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AutoWealth Review

Create an optimal portfolio for your investment goals with AutoWealth's robo-advisory platform.

Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

Established in 2015, AutoWealth is a regional robo-advisor that offers investment portfolios tailored to its users’ financial goals and risk appetite. Through a combination of complex algorithm, diversification, strong research and passive investment approach, this Singapore-based automated investment platform is designed to help users attain their projected returns at minimal risks.

Find out more about how AutoWealth works and if it is suitable for you in our review.

Quick take

Good for
  • High initial investment
  • User-friendliness and seamless interface
  • Assets held in personal custody accounts
Not so great for
  • High volume trades
  • No mobile app
  • Unable to handpick or allocate the ETFs

How does AutoWealth determine the type of portfolio is best for you?

AutoWealth requires applicants to fill in a goal-setting / risk assessment form to indicate your financial situation, future goals and risk tolerance before you can begin the account signup process. Once the system completes the assessment of your input, its algorithm will then generate a tailored portfolio to maximise the net investment returns based on your input.

Find out what information you’d need to provide and how your customised portfolio will look like:

What asset classes do AutoWealth invest in?

AutoWealth investment portfolios consist of a mixture of both local and globally-listed Equity (Stocks) and Fixed Income (Govt Bonds) across a wide spectrum of industries, ranging from oil and gas to consumer goods. Strong diversification is also attained from Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), which are baskets of securities that track an underlying index, listed on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

As such, AutoWealth’s investment portfolios are less susceptible to market changes compared to portfolios focused on a particular asset class, region or industry.

According to AutoWealth, the ETFs are selected are based on factors such as:

  • Fund size
  • Liquidity
  • Tradability
  • Diversification effect
  • Reputation
  • Liquidity
  • Expense ratio
  • Direct holding of underlying Bonds or Stocks

Key features of AutoWealth

AutoWealth utilises a host of algorithms and investment strategies based on well-established research to ensure that your projected returns on track.

Here are some of its main features:

What research does it provide?

Stay in the loop and learn advanced trading strategies from AutoWealth:

  • Workshops. AutoWealth frequently organises free workshops dedicated to personal finance and investing courses.
  • Investment news. Access global overviews and market insights from AutoWealth’s blogs

Types of investment portfolios offered by AutoWealth

StashAway offers three easy types of customisable portfolios for both retail and accredited investors:

Investment Portfolio ProfilesKey Features
Risk Profile 1: Preservation Portfolio
  • Projected annualised returns: 4.9%
  • Priorities capital preservation, along with a small holding of market equity for dividends, capital appreciation and diversification.
  • High allocation to government bonds (80%) and a small portion to developed market equity (20%)
    • International Government Bonds (IGOV): 52.5%
    • U.S. Government Bonds (IEF): 27.5%
    • U.S. Equity (VTI): 12.3%
    • Europe Equity (VGK): 4.9%
    • Asia Pacific Equity (VPL): 2.8%
Risk Profile 2: Conservative Portfolio
  • Projected annualised returns: 5.5%
  • The conservative portfolio features a high allocation to government bonds that provides secure regular bond coupons and a relatively smaller allocation to developed market equity that provides dividends & capital appreciation.
  • Asset allocation: 60% bonds and 40% equity
    • International Government Bonds (IGOV): 39.4%
    • U.S. Government Bonds (IEF): 20.6%
    • U.S. Equity (VTI): 24.6%
    • Europe Equity (VGK): 9.9%
    • Asia Pacific Equity (VPL): 5.5%
Risk Profile 3: Balanced Portfolio
  • Projected annualised returns: 6.2%
  • The balanced portfolio features a high allocation to developed & emerging market equity that provides dividends & capital appreciation and a relatively smaller allocation to government bonds that provides secure regular bond coupons.
  • Asset allocation: 40% bonds and 60% equity
    • International Government Bonds (IGOV): 26.2%
    • U.S. Government Bonds (IEF): 13.8%
    • U.S. Equity (VTI): 32.6%
    • Europe Equity (VGK): 13.1%
    • Asia Pacific Equity (VPL): 7.4%
    • Emerging Market Equity (VWO) 6.9%
Risk Profile 4: Long-Term Growth Portfolio
  • Projected annualised returns: 6.9%
  • The growth portfolio prioritises long term capital appreciation with a high allocation to developed & emerging market equity that provides dividends & capital appreciation and a small allocation to government bonds that provides secure regular bond coupons & portfolio diversification effect.
  • Asset allocation: 20% bonds and 80% equity
    • International Government Bonds (IGOV): 13.1%
    • U.S. Government Bonds (IEF): 6.9%
    • U.S. Equity (VTI): 43.5%
    • Europe Equity (VGK): 17.5%
    • Asia Pacific Equity (VPL): 9.8%
    • Emerging Market Equity (VWO) 9.2%

Information based on AutoWealth’s Investment Portfolio Factsheet and accurate at the time of writing, 4 June 2020.

Pricing and fees

To keep its pricing structure transparent and flat, AutoWealth only charges the following:

  • Management fee: 0.5% p.a
  • Platform fee: US$18 p.a.

The platform fee remains the same regardless of your investment amount. All transaction and custody fees will also be absorbed by AutoWealth. The fees stated are accurate at the time of writing, 4 June 2020.

Is AutoWealth safe?

AutoWealth holds a Financial Advisors licence (Licence No.: FA100064-1) issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and is regulated under the Financial Advisors Act.

In accordance with the Financial Advisors Act, AutoWealth safeguards its clients’ funds and portfolio assets by keeping them in a segregated custody account at HSBC through Saxo Capital Markets, away from AutoWealth’s own finances at all times. This is to ensure that its clients enjoy full protection in the unlikely event of the insolvencies of both AutoWealth and Saxo Capital Markets.

Pros and cons

Advantages

  • Clear presentation of recommended portfolio. Decide if AutoWealth is suitable for you with a detailed breakdown and overview of the proposed portfolio generated based on your investment goals.
  • Lower fees for large volume investments. AutoWealth’s fees increase in competitiveness with higher investment amounts (from $5,000 to $20,000) compared to other robo advisors in the market.
  • Assigned wealth manager. Seek financial advice anytime with your assigned wealth manager through WhatsApp, although response time depends on their availability and may vary.
  • Personal custody account. AutoWealth takes an extra step to ensure the safety of its clients’ funds by setting up a separate custody account under the individual’s name.

Disadvantages

  • High initial investment amount. AutoWealth requires a minimum investment amount of S$3,000 to start, which is much higher than competitors like StashAway ($0) and Smartly ($50).
  • No mobile app. Unfortunately, AutoWealth does not have a mobile app for you to manage your money.
  • Complex account setup procedure AutoWealth’s online application requests for a lot more information than what other robo-advisors typically requires.
  • Outdated blog. Unlike many of its competitors, AutoWealth doesn’t update its blog with the latest investment news regularly.

How do I apply for an AutoWealth account?

You can apply online for an AutoWealth account if you’re over 18 and not a US citizen/resident. To apply, simply click on the ‘Get Started’ button on the AutoWealth website to begin the sign-up process.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on the signup process:

  1. Visit the AutoWealth website. Click on the ‘Get Started’ button on the AutoWealth website to begin the sign-up process.
  2. Complete a risk assessment form. Fill in the different fields in the goal-setting form (e.g. your risk appetite, targeted returns, tenure etc)
  3. Review the recommended investment portfolio. Proceed if you’re pleased with the portfolio that’s generated based on your input. If your projected returns are unable to meet the financial goal you’ve set, AutoWealth will also make other recommendations for you to adjust your goals.
  4. Set up your account. You’ll be required to provide details such as your personal particulars, employment details, taxation details (if applicable), education and financial information.
  5. Verification email. Finally, you’ll receive an email with your AutoWealth account login details as well as the next steps to complete.
  6. Complete the verification procedures. You’ll receive instructions on how to verify your account in the email, which will require a transfer of $0.01 (non-refundable) to the AutoWealth bank account, sending in a front and back photo of your NRIC and e-sign an agreement with Saxo Capital, the custodian of your funds.
  7. Confirmation email. Finally, you’ll receive an email with your AutoWealth account login details as well as the next steps to complete.

How do I contact AutoWealth support?

If you have any enquiries, you may reach AutoWealth directly through the following contact details:

  • Customer support: +65 6248 0889
  • Email: clientservices@autowealth.sg

Bottom line

Although AutoWealth imposes a minimum requirement of S$3,000 before you can start investing on its platform, it charges the lowest fees compared to StashAway and Smartly for small-time investors (up to $20,000).

So if you’re just beginning to get your feet wet in investing, a balanced and diversified portfolio that is specially optimised based on your goals seems like a pretty good place to start. In addition, AutoWealth also holds your assets in a personal custodian account under your name instead of a communal one.

However, if you prefer having control over the type of securities to invest in, you might want to consider a traditional brokerage for stock trading instead.

Robo advisors

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Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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