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With online stock brokers, it’s now quicker, easier and cheaper than ever before for Singaporeans to buy and sell stocks. But that doesn’t mean it’s free.
You’ll still need to pay a brokerage fee whenever you place a trade to buy or sell stocks, so it’s worth your while to shop around for the online stock trading platform that offers the lowest brokerage fees.
But which online stock trading platforms offer the cheapest brokerage? Read on to find out.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
A brokerage fee (also called commission) is what your stockbroker charges for executing a buy or sell transaction. In other words, every time you buy or sell stocks through your online stock trading account, you’ll need to pay a specific amount to the broker for the privilege of using its services. This fee is based on the size or value of the trade, and could be a flat fee or an amount calculated as a percentage of the transaction value.
Brokerage fees are one of the largest expenses associated with online stock trading and can have a big impact on the affordability of your investments. If you’re a frequent trader and you’re paying a brokerage fee of $25 every time you buy or sell a parcel of stocks, this can quickly add up to a substantial amount and eat away at your trading profits.
That’s why it’s essential for anyone thinking of getting started in the stock market to compare brokerage fees charged by online stock trading platforms and shop around for the cheapest option.
Brokerage fees charged by different providers are far from identical, so it’s important to compare fees. For online stock trading platforms, brokerage can range from $0 to $25 per trade. With full-service brokers such as Morgans or Morgan Stanley, expect starting fees at around $80 per trade (usually charged as a percentage of the amount being traded).
Some providers have simple fee structures while others come with rather complex arrangements. Most of the time, the fee is based on the size or value of the trade, how often you trade and which country the stocks are listed in.
Different brokerage fees often also apply to phone trades and other unique trading options, so it’s worth reading the fine print to find out how much extra it’ll cost every time you make a trade.
Some stock trading platforms charge zero brokerage fees to trade US or global stocks. These apps include:
Although you don’t need to pay a commission, this doesn’t mean they’re free. Instead they charge a small foreign exchange fee to convert Singapore dollars to the required global currency, e.g. USD. So far, there are no apps offering zero brokerage for Singapore Exchange (SGX) stocks.
The table below features a guide to the brokerage fees charged by some of Singapore’s most well-known online stock trading providers when buying and selling stocks on the SGX. Compare those fees to find out which provider offers the cheapest stock brokerage.
|Broker||Minimum commission fee||Trade value|
$50,000 – $100,000
|LIM & TAN Securities|
|Maybank Kim Eng|
|Phillip Securities (POEMS)|
|UOB Kay Hian|
|Saxo Capital Markets|
|City Index (CFD only)|
|IG Share Trading (CFD only)|
|CMC Markets (CFD only)|
*Fees and rates indicated are accurate as of 5 February 2021.
The brokerage fees for stocks listed overseas can be more or less than what you’d pay for SGX-listed stocks depending on the country of choice and the platform you’re using. For US-listed stocks you can expect to pay anywhere between $0 – $60 dollars per trade. This can be higher again for countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
On top of the brokerage fee, you’ll typically need to pay a currency exchange fee (sometimes called FX fee) to convert your Singapore dollars into the foreign currencies. This is usually calculated into the exchange rate and is referred to as the ‘spread’ – it’s the difference between the base exchange rate and the rate you’re actually being offered. The higher the spread, the higher your fee.
Below are the fees for US and UK stocks offered by some of the most well-known global stock providers:
|Provider||US-listed stocks||UK-listed stocks||Conversion fee|
|IG Share Trading|
|Saxo Capital Markets Share Trading|
*Rates based on Saxo Market Classic account tier.
**Rates based on Interactive Brokers’ tiered pricing structure.
Note: Rates indicated in this table are accurate as of 5 February 2021.
From time to time, some online stock trading providers will offer special deals to help you save on brokerage fees or possibly avoid them altogether. For example, DBS Vickers is currently offering 20% commission rebate for all online trades without any cap (valid till 31 March 2021).
Other providers also offer brokerage fee rebates for frequent traders. For example, if an account holder makes more than a specified number of trades per month, such as 30, all the brokerage fees payable for those trades may be refunded to their trading account at the end of the month.
Such offers can help you improve your bottom line when trading stocks online, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for any brokerage deals and discounts.
While brokerage fees are the major cost you need to consider when comparing stock trading platforms, you should also be aware that other fees may apply. For example, you may need to pay a monthly fee to become a premium member of a stock trading platform. This could allow you to access live market data, the latest market news and analysis or stock research and recommendations.
Other common fees include:
Make sure t0 read the terms and conditions of an online stockbroking platform to find out what those ongoing fees are and how they will affect you.
As well as brokerage fees, there are several other features you should compare when choosing an online stock trading platform, including:
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