FAQ

UTRADE Robo seeks to deliver an automated fund management service that maximizes the inflation-adjusted investment return for each client's risk profile, which is determined by their financial objective, as well as risk tolerance.

INTRODUCTION

What is UTRADE Robo?

UTRADE Robo is a digital fund manager providing customized portfolio to suit the investment objectives of our clients.

This is a simpler and effective way to help our clients

  1. Realize their financial goals via an intelligent platform and customized portfolios;
  2. Enhance returns through low portfolio management and transaction costs
  3. Access multi-asset, globally diversified portfolios to manage investment risk; and
  4. Safe keep their investment assets.

In addition to investment-related considerations, you need to ask a couple of other key questions when you invest for mid- to long-term. These include "who is this party I am dealing with", "what is the party's track record", "what is this party's financial standing".

You can invest with confidence and have ease of mind when you use UTRADE Robo. It is owned by UOB Kay Hian. And UOB Kay Hian is backed by the UOB Group. We will be here to deliver returns to you for the medium to long term.

Why should I invest using UTRADE Robo, instead of keeping my money in a bank account?

When you keep your money in your bank savings account, what you make is the interest on your deposit the bank pays you. If inflation is higher than bank interest rates, then you are likely to lose out.

When you put your money into UTRADE Robo account, you will be making your money work for you. Your money will be invested in portfolios tailored in accordance to your risk tolerance and objectives, thus possibly delivering higher returns to you in the longer term.

That said, given the nature of investing, your UTRADE Robo account could lose some value depending on market conditions. However, you control the amount of risks you wish to take through setting your risk tolerance and financial objectives.

How is the performance of UTRADE Robo's investment?

UTRADE Robo was launched in early 2018. Annual return performance data will be available next year.

However, an indication of historical performance is available using the returns of the main asset classes which UTRADE Robo will be using to construct portfolios. (Note: The actual performance of the portfolios may differ.)

Singapore Dollar Returns (Annualised %)
Asset Class 5 year 10 year 20 year
US Equities 17.9 7.7 6.0
Europe Equities 10.3 1.5 5.0
Emerging Market Equities 6.5 1.2 6.7
US$ Aggregate Bonds 4.0 3.2 3.8
US$ High Yield Bonds 7.0 7.0 5.2
US$ Emerging Market Bonds 6.2 6.5 7.7
Emerging Market Local Currency Bonds 0.5 2.9 -
Notes: Dividends re-invested; historical performance is not a predictor of future performance.

Comparatively, annual inflation has averaged 0.6%, 2.3% and 1.5% in the 5, 10 and 20 years to 2017 respectively.

12-Month Fixed Deposit rates based on data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore have averaged 0.3%, 0.4% and 0.9% in the 5, 10 and 20 years to 2017 respectively.

HOW DO I START INVESTING?

How do I open a UTRADE Robo account?

On UTRADE Robo website, click "Open An Account".

It takes just a couple of minutes for you to provide us with information about your goal and risk profile through our online questionnaire.

The platform will construct a portfolio based on your answers to the questions.

After that, you just need to open a UTRADE Robo account via our secured website by providing us with your personal particulars and uploading the relevant supporting documents.

Please note that we are not able to open a UTRADE Robo account for a U.S. person or a person below the age of 21 years old.

I already have a UOB Kay Hian / UTRADE trading account. Do I still need to open a UTRADE Robo account?

Yes, you do need to open a separate UTRADE Robo account.

UTRADE Robo account is meant specifically for our personalized automated fund management service.

Hence, you cannot make use of any existing account that you have with UOB Kay Hian to access our digital fund management service.

Given that you already have a trading account with us, opening a UTRADE Robo account will be simpler and more straightforward.

I don't live in Singapore. Can I still have an account with UTRADE Robo?

Yes, you can, subject to you meeting the requirements for opening UTRADE Robo account.

Account opening is straightforward and simple: After you have registered your UTRADE Robo ID on UTRADE Robo website, you just need to apply for an account by providing your personal particulars and uploading the relevant supporting documents via the secured website. Click on "Open An Account" on the website to start the process.

Can I open a joint account with UTRADE Robo?

Sorry, you cannot do so at this stage.

I am a U.S. person. Can I have an account with UTRADE Robo?

Sorry, you cannot do so.

How long does it take to open a new account?

It takes up to 5 business days to open a new UTRADE Robo account, barring any issue with the account application or with the supporting documents that you provided.

What is the minimum amount that I must invest to get started with UTRADE Robo?

UTRADE Robo's portfolios work best with a minimum investment of S$5,000.

Is there a minimum amount that I must maintain in my UTRADE Robo account?

Yes, you must maintain a minimum amount of S$5,000 in your UTRADE Robo account.

If I want to invest more into my existing portfolio, what is the minimum amount that I need to put in?

The minimum subsequent investment amount for your existing portfolio is S$500. You can do it as a "once off" subsequent investment, or on a recurring basis. (See section on "Funding My UTRADE Robo Account")

Can I invest using my CPF monies — from my CPF-OA or CPF-SA account?

No, you cannot do so at this stage

WHAT ARE THE KEY FEATURES OF UTRADE ROBO?

What are the investment instruments you use? Are they liquid?

The investment instruments used to construct the portfolios are carefully selected low-cost ETFs listed and traded in major stock exchanges.

These ETFs are open-ended funds and they are liquid i.e., they can be easily bought and sold. These ETFs are issued by established and renowned financial institutions.

What this means is you can easily increase as well as reduce the amount of your investments in your portfolios.

Why use ETFs for UTRADE Robo?

ETFs are open-ended investment funds listed and traded on a stock exchange. They aim to track the performance of an underlying index. There are different types of ETFs designed to track different indices or assets and investors can gain exposure to these underlying through the use of ETFs.

We use ETFs because of these benefits

  1. Diversify your portfolio and have access to more securities at lower costs than you may be able to if you were to buy the stocks individually. An ETF offers diversification across the entire underlying index that it tracks — so a single transaction gives you instant exposure to all securities in that fund portfolio.
  2. Allow you to gain wider exposure to various investment assets. An ETF can let you gain exposure to a group of equities, assets or market segments because an ETF can track a broader range of assets or mimic the returns of a certain demographic region.
  3. More transparent. ETFs are listed on exchanges. They need to fulfill listing requirements. Their prices are easily accessible when the markets are open.
  4. Cheaper when compared to some other investment products. ETFs typically have lower fees when compared to some over-the-counter investment products.
How do you select the ETFs for UTRADE Robo as underlying securities?

The ETFs are selected from a universe of 7,700 ETFs listed globally based on factors including fund size, liquidity, transaction costs, tax efficiency and expense ratios. For more information on our methodology, please see our info sheet under investment methodology.

What will be inside my UTRADE Robo portfolio?

Your portfolio will be constructed based on your investment profile and will consists of low-cost ETFs tracking major equity, fixed income, and commodity indices.

The underlying assets are diversified across major industries and major geographical regions in the world including the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.

The mix of ETFs in your portfolio will be determined by your stated goals and risk profile.

What is the investment performance I can expect?

Depending on the investor's risk profile and the corresponding investment portfolio recommended, projected returns* range between 1.5% for the lowest risk portfolio to 7% for the highest risk portfolio per annum over the long-term.

Projected returns are long term return estimates and returns in any one year may vary.

*Projected returns are not guaranteed. Your capital is at risk and is not guaranteed. There is a risk of capital losses.

Can't I just replicate your portfolio for free using other accounts?

You can probably replicate the portfolio that UTRADE Robo constructed for you. You will be able to buy some of the holdings yourself.

But it will not be for "free". It will come with a price.

You will pay higher trading costs just to buy the ETFs. More importantly, you will not get the ongoing management, including review and rebalancing, of your portfolio provided by UTRADE Robo.

How long should I stay invested?

UTRADE Robo seeks to help investors plan for their financial goals with varying time horizons from two years and beyond.

If you are planning for a long term goal, you are recommended to stay invested until your goal has been reached. This is because there is a risk that withdrawing your investments at an inopportune time may cause you to realise losses and miss out on any recovery that may occur.

I am looking to invest for just a short period of time, say less than a year. In this regard, is UTRADE Robo a good fit for me?

UTRADE Robo is designed to deliver higher returns to investors who look at medium to long-term horizons.

Therefore, if you are looking only at one year or less than one year horizon, UTRADE Robo is not a good fit for your needs.

You may wish to consider opening a trading account with UOB Kay Hian instead. There is a wide range of investment products and services that you can choose from to serve your investment needs. To open a trading account is simple. You can obtain more information on www.utrade.com.sg.

What is rebalancing? How does it affect me?

Rebalancing is the process of realigning the weightings of a portfolio of assets. Rebalancing involves buying or selling assets in a portfolio to maintain a desired asset allocation.

UTRADE Robo rebalances your portfolio semi-annually. How can rebalancing add value? By selling stocks after they rise significantly, or adding to positions when they have declined, rebalancing helps take advantage of volatility to benefit from these swings.

FUNDING MY UTRADE ROBO ACCOUNT

What is the minimum amount that I must invest to get started with UTRADE Robo?

You can start with S$5,000.

Is there a minimum amount that I must maintain in my UTRADE Robo account?

Yes, you need to maintain a minimum amount of S$5,000.

I want to invest more into my existing portfolio. What is the minimum amount that I need to put in? How do I do this?

The minimum subsequent investment amount for your existing portfolio is S$500.

You can do it as a "once off" subsequent investment, or on a recurring basis. (See below on "Can I set up recurring payment to my UTRADE Robo account? How do I do it?")

After you have signed in to your UTRADE Robo account, on your dashboard, click the "Funding" icon and state the additional amount you wish to invest. You can transfer funds to your UTRADE Robo account concurrently.

I want to invest in another portfolio. What will be the minimum initial investment amount and minimum subsequent investment amount for the new portfolio? How do I do this

For the new portfolio, the minimum initial investment amount will be S$5,000, and minimum subsequent investment will be S$500.

After you have signed in to your UTRADE Robo account, on your dashboard, click "New Objective" (on the top right hand side of dashboard). Then follow the instructions on your screen.

Can I invest using my CPF monies — from my CPF-OA or CPF-SA account?

No, you cannot do so at this stage.

How can I fund my UTRADE Robo account?

There are a few easy ways for you to fund your UTRADE Robo account. Choose one that you find most convenient.

Once we received the funds from your bank, we will invest the amount on the next business day, or as soon as is practical.

Can I set up recurring payment to my UTRADE Robo account? How do I do it?

Yes, you can set up recurring payment via your internet banking. This is similar to setting up a "regular investment plan".

After you have set up your internet banking "Bill Payment" to UOB Kay Hian Pte Ltd, you can set up a "recurring payment" by clicking on "UOB Kay Hian Pte Ltd".

Once we received the funds from your bank, we will invest the amount on the next business day, or as soon as is practical.

How long does it take to fund my UTRADE Robo account via bank transfers?

This is a straightforward and fast process.

After your UTRADE Robo account has been opened, you just need to instruct your bank to remit money to UOB Kay Hian Pte Ltd — you can do so at the bank branch or via internet banking. (See above for how to set up your internet banking. Please remember to state your UTRADE Robo account number.)

We should be able to sight funds in 1 to 3 business days.

If you are issuing a cheque, please make payable to "UOB Kay Hian Private Limited"

Can I withdraw money whenever I need to?

Yes, you can. You can close or liquidate your strategy/portfolio whenever you need to.

When you close your strategy/portfolio, your holdings will be sold. Upon settlement, the money will be credited into your UTRADE Robo trust account. And you can withdraw the money from your UTRADE Robo trust account.

Please note that we will only pay as per the remittance instruction that you provided when you opened your UTRADE Robo account. We do not make payment to a third party.

Will I receive dividends or interest for my investments through UTRADE Robo?

Yes. You will receive distributions from the ETFs in your portfolios. These will automatically go into your UTRADE Robo portfolio.

Will the dividends be subject to foreign withholding tax?

We are very mindful of this. We differentiate our offering by carefully and actively selecting ETFs listed on various major exchanges.

London-listed, Ireland domiciled ETFs whose distributions are currently not subject to tax at the investor level, feature heavily within our portfolios.

ETFs listed on other exchanges are subject to full withholding tax ranging from 15% to 30%.

The securities in my account — who owns them?

You own them.

FEES AND CHARGES

What is the annual management fee for investing via UTRADE Robo account?

The annual management fee that you need to pay is calculated as a percentage of your assets managed under UTRADE Robo. This is the fee table.

Assets Under Management (AUM) Fees (%)
AUM ≤ S$50,000 0.88
S$50,000 < AUM ≤ S$100,000 * 0.68
AUM > S$100,000 * 0.50
The annual fee payable is calculated from 1st dollar.

(Should client wish to create a new portfolio, the minimum initial investment amount applies.)

Why are different robo-advisers charging different annual management fees? What should I look out for?

You should find out, among other things, the types of securities (or underlying assets) that are being used to construct your portfolio, and how many securities are being used to construct your portfolio.

Some robo-advisers use predominantly unit trusts to construct your portfolio. While the annual management fee for such a robo-adviser may seem lower, your returns are likely to be eroded by higher management fees charged by the asset management companies (fund houses) for managing the unit trusts. While such a robo-adviser may seem to charge you less, it makes up for the less fee from you by taking trailer fees given by the asset management companies.

There are others that use only US-listed ETFs to construct your portfolio. Your returns may be eroded by the higher with-holding tax on dividends imposed by US authorities.

Then, there are those that use predominantly Singapore-listed ETFs, and they use very few securities to construct your portfolio.

Are there other fees associated with UTRADE Robo?

Our fee structure for UTRADE Robo is straightforward. Our clients only pay an annual management fee.

Annual management fee is calculated as a percentage of your assets managed under UTRADE Robo. Deduction is on a monthly basis.

Another benefit of UTRADE Robo account is that it is cost efficient.

Do note that if you initiate a portfolio rebalancing more than once per annum, transaction fees will be charged for that. Fees chargeable is 8 bps (i.e., amount payable is: size of your AUM x 8 bps)

When does UTRADE Robo bill me for the annual management fee?

The annual management fee you need to pay is based on the amount of assets in your portfolio. The more you invest, the lower the annual management fee will be charged.

This will be calculated on the last week of the month.

The amount will then be deducted from your account in the 1st week of each month.

How do I make payment for the annual management fee?

There is no need for you to do anything.

When you fund your UTRADE Robo account, we will set aside cash allocation from the investment amount.

Fees are paid monthly with the cash allocation in your account.

OTHERS

Who owns UTRADE Robo?

UTRADE Robo is provided by UOB Kay Hian.

In addition to investment-related considerations, this is an important consideration for you because when you invest using robo advisers, you are investing for the long term. Hence, you need to consider who you are dealing with.

UOB Kay Hian is one of Asia's largest financial services firms. Backed by the UOB Group, we have more than a hundred years of history and distinction to our name. We have established ourselves as a trusted financial partner to a prestigious client base that comprises institutions, large corporations, high-net-worth individuals and retail investors.

Headquartered in Singapore, we are supported by a growing network of offices across Southeast Asia, Greater China, the United Kingdom and North America. With this global footprint, we are able feel the pulse of key financial markets and deliver incisive intelligence across industry sectors and asset classes.

Supported by a strong, dedicated research team, our award-winning analysts are in place to impart the deep market knowledge clients need to navigate today's complex trading environments.

And yes, UOB Kay Hian holds, among others, a Capital Markets Services license issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. UOB Kay Hian is also a founding member of the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

How is UTRADE Robo different from other robo advisers in Singapore?

There are several significant ways we are different from other robo advisers in Singapore.

  1. UTRADE Robo is owned by UOB Kay Hian.
    • And UOB Kay Hian is backed by the UOB Group. We will be here to deliver returns to you for the medium to longer term.
  2. UTRADE Robo is backed by UOB Kay Hian's strong capability.
    • We draw on the wealth of experience and deep market knowledge of our research analysts and investment professionals to navigate today's complex trading environments, including developing complex algorithms for UTRADE Robo and screening for suitable ETFs.
  3. UTRADE Robo helps you to realize your financial goals.
    • With our intelligent platform and customized portfolios, you can invest with confidence for your retirement, children's education or to build long-term wealth.
  4. UTRADE Robo lets you gain access to global markets diversify across 7,000 stocks and bonds.
    • Our portfolios offer diversification to the largest equity and fixed income makets in the world. Global diversification allows us to further manage risk and reduce portfolio volatility.
  5. UTRADE Robo provides you with cost-efficient portfolios.
    • We help you to enhance your returns with low expense, tax efficient ETFs.