Tiger Brokers sparked quite a lot of excitement among retail investors in Singapore when it was first launched here in mid-2020. This is because the company offered what I believe was the lowest commission fees at the time (Still one of the cheapest brokerages, even as other brokerages scramble to match the fees).
For US stocks, the fee comes up to US$1.99 minimum for a trade, while fees for Singapore stocks cost 0.08% per trade. The minimum charge of SG$2.88 for Singapore stock trades was waived till 31 Dec 2020. In August 2020, their National Day promotion of a voucher and five free trades proved irresistible, and I have used the service since then.
Concerns over legitimacy i.e. legit or not?
My experience, so far, has been smooth sailing experience. The company is listed on the NASDAQ and they have a very responsive tech support and customer service team. Whenever I had issues, like when I was clarifying my dividends and promotions details, they responded within the hour… or faster.
The app security is quite tight, too. Besides the password login, it requires fingerprint ID to access your Tiger account. And if you want to further tighten security, you can download the Tiger Token app. This gives you a unique passcode for trades. The level of security can be configured.
The app is pretty easy to use, too. I still don’t really know how to monitor all the charts, but I’m not too concerned because a I’m buy-and-hold person. As long as the price is good, I’ll dive in to buy and hold for an extended period. I’m not too concerned with movements.
The only confusing thing for first-time users is that when Singapore investors deposit money into your Tiger account, it is reflected in US dollars. If you want to trade in the US stock market, you need to make a currency conversion to USD. These conversions will cost investors the prevailing exchange rate. Tiger’s rates are generally cheaper than what’s on the market. Although, I heard from a personal finance YouTuber that you can convert on Revolut to save on the exchange rate.
My own journey: pros and cons
The con: Tiger Brokers doesn’t allow you to trade stocks on the London Stock Exchange. That means, if you’re interested in those Irish-domiciled US ETFs, you won’t be able to buy them on Tiger.
The pro: Because the fees are so low, I practice hyper-diversifying my portfolio (like some millennial/ Gen Z investors on Robinhood) – buying shares in small lots. I bought Facebook, ARKK ETF, Netlink Trust, and most recently, Alibaba. I bought BABA when the Ant IPO was canned, because of Chinese regulators. I must say, I did not understand the severity of the issue and assumed the company will be back on track, in a snap.
As my biggest US stock holdings, I’m still sitting on paper losses. I’m counting on you, Mr Jack Ma, to keep regulators happy.
Please use my invite code
If you’re interested to open a Tiger account, please use my invite code: OI3KYK
Or you may also scan the QR code: