frugal

The Best Broker (IMO)

Let me caveat this article by saying that, I believe that FSMOne is the best broker for Regular Savings Plan (RSP), which has the same principle as Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA). This is mainly due to its security as well as its user-friendliness for beginners. Personally, I use FSMOne for their RSP so I can DCA into Exchange Traded Funds monthly. This article will be reviewing my thoughts about their service after using it for a few months.

Features of RSP

  • 1290 Unit Trusts
  • 49 ETFs
  • 10 Managed Portfolios
  • Low Cost (0.08%)
  • Low Starting Amount ($50)

Competitors – Why pick FSMOne instead of the more established competitors?

It is mainly due to its low fees. FSMOne offers really competitive fees and a wide variety of ETFs (ideal for beginners). Many investors drool at the sound of DCA because they do not need to worry about timing the market. Moreover, investing a fixed amount every month sounds logical as well.

There a few competitors, which include

However, taking a look at them will show you that their fees are all significantly higher than FSMOne’s. In addition, some of them have a minimum amount of up to $2,000 as compared to FSMOne’s $50 (although it is not recommended that you invest $50 a month).

FSMOne also provides a wider variety of products as compared to other platforms, while giving you flexibility. It really seems like FSMOne is the ideal choice.

A closer look at their main selling point

I will focus on their ETF RSP because it is what I use and am familiar with.

Firstly, the buying fee is at 0.08% where the minimum amount is 1 SGD, 5 HKD or 1 USD, whichever stock exchange the ETF belongs to. Outside of that, they also have GST and other handling fees related to the stock exchange itself.

For example, if you RSP $500 month. It will cost you 1 SGD/ 5 HKD/ 1 USD because 0.08% of $500 is less than those respective amounts. On top of that, there will be additional charges.

For SGX

Clearing Fee: 0.0325% on contract value

Trading Fee: 0.0075% on contract value

GST: 7%

This means that investing $500 will cost you $1.27.

Calculation of fees

This means that it actually costs you 0.254% of your investment amount. The cost is acceptable but it is better to minimise the cost. I think the maximum value would be $1250, where 0.08% is exactly $1.

For NYSE

There are some other fees but the main fee we need to worry about with regards to buy transactions would be GST, which is 7%.

This means that a purchase of 500 USD of stocks in the NYSE would lead to fees of 1.07 USD, which is actually a fair amount, as it would cost you only 0.214%. 

I will not be covering the HKEX, but it’s concept remains the same.

In comparison

DBS charges 0.50% or 0.82% per transaction depending on the ETF you bought.

This means that any amount above $100 would make FSMOne a better choice due to its lower fees.

As for OCBC BCIP, it would depend on your age. If you are below 30, and willing to invest $500 initially, they charge a rate of 0.88%, which is once again significantly higher than FSMOne. Moreover, they have limited options and require to start at a higher amount. (Although I believe that $500 is a good starting amount as any amount below it may be too little to see any major difference.)

POEMS charges a flat rate of $6 for less than 3 counters and $10 for any amount above that. This would mean that you need to invest a huge amount monthly to make the fee reasonable. You would need to invest $2400 just to get your fees to be 0.25%. I believe this amount is too high and serves as a high barrier of entry for a lot of beginners.

The process of starting an account

So now you have done your research and decided on FSMOne? Here is how you can start. After creating a free account on FSMOne here (my referral: P0379937), proceed to My Account > Regular Savings Plan, as shown in the screenshot below.

After that, you can click on Apply RSP and select the ETFs (or products) that you want to invest in. I personally invest in ES3 and VT and it is not for everyone, you can read my opinion about it, but it may not be your choice of investments.

In the future, I will do some ETFs that are worth buying that are listed in FSMOne, so keep a lookout for that!

After adding the ETF to your basket and fixing the amount you plan to invest every month (I recommend at least $300 a month, if not fees will eat up a large part of your investments.), you are set!

How to top up money

Top up your money every month before the 8th of the month. I don’t know why 8th of the month but FSMOne decided to pick that date as the lucky date when they will withdraw money from your account.

If the 8th of the month is a business day, then the transaction date for the ETF RSP deduction is the next trading day (weekday, non-public holiday).

Otherwise, if the 8th is a non-business day, then the transaction date is the second trading day after the 8th.

There are actually a few ways you can top up money into the account.

Firstly, you can use their recurring cash top-up plan (CAT), which makes you of GIRO, when you can set up periodical transactions to FSMOne from your bank.

Secondly, you can opt into their Auto-Sweep account which is like a managed portfolio, where you can deposit money manually into the account and then do the respective transactions to your cash accounts. Do note that they charge an annual fee of 0.20% for this. However, some people may find the convenience of this to be very good for them as it earns a respectable interest too.

Personal Thoughts on the FSMOne platform

They provide decent tracking tools for your portfolio and you can see your transactions pretty easily. However, one gripe that I have is that I cannot see my historical transactions easily at a glance without exporting to an excel sheet.

Because of that, it may be a bit difficult to see how much money is actually deposited into your account. Therefore, I make use of Investment Moat’s Portfolio tracker on Google Sheets which I think is very complete and more than you can ask for!

Stock Portfolio Investment Tracker

If you want to opt for a more interactive option with a graphical user interface, you can make use of Stocks.cafe. I personally use their free service and believe that it is more than enough for a buy-and-hold investor like myself.

FSMOne also provides a mobile app and I feel that it is very nicely integrated. Although at times it feels just like the desktop downsized to a mobile screen. Although I don’t gripe about it, it may lack the user interface of Stashaway or other roboadvisors. However, the functionality is mostly present and it serves as a digital token as well.

They also provide portfolio tools to simulate your portfolio as well as a large database with all kinds of financial tools. Sometimes it can get too overwhelming. But do not worry, take your time to learn the interface, it gets pretty self-explanatory if you play around with it and read the FAQ.

This is why I think it is the best broker. You can read other comparisons here from betterspider and Seedly!

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