As a new investor, should I purchase ETFs using POSB invest-saver or using Robo-advisors (Stashaway/Smartly)? If I use robo advisors, will the returns be lesser/affected due to currency impact? - Seedly






Asked by Anonymous

Asked on 21 Jun 2018

As a new investor, should I purchase ETFs using POSB invest-saver or using Robo-advisors (Stashaway/Smartly)? If I use robo advisors, will the returns be lesser/affected due to currency impact?

Anyone has any advice, thanks!


Answers (5)

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Jay Liu
Jay Liu, Diploma in Accountancy at KHEA
Level 6. Master
Answered on 15 Sep 2018

How about both? When you invest in robo-advisors e.g. Smartly, you are investing in US ETF too. So it depends on the market exposure you are looking at. For smartly it's converted to sgd on the site when you view it. There is also a currency impact portion where you can view it too. It changes everyday so when you feel that it's time to cash out, you can do so.


Jasmine Tsoi
Jasmine Tsoi
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 15 Sep 2018

I think it depends on which market you want to start investing in! I use posb invest - saver for the regular savings plan to buy STI index. But I use Autowealth to buy US ETFs which is something I will never be able to do myself without their platform. I think if you are a new investor, it might be good to diversify as well.. maybe start off with Singapore ETFs first because probably lower risk? The admin fees are also lower for posb as compared to roboadvisors I think!


Marcus Goh
Marcus Goh
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 21 Jun 2018

Firstly, Congratulations on taking the first step to start your journey with ETF. It is a good starting and learning point!

Secondly, It depends on the returns and the different markets that you want to be exposed to.

There are mainly two types of fund that people invest with POSB invest-saver

1) Nikko AM STI ETF (Sales Charge of 1%)

2) ABF Singapore Bond Index (Sales Charge of 0.5%)


  • Low Charges in Fee
  • Provides diversification in Stocks and Bonds


  • Predominantly in the Singapore Market, does not provide adequate diversification in overseas markets.

Robo Advisors (Stashaway, Autowealth, Smartly)

Leveraging algorithms in order to access your risk profile be it low risk or aggressive.


  • Provides diversification in Global ETFs to different markets of stocks and bonds and does not limit to only local market (Singapore)


  • Annual fee, Platform Fee and etc (Recurring costs which will erode your returns)
  • Robo advisor are heavily into US ETF which have a 30% dividend tax on US equity if vested
  • You will be subjected to USD conversion rates and incurring currency fees charged by the brokers

You can read more in the link above on the pros and cons of each and ultimate decide your choice based on returns, exposure to markets and fees charges. Hope this helps!


Alex Chua Cheng En
Alex Chua Cheng En, Pcme at Anderson Junior College
Level 4. Prodigy
Updated on 07 Jun 2019

Dear anonymous, change your tag for the benefits of the mess as it does not suit the topic of your questions.

Adding on to @Jay Liu and @ HC Tang whom I share the same idea with (why not BOTH especially u have the cash?) : As a new investor (I just started too...), you wanted to get started somewhere. You are eager to. But you don't know how. You want to maximise learning experience, knowing and familiarise the market, getting a higher possible returns, with a lower possible risk and the lowest possible cost.

STI ETF (or posb invest saver) is a good way to get things started. Well-diversified + low cost + potential gains in the long run. You can thereafter start researching about local market.

Robo advisors are something you can start too because it meets your needs and wants. (Diversification and understanding global market). Different robo advisors provide different opportunities and style so do your diligence and choose your preferences and requirements before started with one (risk assessment). You can familiarise with the impact of currencies on your capitals/ results. Thus, the returns will definitely be affected, positively and negatively.

Hope this is helpful. I have done research on robo-advisors but no prior experience.

P. S: If only I have capital to start :(

1 comment

Alex Chua Cheng En
Alex Chua Cheng En

on 11 Apr 2019

^ how do I bold?? Not italics -. - l
HC Tang
HC Tang, Financial Enthusiast, Budgeting at The Society
Level 8. Wizard
Answered on 15 Sep 2018

Why choose one of you can do both since most robo is US market and POSB invest saver is STI. So do both for both market.

Yes for robo has currency impact , but the returns on long term also higher minus some of the currency impact. You can reduce that impact by deposit and invest in USD for Stashaway allow for min 10k USD.