Tiger Brokers may be the new kid on the block, but they’ve been well-received by the market.
So well-received, in fact, that they managed to garner a 100% growth in account openings for three straight quarters in 2020.
With its easy-to-use platform and low commissions, Tiger Brokers sure seems attractive to avid investors. But how does it compare with the rest?
Today, we’ll cover:
- What is Tiger Brokers and how does it work?
- Is it safe to trade with Tiger Brokers?
- Fees and commissions
- Available markets for Tiger Trade users
- Incentives and perks
- What users are saying about Tiger Brokers
- Who Tiger Brokers is best for
What is Tiger Brokers?
Tiger Brokers is an online trading platform backed by Xiaomi, Interactive Brokers, and Wall Street investment guru Jim Rogers.
They launched their mobile trading app for Singapore in February 2020, but they’ve been operating in China since 2014.
Their mission is to make investing more efficient for all, and they certainly seem to have a few wins in that area: their ultra-low fees and intuitive interface enable investors to easily purchase assets globally.
How Tiger Brokers Works
With Tiger Brokers, you can:
- Access Singapore, US, Hong Kong, China, and Australia stock exchanges
- Trade equities, ETFs, mutual funds, REITs, futures, options, CBBCs
- Get real-time data on the markets (for the most part)
- Earn extra perks via their gamified trading platform
You can use either the desktop or mobile app as a Tiger Brokers user. We found the desktop version easier for viewing the wealth of data and charts Tiger Trade has to offer, but the app feels more intuitive for those newer to trading.
Opening an Account
The registration process is simple with SingPass MyInfo. If you don’t have SingPass or would rather not use it, you can also manually upload your documents. Either way, signing up shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
Once you sign up, it’ll take up to one working day for your account to be approved (though some report that it took only an hour).
Funding Requirements and Process
There’s no minimum or maximum deposit amount, which is great for users just looking to test the waters. Funding the account is relatively straightforward:
- Via website: Login to My Account > Deposit > Select currency and bank
- Via the app: Login to Me > Tiger Account > Deposit > Select currency and bank
You can also deposit SGD and change this into different currencies with no foreign interest rates. In fact, you’ll need to do this if you want to buy anything other than Singapore stocks — if you buy international stocks without the corresponding currency, Tiger Brokers will treat it as though you’re getting a loan from them.
Tiger Trade currently supports SGD, USD, HKD, CNH, AUD, NZD, EUR, GBP, and JPY.
Is It Safe to Trade with Tiger Brokers?
Tiger Brokers is MAS-licensed and has to adhere to their strict regulatory requirements, so this should give you some peace of mind. They also have brokerage licenses in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia.
If you trade with Tiger, your funds are held in a custodian bank (specifically, DBS). More importantly though: Your assets are kept in custodian accounts and separated from Tiger Brokers’ own capital. This means even in the unlikely event that they go bankrupt, creditors can’t lay claim to your assets.
Tiger Brokers Fees and Commissions
Tiger Brokers charges both a commission fee and a flat fee per trade but does not charge custodian fees, deposit and withdrawal fees, currency exchange fees, inactivity fees, and account maintenance fees.
Here’s a table of the fees you can expect for equities trading:
|Market||Product||Commission fee||Platform fee|
|Singapore||Stocks, ETFs, REITs and Daily Leveraged Certificates (DLCs)||0.04% of trade value||0.04% of trade value|
|United States||Stocks and ETFs||USD 0.005/share (minimum USD 0.99/order)||USD 0.005/share (minimum USD 1/order)|
|Hong Kong||Stocks||0.03% of trade value (minimum HKD 7/order)||0.03% of trade value (minimum HKD 8/order)|
|China||A-Shares||0.03% of trade value (minimum CNH 7/order)||0.03% of trade value (minimum CNH 8/order)|
|Australia||Stocks||0.03% of trade value (minimum AUD 2/trade||0.07% of trade value (minimum AUD 6/trade)|
How do these fees compare to competitors like Saxo Markets and Phillip Securities (POEMS)? Here’s a quick comparison:
|Fee type||Tiger Brokers||Saxo||POEMS|
|Singapore stock commission fee||0.04% of trade value||SGD 5||0.08% (no minimum)|
|US stock commission fee||USD 0.005/ share (minimum USD 0.99)||USD 0 (until 3 September 2021 for new accounts; USD4 afterwards)||USD1.88 to USD3.88 flat fee(until 31 Dec 2021)|
|Hong Kong stock commission fee||0.03% of trade value (minimum HKD 7)||HKD 90||0.05% to 0.08% (minimum HKD 15 to HKD 30)|
From this snapshot, it looks like Tiger Brokers does have lower fees than both Saxo and POEMS.
Markets Available to Tiger Trade Users
Tiger Brokers allows users to trade in Singapore, the United States, Hong Kong, China, and Australia. However, this lineup pales in comparison to those of other online brokers.
Of course, Tiger is considerably younger than these brokers. Given more time, Tiger might just be about to extend its markets to a more global reach. It would also be a lot more attractive if Tiger added the European and British markets to its platform in time to come.
|Tiger Brokers||10 exchanges in Singapore, the US, Hong Kong, China, and Australia|
|Saxo||40 exchanges in the US, Europe, UK, Asia, and Australia|
|POEMS||26 exchanges in the US, Europe, UK, Asia and Australia|
|City Index||20 global indices in the US, Europe, UK, Asia, and Australia|
Incentives and Perks for Trading with Tiger Brokers
To capture greater market share, Tiger Brokers has had several ongoing promotions:
- Opening an account: New account holders receive 1x free Apple share once they deposit at least SGD2,000.
- 60 commission-free trades for 180 days
- Referral perks such as up to 88 months of zero-commission trades, SGD88 for each successful referral, and a chance to win 10 Netflix shares
- Tiger coins when you log in daily and complete missions, which you can use to redeem rewards such as stock vouchers
- Discounts off commissions and free stocks when you trade over a certain volume
What Are Users Saying About Tiger Brokers?
Security issues – Since they’re relatively new in the brokerage scene, Tiger hasn’t fully earned the trust of the local market. Some users tend to reserve bigger trades for more established platforms while continuing to use Tiger Brokers for the low commission and perks.
Trading experience – There are translation errors and visual bugs that bring down the user-friendliness of the platform. However, some users felt that the desktop version is relatively efficient for trading and the mobile app is a must-have for investing on the go.
Low commission fee and rewards – The commission fee structure is highly attractive to some users. The added incentives such as free stocks, commission-free trades, and Tiger coins redemption also makes trading on Tiger’s platform more rewarding and fun than on others.
Limited access to markets – Compared to other brokers, Tiger does have a rather limited number of exchanges. This might work for investors who only trade in the few markets available, but for those who prefer to invest in multiple markets, Tiger is not an ideal choice.
What Kind of Investor Is Most Like to Benefit From Tiger Brokers?
Bottom line? Tiger Brokers is still a fierce contender, in our view.
For one, it provides lower commissions along with benefits and perks that aren’t readily available from other brokers. Especially given the increasing number of young investors learning how to trade, Tiger Brokers is most likely to appeal to them with low fees, an abundance of promotions, and comprehensive trading tools.
Tiger Brokers could be an ideal trading platform for:
- Those who trade Asian markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong, as the commission fees are highly competitive
- Young or new investors who enjoy promotions and rewards that incentivise and motivate them as they’re learning to trade
- Serious traders who can easily get certified and earn discounted commission rates for their trades