The news that TD Ameritrade will stop serving Singaporean customers as of December 2023 has come as somewhat of a surprise for investors. It is indeed an uncommon occurrence, especially for a market that is reported to have slightly above 48% of its population with active investments in stocks. This has left many users of the Thinkorswim trading platform confused and looking for alternatives.
Choosing the right platform is always challenging, but it can be overwhelming in a highly saturated market such as the Singaporean. Our team understands that this process requires a lot of attention and careful research, and we have tried our best to do exactly that.
In this article, we will compare the best alternatives to TD Ameritrade in Singapore.
Will TD Ameritrade be completely gone from the Singaporean market?
The answer to that question is no. TD Ameritrade will keep working with all accredited investors who would like to use their platform (you can read more about accredited investors here). But if you sadly don’t meet the requirements to be an accredited investor, you will soon lose trading rights and be pretty much “forced” to look for a new platform.
TD Ameritrade alternatives in Singapore in 2023
#1 Interactive Brokers (IBKR GlobalTrader)
Interactive Brokers at a glance
Interactive Brokers is one of the world’s leading online financial brokers with over 33 offices worldwide, offering access to over 130 different markets. The company was first listed on NASDAQ in 2007 and, since 2020, has been available and fully operational in Singapore.
Their TWS platform is very well-built and serves equally well both new and experienced traders. It is intuitive and offers a vast selection of advanced tools and in-depth learning materials. For the more mobile investors, this platform also offers a great mobile app and the professional Trader Workstation platform for the most experienced and hardened professionals.
The TWS platform includes many standard features such as watchlists, alerts, and real-time monitoring, in addition to advanced tools, such as the volatility lab, which is a brief overview of a stock’s past and future volatility parameters, as well as its industry peers and the broader market.
Interactive Brokers is one of the best brokers in international trades and is especially attractive for investors interested in the US market. Not only are the fees incredibly low, but the number of different products is larger than any other competitor currently available.
- Low Commissions (Especially for US Stocks)
- No monthly inactivity fee
- The broadest product and market range in the brokerage industry
- Lower fees for high-volume trades
- Extensive research and education tools
- Has a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for novice investors, IBKR GlobalTrader
- Low margin-lending rates
- Complicated and lengthy account opening process
- Can be a bit harsh on beginners
- The web-based platform can be slightly overwhelming
- Interactive Advisors (Robo-advisor feature) is only available for US customers
- The look of some of the tools is slightly outdated
#2 Saxo Bank
Saxo Bank at a glance
Compared to the other brokers on our list, Saxo Capital Markets has already been on the Singaporean market for almost 20 years. The company is a subsidiary of the Danish investment bank Saxo Markets, founded in 1992. In 2006, Saxo Capital Markets made a market entry in Singapore and has enjoyed a very successful spell ever since.
Saxo is a premium broker that is largely used by experienced traders. The platform offers five different accounts: bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond. Each account has a small monthly fee, with the bronze account being the most basic one. Commissions progressively get cheaper with upgrading the account type, and diamond users can enjoy fee rates as low as 0.02% (min $0.25). In the diamond account, you either have to pay a subscription fee of SGD145 per month or earn 145,000 points on their platform. Points are earned by depositing funds in your account or trading. It is easy to see that that would be an amazing deal for active professionals.
Saxo also offers a very wide range of products. You can access over 23,500+ Stocks, 7,000+ ETFs and thousands of funds on more than 50 markets.
Another important thing to consider is the platform itself. While Saxo really does have an amazing platform that looks great and is completely customisable, it is also completely overwhelming for less experienced investors. Even more experienced investors have to spend considerable time setting up their platform and navigating the countless possibilities.
- Low fees for higher-tier accounts
- Very customisable Interface
- Access to a great variety of products and markets
- Great research materials
- Very experienced broker
- Regulated by numerous institutions and deemed to be one of the safest in business
- Offers 3 different platforms with different complexity levels
- Great mobile App
- Higher fees for low-tier accounts
- The fee structure is fairly complicated
- Very little educational materials
- Overwhelming for new traders
- Lacks 24/7 chat availability
Moomoo at a glance
A subsidiary of Futu Holdings Ltd, Moomoo is a relatively new trading platform based in California, US. Moomoo has been traded on the Nasdaq since 2018 and successfully launched in Singapore in 2021. The platform quickly gained popularity with its easy-to-use interface and lucrative signup bonuses. One of the biggest strengths of the platform is its advanced tools and access to a large amount of US Stocks, which might not all be available on other platforms.
Maybe the biggest downside of Moomoo is that it only offers US, Hong Kong, and Singaporean stocks, thus making it impossible for investors to trade in any other markets. It also misses some securities, such as bonds.
It is fairly easy to set up a new account on the platform, and you can practice with a demo account with up to a million USD. There is no minimum deposit or an inactivity fee.
Moomoo has a very user-friendly mobile app with many great features, such as a heat map and an in-build stock screener. The platform also offers access to many training materials, news articles, webinars, video guides and tutorials.
Overall, Moomoo is a great platform that offers easy-to-use and cheap investment opportunities. As long as you are okay with being restricted to the 4 investment regions it offers, Moomoo is a brilliant choice. It is also worth noting that Moomoo has been rapidly expanding in the past few years, and it is probably just a matter of time before they expand their offerings.
- Competitive fees for trading US and Singapore stocks
- Access to a wide variety of US Stocks
- Offers advanced trading tools
- Great and intuitive App
- User-friendly and easy-to-navigate platform
- Great App features
- Great sign-up bonuses
- Employee Stock Ownership Plan for public and private companies
- Limits investors to 4 markets
- No web-trading platform
- Not able to invest with CPF/SRS funds
- No crypto, bonds
#4 Tiger Brokers
Tiger Brokers at a glance
Our last pick is Tiger Brokers, a China-based broker operated by Up Fintech Holdings, that has shown rapid growth and tons of promise in recent years. Tiger Brokers was founded in Beijing in 2014 and, in 2020, made a successful market entry in Singapore.
The platform, still looking to expand its customer base, offers a great set of sign-up bonuses and has shown very promising growth in Singapore, already fighting with older and more established companies for a major market share. What sets this broker apart is the very intuitive and user-friendly interface and the low fees for low-volume trades.
Another downside of Tiger Brokers is the quarterly custody fees for inactive accounts that have previously traded on the SGX but haven’t done so in the current quarter. This is still cheaper than most of their competitors, only $2 per quarter, but it is still something to consider.
Like Moomoo, Tiger Broker has the issue that it only offers access to a limited number of markets. As of this writing, the company offers stocks from Singapore, the USA, Hong Kong, China, Australia and New Zealand. It is worth noting that Tiger Brokers is still a fairly new online broker, especially outside of China, showing tremendous growth and tons of potential, and it is simply a matter of time until the company enters more markets and further expands its security offerings.
- Competitive fees, especially for small volumes
- Great promotions and newcomer bonuses
- Visually stunning platform
- Great mobile App
- Supports Wise transfers
- Wide range of tradable asset classes
- The interface is very customisable
- A limited number of markets and assets
- Fees might be pricey at high volumes
- Inactivity fee for SGX sub-accounts
- Limited education services
- No crypto, bonds
The bottom line
To summarise our list of best TD Ameritrade on the Singaporean market:
Picking the right platform is always tricky and requires a great amount of research. But at the end of the day, it is always the investor who has to decide what he or she is looking for and which broker best meets their needs. Whether you are a new investor or a seasoned professional, we hope this article helped you make this decision!