Au­towealth gives fi­nan­cial plan­ners a run for their money

Singapore Business Review - - STARTUPS -

When 29-year-old Ching Kai Chen first tried the beta test ver­sion of Au­towealth, a robo-ad­vi­sory plat­form that doles out fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment ser­vices, he was im­pressed by its com­bi­na­tion of con­ve­nience and in­tel­li­gence. “In­vest­ing can take a sub­stan­tial amount of time – stock pick­ing, mon­i­tor­ing in­di­vid­ual com­pany re­sults and get­ting the anal­y­sis cor­rect. I wanted a sim­pler and less risky way of in­vest­ing, and Au­towealth pro­vided the right prod­uct for me,” he said.

Un­like hu­man fi­nan­cial plan­ning, Au­towealth’s robo-ad­vi­sory plat­form au­to­mates the en­tire in­vest­ment process to make it sim­pler, and more con­ve­nient. Cus­tomers start by tak­ing a two-to-three-minute on­line ques­tion­naire, which feeds into the robo-ad­vi­sory sys­tem. This helps cre­ate a full pic­ture of cus­tomer’s fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion, risk pro­file and fi­nan­cial goals.

Au­towealth’s pro­pri­etary al­go­rithm analy­ses the cus­tomer’s an­swers and rec­om­mends a tai­lored in­vest­ment port­fo­lio. Mean­while, its plat­form tech­nol­ogy au­to­mates 80% of the fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sory and in­vest­ment man­age­ment process that en­ables them to of­fer low fees that are 25% that of tra­di­tional fi­nan­cial ser­vices, or at 0.50% per an­num on the as­sets un­der ad­vice and US$18 per an­num plat­form fee. In com­par­i­son, Au­towealth COO Noel Lee noted that tra­di­tional in­vest­ment through mu­tual funds typ­i­cally comes with ex­ces­sive sales charges, an­nual man­age­ment fees and other hid­den charges that stacks up to about 2% per an­num on av­er­age. “Com­bin­ing higher re­turns with a lower fee struc­ture, our clients are able to take home way higher net re­turns com­pared to mu­tual funds or fi­nan­cial plan­ners,” said Lee.

Hu­man touch

Whilst ro­bot au­to­ma­tion brings ma­jor im­prove­ments to the Au­towealth in­vest­ment process, there is still hu­man touch. Cus­tomers can meet face-to-face with one of the startup’s fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sory rep­re­sen­ta­tives, all of whom are li­cenced by MAS, to ask more ques­tions and to open their Au­towealth ac­count through which port­fo­lio per­for­mance can be mon­i­tored on de­mand. “We be­lieve a hy­brid model will par­tic­u­larly ad­dress the needs of the older pop­u­la­tion, whom we also de­sire to serve,” said Lee.

Af­ter its of­fi­cial launch, Au­towealth is set­ting its sights on get­ting the word out to more Sin­ga­pore­ans through more road­shows and sem­i­nars, in­clud­ing in­vestors that are not as fa­mil­iar with dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy. The startup is also en­gag­ing reg­u­la­tors and in­dus­try bod­ies to fur­ther nur­ture the robo-ad­vi­sory in­dus­try.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.