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Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Chin Yi Xuan

In this article, let’s look at my review on Tiger Brokers, a broker that provides affordable access to foreign stock market, while having strong regulations in place.

As an investor, I have always been looking for the most affordable way to invest in overseas stock market.

This is especially true for me as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) enthusiast, as having affordable access to Singapore, Hong Kong and the US stock market will allow me to invest in many attractive REITs globally.

At the same time, I also have concerns about the regulatory issue of foreign brokers, which of course relates to the safety of my funds.

Tiger Brokers come in to fit my needs nicely. Here’s my updated review of Tiger Brokers after using it for more than a year:

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Tiger Brokers Highlights:

  • Exposure to different markets & instruments with just one account. (Singapore, US, Hong Kong, Australia & China stock market, Futures, Warrants & Options)

     

  • Highly competitive and attractive fees. No minimum brokerage fee for Singapore stocks until 31/12/2021.

     

  • 100% online account opening & management. No visit to branch needed.

     

  • Strong regulatory background + company is publicly listed on NASDAQ .

     

  • Planning to open an account? Click the button below to use my Tiger Brokers referral link, and get the following when you open a new account (promo ending on 30/11/2021)!
    • a. Account Registration

      500 Tiger Coins which can be exchanged for various rewards within the app.

    • b. Account Opening rewards

      60 commission-free trades (within 180 days)

    • c. Account Funded
      (i) 1 Free APPLE share (First deposit SGD2,000 or more, added to your account in 7 business days upon successful deposit)
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Open A Tiger Brokers Account Today!


Tiger Brokers Regulation – How is Your Money Protected?

Let’s address the main concern of most investors when it comes to choosing a foreign broker – is it regulated by a proper/respected authority?

When it comes to their operation in Southeast Asia, Tiger Brokers is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), with a Capital Markets Services License to operate a legal brokerage business. Globally, Tiger Brokers is also regulated by the respective authorities from the US (SEC), Australia (ASIC), and New Zealand (FSPR) as well.

In short, Tiger Brokers is a well-regulated broker by proper authorities and is definitely way better than the brokers registered in some random African countries.

In regard to money/capital protection, there is strict segregation of clients’ capital and assets apart from Tiger Brokers’ own capital:

  • Clients’ Capital: Kept by DBS Commercial Bank
  • Clients’ Investment Assets:

– Singapore Stocks: Held by DBS Custodian Bank

– US Stocks: Held by Interactive Brokers

– HK Stocks: Held by Interactive Broker

To summarize, Tiger Brokers is held by a high standard of regulations and accountability towards clients’ assets and capital. As such, I have no problem recommending Tiger Brokers to fellow investors looking to invest in foreign markets.


Tiger Brokers Fees/Commission Comparison – Amazing Value & Highly Competitive Fees

Ultimately, what landed me on Tiger Brokers is its highly competitive commission.

While there are local brokers that offer exposure to foreign markets, they are super expensive (high barrier of entry), and the fee details are rarely available on their official websites (not transparent at all). As someone looking to invest affordably in the Singapore, US, and Hong Kong market, Tiger Brokers is certainly worth considering.

Below is the commission comparison table of Tiger Brokers alongside some other equally regulated (by MAS of Singapore) alternatives:

Commission/Rates charged by respective broker*

Tiger Brokers (SG)

FSMOne (SG)

POEMS Starter by Phillip Securities (SG)

Maybank Global Investing (Malaysia)***

Singapore Market

0.08%, or a minimum of SGD 2.88/trade**. (**No minimum charge until 31/12/2021)

Flat SGD 8.80/trade.

0.08%, or a minimum of SGD 10/trade**. (**No minimum charge until 31/12/2021)

SGD25, or minimum 0.40%/trade – whichever is higher.

US Market

USD 0.01/share, or a minimum of USD 1.99/trade.

0.08%, or a minimum of USD 8.80/trade.

Flat USD 3.88/trade

SGD25, or minimum 0.40%/trade – whichever is higher.

Hong Kong Market

0.06%, or a minimum of HKD 15/trade.

0.08%, or a minimum of HKD 50/trade.

0.08%, or a minimum of HKD 30/trade.

N/A

*Stated are fees charged by the brokers themselves. Please note that there are also additional (albeit minimal) fees charged by the respective exchanges in a transaction. (More details HERE) ***Based on my best research since I cannot find any official foreign stock fee structure from local brokers’ website. If you are interested, do approach your respective local brokers for more info.

Open A Tiger Brokers Account Today!


How to Open a Tiger Brokers Account?

a. Account Types

There are 2 types of trading accounts offered by Tiger Brokers, namely:

    • Margin Account (eligibility: 21 – 65 y/o)

Margin Account supports margin trading and short selling (intraday leverage up to 4x; overnight leverage up to 2x).

    • Cash Upfront Account (eligibility: 18 – 75 y/o)

Cash Account only allows trading stocks with cash. Margin trading and short selling are unavailable.

In short, you invest or trade with what you have deposited in your account.

If you are below 21 y/o currently, you can open a Cash Upfront Account first, then upgrade to a Margin Account once you reach 21, along with a full-time job.

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b. Account Opening Process

The account opening process does take some time, but it is simple & straightforward. Spare around 15 – 20 minutes to prepare the documents needed to smoothen your account-opening process.

If this is your first time opening a foreign brokerage account, I highly recommend you to follow the steps below – as I’ll explain some potential terms that you may not be familiar with:

Step 1: Prepare for the Documents/Details

    • Nationality/Full Name/Current Residential Address/Citizenship/Date of Birth/IC Information
    • Employer’s name and address
    • Details of assets and income
    • Investment objectives and experience
    • Proof of Identity (IC/Passport)
    • Proof of Residential Address (IC/Residential Estate Certification/Utility Bills – eg. Water/Phone Bill within the past 6 months, showing your full name & address)
    • Bank Statement (issued within the past 6 months, showing your full name & address)

Step 2: Open a Tiger Brokers Account 

Click HERE to use my Tiger Brokers referral link so you can enjoy account opening rewards!

When you click on the referral link, the rewards will be automatically applied and you can start your account opening process.

 

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Step 3: Key in Your Nationality & Tax Residency Country.

Tax Identification Number (TIN) is your local tax number. If you are still studying, or do not have an account yet, just tick ‘I don’t have a TIN’ and state your reasoning.

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Step 4: Key in Your Personal Info & Employment Details.

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Step 5: Decide if you want to open a Margin Account or a Cash Account.

Also, decide if you need access to instruments like Futures and Warrants (p.s. just tick ‘No’ if you don’t know what these are).

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Step 6: Read and proceed after you agree to the conditions of the W8-Ben form*.

*What is W-8Ben form?

Filling in the W-8 Form is a requirement by the US Inland Revenue Service for account holders to declare that the beneficiary owner of the amount received from US sources is not of US origin. For clients who want to trade the U.S. markets, they will need to complete this form.

Step 7: Upload the necessary documents.

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Step 8: Verify your identity by scanning your face. Follow the steps as shown below:

Step 9: You are done!

Generally, the account will be opened within 1 to 3 business days after the account opening application is submitted.

You will receive an SMS & email notification upon a successful account opening. Alternatively, you may log in to Tiger Brokers’ official website to check your account opening status.


How to Fund Your Tiger Brokers Account

After your account is approved and opened, the next thing that you’d want to do is to fund your account. There are 2 main ways for you to fund your Tiger Brokers account:

Method 1 (recommended): Funding Tiger Brokers via a Singapore Bank Account (CIMB SG)

The first, and my recommended way to fund your Tiger Brokers account is through a Singapore bank account. 

The deposit experience is fast, and you’ll also save on the expensive intermediary banking fees (SGD20/USD30) that incur when you use FTT via a local bank. 

Check out my detailed guide on:

The whole process may take some time but trust me, the savings are going to be worth it.

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Method 2: Funding Tiger Brokers via Foreign Telegraphic Transfer (FTT) through local banks

In the following section, I’ll show you how to fund your Tiger Brokers account via FTT through local banks. That said, I do not recommend this method due to expensive intermediary banking fees (SGD20/USD30) per transfer. 

If this is your first time, the process may be a little intimidating for you so I’ve created a step-by-step for you below:

Step 1: Open your Tiger Brokers app

Step 2: Select ‘Me’ at the bottom right corner > Tiger Account

Step 3: Select ‘Deposit’

Step 4: Select to deposit in the currency of your choice (SGD/USD/HKD).

Step 5: Select ‘Other Overseas Bank Accounts’

Step 6: You’ll be shown the remittance/transfer details.

Remember to key in the payment reference correctly when you do your transfer in Step 7!

 

Step 7: Do the remittance from your bank via FTT.

A standard FTT fee will be charged for every FTT transfer. Aside from that, there are 2 things to take note of:

  • Generally, the transfer will take between 1 – 3 days but from my experience, it only took several hours for my deposit to reflect in my Tiger Brokers account.
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  • For all these FTT transfers, Tiger Brokers do not charge for the whole funding process. However, our banks’ appointed intermediary bank will be charging a clearance fee (varies according to banks). For me (Maybank FTT), it is SGD20 for SGD transfers and $30 for USD transfers.

In short, the total cost for my FTT transfer via Maybank is (1) Standard FTT fee + (2) SGD20 (SGD transfer)/$30 (USD transfer). Again, this is NOT a fee from Tiger Brokers but it’s a clearance fee charged by the banks. 

As you can see, this is the reason why I do not recommend funding your Tiger Brokers account via local FTT. Instead, save on these fees by checking out my guide on how to fund your Tiger Brokers account through a Singapore bank account

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Step 8: Inform Tigers Broker to check for your deposit upon transfer + upload transfer receipt

 

Step 9: You are done! You will receive an email once your deposit is accepted.


How to withdraw from Tiger Brokers

Personally, I’d recommend withdrawing your funds from Tiger Brokers via a Singapore bank account, for several key reasons:

  • Direct withdrawal to a local bank (non-SG banks) will incur an expensive intermediary banking fee of around SGD35 (SGD withdrawal) or USD25 (USD withdrawal). In comparison, there are no fees on withdrawal to a Singapore bank account.
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  • Direct withdrawal to a local bank (non-SG banks) can take about 1 – 3 days. On the other hand, withdrawal to a Singapore bank account (during business hours) can happen within the same day (though officially it mentions 1-3 business days). 

Again, if this is your first time planning to open a foreign stock account, just know that these caveats (fees) on deposit & withdrawals apply to all foreign stock brokers, not just Tiger Brokers. That’s why I highly recommend opening a Singapore bank account if you are planning to invest overseas. 

READ: How to withdraw funds from Tiger Brokers to a Singapore bank account 


Who Should Open a Tiger Brokers Account?

As a whole, Tiger Brokers offers investors exposure to various foreign markets at an affordable package, while retaining the much-needed regulatory aspects at the same time.

As such, Tiger Brokers is suitable for:

1. Investors with some experience in the local stock market, and are looking to diversify to (either/or) the Singapore, US, Hong Kong, China, and Australia market at an affordable rate.

2. Investors that are currently using expensive local brokers to invest overseas, and are looking for a more competitive rate to reduce investing cost.

3. Investors that are ready to invest in foreign markets that want their broker to be regulated by proper authorities.


My Tiger Brokers Experience + Things to Improve

Having used Tiger Brokers for more than a year now, my experience with them has been largely decent.

Execution of trades is smooth and fund transfers are also easy. That aside, I’d want to focus this discussion on 3 particular parts of Tiger Brokers: the mobile app, desktop app & customer support.

(a) Tiger Trade Mobile App

For the most part, I love the mobile app from Tiger Brokers. The interface is relatively simple and intuitive, and most of the functions you need are easy to navigate and find.

Personally, even as someone that does not execute trades on mobile apps (I still prefer web/desktop), I find the design language of the mobile app better than the desktop interface.

(b) Tiger Trade Desktop App

Personally, when it comes to execution, I still prefer to stick with the desktop/web app of my brokers.

That said, at first glance, Tiger Brokers’ desktop app can be a tad more daunting than its mobile counterpart. This is because the layout tends to be more informative compared to the mobile app.

In other words, new investors may get overwhelmed at first. There is some learning curve involved, but it is definitely manageable – and you’ll come to appreciate the layout once you are familiar with how everything works.

The desktop app of Tiger Brokers

(c) Customer Support

There are 2 ways to reach out for help to Tiger Brokers, namely via their hotline (tel:+65 6950 0591) or email support ([email protected]).

I have been using the email support service for inquiries many times (personal inquiries & also in preparation for this article), and the response time has been decent. Generally, most of my emails during working hours are responded to within an hour or 2, or else they’ll be replied to on the next day.

One thing that I hope could be improved though, is how they explain/clarify questions. There are instances where when I asked about a more technical issue/jargon, and was replied with a more expanded (not simplified) explanation.

With businesses going online nowadays, I think it is more important than ever for companies to invest in improving customer support, especially in understanding customers’ perspectives and providing simplified support to inquiries.

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(d) Can’t access or log in to your Tiger Brokers account/platform? 

Lately, several readers have reached out to me with an issue where they are unable to log in to their Tiger Brokers account/platform.

Personally, I do not have this problem but I am made aware that this is an issue with selected internet providers (eg. Unifi) that randomly blocked out certain sites for no logical reasons. 

To solve this problem, simply download a VPN application on your computer and phone (eg. Proton VPN, Windscribe, and many more). Then use the VPN software to connect to another country.

Once you have done that, accessing your account shouldn’t be a problem anymore.


Singapore Stocks No Minimum Commission Promo (ending on 31/12/2021!)

If you are keen to invest in Singapore stocks (like myself), you’d love this current promotion by Tiger Brokers.

Until 31/12/2021, Tiger Brokers will be running a No Minimum Commission promo for Singapore stocks. This means that the minimum commission requirement of SGD 2.88 will be lifted only the 0.08% commission rate will apply.

Simply put, assuming you are buying into a stock worth SGD500, your commission paid to Tiger Brokers would be:

  • SGD 0.40 (SGD500*0.08%) during promotional period (ending 31/12/2021).
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  • SGD 2.88 after the promotional period (which to be fair, is still the most affordable in the industry).

For me, Tiger Brokers is a no-brainer since I have been looking around for an affordable way to invest in Singapore REITs with the intention to expand my portfolio.

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Tiger Coins – Tiger Brokers’ Built-In Reward System

Tiger Brokers has recently launched its built-in reward system – Tiger Coins, where you can collect when you complete certain tasks. 

With Tiger Coins, you can redeem attractive rewards from Stock Vouchers to commission-free trades!

Tiger Brokers has just released its built-in reward system - tiger Coins.
Tiger Brokers has just released its built-in reward system – Tiger Coins.

No Money Lah’s Verdict

So here you go – my in-depth review of Tiger Brokers!

As someone looking to gain exposure in foreign markets, Tiger Brokers is truly a decent overall package that offers highly competitive fees with solid regulatory backing.

Having invested via Tiger Brokers for more than a year now, Tiger Brokers is my go-to broker for foreign stock investments and I have no problem recommending them to investors that is keen to gain foreign market exposures – all without paying expensive commissions.

If you have any questions on Tiger Brokers, feel free to leave a question in the comment section below! Constructive feedbacks are welcomed as well 🙂


Keen to open a Tiger Brokers account?

If you find this guide useful and are planning to open an account, consider clicking on the button below to use my Tiger Brokers referral link! You’ll get the following when you open a new account (promo ending on 30/11/2021)!

    • a. Account Registration

      500 Tiger Coins which can be exchanged for various rewards within the app.

    • b. Account Opening rewards

      60 commission-free trades (within 180 days)

    • c. Account Funded
      (i) 1 Free APPLE share (First deposit SGD2,000 or more, added to your account in 7 business days upon successful deposit)
      p

Open A Tiger Brokers Account Today!

READ: How to make your first trade on Tiger Brokers?


Disclaimer:

This post contains affiliate link(s). As always, I’d only recommend tools and financial solutions that I personally use AND/OR are interesting & provide unique value to my readers. Every article takes a long time and effort to write and when it comes to financial solutions, I’ll only invest time in writing about good and relevant products.

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Chin Yi Xuan

Hi there! I am Yi Xuan. I am a writer, personal finance & REIT enthusiast, and a developing trader with the goal to become a full-time funded trader. Every week, I write about my personal learnings & discovery about life, money, and the market.

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