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Endowus

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About Endowus

Endowus is a sophisticated, digital-first independent financial advisor with a focus on advancing the human experience of money. The partners set up Endowus to institutional-quality financial products at the lowest cost possible to individual investors in order to help them secure their financial future.

The investment office is led by Sam Rhee, previously CEO and Chief Investment Officer at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

Method Of Investing For Endowus

Endowus's proprietary institutional process enables every client to have a globally diversified core investment portfolio that is:

  • Personalised
  • Holistic
  • Multi-asset class

The company utilises funds from global fund managers, such as PIMCO and Dimensional, with real, long-term proven track records at a fraction of what the industry average costs.

Minimum Investment And Fees For Endowus

The current minimum amount for investment is $10,000.

Endowus also charges an all-in flat fee of 0.25% to 0.60%.

Don't forget to leave you feedback on Endowus here!

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Investments

Endowus

MoneyOwl

Robo-Advisors

Dimensional Fund Advisors are a fund house like Aberdeen, Blackrock, Vanguard, etc. They founded an evidence backed investment philosophy that has shown that there are factors (dimensions) that have returned above market returns. 1) Small cap companies do better than large cap companies 2) Value does better than growth 3) Profitable companies does better than less profitable companies Using these 3 factors for their equity portfolios, they have created funds that will buy companies that fall into this list. One of their funds, the World Equity Fund, holds obver 10000 securities from 44 countries that passes their framework. Only when certain stocks no longer pass their framework or when stocks come into their framework, will they make a decision to buy or sell the units. So their funds almost work like index funds, it's just that index is created by them which is created from a theoretical or scientific look at it, and then the practical aspect is in the fund management. Now because there aren't any more guesses to be made, they can charge very low fees like index funds. But you have constant attention to the portfolios/funds they provide as they are looking at it every day.

SeedlyTV EP04

Robo-Advisors

Investments

MoneyOwl

Endowus

Dear Anonymous Thank you for your question. As a start, let me just say that it is good that your adviser has offered you Dimensional. Not many would as advisers get paid lower using Dimensional than actively managed funds. This is because Dimensional do not pay any trail commissions to advisers at all. I think that if you feel that you are comfortable with your adviser and that he is more than competent to craft a good financial plan for you, as well as he is able to coach you during market volatility, you can trust your adviser with your financial life. I will just share some of the plus points about MoneyOwl here including how we manage clients during market volatility. Please allow me to reproduce an answer that I gave previously. 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: Education: We continuously publish our professionals thoughts and guidance here at advice.moneyowl.com.sg. Through education 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. 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. 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. So in a nutshell, when you engage MoneyOwl, you are not just engaging an individual. You are in fact having the advice from the entire organization as all our advisers operate the same way. Also, the investment and financial planning philosophy are not adviser-based but institutional based. The philosophy comes from 2 decades of experience from one of MoneyOwl's parent companies, Providend, whom has managed monies through the GFC in 2008. You also have the assurance that MoneyOwl is here to stay as the other parent company of MoneyOwl is NTUC Enterprise. Hope the above is helpful for you.

Investments

SeedlyTV EP04

MoneyOwl

Stashaway

Autowealth

Smartly

Endowus

Chuin Ting Weber
Chuin Ting Weber
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (May)

Level 5. Genius
Answered on 30 Apr 2019
Hi Anonymous, it's Chuin Ting from MoneyOwl. Thank you for your question. We start first from our investment philosophy - what would give our clients the best chance of meeting their financial goals - and then look for funds and instruments that best fit this philosophy. We also take into account what is suitable for the ordinary, Singapore-based investor. We looked at about 4-5 fund managers' products before landing on Dimensional. Our investment philosophy has the following main tenets: 1. Broad diversification - because we believe that asset allocation explains the bulk of the variability in returns, we go for globally and sectorally diversified funds that provided the broadest market exposure to "make up" or fulfil our asset allocation-based portfolios. In this way, we do not take country/market, sector, or company-specific risks. For equities, this means global equities (both developed markets and emerging markets). For bonds, we go for global bonds (but hedged back to SGD - explained below). Dimensional funds we have chosen for equities have 7,500 securities in the Core Equity fund, 900 securities in the Emerging Markets Large Cap fund and 200 securities in the Global Short Fixed Income fund. 2. Market-based return, not "active" management based on forecasts or individual manager skill - we believe that markets are efficient, and the track record of active fund managers has been very poor. We believe in harnessing the collective wisdom of markets. In both the short and long terms, only a minority of active managers outperform their benchmarks - and this is observed across developed markets equities, emerging markets equities and bond markets. Furthermore, the persistency of good performing managers is low - in other words, even if you managed to select one manager in that minority that outperforms in year 1, by year 5 in all likelihood he is no longer top performing. Thus, we choose funds that do not do such active management such as tactical asset allocation shifts based on reading of macro data or forecasts, or stock picking based on forecasting sector rotation or company earnings. 2 types of funds can fulfil this "market-based" criterion. One is passive funds, but there are no globally diversfied passive indexed funds available for retail clients in Singapore. (On why we did not choose ETFs, please see below.) Two is "evidence-based" funds, namely, Dimensional funds. In its funds, Dimensional takes a broad market exposure and tilts them towards “dimensions” or factors that have been documented over time and with evidence of higher projected return over the long term. For equities, for example, these tilts are towards value, small size and profitability. The observation of these dimensions are based on leading academic research, including that by Nobel laureate Eugene Fama and his colleague Ken French (Fama being the progenitor of the Efficient Market Hypothesis in 1966). Note that market efficiency does not mean that all assets have the same expected return. As a side comment, this trust in markets rather than in individual manager skill is evinced in the corporate culture of Dimensional and its principals. On a corporate level, to keep costs low, they do no advertising, never pay any commissions, moved their HQ to Austin, Texas. Over the past years when my colleagues and I met with Dimensional folks, we were struck by how humble and down-to-earth they are. By their own admission, they are rather "boring". But perhaps the meek do inherit the earth: Over a 15-year period from 2003-2017, 73% of Dimensional's equity and fixed income funds outperformed their prospectuses' benchmarks, while in contrast only 14% of equity and fixed income funds that were around at the start of 2003 beat their Morningstar category index. 3. Low costs - kudos to all the companies in this event on this count, which are choosing low-cost funds which pay no trailer commissions (which often account for up to half of funds' high expense ratios) because this affects the return of investors. However, low-cost by itself is insufficient for a fund to be selected by MoneyOwl, as there are funds which have low expense ratios but market-time through allocation shifts in response to macro or market data. 4. Suitable for small investors in Singapore - this set of considerations lead us to prefer SGD-denominated unit trusts rather than ETFs: a. As an NTUC social enterprise, MoneyOwl seeks to serve the ordinary investors and we particularly encourage regular savings plans (RSP) whereby a sum is put towards investments every month. We start our minimums at $100 lump sum/ $50 monthly, so almost everyone can invest! For this reason, while ETFs listed on overseas exchanges were considered, they are not suitable for small investors as the amount invested might not be enough to buy whole shares and investors would end up either with fractional shares, or not be fully invested. MoneyOwl is not comfortable with fractional shares of ETFs as legal ownership is not clear. There is no such problem with unit trusts/ funds. (There are a few additional issues of withholding/estate taxes, bid-ask spreads, forex spreads etc. esp for US-listed ETFs) b. There is no suitable global bond passive ETF that is currency-hedged to Singapore dollars, unlike the Dimensional bond fund which is currency hedged. Bond currency exposure is generally hedged back to base currency because the volatility of currency exceeds that of bonds, and it does not make sense to take this additional risk. Finally, I want to add a point that, while not directly related to why we chose Dimensional, is relevant in MoneyOwl philosophy of how we give clients a successful investing experience. Dimensional funds are unique in that worldwide, they are sold only through advisers. Dimensional believes in "advisor alpha" - that through the work of advisors in helping clients navigate trade-offs and especially to risk-coach clients to stay invested during turbulent times and not market-time by moving in and out and losing out on return. Thus MoneyOwl is more than just an access channel to low-cost or quality investments. Some people have commented that many "roboadvisors" are more robo-fund managers or robo-tools. MoneyOwl has a robo platform through which we deliver some parts of advice, but we also have a team of human advisers - our bionic model - to deliver this "advisor alpha" that Dimensional believes in. Thank you for reading this and I hope it gives you better insight into how MoneyOwl selects funds for our advisory portfolios. I'll be happy to explain more at the event!

SeedlyTV EP04

Investments

Robo-Advisors

Smartly

Autowealth

Stashaway

Endowus

MoneyOwl

Chuin Ting Weber
Chuin Ting Weber
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (May)

Level 5. Genius
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
HI Zhirong, I didn't have a chance to answer your question at the live question session yesterday night, partly because it gave me pause and actually a little moved -- that you would ask us robo/bionic advisers, coming to market a relatively new business model, about our ideal customer; when surely it is our job to ask you, what you wish to see in your advisor and how we can journey with you in a way that really adds value to your life. For MoneyOwl, our purpose is really getting advice right for the ordinary man in the street so that every family can have a plan for sufficiency in retirement, adequant protection against the things that can destroy this plan, from a holistic viewpoint, and enough buffers for peace of mind and give the stretch to that hard-earned dollar. For some customers, this would mean investing in a way that has little guesswork. For others, it could mean just sorting out or saving through CPF without having to buy any products or even invest with us. Yet for others who need it, just budgeting advice and saving into instruments like the Singapore Savings Bond. Perhaps our perspective is a little different because we are not just doing investing, but comprehensive advice.

Investments

Endowus

MoneyOwl

Robo-Advisors

Hi Caleb, you are spot on that we are on track in releasing our comprehensive planning platform as well as investing via SRS very soon! Other than that, be assured that there are a couple of other new features in the works regarding our investment platform to serve our clients better. Regarding your other question on new funds, we have an internal investment committee that researches regularly on possible new funds to add to our portfolios. Ultimately, any new funds has to be aligned to our investment philosophy and value add to the portfolios we provide in terms of risk, returns and exposure. As mentioned in the reply to your review of MoneyOwl , do send any feedback or ideas that you have to me at [email protected] ! Stay tuned to the upcoming new releases! ;)

Investments

Robo-Advisors

Endowus

MoneyOwl

Eddy Cheong
Eddy Cheong, Chief Advisory Officer at Moneyowl

()

Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 18 Jul 2019
Hi Anonymous, thanks for the question. I'm from MoneyOwl and we use Dimensional funds in our portfolio construction. Dimensional Fund Advisors is a global investment manager dedicated to implementing the great ideas in finance. Guided by a firm belief in markets, the firm builds and manages strategies to help investors pursue higher expected returns. An enduring philosophy, strong client commitment, and deep working relationships with leading financial academics underpin Dimensional’s approach and form the foundation for new strategies. Through the research of Eugene Fama and Ken French, along with those of other leading academics, Dimensional has concluded that there are observable and persistent premiums to be found in certain dimensions of return, which can be harvested to give above market returns over the long term. For equities, these premiums are in small caps, value and profitability. For fixed income, they are in term and credit. For more information, you can refer to: https://advice.moneyowl.com.sg/the-right-building-blocks/

Investments

Robo-Advisors

Endowus

Gregory Van
Gregory Van

()

Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 02 Jul 2019
Hi Desmond, My name is Greg, Co-CEO of Endowus. Thank you for your question and we are sorry it took so long for us to get back to you. You are indeed correct that a broad index fund ETF is lower cost than Endowus. If you choose to go down this route, we encourage clients to buy ACWD (UCITS) through a low cost broker (Interactive Brokers for example) and try not to be caught by a bid-ask spread. I would highly discourage buying US-listed ETFs, given the dividend withholding tax on these products that you should not be paying from Singapore. Note that you can claim back partial withholding tax on interest from bonds, but not on equity dividends. (Example: If equity dividends are 3% and the withholding tax is 30%, you end up paying up to 90bps more unnecessarily.) Endowus offers a few things worth noting, as you assess various investment options. - Access: we believe that the funds we have selected through the likes of Dimensional and PIMCO provide proven implementation that adds value above the market to your investment portfolio, at the lowest cost possible. An example of this implementation is Dimensional’s diversification and systematic tilts. In a single fund exposed to the entire world, there are over 10,000 securities overweight to the long-term risk premiums of small cap, value and profitability, versus the MSCI ACWI commercial index which is exposed to 2,000+ securities at a market cap weight. We expect this to generate alpha over the long-run, as it has through analysis of the long history of market data. - Cost: we only access the institutional share class, which is typically less than half the cost of the retail share-class of unit trusts (mutual funds). If we do receive a trailer fee rebate (sales commission) as most distributors (online brokers, private banks, retail banks, etc.) make most their money, we will refund this to the end client entirely. - Asset allocation: we provide model portfolios that are at different risk weights, and are constantly ensuring that fund managers are doing what they say - Rebalancing: we tell you when you need to rebalance and do it for you at no additional cost - Non-American tax-efficiency: we use UCITS products only (read more https://endowus.com/insights/an-inconvenient-truth-tax-on-us-listed-etfs-04c7532c5d/) - SGD-optimisation: we deal in SGD share-class so you do not have any FX costs, and our fixed income funds are SGD-hedged - Convenience: From onboarding to providing advice to making transactions, everything is done online, on our Endowus platform. - Security: When a client creates an Endowus account, we will create a trust account in the client’s own name at UOB Kay Hian, Singapore’s largest broker. This trust account will handle client assets and process all transactions you make on the Endowus platform. With UOB Kay Hian acting as client custodian, Endowus does not touch or have access to client money. Beyond this, Endowus cuts out conflicts of interest. We are only paid by our clients on their assets with us. Not on transactions, sales, or by product providers (in the form of sales commissions or trailer fees) as most of the industry (including discount online brokers, insurance agents, private banks, retail banks) gets paid. We are therefore never incentivised to sell you stuff that is not suitable or expensive. We only care about growing your wealth in the long-term and keeping you as a client, as this will grow our business. We are serious about independence. Any incentives we receive from asset managers we will return to you in full. This means a 100% rebate on any sales commissions and trailer fees. In terms of advice, you will see a lot of changes here in the near future as we add features to employ a holistic and scientific approach to your wealth, understanding and addressing your needs. Through goal-based investing, we will help you realise your financial goals and priorities, realistically, so you can design your future. We are not going to try selling you the flavour of the month or put our thumb in the wind. Endowus has experience, and we want to be a your financial partner. - Sam Rhee is our Chief Investment Officer; before Endowus, he was the CEO & CIO of Morgan Stanley Investment Management in Asia. - You Ning Sun is our Co-CEO & CFO; before Endowus he was the CIO of a US$1B+ Singapore-based family office, and has worked at Blackstone Private Equity, Goldman Sachs, and got his MBA at Harvard Business School. - Greg Van (me), Co-CEO & COO; before Endowus I was Grab’s payment and technology partnership lead and worked at UBS investment bank. - Sin Ting So is our Head of Client Experience; before Endowus she spent 8 years in private banking at Morgan Stanley and Nomura. - Joo Lee is our Chief Technology Officer. He has been building trading platforms for a while, at big banks like UBS and Goldman Sachs, hedge funds like Alphadyne, and fintech companies like StashAway. Sorry that this became a bit of a pitch. I hope this helps as you assess various options. If you are looking for a core long-term allocation to markets, we believe that we provide a competitive solution. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions at [email protected]

MoneyOwl

Stashaway

Autowealth

Smartly

Robo-Advisors

Dividends

Investments

Endowus

Kenneth Lou
Kenneth Lou, Co-founder at Seedly

()

Level 8. Wizard
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
To answer your first question, yes your dividends are re-invested back into the portfolio. It will go back into your account and it will be whon in the transaction statement monthly. In fact, I think most robo advisors witholding tax will all apply. If you transfer that amount into your Robo-advisor account (it is basically their bank account) the total amount will be managed by them (usually they will keep a small % as cash) but almost 95% or more will be invested based on your risk preference and appetite. Hope this helps!

Investments

MoneyOwl

Endowus

Robo-Advisors

Chuin Ting Weber
Chuin Ting Weber
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (May)

Level 5. Genius
Updated on 13 May 2019
Hi Anonymous, the third-party platform fee is totally passed through to iFast who acts as custodian/transfer agent. We have negotiated the fees to be as low as possible. In choosing our partners, besides the costs, we have also looked at a variety of other factors including technology capability, track record and experience in operating with large numbers of retail clients. These capabilities are important given our target market and small investment thresholds of $100 one-time/ $50 monthly, and the need for significant integration that is needed to make the user experience as seamless and operationally error free as possible. In my opinion, it would be remiss of us to look only at headline costs without considering the potential costs or issues to clients related to operational risks. That said, we are constantly on the lookout for suitable partners who are competent and who can add value to our clients and we are not at closed to making adjustments as necessary. Actually, we are not really wanting to have a “price war” which will harm everyone and ultimately investors if business becomes unsustainable. Allow me also to reproduce partly what my colleague Harry Ch’ng, MoneyOwl CFO & SVP, Investment, has said in response to another question on costs: We may not be the lowest-cost adviser - we do not aim to be so, and in fact the lowest cost option is DIY investing. Rather we aim to keep costs low enough to give investors a good return on their investments, while adding value through advice. Our advice is firstly, bionic, i.e., not just digital/robo but also human, and we have a team of advisers who can help clients especially through risk coaching to stay invested when times are turbulent. Our advice is also not just on investment, but comprehensive - we already have insurance and will-writing and soon we will integrate CPF planning in our comprehensive planning offering. Finally, we are confident to bring our services to our clients not just because we believe we have the right investment philosophy and process to deliver results to our clients, we also have the right people and resources behind the technology — as a JV between NTUC Enterprise and Providend, we bring a unique combination of mission for the ordinary man in the street and long-standing expertise in financial advisory, to journey with you into the long term. Thank you again for your question and your suggestion — we will definitely take heed.
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