“Poetry is a luxury we cannot afford,” said Lee Kuan Yew in the 1960s. So it is perhaps unsurprising that POEMS is actually an investment brokerage.
To be precise, it’s actually one of Singapore’s most popular investment brokerage platforms. Invest wisely on POEMS, and you just might be able to buy yourself the luxury to read some real poetry….
So, why is POEMS so popular and does it deserve its reputation?
What is POEMS?
POEMS is trading platform by Phillip Capital, one of Singapore’s most established brokerage firms.
As one of the biggest players in the market, offering access to a wide range of exchanges, with most of the major ones in Asia and the world being represented.
They also offer many different types of investment assets including stocks, bonds, unit trusts, forex, futures, insurance and more. Their analysis, reports and charting tools are very sophisticated, which makes them a good choice for professional investors.
Their platform has a huge number of functions and lets you program orders like stop loss and market limit. On the downside, it is not the easiest platform to use and getting comfortable with it will take practice.
How to invest with POEMS?
Your first step will be to set up a CDP account, which has to be done before investing with most brokerages.
You can then sign up for a POEMS account online through their website.
Now, if you’ve clicked on the sign-up button on their website and are a complete newbie, you might notice that you’re asked to make some confusing choices right from the start. If this is your first time signing up for a brokerage account, you’ll have to do some reading (they’ve linked PDF infosheets to each choice), or you might simply choose to give them a call and ask for help.
You can also download the Poems Mobile 2.0 app for iOS or Android and sign up for an account there.
Once you have completed the application form, you will need to make a trip to the Phillip Securities office with the required documents and sign the form in the presence of a staff member.
POEMS commission fees
Here’s what POEMS charges for SGX stock investments. The below charges are for trades executed through the POEMS platform, rather than through a broker.
- Trading rates (for prepaid account): 0.12% with minimum of 10 SGD
- Commission (for standard account): 0.28% / 0.22% / 0.18% for < 50k SGD / 50k to 100k SGD / > 100,000 SGD with minimum of 25 SGD
- Clearing fee: 0.325%
- SGX Access fee: 0.0075%
- GST: 7%
Their fees are not terribly cheap, but still pretty standard compared to what other brokerages charging. You can save quite a bit by opting for a prepaid account.
POEMS trading platforms
POEMS has a desktop version as well as mobile versions for iOS and Android.
The general consensus is that the interface is not very intuitive and not very user-friendly. So, be prepared to spend quite a bit of time figuring it out.
That being said, if you are very serious about trading or do it for a living, it can be worthwhile toughing it out and mastering the platform, as they do offer lots of functions and let you customise your trades with precision.
Who should use POEMS?
If you’re a first-time investor who just wants to buy a couple of stocks and hold them for the long-term, POEMS is probably not the platform for you as it’s complicated to use and offers lots of functions that a beginner would not know how to use.
On the other hand, if you are an experienced investor who’s looking to invest in more than just a SGX stocks and wants to have greater control over your trades, POEMS will give you that.
How to choose the right investment brokerage?
Picking an investment brokerage is a tad more complicated than deciding what shoes to wear to work in the morning. These are the three main things to consider when making your decision.
1. Commission fees
Each time you buy and/or sell, you get hit with commission fees that can affect the profitability of your trade. The more often you buy and sell, the more commission fees matter to you. On the other hand, if you’re a long-term investors who just buy and holds for years, commission won’t affect you as much. That being said, no matter what kind of investor you are, you should try to pick a brokerage that charges fees that are at least reasonable.
2. Trading platform
Unless you plan on using a real live broker, you’ll be executing all your trades from your computer or mobile phone. So, the user experience and functions of the trading platform you’re using count. First of all, check if the brokerage has a mobile app that supports your smartphone, whether Android or iOS. Next, you want to ensure the trading platform is something that you are able to use effectively. Is it user-friendly enough and/or versatile enough to enable you to execute the types of trades you want?
3. CDP or custodian account
Nowadays, most brokerage accounts (like POEMS accounts) can be linked directly to your CDP account. That means that whenever you buy a stock, it goes straight into your personal CDP account. Some brokerages, however, will deposit your stocks into a custodian account instead, meaning the stocks are being held by them on your behalf.
Compare online brokerages in Singapore here before you decide.
While most custodian accounts will not be affected if a company goes bust, if you are paranoid you can just make sure to use one of the many brokerages that can deposit your stocks directly into your CDP account.
What brokerage accounts have you used? Share your reviews in the comments!