Tiger Brokers vs Saxo – Which Broker Is Better?

Tiger Brokers vs
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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:

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:

  1. Stocks
  2. ETFs
  3. Mutual funds
  4. Futures
  5. Options

You are able to trade futures and options on Tiger Broker’s platform too.

Tiger Brokers Futures

Saxo has a wider variety of products

Saxo provides many different products on their platform. This includes:

  1. Stocks
  2. Bonds
  3. ETFs
  4. Mutual funds
  5. Forex
  6. Futures
  7. Commodities
  8. Options (Forex and Listed)
  9. Managed portfolios
  10. Regular Savings Plan

Saxo’s managed portfolio is something similar to a robo-advisor.

It chooses to invest your money into different funds from:

  1. LionGlobal
  2. BlackRock
  3. Morningstar
  4. Brown Advisory
  5. Nasdaq

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:

Tiger BrokersSaxo
SGX
HKEX
US
ASX (Australia)
SZSE and SSE (China)
LSE (UK)
Bursa Malaysia
SWX (Switzerland)
TSE (Japan)

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:

  1. Reduce your dividend withholding tax (30% to 15%)
  2. 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.

Tiger Brokers IWDA ETF

However, Tiger Brokers still has many of the popular exchanges, such as US and HKEX.

Fees

Here are the fees that each broker charges for the similar exchanges:

Tiger BrokersSaxo
SGX0.08% * trade value 
No minimum  
(until 30 April 2021) 
Min $2.88 SGD/trade  
(after 30 April 2021)
0.08% * trade value 
No minimum  
(until 30 April 2021)
HKEX0.06% * trade value 
Min 15 HKD/trade
0.15% * trade value 
Min 90 HKD
US0.01 USD/share 
Min 1.99 USD/trade
0.25% * trade value 
Min $10 USD
ASX0.10% * trade value 
Min $8 AUD
0.10% * trade value 
Min $8 AUD
SZSE and SSE0.06% * 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:

  1. US markets
  2. HKEX
  3. 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.

Custodian fees

Saxo charges a 0.12% custodian fee for any stocks that you own that are not from the SGX.

Saxo Custody Fee

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 ExchangeFees
Cash Products0.75%
Account Transfer0.30%

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.

Exchange Rates

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.

Tiger Broker Exchange Rate

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,

Tiger Brokers SGD To USD For Saxo

and that for Saxo.

Saxo Currency Conversion SGD To USD For Tiger Broker

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 PeriodTiming (GMT +8)
Premarket1600-2130
Regular Trading2130-0400
Aftermarket0400-0800

To enable pre and aftermarket trading, you will need to enable the ‘Fill Outside RTH‘ option on the trading page.

Tiger Brokers Pre Market Trading

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.

Tiger Brokers Home Page

However, some pages are still in Chinese, which could have been due to migration problems.

Tiger Brokers Headlines In Chinese

Some of the pages have broken English as well.

Tiger Brokers Broken English

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:

Tiger Trade Desktop App 1

Saxo has multiple platforms

There are 3 different platforms that you can use on Saxo:

  1. SaxoInvestor
  2. SaxoTraderGO
  3. SaxoTraderPRO

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:

PlatformSuitable For
SaxoInvestorEveryday investors
TraderGOTraders
TraderPROSerious traders

Here’s how SaxoInvestor looks like,

SaxoInvestor Web Platform

and TraderGO,

Saxo TraderGO Platform

as well as TraderPRO.

Saxo TraderPRO Platform

Both SaxoInvestor and TraderGO have their mobile apps as well.

SaxoInvestor vs TraderGO Mobile App

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.

MyInfo SignUp1

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.

Tiger Broker W 8BEN

The same applies to Saxo, where you can sign an online W-8BEN form too.

Saxo W 8BEN Form

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.

Tiger Brokers Direct Debit Setup

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.

Tiger Brokers Deposit Funds 3

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:

  1. FAST
  2. PayNow
  3. MEPS
  4. 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.

Tiger Brokers Custodian

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.

This 3rd party custodian account arrangement is similar to what robo-advisors use as well.

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.

Verdict

Here is a head-to-head comparison of Tiger Brokers and Saxo:

Tiger BrokersSaxo
Type of  
Products Available
Stocks 
ETFs 
Mutual funds
Futures
Options
Stocks 
ETFs
Mutual Funds
Options
Managed Portfolio
Regular Savings Plan
Number of  
Exchanges Available
5 countries23 countries
Trading CommissionsLowerHigher
Custody FeeNone0.12% p.a.
Currency Conversion FeeNone0.3-0.7%
Exchange RateComparableComparable
Pre and Aftermarket FundingPresentPresent
App and Platform  
Experience
SimilarSimilar
Ease of   Opening AccountSimilarSimilar
Funding Account SpeedA few hoursA few hours
Custodian Account3rd 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:

  1. Custody fees
  2. Currency exchange fees

One of the ways to receive higher returns on your investments is by keeping your costs low. If you are investing with a smaller sum, Tiger Brokers may be the better choice for you.

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.

Conclusion

Both brokerages do have their advantages. Ultimately, it depends on what you are looking for in a broker, such as:

  1. The fees that you’ll have to pay
  2. The exchanges you can trade in
  3. 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‘.

Tiger Brokers Rewards Center

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:

  1. Any HK Stock
  2. Any US Stock
  3. Singapore Stocks
  4. Futures

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.

Tiger Brokers Tesla Share Discount Coupon

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 DepositReceive A Stock Voucher Worth
≥ SGD$2,000SGD 30
≥ SGD$5,000SGD 50
≥ SGD$10,000SGD 70
≥ SGD$30,000SGD 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:

ActionReward
Fund ≥ SGD $3,000 and
make ≥ 3 qualifying trades
SGD $100
Fund ≥ SGD $100,000 and
make ≥ 3 qualifying trades
SGD $250

The 3 qualifying trades that you need to make have to be on margin products, such as:

  1. CFDs
  2. FX
  3. Futures / Forwards
  4. Options

The process is quite different from other referral programmes, so you can contact me for the next steps for the referral!

You can find out more about the referral program on Saxo’s website.


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