by SG ThumbTack Investor, Team ThumbTack, 28 April 2022.
In recent times, we’ve had several new entrants burst onto the retail brokerage scene in Singapore. All this new competition to the traditional, entrenched players have helped to inject more vibrancy, and is undoubtedly good for all consumers. The latest kid to join the fray is uSMART Singapore.
About uSMART Securities
uSMART Securities, the leading online brokerage firm for intelligent investment, aims to provide professional Smart Investment experience via innovative technology to their clients globally.
These guys were founded in 2018, and now have headquarters in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and New Zealand.
uSMART’s mission is to “provide leading smart investment services to global investors, and to maximize investors’ value through monetary, knowledge and positive emotions.”
Despite being new in SG, uSMART Securities is actually backed by several big wigs!
The most notable one being HK conglomerate Chow Tai Fok Group, one of the world’s largest jewellers. uSMART’s Group CEO, Torry Hong, is a core management member of the uSMART team who previously hailed from Tencent and Alipay.
The rest of the core management team comprises members from Tencent, Alibaba, Yahoo and Microsoft etc.
The participation of core management team members who have experience in notable firms does lend credence to and serve as a strong backing for uSMART Securities. They have a history of rich financial innovation, and utilize technology such as the analysis of big data, research and application of quantitative strategies to throw weight behind this innovative investment platform.
uSMART is also very well capitalized, having only completed their Series B funding last year, raising approximately US$100 million.
uSMART Securities (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. just received their Capital Markets Services Licence under the Securities and Futures Act from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in Dec 2021 and hence, are now cleared to launch in SG.
So yeah, they are not some run of the mill small outfit that may be here 1 day and gone the next.
In addition, funds and securities of clients are kept in segregated custodian accounts as per regulation requirement from MAS, so there’s your extra assurance!
uSMART’s Unique Features
uSMART is positioned as an intelligent investment platform, rather than a traditional securities firm. It has pioneered the launch of intelligent investment solutions. With the power of technology, it breaks the high threshold of high-quality investment advisory services which only belonged to a small group of high net-worth people in the past. Now, the general retail public will have the opportunity to be served and benefit from these services.
Now, aside from the usual features that most brokerages would offer, uSMART SG comes with some unique capabilities:
SMART ORDERS – They currently have 4 different “smart” orders (Breakthrough Buy, Buy-Low, Sell-High, Breakdown Sell) with more different orders likely to be incorporated in future (this is just my guess, because their HK app has 10 different orders!)
I think this feature would be pretty useful for the retail public, especially those who have day jobs and won’t be sitting in front of a screen looking at the prices every other second, yet want to execute a certain trading plan.
The app does a great job explaining in detail what each order type entails, but anyway, the name of each order type is pretty self-explanatory:
DISCOVER TAB – The “discover” tab has 3 sub-tabs to it:
Under the “Opportunity” sub-tab, they basically highlight and showcase a series of different strategies, how they construct their portfolios under each strategy, and the results over a long period of time. All that “greenery” was too eye catching, and I got a bit side tracked to go look into each of these strategies.
This “Opportunity” sub-tab is what I think is the most interesting. Aside from the featured strategies, you could also use it as a screening tool as they have screens based on certain parameters. If you are a trader and/or a technical analysis guy, this same sub-tab even provides TA charts for the companies that you are interested in! Simply key in the symbol for the company and it does all the work for you!
The “Community” sub-tab is what I’d describe as “financial twitter for investors”. It’s basically the entire community of users with short snippets of their observations or really, whatever they want to say.
And finally, the “News” sub-tab is basically a reel of the relevant news that might affect your investments. You can customize it by adding in a “watchlist”. It can also be categorized based on country specific news (US, SG, HK)
LEARNING TAB – The learning tab consists of 2 sub-tabs: “Expert” and “BeeRich”.
Now, this is where it gets REALLY interesting to me.
Under the “Expert” tab, you can basically chit chat and communicate directly with a number of investment professionals or entities. There are courses and even a Q&A style segment where you can ask questions and the relevant expert will give you an answer.
Now, admittedly, it’s still early days currently so there’s only a fairly limited panel of experts listed. Most of the questions are answered by James Ooi only, and the courses offered are also from him. Did a little digging and realized that James is uSMART’s Market Strategist, SGX Speaker and has been in the financial industry since 2007. I think it’s also fairly obvious where this is going. Over time, as more and more individuals/entities are added, you can see the additional value add this segment provides.
To top it off, the next sub-tab gets even more interesting: BeeRich
Obviously modelled after TikTok, it’s best described as TikTok for finance.
I legit ended up scrolling through several short videos to check it out.
It’s basically a compilation of finance related TikTok videos, presented in an entertaining manner. Boy, this is really unique. I don’t think I’ve seen any other brokerage do this yet. And it’s not exactly just purely about investing per say. For eg, here’s a short video on 4 money mistakes that will make you broke:
And yes, there are dancing videos as well (but with a finance related theme!)
Impressive. Very Innovative indeed.
I found out that BeeRich is actually the education arm of uSMART and has an app by itself. They want clients to be hardworking as a bee in their journey to enrich their knowledge, thus the name BeeRich.
Account Opening & Funds Transfer
With singpass populating your data, account opening can take as fast as just 5 minutes.
During account opening, you get to choose between 2 types: uSMART Standard or uSMART Trader.
There is a 3rd type: the Intel account. You can upgrade to this Intel account level after opening either a Standard or Trader account.
Here are the differences and features between the 3 account levels:
Upgrading to the Intel account can be done via the Me tab.
Alternatively, one can also stick to the Trader or Standard account, and add on a uSMART Intel Subscription to enjoy unlimited Discover tab features. This can be done via the Me tab too. For the first 30 days, the cost is just SGD 0.01, and for the subsequent 30 days, the cost will be SGD 18.80.
Funding your account is relatively easy and straightforward. uSMART is the first broker to support eGIRO fund transfer. Similar to the DBS DDA method, once the one-time setup is completed, future fund transfer only takes seconds to arrive! eGIRO also supports 9 banks.
uSMART SG offers one of the lowest fee structures in the markets today.
This is a brief summary of the fees:
The exact details of the fees for the various account types, for the different exchanges can be found here:
Welcome Gifts & Referral Rewards
Welcome gifts are always… …. welcomed.
Do note that the promotion period lasts till 31 May 2022.
More details regarding the welcome gifts can be found here:
uSMART also rewards users who refer friends with SGD 88 for each successful referral.
After you have opened a uSMART account, you can visit [uSMART SG App > Me > Invite Friends] to check your unique referral code and referral link.
Refer friends using your referral code and link, and after your friend completes his/her account opening and makes a very first deposit (in a single transfer) of the account amounting to at least SGD 2,000 (or equivalent in other currencies) during the promotion period, you receive your SGD 88 referral reward.
Do note that the deposit has to be in a single transfer.
Cash voucher issued to your uSMART account under this promotion can be found in [uSMART SG App > Me > Rewards Centre]. The cash voucher has a validity of 90 days and requires a minimum of 3 trades (trade value ≥ SGD 100) to use.
After using, the corresponding value on the cash voucher will be credited into your uSMART account within 1 working day.
If not used, the cash voucher will expire worthless after validity duration.
The innovative new features, particularly under the “Discover” and “Learning” tabs, make uSMART stand out in terms of novelty. There’s certainly a lot of value add coming up, and I think that over time, they’d beef up their content creation further to provide even more value to users.
Sign up for a new account here.
Written by: Team ThumbTack
Disclaimer: This article is written in collaboration with uSMART Singapore. All views expressed in the article are the independent opinions of Team ThumbTack. This article is intended for information purpose only and should not be construed as financial advice. This article has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.