Christopher Tan - Seedly
Christopher Tan

Christopher Tan is the CEO of Providend and Executive Director of MoneyOwl. He sat on the CPF Advisory Panel from 2014-2016.

Christopher Tan

CEO at Providend Ltd

212Upvotes

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Christopher Tan is the CEO of Providend and Executive Director of MoneyOwl. He sat on the CPF Advisory Panel from 2014-2016.

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CEO at Providend Ltd

Christopher Tan

CEO at Providend Ltd

212Upvotes
  • Answers (71)
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MoneyOwl

Investments

Robo-Advisors

Christopher Tan
Christopher Tan, CEO at Providend Ltd
Level 6. Master
Updated on 15 Jun 2019
Hi Caleb, thanks for your questions. This is Chris, CEO Providend and Executive Director of MoneyOwl As our investment philosophy is one where we do not believe in market timing and also we believe in the use of low cost instruments, we will only bring in funds who meet these criteria. Unfortunately, there aren't many of such funds in Singapore as most financial advisers in Singapore do not want to "sell" these funds as they cannot get a trailer commission from them. As such, not many fund managers want to bring their low cost funds into Singapore as there is no demand from the advisory industry. But we will continue to be on the lookout for such funds and will do our best to persuade them to bring these funds in for Singaporeans. With regard to tiered-pricing, we hv not yet arrive at a decision. This is because we have conceived our services as a mass market service and it is this group of Singaporeans whom we really want to help. Also, our margins are already very thin. As much as we want to be cost efficient for our clients, we also need to price it at a level that is sustainable for us so that we can journey with clients for the long term. Having said that, we are not closed to the idea of tiered-pricing but the investment amount has to be a significant quantum before we can do so. For SRS, while the funds from Dimensional are already SRS approved, we are working hard with our platform (iFAST Financial) to bring it to our clients. We are looking at Q4 but hopefully earlier. We will definitely keep you and our followers on FB informed once we have it. Hope this clarifies!

MoneyOwl

Endowus

Investments

Robo-Advisors

Dear Anonymous and John Thank you for the question. Just to clarify on what Samuel from Endowus have shared regarding the use of 2 equity funds that MoneyOwl uses versus the 1 fund that Endowus uses. The 2 funds MoneyOwl uses (the Global Core Equity Fund and the EM Large Cap Core Equity Fund) has a combined total expense ratio (TER) of 0.37-0.38%, as compared to the 0.43% of the World Equity Fund used by Endowus. Also, the 2 funds that MoneyOwl uses track the MSCI World and the MSCI EM respectively, and are a cost effective way of getting diversified equity exposure. Our 88%12% Global/EM split reflects the MSCI All Country World Index, which is typically used to represent World Equity exposure. This is not to say that the DFA World Equity Fund used by Endowus is of lesser quality than the one that MoneyOwl uses. We believe that all 3 funds can give investors a good investment experience at a cost that is efficient. We just wanted to clarify that it is not true that the World Equity Fund used by Endowus relative to the 2 funds MoneyOwl uses is the most cost effective way in implementation from Dimensional. At the end of the day, it is how each company wants to execute the asset allocation for their clients in the best way where they think it will give them the best investment outcome after taking cost into consideration. In this regard, both Endowus and MoneyOwl use funds that are considerably lower than what is offered elsewhere. With regard to Fixed Income, MoneyOwl’s philosophy is that the fixed income portion of the portfolio is used for diversification across asset classes and for its negative correlation to equities, effectively acting as a buffer to the equity component in a portfolio during times of volatility. As such, we focus on high investment grade (A and above) bonds that are stable and are fully hedged to SGD so that the returns are not eroded by unfavourable currency movements. The fund has a TER of 0.29% and does not have emerging market bond exposure, but instead has a well-diversified portfolio of about 180 issues (bonds) across 16 countries that make up a large part of the global bond market. It is designed to be part of a total return portfolio to capture and improve expected returns from both yields and capital gains based on information readily observable in bond prices today, without having to forecast what may happen to yield curves around the world in the future. Our goal is for fixed income to provide a high level of portfolio stability during times of market stress to allow our clients to remain invested in their portfolios to capture long term equity returns. In addition, I would like to clarify that iFAST does not own Providend contrary to what was mentioned by Samuel from Endowus. While it is true that iFAST is a corporate shareholder of Providend, Providend is majority owned by individual shareholders and most of them are employee shareholders of which I am the biggest individual shareholder of Providend. And although iFAST is a corporate shareholder of Providend we are not obliged to use them. Our corporate governance would not allow that. In fact, we had relationship with Navigator and also currently have a relationship with another platform, FAME by Philip Securities. We are also free to use other platforms such as Havenport, Saxo and the like. Some of these platforms have approached us and we have also approached some of them before. But having spend the last 2 decades working with various platforms, and having managed end consumers' money through various crises especially the GFC in 2008, we have come to realise that besides cost, factors such as quality of platform, especially in terms of client service, accuracy in reporting and experience serving large number of advisory clients are very important, especially when markets become difficult. While we try to keep cost efficient. We are mindful that we need to balance it with having a safe, secure and experienced platform/custodian as that is the place where we "store" our clients' hard earned money. As MoneyOwl's asset under management becomes bigger, we will always try to bring this custodian and platform cost down for our clients. In my personal opinion, both MoneyOwl and Endowus are good companies that investors can trust. Both companies serve clients with different needs and preferences. Both companies try to be as cost efficient as possible for our clients and to do the right thing. Ultimately, investors should decide who to use to build wealth based on which company can better serve their needs. I would be happy if Singaporeans use either Endowus or MoneyOwl to build their wealth. I think their money is in good hands.

Robo-Advisors

Investments

Hi Anonymous Thank you for your comment. I understand how you feel. I answered as many question as possible for MoneyOwl because I thought this was part of the ""must do" activities leading up to the event. I didn't expect us to be the only one answering. So sorry you felt that we were trying to upsell too much but we hope that some of my answers are of some ways beneficial for you.

SeedlyTV EP04

Endowus

MoneyOwl

Hi Gabriel, thanks for your question and good to hear from you again. Please allow me to repost an answer to a pretty similar question here. In my humble opinion, these are the few factors you need to consider before deciding who you want to go with. Also, I can only share from MoneyOwl's perspective with regard to these factors and will leave other robos to share theirs. 1. Investment Philosophy Some of the robos are active mangers, in that they believe they can beat the markets by tweaking the portfolios tactically in line with economic changes. Some of the robos do not believe in active management. As an example, MoneyOwl do not believe that it can beat the market. The investment philosophy is one whereby you should stay invested for the long term without trying to guess when is the best time to get in and out of markets. 2. Underlying instruments Some of the robos use ETFs as their underlying instruments whereas 2 of us (Endowus and MoneyOwl) use DFA as our underlying funds. 3. Investment or Financial Advisory Almost all the robos are investment robos. But for MoneyOwl, although we are a fund manager in terms of our MAS license, at the core, we provide financial advisory. The investment service that we provide is just part of our comprehensive financial advisory service to help you reach your life goals. You will notice that we already have insurance, will writing and in a few months time, we will launch our comprehensive financial planning service via robo and human advisers to integrate all the various areas (insurance, investments, CPF, etc) together. So I think you probably have to ask whether you are looking for pure investment advice or comprehensive financial advice. 4. People behind the technology The problem behind tech firms is that the technology is opaque. You do not know what goes behind the algos. So at the end of the day, you have to trust the people behind the company. As you know MoneyOwl is a JV between 2 longstanding local companies - NTUC Enterprise and Providend. Providend in particular is one of the earliest financial advisory firms in Singapore since 2001. It is well known for its deep knowledge in financial advisory and reputation for championing conflict-free and ethical practice. 5. Sustainability and Secured Platform In this world where start ups come and go, and also with the pervasiveness of cyber attacks, it is important that you invest with a company that is stable and secure. In this regard as mentioned, MoneyOwl is a JV with NTUC Enterprise and Providend, both have been around for decades. We are not a pure startup per se. Also, MoneyOwl is ISO27001 certified which means that we are serious in ensuring that our platform is safe and secure. To find out more about MoneyOwl regarding investment, please visit https://advice.moneyowl.com.sg/investment/ We are also doing an investment symposium on 25th May morning and you might be interested to attend. You can sign up for it here https://www.eventbrite.sg/e/moneyowl-investment-symposium-registration-60702740531 Hope this helps!

SeedlyTV EP04

Investments

Robo-Advisors

Smartly

Autowealth

MoneyOwl

Stashaway

Endowus

Dear Anonymous Thank you for your question. I understand where you are coming from when you say that you would like to buy low and sell high. while it would be perfect to do that, the reality is that it is quite difficult to do so and evidence tell us that most people fail to beat the market. But what evidence also tell us is that regardless of when you enter the market, over the long term (at least 10 years), the stock markets always go up. It is with this in mind that at MoneyOwl, we do not attempt to time the market (please note that not all robos believe in the same philosophy). You can invest at anytime and at MoneyOwl, being a bionic financial adviser, we do our very best to help you ignore short term noises and stay invested for the long term. What we will also do is that we will do regular rebalancing so that your portfolio will always reflect the asset allocation that you are comfortable with. By rebalancing, it also helps you to lock in some profits. As an example, when the equities markets go up and bonds come down, your portfolio will have more equities than bonds - more than how your original portfolio should look like. What rebalancing will do is that it will sell equities (that have gone up in price) and buy some bonds (that have gone down in price). So in doing rebalancing, you are in effect doing some “buy low and sell”. I have written an article on the topic of marketing timing and you might want to read it here https://advice.moneyowl.com.sg/breaking-the-addiction-to-active-management/ MoneyOwl is also holding an investment symposium and you can sign up for it here https://www.eventbrite.sg/e/moneyowl-investment-symposium-registration-60702740531 Hope this helps!

Investments

Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB)

Christopher Tan
Christopher Tan
Level 6. Master
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
Dear Anonymous, first of all, well done. You have really done well in your business. I think the strategy you have proposed is workable. But do note that dollar cost averaging generally do not work well in an up market. Of course, we do not know if the current market is sustainable. No one can guess. So if you feel comfortable doing what you have proposed, I think it's fine. For me, I will set aside enough for emergency fund into an SSB and with the rest of my money, I will invest 60-70% of it at one go and keep the rest as dry powder, just in case the market goes below 20%, I can invest a bit more but still for the long term and not to move in and out. But just make sure you don't get caught up with trying to time the market as very few people can do it right most of the time. I wrote an article on Sunday Times on this so you might want to read it here https://advice.moneyowl.com.sg/breaking-the-addiction-to-active-management/ Also, MoneyOwl is having an investment symposium on the 25th morning. If you are keen, you might want to sign up here https://www.eventbrite.sg/e/moneyowl-investment-symposium-registration-60702740531 All the best!

SeedlyTV EP04

Robo-Advisors

Stashaway

MoneyOwl

Smartly

Autowealth

Endowus

Dear Anonymous Thank you for your question. It is indeed a good and valid question. At MoneyOwl, we believe that in order to have a good investment experience, one should not try to guess where the markets are going, time it by getting in and out of them. Instead, one should stay invested for the long term as scores of evidence have shown that stock markets always go up in the long term. The problem is, the head may understand this especially during “peace‘ time but when markets start tumbling, the heart may not follow what the head knows. So how do we align the head and the heart? To do that, a lot of things need to be done even before a downturn. Some of the things we do at MoneyOwl are: 1. Education: We continuosly publish our professionals thoughts and guidance here at advice.moneyowl.com.sg. The education pieces are not just on investment matters, but also on insurance, estate planning and general financial planning issues, we hope to help our clients make correct financial decisions. Progressively, we will educate our clients even more via infographics, videos and educational events such as the investment symposium that we will be holding in the morning on 25th of May. If you participate in all the above, it would be like attending a financial literacy university. In fact, at MoneyOwl, we already have a team of financial literacy trainers providing education to investors. 2. Financial Planning: In helping the head make the right investment decisions through our robos, we ascertain and help our clients strengthen their ability to take risk. This is done by ensuring that your financial health is strong, that you are sufficiently well covered by insurance, and that you have enough time horizon. We also help you know your need for returns from your investment based on the financial goals you want to achieve. We ascertain your willingness to take risks through our simple but yet accurate risk questions. Once we understand your need, ability and willingness to take risk, we would be able to recommend a suitable investment portfolio for you with the risk and return characteristics that you need, able and willing to stay invested. The robo will also regularly rebalance your portfolio to reflect the risk that you should take. While you can do many of the above through our investment robo now, we would be able to help you do all the above when our comprehensive financial planning robo is rolled out in a few months time. 3. Bionic Advisory: As you might know by now, MoneyOwl is not a pure investment robo. We have currently launched 3 robos (insurance, will writing and investments). As mentioned, in a few months time, our 4th robo, the comprehensive financial planning robos will be up. But beyond advice via technology, we are really a bionic financial advisory firm. What that means is that after you have gotten your first level advice through our robos, we have a team of competent & conflict-free (as they are all salaried and do not receive commissions) advisers, using their wisdom to complete the advice if you wish to consult them. An example of what these advisers can do for you is to confirm your risk appetite decisions. While we have a good set of risk questions to ascertain that, your willingness to take risk is really a matter of the heart, influence by many factors that are complex enough that a robo might not fully empathize. Our advisers will be there to provide the judgement so that you can make the correct investment decisions that will help you stay invested when markets become volatile. If we do all the above well and together with you, the chances of you staying invested will be much higher when the markets start to become rough. But when the “shit really hits the fan”, besides doing more education through articles, videos, and events, you can be sure our advisers will be on hand to guide you through the storm. You always have access to them. One of our parent companies is Providend, a home-grown financial advisory firm who have been around since 2001 and have gone through the Glocal Financial Crisis of 2008. In that crisis, markets fell almost 40% in 3 months. They have learnt through experience that by doing the above, the chance of helping clients stay invested is higher. MoneyOwl now adopts the same process. We know that financial decisions are often emotional. Robots may be good in many things. But they don’t understand human emotions. That is why MoneyOwl is bionic. Hope this helps allay any concerns that you might have.

CPF

AMA Christopher Tan

Christopher Tan
Christopher Tan
Level 6. Master
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
Hi Yee Fong, thank you so much for your question. So sorry it came so late as I had a busy 2 weeks. It is an interesting question that you have asked. There are possibly a few reasons why CPF Board first take our monies from CPF SA to form the FRS first. 1. First of all, we need to understand that the primary purpose of CPF is to help us retire. When deciding on CPF policies, CPF Board often focus on the lower income group and not the wealthier ones. Therefore, when one reaches age 55, because CPF is mainly for retirement, our monies from SA (which is meant for retirement and attracting a higher interest rate) is first transferred to the RA to form the FRS. If it is insufficient, then CPF Board will take from OA. 2. For a near risk-free "instrument" like CPF (risk-free in a sense that it is default-free, free from volatility risk and also guranteed interest rates), 4% p.a. is considered very high and it is not easy to fulfill this obligation. By allowing the transfer to happen first from OA and then SA, there is a possibility that you have now "more money" attracting a higher 4% p.a. This is just my opinion. 3. By allowing one to first use the OA to form the FRS, we are likely to benefit the higher income group. This is not the intent of our CPF Schemes. I have heard of advisers asking their clients to invest their SA just before age 55 so that the FRS is formed by taking monies from their OA first. After 55, thei sell away their investments and the monies are then transferred back to the SA. While this is a loophole and seemingly a viable option, depending on what one invest in, one must be preapred to lose capital after the divestment. Hope this helps!

CPF

AMA Christopher Tan

Dear anonymous, thank you for your question and sorry for the late reply. Firstly, if you intend to top up your SA using cash, it must be because it is for retirement planning and not because of the tax savings. Because topping up your CPF SA comes with an opportunity cost. There are 3 "things" you will need in retirement: 1. A fully paid house 2. A good medical expense insurance 3. A lifellong income stream Under lifelong income stream, CPF LIFE forms the foundation. It gives you a reliable income stream that hedges against longevity and market volatility risk. By contributing into your CPF now, you are actually accumulating towards a lump sum to buy this annuity (CPF LIFE) at age 65. So if you have excess cash and if your SA has not reach $176K this year, it might be a good idea to use your SA to accumulate towards this lump sum of buying CPF LIFE later. Hope this helps.

Investments

Retirement

AMA Christopher Tan

Hi Anonymous, sorry for the late reply. Thanks for your question. Honestly, it will be difficult for me to answer this question without the full extent of your current situation and what you hope to achieve. You have 15 years to retirement, which is a pretty long time to invest into the equities market. I am going to assume a few things: 1. You have at least 6 months of emergency fund in cash - you can either put this into high interest bank accounts such as DBS Multiplier, UOB One or OCBC 360. Alternatively, put it in SSBs 2. You are sufficiently insured. If you are unsure, you can go to www.moneyowl.com.sg to use the tools to check 3. Your CPF SA has reached FRS - Currently $176K. If you have not, you can consider topping it up. It gives you at least 4% p.a. interest at almost no risk. Your CPF-SA will be transferred to your RA at age 55 and at age 65, pays you a lifelong stream of income per month. This can form the foundation of your retirement income. If all the above is done and you still have $300 per month to invest for 15 years, I would suggest that you put it in a portfolio of bonds/equities. Perhaps a 60% equities and 40% bonds portfolio using low cost instruments such as ETFs or Dimensional Funds. Low cost means that the management fees of these instruments are below 0.5% p.a.. At 60/40, you should be able to expect a 5.5% p.a. return for the next 15 years. If you invest $300 p.m., after 15 years, the pot should grow to about $80,000. This $80,000 at age 65 will give you extra income over and above your CPF LIFE. So your CPF LIFE gives you your basic income but reliable income stream. The $80,000 gives you a bit more. Hope this helps.
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