Interactive Brokers Singapore Review (2024)

Interactive Brokers, a leading online trading platform and pioneer in the field, has opened its door to Singaporean traders since 2020. Check our honest review of the IBKR platform, including pros, cons, and how it stacks up to competitors to find out if its the right investment and trading platform for you.
February 22, 2024
Interactive Brokers Singapore Review (2024)

Interactive Brokers (IB) is an American multinational brokerage firm founded in 1977 by Thomas Peterffy. A pioneer in the field, IB first revolutionized the online trading world by developing the first fully automated algorithmic trading system in the 1980s.

Over the decades, IB continued expanding its offerings to include trading in stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, ETFs, and more across 135 markets in 33 countries, making it a one-stop-shop for global trading needs.

Today, it’s one of the largest electronic brokerage firms and forex platforms in the world. It’s listed on NASDAQ and serves customers from over 200 countries, supporting 150+ markets, 33 countries, and 24 currencies worldwide. It manages over 2.5 million trader accounts and has a total net worth of $14.1 billion.

Officially launching its operations in Singapore in 2020, IB now offers a direct presence in one of Asia's most prominent financial hubs. It’s incorporated as Interactive Brokers Singapore Pte. Ltd. in the country as one of the umbrella company’s 11 affiliates.

Why Interactive Brokers?

IBKR Singapore distinguishes itself from other online brokerages through its trusted platform, broad selection of products, affordability, and geographic coverage. The platform has been consecutively rated as the #1 Best Online Broker by Barron's for four years.

Licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), it ensures compliance with local regulations for Singaporean users. Another defining feature is IBKR’s solvency. It boasts equity capital far in excess of any regulatory requirements, with no long-term debt.

IBKR also provides traders with unprecedented freedom to trade a variety of assets in various markets. You can access over 150 markets across 33 countries, trading in 27 currencies and take part in 9 different trading options, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, futures, forex, and mutual funds.

The platform also has some of the lowest commission fees. Singaporeans only have to pay US$0.005 per share for US stocks. Singapore stocks have a minimum commission of 0.08% of trade value. Exchanging currency is 0.002% with a minimum of $2.

Finally, this platform has excellent geographic coverage, which is critical for expats and remote workers. It has clients in over 200 countries. After you relocate countries, Interactive Brokers also makes it easy to transfer your account to the new country (instead of closing down your account like many brokers).

Who is it good for?

IBKR's feature-rich platform caters to all types of investors, from beginners to seasoned professionals. Its comprehensive offerings make it an ideal choice for those seeking:

  • Affordable Access to Global Markets: Investors looking beyond the US market can find opportunities in international markets, like Ireland-domiciled ETFs on the London Stock Exchange, through IBKR.
  • Reliability Through Time: If you’re looking for a long-term solution, IBKR has a proven track record of reliability and resilience with decades of operational excellence.
  • Diverse Trading Instruments: Traders interested in exploring various financial instruments, including forex, futures, and options.

The Pros and Cons of IBKR

Here’s a quick summary of its main benefits and drawbacks you should consider:

Pros

  • Long-standing reputation of reliability and excellence
  • Some of the lowest commission fees for traders and investors
  • Access to an impressive range of over 150 markets across 33 countries, trading in 24 different currencies
  • Flexible pricing with both volume-tiered and fixed-rate models
  • Exclusive and comprehensive resources with advanced trading analytics, market insights, free webinars, and courses
  • Supports linking to various account types, including Individual, Joint, Trust, IRA, and IB Canada RSP accounts
  • Overnight trading hours for US ETFs to act on news outside of standard market hours
  • Access to futures, forex, mutual funds, and options, catering to all types of investors
  • Allows trading fractional shares, making high-value stocks accessible with limited capital
  • Feature-rich platform that caters to both beginner and advanced traders
  • No minimum account balance is required, so investors of all sizes can start trading

Cons

  • Unlike some newer digital brokerages, IBKR doesn’t typically offer sign-up promotions
  • Only one free withdrawal per month with a $15 SGD fee thereafter
  • Exchange, regulatory, and clearing fees may apply for some
  • The size and complexity of the platform can be overwhelming if you are new or only want to trade one type of asset
  • Dashboard experience is less user-friendly than some competitors

Feature Breakdowns

Features and Investment Options

Feature Description
Global Market Access Access to over 150 markets across 33 countries, trading in 24 currencies.
Diverse Asset Classes Includes stocks, ETFs, bonds, futures, forex, mutual funds, warrants, commodities, and options.
Fractional Shares Trading Enables purchasing fractional shares in US and European markets.
Advanced Trading Tools Offers more than 100 order types and algorithms, including Market Orders, Limit Orders, Stop Orders, Trailing Stop Orders, Bracket Orders, Conditional Orders, etc.
Educational Resources Comprehensive suite of research tools, free webinars, and courses available through the IBKR Campus.
Exchanges Access to over 60 exchanges including NYSE, NASDAQ, London Stock Exchange, Hong Kong Exchange, Tokyo Stock Exchange, and Singapore Exchange (SGX), Hong Kong Futures Exchange (HKFE), Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK), Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect (SEHKNTL), Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect (SEHKSZSE, Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE.JPN), Korea Stock Exchange (KSE), and more

Price

Pricing Aspect Details for Singaporeans
Account Fees None
US Stocks Commission fees start at US$0.005 per share, with a minimum of US$1.00 per order.
SG Stocks Minimum commission fee is 0.08% of trade value, with a minimum of SGD 2.50 per order.
ETFs Commission-free for US-listed ETFs. For non-US ETFs, fees similar to stocks in the respective markets apply.
Forex Commission starts at .0002% with a minimum of $2 per order.
Deposit & Withdrawal Fees One free withdrawal per month; SGD 15 for subsequent withdrawals.
Withdrawal limits USD 50K to unlimited, depending on security level
Inactivity Fees None

Safety/Security

Safety Feature Description
Regulatory Compliance Licensed by MAS, SEC, and other top-tier regulators.
Data Protection Utilizes advanced encryption technologies for data security.
Two-Factor Authentication Mobile (Android and iOS) or dedicated security device.
Excess SIPC Protection Provides additional insurance coverage beyond the standard SIPC limits.

User Experience

User Experience Aspect Details
Trading Platforms Website Client Portal, Trader Workstation, IBKR Mobile, and IBKR APIs
Customizable Interface Allows users to tailor their trading environment to suit their preferences.
Account Management Tools Integrated tools for comprehensive portfolio analysis, reporting, and performance tracking.

Customer Service

Service Feature Description
Availability Customer support available 24/7 via phone, email, and live chat.
Language Support Assistance offered in multiple languages to cater to a global clientele.
Online Resources Access to comprehensive FAQs, guides, and tutorials for self-help options.
Account Management Dedicated account management services are available.

Comparison to other brokers in Singapore

IBKR vs Saxo

Saxo Bank, known for its premium platform and extensive research, is authorized by seven Tier-1 regulators. While IBKR has more trading options overall, Saxo shines with over 40,000 securities.

Saxo’s commission fees for US stocks are USD$ 2 for Bronze-level customers but can be as low as USD$ 0.25. Unlike IBKR, it’s Gold and Diamond plans come with an account fee.

However, IBKR stands out for its overall lower pricing and broader asset selection. Saxo leads in trading tools and research quality, making it ideal for those prioritizing a sophisticated trading environment.

IBKR vs Webull

Webull targets more tech-savvy investors, attracted by a highly technical platform and commission-free trading. However, like both Saxo and IBKR, it’s still accessible with no minimum deposit requirements.

Unfortunately, Webull primarily caters to US-based investors. However, it also offers its services in a variety of other countries, including Singapore with webull.com.sg. It also has a fairly consistent offering across this countries it operates in, so you won't miss out on key trading options or instruments.

However, it also doesn’t offer as many trading options as IBKR. You can trade in US stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, but it doesn’t offer international stocks or forex. this makes it a more beginner-friendly option if you've got a narrower interest in trading specific assets.

FAQs

Does IBKR have an inactivity fee?

No, Interactive Brokers (IBKR) previously had an inactivity fee, but it discontinued this fee in July 2021.

Can I use IBKR for free?

Yes, you can use Interactive Brokers (IBKR) without incurring a monthly account fee or inactivity However, trading activities incur commissions, and other possible fees/charges fees, depending on the specific transactions and services used.

What is the difference between IBKR Pro and Lite?

IBKR Pro offers professional trading features, including advanced tools, research, and the SmartRouting system, with commission-based pricing. IBKR Lite provides commission-free trading on US stocks and ETFs, aimed at casual investors, but with fewer advanced features and no SmartRouting.

Also, IBKR Pro follows a fixed or pricing scheme while Lite is fixed only.

Summary & Recommendation

Interactive Brokers offers unparalleled market access and competitive pricing, ideal for both seasoned and novice investors in Singapore. With its robust trading platform, diverse asset selection, and pedigree, IBKR offers robust capabilities for any type of online trading.

IBKR is highly recommended for those seeking comprehensive trading tools and access to international markets.

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By opening up your Interactive Brokers account today, you can earn up to $1,000 IBKR stock for free using my affiliate link.

Dexter Zhuang
Dexter Zhuang

Dexter is the founder of Money Abroad, an online education platform helping high-performers design their independent money path. He has 10+ years of experience building products and teams at public companies (Dropbox) and scaling startups (Xendit) across the US, Asia, and Latin America. His work has been featured in global outlets like Business Insider, CBS, US News & World Report, and Tech in Asia. He graduated from Dartmouth College.

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