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Hong Kong is very much the centre of all things financial in Asia and its residents are equally astute, with financial literacy being a compulsory part of the school curriculum. Hong Kong also operates a high-level licensing process administrated by the SFC, meaning that every broker in your country has been through stringent checks before being licensed.

A stockbroker is an essential link for traders, as you cannot buy or sell on the stock markets directly. It is highly likely that you have already investigated the subject using the wealth of information provided by the Investor and Financial Education Council (IFEC) and its Chin Family representatives. The one you opt for must tick all of the right boxes for both your lifestyle and intended level of trading.

Within your own country you already have a great choice of stockbrokers, but how do you go about selecting the right one, or finding the time to do the necessary research? On those subjects we can undoubtedly help you, our panel of experts review many brokers on every aspect of their business, meaning you have a ready-made shortlist to work from. Every stockbroker that makes it to our recommended list has been marked highly on every aspect and we are confident you will find one that suits your needs.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Many reasons for trading with a Hong Kong brokerage
  • The stock market assets your stockbroker will offer
  • How our broker reviews are created and presented

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Risk Warning / Ad Disclosure

Risk Warning: The products offered by the companies listed on this website carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never risk money that you cannot afford to lose.

Ad Disclosure: Some of the links that you will find on this website are advertisements for which we do receive financial gain for referring new customers.

Traders in Hong Kong

Hong Kong

If you are looking at stock trading as a way to generate some extra income for yourself, then your priority is to find a suitable broker. You may already have some idea of where your interests lie in terms of the stock market, but there are a few other factors to think about as well.

Mobile Trading

One of the many great things about Hong Kong is its fantastic Internet service and like many other citizens, you are likely to have owned a mobile phone or tablet from a young age and know a great app when you see it. Stockbrokers in your country are entirely on board with the trend for trading on the move and generally provide exceptionally advanced apps and mobile trading platforms; there is no shortage of choice in that department.

Deals And Incentives

Being taught from an early age to use the resources already around you, the best stockbroker for your needs is almost certainly one that is homegrown. You are unlikely to be inundated with attention-seeking bonuses, but that does not mean to say that there aren't some great deals on offer. The more loyal clients a stockbroker can retain, the more he becomes trusted, so many incentives on offer are concerned with increased benefits given to long-term clients. They may take different forms including upgraded accounts, free trades, reduced fees or complementary robot software, to enhance your trading platform.

Diverse Asset Types

There is no denying that some Hong Kong stockbrokers tend to place more emphasis on Asian stock market opportunities and offer better terms for trading on them. That said, an increasing number of brokers recognise that modern stock traders are also keen to access other world markets and are always adding new assets to their brokerage. Assets are a subject we cover in our broker reviews under a separate heading, so it is easy for you to get a better idea by reading through them.

Good Customer Support

We firmly maintain that excellent customer support should never be underestimated. We believe that the ideal stock broker offers an overall caring approach to all clients, regardless of the size of their investment. It is almost essential to have instant access to a ‘real’ person by phone or webchat. However, we look for much more than that, including abundant self-help information, trader education and complete clarity in terms of T&Cs, amongst many others.

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Broker Fees And Tax

Stockbrokers, like every other business, must show a profit; after all, you would not want to entrust your money to one that was showing an annual loss. So a broker’s income is derived by charging fees for the services it provides to you as a client. No two stockbrokers are precisely alike in the way they structure their business or their prices, so this is something that you need to look at on a per-broker basis.

A stockbroker sometimes offers different account levels to clients, most often ‘full service’ or discount. A full-service version gives you the benefit of the broker’s financial advice, as well as doing all of the administration and accounting. However, it is also the most costly at around 10% of your total investment per year. Not surprisingly, many traders take a more DIY approach and opt for the discount version, you will still pay administration and trading fees, but these will cut your total broker costs by around two thirds.

In Hong Kong, you are required by law to keep specific accounts relating to your stock trading activities and to declare any profit made on your annual tax return. Although profits are subject to Income Tax, the threshold before you pay any is high and even if you make a great deal of money from stock trading, Hong Kong currently caps personal tax at just 17%, one of the lowest rates in the world.

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Hong Kong Licencing

All stockbrokers operating in Hong Kong are licensed under the regulation of the SFC (Securities and Futures Commission) and the licensing process is most certainly not an easy one. The SFC vets every application carefully, delving into the background of all personnel who are involved directly in the business operation or offering financial advice to clients.

Additionally, a brokerage must provide full disclosure of its funding source, regardless of whether derived from corporate or private investment, as well as submitting references from a top-tier banking facility.

In a country with such stringent regulations and equally robust verification procedures already in place, we always recommend looking no further than a homegrown opportunity. There are further tax advantages for those who invest offshore, but potentially less protection for your investment, meaning you must weigh up the pros and cons.

Certain regulatory authorities are deemed more stringent than others and are also responsible for licensing stockbrokers with access to some of the most prevalent stock markets too. If you do opt for offshore investment, then consider a broker who holds a licence with one of the authorities listed below:

  • The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
  • The US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority FINRA

You are sure to come across many other stock trading opportunities promoted by brokers from other countries as well. Although there is nothing wrong with making use of their services, if you do ever encounter a problem, you are more likely to lose your investment.

In Hong Kong, you are required by law to keep specific accounts relating to your stock trading activities and to declare any profit made on your annual tax return.

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How we Recommend Brokers

Our recommended list comprises brokers who offer their clients the best all-around stock trading experience. It is a list collated by a panel of experts, who are also investors themselves, so they know exactly what to look for when they review a stockbroker. Each different aspect of the brokerage is graded separately on a points system from which an overall score out of 100 is awarded.

We make every review page easy to navigate by breaking it down into different sub-sections, each containing valuable insights into the elements of a brokers operation we feel are most vital to you as a stock trader. These include licensing, assets, customer support and mobile trading, to name but a few and gives you the choice of either reading the full review or jumping directly to any subject that is of particular interest to you.

There is no doubt that if you are resident in Hong Kong, then a homegrown broker is the safest and for many of you, the most natural solution. Many offshore brokers have also rated well in our reviews, so please take a look at those and our other guides, which we are sure you will find a massive help on the journey to finding your stockbroker.

Our Scoring System

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  • Account Types
  • Banking & Payouts
  • Bonuses & Promotions
  • Mobile Trading
  • Trade Types
  • Special Features
  • Customer Support

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Risk Warning / Ad Disclosure

Risk Warning: The products offered by the companies listed on this website carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never risk money that you cannot afford to lose.

Ad Disclosure: Some of the links that you will find on this website are advertisements for which we do receive financial gain for referring new customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Is stock trading in Hong Kong legal and safe?

Hong Kong actively encourages its residents to trade on the stock market and it is also one of the most well-regulated countries in the world. Provided your stockbroker holds a legitimate Hong Kong licence; your investment is considered safe.

Do I need to pay fees and taxes on my profits?

You will pay either maintenance or per-trade fees for the services provided by your stockbroker, which depend on the type of account you hold. Profits from stock trading are also liable for Income Tax but at a much-reduced rate if you opt for a Hong Kong brokerage.

Can I test brokers before trading with real money?

Not every stockbroker currently has this opportunity available, but an increasing number of brokers see the merit in offering a ‘try before you buy’ option for new clients.

Is it easy to make deposits and withdrawals?

Depositing or withdrawing funds is very straightforward, once your nominated bank account has undergone verification. To complete that process, you must provide personal ID, as well as evidence of your Hong Kong residency and income to your broker.

Can I trade using my mobile or tablet device?

It is now more common in Hong Kong to trade from a mobile device than from a PC. There is fierce competition between stockbrokers in this area, so you should have no problem at all in finding an excellent trading app.

Meet The Author
Sundar Kapadia
Sundar Kapadia
Risk Manager

Sundar never ceases to impress us; being an Actuary makes him an expert in assessing risks and dealing with uncertainty. He’s been contributing to the site as an author for around 4 years, and we know our readers love his various insights and predictions.

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