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 Capital Markets only charges 0.15% of commission on your trades with a minimum cost of S$15 for Singapore stocks ($4 for US stocks), roughly half of what most of its peers charge in the market. SAXO Capital Markets lowers this industry leading commission even further to 0.1% for those who invest a lot of money (S$50,000 for platinum and S$1,000,000 for VIP accounts).

SAXO Capital Markets'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 Capital Markets's user interface to be the most intuitive and the easiest to use. Combining price competitive, market access and ease of use, SAXO Capital Markets, in our opinion, provides one of the best offerings for investors and traders alike.

Standard Pricing of SAXO Capital Markets By Product and Market


Classic
SingaporeUSJapanHKAustraliaEU
Equities0.15%$0.01 per share0.15%0.15%0.10%0.10%
Stock MinimumS$15$3.99JPY1,500HKD90AUD8EUR10
Industry Average0.25%0.3%0.5%0.25%0.5%0.5%
Equity & ETF CFDs5%5%5%5%5%5%
Competitors6%-7%6%-6.3%6%-7%6%-8.5%5%-6%
30 Day Avg FX SpreadUSDSGD: 1SGDJPY: 1.4USDHKD: 3AUDSGD: 2.3EURSGD: 2.1
Competitors5.261397.9
Equity Options (0-1000 contracts/month)$3HKD30AUD5EUR3
Index Options (0-250 contracts/month)S$10$6JPY1,000HKD30AUD10EUR6
Bonds0.20%0.20%0.20%0.20%0.20%0.20%
Bond MinimumEUR80EUR80EUR80EUR80EUR80EUR80

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 IndexSAXO Essential Account (Standard Account)
Financing Cost2.5%+1-M Interbank Rate: 3-3.5%5%
CFD Commission for Stocks & ETFs:
Singapore0.08%0.12%
US$0.015/share$0.01/share
Japan0.05%0.15%
HK0.15%0.25%
Australia0.08%0.1%
EU0.1%0.1%
Index CFD Spread:
US SP 5000.40.4 (0.5)
US Tech 10011
Singapore0.40.3
Hong Kong 50105 (12)
Japan 22587 (8)
China A501012
Australia 20011 (1.5)
Germany 3011 (1.5)

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

TD Ameritrade

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.

TD AmeritradeSAXO
Stock Trading CommissionUSD10.65 per trade$0.01 per share (minimum $3.99) for US
For Trade of S$5,000S$14.7S$3.99
For Trade of S$12,000S$14.7S$14.4-S$24
For Trade of S$20,000S$14.7S$24-S$40

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.

NameMin Fee<S$50kS$50k-S$100k>$100kUSJapanHK# of Country/Markets
SAXO CapitalS$150.150%0.120%0.100%$0.01/share, min S$3.990.15%, min JPY1,5000.15%, min HKD9036
City Index (CFD only)0.080%$0.15/share0.050%0.150%+26
IG (CFD only)0.100%$0.2/share0.200%0.250%30+
Interactive BrokersS$2.50.080%0.080%0.080%0.5% min $10.08%, min JPY800.08%, min HKD1824
TD Ameritrade (thinkorswim)S$14-S$15(USD10.65) for US stocks, USD10.65 + $0.81 per contract for options
Standard CharteredS$14-S$15 (USD10)0.200%0.200%0.200%0.25%, min $100.25%, min JPY1,0000.25%, min HKD10010
U TradeS$180.180%0.180%0.180%0.3%, min $200.25%, min HKD1004
POEMSS$250.280%0.220%0.180%0.3%, min $200.5%, min JPY3,0000.25%, min HKD10021
iOCBCS$250.275%0.220%0.180%0.3%, min $200.75%, min JPY3,0000.25%, min HKD15026
KGIFraserS$250.275%0.220%0.180%0.3%, min $200.5%, min JPY1,5000.25%, min HKD10015
i*TradeS$250.275%0.220%0.180%0.3%, min $200.25%, min HKD506
Citibank BrokerageS$280.250%0.200%0.180%0.35%, min $290.3%, min HKD1203
DBS VickersS$250.280%0.220%0.180%0.3%, min $250.5%, min JPY3,0000.2%, min HKD1007
RHB SecuritiesS$250.275%0.220%0.180%0.3%, min $200.25%, min HKD1004
Maybank Kim EngS$250.275%0.220%0.180%0.3%, min $200.5%, min JPY3,0000.25%, min HKD1009
Lim & Tan SecuritiesS$250.280%0.220%0.180%12
AverageS$220.247%0.205%0.177%

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.

Duckju Kang

Duckju is the Senior Vice President of ValuePenguin Singapore. He covers the financial services industry, consumer finance products, budgeting, and investing. He previously worked in the financial services industry, including at such hedge funds as Tiger Asia and Cadian Capital.

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