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POEMS: Phillip Securities Review

Trade over 40,000 financial products from local and abroad on Singapore's pioneer online broker.

Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

Phillip’s Online Electronic Mart System (POEMS) is Singapore’s first online broker for stock trading. Established by Phillip Securities Pte Ltd in 1996, the platform has since evolved to better cater and fulfil the investment needs of both local and foreign traders alike.

Through advanced technology, POEMS offer various types of accounts, sophisticated trading platforms and analytic tools to help traders access multiple financial products across 26 global markets.

Quick take

Good for
  • Reputation – Pioneer online share trading platform in Singapore
  • Award-wining and user-friendly trading platforms
  • Up-to-date news, research and live prices
Not so great for
  • Average customer support
  • High brokerage fees and commission

What investments do POEMS offer?

You can trade the following investments through POEMS:

  • Stocks and shares. Trade shares across SGX and global stock exchanges ASX, HKEX, NYSE, NASDAQ, SSE, LSE and more. Check their website for the full list of exchanges.
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Invest in a diversified portfolio of securities from a range of asset classes and markets from over 3,000 globally listed ETFs.
  • Warrants. A derivative that gives holders the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a security from the issuer at a certain price before expiration.
  • Daily leverage certificates (DLCs). A structured financial instrument that provides investors with the potential to gain fixed leverage of 3 to 7 times the daily performance of the underlying index. DLCs are high-risk financial products that offer the flexibility to trade on rising and falling markets.
  • Unit trusts. Also known as Mutual Funds, a unit trust is a form of collective investment which pools investor’s money into a single fund. The fund is managed by qualified professionals and used to invest in assets such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments, a combination of these investments or even other funds.
  • Contracts For difference (CFDs). The contractual agreement between two parties to settle the difference between opening and closing price. CFDs allow customers to participate in the price movement of an underlying product without actually owning the asset, which can be a stock, an index, a commodity or more.
  • Regular savings plan. The Regular Savings Plan helps build up your portfolio over time by adopting the dollar-cost averaging concept, managing market risk and investing a fixed amount regularly.
  • Securities Financing. A loan facility that allows you to purchase more than your original equity (up to 70% financing) when you pledge cash or securities with POEMS.
  • Bonds. Invest in over 70 counterparties across the world in 9 different currencies. Bonds are debt investments, issued to investors in return for lending their money to the issuer, which is typically corporate or government.
  • Forex/Futures. Access a large selection of global futures, options, currency, commodity and precious metal products across 21 global exchanges.
  • Insurance. Protect yourself and your loved ones with a range of products from Philip Insurance’ partners, with the opportunity to receive a sum of money upon policy maturity.
  • Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS). SRS is a voluntary government scheme offering tax benefits as an incentive to save and invest for retirement. Gain the potential to achieve more by investing your SRS funds with PhillipCapital’s broad range of financial products.
  • Managed Account Services. Personalised and individually managed investment portfolios customised to the specific risks, goals, and needs of the investor.
  • IPO. A unique financing scheme that allows investors to apply for more Singapore Initial Public Offering (IPO) stocks with only a 20% minimum down payment.

Who is POEMS best for?

POEMS is designed for active and advanced traders who are sufficiently savvy to navigate and utilise the integrated investment tools on its platform. It is best suited for experienced traders looking to trade in higher volumes and gain higher control over their trading activity.

How easy it is to use?

As the pioneer in online stock trading in Singapore, POEMS offers a suite of sophisticated yet user-friendly trading platforms catering to specific trading and investment needs:

  • POEMS 2.0. A multi-asset platform that facilitates trading on desktop web browsers (PCs/Mac) and mobile browsers.
  • POEMS Mobile 2.0. A multi-asset mobile trading platform available on smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android).
  • POEMS Mercury. An application-based advanced trading platform that operates on Windows PC and laptop.

These are the main features available on all POEMS trading platforms:

What research does it provide?

Philips Securities offer has various resources and educational tools to help customers broaden their investment knowledge such as seminars, video tutorials, courses and webinars. You may also sign up for a free demo account and try your hands trading on POEMS, completely risk-free.

Types of accounts offered by POEMS

POEMS offers two account types – Cash Plus Account and Cash Management Account:

Account TypeKey Features
Cash Plus Account
  • Low brokerage rates (based on the account’s asset value level – Starter, Premier, Privileged)
  • Trade in over 11 markets
  • 0% Unit Trust sales charge
  • No custody fee
  • Multi-currency facility: Settle trades with 10 different currencies
  • Financing available in 9 currencies
  • Complimentary live prices for US, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia
  • Fund cash or securities prior to trading
  • Trade up to 3.5x cash deposit
  • Stand-by margin facility of S$50,000
  • Manage your idle cash into money market fund.

For more details, please refer to the POEMS Cash Plus Account Infosheet (online).

Cash Management Account
  • Link to CDP: consolidation of all funds for investment in one account on POEMS
    • Contra
    • 0% Unit Trust sales charge
  • Hassle-free trade settlement
  • Manage your idle cash into money market fund.
  • Multi-currency facility: Settle trades with 10 different currencies
  • Auto adjustment of trading limit
  • Online transactional records

For more details, please refer to the POEMS Cash Management Account Infosheet (online).

When signing up for your account, you have a choice of the adding on the following account facilities:

  • rading online through POEMS platforms (POEMS 2.0, POEMS Mercury, POEMS Mobile 2.0) or through your trading representative.
  • 1.1817% SGD p.a. / 1.6080% USD p.a.
  • Securities borrowing and lending (SBL). Gain greater liquidity with SBL, a temporary loan of securities between you and POEMS. If you expect the price of a stock to fall and wish to hold a short position for a longer duration, you may borrow the stock from POEMS by paying a lending fee.
  • Access global equities, indices and commodities and participate in either bull or bear markets. You’ll also have the option to short the market with no contract expiry date.

Pricing and fees

You’ll pay varying brokerage fees when you trade financial products through the POEMS online/mobile platform or broker-assisted trades.

Here are POEMS’ brokerage fees for trading on SGX:

Online/MobileBroker-assisted
Cash Plus accountOther accountsAll accounts
Minimum commissionFrom S$8S$25S$40
S$50,000 and below0.08%0.28%0.50%
Above S$50,000 – S$100,0000.08%0.22%0.40%
Above S$100,0000.08%0.18%0.25%

Fees are accurate at the time of writing (11 May 2020).

Other transaction charges such as a CDP imposed clearing fee (0.0325%) and SGX trading fee (0.0075%) will be applied on the gross contract amount. There’s also an SGX Settlement Instruction (SI) Fee of $0.35 per settlement.

If you wish to check out the detailed fees and charges for international markets, please refer to the POEMS fee schedule on their website.

Is it safe to trade with POEMS?

Yes, Phillip Securities Pte Ltd (PSPL) is regulated by The Monetary Authority of Singapore.

How do POEMS keep my money safe?

Since PSPL is regulated by MAS, it is mandatory to comply to the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and Securities and Futures Regulations (SFR), which requires the company to hold clients’ funds in segregated accounts separated from the company’s. This way, your monies will be completely safeguarded and protected in the unlikely event that PSPL becomes insolvent.

Customer reviews and complaints

Most users of POEMS who left positive feedback are pleased with both the quality of the platform and its trading process. However, a handful of users have complained about POEMS’ low standards for customer service, as well as application crashes.

Pros and cons

Advantages

  • International markets. Trade over 40,000 local and overseas assets from 26 global exchanges on a single platform.
  • Market insights. Gain invaluable market knowledge from POEMS Insights and Education before making a trade.
  • Access advanced tools. Take advantage of PORMS technical indicators and tools to tracks and navigate market movement.
  • Convenience. Conduct a trade anytime, anywhere with POEMS’ desktop trading platform or POEMS 2.0 mobile app.

Disadvantages

  • Average customer support. There are mixed reviews online regarding POEMS’ customer service. Bear this in mind if you wish to trade with POEMS.
  • Brokerage fees are higher than the market average. POEMS’ platform fee (minimum $25) and commission (0.28%) are amongst the highest in Singapore.

How do I apply for a POEMS account?

You can apply online for a POEMS account if you’re over 18 and you’re a Singaporean/PR, Malaysian or foreigner with a valid work visa. Do note that US citizens or residents, or any bankrupt individuals will not be eligible to apply.

To apply, head to the POEMS website and click on the ‘Open An Account’ button to initiate the sign-up process.

  • Applying with MyInfo. Singapore citizens or residents with a SingPass account may apply with MyInfo to pre-fill the application form. Applying through MyInfo will only take around 5 to 10 minutes and you’ll be able to receive your account number immediately. Depending on the approval and clearance by the proper authorities, your account will be activated for trading within 2 working days.
  • Non-MyInfo verification signups. If you don’t have a SingPass account or prefer to fill in the application manually, the signup process will take approximately 10 to 20 minutes and it’ll take 2 working days after bill payment verification is received to activate your new POEMS account.

Central Depository (CDP) Account

To start investing in the Singapore securities market, you’ll need to open a Central Depository (CDP) account. If you do not have an existing CDP account, you can sign up for CDP account while applying for your POEMS account.

Required documents

  • Identity verification:
    • Singaporean/PR: Front and back photocopy of your NRIC
    • Malaysian: Front and back photocopy of your Malaysian IC
    • Other nationality: Passport with at least 6 months validity
  • Bank account information:
    • Bank Account Details (DBS/POSB/OCBC/UOB/Maybank); OR
    • Telegraphic Transfer Details (TT bank name, account number and currency details)
  • Proof of residence (dated within the last 3 months):
    • Telephone bills/utility bills/bank statement
    • Statement from any financial institutions in your country; OR
    • Correspondence from any government bodies in Singapore or your home country

    How do I contact POEMS support?

    If you have any enquiries, you may reach Philips Securities directly through the following contact details:

    • General hotline: +65 6531 1555 (Monday to Friday, 8.45am to 5.30pm)
    • Live chat: Available 24/7 on POEMS website
    • Email: talktophillip@phillip.com.sg
    • Trade execution (EUR/US/CA markets only): +65 6531 1225

    If you prefer a full consultation and assessment of your financial portfolio, Philips Securities has branches conveniently located islandwide for walk-in consultations.

    Bottom line

    Overall, POEMS is well equipped with analytics and investment tools. However, if you’re a first-time investor looking to purchase a small handful of stocks for long-term holding, you might want to look elsewhere, as its platform is complicated and might be overwhelming to beginners.

    Its range of trading platforms may be free to use (unless you’ve executed a trade), but if you’re looking for an online broker with the lowest fees, you may want to look somewhere else.

    Frequently Asked Questions

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    Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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