Shortly after I shared the emergence of StashAway, it does look like the battle of the robo-advisors is starting heat up right here in Singapore. First-mover advantage, you say?

It has been exactly one year since I have written my first post on Smartly. Since then, I have written more posts, had a beer with Keir, tried out the Smartly beta, and finally it does seem like the clearest indication of a launch date by Smartly is going to be June 2017 as indicated on their Facebook page. On-boarding of first clients should start by then.

Keir Veskiväli (Founder and CEO at Smartly) has made his presence felt over at the Index Investing Lounge and you might be able to surprise him with any burning questions of your own. Keir shared the below in one of the threads in the group :

I don’t think that we will see 0.25% management fees in this part of the world in the next 2-4 years time and the reason being is the overall market maturity. In US/Europe automated deposits, simpler KYC/AML procedures etc have already been validated and are common whereas in this region it will take time to reach those levels hence the higher fee structures for now. I just recently saw a promotion by Frank OCBC where they had a special deal to charge a sales charge of 0,88% if remember correctly. I like what [JG] brought out and this most likely the direction we are going with and just to let you know for x amount on our platform we don’t charge any fees (more about in the coming newsletter). And [NK] yes for a startup out of the gate charge 0.25% would be difficult. Happy to sit down with you guys and hear more feedback/ideas/thoughts so do let me know.

Meanwhile, once I do get hold of any concrete information, I guarantee that you’ll be reading about it right here 🙂

Here Comes A New Challenger

Smartly. StashAway. You mean there’s more? If you’re thinking that’s the end of it, hold your horses. I was recently made known (thanks friendly reader) of another robo-advisor outfit which, surprise surprise, is already in operation.

I believe that the reason that it escaped my radar is because of its initial investment sum of $30,000 which is quite unlike the no-minimum sum touted by both Smartly and StashAway. However, I do believe that the $30,000 might not be too much of a barrier for you if you have substantial capital or draws a relatively high salary.

So, what’s the name? AutoWealth. Check it out if you’re interested.

Lastly, I must solemnly declare that this is not a sponsored post, and I stand to gain nothing by writing this post. Well *AHEM* except perhaps a free coffee here or a free beer there. If and when they eventually launch and go ‘live’, any money that I invest is obviously my own and I will be scrutinizing them just as hard as you guys.