I have always liked the convenience of using Saxo’s trading platform.
Saxo provides a multi-purpose platform that supports transactions of equities (both local and overseas), bonds, futures, CFDs, leveraged forex and even forex options. The only common instrument that they do not support are stock options.
They allow you to have accounts in multiple currencies and their commissions are pretty reasonable.
Bond and equity holdings can also be used to offset certain margin requirements of your other trading positions.
Unfortunately, of late, they seem to be increasing their fees to the detriment of long term investors.
This year, they implemented an inactivity fee of US$100 for accounts that do not have any trades within a 180-day period.
Those purely buy and hold investors who buy once in a blue moon were adversely affected.
Of course, most active investors will perform at least some kind of transactions within 180 days, so those dormant accounts are the ones that are weeded out.
Last week, I saw a notice from Saxo informing of some new fees for 2015:
With this move, it is clear that Saxo is trying to weed out all the investors and cater more to traders.
The new custody fee is terrible and the reason given is pathetic. Isn’t the actual usage of platform already captured by the commissions being charged? Those who use the platform more often (more transactions) will incur more commissions.
Even if you are an investor who buys stocks regularly and manage to avoid the inactivity fee, you will be hit by this new custody fee.
0.12% might not seem to be a lot, but it’s a totally unnecessary expense.
A person holding $100k of stocks will end up paying $120 a year, while a person holding $10k of stocks will end up paying $60 (or 0.6% of holdings) due to the monthly minimum fee.
I have already received many complaints from my friends who are currently using Saxo.
For those who plan to transfer your holdings out, note that you are looking at a transfer fee of S$50 per stock (max S$160).