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Best Brokerage Accounts To Start Your Investment Journey In Singapore

Ching Sue Mae

Ching Sue Mae

Last updated 11 April, 2024

 


Every spending situation is unique. SingSaver assembles the 'Best For' list, so you can decide what’s best for you.


The first step to investing in the financial markets starts from opening a brokerage account. But as for that step before the first step, you’ll have to invest in the best choice of brokerage account for yourself.


Best Brokerage Accounts in Singapore on SingSaver

Tiger Brokers Syfe | City Index | Stashaway | POEMS SAXO Interactive Brokers moomoo Endowus IG Trading | CMC Markets ProsperUs | Webull


Despite the market volatility since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (or perhaps, thanks to this pandemic), more young investors have started their first foray into investing. In the US market, investors have put more money into stocks in the first five months of 2021 than in the last 12 years combined.

Here in Singapore, there has also been increased interest in investments

Rather than allowing our idle cash to erode due to inflation, investing these dollars is one way to reduce the opportunity cost and grow our wealth. 

To invest in the various financial products available, a brokerage account and CDP account are required. Here’s what you need to know: 


 

 


However, if you are new to investing or have just started out on your investment journey, get started with the basics. Learn how to buy shares, find out the different types of investment products, and more here:


Citigold_Tactical_47_BLOGARTICLE_800x250

⚡Flash Deal⚡: Get an Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max 512GB (worth S$2,340.45) or an Apple Products Bundle [Apple iPad Air (5th Generation) 10.9" WiFi 256 GB + Apple Magic Keyboard Bundle + Apple Pencil (2nd generation) + Airpods Pro (Gen 2)] (worth S$2,145.20) or S$1,500 cash when you successfully apply for a Citigold account and make a S$250,000 deposit within 3 months of account opening and maintain these funds until gift fulfilment. Valid till 21 April 2024. T&Cs apply.

Applicable to new-to-bank only (i.e. users with no Citigold or Current and Savings Accounts). If a user has applied for Citi Credit Card or Personal Loan, they will still be eligible.

Plus, score over S$2,460 bonus cash when you maintain your Citigold relationship and fulfil the following qualifying criteria (T&Cs apply):

  • Complete an Investment Risk Profile and Fact Find Report and get S$100 cash
  • Hold a valid primary/main Citi Credit Card and get a S$300 bonus cash reward.
  • Take up a Citi Home Loan with min. loan size of S$800,000 within 3 months of account opening and get a S$500 bonus cash reward.
  • Purchase S$100,000 worth of investments and/or insurance from Citibank to enjoy a S$600 bonus cash reward.
  • Maintain a Citigold relationship for 12 months from date of approval and get a S$960 cash reward.

What is a brokerage account and CDP account? 

A brokerage account is the second step pf your investment journey, with the first step being to open a Central Depository (CDP) account. 

CDP account: Owned by the SGX, a CDP account provides integrated clearing, settlement and depository services for a wide range of products in the Singapore Securities Market. Your CDP is where your securities are held. To apply, you must be 18 years old and you will require a Singapore bank account. You can open a CDP account by applying online and using MyInfo for quicker application. 

Brokerage account: A brokerage account comes with more choices and you can choose from more than 10 different brokerage firms. You will need a brokerage account to buy and sell investment products on the financial market. This includes equities, fixed income products and other trading products. 

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CDP-linked vs Custodian account

When choosing a brokerage account, you’ll find that there are generally two different types of accounts: CDP-linked and custodian accounts. Each type of account has its own pros and cons.

CDP-linked account: With a CDP-linked account, the stocks are purchased under your name and will be credited into your CDP account. This means that you own these shares and become a shareholder of the company. This is only applicable for trades made on the SGX. 

Pros Cons
Enjoy perks of being a shareholder of the company, such as attending annual general meetings (AGM) and being entitled to voting rights Higher brokerage fees and minimum commission amount
View all your stock holdings in one single CDP account, even if you made the trade using different brokerages. This also allows you to use different brokerages to buy and sell.  Incur additional fees such as
- Clearing fee: 0.0325%
- SGX access fee: 0.0075%

Custodian account: Your stocks are purchased through a nominee account that is managed by the brokerage firm. This means that the owner of the stock is legally the brokerage house and they hold the stocks on your behalf. If you’re buying overseas stocks, you will require a custodian account. 

Pros Cons
Lower brokerage fees and lower minimum commission fee Do not have the same benefits as shareholders (e.g. attend AGM, enjoy voting rights)
More providers available  Incur additional fees
- Custody fee: This varies based on the brokerage, as some do not charge a custody fee
- Transfer fee: Fees incurred (per counter) when you transfer shares in or out of the custodian account into your CDP account

If you’re a short-term trader, custodian accounts will be more ideal as it saves you from paying higher costs when you make numerous trades. If you’re a long-term investor, there could be more value in getting the stock credited to your CDP.

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Brokerage account fees and charges 

CDP-linked brokerage accounts

Provider Min. commission fee Trading commissions
CGS International Securities S$25 0.275%
DBS Vickers S$27.25 0.18%
DBS Vickers Cash Upfront Account (only applicable to ‘Buy’ trades) S$10.90 0.12%
FSMOne (CDP account linkage available for ‘Sell’ orders only)  S$8.80 (flat fees) S$8.80 (flat fees)
KGI Securities S$25 0.275%
Lim & Tan Securities S$25 0.28%
Maybank Kim Eng Securities S$25 0.275%
OCBC Securities S$25 0.275%
Phillip Securities (POEMS) S$25 0.28%
RHB Securities S$25 0.275%
UOB Kay Hian S$25 0.275%

With S$25 being the common minimum commission fee, what stands out is the low minimum commission fee for DBS Vickers Cash Upfront account and FSMOne, although this is limited specifically to 'Buy' and 'Sell' orders respectively. 

Custodian accounts (based on SG stocks)

This is based on commissions charged for the Singapore market, with assets of less than S$30,000. For customers that have more assets with the brokerage firm, you can enjoy lower commission fees.

Provider Minimum fees Commission and platform fees
CGS-CIMB Securities S$18 0.18%
Citibank Brokerage S$28 0.25%
CMC Invest (Gold) S$3 0.05%
FSMOne S$8.80 (flat fee) S$8.80 (flat fee)
HSBC S$25 0.25%
Interactive Brokers S$2.50 0.08%
KGI Securities S$25 0.18%
Lim & Tan Securities S$25 0.28%
Maybank Kim Eng S$25 0.275%
moomoo SG S$0.99 0.03% 
OCBC Securities S$25 0.275%
Phillip Securities (POEMS) 0.08% No min. commission
SAXO (VIP) S$3 0.08% (no platform fee) 
Standard Chartered Online Trading S$10 0.25%
Tiger Brokers S$0.99 0.03%
UOB Kay Hian S$25 0.275%
uSMART S$1.00 0.02%

If you are a priority customer of these brokerages, you also enjoy additional perks such as lower commission fees. For example, if you are a Standard Chartered Priority Banking client or a POEMS Privilege client.

Custodian accounts (based on US stocks)

Dabbling in US stocks has gotten cheaper and far more accessible, thanks to the new online brokerages in recent times. Here's how much (or how little) you'll have to pay when trading US stocks.

Provider Min. commission fee Trading commissions
CGS-CIMB iTrade US$13 0.18%
Citibank Brokerage US$25 0.30%
CMC Invest (Gold) US$4 0.04%
FSMOne US$3.80 0.08%
HSBC US$10.90 0.15%
Interactive Brokers US$1 US$0.005 per share
KGI Securities US$20 0.3%
Lim & Tan Securities US$10 0.3%
Maybank Kim Eng US$20 0.3%
moomooo SG US$0.0049 (US$0 from 13 April 2024 onwards for all eligible customers) NIL
OCBC Securities US$20 0.30%
Phillip Securities (POEMS)

No minimum

US$3.88 (approx. S$5.24) flat

US$3.88 (approx. S$5.24) flat
ProsperUs US$0.01 per share US$5
SAXO VIP US$1 0.08%
Standard Chartered Online Trading US$10 0.25%
Syfe Trade US$1.49 per trade US$1.49 per trade
Tiger Brokers US$0.005 per share Max. 0.5% of trade value
Webull US$0.50 0.025% of total trade value
uSMART US$0 US$1.00 per order
UOB Kay Hian US$20 0.3%

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Choosing a brokerage account that suits you

With so many brokerage accounts to choose from, how do you pick the one that suits your investment needs? Here are a few factors that you should consider.

Fees: Fees can eat into your investment returns. Most brokerage providers impose a minimum commission fee, with a few rare exceptions. With this minimum fee imposed, it could make more financial sense to be trading a larger amount of money so that the commissions would not take up a significant portion of your capital. Do also keep in mind that the fees could differ depending on the market you trade.

On this note, do not be fooled by zero-commission free trades that might convince users that trading is absolutely free. Do beware of other fees like a per-share settlement fee that some brokerage accounts charge, especially those without a cap. This could potentially put you in a deficit if the price of each share is low. An article by The Business Times highlighted a trader who sold his shares for a total of US$5,000, only to realise that he found himself with a US$11,000 deficit because of the high settlement fee that he was charged.

Perks given through promotions: Brokerage providers run promotions from time to time. This can come in the form of commission fee waivers, lowered commissions, vouchers and cash rebates. You can make the most of commission-free promotions by making more transactions during that period. 

Products available: What investment products are you planning to use and what does the brokerage provider offer? For example, this could be stocks, bonds, Contracts for Difference (CFD), forex, commodities, futures and more. 

Tools and indicators provided: What tools do you frequently use and does the brokerage account provide those tools? This could be technical charting tools, various indicators, drawing capabilities, stock screeners and more.

Market access: Which global exchanges can you access with that provider? This would be important for those looking to trade in overseas markets such as Hong Kong, China and the USA, or if you are looking to trade in specifically in lesser known markets.

Platform interface: Not all apps are created equal. Some are more user friendly than others, being easier to navigate and execute trades. However, this user appeal could also be a largely personal preference. The speed and responsiveness of the app to show prices and execute trades are also important, particularly for traders that trade with short timeframes.  

Investment insights: Brokerage accounts also go the distance to value add by providing investment insights such as buy/sell/hold calls, research reports, market outlook commentary, stock ideas and other materials for their clients to use. 

Some brokerage accounts also offer demo accounts. These demo accounts are a great way to test out the platform and decide for yourself if their web platform or mobile app is your cup of tea. 

You may also read these comparisons to find out the best online brokerages and investment products to suit your financial needs and also investment strategies.

Compare Between The Best Online Brokerage Account In Singapore
Compare The Best Investment Apps In Singapore
Compare Between Moomoo Vs Tiger Brokers

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Best brokerage accounts in Singapore

With so many different brokerage accounts available, we have filtered them down into a few important categories. 

Best overall and for overseas stocks: Interactive Brokers (IBKR), CMC Invest, SAXO Markets, and ProsperUS

Known for their incredibly low fees, you can use Interactive Brokers (IBKR) to invest globally in a variety of products — stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds — all from a single integrated account in over 150 markets across 27 countries.

There are two different pricing plans, IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro, both of which offer low or zero commission fees. However, IBKR Lite is only offered to direct US clients and any client of an Introducing Broker or if you are an employee of a firm using Employee Track. 

Previously, customers could not use IBKR to trade Singapore shares, making IBKR a great option for low-cost trades in overseas markets. However, in July 2020, Interactive Brokers opened their Singapore office and investors will now be able to use IBKR to trade Singapore stocks.

IBKR has also removed their account maintenance fee requirement. Previously, this was US$10 per month, less commission paid that month — a deterring factor for investors that don't make multiple trades monthly.

Check out our full review of IBKR here.


cmc investCMC Invest offers competitive trading and commission fees, access to popular markets, and wide range of trading instruments, including asset management and regular savings plan (RSP). 

For the Gold tier, the commission fee for SG stocks is only 0.05% (after two free monthly trades) and 0.04% (after five monthly trades) for US stocks. Aside from the US and SG stocks, you can also trade UK, Hong Kong, and Japan stocks. 

But platform is perhaps best known for contract for difference (CFD) trading. So if you're like speculating on the price movements of underlying assets such as stocks, indices, forex, and more, without owning the assets, this platform is for you. 

CMCInvest_S$20 Cas_BLOGARTICLE_800x250

SingSaver's Exclusive Offer: Open a CMC Invest account and get a S$20 bonus cash via PayNow. Plus, fund a minimum initial amount of S$500 and make 2 trades to receive 1 free Bank of America share (worth S$46) fulfilled by CMC Invest. Valid till 1 May 2024. T&Cs apply.

Additionally, receive 1 Nike share (NYSE:NKE) and/or 1 Tesla Inc. share (NASDAQ:TSLA) when you meet the required deposit and trade with your CMC Invest account. Valid till 1 May 2024. T&Cs apply.

 


SAXO Market logo

Aside from offering competitive commission fees, SAXO stands out for its extensive product range and user-friendly platform.

Besides the Singapore Stock Exchange, it also offers access to foreign exchanges including the NASDAQ, New York Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, Hong Kong Exchange, and Shanghai Stock Exchange, among others. 


ProsperUs: Digital Investment Service Singapore

Meanwhile, CGS-CIMB-backed ProsperUs is also one of the best overall brokers out there. Aside from stocks, ProsperUs also offers ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, CFD, FX, and option across markets like the U.S, China, the U.K, Singapore, Australia, Europe, Malaysia, Japan, and more.

There are three account tiers (Rookie, All-Star, Hall of Fame) and the commission fee depends on the account that you hold. However, if you're trading in the U.S stock market (AMEX, NYSE, NASDAQ), the platform charges a US$5 flat rate commission fee across all tiers. While it's not the cheapest, the price is still quite competitive if you're not a frequent trader, and considering that it's also regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Furthermore, ProsperUs doesn't charge a platform fee, account maintenance fee, and inactivity fee. There's also no minimum deposit required. 


Best for low fees: moomoo SG, Tiger Brokers, or Webull

moomoo竖版上市组合标志_画板 1

One of the newest entrants to the online brokerage space in Singapore, moomoo SG first made waves during the pre-launch by offering a free Apple (AAPL) stock with each funded account.

moomoo SG doesn't charge any commission fee and only a platform fee of US$0.99 per order.

For Singapore stocks, moomoo charges 0.03% for commission and platform fees with a minimum fee of S$0.99 at the time of writing.

If you don't have a bank account in Singapore, you can also transfer funds from your overseas account via Wise. You can fund your account either through Wise balance or bank transfer via Wise. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

moomoo SG is currently offering various sign-up rewards worth up to S$970 for new users who open an account from 1 April 2024 to 1 July 2024:

Reward 1:

Upon successful opening of a moomoo SG securities account, you’ll enjoy:

  • Lifetime commission-free trading for the U.S market
  • One year free commission-free trades for SG market (stocks, ETFs, and REITs)
  • Commission-free trades on US options for up to 100 contracts every month, effective till 31 August 2024
  • Commission-free trades for US treasuries and SGS bonds, effective till 30 June 2024
  • Free access to real-time Lvl 2 Market Data for the U.S stock market
  • Free access to real-time Lvl 2 Market Data for the SG stock market, effective till 31 December 2024
  • Free access to real-time Lvl 1 Market Data for Hong Kong market
  • Free access to real-time Lvl 1 Market Data for China A Shares market
  • moomoo Cash Plus 6.8% p.a. guaranteed returns of up to S$447, valid for 30 days

Reward 2

If you deposit a cumulative amount of at least S$3,000 (or equivalent currencies) before 1 July 2024, perform three cumulative buy trades before 8 July 2024, and maintain your assets for 30 days, you will receive the following: 

    • One stock bundle consisting of Tesla (TSLA), Nvidia (NVDA), Apple (APPL), Sea (SE), and NIO (NIO) fractional shares worth around S$70.  

Reward 3

Deposit a cumulative amount of at least S$10,000 (or equivalent currencies) before 1 July 2024, maintain it for 90 days and perform eight cumulative buy trades before 8 July 2024 to receive three stock bundles of Apple, Nvidia, Tesla, and Sea and NIO fractional shares worth S$210. 

 

Reward 4

Deposit a cumulative amount of at least S$100,000 (or equivalent currencies) before 1 July 2024 and maintain it for 90 days to receive one Apple share worth S$243.

 

Note that rewards are stackable.

Moomoo_S$60_S$160Cash_BLOGARTICLE_800x250

SingSaver Exclusive Promotion: Receive S$60 cash via PayNow when you open a moomoo universal account and fund a min. of S$100. Fund a min. of S$2,000 to receive an additional S$100 cash (S$160 total) via PayNow. Valid till 1 May 2024. T&Cs apply.

Plus, receive up to S$970 worth of welcome rewards and up to 6.8% p.a. returns when you complete additional actions with your moomoo account. Valid till 1 Jul 2024. T&Cs apply.

 


Having entered the market in 2020, Tiger Brokers continues to offer a low fee of 0.08% for every trade made. For US stocks, Tiger charges US$0.005 per share, with a minimum commission fee of US$0.99. There is also no inactivity fee or custodian fee, adding to the perks of opening a Tiger Brokers account. You will have to fund your Tiger Brokers account before you can make a trade.

On the other hand, Tiger Brokers is also running a welcome promo from 22 December to 15 April 2024:

Open An Account

Sign up and open an account with Tiger Brokers (Singapore) Pte Ltd ("TBSPL") during the promotional period to receive 365 days of unlimited commission-free trades for HK, SG, and China A stocks.

(This bonus package is valid for first-time account opening only.)

Activate the Auto-sweep feature on Tiger Vault

Activate the Auto-sweep feature on Tiger Vault for the first time on your newly approved account to enjoy a 30-day(trading days only) interest bonus boosted to 8% p.a. Limited to the first 2,000 eligible rewards.

(This bonus is valid for first-time account opening and first-time activation of the Auto-sweep feature only.)

Fund and Trade

  • Fund your newly approved account with any amount and claim three months SGX LV2 advanced quotes (worth S$60).
  • Fund your newly approved account with S$300 or more in one single deposit during the promotion period to receive US$10 of Apple fractional shares (NASDAQ: AAPL).

  • Fund your newly approved account with S$1,000 or more in one single deposit and execute five new BUY trades during the promotion period to receive US$30 of Apple fractional shares (NASDAQ: AAPL) and one sure-win draw attempt to get one free stock valued between US$8.8 to US$888.

Bonus Tier

Account Opening

Unlimited Commission-Free Trades for HK & SG & China A Stocks for 365 days

Activate the auto-sweep feature on Tiger Vault

30-day (trading days only) interest bonus boosted to 8%* p.a.

First Deposit ≥ S$300

US$10 of Apple fractional shares (NASDAQ: AAPL)

First Deposit at least S$1,000 and complete five new BUY Trades

US$30 of Apple fractional shares (NASDAQ: AAPL),

One sure-win draw attempt to get one free stock, valued between US$8.8 to US$888

Check out our full review of Tiger Brokers here.

 

Tiger Brokers_S$200Cash_BLOGARTICLE_800x250

SingSaver Exclusive Offer: Receive your choice of an Apple AirPods 3rd Gen with MagSafe charging case (worth S$274) or S$200 cash via PayNow when you open a Tiger Brokers account and fund at least USD 1,000. Valid till 30 Apr 2024. T&Cs apply.

Plus, enjoy prizes worth USD 3,600 when you deposit and trade with your Tiger Brokers account. Valid till 15 July 2024. T&Cs apply.

 

 


webull

Meanwhile, Webull is one of the newest brokerages in Singapore. A popular online broker in the US, the trading platform offers zero platform fee for the US and HK markets, and a commission fee of 0.025% of the total trade amount (min. US$0.50). There are also no withdrawal fees, deposit fees, and inactivity fees.

Additionally, it also supports fractional share trading for as low as US$5 per fractional share. This allows you to buy high-priced shares of big companies such as Alphabet, Apple, and Amazon, even if you don't have a large capital. 

Read our review of Webull here

Webull_S$130Cash_BLOGARTICLE_800x250

🎉Lucky Draw🎉: Get a chance to win an Apple iPhone 15 128GB (worth S$1,311) when you sign-up for a Webull account and transfer-in a minimum value of USD 5,000. Valid till 30 April 2024. T&Cs apply.

SingSaver Exclusive Offer: Receive your choice of S$100 cash or S$110 Grab Vouchers when you sign up for a Webull account and fund at least S$700 within the promo period. Fund at least S$2,000 to receive S$130 cash or S$140 Grab Vouchers. Valid till 30 Apr 2024. T&C's apply.

Plus, get up to USD 3,000 worth of NVDA shares when you complete actions with your Webull account. Valid till 30 Apr 2024. T&Cs apply.

Also, get up to USD 10,450 transfer-in rewards when you transfer in at least USD 500,000 worth of shares and fulfill additional requirements. Valid till 30 April 2024. T&Cs apply.

 


 

Best CDP-linked accounts: DBS Vickers and FSMOne

If you prefer trading Singapore stocks with a CDP account, you can enjoy lower commission fees and a low minimum commission fee of S$10.90 for buying Singapore stocks with the DBS Vickers Cash Upfront account.

This makes it one of the cheapest brokerage account to use if you want the stocks to be transferred into your CDP account. A pre-funded account, you will have to top up sufficient cash into the account before you can execute a trade.

However, this low commission is only applicable to ‘Buy’ trades. This makes it a great option if you are looking at long-term investments and do not plan on selling the stock. If you do want to sell the stock in the future, you could consider other brokerages such as FSMOne to execute that trade at a low commission fee instead.

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But if you prefer a flat fee regardless of your trade, consider trading on FSMOne. It charges a flat S$8.80 processing fee regardless of the size of your trade. Silver account holders also earn 10% additional points on top of the Standard Rewards points. To become a Silver FSMOne account holder, you need to have at least S$100,000 in your FSMOne account

However, do note that this is only applicable for trades in SGX-listed stocks and ETFs. This flat fee also excludes CDP clearing fees and SGX trading fees.


Read reviews of the best online brokerages in Singapore

Want to learn more about the offerings of different online brokerage platforms in Singapore? Read our reviews of the different online investment platforms here: 

Besides opening a brokerage account, if you're looking for a diversified investment solution, you can also consider investing with robo-advisors.

 

Read these next: 
Tiger Brokers Review: New Kid On The Block With Low Commissions
moomoo Review: Low Cost Trades And A Free AAPL Share
Interactive Brokers (IBKR) Review: Pros, Cons and Why They’re So Popular
7 Popular Types Of Investment In Singapore (And Tips To Use Them For Optimal Gains)
Best Robo Advisors To Auto-Pilot Your Investments In Singapore
Best Citibank Credit Cards in Singapore
A Full Guide to Priority Banking in Singapore

A flat white, an adventure-filled travel and a good workout is her fuel. Sue Mae enjoys sharing knowledge on personal finance while chasing the dream of financial independence.

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