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UOB Asset Management launches robo-advisory mobile app for retail investors in Singapore

UOB Asset Management (UOBAM) on Monday launched a robo-advisory mobile app for retail investors in Singapore, following the rollout of its UOBAM Invest online portal which was first introduced in 2018 for corporate investors.

The mobile app, also known as UOBAM Invest, offers investors in Singapore personalised, dynamic investment portfolios based on their risk profile, financial goals and investment horizon.

Retail investors can start investing using UOBAM Invest from S$1, with no account opening or closing fees. The advisory fee is 0.8 per cent per annum for investment amounts of S$25,000 and below, and 0.6 per cent per annum for investment amounts above S$25,000.

UOBAM said that its key service is the Digital Adviser, a portfolio planner that enables retail investors to invest in personalised investment portfolios generated based on their risk profile and aggregate financial goals.

The customised investment portfolio built from exchange-traded funds (ETFs) across different asset classes includes money markets instruments, government bonds, investment-grade corporate bonds, high-yield bonds and equities. The ETFs, which are listed on major US exchanges such as BATS, NYSE and NASDAQ, are selected for their breadth, liquidity and performance, said UOBAM.

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Retail investors can also fine-tune the investment portfolios by changing their goals, contributions, duration and risk tolerance level. They will also be able to see the success probability of achieving their desired returns.

The asset manager also noted that risk tolerance levels may change across retail investors' investment horizon. As such, it has embedded a "glide path" formula into its investment model, which automates the shift in retail investors' portfolio allocation from higher-risk assets to safer ones systematically and gradually, particularly towards the end of their investment period.

UOBAM's technology partner on UOBAM Invest is FNZ Group, a global financial technology company backed by Temasek in Singapore. FNZ Group has more than 70 global institutional customers, including banks, insurers and asset managers.

On the launch, Thio Boon Kiat, chief executive officer of UOBAM, noted that the asset manager is combining more than three decades of investment experience with the use of technology "to make investing simpler, smarter and safer".

"Given the current market volatility from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we want to bring the benefits of our risk-based approach – one that is trusted by institutional investors – to more retail investors through UOBAM Invest," he said.

In designing the mobile app, UOBAM said that it addressed priorities that retail investors considered important in a survey it conducted, namely credibility, security and long-term viability. The ease of managing investments was considered the biggest draw of robo-advisors.

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