By: Colin Ng
One of the keys to successful stock market investing is having access to a wide range of stocks, bonds, and securities through the help of trusted investment broker firms. If you’re currently on the lookout for the best online investment brokers on the island, worry no more because we have you covered!
Today, we’ll be talking about two of the most trusted investment brokers in Singapore: DBS Vickers vs OCBC Securities.
The Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) are two of the most trusted banks in Singapore. More than that, we believe that their investment broker services are worth checking out for both beginners and experienced investors.
In this article, we’re going to review and compare both of them. But before that, we’re going to share a few important notes that every beginner must know when choosing an investment broker.
Let’s start, shall we?
How to Choose the Best Investment Brokers in Singapore
An investment broker functions as the middleman between investors and stocks, securities, and bonds. They conduct investments on your behalf, so it’s best to use a trusted investment broker to ensure that your money is invested in the right stocks.
In line with that, there are a few considerations you have to take note of when looking for the right investment brokers in Singapore. Your choice will ultimately boil down to your priorities.
Let’s go over some of the things you need to remember while setting those straight:
Most investment brokers in Singapore provide a similar selection of investment options, from individual stocks down to mutual funds.
On top of that, almost all of them charge their clients commissions per investment, which vary depending on a client’s chosen investment option. The typical minimum commission for the majority of investment brokers on the island is S$25.
However, if you’re making a trade that ranges between S$50,000 and upwards, you will usually be charged on a percentage basis.
2. Investment strategy
Aside from commissions, your investment strategy should also factor into your choice of investment broker. You should ask yourself first whether you’re a trader or a passive investor.
If you’re a trader, you need to look for an investment broker that can offer quick gains faster than the market average based on short-term price volatility. You also need to check if your investment broker can handle multiple trade executions over a short period.
More than that, you might want to look for a broker with low execution fees. If possible, stay away from those that charge unnecessary fees that could largely diminish your returns.
On the other hand, if you’re a passive investor, we suggest going for an investment broker with medium-to-long-term outlooks to make sure that they can power through short-term stock market fluctuations.
3. Account minimums
There are a few investment brokers on the island that require a minimum initial investment, but most don’t care about how money goes into the stocks, bonds, and the like per trade.
The only problem with this would have to be the minimum commissions that could take a huge bite out of your returns. For example, if you invest S$500, you will have to pay a commission fee of S$25 per trade.
If you’re not willing to pay commissions for small investments, then it’s better to wait to save up enough money to make a big trade.
4. Account fees
Some investment brokers charge their investors with fees beyond commissions, so make sure to look for one that doesn’t have a ridiculous number of fees.
Common fees to watch out for are platform fees, management fees, annual fees, inactivity fees, and extra charges for investment data and research.
It’s important to check an investment broker’s list of fees because these will have a huge effect on your total returns.
DBS Vickers VS OCBC Securities
Now that you know more about investment brokers in Singapore, we hope that you’re ready to know what makes DBS Vickers and OCBC Securities investment brokers worth checking out.
Let’s start with DBS Vickers!
DBS Vickers Securities is a leading investment trading platform owned by DBS, one of the top banks on the island. It’s an online platform that provides retail and institutional brokerage solutions for beginners and long-time investors.
For most beginner investors in Singapore, fees are a huge deciding factor when choosing the right investment broker. No investor would want to take home only half of their returns because their broker is charging them multiple fees, right?
Like most investment brokers in Singapore, DBS Vickers charges investors a commission fee per trade. Investors can make a trade either online or through phone calls, so the commissions vary depending on the trading method used.
If you make a trade online, the minimum commission fee is S$25. For trades S$50,000 and below, the commission fee is 0.28%, while trades above S$100,000 are charged 0.18% commission fees.
On the other hand, the commissions are higher if you’re placing a trade via phone call. The minimum commission fee is fairly high here, priced at S$40 per trade.
If your trade is S$50,000 and below, the commission fee is 0.375%, almost 0.10% higher than online trades.
Other fees that investors have to face are 0.0325% for the CDP-imposed clearing fee and 0.0075% for the SGX trading fee.
Indeed, investors are going to have to deal with multiple fees when investing with DBS Vickers. This can get a little overwhelming for beginners.
It’s particularly difficult if investors don’t plan on becoming long-term investors. You see, it’d be hard to see the importance of these fees if the investor isn’t planning to stick around for a long time.
2. Investment options
DBS Vickers allows its clients to invest in a broad range of markets by introducing them to different options.
Some of the investment options are Singapore shares, international shares, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), real estate investment trust (REITs), preference shares, bonds, structure warrants, and fixed income securities, among others.
One of the best things about having multiple investment options is that investors will be able to diversify their portfolio as much as possible. It also encourages them to create investment strategies that could yield higher returns.
If there’s one thing that makes DBS Vickers perfect for beginners, it’s the fact that it offers services to make trading as easy and convenient as possible, especially to those who are new to stock market investing.
For instance, DBS Vickers offers a broad range of investment tools and valuable information like news and analyses, trading histories, charts, and reports from its award-winning research group.
In terms of accounts, DBS Vickers provides 3 types of investment accounts: Cash account, Cash Upfront account, and Young Investor account. This is to give their clients more power as to where their money goes and how it gets managed.
Cash accounts and Cash Upfront accounts are ideal for working professionals who have no background in stock market investing. Both of these come with perks that will make trading a fun experience for beginners.
On the other hand, the Young Investor account is perfect for youngsters between 18 to 20 years who want to start investing as early as possible.
4. Pros and Cons
As with every investment broker, DBS Vickers has both pros and cons. If you’re a beginner, you’re going to need to take a closer look at how each of these might affect your investment goals.
One of the things we like about DBS Vickers is that it offers different investment accounts that can accommodate the needs and goals of all investors.
Even if you have no prior experience in investing, DBS Vickers can offer the right investment account for you to make the first steps as easy as possible. It even offers investment accounts for investors as young as 18 years old.
DBS Vickers also comes with investment tools available for all investors to make trading as easy as possible. All you have to do is to use these tools whenever you’re having trouble finding the right stocks to throw your money into.
In terms of cons, investors will have higher and more fees to pay if they choose DBS Vickers… such as SGX trading fees and CDP-imposed clearing fees.
It’s also known for its dated mobile app interface that makes it difficult for most clients to trade online. A lot of its users complained that the app fails in design, speed, and overall user experience… though your mileage may vary, so to speak.
5. Reviews for DBS Vickers
Here are comments by investors about their experience with DBS Vickers:
“Cheapest brokerage for stocks to be transferred to CDP using DBS Vickers Cash Upfront. There’s no waiting time for funds to be credited as it uses a multi-currency bank account as the holding account for funds. However, DBS Vickers Cash Upfront is only available via IBanking so it isn’t really convenient buying on your phone using your web browser.”
“I use it because it is only charging $10 per transaction and it credits into your CDP! However, the setup is a bit messy and even today, I still can’t figure out the difference between cash and cash upfront account. I tried to sell some shares but was unsuccessful as the platform is not so straightforward.”
Now that we’ve covered what makes DBS Vickers a good investment option, we’re now going to dig deeper into what makes OCBC Securities a worthwhile investment broker.
Similar to DBS Vickers, OCBC Securities is an investment broker owned by one of the biggest banks on the island. It offers an online platform that provides a broad range of services such as securities, derivatives, and leveraged foreign exchange trading.
In terms of fees, OCBC Securities is more expensive compared to DBS Vickers. Both of them charge clients with commissions, CDP-imposed clearing fees, and SGX trading fees, but the former also charges an SGX settlement instruction fee per contract.
Like DBS Vickers, it charges commissions per trade, depending on the amount traded. Investors may also ask their brokers for help when making trades, but the commissions will be higher.
For every online trade, the minimum commission fee is S$25. If you’re making S$50,000 and below, the commission fee will be 0.275%, while those trades above S$100,000 are charged 0.18%.
If you want to consult with a broker before making any decisions, the commission fee will be higher by almost 0.20% per trade.
2. Investment options
When it comes to investment options, OCBC Securities doesn’t differ too much from DBS Vickers. Both of them give clients a broad range of industries and markets, allowing them to invest where they think their savings will grow.
OCBC Securities also offers company shares, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), structured warrants, real estate investment trusts (REITs), American Depository Receipts, bonds, futures, and more.
One thing we do like about OCBC Securities is the fact that it offers investments for people who only plan to be short-term investors. That’s a big plus for a lot of newbies in particular.
Since most of the work falls on the shoulders of the investors, OCBC Securities offers services that aim to ease everyone’s trading experience, especially the beginners.
OCBC Securities is known for its 24/7 online trading, a perfect feature for those who plan to invest in markets in other countries with different time zones. Investors will also be able to access markets faster by trading in both local and overseas key securities exchanges.
They also know how to make portfolio management easier and more convenient for investors. Through their online platform, investors will be able to track cash, share portfolios, view balance and trading history, and trade and settle stocks in their chosen currency.
One of the best things about OCBC Securities is that it helps investors in making better-informed decisions by providing in-depth market reports and securities from its award-winning research team.
More than that, OCBC Securities offers different investment accounts: Basic Trading Cash account, Share Financing account, and the Young Investor programme. Each of these accounts come with different trading features.
4. Pros and Cons
If an investor is looking for an investment broker that offers convenience, we usually direct them to OCBC Securities. It’s one of the most accessible and convenient brokers out there, mainly because of the user-friendly mobile app interface.
OCBC Securities also comes with advanced investment tools that can help every investor make sound and correct investment decisions. All these tools are already embedded in its online investment platform.
OCBC Securities comes with a disadvantage as well. If you don’t know much about investing, you’re bound to lose money, but you may opt to seek help from its professional brokers, but prepare yourself to pay more in commission fees.
Speaking of fees, OCBC Securities charges clients more fees compared to DBS Vickers. Because of this, we suggest thinking twice if you don’t see the point in multiple investment fees.
These fees are probably not an attractive feature for beginners who don’t intend on becoming long-term, passive investors. It’d be a waste to pay multiple investment fees whose purpose isn’t going to be evident until after 1 to 2 years, right?
5. Reviews for OCBC Securities
Take a look at what clients have to say about their experience investing with OCBC Securities:
“Rates are competitive and the application process is pretty straightforward, I did mine online and turn around time was ~2 weeks to get my account setup. After my login details were sent to me, increasing my limit was done quickly with a phone call. Rates are acceptable and similar to competitors. I’m not a day trader or trade a high enough volume to renegotiate rates.”
“The online brokerage is useful and suits all my needs in the stock market. The SMS notifications to my mobile are very helpful in ensuring that my trades were executed successfully. User interface is good on my mobile app also.”
|DBS Vickers||OCBC Securities|
|● Live reports and news analysis
● Advanced monitoring and data tools
● Low brokerage fees
● Multiple account options
● Accounts for young investors
● Exclusive invites to seminars and workshops
|● User-friendly mobile app
● With direct access market
● With trading history and trust balances
● Offers broker-assisted trades
● International markets
● Access to advanced investment tools
● 24/7 trading
And with that, we conclude our comparison of DBS Vickers vs OCBC Securities. Based on our comparison, we’ve inferred that both are great investment broker options as both of them offer quality services.
Both DBS Vickers vs OCBC Securities offer tiered investment accounts, multiple investment options, and advanced tools that ease their clients’ experience.
However, OCBC Securities comes with more investment fees than DBS Vickers. We think it’s understandable because it has an efficient online trading platform and it allows clients to make trades 24/7.
If you’re willing to spend more for convenient trading, then we recommend going for OCBC Securities. It has everything that will make stock market investing a worthwhile experience, with less hassle attached.
That being said, if you are a beginner investor, you might want to go with DBS Vickers’s trading seminars and workshops to enhance your investment skills and knowledge. Having no account maintenance fee is also a big plus for those who are still testing the waters.
If you’re thinking about using robo advisors for your investments instead, then you might want to read our list of the best robo advisors in Singapore. Our list features some of the most in-demand robo advisors on the island.