When you want to buy stocks or ETFs, you’ll need to choose a broker.
2 options that you may come across include Tiger Brokers and Saxo.
Which one is the better option for you?
Here’s what you need to know:
Table of Contents
- The difference between Tiger Brokers and Saxo
- Type of Products Available
- Types of Exchanges Available
- Exchange Rates
- Pre and aftermarket trading
- App and Platform Experience
- Ease of Opening Account
- Deposits and Withdrawal
- Type of Custodian Account
- Tiger Brokers Referral (Commission-Free Trades, Tesla Discount Coupon and Stock Vouchers)
- Saxo Referral (Earn $100-$250 in cash)
The difference between Tiger Brokers and Saxo
Tiger Brokers charges cheaper commissions compared to Saxo for each trade that you make. Saxo has a more complex fee structure, which can be more costly. However, Saxo provides access to more markets and has more investing options too.
Here is an in-depth comparison between both platforms:
Type of Products Available
Both brokerages offer different kinds of products:
Tiger Brokers offers basic products for your trading needs
You are able to buy the standard products from the different exchanges using Tiger Broker’s platform. This includes:
- Mutual funds
You are able to trade futures and options on Tiger Broker’s platform too.
Saxo has a wider variety of products
Saxo provides many different products on their platform. This includes:
- Mutual funds
- Options (Forex and Listed)
- Managed portfolios
- Regular Savings Plan
Saxo’s managed portfolio is something similar to a robo-advisor.
It chooses to invest your money into different funds from:
- Brown Advisory
You can also choose to invest in some of these portfolios via a regular savings plan too.
If you are looking for a platform that provides more investing options, Saxo will be better for you.
However if you are just looking at buying stocks and ETFs, then it will not really matter for you.
Types of Exchanges Available
Tiger Brokers allows you to trade from 5 different exchanges.
Meanwhile, you can trade in 23 different exchanges from Saxo!
Here are some of the different exchanges that you are able to trade on using both platforms:
|SZSE and SSE (China)||✓||✓|
In terms of the availability of exchanges, Saxo provides a far wider variety!
The one that most Singaporeans may be interested in is the London Stock Exchange (LSE). You are able to buy Irish-domiciled ETFs that help to reduce your taxes in 2 ways:
- Reduce your dividend withholding tax (30% to 15%)
- Reduce the estate taxes that you incur
Tiger Brokers has the LSE listed on their platform. However, you can’t trade equities that are listed on the LSE.
However, Tiger Brokers still has many of the popular exchanges, such as US and HKEX.
Here are the fees that each broker charges for the similar exchanges:
|SGX||0.08% * trade value |
(until 30 April 2021)
Min $2.88 SGD/trade
(after 30 April 2021)
|0.08% * trade value |
(until 30 April 2021)
|HKEX||0.06% * trade value |
Min 15 HKD/trade
|0.15% * trade value |
Min 90 HKD
|US||0.01 USD/share |
Min 1.99 USD/trade
|0.25% * trade value |
Min $10 USD
|ASX||0.10% * trade value |
Min $8 AUD
|0.10% * trade value |
Min $8 AUD
|SZSE and SSE||0.06% * trade value |
Min CNH 15
|0.15% * trade value |
Min CNH 40
The trading commissions are the same if you trade on the SGX and ASX.
However, Tiger Brokers is much cheaper if you wish to trade in:
- US markets
- SZSE and SSE
Fees incurred for trading in respective exchanges
On top of the fees that you pay for each platform, you will be charged exchange-specific fees as well. These fees are the same across both brokerages.
Saxo charges a 0.12% custodian fee for any stocks that you own that are not from the SGX.
This fee is calculated daily, based on the total amount of assets that you hold with Saxo. The fee will then be charged to you on a monthly basis.
This custody fee can really eat into your returns!
Meanwhile, Tiger Brokers does not charge any custody fees for holding your stocks with them.
Currency conversion fee
Saxo also charges a currency conversion fee, if you exchange your SGD to a foreign currency.
The fees that you pay depend on how you exchange your currency:
|Type of Exchange||Fees|
If you make a trade in a foreign currency with your SGD, you will be charged 0.75%.
However if you make the same trade from your sub-account, you are only charged 0.3%.
These additional fees will eat into your returns as well!
Tiger Brokers does not charge any fees for converting your currencies.
Tiger Brokers has a more affordable pricing structure
When comparing both pricing structures, Tiger Brokers does offer you cheaper fees. Both brokerages allow you to invest in the same products across these 5 exchanges.
As such, it may be more cost-effective to invest using Tiger Brokers.
If you wish to trade in overseas stocks, you will have to exchange your SGD for a foreign currency.
For Tiger Brokers, this can be easily done in-app.
You can exchange your SGD to the currency that you wish.
For Saxo, it is a bit more complicated.
Similar to Tiger Brokers, you can fund your account in SGD.
Remember if you make a trade in a foreign currency directly from your SGD, you will incur a 0.70% fee!
To reduce the currency conversion fees, you will first need to create a sub-account. This sub-account is denominated in the foreign currency that you wish to trade in.
This is similar to creating different Securities Settlement Accounts with Standard Chartered.
After that, you are able to transfer your SGD into the foreign currency!
Saxo has slightly more favourable exchange rates
Here is the exchange rate between SGD and USD at around the same time for Tiger Brokers,
and that for Saxo.
Saxo gives the slightly more favourable rate
Saxo seems to be providing a slightly better rate compared to Tiger Brokers. This means that you are able to get more USD for the same SGD that you transfer.
However, the difference in the exchange rate will only be significant if you are trading a large sum of money.
Pre and aftermarket trading
Both Tiger Brokers and Saxo allows you to conduct pre and aftermarket trading on its platform. Here are the timings for the 3 periods in Singapore time (GMT +8).
|Trading Period||Timing (GMT +8)|
To enable pre and aftermarket trading, you will need to enable the ‘Fill Outside RTH‘ option on the trading page.
For Saxo, you can only perform premarket trades using the SaxoGO/PRO platforms. You can’t use SaxoInvestor to make the trade.
App and Platform Experience
The user experience on the brokerage platform may help you to decide on a broker.
Tiger Brokers provides a much better experience
In general, Tiger Brokers has a much better user experience. The platform is sleek, loads fast and is very easy to use.
However, some pages are still in Chinese, which could have been due to migration problems.
Some of the pages have broken English as well.
This could lead to a frustrating experience, especially if you’re trying to view the latest headlines!
Nevertheless, it is still a pretty fast and sleek app that you can use to trade.
The web platform is really comprehensive too:
Saxo has multiple platforms
There are 3 different platforms that you can use on Saxo:
Both SaxoInvestor and TraderGO are available on the web browser. However, for TraderPRO, you will need to install a desktop app.
The type of platform that you use depends on the type of investor you are:
Here’s how SaxoInvestor looks like,
as well as TraderPRO.
Both SaxoInvestor and TraderGO have their mobile apps as well.
Both brokers’ platforms seem pretty sleek and easy to use.
Ease of Opening Account
Both Tiger Brokers and Saxo use MyInfo during the signup process.
If you wish to trade in the US markets, you are required to sign a W-8 BEN form to declare that you are a non-US citizen.
For Tiger Brokers, you can sign the W-8 BEN form digitally.
The same applies to Saxo, where you can sign an online W-8BEN form too.
Once your account has been approved, you can start trading in US stocks right away!
Deposits and Withdrawal
Both online brokerages are pre-funded accounts. This means that you will have to fund your account on either platform first before you can start trading.
No minimum sum to maintain
Both online brokerages do not have a minimum sum to maintain in your account. This is great if you only have a small sum to invest!
Tiger Brokers has direct debit for DBS / POSB customers
If you are a DBS or POSB customer, you can opt to have a direct debit from your bank account to Tiger Brokers.
Your funds will be credited into your Tiger Brokers account almost instantly.
However if you do not have a DBS or POSB account, you can still transfer your funds via FAST.
However, this process may take a few hours before your funds reach your Tiger account.
You’ll need to transfer your funds to Saxo’s bank account first
For Saxo, you can transfer your funds in a variety of ways. This includes:
- Wire transfer
The easiest way to deposit your funds will be either via FAST or PayNow.
Don’t forget to insert the unique deposit code in the ‘reference’ box when you’re making the transfer!
The deposit will also take a few hours to be processed.
Withdrawals may take a few business days
When you want to withdraw your funds from either platform, it may take a few business days before the funds reach your bank account.
The waiting time is around the same for either platform.
Type of Custodian Account
When you trade your assets on both brokerage firms, your assets will be under a custodian account. However, the way that both brokerages hold your assets is slightly different.
Tiger Brokers has a 3rd party custodian account for you
Tiger Brokers uses 3rd party custodians to manage your assets for you.
DBS bank manages your Singapore assets. Meanwhile, Interactive Brokers most likely is handling your assets from other countries.
This is part of the requirements of the Capital Markets License that Tiger Brokers has.
In the unfortunate event that Tiger Brokers closes down, your assets are still kept safe under these custodian accounts.
Saxo also has the Capital Markets License
Saxo is also regulated by the MAS under the Capital Markets License.
In the event that Saxo goes bankrupt, your assets will be kept separately from Saxo’s.
Saxo has also been operating in Singapore since 2006. This should give you the reassurance that Saxo is here to stay for the long term.
Both accounts do not allow CDP linkage
Since both Tiger Brokers and Saxo are custodian accounts, they are unable to be linked to your CDP account.
If you wish to transfer your shares from a CDP-linked broker to either broker, you would have to do a manual share transfer by contacting support.
Here is a head-to-head comparison of Tiger Brokers and Saxo:
|Type of |
Regular Savings Plan
|Number of |
|5 countries||23 countries|
|Custody Fee||None||0.12% p.a.|
|Currency Conversion Fee||None||0.3-0.7%|
|Pre and Aftermarket Funding||Present||Present|
|App and Platform |
|Ease of Opening Account||Similar||Similar|
|Funding Account Speed||A few hours||A few hours|
|Custodian Account||3rd party (e.g. DBS)||Under Saxo|
Which broker should you choose?
Choose Tiger Brokers if you are looking for cheaper fees
Tiger Brokers has cheaper trading commissions compared to Saxo.
Moreover, it does not have any extra fees, such as:
- Custody fees
- Currency exchange fees
Choose Saxo if you want a wider variety of investment options
Investing with Saxo seems to be more costly compared to Tiger Brokers. However, it does provide you with more methods of investing.
You have greater access to exchanges that come from more countries compared to Tiger Brokers.
Particularly, you are given access to the London Stock Exchange. However, Saxo may not be the most cost-effective option to trade in that market!
Moreover, you have other things to invest in, like regular savings plans or forex.
Saxo also seems to be the more reputable brand. They are a Danish firm that was started all the way back in 1992!
If you are worried about Tiger Brokers being slightly less trustworthy, then Saxo will be able to give you more security.
Both brokerages do have their advantages. Ultimately, it depends on what you are looking for in a broker, such as:
- The fees that you’ll have to pay
- The exchanges you can trade in
- The types of products you can purchase
If you decide to use both brokers, you can track your portfolios from these 2 brokerages using StocksCafe.
Tiger Brokers Referral (Commission-Free Trades, Tesla Discount Coupon and Stock Vouchers)
If you signed up using my referral link, you are eligible for some rewards. These rewards will only be valid until 31 December 2021. You can view and claim your rewards by going to ‘Me → Promotions & Rewards‘.
Here are 3 bonuses that you can receive:
#1 Registration Reward
When you register for a Tiger Brokers Account, you will receive 5 commission free trades.
Here are the 4 things that you can purchase:
- Any HK Stock
- Any US Stock
- Singapore Stocks
You will still need to pay the commission first. The commission should be refunded to you on the next working day.
#2 Account Opening Reward
After successfully opening your account, you will receive a 10% discount coupon to purchase 1 share of Tesla.
As such, you will only need to pay 90% of the price that you bought your Tesla share!
#3 Funding Reward
Depending on the size of your first initial deposit, you are eligible for these stock vouchers:
|Initial Deposit||Receive A Stock Voucher Worth|
|≥ SGD$2,000||SGD 30|
|≥ SGD$5,000||SGD 50|
|≥ SGD$10,000||SGD 70|
|≥ SGD$30,000||SGD 100|
A stock voucher allows you to offset your trade with the voucher’s value. You will first have to make the order, before receiving the rebate credited to you. If your transaction amount is less than the stock voucher’s value, you will only receive the transaction amount as a rebate.
This promotion only applies to your initial deposit. If you deposit less than $2k at first, you will not receive any stock voucher!
Saxo Referral (Earn $100-$250 in cash)
If you are interested in creating a Saxo trading account, you can take part in the referral program.
Here’s are the rewards that you can receive from this program:
|Fund ≥ SGD $3,000 and |
make ≥ 3 qualifying trades
|Fund ≥ SGD $100,000 and |
make ≥ 3 qualifying trades
The 3 qualifying trades that you need to make have to be on margin products, such as:
- Futures / Forwards
The process is quite different from other referral programmes, so you can contact me for the next steps for the referral!