This article was written in collaboration with Tiger Brokers Singapore. All views expressed are the independent opinion of DollarsAndSense.sg. You can refer to our Editorial Policy here.
If there is one thing we can count on in this world, it’s that changes are an inevitable part of our lives. This applies to almost everything we do, from the way we travel (from horse carriage to cars), communicate (from letters to email), and thanks to COVID-19, maybe even how we will work in the future.
When we look at stock exchanges, it’s not difficult to see some of the changes that have taken place over the past few decades.
Not too long ago, we used to have to pick up the phone to call our stockbrokers to put in a buy or sell order. Our stockbrokers would then execute the order on our behalf, via a trading pit on the floor, either through hand signals or even by shouting.
These days, trading pits exist only as a memento to the past. Since the early 2000s, the personal computer (PC) adoption has allowed most retail investors to start buying and selling stocks through the internet on their own. This is not only faster but also less expensive compared to buying and selling through the telephone.
And while trading using a PC/laptop is something most of us are familiar with today, it’s not hard to imagine a world in the (not so distant) future where most people will start using their mobile phones to trade, if they haven’t already started doing so. With Singapore’s mobile penetration rate at 159.1% in 2019 (this means we have more mobile phones than people in our country), the question is when this would happen, rather than if.
However, using your mobile phone to trade isn’t as simple as ditching our desktop for an app on our mobile phone. Here are some factors we need to consider first before opening a mobile brokerage account.
#1 Does Your Broker Have A Dedicated Mobile Brokerage Solution?
Anyone with an online brokerage platform can easily claim to have a ‘mobile solution’.
But if that mobile solution refers to using your internet browser to access the broker’s website and to use the same interface that was designed for desktop trading, then perhaps what you are using is merely a desktop solution that happens to work on your mobile phone, rather than an actual mobile brokerage solution.
Think of it this way. If you are doing mobile banking with DBS, you will likely want to use your DBS PayLah! app, rather than navigating to the DBS internet banking website with your phone.
Similarly, if you are looking at a mobile brokerage platform, you want brokerage firms that have specifically designed a trading solution for mobile phones.
An example of such a brokerage firm would be Tiger Brokers Singapore, itself a NASDAQ-listed company. Tiger Brokers has a dedicated app, Tiger Trade – which is a one-stop mobile application that allows investors to access global markets and manage their investment portfolio using just their mobile phones.
#2 Comprehensive Suite of Resources You Can Access
In the old days, stockbrokers weren’t just valued by their clients because of their ability to execute orders quickly and accurately. Many stockbrokers were also a resource for their clients, given their ability to convey critical information in a timely manner, such as earning announcements and corporate actions.
Likewise, besides helping you to execute your trades conveniently and seamlessly, you want to have a mobile brokerage solution that can provide you with relevant information to make better investment decisions.
The Tiger Trade app has a useful news tab that brings you relevant and timely industry news about the markets. Even if you are not intending to buy or sell stocks, you can still make use of the app to follow important stock market developments.
Besides the news, there is also a “Calendar” tab that informs you of upcoming major stock market events, such as major announcements, IPOs and the release of important economic data. All these are easily accessible at your fingertips via the Tiger Trade app.
#3 Availability Of 24/7 Support
If you are trading over the phone with your broker, you want to be able to get support as and when you need it. If you have a problem, you have the assurance that you can always speak to your broker to resolve it as soon as possible.
Similarly, if you are trading using your mobile phone, you want to get a similar level of support on issues you are facing, as quickly as possible.
And similar to other apps that you are already using frequently (e.g. such as Grab), if you are using an app, you don’t want to have to call someone on the phone to resolve your issues if you can do it within the app.
The Tiger Trade app works in a similar way. Feedback, help centre and an online chat are all easily accessible via the app. You can send a message, and someone will reply to you promptly. An added advantage is that this is a 24/7 support centre, so you are not restricted to only getting support during working hours or on weekdays.
#4 Competitive Pricing
One of the most significant advantages of fintech solutions is the ability to make what used to be expensive, affordable for the masses today. So, while mobile brokerage firms give you the same services as traditional brokers, they do so at a fraction of what it used to cost.
In the past, calling your broker to make a trade over the phone can easily cost $50 or more for a one-way transaction. Online brokerages have made that slightly more affordable, with brokerage firms in Singapore today offering competitive pricing of between $10 to $25 per trade. Still, some investors may still deem it as still too expensive.
With mobile brokerages, the pricing is even more competitive. For those trading in overseas markets, commission fees can be as low as USD$0.01per share, minimum USD$1.99 per trade. For Hong Kong stocks, it is 0.06%, with a minimum HKD$15 per trade. For Shanghai/Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, it is 0.06%, with a minimum RMB15 per trade. In addition, Tiger Brokers will be launching Singapore stocks on their trading platform by June 2020.
#5 Ability to Trade On Different Markets
Imagine if you find a great app that allows you to follow and trade stocks quickly and conveniently, with competitive pricing, but it doesn’t allow you to trade the markets that you are looking at.
A good mobile brokerage app should allow you to connect to the major stock markets around the world, not just the Singapore Exchange. This is important so that your mobile brokerage solution can grow with your needs and fulfil your wish to build a global investment portfolio.
Sign Up Easily, Through Your Mobile Phone Of Course!
Last but not least, when opening a mobile brokerage account, do ensure that the platform you are using is licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for additional peace of mind. As a licensed entity, Tiger Brokers conducts their operations under the requirements prescribed by MAS.
If you are keen to explore how a mobile brokerage app of the future should be like, check out the Tiger Trade app. The app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, as well as on your MacOS and Windows devices, for those of you who prefer using your desktop to make investment decisions.
As a final bonus tip, SingPass users can use MyInfo to open an account with Tiger Brokers for a quicker onboarding process.
Offering one of the lowest commission rates for as low as US$1.99, Tiger Brokers (Singapore) helps investors to better diversify their portfolios in international markets through Tiger Trade. With a seamless and speedy account opening process, Tiger Trade provides an unparalleled all-in-one trading experience with a comprehensive interface and real-time financial updates. Licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Tiger Trade can help you make informed decisions to stay ahead of your investment portfolio anywhere, anytime. For a limited period of time only, Tiger Brokers Singapore is offering a Welcome Gift for New Tigers, click here to learn more.