Avoiding Standard Chartered’s minimum commission for online equities trading

Standard Chartered (SC) announced in early June 2016 that it will start to charge a minimum commission with effect from 1st August 2016. When this news was announced, I can imagine that moan of those who are using this platform for dollar-cost-averaging (DCA) investing. If you would like to find out more about the changes,  you can find more details here (SC’s website), here (Yahoo News) and here (Investment Moats).

Only change is commission, SC is still not charging for custody fee
While there is a minimum commission, there is no change to the zero custody fees. This is the saving grace and I still think it is a strong selling point for Singapore investors who invest in overseas market.

My reaction: sign up for SC Priority Banking
I had been thinking of signing up for SC Priority Banking status for the slightly cheaper trading commissions. However, it does not make sense for me to park my cash in SC accounts because of the much higher interest from accounts such as the OCBC 360 and UOB One accounts.

With SC’s announcement, there was an impetus for me to sign up for SC’s Priority Banking status. In order to qualify for SC’s Priority Banking status, one has to have SGD 200,000 AUM with SC and this includes the equities under the custody for SC’s online equities trading platform. So, I transferred my cash into my SC bank account and went down to one of the branches to sign up.

So, what it means to be a SC Priority Banking customer?
Well, there will not be a minimum commission for all my trades on SC online equities platform. Another plus is that I get to see “Priority Banking” logo when I log into SC internet banking.

… a letter informing you of the Priority Banking status
sc_priority_envelope

… a SC Priority Banking Visa Infinite credit card
sc_priority_vi

…. a Priority Pass that comes with the SC Priority Banking Visa Infinite credit card
it comes with unlimited Priority Pass lounge access for principal card holder.
Priority Pass looks better than the Priority Pass from my DBS Altitude Visa and Citi Premiermiles Visa
sc_priority_pass

….. and additional perks from SC 360 Rewards programme
need to spend at least SGD500 on the SC Priority Banking Visa Infinite card to use earn additional 360 Rewards points
sc_priority_360_rewards

So, how many of you also signed up for SC Priority Banking status to avoid the minimum commission?
If not, what are the alternatives that you choose? Please share with me in the comments section!

 

Which platform for Regular Index Fund Investing?

In one of my earlier post (here), I was writing about how to start investing using the dollar-cost averaging method for blue chip stocks and ETFs. I also mentioned about my preference to purchase Nikko AM STI ETF manually using SCB’s online equities trading platform.  In this post, actually slides, I will be presenting on the fees and the average unit cost price if one has been diligently investing monthly (ETF purchased at the end of each month) since Jan 2010 to Oct 2014 with various monthly budgets and various platforms. In addition, I also present to you a slide on the returns based of the total investment. (Source data from Yahoo Finance: here)

For my analysis, there are two regular savings plan (RSP), OCBC BCIP and POSB Invest Saver, which purchase shares and the third one is a manual investment  via SCB online equities trading platform which purchases shares in lots.

finance4uandme -Regular Index Fund Investing

finance4uandme -Regular Index Fund Investing - 2

My conclusion (edited on 11th Nov)

POSB Invest Saver (Regular Saving Plan) – Most expensive in terms of fees
OCBC BCIP (Regular Saving Plan) – In between
SCB equity online trading (manual) – Lowest fees.

While SCB equity online trading offers the lowest fees, RSP helps to take one’s emotion out of the equation which I feel is very important.

Please feel free to comment and also share other methods of index fund investing.

Cheers,
Naro