You are here:Home1/Specials2/uSMART Review: Singapore’s Low-cost trading SMART Broker
Who is uSMART?
Founded in Dec 2018, uSMART Group was incorporated in Hong Kong and speedily got its license approved by Hong Kong’s SFC and launched uSMART Hong Kong app in July 2019. uSMART Group management team is comprised of members from well-known technology & financial firms including Tencents, Alibaba, Goldman Sachs & UBS.
The app and services were well received, receiving the “Most Innovative Data Provider of the year award” from the Hong Kong Exchange. The overall company grew rapidly since its launch, completing its Series B funding of USD 100m in Feb 2021, counting prominent HK conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Group as one of its strategic investors.
Aspiring to bring its solutions to a global audience, uSMART foray into Singapore. uSMART Singapore received its Capital Market License (CMS) from MAS in December 2021. Within 4 months, they have developed an investment app from scratch to cater to the needs of investors in the region.
Similar to other online brokers, the uSMART SG app offers global markets like U.S., SG, and HK. Products like stocks, options, and ETFs. Apart from global markets and products, uSMART also offers new to investing clients the ability to learn about investing via light-hearted content & educational courses, Intelligent screeners, and smart order types to aid investors in execution.
As mentioned above, uSMART SG is a holder of CMS license which means they are regulated by MAS. In addition, uSMART SG has the statutory requirements to ensure all funds and securities are kept in a segregated custodian account. This means that uSMART users’ money & assets in the account are safe!
In addition, the Singapore team is made up of experienced personnel from various prominent brokers which means the company is in good hands.
Product & Features
Just like other online brokers in Singapore, uSMART offers access to 3 key markets namely US / SG / HK along with US options. They offer 2 account types, uSMART Trader and uSMART Standard. The Standard account is more friendly to newer investors while the Trader account is more suitable for experienced or high-frequency traders.
The 2 accounts mainly differ in terms of fees where the Trader account enjoys a slightly lower fee structure whereas the Standard account will be using the original fee structure. Alternatively, the Standard account gets to enjoy the new Welcome gifts (more info below) whereas the Trader account doesn’t. Regardless of which account you use, you still get to enjoy super low fees with no minimum commission fees when trading in the SG market.
Traditionally, you can execute your buy/sell trades through a few types of orders such as market orders and limit orders. With uSMART, you can also execute Smart Orders which include:
“Breakthrough Buy“, which triggers a buy order when the stock price breaks through a preset price,
“Buy-Low“, which triggers a buy order when the stock price has fallen below a preset price,
“Breakdown Sell“, which is the exact opposite of a “Breakthrough Buy” and
“Sell-High“, which is the exact opposite of a “Buy-Low”.
The benefit of Smart Order is that you will be able to capture the opportunity you want, even if you are not monitoring actively. For example, stock A is $50 now and you want to buy at $40, which may require you to wait for a long period. You can set a Buy-Low order at a $40 Trigger Price for 90 days. 30 days later, the stock price hits $40, your Buy order will automatically be placed, while you may be enjoying a holiday in Bali.
Comparing Against Other Brokerages
Based on the comparison table above, we can see that Tiger Brokers is charging the highest. While very close in terms of fee structure with Moomoo, uSMART is still cheaper. In addition, uSMART doesn’t charge a minimum commission fee for SG trade. Options trades are also much cheaper on uSMART platform as compared to other brokerages.
Additionally, the uSMART platform also comes with a Discover page that lets users explore new investment opportunities through “Daily Stock Picks”, “Featured Strategies”, a community page for users to converse and share ideas as well as a News tab that shares daily news updates.
The News tab also lets you sort by “Watchlist”, “Recommended” or by markets such as US or SG. This is very convenient, especially for users who just want to stay up to date with the stocks in their watchlist/portfolio instead of the overall market which can be flooded with news daily.
Lastly, the uSMART platform also has a “Learning” section that not only aims to onboard the newer investors and help them with their journey as they start investing but also provides a platform for more experienced investors to share their ideas and provide help to the community.
What really stood out to me was the BeeRich tab, which contains TikTok style short videos on finance/investing related topics! It was indeed quite refreshing to see such a feature on a broker app!
Welcome & Referral Promotion
For all investors who want to sign up, uSMART offers a very enticing welcome promotion. Once you open a new uSMART Standard account, you will be awarded free lvl 1 real-time market data for both US and SG markets as well as an SGD15 Cash Voucher. If you make a first deposit of more than SGD2,000, you will be rewarded with either a “Live” investment master course (worth SGD720) or 3 Bitcoin ETF (BITO) Shares (worth SGD110).
The “Live” investment master course is a full-day course where investors can learn about Technical Analysis or ETF in depth from uSMART Market Strategists!
On top of that, uSMART is also running a referral program for all users. You just need to refer a friend to sign up for an account and make the first deposit of more than SGD2,000 and you will be rewarded with an SGD88 Cash Voucher while your friend will be entitled to all welcome gifts as mentioned above.
ACCOUNT OPENING PROCESS
The combination of low fees, educational content and generous welcome package attracted me to open an account with uSMART. The account opening process was very smooth as the platform is integrated with Myinfo. Except for the KYC process, the rest of the data was auto-populated without much fuss.
To qualify for the welcome package (more details below) and to commence trading, I deposited fresh funds into my account. I used the FAST transfer method and my funds were deposited into my account within a couple of hours. Besides FAST, there are various options to transfer funds such as eGIRO, PayNow, Telegraphic Transfer as shown in Diagram 5.
Diagram 5: Various convenient methods to transfer funds in and out of uSMART
WELCOME PACKAGE PROMOTION
Click to apply now!
As shown in Diagram 6, there are several tiers of rewards in the welcome package. Each of these rewards will be unlocked when an action is performed.
I particularly like that the welcome package consists of 3 shares of BITO, which is the ticker for ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF. This is an ETF that provides exposure to Bitcoin, the grandfather of cryptocurrency. If cryptocurrency gains traction with the rest of the community and becomes even more mainstream, this ETF has the potential for significant capital returns. Remember, this welcome reward voucher, is unlocked by making a first deposit in a single transfer amounting to at least S$2,000 or its equivalent value. If user picks the BITO share voucher, he or she will need to maintain SGD2,000 AUM for 30 consecutive days in order to redeem the 3 BITO shares. Otherwise, the Investment Master Course will also be useful for uSMART users who are keen to improve their knowledge on technical analysis and ETFs.
Finally, remember that you need to head to Rewards Center to redeem these rewards after performing the various tasks or else they will simply expire worthless after their validity period.
Before penning this review, I have been using uSMART for over a month now and successfully claimed the rewards under the welcome package. I am more than happy to welcome another online brokerage to this competitive scene although it’s hard to pinpoint which is the best online brokerage amongst them. As a consumer, uSMART adds to the burgeoning options that I already have and I am definitely not complaining.