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 brokerage platforms that enable you to buy and sell assets like stocks online.
Let’s see how it measures 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. Their 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.
In addition, they have an international focus, and are thus 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.
How to invest with Saxo’s platforms?
|Saxo platforms||Who is it for||Products|
|SaxoInvestor||Simple interface beginners who are just trying out||Cash products, stocks, ETFs, bond mutual funds|
|SaxoTraderGO||Comprehensive one-screen dashboard 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 use to invest: SaxoTraderGO, SaxoTraderPRO and SaxoInvestor.
SaxoTraderGO is Saxo’s most popular consumer-facing one. Signing up to use SaxoTraderGO can be done online on the SaxoTraderGO website. The process is quick and painless. You can get your account up and running in 5 minutes, transfer cash by bank transfer (PayNow or FAST) or credit card and then start trading.
SaxoTraderGO makes it easy for users to manage investments from a wide range of asset classes, currencies and countries. So you can see consolidated breakdowns and statistics that give you broad overviews at a glance. 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.
They have a desktop version as well as mobile apps for both Apple and Android, and the interface is quite straightforward so you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.
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 (millennial) investor. It solely provides cash products and it has investment themes to “inspire” beginner investors, such as cyber security and robotics. Each theme will have a curated list of relevant stocks, mutual funds and ETFs within.
Saxo commission fees
One of Saxo’s biggest strengths is their affordable fees. 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|
Note that these fees are charged for both buying and selling (some brokerages charge commissions only when you buy).
On top of those fees, you will 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.
Who should choose 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. 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.
How to choose the right investment brokerage?
Here are the most important factors to think about when comparing brokerages.
1. Commission fees
High commission fees can really bite you in the butt if you buy and sell frequently. On the other hand, if you buy stocks and then hold on to them for decades, you won’t be as badly affected by commission fees. All that being said, you should probably try to avoid brokerages that charge exorbitant fees unless you have a good reason to use them.
Another thing to look out for is minimum fees, which will affect you if you are a small-time investor who makes modest transactions. Minimum fees tend to be in the $10 to $25 range, so those making small trades should aim to fall on the lower end of that spectrum.
2. Trading platform
Most brokerages now have online trading platforms, so you want to make sure the firm you choose has a platform that is compatible with your own devices. For example, if you’re using Android rather than iOS, make sure their app is available on Android before signing up.
You’ll be using their platform not only to buy and sell your stocks, but also to check stock prices and view charts. So choose a platform that works well and is easy enough for you to use, especially if you tend to trade frequently and on the go.
3. CDP or custodian account
Some platforms, like SaxoTraderGO, hold your stocks on your behalf in a custodian account (fees might apply), while others are linked directly to your CDP account. Some people prefer to use a brokerage that is directly linked to their CDP account because then they have the security that all stocks are held in their name, rather than by the company.
Some brokerages guarantee that your stocks will not be affected if they go bust, but if you’re worried, it’s probably best to pick a platform that can be linked directly to your CDP account.
Compare online investment brokerages in Singapore before you commit.
What’s your favourite investment brokerage? Share your recommendations in the comments!