Tiger Brokers Review 2022: Low Fees, But Is It Safe?

Priscilla Lee
Updated:
MoneyMate Verdict
Tiger Brokers makes it easy and inexpensive for new investors with limited capital to trade in international markets. Though they lack a track record in the local market, they seem to be working diligently to earn the trust of their user base.

Pros

  • Lower fees than most brokers, especially at smaller volumes
  • No minimum deposit
  • Supports Wise transfers
  • Plenty of promotional offers for free shares and commission-free trades

Cons

  • Only offers access to the Singapore, US, HK, China, and Australian markets
  • Percentage-based fees might be pricey at higher volumes
  • Does not provide free L1 market data
  • Users report translation errors and visual bugs with the interface

Editor’s Note, June 2022: This article has been updated with revised fees for the various trading platforms + recent news on Tiger Brokers.

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?

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.

Read also: Moomoo vs Tiger Brokers: Which Is the Better Broker?

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: Tiger supports DDA, bank transfer, and even Wise transfers. There are guides available in their Help section.

Read also: Wise Singapore (formerly TransferWise) In-Depth Review

You can 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, Hong Kong, 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.

But Tiger is still a relatively new entrant to the market with not much of a track record yet. Stories like these – where someone was charged US$16,000 in settlement fees after selling US$5,000 in stocks – tell you that they’re still working out the kinks with their “low fees” model. (The man eventually got a refund for most of the exorbitant platform fees, by the way.)

In short, Tiger Brokers has all the trappings of a safe brokerage, but the more risk-averse might still feel safer with long-established names such as Saxo or Interactive Brokers.

Read also: Saxo Markets vs Interactive Brokers Comparison

Tiger Brokers Fees and Commissions

Tiger Brokers charges commission and platform fees 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:

MarketProductCommission feePlatform fee
SingaporeStocks, ETFs, REITs and Daily Leveraged Certificates (DLCs)0.03% of trade value0.03% of trade value
United StatesStocks and ETFsUSD 0.005/share (minimum USD 0.99/order, max 0.5% of order)USD 0.005/share (minimum USD 1/order, max 0.5% of order)
Hong KongStocks0.03% of trade value (minimum HKD 7/order)0.03% of trade value (minimum HKD 8/order)
ChinaA-Shares0.03% of trade value (minimum CNH 7/order)0.03% of trade value (minimum CNH 8/order)
AustraliaStocks0.03% of trade value (minimum AUD 2/trade0.07% of trade value (minimum AUD 6/trade)
* Accurate as of 19 June 2022

How do these fees compare to competitors like Saxo Markets and Phillip Securities (POEMS)? Here’s a quick comparison:

Fee typeTiger BrokersSaxoPOEMS
Singapore stock commission fee0.03% of trade value0.15% of order (min. 25 SGD) on Classic tier0.08% (no minimum)
US stock commission feeUSD 0.005/ share (minimum USD 0.99, max 0.5% of order)0.02 USD/share (minimum USD 7) on Classic tierUSD3.88 flat fee
Hong Kong stock commission fee0.03% of trade value (minimum HKD 7)0.15% of order (minimum HKD 100)0.08% (minimum HKD 30)

From this snapshot, it looks like Tiger Brokers does have lower fees than both Saxo and POEMS. 

The flat fee POEMS charges on US stocks might be an advantage to those trading in high volumes though. For an order of say, US$50,000, you could be saving hundreds of dollars with POEMS over Tiger’s share-based fees.

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.

BrokersMarkets Available
Tiger Brokers10 exchanges in Singapore, the US, Hong Kong, China, and Australia
Saxo50 exchanges in the US, Europe, UK, Asia, and Australia
POEMS26 exchanges in the US, Europe, UK, Asia and Australia
City Index20 global indices in the US, Europe, UK, Asia, and Australia

Incentives and Perks for Trading with Tiger Brokers

Tiger Brokers currently has the following promotions:

  • Opening an account: Get 1x GRAB share
  • Initial Deposit: New account holders get a S$5 voucher upon depositing less than S$2,000. Depositing over S$2,000 gets you a free share from a stock draw: either 1x TSLA, 1x AAPL, 10x SGX, 1x PFE, 1x TWTR, or 1x AMC
  • Commission-free trades on US stocks for 180 days
  • Referral perks such as shares and lifetime commission-free trades for US stocks
  • Tiger coins when you log in daily and complete missions, which you can use to redeem rewards such as stock vouchers

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

Read also: Interactive Brokers Review: Best Trading App for Singapore?