The year 2020 changed us in more ways than one. Across the globe, the way we live, work and play has shifted dramatically—from telemedicine to grocery shopping and how we connect with others, this year has been the forcing hand to go digital.

Those in the trading and investment management industry are no exception. They are beginning to understand that sitting on the fence waiting for others to dive in may not be the best approach. Embracing this digital disruption by investing and developing a mobile-first strategy is, and will continue to be, pivotal to creating a competitive edge in the trading space. To do this and do it well, an experienced technology partner is needed by your side. One that will take care of all things in the back end so you can focus your time, energy and resources to build differentiators for your business. With an open API framework, you’ll have the ability to develop the necessary features and functions to make your clients’ digital investing journey a seamless one.

The winds of change

In 2020, the trading landscape across ASEAN/Asia has experienced something of a renaissance, with many face-to-face full-service investment banks shifting to provide online services. The new app-based trading potential not only serves a 2021 post-pandemic world, but also keeps up with the change in trading demographic.

Gone are the days where you’d engage a stockbroker—or need to be one—to have any chance at success on the market. Today, anyone with a mobile phone and a bank account can get involved.

Let’s take a look at Tiger Brokers, a NASDAQ-listed leading provider of online mobile broking services—making a point to focus on the Gen Z demographic, those who grew up with the internet and social media running through their veins.

Tiger Brokers genuinely understands the next generation of traders and—through its online trading platform Tiger Trade—engages these digitally savvy investors with multi-asset trading options to diversify their portfolios.

So in reality, what does this look like? A seamless on-the-go trading experience with fast online account opening and no minimum deposit.

It doesn’t stop there—Tiger Brokers is constantly seeking to expand its retail broking operations, improve its app and deliver the best possible client experience. Most recently, it adopted our Order System and SGX Trading Interface to provide clients with direct, low-latency access to the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX). Additionally, other global exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NASDAQ, Shanghai/Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) and the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) have been added to meet demand.

What Gen Z wants

A survey by Tiger Brokers in October 2020 focused on investment behaviour of the Gen Z investor. The results showed a preference towards a globally diverse portfolio, supporting Tiger Brokers’ focus on a platform with multiple offerings. The results show:

  • 45% of Gen Z investors prefer long term stocks such as Apple, Boeing and Carnival
  • 35% are investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs) and exchange traded funds (ETFs) across the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore
  • 10% are investing in high volatility stocks such as Afterpay, Kodak and Vaccinex
  • 10% are in options.

View from the investor seat

The proliferation of app-based trading has shaken up the market, now making it accessible to all. A number of online brokers have the ability to onboard investors in under 30 minutes, meaning you can get your first trade out the door in the time it takes to have dinner delivered. Add in zero brokerage fees, minimal subscription fees and low currency conversion rates to trade multi-asset markets—both locally and internationally—and it’s easy to see why this is becoming the way forward.

The right mix of build vs buy vs lease for competitive differentiation

Traditionally, the preference of many investment banks has been to build software in house or buy it from a vendor. It isn’t the initial build that’s the challenge, but rather the maintenance and continuous development to keep up with the breakneck speed of tech innovation. Increasingly we’re seeing them blend it together, directing resources to where they count at the front-end while partnering with the right tech vendor to take care of the complexities at the back-end.

At the back-end, an external technology partner means you can be sure all exchange connectivity and regulatory compliance is on point, robust and reliable. They’ll also make sure your information is secure. This combined with the ongoing development and maintenance of your software infrastructure, gives you more time to service your investors and focus on your core value proposition.

The benefits here for Tiger Brokers are two-fold. Firstly there are the obvious resource savings by using in-house talent for its front-end dev. Then there’s the advantage of working with an expert vendor that has both local and global knowledge and the expertise the business needs.

And from a business perspective?

Mr Ian Leong, Head of Business Development at Tiger Brokers believes:

The challenges of 2020 saw a marked increase in the use of technology and its vital role to ensure businesses were able to function as required. Going forward we are expecting to see technological sustenance patterns whereby technology will be key in supporting trading platforms to strengthen our value proposition.

Ian Leong
Head of Business Development, Tiger Brokers

At Iress, we agree—investment in tech is key, and coupled with that, working with the right strategic technology partner is critical to delivering successful business outcomes both now and in the future.

To trade smarter in today’s market, you need the right information, tools and support.

More than 12,000+ institutional, retail and online traders around the world use Iress to connect across multiple markets, monitor and manage risk, access end-to-end multi-asset trading support, and deliver better performance.

Learn more

About Tiger Brokers (Singapore) Pte Ltd.
Tiger Brokers Singapore is the Singapore entity of UP Fintech Holding Limited, known as “Tiger Brokers” in Asia, a leading online brokerage firm focusing on global investors. Founded in 2014, Tiger Brokers became #1 in the U.S. equity trading by volume among trading platforms catered to Global Chinese investors in less than two years. Tiger Brokers was awarded "2017 Fintech 250" by CB Insights and shortlisted for "China Leading Fintech 50" for two years in a row by KPMG China. The company was listed on NASDAQ under “TIGR” in 2019 and has offices in China, United States, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Tiger Brokers has over 1 million customers worldwide currently, with a total trading volume of more than US$62.8 billion in Q3 2020. The company is backed by well-known investors such as Xiaomi, as well as investment guru Jim Rogers.

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This article has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Any views shared with Prospective Clients (“Prospects”) are suggestive in nature and on a sample basis only. This may also be predicated on assumptions that are made by Tiger Brokers (Singapore) Pte Ltd about the Prospects’ investment objectives and risk profile. Our suggestive and sample views extended to Prospects are not to be considered as recommendations made by the Company. Suggestions provided are also based on information that may be shared by the Prospects, the accuracy and comprehensiveness of which Tiger Brokers is not in a position to verify.

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