AMA Christopher Tan
Asked by Anonymous
Asked on 23 Jan 2019
Hi Anonymous, thank you for asking this question. Let me share how MoneyOwl works, it’s pros and cons and you can decide if we are suitable for you.
MoneyOwl is set up as Singapore’s first Bionic Financial Adviser. To be Bionic means to have the best of both worlds – humans and technology. Technology integrates complex financial models into your financial plan with ease and precision. But we understand that money is very personal and involves emotions, aspirations and life decisions. That’s why both our dedicated client advisers and our technology platforms come together to journey with you in every stage of your life.
In our full form, MoneyOwl will offer insurance, investment, comprehensive financial planning and will writing service. Currently, only insurance planning service is available. We will roll out the rest of the services over the next few months.
The are many advantages in using MoneyOwl. But I would say that the biggest advantage is that we are conflict-free. All our advisers are salaried-based and they are not compensated based on volume sales target. They also do not participate In incentives given by product providers. As such, we are free to recommend what is best for you, including national schemes such as CPF, SSBs etc.
We do this so as to create a safe space for you to do your financial planning. We come to the portal, do some planning on your own and if you need to speak to an adviser, you activate us. The advisers will give you a second opinion on your plans. Of course, if you prefer someone to guide you at the onset, nothing is to stop you from speaking to our advisers either via email, phone or face to face. It is really up to you.
If you buy insurance from us, you also get a 50% agent’s commission rebate. In this way, we lower the cost of insurance for you. There is of course post sales service such as helping you with claims etc.
What are the cons? At this moment, if there are any cons, I would say that there is one. We do not use products from every insurer. This is because, we do not want to put a product provider on our platform simply because they are around. Their products must be good for our clients. But unfortunately, there are also insurers whom are unwilling to put their products on our platform because they do not want their products to be compared against others. The good news is that because we are a strong advocate of low cost term insurances, the best providers of term insurances are already on our portal!
24 Jan 2019
Top Contributor (Jan)
Cons is you probably have to do more research yourself before choosing your policy.
They don't hard sell anything at all, they are not like other insurance sales people who will reach out to you and promote products. So, its all your own initiative.
Also, you need to go down to their office. Unlike agents, they are like regular salaried employees, so normal working hours too.
Anyone from moneyowl please correct me if wrong~
23 Jan 2019
24 Jan 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.
24 Jan 2019
24 Jan 2019