How To Buy US Stocks In Singapore – Most Affordable Approach

How To Buy US Stocks In Singapore - Most Affordable Approach

Investing in US stocks from Singapore can be a lucrative venture given the right approach. Singaporean investors have access to a diverse range of US equities, but navigating the process requires an understanding of brokerage options, account setup, market analysis, and fee structures.

If you are looking to invest and make money online, this article outlines the essential steps and considerations for Singaporeans looking to invest in the US stock market, ensuring they are well informed and prepared to expand their investment horizons beyond local shores.

Key Takeaways

  • Utilize a broker finder tool to identify suitable online brokers available in Singapore and compare them based on investment goals and fees.
  • Understand the account opening process, focusing on the differences between capital gain and dividend strategies, as well as market nuances.
  • Analyze the performance, volatility, and tax advantages of US stocks versus Singapore stocks to inform your investment decisions.
  • Be aware of the various fees associated with investing in US stocks, including brokerage, platform, and settlement fees, as well as minimum balance requirements.
  • Consider diversifying your portfolio internationally, managing currency risks, and exploring other global markets to maximize investment potential.

How To Buy US Stocks In Singapore

How To Buy US Stocks In Singapore - Most Affordable Approach

When venturing into the US stock market from Singapore, selecting the right brokerage is crucial. Look beyond just commission fees; consider the entire service offering. A broker’s reputation, platform ease of use, and the range of available investment options are key factors that can impact your trading experience.

  • Reputation: Check for regulatory compliance and user reviews.
  • Platform Usability: Ensure the interface is intuitive and supports efficient trading.
  • Investment Options: Assess the variety of stocks and financial instruments.
  • Fees: Compare not just trading fees, but also non-trading fees.
  • Account Types: Choose between CDP and custodian accounts based on your needs.

It’s essential to align your brokerage choice with your investment strategy and goals. A mismatch can lead to unnecessary costs and suboptimal trading conditions.

Remember, the best broker for one investor might not be the best for another. Utilize comparison tools and calculators to make an informed decision, and don’t hesitate to start with a smaller investment to test the waters.

tiger broker

Looking to start investing, why not try Tiger Broker?

Tiger Brokers offers competitive commission fees for trades across different markets.

It is also practically fee-less in these aspects: no custody fees, deposit (or withdrawal) fees, currency exchange fees, inactivity fees, or account maintenance fees to contend with!

Understanding Broker Fees and Charges

When venturing into the US stock market from Singapore, it’s crucial to grasp the broker fees and charges that will affect your investment returns. These fees can vary widely among platforms, and understanding them is key to making cost-effective trading decisions.

Broker fees typically include commissions, which may be a flat fee or based on the traded volume. For instance, Tiger Brokers charges a platform fee per trade in addition to commissions. It’s important to note that these fees are separate from those imposed by the stock exchanges, such as trading and settlement fees.

Investors should be vigilant about ‘hidden fees’ that can accumulate over time. These might include minimum commission fees, clearing fees, and trading fees, which can make a significant impact, especially on smaller trades.

Here’s a comparison of fees from different brokerage platforms:

Brokerage PlatformCommission FeePlatform FeeClearing FeeTrading Fee
Tiger BrokerVariableYes0.0325%0.0075%
Interactive BrokerFor seasonedYes0.0325%0.0075%

Remember, while some platforms may offer zero-commission trading, they might compensate through other charges. Always review the full fee schedule before making a decision.

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Looking to start investing, why not try MooMoo?

MooMoo, a relative newcomer in the US stockbroker market, provides commission-free US stock, ETF, and options trading with no inactivity fees.

Setting Up Your Investment Account

Setting Up Your Investment Account

Account Opening Process

Once you’ve chosen a brokerage that aligns with your investment goals, the next step is to open your investment account. This process is typically completed online and requires you to provide personal details such as your name, address, and sometimes financial knowledge or trading experience. Here’s a quick guide to what you’ll need:

  • A valid photo ID
  • Recent bank statements or utility bills

These documents are essential to verify your identity and residency. After your account has been verified, you’ll need to fund it. While some brokers require a minimum deposit, others may not, giving you the flexibility to invest at your own pace.

Pro tip: Utilize tools like SingPass for a faster application process and consider whether you prefer a cash or margin account.

Remember, the ease of opening an account has been greatly enhanced in the digital era, making it more accessible for beginners to start trading. With resources available to learn about various investment assets, embarking on your investment journey has never been easier.

Capital Gain vs. Dividend Focus

When setting up your investment account for US stocks, it’s crucial to understand the difference between capital gains and dividends. Capital gains arise from selling a stock at a higher price than the purchase price, while dividends are the company’s profit distributions to shareholders. Your investment strategy may lean towards one or the other based on your financial goals.

Investors often choose between seeking capital appreciation or generating income through dividends. In the US market, capital gains are typically emphasized due to the high growth potential in sectors like technology. Conversely, Singapore stocks are often prized for their attractive dividend yields, which can be a stable source of income.

Here’s a quick comparison of the two approaches:

  • Capital Gains: Favored in the US market; potential for higher returns but subject to capital gains tax.
  • Dividends: Preferred in Singapore for steady income; generally tax-free but may offer lower capital appreciation.

Understanding the tax implications is also essential. The US imposes a capital gains tax on profits from stock sales, which varies based on the holding period. Singapore does not tax capital gains but has a 30% withholding tax on US stock dividends for non-residents. Aligning your portfolio with your preference for capital gains or dividends will help tailor your investments to your financial objectives.

Navigating US and Singapore Market Differences

Investors looking to diversify their portfolios by investing in both US and Singapore stocks must understand the key differences between these markets. The US market is often favored for capital gains, while Singapore’s market is attractive for its dividend yields and stability. For instance, Singapore’s financial markets offer a range of services and incentivize retirement savings through schemes like CPF and SRS, which include investment options in stocks and real estate.

When considering investments in these markets, it’s crucial to align your strategy with your financial goals, whether they are focused on capital appreciation or generating steady income through dividends.

Here’s a quick comparison of the two markets:

  • US Market: High-growth sectors like technology and consumer discretionary often lead to significant capital gains. However, dividends are subject to a 30% withholding tax.
  • Singapore Market: Noted for higher dividend yields and tax-free dividends, making it suitable for income-seeking investors. The market has shown resilience, with recent sessions indicating consolidation and growth.

Understanding these differences will help investors make informed decisions and potentially benefit from the strengths of each market.

Analyzing US vs. Singapore Stock Markets

Analyzing US vs. Singapore Stock Markets

Comparing Returns and Volatility

When considering investments in US versus Singapore stocks, returns and volatility are critical factors. The US market, historically, has offered higher probabilities of gains over various time frames, such as 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years, compared to Singapore stocks. This is partly due to the sector breakdowns, with the US market benefiting from high-growth sectors like technology and consumer discretionary.

In contrast, Singapore stocks are often praised for their attractive dividend yields, especially in uncertain economic times, and the absence of dividend tax, which can be a significant advantage for income-focused investors. However, they typically offer lower capital gains, making them less appealing for those seeking price appreciation.

While US stocks are associated with capital gains and price appreciation, Singapore stocks offer stability through dividends, making them complementary investment choices for a diversified portfolio.

Analyzing the performance of small-cap stocks in the US, it’s evident that many continue to trade at a discount, presenting opportunities for investors in 2024. Diversification across different markets and asset classes, including stocks and real estate, is essential for managing long-term profits and risks in the Singapore market.

Tax Advantages and Dividend Policies

When considering investments in US stocks from Singapore, it’s crucial to understand the tax implications and dividend policies that can affect your returns. Singapore’s reputation as a tax haven is partly due to its low taxes and incentives for foreign investors, which can be particularly advantageous for resident taxpayers. In contrast, the US imposes a 30% withholding tax on dividends, which can significantly impact the net income from your investments.

For non-US residents, including Singaporeans, investing in US markets can be more tax-efficient through vehicles like Ireland-Domiciled ETFs. These ETFs benefit from tax treaties and are not subject to the same withholding taxes as direct stock investments. Additionally, nonresident aliens in the US are typically taxed only on US source income, making ETFs a strategic choice for international investors.

While the US market is often favored for capital gains, Singapore’s market is attractive for its higher dividend yields and tax-free dividends, making it a compelling choice for income-focused investors.

Understanding these differences is key to building a portfolio that aligns with your investment goals and maximizes your after-tax returns.

Investment Strategies for Different Markets

When considering investment strategies for different markets, it’s essential to recognize that each market has unique characteristics that can influence your approach. Investors should tailor their strategies to align with the specific advantages and risks of each market. For instance, the US market is often favored for capital gains due to its dynamic nature and potential for high returns, while the Singapore market is prized for its stability and dividend yields.

  • US Market: Capital gain focus, high volatility, diverse sectors
  • Singapore Market: Dividend focus, stability, strategic growth sectors

It’s crucial to balance your portfolio according to your investment goals and risk tolerance. Diversifying across markets can help mitigate risks and capitalize on different growth opportunities.

Understanding the nuances between the US and Singapore markets can lead to more informed decisions. For example, Singapore’s market offers flexibility and is known for dividends, which can be a steady source of income. On the other hand, the US market provides a broader range of investment opportunities, including tech giants and emerging industries, which can offer significant capital appreciation.

Understanding Fees and Minimums

Understanding Fees and Minimums

Brokerage and Platform Fees

When venturing into the US stock market from Singapore, it’s crucial to understand the brokerage and platform fees that will impact your investment returns. These fees can vary significantly between brokers and can affect the cost-effectiveness of your trades.

For instance, Tiger Brokers charges a platform fee for stocks and ETFs that is dependent on the market:

  • Singapore stocks: 0.03% platform fee with min. S$1 per order
  • US stocks: US$0.005 with min. US$1 per order
  • Hong Kong stocks: 0.03% per trade, min. HK$8 per order
  • China A-shares: 0.03% per trade, min. CNH8 per order
  • Australian stocks: 0.07% per trade, min. A$6 per order

These fees are incurred upon executing a trade and are in addition to any commissions and exchange-specific charges.

It’s important to note that while some brokers may offer zero-commission trades, other costs such as settlement fees can still apply, potentially negating the savings from commission-free trading.

Always compare the total cost of trading, including both platform and commission fees, to find the most cost-effective brokerage. For example, IBKR, Webull, and moomoo may offer lower combined fees for US stocks compared to others. Be wary of promotions that seem too good to be true and ensure you understand all the fees involved before making a decision.

Minimum Deposits and Balance Requirements

When venturing into the US stock market from Singapore, it’s crucial to be aware of the minimum deposits and balance requirements set by brokers. These can vary significantly and may influence your choice of platform. For instance, some brokers do not mandate a minimum deposit, allowing investors to start small and scale up as they become more comfortable with the market dynamics.

However, it’s not just about the initial deposit. Some platforms also require a minimum balance to be maintained, which could impact investors who prefer to start with lower capital. It’s essential to consider these requirements in the context of your investment strategy and financial situation.

Here’s a quick overview of what to expect from various brokers:

  • No minimum balance or deposit required
  • Fees for Singapore stocks: 0.03% commission fee, minimum S$0.99 per order
  • Fees for US stocks: US$0.005 commission fee, minimum US$0.99 per order

Remember, while some brokers offer promotions or lower fees to attract customers, these can be subject to change. Always read the fine print and understand the terms fully before committing your funds.

Additional Costs: Settlement and Maintenance Fees

When investing in US stocks from Singapore, it’s crucial to be aware of additional costs that can affect your returns. These costs often include settlement and maintenance fees, which vary across different brokers and platforms. For instance, some brokers may charge a settlement fee for each trade, which covers the expenses related to the execution and clearing of the trade. Maintenance fees, on the other hand, are periodic charges that may be levied to keep your account active.

It’s important to factor in these additional costs when calculating your potential investment returns. They can significantly impact your net gains, especially if you are engaging in frequent trading.

Here’s a quick breakdown of potential additional fees you might encounter:

  • Settlement Fees: Charged per trade to cover the costs of routing, executing, and clearing the trade.
  • Maintenance Fees: Periodic charges for account upkeep, which may include inactivity fees or account management fees.

Always review the fee structure of your chosen broker to avoid surprises. For example, while some brokers offer zero commission on trades, they might still impose a per-share settlement fee or a flat rate for each transaction.

Expanding Your Investment Horizons

Expanding Your Investment Horizons

Exploring Markets Beyond Singapore and the US

Venturing into international markets can be a strategic move for investors looking to diversify their portfolios beyond the familiar territories of Singapore and the US. Interactive Brokers stands out as a top choice for Singaporean investors in 2024, offering low trading fees and a wide range of products. Similarly, Citibank Brokerage provides instant access to multiple markets, including the US, Hong Kong, and Singapore, through various channels.

While the US and Singapore markets have their unique advantages, exploring other regions can expose investors to new growth opportunities. For instance, European markets may offer stability and mature companies, while emerging markets could present high-growth potential, albeit with increased volatility.

Diversification is key in managing investment risks and capitalizing on global economic trends. By expanding your investment horizons, you can potentially tap into markets that complement your existing portfolio and investment goals.

Before diving into new markets, it’s crucial to understand the legal and regulatory landscape, as well as the economic conditions that could affect your investments. For example, the real estate sector in Singapore has specific legal requirements and long-term potential that investors should consider.

Diversifying Your Portfolio Internationally

When looking to expand your investment horizons internationally, it’s crucial to consider the benefits of diversifying your portfolio. Diversification can help mitigate risks and improve the potential for returns by spreading investments across various geographic regions and sectors. One effective strategy is to invest in a mix of asset classes, which can include equities, bonds, commodities, and real estate.

Investing in foreign stocks and bonds can provide exposure to different economic cycles, political environments, and growth opportunities. For instance, gaining exposure to foreign stocks is key to effective diversification, allowing investors to tap into growth opportunities in markets and sectors not available in their home country.

By constructing a globally diversified portfolio, you can earn market returns while negating the poor performance of any single company, industry, or country. This approach can be particularly beneficial during times of localized economic downturns or when certain sectors are underperforming.

Diversification is not just about adding more assets to your portfolio; it’s about selecting the right assets that complement each other and reduce overall volatility.

Managing Currency Risk in Global Investments

When expanding your investment portfolio internationally, managing currency risk becomes a critical aspect of safeguarding your returns. Investment options include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate, each with its own level of exposure to currency fluctuations. It’s essential to choose based on your financial goals and risk tolerance.

One effective strategy to mitigate currency risk is diversification through multi-currency investments. By spreading your capital across different currencies, you can reduce the impact of any single currency’s volatility. Additionally, consider the use of currency-hedged investment vehicles, such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that focus on minimizing the effects of currency movements on your portfolio.

It’s important to be aware of the hidden risks associated with currency exposure, especially when investing in USD deposits. Short-term fluctuations can significantly affect your investment’s value, potentially wiping out gains.

Remember, while there are methods to reduce or eliminate currency risk, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each investor’s approach should be tailored to their unique situation. For personalized advice, it may be beneficial to contact a financial advisor in Singapore.


In conclusion, investing in US stocks from Singapore offers a gateway to capital gains and a diverse range of investment opportunities. By selecting the right online broker, understanding the fee structures, and considering factors like dividends and taxes, Singaporean investors can effectively participate in the US market. Whether you’re drawn to the high-growth sectors or seeking stable dividend yields, the choice between US and Singapore stocks ultimately aligns with your financial goals and risk appetite. Remember to leverage tools like broker finders and comparison tables to make informed decisions, and always be mindful of the associated costs when trading across borders.

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Looking to start investing?

Webull ranks among the best in terms of costs, with free stock and options trades and a relatively low per-contract options fee.

Webull was built to be user-friendly for a mobile-first generation, but that doesn’t come at the expense of advanced charting and screener tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find the right online broker for trading US stocks in Singapore?

You can use a broker finder tool to narrow down your choices to those brokers that are available in Singapore and align with your investment goals. Additionally, you can compare brokers side by side using a broker comparison table.

What should I consider when comparing brokers for US stock investments?

Look for factors such as the availability of the brokers in Singapore, the fees for trading US and Singapore stocks, minimum balance or deposit requirements, and the range of investment options like stocks, ETFs, and options.

What are the typical fees associated with trading US stocks from Singapore?

Fees can include a commission fee (e.g., US$0.005 per share with a minimum per order), platform fees, settlement fees, and potentially maintenance fees. It’s important to check each broker’s fee structure as they can vary.

Are there any tax advantages to investing in US stocks compared to Singapore stocks?

Singapore stocks may offer better dividends that are tax-free, while the US has a 30% withholding tax on dividends. However, US stocks may be more suitable for capital gains.

How do I open an investment account to trade US stocks in Singapore?

The account opening process involves choosing a broker, completing an application, and providing necessary documentation. Some brokers may have promotions for new accounts, such as waived fees for a certain period.

Can I diversify my portfolio by investing in markets beyond Singapore and the US?

Yes, you can explore other international markets to diversify your portfolio. It’s important to manage currency risk and consider the fees for trading in various markets, as they can differ from those for US and Singapore stocks.

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