Endowus as an investment tool for CPFIS-OA

By now, most of my readers would know that I am building up my base financial safety net via my CPF Special Account (SA) by reaching the prevailing Full Retirement Sum (FRS) in 5 years time or less (before I hit the 40s). One of my regular moves is to make monthly CPF OA to SA transfers. The consideration was this – CPF SA interest is 4% as compared to OA interest of 2.5%. All of this while, I was looking for an avenue to maximise my CPF OA monies. Could there have been this avenue all this while?

I was probably late to the scene. I was not into Robo-advisors or for that matter someone else to manage my funds for investment. One of my pet peeves was cost, and as we all know, cost affects your effective investment returns over the long run.

First digital investment advisor for CPFIS-OA investment

So I went for an event held by Endowus on 27 November. Endowus is a fee-only MAS-licensed independent advisor and first digital investment advisor to offer CPFIS-OA investment services in Singapore with globally diversified, low-cost portfolios for their holistic retirement solution.

I have to say upfront that i am not sponsored to say this, and I will not say anything further on things that I do not believe in. I believe that it is for the greater good that more people hear about it.

What caught my eyes first are the fees. The fees are a major breakaway from industry practice, to a fraction of industry norms.

Fees for Endowus – CPFIS-OA investment funds

As compared to the industry average for fees, the overall fees for Endowus stands at ~1.00%. The actual chargeable fees to the consumers is only 0.40%.

(1) Access Fee: paid to Endowus for investment advice, portfolio creation and rebalancing, brokerage, and transfers. 

Access Fee per annum based on Assets Under Advice (AUA): 0.40% flat fee for any amount. 

(2) Fund-Level Fee (fund total expense ratio): charged by the fund manager out of the underlying fund Net Asset Value (NAV).

Endowus rebates 100% of trailer fees back to you. Trailer fees are paid continuously by fund managers to distributors (i.e. your broker/financial advisor) as long as an investor holds the funds. Endowus does not keep trailer fees to stay independent and completely focused on building the best portfolios for customers rather than on selling products that pay the highest fees.

(3) Agent Bank Charges: These are charges levied by the Agent Bank of your CPF Investment Account (DBS, UOB, OCBC)

  • Transactions (buy or sell): S$2 – $2.50 per transaction on a portfolio basis. No transaction fee will be charged for switching/rebalancing of portfolio 
  • Service charge: S$2-2.50 on a portfolio basis per quarter
  • Rejected trades: $5 to process each unsuccessful transaction (i.e. due to insufficient funds)

*Please note that agent bank charges are GST applicable

Partnership with major Local and Global fund management companies

Endowus has partnered with the largest local and major global fund management companies and have selected their best-in-class funds to create the globally diversified portfolios suitable for all CPF members. One of the highlights that really caught my attention was the low-cost S&P 500 US Equity unit trust fund onto the list of CPFIS-included funds with Vanguard & Lion Global.

Some of these big names include

  • Eastspring
  • First State
  • Legg Mason
  • Lion Global
  • Natixis
  • Schroders
  • Vanguard
  • UOB Asset Management

First fully end-to-end digital CPF investing experience on one platform

What is important to me as a client is to have a one-glance, single platform to carry out my investment. Every transactions for Endowus could be done online via mobile or desktop – from onboarding, linking of CPF investment account, receiving personalised advice, investing, portfolio monitoring, rebalancing, etc.

3 income sources you could use to invest

While my emphasis earlier was using CPFIS-OA to invest, an investor could also use Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) and Cash.

Conclusion

Overall, I could say that I am impressed. I could feel the Co-founders and team’s passion to forward professional investing advice and service at a low cost for the greater good of Singapore. I would personally have a deeper look into it and balance this other source of investment while still achieving my FRS goal.

If interested, you may wish to have a closer look at Endowus website.

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