Choosing a secure, reliable and efficient broker is one of the best trading decisions you will make. Even better than buying Amazon shares when they first listed at $18 in 1997 or shorting the oil market just before COVID drove crude prices into the ground in 2020. There's nothing more disappointing than making the right calls on the market to find your broker isn't legitimate and that you can't recover your profits or original funds.
Therefore, choosing a regulated broker is the first step towards successful trading, and this review considers a selection of trusted Singapore CFD (Contract for Difference) brokers. Broker choice is down to more than the safety of funds, and all of the below are also ranked highly in terms of the service they offer clients. The good news for traders and investors is that with the Singapore CFD market now ranked number four in the world, many high-quality brokers have opened their doors to Singapore traders. It's just a case of finding the best fit.
Transparent pricing with no additional execution commissions
Cost-effective trading thanks to tight spreads
The option to upgrade risk management and use guaranteed stop losses
User-friendly trading platform ideal for beginners
Great charting graphics and intuitive functionality
Free demo account which allows for risk-free trading
Trade forex, indices, crypto, commodities, shares, options and ETFs
Excellent education and learning materials, including Trading Guide, which is ideal for newbies
News and research to help clients keep on top of market events
Rebates and bonus offers to new and existing clients
Pay money into your account using one of the more than 12 different payment agents, including BPAY and KLARNA
Broker has a Singapore office and Singapore customer service team offering support via phone, Live Chat and email
The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is required to provide detailed financial reports
Plus500SG Pte Ltd will hold your funds in a segregated bank account. In the unlikely event that Plus500 fails your cash will be protected under the terms of MAS regulation
Plus500 is a global broker with a client base of millions of traders, and it has recently taken the step of applying for and obtaining regulatory approval from MAS. Its commitment to the Singapore CFD market is in line with its track record of embracing innovative ideas.
Plus500 offers traders a secure and straightforward trading experience backed by a range of neat user-friendly trading tools. These all add up to making the Plus500 trading experience one of the best in the market. Registering for a Demo account is highly recommended so that potential clients can try Singapore CFD trading in a risk-free environment.
Singapore based clients operate using trading limits set by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Maximum leverage is accordingly 1:30
Plus500SG Pte Ltd (UEN 201422211Z) holds a capital markets services licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore for dealing in capital markets products (Licence No. CMS100648-1) (Source: Plus500).
Choose between three top of the range trading dashboards
Excellent demo account which is free to use and doesn't expire
No hidden costs
Very strong in the forex markets
Supports traders looking to use algorithmic models for hands-free trading
Occasional bonus offers and promotions such as discounts on fees
Online learning tools such as webinars are ideal for beginners
Generous leverage terms
Pepperstone has built its reputation to become one of the world’s leading forex brokers. The Australia-based firm offered such excellent service that its client base became worldwide, and the number of markets it offered also expanded.
The broker now offers a high-quality CFD trading experience in markets ranging from commodities to stock indices. Additional features that help clients set up in the best way possible include the award-winning customer service and in-depth but jargon-free training webinars and market reports available in video and written format.
Pepperstone Group Limited (pepperstone.com/en-au/) is headquartered at Level 16, Tower One, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3008 Australia and regulated by ASIC (Australian Securities & Investments Commission).
Pepperstone Markets Limited (pepperstone.com/en/) has the registered address: Sea Sky Lane, B201 Sandyport, Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas and is regulated by the SCB (Securities Commission of The Bahamas)
Global clients of Pepperstone are allocated regulatory protection based on where they live.
Excellent all-round service from a multi-asset broker
Everything you need in one place
Simple clean design makes it suitable for beginners
More than 17,000 different CFD markets to trade
Market-leading trading in-house trading platform, average trade speeds of 0.014 secs
Research and analysis materials are hard to beat in terms of both quality and quantity
Asset groups ranging from forex options to US bonds and everything else in between
Free demo account
Powerful software tools to take trading to the next level
Customer support is available 24/5
The broker has been operating for more than 45 years
Client funds are ring-fenced
Regulated by MAS
It’s hard to know where to start when listing the good points about IG. It’s well-regulated, provides an ever-popular platform choice to clients, has thousands of CFD markets on offer and competitive pricing. The scale of the operation is something else. Over the decades it has been operating, the firm has built up numerous additional services, including its TV channel.
It broadcasts market news reports, shares’ The Week Ahead’ reports with clients to prepare for upcoming events, and the broker also offers ‘Trade of the Week’ ideas.
IG Asia Pte Ltd (Co. Reg. No. 200510021K) with registered address, Straits Trading Building, 9 Battery Road #01-02, Singapore 049910, holds a capital markets services licence issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for dealing in capital market products that are over-the-counter derivatives contracts and is an exempt financial adviser.
What are CFDs?
The recent revolution in online trading has democratised the investment industry. It is simple to set up an online brokerage account, and the process is carried out online and takes minutes to complete. Once onboarded to a platform account, holders have several ways of gaining exposure to the financial markets, one of which is CFDs.
Traditional buy-and-hold investing is best explained by a broker taking S$500 from a client account and using it to buy S$500 shares in firm ABC. At CFD platforms, the client doesn’t hold the actual stock; instead, they enter into a legal contract with the broker. The S$500 can be best thought of as a deposit or stake, and if the value of the position in firm ABC goes up to S$550, the broker will credit the client S$50 profit. If ABC falls in value by S$100, then a loss of S$100 is applied, and the client is left holding S$400 rather than S$500.
Fundamental principles relating to market price apply. You can’t buck the market. But because the contract is between the client and the broker, there is some wriggle room which means CFDs have some neat features.
Sell short as well as go long – Clients can agree with the broker that profits will be made if a market falls (not rises) in value
Leverage – brokers can, at their discretion, allow clients to scale up on positions. A S$500 cash deposit can be used to take on positions much greater in size. A position of S$1,000 reflects leverage of 1:2, and in Singapore, leverage in some markets can be as high as 1:20. Considering how leverage scales up risk levels, that is more than sufficient for most traders.
Why Do CFD Brokers Apply to be Regulated?
CFD trading relies on your broker’s ability to pay out any profits made on trades, so using a trusted and viable platform is essential. In CFD trading, you don’t have a position in the underlying asset but an agreement with the broker. No matter what additional functionality CFDs offer, there’s no point making a profit if your broker can’t pay investment returns.
Reputable firms, whose business model is based on delivering an attractive service to clients, have realised this and have invested in ways that demonstrate they are a reliable business. One option is applying to be authorised by a regulatory body. The regulatory body overseeing the financial markets in Singapore is the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Investors and traders who use a MAS-licensed broker can take a degree of comfort from a range of client protection measures. There is also the option to take complaints to the regulator if the broker doesn’t adequately address your issues
It’s entirely legal for Singapore citizens to use a broker not regulated by MAS and other brokers operating under other regulators’ licences. As long as the regulator is one of the Tier-1 authorities listed, the box is ticked for broker reliability.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
What Does Being Regulated Mean?
Brokers invest a lot of time and money gaining a licence and then meeting the ongoing reporting requirements. They also have to demonstrate to the regulator that they have enough cash on hand to make good all their outgoing payments to clients. If a broker opts to be regulated, it is a sign that it is a legitimate business that intends to be operating for years to come. That is crucial in the CFD markets.
The list of brokers includes firms all regulated by Tier-1 authorities, and there’s a bonus feature. Fierce competition in the Singapore CFD broker sector means the firms must compete with each other to gain new business. Some, for example, provide exceptional research and learning resources. Some offer super-low trading costs, while others provide an excellent all-around service. Trying the demo accounts of the Singapore CFD brokers is a risk-free way to test the service each offers and develop some trading skills at the same time.