The r/wallstreetbets movement that captured the attention of the investment community have demonstrated the potential provided by new online brokerage platforms. Not only have its rising popularity disrupted the traditional brokerage business model, online brokerage platforms have also reduced friction for retail investors to access global investable products. Indeed, they generally appeal to young investors who appreciate lower costs and greater efficiencies. These are traits that Singapore-based retail investors who love to have as well!
I was one of those attracted to the low fees and goodies offered by a new kid on the block – moomoo by Futu Singapore. Futu Singapore, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Futu Holdings Ltd (‘Futu’), is licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (‘MAS’). I promptly registered my interest in anticipation of its product launch as shown in Diagram 1.
Who is FUTU Holdings Limited?
Futu Holdings Limited is NASDAQ-listed (NASDAQ: FUTU) and strategically backed by Tencent Holdings, an internet behemoth from China globally known. I looked up Futu’s share price and noticed that it has been on a phenomenal run, surging more than 12X from its IPO price of US$12 in March 2019 to reach a total market capitalization of US$22 billion (or about S$30 billion).
Futu is one of China’s earliest online brokers since its founding in 2012 with more than 13 million users worldwide. It is also the leading digitalised brokerage in Hong Kong with the largest number of retail investors. It has been empowering retail investors through its low-cost and user-friendly platform- moomoo. The great news is that moomoo has finally arrived in Singapore and besides the low fees, it is bringing along a horde of goodies as well!
Amazing opening promotion freebies from moomoo
To celebrate its product launch in Singapore, moomoo is offering 1 free Apple share, commission-free stock trading in U.S. and H.K. markets for 1 year, as well as free Level 2 Market Data for US market! All it takes are 3 simple steps to receive the amazing goodies from this opening promotion:
Step 1: Download mobile app and open moomoo account
There are 2 ways to open a moomoo account, either via MyInfo or a more manual process that involves furnishing supporting documents such as proof of residence in Singapore.
For convenience, I used MyInfo to open a moomoo account. It took 1 business day for the account to be confirmed after the usual KYC checks have been performed as shown in Diagram 2.
Step 2: Deposit US$2,000 (or its SGD equivalent) into your moomoo account
It is important to note that for successful transfers into the moomoo account, moomoo users have to transfer funds from their personal bank accounts. (This is to guard against money laundering). Therefore, payments that include transfers from third-party accounts, joint accounts, E-wallets and cash transfers won’t be accepted after verification.
It is assuring to know that Futu Sg (the licensed holder) is the custodian of the investment products for moomoo. Depositing of funds is free and can be done via FAST transfer in SGD or foreign currencies (USD, HKD). As I have a DBS Multiplier bank account which is also a multi-currency account, I chose to deposit USD2,000 into my moomoo account with the step-by-step procedure shown in Diagram 3.
Via this route, I know exactly how much in USD my moomoo account would be funded with. (see diagram 4). Crediting of funds took approximately half a working day.
Alternatively, if you do not have a DBS multi-currency account, you can also deposit to your moomoo account in SGD followed by an in-app currency exchange as shown in Diagram 5.
Additionally, moomoo clients can also inform Futu about their deposits by providing the transfer reference ID which would help to expedite processing.
Step 3: Make sure you perform steps 1 and 2 before 7 March 2021
Finally, make sure you perform these 2 steps before 7 March 2021 as this is a time-limited promotion (sign-up link here). I certainly did so as soon as possible as I couldn’t say NO to 1 year worth of no-commission trades in the HK and US markets plus the free APPLE share!
You can also extend your commission-free trading in the HK and US markets to up to 600 days if you invite your friends to open an account with moomoo (30 days per successful referral). Potentially, you can get close to 2.5 years of no-commission trades!
3 Reasons Why I Like Moomoo by Futu
1) Commission-free trading for 1 year
I jumped onto the moomoo bandwagon because of its low commission fees. As often stated, fees eat into returns so every bit of savings should never be understated. For an online brokerage, my view is that moomoo offers one of the most competitive fee structures at the moment as shown in Diagram 7.
To illustrate why new fintech platforms such as Futu is disrupting the traditional brokerage business model, let’s compare the fees payable as shown in Diagram 8 when I try to purchase 100 Tencent shares (HK: 00700) at HKD 741 per share.
By using moomoo, my all-in brokerage fee is HKD 98.75 which is at least 50% cheaper than the fees levied by a traditional brokerage platform.
2) Powerful and in-depth analytical tools
I noticed that moomoo offers the possibility to view several live charts on the mobile app and is considered extremely friendly for day traders. In addition, it offers free level 2 quotes that show real-time market bids and trades. I must confess that my investment philosophy is not that of day trading so I am not the most suited person to appreciate such technical capabilities. What I do appreciate are these features:
- Stock alerts available during pre- and post-trading, which notify me of any price movements to take advantage of
- Customisable news that appears on my feed that we are used to on social media platforms
- Calendar function that helps me stay updated on key economic events around the world as well as earnings announcements by companies
3) Great Customer Support
It has only been 3 weeks since I have interacted with the moomoo platform but I must say that I am very impressed with the customer support rendered thus far. I find that the customer service (firstname.lastname@example.org) officers are super prompt and friendly.
When I accidentally made a wrong transfer into FUTU’s SGD account instead of the USD account, multiple customer service officers contacted me to provide assurance that my funds had not gone missing. In fact, the follow-up was initiated by them because I didn’t even notice the error! The refund was swiftly refunded back to my original bank account. This episode inspired confidence that moomoo is a reliable, secure and stable online platform.
Conclusion of moomoo by Futu
This sums up my positive experience using moomoo by Futu thus far. I really find their opening promotion too good to turn down and am looking forward to a year of commission-free trades on both the Hong Kong and US stock exchanges. For the Apple share, I am keeping it so that I have an inspiring story to tell my daughter when she is old enough to understand the importance of investing.
Do note that the official launch of moomoo (sign-up page here) will be on the 8th of March and users can expect to trade SGX counters after the official launch. From now till 8 March, users can only trade on HK/US platforms.
Article is published on 28 Feb 2021.
Disclaimer: This article is written in collaboration with Futu Holdings but the views expressed here are entirely from Heartland Boy based on his experience using the product.