What Are Trading Platforms?

Trading platforms are online, third-party platforms for individuals to assess financial markets and build their investment portfolio. 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.

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 taking into consideration the commission and platform fees.

Cheapest trading platform: moomoo & Tiger Trade & Webull
Most user-friendly platform: moomoo & Tiger Trade
Best for wide range of stock exchanges: Interactive brokers (IBKR)
Best for widest range of products: POEMS
PlatformMarket AccessCommissions FeePlatform Fees
moomoo (by FUTU)Exchanges: US, Hong Kong, Singapore, China stocksProducts:– Stocks– ETFs– REITs– ADRs– Futures– OptionsSG stocks: 0.03% of transaction amount, min. S$0.99US stocks: USD$0.0049/share, min USD$0.99/orderHK stocks: 0.03% of investment amount, min HK$ 3/orderChina A-shares: 0.03% of transaction amount, min CNH$3/orderSG stocks: 0.03% of transaction amount, min. S$1.50US stocks: US$0.005/share, min US$1/orderHK stocks: HK$15/orderChina A-shares: CNH$15/order
Tiger TradeExchanges: US, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Australia stocksProducts:– Stocks– ETFs– REITs– DLCs– CBBCs– Mutual funds– Futures– OptionsSG stocks: 0.04% of trade valueUS stocks: USD$0.005/share, min USD$0.99/orderHK Stocks: 0.03% of trade value, min HK$7/orderChina A-shares: 0.03% of trade value, min CNH$7/orderAUS stocks: 0.03% of trade value, min AUS$2/order(External fees apply)SG stocks: 0.04% of trade valueUS stocks: US$0.005/share, min US$1/orderHK Stocks: 0.03% of trade value, Min HK$8/orderChina A-shares: 0.03% of trade value, min CNH$8/orderAUS stocks: 0.03% of trade value, min AUS$6/order
FSMOneExchanges: US, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Malaysia stocksProducts:– Stocks– ETFs– REITs– Mutual funds– Futures– Options– ForexSG stocks: Flat SGD$8.80US stocks: 0.08% or min USD$8.80HK stocks: 0.08% or min HK$50China A-shares: 0.08% or min CNH$40MY stocks: 0.08% or min MYR$8.80None
Interactive Brokers (IBKR)Exchanges: Present in 33 countries across North America, Europe and Asia PacificProducts:– Stocks– ETFs– Mutual Funds– Futures– Block desk– Forex (Spot Currencies)– US Spot Gold– Hedge Funds– CryptocurrenciesSG stocks: 0.08% of trade value, min SGD$2.50/ orderUS stocks: US$0.005 per share, min USD$1 /orderHK Stocks: 0.08% of trade value, min HK$18/OrderNone
POEMSExchanges: Present in 21 countries across North America, Europe and Asia PacificProducts:– Stocks– ETFs– SSFs– Mutual funds– Futures– DLCs– Block Desk– Gold– ForexCash Plus AccountSG stocks: 0.08% of trade valueUS stocks: USD$1.88 – USD$3.88HK stocks: 0.05%-0.08% of trade value, min HK$15-30Cash Management AccountSG stocks: 0.18%-0.28% of trade value, min SGD$25US stocks: 0.30% of trade value, min USD$20

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

WebullExchanges: Present in 2 countries, North America and Hong KongProducts:– Stocks– ETFs– OptionsStocks and ETFs: USD $0.00013 * Total Trade Volume (Min. USD $0.01, Max. USD $6.49 per Trade)Options trading fee: USD $0.00218 * No. of Contracts (Min. USD $0.01)  Options regulatory fee: USD $0.02915 * No. of ContractsOptions clearing fee: USD $0.02 * No. of Contracts (Max. USD 55 per Trade)None

All information is taken from their official websites and is accurate as of 19th June 2022

Ongoing Promotions

PlatformSign-up bonusOthersReferral
moomooSpin the wheel and get up to S$200 worth of stocksNANone
Tiger TradeGet 2.88 free stocks worth up to S$360 & 0-commission trades

NAReferrer: SGD88 Stock Vouchers + Scratch up to 10 Netflix shares

Referee: S$88 Stock Vouchers

*referee must have minimum $100 deposit

FSMOneNAFree market depth data for SGX-listed securities, including stocks and ETFs for new users and current Market Depth Data subscribers

Ends 30/06/22

Referrer: 1% sales charge token

Referee: 1.00% maximum sales charge for their unit trust purchase

Interactive Brokers (IBKR)Receive up to S$200 referral bonusNANA
WebullGet up to S$150 worth in trading vouchersNANA

All information is taken from their official websites and is accurate as of 21st Jan 2023

An alternative to trading is passive investing

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

Robo investing


Read our review on trading platforms

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. 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
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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