Best Online Brokerages in Singapore 2018
With so many brokerage firms in Singapore to choose from, finding the best online broker for your needs can be a very daunting process. To help you narrow down your search, we have prepared the below comparison of the best online brokers in Singapore based on different factors like commission cost of trading, international market access and exchange rates.
SAXO Capital Markets: Best Online Broker in Singapore
Consider this if you want to trade any securities while minimising trading costs
In our opinion, SAXO Capital Markets is the best online brokerage in Singapore because it combines low cost, great market access and easy user interface into one offering. First, SAXO only charges 0.12% of commission on your trades with a minimum cost of S$15 ($4 for US markets), roughly half of what most of its peers charge in the market. SAXO lowers this industry leading commission even further to 0.1% for active traders who trade more than 100 times a month.
SAXO's advantage is apparent in its foreign market access as well. It provides online trading in 36 global markets, and also offers market leading commission rates for the major international markets like the US, HK and Japan. Its FX spreads are also some of the lowest we've seen, beating competitors by a huge margin. Our analysts have also tried all available online trials of each online brokerage offering, have found SAXO's user interface to be the most intuitive and the easiest to use. Combining price competitive, market access and ease of use, SAXO Capital, in our opinion, provides one of the best offerings for investors and traders alike.
Standard Pricing of SAXO Capital By Product and Market
|Equities||0.12%||$0.01 per share||0.20%||0.15%||0.15%||0.15%|
|Equity & ETF CFDs||5%||5%||5%||5%||5%||5%|
|30 Day Avg FX Spread||USDSGD: 1||SGDJPY: 1.4||USDHKD: 3||AUDSGD: 2.3||EURSGD: 2.1|
|Equity Options (0-1000 contracts/month)||$3||HKD30||AUD5||EUR3|
|Index Options (0-250 contracts/month)||S$15||$6||JPY1,000||HKD45||AUD10||EUR6|
Interactive Brokers: Best Online Brokerage for International Markets
Consider this if you plan to invest more than S$100,000 exclusively in international markets outside of Singapore
Singapore market can be quite limiting in terms of options, as Straits Times Index only includes 30 stocks. If you are looking to diversify into other markets like the US, Hong Kong and Thailand, you might want to consider other options. In terms of trading securities in non-Singapore markets only Interactive Brokers's commission levels are hard to beat. As you can see in the table below, IB has the lowest cost for any region outside of Singapore. Still, SAXO is the best option for those who want access to every market including Singapore.
The problem, however, is that it can only be used by Singaporeans to buy stocks outside the country because it's not licensed to fully operate in Singapore. This also comes with other risks like the fact that the Singapore government will not guarantee your money in case of IB's default since it's not licensed; however, IB is an international firm with a very solid reputation so this risk might be low. Lastly, IB 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.
TD Ameritrade (thinkorswim): Flat Commission for US Stocks & ETFs
Consider this if you only want to trade US stocks and ETFs
For wealthy investors who only plan to trade US stocks & ETFs, TD Ameritrade might be a good alternative to SAXO. Although it charges a higher minimum commission of S$15 (USD10.65) commission on your trades compared to SAXO's $3.99 on US stocks (or $0.01 per share), this is actually a flat fee no matter which market you trade or how much money you are trading. Therefore, if you are trading much more than S$10,000 at a time, your fee can easily be lower with TD Ameritrade than what you pay with SAXO. Of course, this math depends on the price of the stock that you are trading, where higher prices of $100 or more make trading with Saxo cheaper (and vice versa). Also, if you are looking to invest in a variety of securities like futures, options, bonds and FX, we think SAXO is still a better option for you especially if you trade a lot.
|Stock Trading Commission||USD10.65 per trade||$0.01 per share (minimum $3.99) for US|
|For Trade of S$5,000||S$14.7||S$3.99|
|For Trade of S$12,000||S$14.7||S$14.4-S$24|
|For Trade of S$20,000||S$14.7||S$24-S$40|
City Index: Best Online Brokerage for Trading CFDs
Consider this if you are an experienced trader of CFDs
For expert traders who only want to trade CFDs, City Index might be a great option to consider. 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, CFDs should generally recommended for seasoned experts who know how to trade in savvy manners. When it comes to trading CFDs, City Index can lead to the lowest costs for you. While SAXO's essential account is still the cheapest for some options, City Index's CFD offering provides a more diverse market access and its commission and financing interest are both either match or are lower than even Saxo's standard account. City Index also offers a robust and competitive trading platform for forex trading. However, Saxo is still the better fit for investors who seek access to a diverse set of asset classes (i.e. equities, ETFs, bonds, etc.) with market leading commission.
|City Index||SAXO Essential Account (Standard Account)|
|Financing Cost||2.5%+1-M Interbank Rate: 3-3.5%||5%|
|CFD Commission for Stocks & ETFs:|
|Index CFD Spread:|
|US SP 500||0.4||0.4 (0.5)|
|US Tech 100||1||1|
|Hong Kong 50||10||5 (12)|
|Japan 225||8||7 (8)|
|Australia 200||1||1 (1.5)|
|Germany 30||1||1 (1.5)|
Summary Table of Online Brokerages Commissions
Below is a summary table of all the online brokers in Singapore. Please read our review of the best online brokers above for more detailed analysis and see which one best suits your needs.
|Name||Min Fee||<S$50k||S$50k-S$100k||>$100k||US||Japan||HK||# of Country/Markets|
|SAXO Capital||S$15||0.120%||0.120%||0.120%||$0.01/share, min S$3.99||0.2%, min JPY2,500||0.15%, min HKD150||36|
|City Index (CFD only)||0.080%||$0.15/share||0.050%||0.150%||+26|
|IG (CFD only)||0.100%||$0.2/share||0.200%||0.250%||30+|
|Interactive Brokers||S$2.5||0.080%||0.080%||0.080%||0.5% min $1||0.08%, min JPY80||0.08%, min HKD18||24|
|TD Ameritrade (thinkorswim)||S$14-S$15(USD10.65) for US stocks, USD10.65 + $0.81 per contract for options|
|Standard Chartered||S$14-S$15 (USD10)||0.200%||0.200%||0.200%||0.25%, min $10||0.25%, min JPY1,000||0.25%, min HKD100||10|
|U Trade||S$18||0.180%||0.180%||0.180%||0.3%, min $20||0.25%, min HKD100||4|
|POEMS||S$25||0.280%||0.220%||0.180%||0.3%, min $20||0.5%, min JPY3,000||0.25%, min HKD100||21|
|iOCBC||S$25||0.275%||0.220%||0.180%||0.3%, min $20||0.75%, min JPY3,000||0.25%, min HKD150||26|
|KGIFraser||S$25||0.275%||0.220%||0.180%||0.3%, min $20||0.5%, min JPY1,500||0.25%, min HKD100||15|
|i*Trade||S$25||0.275%||0.220%||0.180%||0.3%, min $20||0.25%, min HKD50||6|
|Citibank Brokerage||S$28||0.250%||0.200%||0.180%||0.35%, min $29||0.3%, min HKD120||3|
|DBS Vickers||S$25||0.280%||0.220%||0.180%||0.3%, min $25||0.5%, min JPY3,000||0.2%, min HKD100||7|
|RHB Securities||S$25||0.275%||0.220%||0.180%||0.3%, min $20||0.25%, min HKD100||4|
|Maybank Kim Eng||S$25||0.275%||0.220%||0.180%||0.3%, min $20||0.5%, min JPY3,000||0.25%, min HKD100||9|
|Lim & Tan Securities||S$25||0.280%||0.220%||0.180%||12|
Other Things to Consider
There are many other factors to consider. For one, it might be useful to actually check out the user interface of each broker’s offering to see if you can use them easily. Some of the brokers like SAXO and POEMS have quite user-friendly platforms, while others have websites that look quite outdated. Furthermore, for sophisticated traders who care about live-data API connection and margin financing, it might be crucial to understand the different product offerings in the market to make sure that they get the best deal on everything they care about. Not every broker will provide this information upfront; but usually, companies that have the best rates tend to make the most disclosure. Lastly, some brokers may have teams of analysts that provide research reports for companies and markets, which could be valuable to some investors depending on their investment style and aptitude.