Valuechampion mailing listSingaporeans are relatively familiar with stock markets. According to a poll by Milieu Insight, 52% of Singaporeans aged 16 and above have some investment in stocks or equities. This does not come as a surprise as Singaporeans are becoming more financially literate and choose to invest in stock markets to generate long-term wealth.

While most Singaporeans opt to invest in the stock market, stock trading has also increased in popularity. Investing is the approach of buying a stock and holding it for a long period of time to reap capital gains. Stock trading, on the other hand, is the buying and selling of stocks on a short-term basis to realise quicker gains.

It is important to consider that trading stocks are a much riskier approach than investing in stocks. It is very difficult to predict how a company’s stock will move in the short term. However, you can make outsized returns with an informed and disciplined investing approach.

If you are looking to try your hand at trading stocks, read on for a breakdown of three low-fee platforms to decide where you should start your trading journey.

Note that the fees discussed below are about the individual platform’s fees. Standard regulatory fees for the different markets still apply when trading through any of these low-cost trading platforms.

Lowest Cost for a Small Number of Transactions – Syfe Trading

Best known for its robo-advisory services, Syfe also has a trading platform called Syfe Trading. Syfe Trading is a beginner-friendly trading platform that offers access to US and Singapore markets.

Syfe Trading is very transparent with its fees. It charges zero platform fees, withdrawal fees and requires no minimum amount to start trading.

Syfe is currently running a promotion where traders are entitled to unlimited free trades for US stocks and ETFs for the first three months. Subsequently, traders will get two free trades a month, after which trades are a flat fee of US$1.49 per trade.

Syfe is especially beginner-friendly as it offers fractional share trading for US stocks. This means you do not have to buy a whole unit of stock if a stock is too expensive for you, but you still want exposure. For example, if you want to buy SPY, an S&P500 ETF, but do not have US$400 to spare every month to buy a whole unit of the ETF, you can buy just US$100 worth to get exposure to the market within your means.

Syfe Trading also offers access to Singapore markets. Their commission to trade Singapore stocks is a reasonable 0.06% of your traded value, with a minimum commission of S$1.98.

The major downside to Syfe trading is that it provides access to limited markets. You are not able to trade in the Hong Kong market or European markets through Syfe. This is a problem for those who are looking to diversify their portfolio by buying stocks from different international markets.

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Syfe Trading is more for beginner traders as it does not currently support margin trading or the short selling of stocks. In simple terms, margin trading is when you borrow money to make a trade. Only a small portion of your money is placed when making the trade as a form of collateral. You have to pay interest on said borrowed money.

US Market
  • First 3 months: Unlimited free trades
  • After 3 months: 2 free trades/month, then US$1.49 / trade
Platform, deposit/withdrawal fee US$0
Singapore Market
Commission 0.06% x traded value (min. S$1.98)
Platform Fee S$0

Commission Free Trading For US Stocks – Moomoo

Moomoo is best known for being the first brokerage in Singapore to offer zero commission fees at all times for US stocks and ETFs. The only cost to trade US stocks is the US$0.99 per trade platform fee. This is one of the lowest fees available on the market to trade US stocks and ETFs.

They also have competitive rates for trading in the Singapore and Hong Kong markets. The commission and platform fee for trading Singapore stocks are both 0.03%* trade value each. The commission and platform fee for trading Hong Kong stocks are 0.03%* trade value and HK$15, respectively.

One drawback ofMoomoo is that it does not offer fractional share trading. If you want exposure to a certain stock or ETF, you must buy into it with whole units. Hence, Moomoo is more suited for those with a larger amount of capital to trade and less so for people who are just dipping their feet into the trading world.

On the other hand, for more advanced traders, Moomoo does support margin trading. This interest rate ranges from 4.8% to 6.8% on Moomoo, depending on the currency you are borrowing.

US Market
Commission US$ 0
Platform Fee US$0.99 / Trade
Singapore Market
Commission 0.03% * Trade Value
Min. S$ 0.99/Order
Platform Fee 0.03% * Trade Value
Min. S$ 0.99/Order
Hong Kong Market
Commission 0.03% * Trade Value
Min. HK$ 3/Order
Platform Fee HK$15/Order
Margin Trading Lees (Long Margin rate)
US$ 4.8%
S$ 4.8%
HK$ 6.8%

Related: Best Online Brokerages and Trading Platforms in Singapore 2023

Low-Cost Platform With the Best Access to Global Markets — Tiger Brokers

Tiger Brokers is another giant presence amongst low-cost trading platforms in Singapore. Tiger Brokers offers the greatest access to global markets amongst the three platforms — namely, the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Australia.

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While Tiger Brokers does not offer commission-free trading, its fee structure is still relatively affordable. Both its commission and platform fees for trading US stocks are US$0.005 per share each. The commission and platform fee for trading Singapore and Hong Kong, and Chinese stocks are both 0.03%* trade value each. The commission and platform fee for trading Australian stocks are 0.03%* trade value and 0.07%* trade value, respectively.

Tiger Brokers offers a middle ground regarding trading options between Syfe Trading and Moomoo. Tiger Brokers has fractional shares trading for those who have a smaller amount of capital to trade. At the same time, Tiger Brokers also offers margin trading, for those looking to use leverage. The interest rates to borrow funds to margin trade range from 3.557% to 7.212%, depending on the amount and currency you want.

US Market
Commission US$ 0.005/Share
Min. US$ 0.99/Order
Max. 0.5%* Trade Value/Order
Platform Fee US$ 0.005/Share
Min. US$ 1/Order
Max. 0.5%* Trade Value/Order
Charges for Fractional Shares Trading Less than one share, Commission waived, Platform Fee is 1% of Trade Value, capped at US$1.
More than one share, regular commission and platform fees apply
Singapore Market
Commission 0.03%* Trade Value
Min. S$ 0.99/Order
Platform Fee 0.03%* Trade Value
Min. S$ 1/Order
Hong Kong Market
Commission 0.03%* Trade Value
Min. HK$ 7/Order
Platform Fee 0.03%* Trade Value
Min. HK$ 8/Order
China Market
Commission 0.03%* Trade Value
Min. CN¥ 7/Order
Platform Fee 0.03%* Trade Value
Min. CN¥ 8/Order
Australian Market
Commission 0.03%* Trade Value
Min. AU$ 2/Order
Platform Fee 0.07%* Trade Value
Min. AU$ 6/Order
Margin Trading Fees
US$ US$0 – US$2,000,000 4.8%
  • S$0 – S$150,000.00
  • S$150,000.01 – S$1,500,000
  • 4.389%
  • 3.889%
  • HK$0 – HK$780,000.00
  • HK$780,000.01 – HK$78,000,000.00
  • 5.508%
  • 5.008
  • CN¥‎0.00 – CN¥‎625,000.00
  • CN¥‎625,000.01 – CN¥‎6,250,000.00
  • 7.212%
  • 6.212%
  • AU$0.00 – AU$140,000.00
  • AU$140,000.01 – AU$1,400,000.00
  • 4.057%
  • 3.557%

Comparison: Which Platform Should You Choose?

trading stocks singapore
Source: Unsplash

Singapore Stocks, ETF and Reits

If you are only interested in trading Singapore stocks, the trading fees for Singapore equities are the same across all three platforms. While it may seem like commission rates for the Singapore market is more expensive at Syfe Trading than Moomoo and Tiger Brokers (commission of 0.06% of traded value for Syfe Trading vs 0.03% of traded value at Moomoo and Tiger Brokers), this is offset by the zero platform fees at Syfe Trading, compared to the 0.03% of traded value platform fees at both Moomoo and Tiger Brokers.

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US Stocks and ETFs

For those primarily looking to trade US equities, Syfe is a good option if you are not a daily stock trader. The monthly free trades for US equities plus the zero platform and withdrawal fees make Syfe Trading very attractive. If your investment strategy is to dollar-cost average into a couple of your favourite US stocks and ETFs, or you make two or fewer trades every month, you can essentially trade US stocks and ETFs on Syfe Trading for no cost!

On the other hand, while Moomoo does not have a cap on how many commission-free US trades you can make, it still has a platform fee of US$0.99 per trade for the US market. Hence, Moomoo is more suitable for those who make many trades every month, as their zero commission would offset their platform fees.

Access to Global Markets

The key standout feature of Tiger Brokers is its access to more markets than most other low-cost trading platforms. If you are a trader who is looking to diversify your portfolio across different global markets at a low cost, Tiger Brokers is the natural choice for you.

Different Levels of Trading

For traders with a smaller budget interested in fractional share trading, both Syfe Trading and Tiger brokers support fractional trading for US equities, while Moomoo does not.

For more advanced traders who are avid users of leverage, Syfe Trading does not support options trading or margin trading, while Moomoo and Tiger Brokers do. While both brokerages offer the same interest rate to trade on margin for US stocks, Tiger Brokers offers a lower interest rate to trade on margin for Singapore and Hong Kong stocks than Moomoo.

The above-mentioned trading platforms are all great options to get your trading journey started. If you are interested in exploring other alternatives, check out our round-up on the best online brokerages and trading platforms in Singapore.

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Cover image source: Unsplash

The article originally appeared on ValueChampion.

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