BEST TRADING PLATFORMS (UPDATED MAY 2024)

Content

What are trading platforms?

Trading platforms are online, third-party platforms for individuals to assess financial markets and build their investment portfolios. Through the platform, users can open, close, and manage their market positions.

From stocks to ETFs to forex, users can decide what they want to invest in to achieve their financial goals. Some factors to consider when choosing the right trading platform include fees involved, user-friendliness of the software, and international market access.

Price-to-earning ratio

Determines how investors and analysts gauge the value of a company and its shares, and is calculated by measuring the current share price while taking into account its earnings per share.

Robo investing

 

Choosing the right trading platform

With numerous options available, finding the most suitable trading platform can be overwhelming. Here are some important considerations when choosing an online brokerage:

1. Fees

There could be many layers of fees for each platform. Here are some common fees to look out for.

Commission fees: Typically charged for each transaction made.

Platform fees: Some brokerages charge a fee for using their platform, which can be based on the transaction amount or a minimum per order.

Account maintenance fees: Monthly or annual fees for maintaining an account.

Currency conversion fees: For converting currency if you trade international stocks.

Withdrawal fees: Costs for withdrawing funds from your brokerage account.

Understanding these fees is crucial as they can impact your overall returns. Different brokerages have varied fee structures, and the cost of trading stocks can differ significantly depending on the platform and the specific stock market involved. Look for brokerages that offer competitive rates and transparency in their fee structures.

2. User friendliness

Navigating the platform should be straightforward, especially for newbie investors. Browse through different brokerages to determine your preferred platform. Look for intuitive features such as clear labelling, organised menus, and helpful tutorials or tooltips.

Check if the platform is compatible with your mobile device or computer. Accessibility across different devices ensures you can manage your investments conveniently, whether you’re on the go or at your desk.

3. Research and analysis tools

Providing educational content and tools for visualising and tracking investments can greatly enhance the experience for both beginners and experienced. Some useful features include articles, video tutorials, investment calculators, portfolio tracking, watchlists and alerts.

These can help investors to make informed investment decisions, and manage their portfolios effectively, regardless of their level of experience.

4. Product offerings

Before investing, it’s essential to educate yourself on the aspects and risks associated with each product. While diversification is often recommended to mitigate risk, it’s important not to blindly invest in any product. Conduct thorough research to understand how each investment aligns with your risk tolerance and financial goals.

Different brokerages offer different investment products. Choose a brokerage that offers the types of assets you’re interested in and that align with your overall financial objectives. This ensures you can build a portfolio tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

If you are looking to invest into a certain country’s stocks, research for brokerages that offer access to the country’s stock market and compare their fee structures. Consider your trading habits, as frequent traders might prioritise lower transaction fees, while long-term investors might be more concerned with account maintenance and withdrawal fees.

Read more: Investment Portfolio Basics: What is it, and How to Build One?

Best for beginners: moomoo & Tiger Brokers
Lowest fees for SG and US stocks: moomoo & Tiger Brokers & Webull
Best for widest range of products: Interactive Brokers (IBKR)
For CPF/SRS investing: FSMOne and POEMS
Longest operational period in Singapore: POEMS
Most trading tools & resources: Interactive Brokers (IBKR)

Cost comparison

Platform and year launched in SingaporeMarket accessCommission feesPlatform feesTools for investors
moomoo (by FUTU)
Since 2021

Exchanges: US, Hong Kong, Singapore, China stocks, Japan Stocks

Products: Stocks, Options, ETFs, REITs, Futures, Funds

SG stocks: 0.03% of transaction amount, min. S$0.99/order

US stocks: USD$0

HK stocks: 0.03% of investment amount, min. HK$3/order

China A-shares: 0.03% of transaction amount, min CNH$3/order

Japan Stocks: 0.08% of transaction amount, min JPY$80/order

SG stocks: 0.03% of transaction amount, min. S$0.99/order

US stocks: USD$0.99/order

HK stocks: HK$15/order

China A-shares: CNH$15/order

Japan Stocks: JPY$180/order

Paper Trading

Simulator
Stock Analysis

Charts

Tiger Brokers
Since 2020

Exchanges: US, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Australia stocks

Products: Stocks, ETFs, REITs, Options, Warrants, Futures, Funds

SG stocks: 0.03% of trade value, min S$0.99/order

US stocks: USD$0.005/share, min USD$0.99/order

HK Stocks: 0.03% of trade value, min HK$7/order

China A-shares: 0.03% of trade value, min CNH$7/order

AUS stocks: 0.03% of trade value, min AUS$2/order

SG stocks: 0.03% of trade value, minS$1/order

US stocks: US$0.005/share, min USD$1/order

HK Stocks: 0.03% of trade value, min HK$8/order

China A-shares: 0.03% of trade value, min CNH$8/order

AUS stocks: 0.07% of trade value, min AUD$6/order

Articles

AI

Investing Assistant

FSMOne
Since 2000

Exchanges: US, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Malaysia, London stocks,

Products: Bonds, Funds, Stocks, ETFs

SG stocks: Flat S$8.80

US stocks: 0.08% or min USD$3.80

HK Stocks: 0.08% of trade value, min HK$50/order

China A-shares: 0.08% or min CNH$40

MY stocks: 0.08% or min MYR$8.80

London stocks: 0.15% or min GBP$15

None

Webinars

Tutorials

Articles

Interactive Brokers (IBKR)
Officially entered Singapore in 2020 although have been well-known and active in Singapore for many years before this

Exchanges: Present in 33 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific

Products: Stocks, ETFs, Options, Futures,, Contracts, Currencies, Metals, Bonds, Mutual Funds

SG stocks: 0.08% of trade value, min S$2.50/order

US stocks: USD$0.005/share, min USD$1 /order

HK stocks: 0.08% of trade value, min HK$18/Order

None

Paper Trading Simulator

Webinars

Articles

Podcasts

Lessons and Quizzes

POEMS
Since 1996

Exchanges: Present in 31 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific

Products: Stocks, ETFs, Unit Trust, Bonds

Cash Plus Account

SG stocks: 0.06%-0.08% of trade value

US stocks: USD$1.88 – USD$3.88

HK stocks: 0.05% – 0.08% of trade value, min HK$15 – HK$30

 

Cash Management Account

SG stocks: 0.18% – 0.28% of trade value, min S$25

US stocks: 0.30% of trade value, min USD$20

HK stocks: 0.25% of trade value, min HK$100

None

Seminars

Tutorials

Podcasts

Articles

WeBull
Since 2021

Exchanges: Present in 4 countries, North America, Singapore, China and Hong Kong

Products: Stocks, ETFs, Options

SG stocks: 0.025% x Total Trade Amount, min. S$0.80

US stocks:
Regular and Extended Hours (04:00 – 20:00 EST): 0.025%*Total Trade Amount, min. USD$0.50
Overnight Hours (20:00 – 04:00 EST): 0.03% *Total Trade Amount, min. USD$0.89

HK stocks: 0.03%*Total Trade Amount, min. HKD$12

China A-shares: 0.02%*Total Trade Amount, min. CNH$12 per trade

SG stocks: 0.025% x Total Trade Amount, min. SGD 0.80

None for US, Hong Kong, China A-share stocks

Articles

Paper Trading Simulator

Saxo Markets
Since 2006
Exchanges: Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Americas

Products: Stocks, ETFs, Crypto ETFs, Bonds, Mutual funds, CFDs, FX, commodities, options, futures

SG stocks: 0.03%-0.08%, minimum SGD$3/order

US stocks: 0.03%-0.08%, minimum USD$1/order

London stocks: 0.03%-0.08%, minimum GBP$3/order

HK stocks: 0.03%-0.08%, minimum HKD$15/order

China stocks: 0.03%-0.08%, minimum CNH$15/order

None

Podcasts

Videos

Webinars

All information is taken from their official websites and is accurate as of May 2024.

The Singapore government will levy a Goods and Services Tax (GST) on all the above fees at a rate of 9% with effect from 1 January 2024.

An alternative to trading is passive investing

Robo investing can be an alternative or a form of diversification for your investment portfolio.

Robo investing

 

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Should you use trading platforms?

Being a self-directed investor, trading platforms definitely require a lot of expertise and patience. However, it is a good venue to trade a variety of investment products. Other than trading platforms, there are also other alternatives including robo advisor funds or investing through a financial advisor.

Compared to robo-advisors, trading platforms are more do-it-yourself (DIY) and require more discretion and research. It is imperative that users understand the risks and make their investment decisions carefully as trading involves more monitoring due to the manual aspect of it.

However, investing in trading platforms allows for more flexibility in rebalancing portfolios and there is a better chance to outperform the market compared to robo-advisors, after considering the commission and platform fees.

While all of these methods have their pros and cons, it is good to follow a hybrid approach.

Method/FactorsTime & EffortMarket KnowledgeControl of portfolioCost
Trading PlatformsHighHighHighMedium
Robo-advisorsLowLowLowLow
Financial AdvisorLowLowLowHigh

Remember to ensure you have your bases covered with your emergency fund and insurance coverage in place first. Read more about the basics of personal finance.

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