Best Robo Advisors: Platform Cost Comparison
According to our research and analysis, the list below represents the best robo advisors currently available to individuals in Singapore. To compare platforms, we gathered pricing data and reviewed the features and key characteristics of all platforms with information readily available online.
Best Robo Advisor in Singapore: Kristal.AI
Kristal.AI stands out among the crowded field of robo advisors in Singapore due to its low fees. For example, investors with more than $50,000 (approximately S$70,000) in their accounts are charged a platform fee of just 0.30%, and those with less than $50,000 can invest with Kristal for free. On top of their low fees, Kristal.AI does not charge penalties for opening or closing an account, and there is no lock-in period required by the platform. Additionally, Kristal.AI is a great advisor for those seeking some human interaction, as it offers 24/7 customer support via phone, email and messaging. Finally, Kristal.AI requires an initial investment of just S$10, making it accessible to all investors.
|Total Investment||Kristal Freedom||Kristal Private Wealth*|
|Any additional above $50,000||0.30%||0.50%|
|* Professional investors only (Net worth S$1M (excluding residence) or S$200,000 annual income for at least 2 years)|
Best Robo Advisor for Large Investments: StashAway
StashAway is the best robo investing platform in Singapore for those seeking to make a very large investment. For investors seeking to invest S$2,000,000 or more, StashAway charges the lowest fees. The platform leverages its trademarked investing algorithm to adapt to economic trends as well as to customise portfolio's by the investor's risk appetite. StashAway does not charge fees for withdrawals, transfers or account closure, nor does it require a minimum account balance.
|Total Investment||Annual Fee Rate|
|Any additional amount $25,000 - $50,000||0.70%|
|Any additional amount $50,000 - $100,000||0.60%|
|Any additional amount $100,000 - $250,000||0.50%|
|Any additional amount $250,000 - $500,000||0.40%|
|Any additional amount $500,000 - $1,000,000||0.30%|
|Any amount above $1,000,000||0.20%|
Best Robo Advisor for Investing in Unit Trusts: Endowus
Endowus is the best robo advisor for investors that prefer to invest in unit trusts rather than ETFs. Not only does the platform charge the lowest fees among robo platforms that invest in unit trusts, its incentives are aligned with its users because it only receives payments from investors and does not receive trailer fees from fund managers. The platform also allows investors to link their CPF Investment Accounts. Additionally, Endowus does not charge fees for transfers, withdrawals or account opening and closure. The only downside to using Endowus is that it requires a minimum account balance of S$10,000.
|Total Investment||Annual Fee Rate|
|Up to S$200,000||0.60%|
|S$200,001 to S$1,000,000||0.50%|
|S$1,000,001 to S$5,000,000||0.35%|
Best Bank Robo Advisor Platforms
Due to their proprietary algorithms and lean business models, robo advisors have been able to disrupt the traditional financial planning industry. However, for those individuals who would rather invest in a robo platform offered by a bank that they are more familiar with, there are a few solid options available.
Best Bank Robo Advisor for Small Investments: DBS digiPortfolio
For those hoping to invest a small amount in a bank's robo platform, DBS's digiPortfolio is a great choice. The bank's management fee for its Global Portfolio accounts (0.75%) are lower than any other bank for amounts of less than S$50,000. However, it is important to keep in mind that DBS digiPortfolio's fees are significantly more expensive than the platforms mentioned above.
|Total Investment||Global Portfolio||Global Portfolio Plus|
|Accounts over S$100,000||0.75%||0.75%|
Best Bank Robo Advisor for Large Investments: Utrade Robo (UOB)
For those seeking to invest a large sum through a bank that they are familiar with, Utrade Robo is the most affordable option. The banks fees of 0.68% for accounts of S$50,000 - S$100,000 and 0.5% for those of more than S$100,000 are the lowest of any traditional bank. Still, investors that are comfortable with any of the non-bank robo investing platforms, will pay even less in management fees.
|Total Investment||Annual Fee|
|S$50,000 - S$100,000||0.68%|
|Accounts over S$100,000||0.50%|
How to Choose the Best Robo Advisor
When comparing robo advisors, it is important to consider a number of factors. First, it is essential to compare the fee structure of each advisor. Most platforms tend to charge fees of 0.25% - 1.00%, depending on the amount invested. The amount of fees you will be charged is the best way to directly compare each robo advisor. This is because the platforms do not always disclose the details of their investment strategies. For the same reason, it is difficult to know exactly what type of returns you can expect from each robo advisor. That said, most robo advising platforms offer portfolios with a range of risk and return profiles. Finally, it is important to compare the minimum investment requirement of each platform. While several robo advisors have very low minimum account balances (or none at all), others require several thousand dollars, which can be prohibitive for some individuals.
ETF vs Unit Trust
Robo advisors in Singapore tend to use a strategic combination of inexpensive ETFs to provide an affordable alternative to wealth management services. ETFs (exchange-traded funds) track a wide range of indices and are tradable by individual investors. The advantage of investing with robo advisor is that the platform will select a diversified portfolio of ETFs based on your investment goals (e.g. saving for retirement, a new home or university tuition) and economic conditions. On the other hand, other robo advisors choose to invest in unit trusts. There are several reasons an investor might prefer exposure to unit trusts rather than ETFs. For example, unit trusts are actively managed by professional fund managers.
For many individuals, this research and expertise provided by robo advisors is quite valuable and well worth the relatively small management fee. However, those that would prefer to conduct their own research and choose individual stocks, bonds or ETFs should consider investing through an online brokerage instead.
During our review and analysis of the best robo advisors in Singapore, we compared the following 10 platforms. We gathered and analysed data points that are most relevant to investors, in particular we focused on platform pricing and other fees.