FSMOne Review 2021 - Should You Invest With This Online Brokerage

FSMOne Review (2021): A Reliable Brokerage For Long Term Investors

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FSMOne Review 2021 - Should You Invest With This Online Brokerage

Online stock brokerages are a dime a dozen today. Find out what veteran homegrown option FSMOne brings to the table and how it stands out from the crowd.

The importance of investing was made abundantly clear throughout the course of 2020 and 2021 as bank account interest rates got slashed to ribbons.

Fortunately, the bevy of online brokerages to choose from these days ensures that it takes just minutes before you start making your first stock or ETF purchase.

And if you’re looking for a homegrown online stock brokerage, you could do worse than to select FSMOne. Its parent company, iFAST Corporation, got off the ground in 2000 and now operates across Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, and China. Naturally, its flagship online stock brokerage has grown just as fast through the years.

From providing just securities on the SGX and SGS bonds in its early days to a whole suite of investment and insurance products today, FSMOne is a competitive choice indeed

Here’s all you need to know about this online brokerage, including what you can invest in along with the fees and charges levied.

Overview of FSMOne

  • What you can invest in: Stocks, ETFs, Structured Warrants, Daily Leveraged Certificates, bonds, funds, and managed portfolios
  • Minimum balance required: No minimum balance or deposit required
  • Fees for Singapore stocks: Flat rate of S$8.80 per trade
  • Fees for US stocks: 0.08% per trade, with a minimum of US$8.80
  • Fees for Hong Kong stocks: 0.08% per trade, with a minimum of HK$50
  • Fees for bonds (retail, wholesale, Bond Express): 0.35% per trade, with a minimum of S$10. Processing and platform fees levied as well.
  • Fees for bonds (SGS bonds): 0.1% per trade, with a minimum of S$10. Processing and platform fees levied as well.
  • Fees for funds: No fees for investments made using CPF funds. Quarterly platform fee applies for investments made using cash or SRS. 0.05% is charged for fixed income funds. 0.05% or 0.0875% is charged for all other fund types (equity, alternative investments, etc.).

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Pros and cons of FSMOne

Pros

FSMOne charges relatively low commission fees, especially when compared to bank-run online brokerages. When you’re trading stocks on US exchanges and the HKEX, it costs 0.08% per order, with a minimum fee of US$8.80 and HK$50 respectively. Conversely, bank-run online brokerages typically charge between 0.1% to 0.3% per trade.

However, FSMOne’s advantage would be its flat commission fee of S$8.80 per stock or ETF trade on the SGX. Although this appears pricey, it’s a boon if you plan to trade larger amounts. For example, an S$8.80 commission fee translates to just 0.05% if your total trade is worth S$17,600. This puts it squarely below other low-cost online brokerages out there.

There aren’t any strings attached either, apart from the usual fees that each stock exchange charges. FSMOne clearly states that it does not charge any platform fees or dividend handling fees as well. Keep in mind that you’re still subject to exchange-specific fees for the latter.

Apart from being a fully-fledged online brokerage, FSMOne offers an investment solution that can go toe to toe with many a robo-advisor out there. Dubbed FSM Managed Portfolios (MAPS), these actively-managed solutions let busy individuals grow their wealth while acting as a gateway to FSMOne’s full suite of services.

FSMOne MAPS portfolio sample

You select an investment portfolio based on your risk appetite, much like you would when using a robo-advisor. There are five to choose from in this case, ranging from MAPS Conservative to MAPS Aggressive. Each one invests in a combination of unit trusts and ETFs that fall under the asset classes of fixed income or equities.

Then, select the portfolio’s Income version if you’d like to receive dividends in your cash account. Alternatively, select Growth if you prefer to have these dividends reinvested on your behalf.

Cons

Unfortunately, FSMOne’s fee schedule is a double-edged sword, especially with newer kids on the block vying for market share. Online brokerages like Tiger Brokers and moomoo boast minimum commissions that are below S$3 per trade, even after the inclusion of platform fees.

Contrast this with FSMOne, where it charges a flat rate of S$8.80 for the SGX and minimum of US$8.80 and HK$50 for US stock exchanges and the HKEX respectively.

As a result, FSMOne doesn’t lend itself well to investors who wish to apply dollar-cost averaging into their favourite stocks or ETFs. As mentioned above, an investment in the five-digit range is required before FSMOne’s flat S$8.80 commission for the SGX starts to dip below what other low-cost online brokerages charge.

Another disadvantage of FSMOne would be the lack of stock exchanges that you can invest in. The SGX, HKEX, and all US stock exchanges are the only ones that you can choose from.

This is a missed opportunity, given that there are online brokerages in Singapore that grant access to multiple bourses across the world.

The final gripe would be FSMOne’s user interface on its web platform. Although the information contained within each menu is comprehensive, it can be overwhelming for beginner investors.

However, FSMOne’s mobile app on iOS, Android, and Huawei is a streamlined affair, letting users move quickly between important tabs, such as their watchlist and current holdings.

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Why should you use FSMOne?

1. It’s a comprehensive investment platform

FSMOne allows users to invest in a variety of assets, including stocks, bonds, and ETFs on the SGX, HKEX, and all US stock exchanges. Although futures and options aren’t available on the platform yet, advanced investors can dabble in Daily Leveraged Certificates and Structured Warrants that are listed on the SGX.

Beginner investors aren’t left behind either. On one hand, you can invest in MAPS, as detailed earlier on. And when you’re more comfortable investing on your own, you can set up a regular savings plan for specific ETFs, funds, or unit trusts.

There’s no need to jump into the deep end right away when you’re using FSMOne.

Finally, it’s not all about wealth accumulation with this online brokerage. You can purchase life and general insurance policies from seven companies through FSMOne, including NTUC Income, Tokio Marine, and Sompo.

Your policy details can then be viewed through your FSMOne account. Convenient indeed.

2. Competitive commission fees, especially for long-term investors

Although FSMOne’s minimum commission fees might not be the absolute lowest out there, the actual percentages charged are competitive. For US stock exchanges and the HKEX, you’re looking at 0.08% per trade.

And on the SGX, a S$17,600 trade will ensure that the S$8.80 flat rate translates to a 0.05% fee.

These fees are appealing for investors who plan to make higher value trades on an infrequent basis because you’re only charged per trade. This is important to note because there are online brokerages that charge a flat rate per share instead. US$0.01 per share looks incredibly attractive, but starts to sting once you’re trading thousands of shares at a go.

And FSMOne’s MAPS service has a fee structure that will give robo-advisors a run for their money. Expect a quarterly management fee of just 0.0875% (Conservative portfolios) or 0.125% (all other portfolios), along with transactional charges of up to 0.03%.

As the term suggests, this only applies to transactions, including buy and sell orders, and portfolio rebalancing.

3. A suite of complimentary educational materials

FSMOne has a full suite of educational materials that can be accessed by just about anyone. There’s no need to apply for an account in order to watch its various webinars and tutorials.

Likewise for its FSMOne School series of articles, which cover topics or frequently asked questions that investors of all experience levels would have.

Take stocks for instance. FSMOne School has your bases covered, going through the factors that affect a stock’s price and the different categories of stocks, amongst other topics. Advanced investors aren’t left out either, with investment principles and corporate actions having lengthy articles devoted to them.

Then there’s the Research tab, which houses more articles and videos. These resources will prove useful if you need quick insights on new products to invest in or if you require expert analysis regarding how the markets are performing.

And as you might expect, articles are categorised according to the key investment products that FSMOne carries.

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Who is FSMOne best suited for?

FSMOne is best suited for investors who adopt a lump-sum strategy rather than dollar-cost averaging. Minimum commission fees might be on the pricier side, but no platform fees are charged.

And FSMOne does not adopt a fee structure that charges you per share, no matter which stock market you’re trading on.

Exemplifying this would be its FSMOne Prestige rewards programme, which dangles greater benefits for investors with assets under management starting from S$200,000.

At the highest tiers of Gold+ and Diamond+, you can even subscribe to IPOs on the SGX and HKEX, invest in restricted funds, and receive higher rebates when purchasing insurance products.

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Pricing, charges, and fees

FSMOne does not charge any dividend handling, deposit, or withdrawal fees. Likewise for corporate action charges for securities on the SGX and HKEX. However, US securities are subject to a US$50 charge plus a US$100 DWAC fee.

Apart from that, keep these fees in mind when trading on the respective stock exchanges:

  • SGX: S$8.80 per trade across all fund sources (Cash, CPF, SRS), excluding GST and exchange-level charges
  • HKEX: 0.08% per trade, with a minimum of HK$50, excluding GST and exchange-level charges
  • US stock exchanges: 0.08% per trade, with a minimum of US$8.80, excluding GST and exchange-level charges

If you’re planning to set up a regular savings plan, here are the following processing fees to take note of:

  • SGX (Buy): 0.08%, with a minimum of S$1
  • SGX (Sell): S$8.80
  • HKEX (Buy): 0.08%, with a minimum of HK$5
  • HKEX (Sell): 0.08%, with a minimum of HK$50
  • US stock exchanges (Buy): 0.08%, with a minimum of US$1
  • US stock exchanges (Sell): 0.08%, with a minimum of US$8.80

It’s a fuss-free affair for MAPS too, with just the following management fees levied:

  • Quarterly management fee (Conservative portfolio): 0.0875%
  • Quarterly management fee (All other portfolios): 0.125%

Finally, you’ll be happy to know that FSMOne does not charge any inactivity fees. Neither do you need to pay any custodian fees for your stock and ETF holdings.

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Are there any signup promotions for FSMOne?

Enjoy complimentary Level 2 market data for the SGX. Valid till 31 October 2021 for all FSMOne users. Terms and conditions apply.

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How do you open and fund your FSMOne account?

You can open an account through FSMOne’s website or its mobile app on iOS, Android, or Huawei. If you have a SingPass account, feel free to utilise that to speed up the application and approval processes.

Fortunately, filling in the application form manually doesn’t slow you down much either. It takes just three steps, with account approval being performed in one to two business days.

Furthermore, there’s no need to have a bank account in Singapore in order to sign up with FSMOne. Having one does save you a fair bit of time though, given that you can use PayNow or FAST to make fund transfers.

However, like other online brokerages out there, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old in order to apply.

Speaking about fund transfers, FSMOne ensures that you won’t miss a beat, no matter which bank or payment method you’re utilising.

Detailed instructions are contained for each of them and if you’re making a transfer via FAST or PayNow specifically, you can simply copy and paste the necessary details from the FSMOne mobile app to your Internet banking app.

For transfers made via FAST or PayNow, expect the funds to show up in your FSMOne account within 30 minutes. Internet bill payments will take one business day and SGD and USD cheques take double that

As for telegraphic transfers, expect to wait up to a week for a successful transfer.

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FSMOne vs Tiger Brokers vs moomoo


FSMOneTiger Brokersmoomoo
Products offeredStocks, ETFs, bonds, managed portfolios, funds, Daily Leveraged Certificates (SGX), Structured Warrants (SGX)Stocks, ETFs, futures, funds, options (HKEX, US stock exchanges), Daily Leveraged Certificates (SGX), Warrants and CBBCs (HKEX)Stocks, ETFs, futures, options (US stock exchanges), Warrants and CBBCs (HKEX)
Total commission feesSGX stocks and ETFs: S$8.80 per trade
US stocks and ETFs: 0.08% per trade. Min.  fee of US$8.80.
HKEX stocks and ETFs: 0.08% per trade. Min. fee of HK$50.
SGX stocks and ETFs: 0.08% per trade
US stocks and ETFs: US$0.01 per share. Min. fee of US$1.99 per trade.
HKEX stocks and ETFs: 0.06% per trade. Min. fee of HK$15.
China A-shares: 0.06% per trade. Min. fee of CNH15.
Australian Stocks and ETFs: 0.1% per trade. Min. fee of AU$8.
SGX stocks and ETFs: 0.06% per trade. Min. fee of S$2.49.
US stocks and ETFs: US$0.0098 per share. Min. fee of US$1.98 per trade. 
HKEX stocks and ETFs: 0.03% or HK$3 per trade. Min. fee of HK$18 per trade, including platform fee.
China A-shares: 0.03% or CNH3 per trade. Min. fee of CNH15, including platform fee.
Minimum depositNoneNone, but promotions historically required a one-time minimum deposit of S$2,000None, but promotions historically required a one-time minimum deposit of S$2,700
Other feesManagement fee for Auto-Sweep account: 0.05% per quarter
Platform fee for bonds: 0.025% (SGS Bonds) or 0.05% (Retail, Wholesale, Bond Express) per quarter
Platform fee for funds: None for investments via CPF, 0.05% (Fixed Income Funds), 0.0875% for the first S$300,000 and 0.05% for amounts beyond S$300,000 (All other funds) per quarter
Management fee for MAPS: 0.0875% (Conservative Portfolio) or 0.125% (All other portfolios) per quarter
Margin rate (S$): 3.142% to 4.142% p.a.
Margin rate (US$): 3.25% to 4.08% p.a.
Margin rate (HK$): 4% to 5% p.a.
Margin rate (CNH): 8.503% p.a.
Margin rate (AU$): 3% to 4% p.a.
Margin rate (EUR): 3% to 4% p.a.
Margin rate (GBP): 3.05% to 4.05% p.a.
Margin rate (JPY): 3% to 4% p.a.
Margin rate (S$): 4.8% p.a.
Margin rate (US$): 4.8% p.a.
Margin rate (HK$): 6.8% p.a.
Margin rate (CNH): 6.8% p.a.

As mentioned above, FSMOne’s commission fees are noticeably higher when compared to popular low-cost online brokerages Tiger Brokers and moomoo.

Therefore, it doesn’t lend itself well to active trading. However, FSMOne is a great value proposition if you’re planning to make lump-sum investments and hold them for the long run.

As mentioned above, FSMOne’s commission fees are noticeably higher when compared to popular low-cost online brokerages Tiger Brokers and moomoo. Therefore, it doesn’t lend itself well to active trading.

However, FSMOne is a great value proposition if you’re planning to make lump-sum investments and hold them for the long run.

What’s more, this online brokerage will serve you well as a holistic investment platform via its regular savings plans and MAPS. And as parent company iFast Corporation continues to expand, expect more features and investment products to be added.

FSMOne might not be the flashiest online brokerage out there, but it’s certainly no slouch.

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Read these next:
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By Ebel Tang
A geek culture enthusiast who’s also a little too invested in the wide world of whisky and watches. And no, he was not named after the Swiss timepiece brand.