How to buy SGX stocks and the charges involved

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This is a common question that is asked by every new investors out there. So when my friends started asking this question, I am really happy because that means they are heading towards the right direction: Investing for income.

First of all, let's start off with SGX or Singapore stocks. You will need to open a CDP account and also a trading account. The minimum age is 21 years old to start trading online and do bring along your IC for registration.

The main trading platforms are:
Philips Security (POEMS) - Any of their investor centres
UOB Kay Hian, DBS Vickers, OCBC Securities - Any bank branches
CIMB Securities, Standard Chartered trading account - Any bank branches

The online trading commission fees are listed below, updated as of March 2016:

Do take note that Standard Chartered bank is cheaper because it uses a custodian account. Actually, all the others listed above also offer custodian accounts similar to Standard Chartered. Please read this post to find out about the differences between custodian and CDP account. The main point is that you will need to transfer sufficient money to the account first before you can buy stocks for custodian accounts. For the rest of the brokerage firms that uses CDP, you will need to settle all outstanding payment within 3 working days.

Since the minimum commission below $50k is S$25, you need to trade more than S$8928 ($25/0.28%) or S$9090 ($25/0.275%) to get the lowest possible commission charges. This means that any amount below it will incur a higher percentage of the commission. Take note that the commission charges are based on each individual stock and each buying and selling transaction. You will need to double the charges listed in the table for the total buying and selling commission costs.

I am not a promoter of Philips Securities but I am using their platform called POEMS 2.0. I like that they have very good tools for evaluating stocks, reliable updates of prices and prompt activation of trades. I especially love their Stock Analytics so it is easier for me to compare financial information of past years even though they charge higher commission for any amount lower than 50k. I am sure other platforms will also provide such service and there is no difference to using any of them, just whether you feel comfortable.

Happy trading!


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