Hi! Has anyone heard of MoneyOwl? Any thoughts on their platform and financial planning services? - Seedly
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MoneyOwl

Robo-Advisors

Shannon Tan

Asked on 16 Jul 2019

Hi! Has anyone heard of MoneyOwl? Any thoughts on their platform and financial planning services?

Also, does anyone also know the difference between their investment approach compared to say, Roboadvisors?Looking to start investing in MoneyOwl but want to understand them better first

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Guo Hao Teo
Guo Hao Teo
Level 6. Master
Answered on 28 Feb 2019

My brother has used diy insurance which has the same team as moneyowl, and the team is legitimate and service was really good.

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Eddy Cheong
Eddy Cheong
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 19 Jul 2019

Hi Shannon, thanks for your question. My name is Eddy Cheong, Chief Advisory Officer of MoneyOwl, and I would like to share what we believe in and how we deliver our investment services for clients.

MoneyOwl believes that good advice helps to bring about a successful investing experience and that such advice must involve a human element. Advice includes asset allocation, risk profiling, fund selection, monitoring, rebalancing and very importantly risk coaching to help investors stay invested through turbulent market times. There are many reports that show that investors lose out on market return because they panic and sell too early. Thus an adviser adds value when he or she can help investors understand how markets work and stay invested over the long term in order to capture market return, rather than time the market.

Our investment philosophy and the expression of it through the way we construct and manage portfolios - when coupled with advice - give clients a very good chance of a successful investing experience. Because we are at our core advisors, more than fund managers, (even though we have a full-fledged fund management licence), we do not define successful investing as being about maximising return or even maximising risk-adjusted return. Rather, we want to advise and structure investments for clients in such a way as to give you the best odds of meeting your goals. From a combination of evidence we have examined and experience including across the GFC, we know that the keys to successful investing lie in 4 areas:

  • being globally diversified

  • aiming for market-based return, rather than trying to beat the market through "active management" (either by adjusting asset allocations tactically in response to reading of economic conditions, forecasts or events);

  • keeping costs low; and

  • staying invested over the long term.

You can find more information here: https://advice.moneyowl.com.sg/the-right-way-to-invest/

1 comment

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Shannon Tan
Shannon Tan

19 Jul 2019

Hi Eddy! Thank you for the comprehensive reply. Is there an optimal amount of money per month that you believe can see significant impact in the returns? I understand that you cater to different risk groups but i am pretty risk adverse myself and i do not want to invest alot per month but i also do not want to invest too little which results in insignificant returns. Would there be a sweetspot amount that you can recommend? Thanks in advance!

Dear anonymous, thank you for asking this. I am Chris, Executive Director of MoneyOwl as well as CEO of Providend. Guo Hao is right to say that the team at MoneyOwl is the same team as DIYInsurance in the past. We went into a JV with NTUC Enterprise to form MoneyOwl to provide more services beyond insurance planning. Over the next few months, we will be rolling out other services. Do keep a look out for them.

Eddy Cheong, who is the Chief Advisory Officer of MoneyOwl looking after the advisory team has almost 20 years of experience in financial advsiory. So you can be assured that the advice that leaves MoneyOwl is good. You can also read our customers' review here. https://www.moneyowl.com.sg/#/about-us/customer-reviews

If there are any reasons why we are not meeting your needs, let us know and we will make sure that we put it right.

Thank you once again for your interest in MoneyOwl

Chris

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T
Tm
Level 2. Rookie
Answered on 28 Feb 2019

The agents are all licensed, trained in the products that they are to sell and knowledgeable about the products that they are to sell. So should be good

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👍 3
Justin Tan
Justin Tan
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 23 Feb 2020

Dear Terrence,

Thank you for asking. Currently, MoneyOwl is the only financial advisory firm that provides a online comprehensive financial planning service. This is the 4th service that MoneyOwl offers. (The earlier being insurance advisory, will-writing and investments.) The comprehensive financial planning brings all these together and more: clients get a financial health check; an analysis of protection needs; children's education and retirement or financial independence goals and a detailed analysis of their CPF. A centrepiece of the comprehensive planning service is the MoneyOwl CPF analyser that projects client's CPF balances into future years considering inflows, outflows and multiple CPF rules and limits. The full fee is $500 but MoneyOwl is currently waiving this fee. So please do give it a try!​​​

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Gabriel Tham
Gabriel Tham
Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 03 Jan 2020

Yes, and what would you like to know?

I am very satisfied with their services and platform

2 comments

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Me

03 Jan 2020

How’s their financial planning different from those of IFAs? I assume IFAs’ financial planning is detailed as to the different buckets at different ages, invest in diff products, etc?
Gabriel Tham
Gabriel Tham

03 Jan 2020

They are also IFA, can distribute products from different insurers. Plus, you get rebate on the commissions paid. You can try out their online platform to compare products and try out their service with no obligation to sign the plan. They currently have bundles or packages for young adults, or retirement purposes.
Davin
Davin
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 24 Feb 2020

There are many IFA out there include MoneyOwl. If your net worth is more than $1M, then I think it make sense to get fee based advisory. Otherwise, there are many resources out there that you can read and learn to start with.

If i not mistaken, they have preliminary assessment which is FOC that you can try out before decide to engage them.

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Luke Ho
Luke Ho
Level 7. Grand Master
Updated on 07 Jun 2019

Hah. I gotta try this.

But I could still be wrong, so feel free to correct me.

If I had to suggest - being a Financial Advisor who's commissioned based and deals with conflict every day - it's the lack of incentive.

I don't know how good MoneyOwl Advisors are. I can only assume they either wanted less conflict (if they even thought that far ahead) or if they didn't cut it in a commission-based system.

So you either have advisors who can't handle being ethical under pressure, or who might not have had particularly strong skills in a system where the attrition rate of this profession is one of the highest amongst professions.

They could improve, but would they, outside of office hours? There's certainly no incentive to do that.

A sales-based planner has plenty more incentive to improve, in contrast - because failure to improve means death in this line while improvement means much more money. I wouldn't assume a salaried based advisor could do the same.

Anyone who's been part of this line knows that a CFP or even CHFC means nothing without the ability to execute.

And there's no greater indication than surviving in a highly saturated, competitive environment.

...so that could be one con, certainly.

Maybe also whether the entire thing service could hold up structurally if it doesn't scale enough - AXA tried to provide much lower hospital insurance fees than everyone else in 2017, and that didn't end too well. Robos in the US have started to increase their prices because it's not sustainable.

2 comments

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Christopher Tan
Christopher Tan

24 Jan 2019

Hi Luke, when I started in the insurance industry with Prudential in 1998, I was number 2 rookie adviser for that year. In 1999, I wrote my first financial plan. By 2000, I was top 25 in Prudential. I was 2XMDRT every single year when I was with Prudental. So you can say I definitely survived and did pretty well. Well, at least by the industry's way of measurement, I did pretty well. I chose to be non-commissioned not because I could not resist the temptation or because I could not do well. I did it for a simple reason: Out of conviction that this is the best way to give advice. I mean: 1. Why do you want to put yourself in a position where you can be conflicted when you can choose not to be? 2. Why do you not want to give your clients more assurances that you will not be conflicted when you can do so? I don't think it is fair to guess whether a sales-based or fee-based/salaried-based planner has more moitvation to improve. Whether a person has the motivation to improve or not depends on a person's desire to strive towards excellence. I am not saying a sales-based or commission-based person will be a bad adviser. I am just saying that commissions is the source of conflict of interest. This is very clear even in the FA Act. MoneyOwl and Providend chose this path of ours simply because we want to mitigate this conflict. It is a path less traveled. People who join us as advisers share this same motivation, not because they are less competent.
Luke Ho
Luke Ho

24 Jan 2019

I read your history and watched your interviews, so I have no doubts. Incidentally, citing yourself as an example might imply that you thought I was referring to you. I really hope not (we're typing so its not like I can tell properly). If there are belief differences between us, one is certainly NOT that I think you are incompetent. Your competence and contributions to the industry is not in question at all. But that's why you run a company now (multiple companies? Certainly not understating both your knowledge and success) and people are working for you. You got much better because you own this, and I don't suppose there's evidence for the ones you employ. Those are good questions. The easiest reason would be because operational freedom and 'being my own boss' up to the extent that I am at now. If lack of conflict requires getting paid a fixed amount for the kind of work I produce, I'd rather not. I want to run my own sales and develop all the necessary skills and be rewarded for my effort. With a salary you tend not to develop many of these things. I would much prefer to manage my own conflict than to pass up on those kinds of opportunities - and its a high cost: people can make the worst assumptions of you. I don't necessarily consider it a selfish thing because we know in the financial world that solving more problems = more money. Ergo more problems are solved when I do what I do than if I were paid by salary. As a business owner, I'm sure you understand that quite well. You can choose the speed in which you're progressing, and you've certainly progressed remarkably in 2 decades. I don't disagree commissions are a source of conflict of interest. News is a bigger source of conflict of interest. Seedly certainly has conflicts of interest going on all about them. Everyone has bias, and commission is a prominent but source that's barely worth looking at in the face of that. I'd be fascinated and appalled at the same time if the advisors at MoneyOwl had specific or rigid standards for their advice because it would follow an ideologue rather than putting the client first. There's a blurry line between pushing clients to do whats best for them at their discomfort and there's meeting their needs. Not a sentence that's meant to suggest badmouthing - I'm not, but excellence, unbias, or even the degree of conflict are all subjective depending on how you run your business. Neither am I guessing (about motivation to improve). It is based on psychology and incentive. These are as clear facts as the fact that commission creates conflict. People work hard when they can solve more problems and be rewarded for it. People do not work hard when they are not paid. Unless you believed that when you give advice today and run your companies, you're making less than when you did as an FA (in which case I would certainly be hugely willing to analyze both my position as well as your mindset). The degree which someone could get an increment for work in the financial industry would never match something where if they worked that hard in an FA. Unless they lacked the skills which I mentioned already. So it would be pretty fun to compare an employee/advisor at MoneyOwl to someone like myself in a 5 year period, I think. It's a pity this conversation isn't in real life, because I'm coming off pretty antagonistic. It's not my intention. I am digging around a bit though, that much is for certain.