POEMS by Phillip Securities — A Review of PhillipCapital’s Investment Brokerage Tool

poems philips capital

“Poetry is a luxury we cannot afford,” said former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in the 1960s. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that POEMS by Phillip Securities is actually an investment brokerage.

To be precise, it’s actually one of Singapore’s most established investment brokerage platforms not tied to a bank and is part of PhillipCapital. Regardless, whether it’s stocks, ETFs, REITs, CFDs, warrants, bonds, unit trusts, Forex, futures, or securities, 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 a trading platform by Phillip Securities, the brokerage arm of PhillipCapital, one of Singapore’s most established brokerage firms that has been around since 1975. 

As one of the biggest players in the market, it provides access to a wide range of exchanges, with most of the major ones in Asia and as well as other major foreign exchanges.

POEMS offers many different types of investment assets including stocks, bonds, unit trusts, forex, futures, insurance, a Regular Savings Plan and more. Its analysis, reports and charting tools are very sophisticated, which makes them a good choice for professional investors.

The 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.

PhillipCapital (POEMS) logo
Online Promo
Most Popular Trading Platform
Min. Commission Fee US Stocks
US$10.88
Min. Commission Fee SG Stocks
S$8
Min. Funding
S$0
Online Promo:
Enjoy 5 Free Trades when you open a Cash Plus Account. Valid for new POEMS customer only.
Valid till 31 Dec 2020.

POEMS overview: fees, products, trading platforms

Phillip Securities POEMS Cash Plus Account
Trading products  Stocks, shares, ETFs, Forex, futures, bonds, mutual funds, bonds, managed portfolios, options, CFDs, structured warrants, securities, DLCs, gold
Minimum commission fee From 0.08%, minimum S$8 for SG stocksFrom US$6.88 for US stocks 
Minimum funding amount No
Stock Holding Type Custodian 
Trading platforms POEMS 2.0 (desktop and mobile), POEMS Mercury
Payment method PayNow, FAST, eNETS, EPS, Internet Bill Payment, Telegraphic Transfer, Cheque, CPF/SRS, GIRO
Inactivity fee Yes – $16.05 per quarter charged. Make at least 1 trade per quarter to have the fee waived.

POEMS also offers a Cash Management Account which is linked to your CDP and consolidates all funds for investment in one account. 

For this review, we’ll only be concentrating on the newer POEMS Cash Plus account. 

POEMS commission and trading fees

The POEMS Cash Plus account offers 3 tiers: Starter, Premier and Privilege. Here are the charges for SGX stock and ETF investments: 

Starter($0 – $29,999) Premier($30,000 to $249,999) Privilege ($250,000 and above)
SGX trading fee 0.12%, minimum S$10 0.10%, minimum S$10 0.08%, minimum S$8
NYSE trading fee US$10.88 US$8.88 US$6.88
HKEX trading fee 0.15%, minimum HKD80 0.12%, minimum HKD60 0.08%, minimum HKD50

From now till 31 Dec 2020, there’s no minimum commission for online trades of SG stocks made using cash, CPF or SRS. To qualify for this, customers must opt in for Multi-Currency facility and Excess Funds Management facility.

Also, from now till 30 Sep 2020, all new POEMS customers can get 5 free trades when they open a Cash Plus account. 

Note that your trades are also subject to: 

  • Clearing fee: 0.325%
  • SGX Access fee: 0.0075%
  • GST on all fees: 7%
  • Cash dividend processing fee: 1% on net dividend (waived for SGX shares) 

For other products, they incur the following commission fees:

Unit Trusts $0
Forex 0.6 pips for EUR/USD0.7 pips for USD/JPY, AUD/USD

0.8 pips for USD/SGD, GBP/USD

Bonds $0
CFD From US$0.99 per contract on CFD IndicesFrom 0.128% on CFD equities, min S$25 on SG equities

How to invest with POEMS?

The good thing about POEMS is that it gives access to a multitude of products and more than 26 global exchanges in Asia (Hong Kong, Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia) and globally (US, UK, Australia, Germany, etc). 

Its trading platform POEMS 2.0 has a desktop version as well as mobile versions for iOS and Android for those who want to trade on-the-go. Similar to other trading platforms, you have access to live prices, create watchlists, view live charts, aggregated news and research and detailed analysis of stocks provided by Phillip Stock Analytics.

If you have your eye on particular products, you also have the option to place advanced order types such as Stop Limit and Limit if Touched Orders.

However, 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.

There’s also POEMS Mercury which is a more advanced platform for the savvier investors among us. 

How to apply for a POEMS account?

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 the website and are a complete newbie, you might notice that you’re asked to make some confusing choices right from the start. You can choose to opt for the Multi-Currency Facility which allows you to trade in up to 10 different currencies (including USD, HKD, AUD, JPY, GBP, EUR, CNY), and whether you want to trade securities and CFDs. 

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 the Cash Plus Account and Cash Management Account), or you might simply choose to give them a call (6531 1555) and ask for help.

Singaporeans and PRs can sign up using MyInfo to have their details filled in via SingPass, and this can be done within 10 minutes. Verification of your account will be within two working days and you’ll be able to start trading once your account has been verified. 

You can also download the Poems Mobile 2.0 app for iOS or Android and sign up for an account there.

PhillipCapital (POEMS) logo
Online Promo
Most Popular Trading Platform
Min. Commission Fee US Stocks
US$10.88
Min. Commission Fee SG Stocks
S$8
Min. Funding
S$0
Online Promo:
Enjoy 5 Free Trades when you open a Cash Plus Account. Valid for new POEMS customer only.
Valid till 31 Dec 2020.

Guide to how to make a trade on POEMS

Once you’ve logged in, you can see a default workplace that lets you search for counters to add to your watchlist.

Phillip Securities POEMS brokerage lets you trade stocks, shares, ETFs, mutual funds, forex, CFDs and more
Screenshot from POEMS

1) Under the main View Price widget, choose your desired counter or search for it in the search bar. Information about the counter will be displayed in the Trade widget on the right when you click on it.

Phillip Securities POEMS brokerage lets you trade stocks, shares, ETFs, mutual funds, forex, CFDs and more
Screenshot from POEMS

2) Select the order type (Limit Order, Stop Limit Order or Limit-if-Touched) and choose whether to Buy, Short, or Sell. Enter Limit Price and quantity to see the gross value. To confirm your trade, you have to enter your password in the field provided.

Phillip Securities POEMS brokerage lets you trade stocks, shares, ETFs, mutual funds, forex, CFDs and more
Screenshot from POEMS

3) Preview your trade ticket before submitting your order. 

Phillip Securities POEMS brokerage lets you trade stocks, shares, ETFs, mutual funds, forex, CFDs and more
Screenshot from POEMS

4) Check your order status in the section below to see what you’ve just bought. Good luck! 

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. They’ve got a free demo account that you can try out first at least. 

Phillips does offer a variety of educational resources including events and seminars, video tutorials, comprehensive research reports and tools that you can learn to use. 

Their fees are also not the cheapest, but if you are an experienced investor who’s looking to invest in more than just SGX stocks and wants to have greater control over your trades, POEMS will give you that.

Alternative investment brokerages to POEMS

Saxo Markets — This online brokerage is a subsidiary of Danish Saxo Bank and its SaxoTraderGO platform is a popular trading platform used by many for its access to many product portfolios. It caters to beginners (SaxoInvestor, SaxoTraderGO) and professionals (SaxoTraderPRO) with its different platforms. Find out more about Saxo Markets in our review.

Saxo logo
Best Overall Trading Platform
Min. Commission Fee US Stocks
US$4
Min. Commission Fee SG Stocks
S$10
Min. Funding
S$3,000

IG Markets — This UK-based company is a leading brokerage for trading CFDs, and caters to both newbies and professionals alike. You get access to more than 16,000 global markets and can trade across more than 30 indices. IG also offers CFDs in crypto currencies. Read more about IG Markets in our review.

IG logo
Leading CFD Provider
Min. Commission Fee US Stocks
US$10
Min. Commission Fee SG Stocks
S$10
Min. Funding
S$0

Still unsure? Compare online brokerages in Singapore here before you decide.

What brokerage accounts have you used? Share your reviews in the comments!

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash