Find out more about Singapore’s first bionic financial adviser
There is a new type of financial adviser on the scene. MoneyOwl Private Limited is Singapore’s first bionic financial adviser that will deliver competent, conflict-free and comprehensive financial advice that integrates CPF and other national schemes to the mass market, underpinned by a strong social DNA and best-in-class advisory expertise.
Competent, conflict-free and comprehensive financial advice – Integrating national schemes
MoneyOwl serves every household’s need for a comprehensive and fit-for-purpose financial plan. MoneyOwl will advise clients how they can enhance their financial health through managing expenditure, debt and savings; protect their plans using inexpensive health and term insurance; invest for the future using low-cost funds that eschew market timing; and very importantly, integrate national schemes such as CPF in their retirement plans. MoneyOwl will also feature a digital will-writing service.
There is a lack of competent and conflict-free advice today that helps Singaporeans integrate CPF and other national schemes into their financial plans, probably because advisers are not compensated for such advice with commissions or trailer fees. MoneyOwl will fill this gap.
Singaporeans are still not planning well because they are being sold on products and often on fear, rather than receiving holistic and impartial advice. Lack of proper planning reduces a family’s financial security. Buying expensive and unsuitable insurance, for example, can result in severe hardship if a breadwinner with insufficient death coverage dies, or in under-funding of retirement needs if the money left over is insufficient to grow into a meaningful nest egg. The problems from poor allocation are compounded for those whose financial resources are limited.
Besides integrating CPF as a solution, MoneyOwl will recommend other fit-for-purpose products, such as term insurance and non-market timing investment funds. Costs of these products are low mainly because the product providers either pay a low quantum of commissions or do not pay trailer fees at all to the distributors. Such solutions are currently not popular in financial advisory plans offered to the mass market.
Client advisers at MoneyOwl will be fully salaried and will not be compensated by commissions or incentives. “This ensures conflict-free advice,” says Ms Chuin Ting Weber, CEO of MoneyOwl.
MoneyOwl believes that with best-in-class advice that incorporates fit-for-purpose products, as well as CPF, ordinary folks can achieve greater financial security and retirement adequacy with a robust financial plan to support their life decisions. “Assured of a solid financial plan that does not cost an arm and a leg to implement, and equipped with better financial knowledge overall, our clients can be empowered to pursue what is truly important to them for a fulfilling life, across all life stages,” says Ms Weber.
Social DNA and Best-in-Class Expertise
MoneyOwl inherits its DNA to Do Good and Do Right from its two corporate parents, NTUC Enterprise Co-operative Limited and Providend Holding Private Limited. MoneyOwl is a Joint Venture between these two companies.
NTUC Enterprise is the holding entity for the Labour Movement’s social enterprises. “The group of NTUC social enterprises was set up to serve the underserved needs of the community. MoneyOwl shares the group’s larger social mission to enable all Singaporeans to live a better life, by giving them the stretch and growth for their dollar through a suitable, holistic and fit-for-life financial plan,” says Mr Kee Teck Koon, Executive Director of NTUC Enterprise.
Providend Holding Private Limited is the holding company of local financial advisory firm, Providend Ltd, which has championed conflict-free advice through its fee-only model for more than a decade. Providend has been advocating term insurance and low-cost investment instruments since its founding more than 15 years ago. Its founder and CEO, Mr Christopher Tan, is a sought-after financial planning expert and was a member of the CPF Advisory Panel. “Providend has always been committed to the delivery of the most honest, independent and competent financial advice to support the dreams and aspirations of families. We are delighted to partner NTUC Enterprise to bring our experience and expertise to the mass market through MoneyOwl,” says Mr Tan.
1st Bionic Financial Adviser – Integrating Human and Technology
MoneyOwl will be the first in Singapore to deliver comprehensive financial advisory services through a combination of client advisers and a technology platform, a hybrid model known as Bionic Financial Advisory.
Ms Weber explains: “Traditional advisers say that they are indispensable in the advisory process as only a human person can truly understand the needs of another person. On the other hand, proponents of roboadvisers say that advice through technology can be more precise, pressure-free and conflict-free. At MoneyOwl, we offer the best of both worlds, where human wisdom and technology come together to help people to deliver best-in-class financial advice, which is itself well-integrated with national and commercial solutions.”
For most clients, the first encounter with MoneyOwl will be its mobile and web platform. Clients can browse and try out the various steps of the planning journey without the pressure or hard-sell, but fully-salaried client advisers will be available on hand to provide advice and explanations and to serve clients in such areas as insurance applications and policy claims.
For a start, MoneyOwl will launch the insurance advisory module of its planning service at end of October 2018. MoneyOwl has taken over from Providend the Do-It-Your-Way Insurance business (DIYInsurance), Singapore’s first insurance comparison website. It has incorporated DIYInsurance into its portal with a stronger engine for comparison and more capabilities for customisation to life stage and other needs.
What remains the same is that MoneyOwl will continue to offer products from a variety of insurance companies across Singapore as well as rebate 50% of agent’s commissions to its clients, as DIYInsurance had done under Providend.
Over the next 6 to 9 months, MoneyOwl will progressively roll out a digital will-writing service, its investment module that will feature asset portfolios of low-cost funds, and its comprehensive financial planning service that will integrate CPF planning. In future, MoneyOwl will look to offer budgeting tools and savings solutions.
“We are excited to be able to do this for the people in Singapore. We are bringing together the best of things: national schemes like CPF and fit-for-purpose private products; all aspects of financial planning under one roof and one platform; human wisdom and empathy together with technology-enabled precision and accessibility; and best-in-class advisory expertise into the broadest community. At the core of this is our desire to do what is right by our clients and truly in their best interests, made possible by our conflict-free model and our social DNA,” says Ms Weber.
Announcement: With effect from 1 June 2022, MoneyOwl is a 100% NTUC Enterprise (NE)-owned company.