by The Kiam Siap Life, Mr Kiam Siap, 4 April 2022.
This article is written in collaboration with uSMART Singapore. All views expressed in the article are the independent opinions of The Kiam Siap Life. The information in this article are meant purely for informational purposes and should not be construed as financial advice. This article has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
We’re all about being kiam siap and naturally, when a new product comes along that ticks all boxes of staying low-cost while not compromising on quality, we’d be drawn to it and hopefully this article gives Singaporeans more choices.
With low cost online brokerage being to go-to for many retail investors these days, it is not surprising that there will be an influx of new players to join the market in Singapore. Here’s my review of the 2 weeks early access hands-on experience for Singapore’s newest online brokerage, uSMART.
Background of uSMART
uSMART was founded in December 2018 and their license from Hong Kong’s SFC soon followed. uSMART Hong Kong app was successfully launched in July 2019 and soon won awards such as “Most Innovative Data Provider of the Year” from HKEx and the “Intelligent Investment Platform Award of Excellent” from Now Business News Channel 2019.
uSMART grew rapidly and completed their series B funding of USD 100m in Feb 2021, counting prominent HK conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Group as one of their strategic investors.
Looking to bring uSMART’s solutions to investors worldwide, Singapore became the next stop. uSMART Singapore received Capital Market License (CMS) from MAS in December 2021 and within 4 months, they have developed an investment app from scratch to cater to the needs of investors in this region.
Similar to other online brokerages, uSMART SG app offers global markets like US, SG and HK and products like stocks, ETFs, and US options.
My Experience with uSMART
For starters, uSMART is available on both iPhone’s App store and Android’s Google Play.
Opening an account was a breeze with the help of Myinfo, and filling up the required forms and documentations took me just under 10 minutes.
1. Account Types
During the last few phases of opening the account, you would encounter a screen where you would be prompted with a choice between uSMART Standard or uSMART Trader.
Seeing that uSMART Standard offers a welcome gift package (more on this later on), I instinctively went ahead with this choice. I have attached a screenshot of some key differences between the both account types.
2. Low Fees
Below is a table of the associated fees for SG, US and HK stocks.
uSMART offers the lowest rates compare to other online brokerages available in the market. To add on to its already low fees, uSMART is currently running a promotional rate of no minimum fees for Singapore equities.
3. Depositing of Funds into uSMART
uSMART currently allows you to deposit via eGIRO, PayNow, FAST and Bank Account Transfer (FAST transfer is only available for Singapore Dollar). Upon selecting your method of depositing, you will be instructed to transfer your funds into uSMART’s bank account and thereafter, notifying them. For my FAST transfer, I was notified in-app that my deposits were successfully reflected some 2-3 hours later! I heard that eGIRO is similar to DBS DDA and uSMART is the first broker to offer it. I will most certainly be trying that out soon!
4. User Experience (Discover, Learning & Smart Orders)
Throughout my 2 weeks usage of uSMART, I do appreciate its clean and easy-on-the-eyes user interface (UI). And I feel that a good UI makes or breaks my experiences with any applications. Its homepage provides clear, concise, clutter-free details and simple buttons to navigate to key pages like such as Discover and Learning.
The discover tab shows you 3 main segments (“Opportunity”, “Community”, “News”). For me personally, each of which presents a form of guide to assist me in making better decisions. I particularly like the “News” segment and I find myself spending 5-10 minutes a day just scrolling through some of them that are linked to my watchlist (Please don’t judge my watchlist).
Switched to Dark Mode here to play around. The learning tab consists of two tabs, Expert & BeeRich. Click any of short courses at Expert tab and you will be directed to bite-size short videos on common fundamental know-hows when it comes to investing.
The BeeRich is where it really caught my attention. It contains entertaining TikTok style content on finance and investing related topics. This is the first time I came across such features on a broker app!
The Smart Orders function is something I foresee myself using often for my future trades. Developed by uSMART, this intelligent stock trading tool that automatically monitors the market situation based on your preset trading strategies and price. This is especially useful if you don’t have the time to continuously monitor the stock markets. Just set a specific order type, and let the app do the work.
If you are familiar with stock order types such as stop-loss or take-profit, this feature should be handy for you! They currently have 4 different smart orders (Breakthrough Buy, Buy-Low, Sell-High, Breakdown Sell) and each of them have an in-depth explanation in case you are unsure of their smart functions!
So is your money safe with uSMART? Definitely! Apart from being regulated by MAS, uSMART also ensures the safety of your funds and securities by placing them in a segregated custodian account.
I also understand that the core uSMART team is made up of members from well known technology and financial firms which includes Tencent, Alibaba, Goldman Sachs, UBS and other prominent brokers. I would say that they are in good hands!
uSMART Sign Up Promotions & Referral Rewards
As always, another plus point about online brokerages are the abundance and enticement of new sign up rewards and uSMART doesn’t disappoint!
From now till 31st May 2022, you will receive these rewards upon,
The “Live” Investment Master Course allows you to attend a full day course on Technical Analysis or ETF by uSMART Market Strategist. These rewards can be easily redeemed (after performing the necessary actions required) by navigating to “Me > Rewards Centre”
The entire brokerage and trading landscape has certainly changed throughout the recent few years. Investing and trading no longer require you to fulfil high minimum commission fees and the influx of online brokerages is certainly a welcoming change. With lower fees and easier to use online brokerages such as uSMART, this lowers the barriers of entry and doesn’t feel as intimidating for younger and newer investors.
What really left an impression upon me is the TikTok style learning content, which I have not seen on other broker apps before and is rather relevant and appealing to the younger generations these days.
I’m looking forward to see how uSMART’s new and intelligent features can continue to value-add to my user experience and at the same time, help me to be a smarter investor.
Stay safe, and invest safe.