With so many brokerage firms in Singapore to choose from, finding the best online broker for your needs can be a very daunting process. What should you prioritise? What are the commission costs for transactions? What markets can I invest in? What kind of services do they offer? To help you narrow down your search, we have prepared the below guide on the best online brokers in Singapore.
Table of Contents
Best Online Brokerages in Singapore
For most retail investors, commission cost of trading should be the most important factor in choosing an online broker. In this sense, SAXO Capital is the best online brokerage available for Singaporeans. For instance, most firms have a minimum commission of S$25 for transactions below S$50,000. This means that, if you only buy S$1,000 worth of a particular stock, you will have to pay 2.5% in commission right off the bat! For bigger trades, brokers typically charge about 0.25% per dollar on average (which decreases to about 0.18% per dollar for orders above S$100,000). For people who trade frequently, such cost can build up quickly. Therefore, an investor should attempt to minimise cost of transactions as much as possible.
SAXO Capital: Best Online Broker in Singapore
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, 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 24 global markets, and also offers market leading commission rates for the major international markets like the US, HK and Japan.
Below is a summary chart of SAXO's offerings, which you can compare to others in our summary table at the bottom. As you can see, SAXO has a variety of offerings at rock bottom prices, making it ideal for both casual investors and advanced traders alike. For instance, most brokers charge a CFD share financing cost of 6-7%, but SAXO charges only about 5%.
Lastly, 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 Options (0-1000 contracts/month)||$3||HKD30||AUD5||EUR3|
|Index Options (0-250 contracts/month)||S$15||$6||JPY1,000||HKD45||AUD10||EUR6|
Standard Chartered: Best Online Brokerage for Small Investors
For investors who are not looking to invest more than S$50,000, Standard Chartered might be a good alternative to SAXO. Although it charges a slightly higher 0.2% commission on your trades, its minimum fee is actually the lowest we've seen in the country at S$10. Not only that, if you are a Standard Chartered Priority Banking customer, they completely waive your minimum fee and charge a flat rate of 0.18%.
To choose between SAXO and Standard Chartered, we think it’s better to go with SC if you plan on trading less than S$7,500 at a time. For trades of S$7,500 or less, you will be paying less than S$15 per trade at Standard Chartered, which is lower than the minimum fee charged by SAXO. In such a case, your commission will be lower than the S$15 that SAXO charges for trades that require its minimum commission. For bigger trades, however, SAXO is definitely the better deal.
IG: Best Online Brokerage for CFDs Only
For expert traders who only want to trade CFDs, IG might be a good 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 be used only by seasoned experts who know how to trade in savvy manners. If you don't have any need to trade stocks, bonds or options, trading CFDs only through IG is not a bad idea. This is because IG matches SAXO's leading commission rates, but also offers a lower interest in financing.
|Financing Cost||2.5%+1-M Interbank Rate: 3-3.5%||5%|
Interactive Brokers: Best Online Brokerage for International Markets Only
For trading stocks in Singapore especially, SAXO and Standard Chartered are some of the lowest commission levels we’ve seen. However, the 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 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.
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, which can be offset by trading commissions.
Summary Table of Online Brokerages Commissions
|Name||Min Fee||<S$50k||S$50k-S$100k||>$100k||US||Japan||HK||# of Online Markets|
|SAXO Capital||S$15||0.120%||0.120%||0.120%||$0.01/share, min S$9.9||0.2%, min JPY2,500||0.15%, min HKD150||36|
|Standard Chartered||S$10||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|
|Interactive Brokers||S$2.5||0.080%||0.080%||0.080%||0.5% min $1||0.08%, min JPY80||0.08%, min HKD18||24|
|IG (CFD only)||0.100%||0.100%||0.200%||0.250%||10,000|
|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.