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Step By Step Guide To Opening A Brokerage Account With POEMS

A POEMS brokerage account offers an all-in-one solution for your investment needs.

Regardless of the type of financial instrument in which you’re interested, like stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), foreign exchange (FX), or even daily leverage certificates (DLCs), you need a brokerage account with an intermediary to place your trades.

When choosing a brokerage account, it’s important to think about how many different investment products and markets it gives you access to, as well as how reliable and safe the brokerage firm is.

In a sea of brokerage firms, from discount to full-service, one name that is well recognised by local investors and holds the accolade of being the first broker in Singapore to launch its online trading platform, POEMS, is Phillip Securities.

What Is POEMS?

Phillip’s Online Electronic Mart System, or POEMS, is an online trading platform that was started in 1996 by Phillip Securities, which is a part of PhillipCapital.

It offers investors access to over 40,000 financial products, such as stocks, bonds, unit trusts, ETFs, and regular savings plans (RSP), across 26 global exchanges, such as Singapore (SGX), the United States (AMEX, NYSE, NASDAQ), China (HKEx, SSE, SZSE), Malaysia (Bursa), and London (LSE).

Unlike regular online discount brokers, POEMS assigns each account holder to a trading representative as part of its Securities Advisory Services. When engaged, this person would not only give professional advice on investments but also help place trades on behalf of their clients.

Otherwise, self-directed traders can instead utilise the market research reports that are available to POEMS account holders to conduct more in-depth research before investing in the companies.

Phillip Securities, which has been around for over 45 years, is regulated and supervised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Any monies and assets held in custody in your POEMS account are protected and kept in client-segregated accounts in accordance with Section 104 of the Securities And Futures Act.

Read Also: Singapore Online Stock Brokerage Account Fees Comparison (2023 Edition)

Additional Facilities Offered On A POEMS Account

In addition to trading stocks listed on the global exchanges, POEMS also offers access to leverage of up to 20 times on products like contracts for difference (CFDs) and forex. You can also opt for the securities borrowing and lending (SBL) facility, which allows you to leverage stocks and bonds to enhance the returns on your portfolio without any minimum lock-in period.

Another opt-in feature available to POEMS account holders is the multi-currency facility, which enables trade settlement in 10 different currencies, such as SGD, USD, HKD, AUD, MYR, JPY, GBP, EUR, CNY, and CAD. This helps you save on foreign exchange (FX) conversion fees as you can maintain foreign currency balances that can be used for settlement.

In the current high interest rate environment, you can also make your idle money parked with POEMS work harder by opting for the Excess Funds Management Facility (SMART Park). The excess funds would be automatically invested in money market funds (MMFs) such as Phillip Money Market Fund (for SGD) and Phillip US Dollar Money Market Fund A (for USD) to generate a higher return.

There are no additional costs for these optional facilities that you can select when opening your brokerage account with POEMS. Furthermore, POEMS does not charge a platform or custody fee while offering complimentary live prices for global markets.

A POEMS account could also be useful to have when investing in the over 2,000 unit trust, as there are no sales charges, switching fees, or platform fees.

Types Of Available Trading Platforms

As an online trading platform, POEMS gives users a choice of both web- and mobile-based ways to trade based on their needs and uses.

The POEMS 2.0 is the main web-based platform that allows investors of all levels to easily trade multiple products across different markets. It provides access to a wide range of trading tools such as stock analytics, a stock screener, Chart-Live, news, Web TV, and others.

There are also mobile application options such as POEMS Mobile 2.0 and POEMS Mobile 3, which offer a convenient way to place trades and monitor your investments on the go. These applications are supported on both iOS and Android and can be used on both smartphones and tablets.

Lastly, there is also the POEMS Pro platform, which is catered to more advanced users and active traders. It offers, among others, advanced order types, such as Stop-Limit, Limit-If-Touch, and One-Cancels-The-Order; faster execution of orders; and an extensive suite of technical tools, including a charting solution by ChartView that is both intuitive and customisable.

Regardless of the platform that you choose, you would be able to view your entire portfolio and access the advanced features across all platforms at anytime.

Account Types And Commission Rates

Anyone above the age of 18 can open one of the two types of trading accounts—the Cash Plus Account or the Cash Management Account—that are available with POEMS.

The Cash Plus Account is a trading account that provides a stand-by margin facility of $50,000 and offers a low commission rate. For more details, you can refer to the information sheet.

In comparison, the purchasing power in the Cash Management Account is limited by the funds in the trading account. It allows for the consolidation of all funds in one account and for the automatic settlement of trades done in shares, unit trusts and more. For more details, you can refer to the information sheet.

The commission cost for the Cash Plus Account is as follows:

Source: POEMS

The commission cost for the Cash Management Account is as follows:

Source: POEMS

Read Also: Buying US Stocks In Singapore: Guide To Stock Trading Platforms And Brokerage Fees (2023)

Opening A POEMS Account:

Step 1: Choose The Type Of Account

You are given a choice of selecting either a Cash Plus Account or a Cash Management Account. The Cash Plus Account offers low brokerage fees and offers a margin facility of up to 3.5 times your cash deposit, whereas, the Cash Management Account requires you to fund your purchases completely.

Step 2: Choose The Facilities That Meets Your Requirements

You have five choices of facilities—with one pre-selected—that you can select when opening your brokerage account. Some useful facilities to consider are the Multi-currency Facility, if you’re trading in multiple overseas markets, and the Excess Funds Management Facility, to let your idle money generate higher returns by investing in MMFs.

Additionally, you can select the other two remaining facilities if you wish to use leverage or have more trading opportunities.

Step 3: Sign Up Using Singpass or Online Form

Once you have selected the type of account and the additional facilities, you would be asked to sign up for the account using either your singpass, which pulls the required information using MyInfo more quickly, or you could sign up using the online form, where you would be required to manually key those information.

Here, you would be required to complete 5-stages of form filling, where you would be required to
(1) input your personal information details,
(2) your financial details,
(3) tax resident information,
(4) acknowledgement of the account and facilities—if you selected the SMART Park—and other terms and conditions, and
(5) a review and confirmation of the sign-up process
(6) lastly, create password for your account based on alphanumeric of at least 8 characters. Do ensure that the new and confirmed passwords are the same to complete the account registration process. Once done, expect to receive an email confirmation of the account opening within the next couple of working days, if not within the same working day.

Once the account is opened, you would need to fund it to start trading immediately.

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