My Portfolio

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Standard Chartered Online Trading Issues

SC Charging Minimum Commission
The low cost broker, SC online trading platform, will be imposing a $10 minimum commission from August 2016. This will affect non priority banking customers.

This means that it will be harder for us to dollar cost average. 

Many may switch away to other brokers, but SC is still one of the most attractive option, with Maybank custody account being one of the alternative.

Opting for Cash or Stock Dividends
Recently First Reits offered a choice for stockholders, either get cash or receive stocks.

I chose to receive stocks as the issue price was given at a discount to the prevailing market price. Essentially, I thought I'll save on the commission as well as get a good discount for reinvesting in the stock.

However, the amount of shares I received did not match the cash that I would have received if I hadnt elected for the shares.
This surprised me, as it meant opting for shares made me lost money, instead of earning..

The problem lies with the rounding down policy that SC adopts. For each category of dividends, it was divided by the issue price. This resulted in me having effectively 1 less stock compared to if the entire consolidated sum was used to do this division..

Long story short. I was shortchanged. Opting for Cash dividends (which is the default option), will yield me a higher dividend.

To add oil upon fire, stock dividends may result in odd lots. Odd lots cannot be sold online and will require extra brokerage fees. That translate to more cost and more fees.

Cimb Fast Saver
On a separate note, I've been looking for a good savings account that earns a good interest rate. One friend recommended the CIMB Fast Saver. It earns 1% interest for sums below 60k and has no fall below fees. Only downside is it is a pure internet banking service, and we cannot use ATM to withdraw funds from it. Nonetheless, less than savvy internet users will find transferring the funds using ibanking a piece of cake. The application is also extremely convenient. All online, no need to head down to any outlets, or fax or mail anything.