thinkorswim)||S$14-S$15(USD10.65) for US stocks, USD10.65 + $0.81 per contract for options|
|FSMOne||0.08%; min. $8.80||N/A||0.08%; min. HKD 50||12|
Types of Fees and Costs
There will be a few types of fees associated with different trades that you will need to know. Once you begin trading on an online trading platform you may come across several different types of fees.
|Commission fees||This is the most common and upfront fee traders should expect to pay. Think of it as a service charge that the online brokerage charges every time you want to execute a trade. The more frequent you trade the more fees you will pay. If you are a long-term trader and you expect to have low trade volume, then commission fees may not be your highest concern when shopping for a brokerage.|
|Spread||This refers to the difference between the sell (bid) and buy (offer) prices when trading certain assets. It is common to see a spread when trading forex or commodities and you will incur either gains or losses from the difference in the buy/sell prices.|
|Clearing & Trading Fees||If using a Central Depository account (CDP), you will pay clearing fees per completed transaction. You will also need to pay a trading fee of the contract value mandated by the Singapore Exchange (SGX).|
Types of Products You Can Invest With Online Brokerages
Online Brokerages are constantly updating their investment product offering for Singaporeans to grow their wealth. Here is a quick guide to some standard products you can invest using trading platforms in Singapore.
|Commodities||Trading commodities involves raw materials like gold/silver, agricultural products, and oil. Investors trading in commodities must keep up to date with political, economic, and weather changes.|
|Equities||Equities or stocks is the buying and selling of shares of a company. Most new investors think of equities when the topic of investment comes up among family and friends. Before purchasing any stock it is crucial to research and analyse the company and the fundamentals of its business. Read our basic guide to stocks to get started.|
|Mutual Funds||A mutual fund is a pool of money from many investors used to buy other securities. Usually a mutual fund will consist of stocks and bonds, but can include other types of investments. Each mutual fund is managed by professional money managers and are generally considered safe investments.|
|ETFs||ETFs, track an underlying index fund and will mimic the performance of that index. For example, some online brokerages offer ETFs that track the S&P 500 or NASDAQ. Unlike an index fund, ETFs can be bought and sold like stocks throughout the day. If you are a passive investor, ETFs are a good way to begin your investing journey.|
|Forex (FX)||Forex trading involves the buying and selling of currency pairs. Most online brokerages in Singapore that offer forex accounts will have a menu of different major foreign currency options to choose—like SGD/USD or EUR/USD pairs to choose from. You will|
|Index Funds||Index funds is a type of mutual fund or ETF that matches the performance of a financial market index or specific portfolio of securities. For example the Straits Times Index (STI) tracks the performance of the top 30 companies in the SGX. These funds provide broad market exposure and like ETFs are safe options for passive investors.|
|Bonds||Bonds are fixed income units that represent corporate debt. It is like a company taking out a loan. Instead of getting one from a bank, corporations can issue out bonds and get funds from investors. The most common bonds are corporate and municipal bonds (issued by the government).|
|CFDs||A CFD (Contract For Difference) is an agreement between you and the brokerage firm to exchange the difference in the value of specific investment from when you first opened a position to when you closed it. You can typically find brokerages offering CFDs for Forex, commodities, and equities.|
|Futures||Futures trading are financial contracts that obligates involved parties to buy or sell an asset at a future date at an agreed upon price. That asset can range widely from commodities, equities, ETFs, and more. Futures trading is essentially wagering on the price movement of an asset. Since it is like borrowing money on a bet, futures trading can increase your risk but also magnify returns.|
Frequently Asked Questions
Want to learn more about investing? Here are some answers to commonly asked questions.
Online trading is safe as online brokerages have a high level of platform security and strive to create a safe trading environment. If you're investing online, you should check that your online brokerage is regulated and licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
That being said, there are risks you should be aware of before you start trading. For instance, every investment comes with a risk of losing all the money you put into the investment. Moreover, because it's very easy to top up your account and make a trade, those prone to gambling may be more at risk of losing money. Moreover, because online trading relies on the individual to make a trade and not a broker or professional investor, it's up to you to do proper due diligence and it may be difficult to get the financial advice you need.
Investment portfolios include aggressive, defensive, income, speculative, and hybrid portfolios. These portfolios usually contain a collection of stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments that help you diversify your investments. There are pros and cons to each, though generally speaking, you should choose a portfolio based on your risk tolerance. For example, those who can afford to play around with their money could invest in an aggressive portfolio, which includes financial products that have greater price fluctuations and the ability to have high gains. On the other hand, more risk-averse investors or those who are closer to retirement and are looking to secure more funds should consider a more defensive portfolio.
Put simply, stocks are a type of financial product that represents your partial ownership in a company. When stocks appreciate, you can sell the stock for a profit. Moreover, some stocks pay annual dividends (some of the company's annual profit) to shareholders. On the other hand, bonds are fixed-income securities that represent a loan made by an investor to a borrower. For example, when you buy a government bond, you are lending money to the government for a risk-free return.
When you buy a Contract for Difference (CFD), you are essentially buying a contract that allows you to predict a share's price movements. You make money on the difference in price between the opening and closing trades. These short-term investments are very popular for foreign exchange and commodities like grains, gold, oil, and natural gas.
Finally, an "option" gives investors the opportunity to purchase a share at a specific price in the future. A "future", however, requires the investor to purchase the shares in the future at the previously agreed-upon price. Because of the speculative nature of these products, they are popular with more experienced investors.
A mutual fund is a portfolio consisting of securities like stocks, bonds, and other financial assets. A primary benefit of mutual funds is that they offer professionally managed solutions for individual investors. Moreover, mutual funds are a good option for passive investors looking for longer-term investments.
Blue-chip stocks are shares of a large, publicly-traded company. These companies are usually worth billions of dollars and are considered safe investments. Many blue-chip companies pay annual dividends to shareholders, so they are common to have in income portfolios.
To trade financial products in the US stock market, check out whether or not your trading platform offers market access to places in the US like the New York Stock Exchange. Try and compare fees, as some international trading platforms could charge higher commission charges or currency conversion rates. In Singapore, there are several online trading platforms which offer low- or no-commission charges and expert market data on the US stock market.
While signing up to an online trading platform is easy, actually investing your money into the stock market might take some time. To get the best results and learn the most, you should consider a user-friendly platform with special tools for beginners. For instance, Saxo Markets offers analytical tools and market data to help inform investors' decisions on whether to invest in a product or not.
Before you invest any money, we recommend you weigh your priorities for a trading platform so you can choose the best one for you. If you would like to see the process and get accustomed to the way investments are made before you start trading yourself, you could invest in a managed portfolio like an ETF or unit trust.