What you should know before investing in ETFs in Singapore


ETFs are becoming an increasingly popular investment option in Singapore, offering investors the ability to gain exposure to various asset classes and markets. ETFs offer an attractive combination of flexibility, low costs and tax efficiency – making them an excellent choice for any investor looking for long-term growth or diversification. However, with so many different ETFs available on the market, it can be challenging to know which is right for you. This article will discuss everything traders should know before investing in ETFs in Singapore.

Costs and fees

When investing in ETFs, it is essential to factor in the costs and fees associated with each fund. It includes trading commissions, management fees, custodian fees and taxes. These can add up quickly if not properly accounted for. It is essential to compare different funds and select one with a low-cost structure so you are not depleting your funds too quickly. Moreover, investors should ensure that the ETF is tracking the index accurately, as any discrepancies may reduce returns.

Tax considerations

Taxes can have a significant impact on your investment returns, so it’s essential to understand how they work when investing in ETFs. In Singapore, investors are subject to capital gains and income tax. It is essential to review the taxation rules of each country before investing in an ETF to ascertain how much you will be liable for. Certain countries may offer more favourable tax benefits than others, making them more attractive investments.

Variety and diversity

When selecting an ETF, it is vital to consider variety and diversity within the fund, which means looking at different asset classes and markets to determine which is best for your specific investment strategy. Selecting an ETF with a broad array of holdings is essential, as this will provide more opportunities for diversification and higher potential returns. In addition, investors should ensure that the ETF is spread across different sectors, countries and industries.


It is also essential to consider the liquidity of the ETF when making an investment decision. Liquidity refers to how quickly you can buy or sell shares in the fund and how easy it is to find buyers or sellers. Low liquidity can cause large spreads between bid and ask prices, resulting in lower returns. Therefore, investors should check any ETF’s liquidity before deciding whether it’s right for them. Additionally, investors should keep an eye out for force majeure clauses that could impact the liquidity of the ETF.

Risk management

Investors must understand the risks of investing in ETFs and implement effective risk management strategies. It includes understanding the volatility of different ETFs, diversifying your holdings and monitoring them regularly. Sticking to a disciplined investment strategy and not becoming overly bullish or bearish on any particular asset class or market is also essential. Furthermore, investors should ensure that their ETFs are adequately hedged against potential losses.

ETF trading risks

Before you begin trading ETFs, you need to know the risks involved to ensure you make a well-informed decision. In addition, knowing the risks involved will help you mitigate them and protect your investments.

Market risk

Market risk is the potential for losses caused by changes in the overall stock or bond markets. ETFs are exposed to market movements, meaning that investors could potentially lose money if the market moves against their positions. Investors should research different funds thoroughly and diversify their portfolios to reduce this risk.

Tracking error

Tracking error describes the difference between a fund’s performance and its benchmark index. ETFs aim to track an index; however, minor price variations can cause it to underperform or overperform its target index. It can lead to unexpected returns and is a crucial consideration when selecting an ETF.

Tax risk

Taxes can have a significant impact on investment returns, so it is essential to understand the tax rules of each country before investing in an ETF. Investing in certain countries may offer more favourable tax benefits than other funds, so understanding these rules is vital when it comes to potentially increasing your bottom line.

Counterparty risk

Counterparty risk refers to the potential for losses due to the failure of a third party, like a broker, custodian or issuer. It is essential to research different parties before investing in an ETF and ensure they are reliable and well-regulated.