Singaporeans looking for the best online trading platform have a variety of options. In this list we go over the best online brokers in Singapore for 2021. Our analysis is based on a variety of factors. Account opening, ease of use, fees and commissions, firm regulation, available financial instruments and more. Let's get into our guide.
Best Online Trading Platforms Singapore 2021
Here are our top pick for the best online brokerages in Singapore for 2021.
- Interactive Brokers – Best Trading Platform Overall – 4.9/5 – Visit Interactive Brokers >>
- Plus500 – Great for Active Traders – 4.9/5 – Open Account
- IQ Option – Great for Binary Options – 4.8/5 – Open Free Account
- AvaTrade – Best Web Trading Platform Singapore – 4.8/5 – Open Free Account
- Saxo Markets – Best for Premium Traders – 4.6/5
- City Index – Best for Experienced Traders – 4.5/5
- TD Ameritrade – Best for US Stocks – 4.4/5
- Phillip Capital – Best Local Singapore Platform – 4.2/5
*CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Browsing through all the options is time-consuming. To help you with this process, we analyzed the top brokers. We base our guide on a variety of standardized factors.
1. Interactive Brokers Singapore – Best Online Trading Platform in SG Overall
Interactive Brokers (IBKR), founded in 1977, is a large discount broker. Regulated by the US SEC and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), it is a safe trading platform. This company is one of the best platforms in Singapore for day traders. Interactive Brokers has great technical analysis tools and competitive fees.
Mobile App: 4.8/5
Min. Deposit: $0
Best For: Wide Range Of Markets and Financial Products
Plus500, founded in 2008, is a global CFD and currency broker. The company is listed on the LSE (London Stock Exchange). Plus500 specializes in CFDs and is a one of the best in this category. Their platform is great for intermediate to advanced traders.
Mobile App: 4.9/5
Min. Deposit: $100
Great For: Active Traders Looking to Trade CFDs
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
3. IQ Option – Runner Up
IQ Option, founded in 2013 is regulated by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission. They offer a web platform and mobile app. IQ Option is a popular broker and has more than 7,000,000 registered users. They offer Forex, digital options, binary options, and CFDs.
Mobile App: 4.8/5
Min. Deposit: $10
Best For: Easy to Use Platform with Great Functionality
4. AvaTrade – Great for Forex and CFD Trading
AvaTrade is regulated by top tier financial authorities. It is a safe broker with award winning support and a variety of tradable assets. It is best for currency trading and CFD day trading.
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Mobile App: 4.9/5
Min. Deposit: $100
Best For: Forex and CFDs
5. Saxo Markets
Saxo Capital Markets is an online brokerage firm. It is backed by a Danish investment bank called Saxo Bank that was founded in 1992.Saxo Markets is popular among experienced investors. Their services are exclusive and expensive, compared to other brokerage firms.
Mobile App: 4.8/5
Min. Deposit: $3,000
Best For: Sophisticated Clients
6. City Index
Backed by GAIN capital, City Index is a safe broker. They offer a great platform, research tools and low fees.
Mobile App: 4.6/5
Min. Deposit: $0
Great For: CFDs and Research Tools
7. TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade is a US-based broker that offers a wide portfolio of financial instruments. The potential acquisition of this platform by Charles Schwab makes it an interesting choice. Its portfolio, research tools, and other interesting features may be enhanced by Schwab’s extensive knowledge base and educational assets.
Mobile App: 4.7/5
Min. Deposit: $3,500
Great For: US Stocks
7. Phillip Capital
Phillip Capital is a stock broker with more than 45 years of positive track record in the financial industry. They operate in 15 different countries. The company has over 1 million customers around the world. Their custodian account exceeds $35 billion from investors including high net worth individuals, hedge funds, companies, and family offices.
Mobile App: 4.5/5
Min. Deposit: Varies
Great For: Local Broker
Best Trading App Singapore
eToro is the best Trading App in Singapore. Their App is intuitive and easy to use and offers a great variety of investment options. eToro app is great for stocks, Forex, Crypto, Commodities, Indices, ETF and options. Read full review of eToro.
Mobile App: 4.9/5
Min. Deposit: $200
Best For: Copy Trading, 0% Commissions on US Stocks, Regulation, Mobile App
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- DBS Vickers – This company is one of the largest financial groups in Asia, a subsidiary of DBS bank. DBS Vickers won multiple awards and offers access to both local and international markets. They offer both securities and derivatives brokerage services for retail and institutional clients. DBS offers different types of accounts: cash accounts (online), cash upfront, young investor, CPF funds, SRS funds. DBS Vickers has offices in New York, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Jakarta. DBS Vickers is good for trading Singapore stocks.
- Tiger Brokers – founded in 2014, Tiger Brokers are an brokerage firm regulated by MAS in Singapore.
Singapore is a major financial center in the Asian continent. This has attracted the interest of the world’s leading investment banks and brokerage houses.
By encouraging foreign investments through business-friendly policies, Singapore has managed to become one of the top economies. Billions of dollars in fresh capital pours into the country every year. It is serving as a major hub for multinationals looking to establish themselves in the Asian continent. The Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) is the primary stock exchange in the country. The estimated market capitalization is $800 billion. This is moving a volume of 30 billion shares per month valued at around $29 billion.
How to pick the best trading platform Singapore?
There are a few variables you should take into account.
- Available markets and securities – your platform should allow you to trade the securities you plan to focus on. There are certain platforms that specialize in providing a wide range of CFDs, while others focus on stocks, bonds, or ETFs. You should know which markets and securities you will have access to before you sign up.
- Margin accounts – margin accounts are useful for leveraged trades, which means you will use an fraction of the asset value, the rest is borrowed. Each platform has its own rules and limits for leveraged transactions and they often express how much leverage you can use through a ratio such as 33:1 or 10:1. This means that you can borrow $30 or $10 per each $1 you commit to that particular trade respectively.
- Customer support – even though the platforms on this list operate smoothly most of the time, if you ever find an issue while conducting your trades you definitely want to count on the best customer service possible to solve the matter as quickly as you can.
- Costs – this is a major variable to watch out for before you sign up. Each firm has its own fees depending on the securities you buy and sell.
- Research tools – trading ideas don’t usually come out of nowhere. Having a brokerage that is constantly pushing valuable information in your direction helps you in coming up with new trade ideas every day. It is important to stay on top of market movements and adjust your strategy.
- Investor Education & training materials – nobody was born as a successful trader. Those who have achieved a certain degree of success investing in the financial markets are constantly learning about economics, businesses, and trading itself. Your web platform should be able to help by offering educational and training materials to guide you in your investment journey to become a successful investor.
- Types of orders – traders understand the importance of having a set of different types of orders they can use to limit losses and to strengthen their exit strategies. While limit and stop-loss orders are the most common, some firms allow you to place guaranteed stop-loss orders which are useful.
- Security – your personal information and money are vital for you and they should be protected. As part of your assessment you should do some research to find out if they have ever dealt with data breaches or if accounts have mysteriously lost money due to unauthorized access of third parties. Some have insurance policies for clients funds.
- Interface and ease of use – the place where you’ll spend most of your time as a trader is your computer screen. The user interface of your platform should be user friendly. This will help you browse through charting tools, financials, and other relevant information without overwhelming you.
- Extra features – brokerage firms in Singapore have their own way to serve their clients by introducing extra features that are valuable to investors such as drawing tools, technical indicators, VIP services, and premium research materials, among other things.
What kind of financial instruments can you trade through brokerage accounts?
The largest and popular brokerages offer wide range of financial assets and investment products:
- Stocks listed in the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) and other exchanges, including US stocks.
- Bonds, including corporate bonds, government bonds, and sovereign bonds.
- Preferred shares and other similar fixed-income instruments.
- Derivatives (futures, options, warrants).
- Contracts for Difference (CFDs).
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
- Mutual funds.
- Foreign currencies.
Some offer asset management services like managed portfolios, wealth management solutions and advisory services.
Cash Upfront Trading Accounts
Some banks and stock market brokerages offer cash upfront trading (CUT) pre-funded accounts. These have lower fees.
CUT accounts require traders to pre-fund their accounts before they can purchase stocks. The amount deposited is the buying power you have on the markets. This cash upfront account has lower commissions on trades. If you are investing more, these are worth considering.
Types of orders
Brokers offer different order types on their platforms. Common orders are: market order, limit order and stop-loss order.
What kind of fees will you be paying to trade different securities?
Trading fees vary from one firm to the other. Fees change depending on the securities you buy and sell. Stock market trades for example tend to pay a flat fee per transaction. Bond trades may be carried out with 0 fees, as the broker earns from the bid/ask spread. Forex fees are expressed in a certain amount of ‘pips’. This is one unit of the smallest decimal place in the value of the currency pair. Fees vary depending on the type of account you open – ie. VIP vs. Standard or Classic accounts. Some charge account maintenance fee. Most state the minimum commission fee per trade in their advertisements. The actual commission could vary depending on the size of the trade, the liquidity of the security, and some other technical variables.
For CDP accounts, there is a small fee of 0.0325% of the contract value.
Regulation in Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is the regulatory body in charge of overseeing active brokers in Singapore. They do this through a set of regulations, licensing requirements, and other rules that promote transparency within the country’s financial markets.
Some may not be registered by the MAS. Some brokers in this list are registered with at least one tier-1 regulatory body such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom.
How to start trading?
The first step to start trading is to open an account with the firm. In some cases, these firms allow investors to open it without a minimum deposit. Some require a small deposit of S$100 or S$200 to start. Most conduct an identity verification process. This is done by requesting legal documents that confirm your personal information. These usually include, a national ID card, passport, or utility bill.
Once this step is completed you can start trading.
There were 715 securities listed in the SGX by the end of April 2020 including shares of companies in Singapore (463), China (84), and other parts of the world (168).
The following list should guide you in the process of picking the best brokerage account in Singapore. There are many options available. Not every platform is suitable for your individual needs. You can sign up for a demo account before deciding on a cash account. You can test the platform, its features, the research tools available, and other interesting characteristics that could be valuable before you make a decision on who you go with.
You can visit the website of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to get more information. You can rest assured that they are credible institutions. These brokers are regulated by either the MAS or other regulatory authority in the world.
Our top picks for the best Investment Platform in Singapore are:
- Interactive Brokers. Wide range of financial products. Credit and debit card not available. –
- Plus 500 – Great platform and fees for US and SGX stocks. Great for CFDs.
- IQ Option comes in close second. Wide range of instruments. Won multiple awards.
- AvaTrade comes in number three. Wide variety of products. Regulated by top-tier financial authorities.
- Saxo Capital Markets at number four. Impressive portfolio of CFDs. Trades can only be made through CFDs.
- City Index. Their platform is somewhat complex.
- TD Ameritrade. Fixed stock trading fees for US stocks and good customer support. Minimum deposit is $3,500.
- Phillip Capital. Great local online broker. Pre-paid account stocks are held in custodian accounts.