Which Regular Shares Savings (RSS) Plan Is The Cheapest? DBS vs FSMOne vs OCBC vs PhillipCapital
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Which Regular Shares Savings (RSS) Plan Is The Cheapest? DBS vs FSMOne vs OCBC vs PhillipCapital

Ming Feng
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Here’s one of the greatest misconceptions commonly held by Singaporeans:

I need to save up a huge amount to be able to start investing.

While that might be true in the past, have you heard of this little thing called the Regular Shares Savings (RSS) Plan?

Baby Yoda Finds Out About Regular Shares Savings Plans

With as little as $50 to $100 a month, the average Singaporean with little to no knowledge of investing can take their first baby (Yoda) steps on their investment journey.


TL;DR: Which Is The Best Regular Shares Savings Plan In Singapore?

The best RSS plan is the cheapest one because this way you get to keep as much of your dividends as possible.

Seedly Cheapest Regular Shares Saving Plan

Bank/ Financial InstituteDBS BankFSMOneOCBC BankPhillipCapital
Regular Shares Saving PlanInvest SaverRegular Savings PlanBlue Chip Investment PlanShare Builders Plan
Up to $500$2.50 - $4.10$1$5$6 (≤2 counters)
or
$10 (≥3 counters)
Up to $1,000$5 - $8.20$1$5$6 (≤2 counters)
or
$10 (≥3 counters)
More than $1,000More than $8.20$1 (unless more than $1,300)$5 (unless more than $1,700)More than $10

Regardless of the amount which you intend to invest (save for when it’s more than $1,300), it seems like FSMOne Regular Savings Plan is the cheapest one.

But if you wish to have access to STI Component Stocks, then you’ll need to look at OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan and PhillipCapital Share Builders Plan.

With OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan being the cheapest of the two options.

Unless you’re buying more than two counters or want access to the most number of counters available, then you should definitely go with PhillipCapital Share Builders Plan.


What Is a Regular Shares Savings Plan?

A Regular Shares Savings (RSS) Plan or Regular Savings Plan (RSP) allows you to regularly invest a fixed amount of money into a variety of financial products.

Most of the time, that would be into blue-chip stocks listed on the Singapore stock market.

If you don’t know how to cherry-pick the best ones, you can also buy an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) that tracks the Straits Times Index (STI).

This is more commonly known as an STI ETF.

And it’s a pretty easy way to invest in the top 30 companies of the Singapore stock market at one-go.

Mr Krabs Money Eyes
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

By making a monthly investment, your RSS Plan allows you to dollar-cost average your investment.

This means that when prices of a blue-chip stock or an ETF are low, you’ll buy more.

And conversely, you’ll buy lesser when prices are high.

In theory, the amount you pay to accumulate the stocks you want will average out over a long period of time.

This means that the price you pay for the stock will be much lower than taking a whole lump sum and buying the stock at one go.

Naturally, an RSS Plan is designed for long-term investors.

And it is arguably, the best option for beginners who do not have the knowledge, discipline, and patience to monitor the stock market closely.

So… What Regular Shares Savings Plans Are Available?

There are currently four options in Singapore right now:

  • DBS Bank
  • FSMOne
  • OCBC Bank
  • PhillipCapital

Note: Previously, Maybank also offered a Monthly Investment Plan, but it has been discontinued as of July 2019.

Even though all four RSS Plans allow you to start investing for as little as $100 a month ($50 for FSMOne), that’s where their similarities end:

Bank/ Financial InstituteDBS BankFSMOneOCBC BankPhillipCapital
Regular Shares Saving PlanInvest SaverRegular Savings PlanBlue Chip Investment PlanShare Builders Plan
What Can You Invest In?
Singapore Equity (Stocks) ETFNikko AM STI ETFNikko AM STI ETF

SPDR STI ETF
Nikko AM STI ETFPhillip SING Income ETF

SPDR STI ETF
Singapore Fixed Income (Bond) ETFABF Singapore Bond Index Fund

Nikko AM SGD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF
ABF Singapore Bond Index Fund

Nikko AM SGD
Investment Grade
Corporate Bond ETF
Nikko AM SGD
Investment Grade
Corporate Bond ETF
ABF Singapore Bond Index Fund

Nikko AM SGD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF
REIT ETFNikkoAM-StraitsTrading
Asia ex Japan REIT ETF
NikkoAM-StraitsTrading
Asia ex Japan REIT ETF
Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETFLion-Phillip S-REIT ETF
Other ETF-iShares Barclays USD Asia High Yield Bond Index ETF

iShares MSCI India Index ETF

SPDR Gold Trust
--
STI Component Stocks--17 counters34 counters

Regardless of which platform you choose, all four regular savings plans allow you to invest in at least one of three different STI ETFs available.

  • Nikko AM STI ETF
  • SPDR STI ETF
  • Phillip SING Income ETF

But because not all platforms give you access to all three STI ETFs, that’s something worth considering when choosing which RSS Plan to go with.

.

.

.

At a glance, PhillipsCapital Share Builder Plan (SBP) gives you access to the most share counters: five ETFs and 34 STI component stocks.

If you prefer a bank, OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan (BCIP) gives you access to the second-most share counters: three ETFs and 17 STI component stocks.

FSMOne Regular Savings Plan (RSP) gives you access to only eight ETFs.

While DBS Invest Saver has a paltry four ETFs available.

Note: the RSS Plans also gives investors access to unit trusts and other managed portfolios, but for the sake of keeping it simple I’ll just be looking at ETFs for this article.

Where Are The ETFs Which I Bought With My RSS Plan Held?

For all four platforms, your ETFs are held in their respective custodian accounts.

This means that you do not need to open a CDP account in order to start investing.

This also means that if you wish to have the stocks or ETFs in your CDP account, you’ll need to apply for and pay the transfer fee to do so.

What About Dividends Crediting?

The whole point behind investing in an RSS Plan is to get dividends.

Mr Krabs Bathing Money
Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy
Bank/ Financial InstituteDBS BankFSMOneOCBC BankPhillipCapital
Regular Shares Saving PlanInvest SaverRegular Savings PlanBlue Chip Investment PlanShare Builders Plan
How Are My Dividends Credited?
Credited toDBS/POSB debiting accountFSM cash accountCash dividends will go to OCBC deposit account OR OCBC SRS account

Stock dividend or bonus issues will be safe-kept with OCBC Securities Pte Ltd
Paid out in cash

OR

Reinvested into preferred counter

The key takeaway here?

The only platform that allows dividend reinvestment is PhillipCapital.

For the rest of the platforms, you’ll have to do it manually.

Which Regular Shares Savings Plan Has a Joint Account Feature?

The RSS Plans offered by FSMOne, OCBC, and PhillipCapital all come with a joint account feature.

Only DBS Invest Saver does not have this option.

What Are the Fees and Charges to Invest in a Regular Shares Savings Plan?

To make things a little more complicated, each RSS Plan levies different fees and charges.

And they can come in the form of a percentage of the amount invested.

Or a fixed amount based on the investment sum.

Bank/ Financial InstituteDBS BankFSMOneOCBC BankPhillipCapital
Regular Shares Saving PlanInvest SaverRegular Savings PlanBlue Chip Investment PlanShare Builders Plan
What Are The Fees & Charges?
Platform Fees----
Management Fees----
Sales Charge(s)0.5% for:

ABF Singapore Bond Index Fund

Nikko AM SGD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF
0.08% or min $1 (whichever is higher)0.88% with initial investment of up to $500 per counter for new BCIP customers who are less than 30 years oldInvest less than $1,000:
≤2 counters - $6
≥3 counters - $10
0.82% for:

Nikko AM STI ETF

NikkoAM-StraitsTrading
Asia ex Japan REIT ETF
0.30% of total investment amount
or $5 per counter (whichever is higher)
Invest more than $1,000:
0.2% or $10 (whichever is higher)
Additional Processing Fee for SRSN.A.N.A.$0.37 per counterN.A.

Damn cheem right…

If this is you right now:

Confused Nick Young
Source: Giphy

Relax.

Let me demystify this for you.

To make things a little easier to understand, here’s how much it’ll cost if you plan to invest:

  • Up to $500
  • Up to $1,000
  • More than $1,000
Bank/ Financial InstituteDBS BankFSMOneOCBC BankPhillipCapital
Regular Shares Saving PlanInvest SaverRegular Savings PlanBlue Chip Investment PlanShare Builders Plan
Up to $500$2.50 - $4.10$1$5$6 (≤2 counters)
or
$10 (≥3 counters)
Up to $1,000$5 - $8.20$1$5$6 (≤2 counters)
or
$10 (≥3 counters)
More than $1,000More than $8.20$1 (unless more than $1,300)$5 (unless more than $1,700)More than $10

But Really, Which Regular Shares Savings Plan Should I Use?

Ideally, the best Regular Shares Savings Plan is the one with the lowest cost.

That way you get to keep most of your dividends earned.

Looking at the comparison above…

Regardless of the amount which you intend to invest (save for when it’s more than $1,300), it seems like FSMOne Regular Savings Plan is the cheapest one.

But if you wish to have access to STI Component Stocks, then you’ll need to look at OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan and PhillipCapital Share Builders Plan.

With OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan being the cheapest of the two options.

Unless you’re buying more than two counters or want access to the most number of counters available, then you should definitely go with PhillipCapital Share Builders Plan.

Promotions for Regular Shares Savings Plan Offered by DBS, FSMOne, OCBC, and PhilipCapital

Speaking of keeping your costs low…

Here are some of the promos for RSS Plans offered by the respective service providers:

Bank/Financial InstituteDBS BankFSMOneOCBC Bank

Blue Chip Investment Plan
Phillip Capital

Share Builders Plan
Regular Shares Saving PlanInvest SaverRegular Savings PlanBlue Chip Investment PlanShare Builders Plan
Current Promos--Get your first BCIP counter at only 0.88% of total investment amount without minimum fee.Enjoy 3 months handling fee rebates when you sign up for a new Share Builders Plan.

You’re welcome!

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About Ming Feng
A stint in Bloomberg gifted me with a beer belly, which only grew larger when I moved on to become a Professional Trader. Now I turn caffeine into digestible finance-related content.
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