What is an online brokerage?
An online brokerage facilitates the buying and selling of a financial instrument. You will need a brokerage account to buy and sell investment products, be it on the Singapore Exchange or in overseas markets. The products include equities, fixed income products, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and more.
How does an online brokerage work?
The online brokerage will execute your buy or sell transaction on the financial markets, based on your selection and inputs within their brokerage platform. This is done for a fee or commission. Unlike a Central Depository (CDP) account, you can open multiple brokerage accounts with different brokerage firms.
Types of online brokerage accounts for your investments
In Singapore, you can choose between a CDP-linked account or a custodian account. CDP-linked accounts are an option if you are purchasing Singapore stocks. A custodian account can be referred to as a pre-funded or cash upfront account. You have to use a custodian account if you are buying or selling overseas stocks.
Compare the pros and cons of a CDP-linked vs custodian account here.
Online brokerage fees
You will incur a trading fee when you use an online brokerage account, which ranges from 0.08% to 0.275% per trade. CDP-linked brokerage accounts offer lower trading fees for larger trade sizes. If you are trading a small amount, do keep in mind that brokerages could impose a minimum commission fee of S$10 to S$25.
Custodian accounts have lower trading fees and minimum commission fees. However, you could incur an additional custodian fee or platform fee.
Best online brokerages in Singapore
What constitutes the best online brokerage depends on your investment decisions and personal preference. Are you looking to buy stocks listed on the Singapore Exchange or on overseas markets? How often do you plan to trade?
To help you with your decision, you can check out this article on the best brokerage accounts in Singapore.