FSMOne Singapore Broker Review
Investment Personal Finance Reviews

Review: FSMOne Brokerage

For this series, I’ll be doing a bunch of reviews for brokerages as I look for the most cost-efficient brokerage for my trades. Recently I’ve been looking to invest in US stocks and this is my takeaways from playing around with a couple of them. I am purely looking for a platform to do long term investments and not short term trading. This post will specifically be my review of the FSMOne online brokerage.

Quick Summary

Overall Ratings: ★★★☆☆

If you’re looking for a cheap way to automate your investments, then FSMOne is a very good product to add to your investment setup due to its low-cost RSP product which has the biggest ETF and mutual fund offerings in the market.

However, if you’re looking for a more full fledged trading/investment platform, I will suggest you look elsewhere due to its higher cost and lacklustre platform.


Introduction

FSMOne has been gaining a lot of popularity in recent months primarily due to its low-cost RSP investment options. This brokerage caught my eye when I was looking for a way to simplify and automate my investments. It has been several months since I’ve signed up with them and I will describe my experience with them in details in my review here.

Traditionally (in the modern sense), there are only a couple of ways you can purchase your stocks. It will be through a broker and you’ll have to do it manually through their web portal. With the advancement in technology, we’ve been allowed more automated methods of investments such as Regular Savings Plans (RSP). Brokerages and banks such as DBS have come up with their own flavours of RSP.

RSPs is a very good method of investment for regular folks as it is generally low cost ($1 per trade compared to $10/25) and you’re allowed smaller trade sizes. The main benefit of it this is Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) where you take away the emotional aspects of investing and just let the machine buy the stocks for you at a fixed date every month.

Products Available

FSMOne product offerings review
Source: fsmone.com

FSMOne is a full fledged brokerage which offers a multitude of products to its customers. On top of the basic Stocks and ETFs, it also offers thousands of funds and corporate bonds for every investment needs. When I first landed on their platform, I was honestly a little overwhelmed by their product offerings. This also made me very excited as I will be able to explore new types of products that I’ve never tried before.

Despite all these, the most exciting product offering by FSMOne would have to be their RSP product.

FSMOne product offerings review
Source: fsmone.com

What makes FSMOne’s RSP stand out from its competitors would be a sheer amount of ETFs and funds available. The full list can be found here. Most other RSP providers will only provide you with options such as the STI ETF or at most a bond ETF. With FSMOne’s RSP product, you can even RSP into foreign markets such as US and HK with their S&P 500 ETF (IVV) and HK tracker fund (2800).

Despite all these, they are still charging their customers a very low rate of approximately ~S$1 per trade which is ridiculous!

However, we have to take note that FSMOne does not offering the trading of Futures, Options, CFD and even margin. This might be limiting and a deal breaker for some advanced traders.

Ratings: ★★★☆☆

Pricing and Fees

The fee structure for FSMOne is slightly complicated and varies greatly for different products. I will break it down into 2 sections here – Normal stock purchase fees and RSP purchase fees.

Stock Purchase Commissions

FSMOne fees and pricing review
Source: fsmone.com

For the purchase of stocks/ETFs in SGX, HKEX and US markets, the minimum commission fee is S$10, HKD50 and US$8.80 respectively. I will say that for both SGX, this pricing is pretty reasonable as it aligns with what DBS Vickers is doing. However, take note that your stocks are held custodian with FSMOne and not in your CDP account.

For HKEX, it’s also pretty reasonable as it only works out to about ~S$8 per trade. US trades are slightly on the high side as I believe other brokerages such as Saxo (US$4.40) and IB(US$1) offer more competitive prices.

RSP Commissions

FSMOne RSP fees review
Source: fsmone.com

RSP is where the action is at for FSMOne. Every purchase is at approximately ~S$1. This makes it very affordable if you intend to make regular monthly purchases with the platform. At about ~S$500 monthly, you’ll be spending only 0.2% in commission fees which I feel is very reasonable.

Other miscellaneous fees

Good news for all as FSMOne does not charge any inactive fees or platform management fees for Stocks and ETFs. That’s great news for us long term investors as we will not be forced to pay fees every month just for having our stocks with them.

The only downside I see here is the dividend handling fees for US stocks in US based markets. They cost 1% of the dividend at a minimum of US$2.50. This is pretty ridiculous as US companies usually give out dividends every quarter. This means that you’re losing 30% tax + US$10 for your dividends on US holdings. If you’re looking to invest in the US markets, I’ll highly recommend that you only use FSMOne for growth stocks that does not pay any dividends rather than income stocks.

Ratings: ★★★☆☆

Platform

Web interface

Personally, I feel that FSMOne’s platform is very cluttered with too many functionalities. There are too many options available and it might be too overwhelming for a new investor. It is pretty difficult to navigate around to find out what I want to do.

FSMOne web interface review
Source: fsmone.com

It will definitely take some time to get used to the desktop platform and get used to where everything is.

In terms of doing fundamental research and charting capabilities, I would say it’s better to use other platforms. The information available on FSMOne is sufficient, but not provide anything more than what I would get with other platforms. I will prefer to use other free research platforms such as Yahoo Finance which offers a much better user experience.

Mobile Application

The mobile application is very similar to the web interface in the sense that it is equally cluttered and not modern. It is even more difficult to do any feasible research on it. You can still do your basic trade orders on the platform and check your portfolio’s performance.

One gripe I have with the mobile app is its super unintuitive log in process. Even though I’ve set up FaceID, it always requires me to type in my password before scanning my face again which I feel is a super bad user experience.

Ratings: ★★☆☆

Funding Methods

This is a section where I have to highly praise FSMOne. Their funding methods are very well suitable for Singapore investors. There are quite a number of options available for funding your account but I’ll be mainly talking about GIRO recurring deposits and iBanking transfers.

iBanking transfers are very convenient and quick. You can choose to do a FAST transfer or Paynow transfer and the funds will be in your account within seconds! Yes, you’ll get a notification on your FSMOne app within seconds of making the deposit!

For GIRO recurring deposits, FSMOne will fetch the amount of money you’ve set from your bank account routinely every month. This is very convenient if you are automating your investments and using their RSP product.

In the ideal case, you’ll not even have to log into your FSMOne account at all for your purchases to be made. In reality, the process of setting up the GIRO deposit is pretty painful. You’ll have to print out a DDA form, fill it up and snail mail it to their office. It takes several business days for the bank to approve the application and it will only be effective ~2 months from then.

Ratings: ★★★★

Safety

For long term investors like me, safety of the brokerage will definitely be a very important criteria to look out for. I definitely will not want the brokerage to bankrupt in a few years and I’d have to spend unnecessary hours trying to get back my money.

The good thing about FSMOne is that it is MAS regulated. In the case where FSMOne closes, it will have to transfer your assets to another distributor of my choice.

I personally see the likelihood of FSMOne closing to be very small as it is a subsidiary of iFast, a listed company based in Hong Kong with a reputation of being a fast-growing fintech company. Perhaps it might be even better if the company had a longer track record as it was only incorporated in 2000.

Ratings: ★★★★☆

Conclusion

This FSMOne review is definitely an exciting one for me as its a broker that I’ve personally used for some time now.

I feel that FSMOne is an up and coming brokerage that is worth considering as part of your automated investment set-up. The RSP product options and cost is definitely amongst the best available in Singapore.

However, if you’re looking for something more advanced for stock purchases, I will highly recommend you to look else whereas the fees are quite substantial especially because of the dividend handling fees. I also do not think that the fees are worth paying as compared to other brokerages considering its platform offerings.

If you have any questions or comments about FSMOne or this post, feel free to leave a message down below and I’ll reply to them.

Update

Since October 2020, I’ve stopped using FSMOne for my monthly RSPs due to a variety of reasons. If you’re interested to find out more, check out my explanation here.


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