Amanda Ong
Head Of Client Engagement & Pr at Stashaway
Level 3. Wonderkid
‧ 7 upvotes received
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StashAway is a digital wealth manager, that empowers you to reach your financial goals.
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Head Of Client Engagement & Pr at Stashaway
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  • Asked by Lai Chong Chao

    Amanda Ong
    Amanda Ong, Head Of Client Engagement & Pr at Stashaway
    Level 3. Wonderkid
    Answered 2w ago
    Hi Lai Chong, Just jumping in to help you with your question :) To clarify, all dividends of US-listed securities are subject to 30% dividend withholding tax (WHT). These taxes are applicable as long as you own US listed assets, regardless whether the assets were bought through StashAway, or via your own broker. The WHT is held at source and the rest of the dividends are redistributed back to your StashAway portfolio(s) and reinvested automatically. Under the QII (Qualified Interest Income) rule, some of the dividend WHT from US domiciled funds (e.g. US government bonds) can be claimed back. Our broker will do this on your behalf and there is no involvement on the customer's part. We will do this once a year, and will notify you via email if you have any claimable WHT, which would be redistributed to your portfolio and automatically reinvested. We reimbursed clients their WHT refund for the year 2017 in October 2018 and will do the same every year. For further illustration, you may like to view the Dec 2017 iShares report on QII ETFs (link: https://www.ishares.com/us/literature/tax-information/qualified-interest-income-qii-percentages-2017.pdf). Some examples of QII ETFs that StashAway invests in are 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) and 10-20 Year Treasury Bond (TLH). Our investment team has given serious consideration to the 30% WHT and have considered other exchanges that have lower or no withholding tax. However, at the end of the day, we have decided to stay with US-listed securities despite the tax implications due to the its deep liquidity, reputable fund management and most importantly, the lower tracking error. If you'd interested to see a comparison between US-listed securities and foreign securities, here(link: https://www.stashaway.sg/r/etf-taxes-returns-and-tracking-errors) is an article that presents its case. I hope this does clarify some of your concerns. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Amanda Ong
    Amanda Ong
    Level 3. Wonderkid
    Answered 2w ago
    Hi there, My name is Amanda and I am the Head of Client Engagement at StashAway. We do not generally comment on our competitors and do not engage in debates on this topic online or offline. We will provide you with all the information you need on StashAway to make an informed investment decision. We also recommend investors to do their own research before deciding on a robo-advisor or an investment product. With that said, there are a few inaccurate observations highlighted by Tai Zhi below that I would like to just clarify. 1) We completely agree with Tai Zhi's point on the fact that research has shown that active fund managers tend to underperform the market. It is true, there is a lot of data published by SPIVA that prove this point. In fact, this is something we have discussed extensively and advocate for in our seminars on investing. Let’s be clear of what this “active” vs “passive” comparison looks at: in this comparison, “active” means to participate in securities selection (buy and selling single names stocks or bonds for example), and “passive” means to buy an entire asset class through ETFs or Index Funds. We believe in passive investing: StashAway invests using ETFs which are an index-tracking investment vehicle listed on a major exchange. Moreover, research shows that 80%+ of differential returns among porfolios come from asset allocation. This is where it makes sense to have a dynamic, strategic approach, rather than a static one. If you've read the white paper on our Investment strategy (https://www.stashaway.sg/r/stashaways-asset-allocation-framework), this is the exact basis of our investment framework. It focuses on asset allocation and not individual security selection. When there is a fundamental change in economic conditions, StashAway will re-optimize your portfolios for you. What this means is that, for example, if the economy were to go from “good times” to a “recession”, StashAway will recommend a re-optimization that will reduce equity exposure and concentrate it in protective sectors (e.g., consumer staples), and increase allocations to asset classes such as government bonds, particularly for long maturity dates, and gold. Our investment framework (ERAA) is risk-centric: the goal is to maintain your risk exposure constant across market and economic cycles while optimizing returns. We will always be more than happy to share details about how we've performed. If you'd like this information, you can reach out to us via [email protected] or ask our Co-Founders during the Q&A of our Academy Seminars. We are more than happy to share that with you. 2) Contrary to the belief that it "may expose the investor to a lengthy court process to claim back the assets if the robo-advisor ceases operations for some unforeseen reasons", the process at which you can claim your assets back should StashAway go bankrupt is actually quite simple. We hold a Capital Markets Services License. We decided to get a license with stricter capital, team experience, compliance and audit requirements (vs a Financial Advisor one) as we felt that it was important to build StashAway on solid foundation that can provide the necessary peace of mind to our customers. You can read about our license on MAS website here. To clarify, Tai Zhi writes that “AutoWealth, on the other hand, adopts an even higher level of safeguard by opening personal segregated custody accounts for each individual investor in his/her legal name so that the legal ownership is 100% clear”: they do so through SAXO, and you can check SAXO’s license on MAS website here, so that you can drive your own conclusions: both StashAway and SAXO have CMS license for Fund Management and Dealing in Capital Markets Products. Unlike SAXO, StashAway does not have a custodial license, and that’s why our customers’ assets are protected by the custodian relationship with SAXO and their sub-custodian institutions (HSBC for cash and SG securities and Citibank for US securities), such that those funds are kept separate and un-mingled with StashAway’s finances. 3) Tai Zhi write that “Other robo-advisors like Stashaway are pure digital platform with little or no human touch.” This is incorrect. StashAway leaves the option to you- you can decide to have zero human interaction if you want, or talk with any of our Customer Engagement (CE) team members through a variety of tools. If you're a client with us, you would know that you are able to choose to upload your documents with us via WhatsApp. In that interaction, you are talking to a CE team member who is assisting you with your onboarding. This WhatsApp feature has been available since day one when we launched in July 2017. To make it easier for you to reach out to us, we have also started placing the WhatsApp chat feature in our mobile app last year. You will see a button at the corner of the app that allows you to quickly open up WhatsApp to speak to the CE team. When you send an email, WhatsApp, Facebook message or call us, you are speaking to an actual person from my team. For our clients, you would already know this. If you are not currently a user, you can contact us via any of the aforementioned channels, my team will be happy to answer any of your questions (https://www.stashaway.sg/contact) If you’d like to meet our team in person, we host weekly seminars in both Singapore and KL and we are always happy to stay back for Q&A sessions. You can find the calendar on our StashAway Academy page. I do hope the above has clarified some of the misconceptions or inaccuracies stated about us. If you'd like to learn more on any of the above points or on StashAway, please feel free to reach out to me or my team at [email protected]
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Amanda Ong
    Amanda Ong
    Level 3. Wonderkid
    Answered on 15 Nov 2018
    Hi there, just thought I'd jump in to help you with your question. My name is Amanda and I work at StashAway. We keep it as flexible as possible for our clients- there is no minmum deposits, you can deposit anytime you wish, you can set a standing instruction with your bank to make monthly deposits or choose to stop your deposits anytime you'd like. We do however, recommend clients to keep investing through regular contributions in order to reap the rewards of dollar-cost averaging. You can read more about it here: https://www.stashaway.sg/r/dollar-cost-averaging. By investing a fixed dollar amount on a regular schedule, regardless of market conditions, you will purchase more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high. This ensures that you will invest at a reasonable price and exchange rate, and avoid investing at market tops, helping you to manage the risk of your investments. Therefore, reducing the probability of making a large investment at an unfavorable price/exchange rate, especially considering the volatile markets in recent months. With that said, investing steadily and consistently into a diversified portfolio, while maintaining a long-term perspective, will definitely have a bigger influence on your long term returns. I hope this helps! If you have any further questions, please feel free to drop us an email at [email protected], our team will be happy to help! :)
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Amanda Ong
    Amanda Ong
    Level 3. Wonderkid
    Answered on 25 Oct 2018
    Hi! Thank you for your interest in StashAway! My name is Amanda and I am the Head of Client Engagement here at StashAway. Just to share, when you create an account with us, we will build for you a customized portfolio of USD-denominated ETFs, based on your goals, risk level and financial information. By investing in ETFs from different asset classes, our portfolios provide diversification . Metaphorically, as you do not "put all your eggs in the same basket", investing in diversified ETFs helps you to manage risks in the face of uncertainty. As we use fractional shares , you are able to achieve this diversified portfolio even with a relatively low capital outlay. Our portfolios are designed for medium to long term investment, managing risks and enhancing returns with our in-house investment framework. Our algorithms monitor your portfolios daily, and rebalance them regularly to precisely manage your portfolio's risk level. Our investment framework constantly monitors prices and economic indicators, and updates your portfolio allocation, helping you to navigate through changing economic cycles. You can read more about our investment strategy here: https://www.stashaway.sg/r/stashaways-asset-allocation-framework. By leveraging technology, we can be both time and cost efficient. We pass these cost savings on to you in the form of lower fees. If you would like to learn more about us, you can contact us at [email protected](mailto:[email protected]) or +65 6248 0889 (9am - 6pm, Monday - Friday, excluding public holidays). We will be happy to help! :)
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Amanda Ong
    Amanda Ong
    Level 3. Wonderkid
    Updated on 11 Sep 2018
    Hi! Just to share, we have just reimbursed the witholding tax refund last week to all clients who are entitled to it for the FY2017. If you received a reimbursement, you would have received an email from us informing you of this :)
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Amanda Ong
    Amanda Ong
    Level 3. Wonderkid
    Answered on 10 Sep 2018
    Hi there, We recommend that customers spread out large investments across several months, investing through dollar-cost-averaging and holding assets until your goal is reached By investing a fixed dollar amount on a regular schedule, regardless of market conditions, you will purchase more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high. This ensures that you will invest at a reasonable price and exchange rate, and avoid investing at market tops, helping you to manage the risk of your investments. Your risk level should depend on your risk appetite and not just on returns. You can read an article we recently posted here: https://www.stashaway.sg/r/debunking-high-risk-high-return. If you would like to get a better idea on expected returns of the different portfolios or if you have any further questions, you can contact us at [email protected](mailto:[email protected]) or +65 6248 0889 (9am - 6pm, Monday - Friday, excluding public holidays). We will be happy to help :) Best, Amanda
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Amanda Ong
    Amanda Ong
    Level 3. Wonderkid
    Answered on 10 Sep 2018
    Hi there! Thank you for your question. After you make a deposit, it typically takes 1 - 2 business days for your funds to be processed and invested. We will first convert your funds from SGD to USD and then proceed to purchase the securities during the US market open. Best, Amanda