Last Updated on February 9, 2021 by Chin Yi Xuan

Rakuten Trade has been my go-to broker to invest in the Malaysian stock market for more than 2 years.

As a long-term user, I have both good and to-be-improved experiences with the platform. In this Rakuten Trade review, let’s learn more about this platform and whether they are the stock investing platform for you!

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How I use Rakuten Trade

Personally, I use Rakuten Trade mainly for long-term investing. Meaning, I invest in stocks and hold them for years UNLESS there is a shift in business nature or fundamentals.

This also means that:

  • I do not actively trade in and out of the market.
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  • Also, I certainly do not need to be on the screen/app at 9am when the market opens in attempt to get the ‘best’ stock entry price.
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  • Plus, I definitely do not participate when the market is crazy over any particular stock – I invest in what I know best instead of following the herd.

Putting this ahead is CRUCIAL because this review is purely based on my personal experience and usage. Depending on your participation in the market, you may find your experience differs from mine.

That said, if you are in for investing in quality companies for the long-term, I think this review will give you solid insights on Rakuten Trade as a stock investing platform.

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Rakuten Trade Feature Highlights

  • Rakuten Trade is a joint venture between Malaysia’s Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd. and Japan’s Rakuten Securities Inc. Established in 2017, Rakuten Trade is under the regulation of the Securities Commission (SC) of Malaysia and holds the Capital Markets Services License (CMSL) to deal with listed securities and provide investment advice.
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  • Rakuten Trade is the only broker in Malaysia to offer a full online investing experience as of the time of this writing. From registration to funding/withdrawal, every process is done online at our convenience. No physical forms, no visiting branches (p.s. it’s year 2021 now, not 2000) – stay at home and be safe!
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    Plus, get your account approved within 3 days (sometimes earlier). This is much more efficient compared to certain brokers that require weeks to approve an account.
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  • Rakuten Trade offers one of the most competitive commission rates in Malaysia. In other words, Rakuten Trade is a fee-friendly option especially for new investors that are starting with a small capital – more below.

    Everything from account-opening to trading can be executed online via Rakuten Trade.
    Everything from account-opening to trading can be executed online via Rakuten Trade.

5 things I like about Rakuten Trade

#1 Competitive Fees

Rakuten Trade offers one of the most competitive rates in the local brokerage scene.

Of all, Rakuten Trade offers the lowest commission rate (RM7) for stock transactions below RM1,000. In my opinion, this is amazing especially for new investors that are getting a taste of the stock market.       

Personally, this is a solid deal even for me because very often I’ll add on less than RM1,000 to my stock portfolio on a monthly basis.

That said, zooming out, M+ does offer a better overall commission structure beyond the RM1,000 transaction value.

However, while looking for a broker, there are more things to consider than commissions alone. Let’s explore the additional value-added strengths that I like about Rakuten Trade in the next few points below.

Local Brokers' Commission Fees Comparison
Local Brokers’ Commission Fees Comparison

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#2 Nominee CDS Account = No Manual Paperwork Needed (+ FREE CDS Fee!)

Everyone has to open a Central Depository System (CDS) account while applying for a stock investing account. Most brokers make it part of the whole registration process already, so don’t worry too much.

What you need to know though, is that there are 2 types of CDS accounts: Nominee and Direct CDS account. (Read more about the difference HERE)

In this case, Rakuten Trade is a Nominee CDS. The good things that come with this are:

  • No need to manage the paperwork on corporate actions like rights issue and dividend reinvestment program (DRP). Everything about corporate action is handled by Rakuten Trade on behalf of the users, which is awesome because my time is too precious for (more) paperwork.
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  • While other brokers that offer Nominee CDS account charges a fee to handle corporate action for users, BUT specifically for Rakuten Trade, there are no additional charges on handling corporate action – yes, FREE.
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  • FREE CDS account opening: Typically, there is an RM10 fee imposed on opening a CDS account. However, Rakuten Trade has been waiving this fee for users too!

All being said, many have the concern that under a Nominee CDS, their shares ownership is placed under a trustee instead of directly under their own name (this is done to avoid fraud).

For me, I think this is not a matter to be concerned with because (1) Rakuten Trade is regulated heavily by the SC and (2) in the event IF the company does go bankrupt, our capital is protected as it is placed with a trustee instead of with Rakuten Trade.

READ: Direct and Nominee CDS, what’s the difference and how to choose?

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#3 Clean, Functional & User-Friendly Platform

Being a fully online broker, Rakuten Trade provides investors with a modern and clean trading experience.

Personally, I have used several brokers in the past, and have seen the interface of other brokers. There are 2 problems with many of these brokers:

  1. Obsolete design/complicated user interface like they are from the early 2000s. Beginners are overwhelmed with poor layouts and simply can’t find what they want to do easily.
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  2. Non-functional – certain platforms are barebone (different from minimalist) without value-added features like stock screeners and so on.

In this regard, Rakuten Trade struck a decent balance between user experience and functionality. Its web platform is simple to navigate with solid value-added features like stock screeners and price alerts.

Coming from using several brokers in the past, I am sure new users will appreciate and are able to familiarize themselves with Rakuten Trade with little to no issue.

Rakuten Trade web platform
Modern & Simple: Rakuten Trade web platform

READ: How to buy your first stock on Rakuten Trade

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#4 Quick Response from Customer Service

Any company that tries to go digital today MUST have a proper online customer service in place.

Generally, there are 3 ways a user can reach out for help: Facebook Chat, Email ([email protected]), and a Hotline. With the exception of Hotline, I have reached out to Rakuten Trade with questions on several occasions in the past.

Generally, the response from the Customer Service team is quick and I usually get my questions addressed.

Just me randomly testing Rakuten Trade's customer service. The response has been quick.
Just me randomly testing Rakuten Trade’s customer service. The response has been quick. (p.s. most local brokers do not have an automatic Take Profit & Stop Loss function too)

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#5 Solid Value Adding Features (eg. Powerful Stock Screener, earn interest on idle cash)

There are several features in Rakuten Trade that make investing a fruitful process for users.

Namely, Rakuten Trade’s built-in stock screener is one of the most comprehensive FREE screeners around. Powered by Thomson Reuters, there are many parameters that you can set up to filter for stocks.

For new investors, this is certainly an awesome feature to have to reduce the time needed to research for stocks.

Rakuten Trade Stock Screener comes with several presets to get beginners started.
Rakuten Trade Stock Screener comes with several presets to get beginners started.

READ: How to build your own reliable Bursa stock screener.

And do you know with Rakuten Trade, you actually earn a 1.00% annual interest on the cash balance in your account? I was not aware of this when I first use Rakuten Trade and was pleasantly surprised when I receive interest on my cash balance.

Earn interest on the idle cash that you deposit in Rakuten Trade while waiting for your next investment opportunity.
Earn interest on the idle cash that you deposit in Rakuten Trade while waiting for your next investment opportunity. (Source: Rakuten Trade Malaysia)

READ: 4 Underrated Features on Rakuten Trade.

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1 thing that Rakuten Trade needs to improve on:

Platform Consistency (p.s. gotten much better since late 2020)

One major issue some Rakuten Trade users have experienced in 2020 were matters such as unable to log-in, platform freezes, and unable to execute orders during peak hours.

Most of these issues happened in line with the spike in retail investor participation in the market since the pandemic.

To be fair, this is NOT solely a Rakuten Trade issue. Other local brokers experienced the same problem as well in 2020. Reason being, the backend infrastructure of many local brokers were not ready to handle the sudden spike of transaction volume in the stock market.

Knowing this, Rakuten Trade has deployed several updates towards the end of 2020, and this has improved the reliability of their platform significantly.

After the update from Rakuten Trade in October 2020, platform issues have been rare, and I am able to execute my orders smoothly even during peak hours.

That said, I implore Rakuten Trade and all other brokers to always strive to make their platform better, as there is always room for improvement.

Rakuten Trade has gotten much more reliable since its major backend upgrade in 2020.
Rakuten Trade has gotten much more reliable since its major backend upgrade in October 2020. (Source: Rakuten Trade Malaysia)

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Should You Open a Rakuten Trade Account? (+ How to open one?)

All in all, Rakuten Trade has been my go-to broker while investing in the Malaysian stock market, and I have no problem recommending Rakuten Trade to:

  1. New investors with small capital that are looking to get started in the stock market thanks to Rakuten Trade’s beginner-friendly commission.
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  2. Investors that are looking to save time on paperwork and skip the handling fees for corporate action such as dividends and rights issue.
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  3. Investors that are looking to open an account and manage their stock portfolio fully online during this pandemic.
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  4. Investors that are looking for a modern, user-friendly stock trading platform without compromising on features.

If you fall into any one (or more) of these categories, check out my step-by-step guide to open your Rakuten Trade account online!

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Account-Opening Reward: Rakuten Trade Awesome Reward for New Users!

Rakuten Trade has the most comprehensive account-opening reward for their users:

Use my referral link HERE and get the following when you open an account:

  • 500 Rakuten Trade (RT) referral points
  • + 150 RT points when you deposit a min. of RM5,000 within 5 days
  • + 150 RT points when you transfer your shares from other brokers to Rakuten Trade
  • + Brokerage fee rebate when you place your 1st trade within 10 days after your account is activated.

Aside from that, Rakuten Trade users get +1 RT point for every RM2 brokerage paid.

How can you use these RT points?

These RT points are amazing, as they can be converted into BIG Points, which are redeemable for rewards. Even if you are not a fan of BIG points, Rakuten Trade often run campaigns with companies such as HelloGold and Tokenize so you can convert your RT points into gold or cryptocurrencies!

p.s. Click HERE for the full T&C of your account opening reward.

Select 'NoMoneyLah' under 'Educator' to get your RT points!
Make sure to select ‘NoMoneyLah’ under ‘Educator’ during your account opening process to get your RT points!

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No Money Lah’s Verdict

So here you go – my long-term user review of Rakuten Trade!

For me, Rakuten Trade is a solid choice as it has the most balanced offering between value, functionalities, and rewards. As the platform develops, I foresee Rakuten Trade will become even more user friendly with time.

If you find this article useful, and would like to open your Rakuten Trade stock trading account, do consider using my referral link HERE to register for your account (or select ‘NoMoneyLah’ under ‘Educator’ when you register). 

Open My Rakuten Trade Account Today!


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which afford No Money Lah a small referral (and in return, support this blog) if you sign up for an account using my referral link.

Rakuten Trade did not receive copy approval rights on this article – that means they are reading this article for the first time, right alongside you. 🙂