Saxo Markets (Singapore) Investment Brokerage Review: How to Invest Using SaxoTraderGO?

saxo saxotradergo platform

So, you’re ready to start making your money work for you by investing it. Great! But before you can start, you need to decide which investment brokerage to use. That’s where a lot of people get lost and then give up before they’ve even started.

Saxo Markets’ SaxoTraderGO is one of the many investment brokerages that enable you to buy and sell assets such as stocks, ETFs, funds, bonds, options, futures, Forex, CFDs online.

Let’s see how its platforms measure up.

 

What is Saxo Markets?

Saxo Markets is a subsidiary of Saxo Bank, a Danish investment bank. For many people, that’s enough to dispel any doubts about the company. Its SaxoTraderGO trading platform is used by investors all over the world.

The good thing about Saxo Markets is that their fees are actually pretty affordable compared to other brokerage firms. More on fees below. 

In addition, it has an international focus, and is ideal for those who wish to invest in overseas markets or exchanges, although you can of course just stick with SGX stocks if you wish. 

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

Saxo Markets overview: fees, products, trading platforms 

Trading products  Stocks, ETFs, bonds, commodities, options, futures, funds, FX and CFDs
Minimum commission fee Minimum SGD 10 for SG stocks

Minimum USD 4 for US stocks 

Minimum funding amount S$3,000 (Classic Account)

S$300,000 (Platinum Account)

S$1,500,000 (VIP Account) 

Stock Holding Type

 

Custodian 
Trading platforms SaxoInvestor, SaxoTraderGO, SaxoTraderPRO
Payment method FAST, PayNow, MEPS, internet bank transfer or credit/debit card
Inactivity fee Yes – US$100 (or equivalent in amount currency) if inactive for 6 months

 

Saxo Markets commission and trading fees

High commission fees can really bite you in the butt if you buy and sell frequently. One of Saxo’s biggest strengths is their affordable fees — trading Singapore stocks incurs a 0.08% fee, compared to others that charge around 0.18% to 0.275%.

Here’s what it costs to trade stocks on various markets with the classic plan: 

Saxo Markets Fees
SGX Trading Fee  0.08% with minimum of 10 SGD
New York Stock Exchange Trading Fee  0.06% with minimum of 4 USD, max 100 USD
Hong Kong Exchange  0.15% with minimum of 90 HKD
Australian Securities Exchange Trading Fee  0.10% with minimum of 8 AUD
Tokyo Stock Exchange Trading Fee  0.15% with minimum of 1,500 JPY
Forex fees 0.6 pips for EUR/USD

1.2 pips USD/SGD

Note that these fees are charged for both buying and selling (some brokerages charge commissions only when you buy). 

Fees for Platinum and VIP accounts are 0.01 to 0.03% lower for stocks in non-Singapore markets. On top of those fees, you’ll also have to pay a custody fee of 0.12% per annum on any stocks, ETFs and bonds not listed on the SGX. SGX instruments do not attract a custody fee.

 

How to invest with Saxo Markets’ platforms?

Saxo platforms  Who is it for Products 
SaxoInvestor Simple interface for beginners who are just trying out Cash products, stocks, ETFs, bond mutual funds 
SaxoTraderGO Comprehensive one-screen dashboard for investors with some knowledge FX, FX Options, CFDs, stocks, ETFs, futures, listed options and bonds, bond mutual funds, commodities
SaxoTraderPRO For advanced institutional traders FX, FX Options, CFDs, stocks, ETFs, futures, listed options and bonds, bond mutual funds, commodities 

Saxo has 3 main platforms through which you can invest: SaxoTraderGO, SaxoTraderPRO and SaxoInvestor. 

SaxoTraderGO is Saxo’s most popular consumer-facing trading platform that makes it easy for users to manage investments from a wide range of asset classes, currencies and countries. You can see consolidated breakdowns and statistics that give you broad overviews at a glance, even historical reports of your net holdings. Overall, it’s a solid platform especially if you want to trade forex or on overseas stock markets.

You don’t have to apply for a CDP account to start using SaxoTraderGO. But you can transfer your stocks from your Saxo account to your CDP account. The catch is that you can’t transfer stocks from your CDP account to your Saxo account, so if you wish to sell them through SaxoTraderGO you will have to leave them in your Saxo account.

SaxoTraderPRO is a slightly more advanced platform, with functions designed for advanced traders or institutional traders. The benefit of SaxoTraderPRO is that it does not charge the typical fees of institutional trading apps.

SaxoInvestor is on the other end of the spectrum, designed for the typical retail investor — basically regular folk like you and I. It solely provides cash products and has investment themes that give an overview of trends in relevant yield products such as electric vehicles and robotics, to ‘inspire’ beginner investors. Each theme has a curated list of relevant stocks, mutual funds, ETFs within. 

Saxo also offers a Regular Savings Plan where you can invest in managed ETF portfolios, offered by asset manager BlackRock. It allows you to build long term savings with regular monthly or weekly contributions from $100. Initial minimum investment is $2,000 and service fee is 0.75% per annum + an ETF charge of 0.23%. 

Regardless of which platform you choose, you’ll have access to Saxo’s comprehensive analysis across different products — equities, Forex, Bonds and commodities. You can read about global news in different industries and get a better understanding of what products you may want to buy next. 

Saxo also tries to cater to different levels of investors with video tutorials on the basics of trading, managing risk and how to trade, regular podcasts on market insights and webinars. 

 

How to apply for a Saxo Markets account?

If you want to give Saxo a try, opening an account is free and pretty straightforward as SingPass holders can sign up using MyInfo, which retrieves your personal particulars. The process is quick and painless. You can get your account up and running in 5 minutes, and transfer funds easily to your account by bank transfer (PayNow, FAST, iBanking or MEPs), credit or debit card, and then start trading. 

Open an account with Saxo Markets with SingPass MyInfo to access trading platforms SaxoInvestor, SaxoTraderGO
Screenshot from Saxo Markets

Saxo has a web version for desktop as well as an app for both Apple and Android mobile devices, and the interface is quite straightforward so you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. 

The good thing is, once you have an account, you have access to all 3 of Saxo’s investment platforms. Take note that while there is no minimum funding for SaxoInvestor, SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO require a minimum initial deposit of $3,000. 

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

Guide to how to make a trade on Saxo Markets

Once you’ve opened your account, you can log in to access Saxo’s platforms and start buying products on your preferred platform. Here’s how to get started on SaxoInvestor:  

Saxo Markets SaxoInvestor dashboard shows stocks, funds, forex, ETFs, bonds
The clean dashboard of SaxoInvestor shows everything at a glance. (Screenshot from Saxo Markets)
Saxo Markets SaxoInvestor lets you trade SG, US, Asia stocks
Clicking the Stocks page will show you an overview of different global stocks. (Screenshot from Saxo Markets)
Saxo Markets SaxoInvestor lets you buy Apple's stock
Let’s say you want to buy Apple’s stock. You arrive at this page after clicking US stock. (Screenshot from Saxo Markets)
Saxo Markets make a trade or invest in Apple's stock and check Apple's stock price and performance
Click Apple Inc and you’ll see more details about Apple’s price and performance. If you’ve decided to buy, click the blue TRADE button to open up a trade ticket. (Screenshot from Saxo Markets)
Saxo Markets lets you check Apple's stock price and buy Apple stock.
Simply enter your desired amount of shares you want to purchase and click BUY to confirm your purchase. (Screenshot from Saxo Markets)

SaxoTraderGO (below) lets you create a watchlist of products that you’re eyeing, which you can track and then place orders for. They’ve got pretty detailed video tutorials on their support page on how to place orders for different products. 

SaxoTraderGO dashboard shows prices and movements of stocks, equities, ETFs, CFDs, and investment products.
SaxoTraderGO platform. (Screenshot from Saxo Markets)

 

Who should use Saxo Markets?

Saxo Markets’ SaxoTraderGO can be a good choice if you want to trade forex or stocks on foreign exchanges, as it offers access to these markets at a good price and on a platform that doesn’t make you want to tear your hair out.

Saxo is known for its lower commission fees compared to other online brokerages. Do note, however, that you will have to pay custodian fees on any non-SGX stocks, ETFs and bonds.

If you’re only going to be trading on SGX, Saxo offers a good price. But if you are not comfortable having your stocks being held in custody rather than transferred to your CDP account, you will need to look elsewhere.

Bear in mind that if you plan to use Saxo’s platform not only to buy and sell your stocks, but also to check stock prices and view charts, you should ensure that it works well and is easy enough for you to use, especially if you tend to trade frequently and on the go.

Beginner investors may want to consider SaxoInvestor as it gives access to a large basket of products and has a simpler interface so that you don’t drown from information overload. If it’s your first time, you can also take a look at the instructional videos that guide you how to search for funds, monitor your investments and upgrade to more complex products. 

If you need help, Saxo has a pretty detailed FAQ section and video guides. Customer service is only available on weekdays (Call +65 6303 7888) however, although if you hold a Platinum or VIP account, you get a dedicated relationship manager.

 

Alternative investment brokerages to Saxo Markets 

TD Ameritrade — One of the US’s biggest and well-established discount brokers regulated by the big guns, TD Ameritrade is great for those who want to trade in the US markets thanks to its $0 commission fee for US stocks and ETFs, while options trades cost only US$0.70 per transaction. Read our review of TD Ameritrade to find out more.

 

TD Ameritrade logo
Promotion
Best Broker for Options
Commission Fee US Stocks
US$0
Options Commission Fee Per Trade
US$ 0.70
Min. Funding
US$0
Promotion: Get up to 100 commission-free trades when you open and fund an account! Valid till 31 Dec 2020.

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. Find out more about IG Markets in our review. 

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

Compare online investment brokerages in Singapore before you commit.

 

What’s your favourite investment brokerage? Share your recommendations in the comments!

 

Photo by Ishant Mishra on Unsplash