Which Investment Brokerage in Singapore is Best? Here’s How to Decide

So you’ve read up enough about how to start investing. You’ve triple-checked your emergency fund. You’re finally ready to rake it in on the stock market! Now what?

The next step is to pick an investment brokerage which allows you to buy your first shares. Easier said than done, though. From bank brokerages like DBS Vickers and UOB KayHian, to independent brokerages like Saxo Markets and Interactive Brokers, the sheer number of brokerages to choose from can be overwhelming.

So how do you decide which investment brokerage is best for you?

Here are 3 main factors you need to look out for when choosing the best brokerage firm for you:

Commission fees: How much it costs to buy or sell your investments
Account type: Whether it’s a CDP or custodian account
Trading platform:How user-friendly the brokerage is


1. Investment brokerage commission fees

Investment brokerage firms charge a commission fee for every transaction on the stock market. When you buy shares, you get charged. When you sell shares, you also get charged.

There are two parts to the commission: The fee itself (a percentage of your transaction) and the minimum fee (a dollar amount). Here’s an example:

You’re buying $3,000 worth of Singtel shares
The brokerage charges 0.1% commission, with a minimum fee of $10
You end up paying $10 (the minimum fee) instead of $3 (0.1% of $3,000) on your shares
If/when you sell your shares, you pay another $10

If you’re the kind of investor to just park a big lump sum for decades, commission fees won’t make much of a difference to you. But if you invest frequently, expect to be charged commission fees multiple times. So it’s important to pick a brokerage that charges affordable rates.

You can compare online investment brokerages on our brokerage comparison page.

It’s also important to take note that a brokerage usually charges different rates for shares in different markets, such as US stocks and Singapore stocks.

Right now, the cheapest investment brokerages on the market for Singapore stocks are moomoo and Tiger Brokers. These brokerages charge a 0.03% commission with a S$0.99 minimum commission fee.

Online Promo
Low commission fees
Min. Commission Fee US StocksUS$0
Min. Commission Fee SG StocksS$0.99
Min. Funding$0
Online Promo:
Receive up to S$208 when you sign up & fund your new Moomoo Futu account! 

Valid until 31 May 2023

Key Features

First online broker to offer zero commission for US stocks forever*

Trade stocks , ETFs, options, funds, futures and more

Over 100 drawing tools and indicators

Analyse stocks in one look with in-app stock screeners

Capture opportunities within sectors with in-app heat map tool

24 hour online customer support on trading days

Regulated by MAS and is the first digital brokerage to receive full SGX memberships.

See all details 

Min. Commission Fee US Stocks

Unlimited commission-free trade for US stocks in 180 days, platform fees apply


Min. Commission Fee SG Stocks

Unlimited commission-free trade for HK, Singapore and China A stocks in 365 days, platform fees apply

0.03% of Trade Value*

Min. Funding$0

Key Features

Seamless access to global markets including US, SG, HK, AU and China

US Fractional Shares trading available

Exclusive products such as Fund Mall, Maturity Bond, Tiger Vault, and more

Free and interactive educational materials, videos and features to embark on your investment journey with millions of traders in Tiger Community

Help desk assistance available 24/5 for any immediate customer service issues

See all details 

SAXO‘s commission fee is also at 0.03% with a $1 minimum fee, but only for their Diamond tier membership.

Flexible pricing plans
Min. Commission Fee SG StocksS$1
Stock Holding TypeCustodian
Min. FundingS$0

Singapore Stocks Features

Singaporean, PRs and SG Incorporated Entities are not charged any custody fees for accessing SGX stocks

Offers some of the most competitive rates in Singapore for buying and selling SG stocks

Suitable for both day traders and long term investors alike

User friendly investment brokerage platform that offers best in class trading experience on desktop, mobile, and tablet

See all details 

The commission fees at independent brokerages like the ones above are super cheap compared to bank brokerages. For example, DBS Vickers charge 0.18-0.28% per trade, subject to a minimum of $27.

2. CDP account vs custodian account

Wondering whether to go for POEMS or SAXO? Well, one of the key differences is the “Stock Holding Type” or the type of account they use for Singapore stocks (if you’re eyeing US stocks, you’ll need a custodian account for sure).

POEMS has a Central Depository Account (CDP account), while SAXO’s is a custodian account. What’s the difference?

CDP account: Stocks are held under your name, in your own personal CDP account. You have full shareholder rights such as attending AGMs (annual general meetings). If the brokerage goes bankrupt, your ownership of the shares will not be affected. On the downside, CDP accounts generally charge higher fees.
Custodian account: The brokerage owns the stocks on your behalf, so the stocks are technically not in your name. Sounds risky, but MAS regulates the financial industry very tightly in Singapore, and most brokerages keep custodian accounts separate so that they will not be affected financially. One of the biggest plus sides to custodian accounts is that they generally charge lower fees.

If a CDP account appeals to you more, the big name brokerages typically offer them:

Min. Commission Fee SG StocksS$18
Stock Holding TypeCDP
Min. FundingS$0

Singapore Stocks Features

Invest in SGX stocks over UTRADE Web and Mobile.

Monitor top SGX stocks and create watchlists of the stocks you want to track.

See all details 

Min. Commission Fee SG StocksS$25
Stock Holding TypeCDP
Min. FundingS$0

Singapore Stocks Features

Invest in SGX stocks from an array of instruments including common stocks, REITS, ETFs, IPOs and secondary placements for potential capital gain and/or dividend payouts.

Fast execution of trades through multiple channels. Choose to trade online or call your Trading Representative.

See all details 

Min. Commission Fee SG Stocks0.08%
Stock Holding TypeCustodian
Min. FundingS$0

Singapore Stocks Features

Commission fee: Trade SGX shares from 0.12% for starter accounts, 0.10% for premier accounts, and 0.08% for privilege accounts

Offers CDP linked account, Cash Management Account, and Margin Account for stock and bond financing at 3.08% p.a.

Submit, amend and withdraw trades in just a single click using OB Trader, available exclusively on POEMS Mercury

See all details 

Min. Commission Fee SG StocksS$25
Stock Holding TypeCDP
Min. FundingS$0

Singapore Stocks Features

Invest in SG Stocks in the form of ETFs, REITs and Bonds using OCBC Securities Online trading platform called iOCBC

Create customized watch-list of your favorite SG Stocks and receive automated trade alerts on your smartphone

Leverage an extensive database of research reports and market information to make the best investment decisions

A standard clearing fee imposed by CDP and SGX trading fee will be charged for all SG Stock transactions

See all details 

Min. Commission Fee SG StocksS$25
Stock Holding TypeCDP
Min. FundingS$0

Singapore Stocks Features

Invest in your choice of shares and stocks in SGX and 13 other stock markets in Asia Pacific.

With Margin Financing, boost investment power up to 3.5 times to enable you to leverage on the bullish market for more potential capital gains.

Receive extensive research coverage reports on over 800 stocks in the region, ranging from small-to-mid-cap companies to blue-chip stocks, covered by more than 70 analysts based in 8 countries in Asia from CGS-CIMB, to keep you abreast of the opportunities in the various stock markets.

Trade on award-winning CGS-CIMB iTrade platform, which is available in mobile, web and Pro versions to facilitate your analysis into the fundamental, technical and risk aspects of the stocks. Features include built-in trading tools screen for potential trading opportunities with informed trading decisions.

See all details 


3. Investment trading platform

Finally, you’d want to check out the investment brokerage’s online trading platform—either a website and/or mobile apps. These let you check stock prices and invest on the go.

Naturally, you would want to pick an investment broker with an accessible, user-friendly, and non-buggy online trading platform. If you can’t invest online with ease, then what is even the point? Might as well join the queue at Phillip Capital.

So before you commit to a specific investment broker, make sure you test out their platform to see if it’s something you’d be happy using time and time again.

If it’s buggy, doesn’t display the right information, and doesn’t have the tools that you need—forget it, there are other fish in the sea.

In case you need it: Here’s how to open a CDP Account

If you have decided on an investment brokerage that lets you own stocks via CDP, then you’ll need to set up a CDP securities account.

To be eligible to open an account, you need to be at least 18 years old and not an un-discharged bankrupt. You then have 2 options to open your account

Open your CDP account directly with The Central Depository—it’s a very straightforward process
Create a sub-account with a “Depository Agent”—that’s a stockbroking firm, trust company or bank nominee.

Basically, while you can deal with as many different brokerage firms as you want, you only need to open one CDP securities account to deposit all the stocks you’ve bought.

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Bonus: Best investment brokerages for US stocks

Apart from letting you buy and sell shares on SGX, all the investment brokerages we talked about also extend the same services in major overseas stock exchanges.

Commission fees and minimums are different for each stock market, and you can totally use one investment brokerage for SG stocks and an entirely different investment brokerage for US stocks.

Here are the cheapest brokerages for US stocks:

Min. Commission Fee US StocksUS$1
Min. Commission Fee SG Stocks$2.50
Min. Funding$0

Key Features

Rated Lowest Margin Fees by StockBrokers.com.

SGD Margin rates as low as 3.923% (BM + 1.5%)

Offers one of the most competitive commission rates of US$1 on ETF trading

Gain access to over 3,000 global ETFs from 30+ exchanges worldwide including US, SG, HK, AU, and JP stock exchanges

Leverage an extensive repository of educational videos and online courses to learn how to invest in ETFs

See all details 

Commission Fee US StocksUS$0
Stock Holding TypeCustodian
Min. FundingUS$3,500

US Stocks Features

US$0 commission fee when trading online stock US markets

US$0.70 per contract for options. No ticket charge, exercise, or assignment fee

US$7.44 commission fee for online trades of OTC stocks

All orders routed fast and transacted on US exchanges via executing broker TD Ameritrade

Offers one of the most extensive educational content for beginner investors

Note that Singapore residents will need to pay 30% withholding tax on any dividend income earned while trading US stocks

See all details 

Online Promo
No hidden fees
Min. Commission Fee for US Stocks
Introductory offer: 5 free trades a month, US$0.99 after.
Post-introductory offer: 2 free trades a month, US$1.49 after


Stock Holding TypeCustodian
Min. FundingUS$0
Online Promo:
Fund more to earn up to S$200 cash credits! Choose between MSTRADE or TRADE40 according to your needs

Valid until 31 Mar 2023

Key Features

The only platform to offer free monthly trades and competitive fees thereafter. All new users will enjoy an introductory offer of 5 free trades per month and US$0.99 per trade after (for the first 3 months). Post-introductory offer, 2 free trades per month and US$1.49 per trade after

Fractional trading: Investors can own their favourite companies with as little as $1, regardless of the share price

Simple and easy to use interface

Buy and sell over 10,000 US stocks and ETFs

Real-time stock quotes

See all details 

Flexible pricing plans
Min. Commission Fee US StocksUS$1
Stock Holding TypeCustodian
Min. FundingS$0

US Stocks Features

Access to USD stocks from leading US exchanges including NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, BATS Global Markets, OTC Markets Group (Pink Sheets), OTC Bulletin Board and more

Trade US stocks with SaxoTraderGO on your PC, MAC, tablet, or smartphone

Benefit from extensive charting with 50+ technical indicators, integrated trade signals and innovative risk management tools

See all details 

If you’re trading in overseas stock markets, the whole CDP vs custodian account thing doesn’t matter. The Central Depository is only for trades on SGX, and is not an option for overseas stocks. So custodian accounts are the only option.

In addition to these commission fees, be aware of additional fees and taxes which vary from market to market. For more on that, read our guide to buying US stocks.

Good luck! Share this article with anyone who wants to start investing.

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