Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, but this article contains referral links that allow me to earn referral rewards at no cost to you if you choose to signup with my links, which helps me maintain the blog.
In July, Interactive Brokers (IBKR) became the uncontested king of brokers in Singapore.
Low commission fees, spot-rate FX conversions, access to many different markets – IBKR has it all.
With so many reasons to use IBKR, are other brokers like Tiger Brokers still worth using?
Personally, I think so. In fact, I still use Tiger Brokers regularly.
In this post, I’ll explain my reasons for doing so and why I think you should also use Tiger Brokers.
1: Cheapest SGX Fees
Firstly, Tiger Brokers currently offers the lowest commission fee for SGX investments among any broker.
This is true even when compared against IBKR, which seemingly offers the lowest commission fees for many markets.
The table below summarises the commission fees for SGX investments for some of the cheapest brokers in Singapore.
|Moomoo||0.06%, Min $2.49|
|Saxo||0.08%, Min $5|
*: Minimum fees waived until 31 Dec 2021
As you can see, Tiger Brokers charges $0 minimum commission fees for trades on the SGX.
Granted, this is only because they are currently running a promotion until the end of the year to waive the minimum fee for SGX trades.
If it doesn’t continue this promotion, then it will no longer be the cheapest broker to invest with SGX.
Nonetheless, there are still 2 months left to enjoy this promotion.
If you’re planning to allocate a portion of your portfolio to SG investments, you might as well take advantage of this promotion while it’s still ongoing.
A $0 minimum fee is almost unheard of in SG, so I think it’s definitely a point worth mentioning even if it’s only temporary.
2: Free Live Market Data
Next, Tiger Brokers provides free live market data – something that IBKR doesn’t.
While it’s possible to obtain live market data on IBKR, it comes at a price.
This is usually in the form of a monthly subscription, where the price varies depending on the type of market data you’re looking for.
By default, IBKR displays market data that is delayed by 10 – 20 minutes on average.
What Is Live Market Data?
As the name suggests, it refers to live or real-time market data.
This includes the latest bid and ask prices of a stock/ETF, the order volume, and etc.
Why Does It Matter?
In the stock market, prices are dictated by supply and demand.
A buyer can only buy a stock at a given price if there is a seller who is also willing to sell at the given price.
The price that buyers are looking to buy at is the ask price and the price that sellers are looking to sell at is the bid price.
Very often, there is a disparity between the bid and ask prices of any given stock/ETF. This is known as the bid-ask spread.
Let’s say you’re looking to sell 100 shares of ABC at the bid price of $100 each and you need the cash urgently.
But the ask price is only $99 based on the delayed market data.
If no buyers are willing to buy ABC shares for $100, you won’t be able to liquidate your shares to obtain the cash you need.
Out of desperation, you lower your bid price of ABC shares from $100 to $99 to close the bid-ask spread and liquidate your shares.
You manage to sell your shares, but you earned $1 less for each share sold for a total of $100 less.
Since you modified your order based on the delayed market data, it’s possible that the ask price of ABC shares actually increased in real-time at the same time that you lowered your bid price.
But because you didn’t have access to that information, you sold your shares at a lower price and didn’t receive as much money as you could have.
Having access to live market data will allow you to place trades using the latest available information which can help to prevent these incidents from happening.
Best Of Both Brokers
It’s worth noting that even though IBKR displays delayed market data by default, it responds to real-time market data.
That is, say IBKR shows the (delayed) ask price of ABC as $99 and Tiger Brokers shows the (live) ask price of ABC as $100.
If you try to sell your ABC shares on IBKR at $100/share, your order will be filled even before IBKR shows you that the ask price of ABC is $100, given that there is sufficient trade volume.
This way, you get to capitalise on the live market data that Tiger Brokers provides for free while enjoying the low commission fees that IBKR charges.
3: Attractive Sign-up Reward
If you don’t already know, Tiger Brokers is well known for its signup promotions which offer attractive rewards like free stocks.
The current signup promotion includes:
- 500 Tiger Coins
- 5 commission-free trades
- 1x free Apple (AAPL) stock
AAPL is currently trading at 152 USD/share, which is equivalent to ~204 SGD.
I don’t know about you, but a signup promotion that gives away 200 SGD sounds like a promotion worth jumping on to me.
In order to be eligible for the free Apple stock, you need to register for a Tiger Brokers account via this link or enter the referral code “MNRWMR“.
After your account is approved, you need to make a one-time initial deposit of 2000 SGD or higher.
This is important – if your first deposit is <2000 SGD or equivalent, you will not be eligible for the reward.
You can check out this post for a step-by-step guide on the signup process.
I should also mention that you will not be able to liquidate the free AAPL share immediately upon receiving it in your account.
You need to first make 10 successful trades before you will be allowed to sell the AAPL share.
I wrote a guide on the best way to go about this to liquidate your free share which you can find here.
4: Beginner Friendly UI
While IBKR may be good for many things, if there’s a common complaint about IBKR, it would be that it’s not too intuitive to use.
Even people who are familiar and comfortable with investing may take some time to adjust to IBKR’s interface, and more so for beginners.
I think it’s because IBKR is meant to be a platform for more savvy investors rather than for everyday investors.
Meanwhile, Tiger Brokers is meant to appeal to everyday investors and make investing convenient.
Tiger Brokers’ interface is more intuitive to navigate – everything that I’ve wanted to find is exactly where I’d expect it to be.
Because of this, Tiger Brokers is definitely easier to use and less intimidating to get started with for beginners.
Not encountering any problems when trying to use the platform will help beginners get more comfortable with investing.
On the contrary, beginners who have issues figuring out how to navigate a platform may make them more averse to investing.
Beginners who want to start investing but feel hesitant to can try using Tiger Brokers first to build confidence and get comfortable before moving on to a more advanced platform like IBKR.
5: Free Cash With Tiger Coins
Finally. there’s a way to earn free cash on Tiger Brokers – all it takes is 3 minutes/day.
On the Tiger Trade mobile app, you can access the Tiger Coin Center where you can exchange Tiger Coins for stock vouchers.
Stock vouchers are basically cash vouchers that will be redeemed for cash when you place a buy order.
I previously wrote a post about everything you need to know about stock vouchers, so I won’t go into detail about it in this post.
There are 4 ways you can earn Tiger Coins:
- Sign-up Reward (500 coins)
- Daily Sign-in (20+ coins/day)
- Daily Missions (10 – 20 coins/mission, 5 missions/day)
- Achievement Missions (100 – 800 coins)
The Tiger Coins from the signup reward and achievement missions can only be received once.
However, every day, you get to earn Tiger Coins by signing in and completing the daily missions.
The reward for daily sign-ins starts at 10 coins/day up to a maximum of 20 coins/day when you sign in consecutively for 7 days or more.
Signing in on weekends earns bonus coins of varying amounts. The most I’ve earned is 32 coins.
There are a handful of daily missions, all of which reward 10 coins except for 1 which rewards 20 coins.
Since you only get 5 missions a day, the maximum number of coins you can earn from daily missions is 60 coins/day.
The daily missions are extremely easy to complete and involve things like sharing a stock or interacting with other users (giving likes, following users, etc).
It probably takes me <3 minutes to complete all the daily missions to earn my daily dose of Tiger Coins, which is ~80 coins/day.
Currently, the rewards catalogue for Tiger Coins includes stock vouchers in SGD or USD.
A 10 USD stock voucher costs 3200 coins, so you’ll be able to redeem 1 voucher every 40 days.
Sure, it’s not much, but it’s cash that you can get for just 3 minutes/day.
Even though IBKR is the superior broker in many ways, I don’t think Tiger Brokers is obsolete – at least, not yet.
It offers the lowest SGX commission fees and free live market data that is valuable to any investor.
Its attractive signup rewards and beginner-friendly UI make it an excellent first broker for beginners to start investing with.
The Tiger Coins system that allows users to earn free money every 40 days is a nice added bonus for those who don’t mind spending 3 minutes/day on the Tiger mobile app.
Do you still use Tiger Brokers? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below!