Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, US equities are on a tear after rebounding strongly from a plunge earlier this year. Investors have worked out a huge appetite to buy and ride the bull run in the world’s largest stock market. But for those who reside outside the US, how can they do so in an informed manner at minimum costs?

Tiger Brokers, in partnership with Nasdaq, is offering such a solution. Through its trading platform, investors can now access US market data at little to no cost. Powered by Nasdaq Basic, the trading platform provides real-time trade and quote data of all US-listed equities for free. These include best bid and offer, tick by tick price and Nasdaq opening and closing prices.

Under Nasdaq TotalView, the trading platform provides a full order book depth to determine the liquidity below top of book. This is useful for sophisticated traders, who want insights into the true supply and demand profile of a security at each price point. Tiger Brokers charges US$26 a month for this plan. “Our trading platform in collaboration with Nasdaq helps clients make more insightful investment decisions,” says Ian Leong, head of business development at Tiger Brokers Singapore, whose backers include leading brokerage Interactive Brokers, notable investment guru Jim Rogers and Xiaomi, famed for its ever-expanding range of innovative consumer electronics and other digital products.

Ian-Leong - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

Tomas Franczyk, Nasdaq’s managing director and head of investment intelligence in Asia Pacific, agrees. He says the global technology company aims to provide easier access to the full universe of the US equity market for investors here. “So, what we're actually doing with Tiger Brokers is providing insights via our market data solutions to help serve their clients, who are hungry to diversify their investment portfolios and are seeking opportunities in the US stock market,” he says.

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With market data provided by Nasdaq,   investors are becoming more sophisticated, and able to better understand how the market behaves, and in turn make more informed decisions. This can help them adjust their trading strategies to be more successful, he says.

Tomas-Franczyk - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE

Leong says this partnership enables Tiger Brokers to offer a better value proposition to investors compared to its local peers. This is enhanced by its “fast” and “seamless” onboarding process that allows investors to open a trading account within hours of doing so. Other brokerages typically take three to five working days, he says.

Tiger Brokers also offers complementary services, says Leong. These include round-the-clock financial news updates, multilingual customer service during trading hours, artificial intelligence driven data screeners and easy-to-analyse trading charts.

According to Leong, Tiger Brokers’ trading fees is one of the most competitive. For instance, the brokerage charges just 1 US cent per share; minimum US$1.99 – for trading in the US stock market. For the Singapore market, Tiger Brokers charges just 0.08% per trade. The brokerage currently has a promotional offer without minimum, which will last until Dec 31. After which, the minimum will be $2.88 per trade. “This allows us to lower the barrier of entry, helping investors better diversify their portfolio and balance risk and rewards.

Since launching its trading platform eight months ago, Leong says retail trading has increased significantly, especially in technology and healthcare stocks. Among the popularly traded stocks are Tesla, Apple, NIO and Alibaba Group Holding.

Tiger Brokers, he says, has seen an increase in the number of account openings and transactions during this period. For instance, there were five times more active traders in October compared to the figure in June. The total equities trading volume executed on its trading platform has surpassed $2 billion.

Apart from equities, Leong says many investors have traded more options and futures on Tiger Brokers’ trading platform during the period. In particular, Micro E-mini futures are popular among investors, such as the Nasdaq 100, S&P 500, Dow Jones and China A50 index, he says.

As Covid-19 has accelerated the trend towards digitalisation, Leong says Tiger Brokers will continue to leverage technology to improve the onboarding process and user experience. It will also strive to lower costs and pass the cost savings to investors through competitive transaction charges. The brokerage also aims to offer more products and markets on its trading platform. “We want to bring the global markets and products to the masses on our trading app – a one stop solution for all,” he says.