This article was written in collaboration with OCBC. All views expressed in this article are the independent opinion of DollarsAndSense.sg based on our research. DollarsAndSense.sg is not liable for any financial losses that may arise from any transactions and readers are encouraged to do their own due diligence. You can view our full editorial policy here.
With the introduction of the Singapore Financial Data Exchange (SGFinDex) in December 2020, Singaporeans can now use our SingPass to retrieve personal financial information from CPF, HDB, IRAS and the 7 participating banks in Singapore. This is useful, because it allows us to consolidate all our financial information on one platform. It also means that regardless of who you choose to bank and invest with, we see find our financial information on a single platform such as OCBC’s Financial OneView.
With financial markets currently performing better than expected especially given the pandemic, it’s not a surprise that many people want to start investing in 2021.
One such way to start our investment journey is via robo-advisory platforms such as OCBC’s RoboInvest. We first wrote about the OCBC RoboInvest when it was first launched 2 years ago. Since then, RoboInvest has expanded the range of investment portfolios it offers to Singapore investors.
In an increasingly crowded robo-advisory space in Singapore, investors would naturally wonder what are the similarities and differences between the various platforms and which one suits them best. The good news is that whether you are an existing or new investor, OCBC RoboInvest can be a suitable platform for you to use for your investment portfolio.
OCBC RoboInvest Allows You To Choose Your Investment Portfolio
One of the differentiating factor of OCBC RoboInvest compared to other robo-advisory platforms is that it allows us to choose the portfolios that we want to invest in. As an investor, OCBC RoboInvest allows us to choose from 34 thematic portfolios of equities and exchange traded funds (ETFs) across 6 markets. These include common themes such as US Tech Leaders, Stable US Consumer Giants or China Growth as well as more specific ones such as Gen-Z Winners, US Cloud Computing or Impact Investing. The minimum investment amount starts from as little as US$100 and goes up to HK$350,000, depending on which portfolio we choose to invest.
As an investor, we can choose the sector that you want to invest in. For example, if we want to invest in U.S. tech companies, we can choose to invest in the US Tech Leaders Portfolio. This is great, especially for new investors, who may be keen to invest in equities but who do not yet have the experience to pick single stocks. Investing in a portfolio of equities and ETFs provides diversification.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the minimum investment amount for the portfolio is US$4,000. More significantly, OCBC also tells us the risk levels associated with each portfolio.
For those of us who are not willing to take high risks, it’s advisable that we choose a lower-risk portfolio. We can do this by using the filter to narrow down our selection of portfolios. In the example below, we set our risk level to ‘Medium’.
Getting Started On Investing With OCBC RoboInvest
As an existing OCBC Digital Banking user, getting started on investing through OCBC RoboInvest is easy. We can invest via internet banking or the OCBC Mobile Banking app (which you can download on the App Store or Google Play).
In our case, we used the OCBC Mobile Banking App. All screenshots below are taken from the OCBC Mobile Banking app.
Step 1: Open the dashboard on our OCBC Mobile Banking App. Select Invest
Step 3: We can choose if we are new to investing or an experienced investor. In our case, we selected experienced investor.
Step 4: Choose the portfolio we wish to invest in. You can scroll through all the 34 different portfolios that RoboInvest currently offers. For this article, we decided to invest in Precious Metals as this is not offered by any other robo-advisory platforms in Singapore. The minimum investment amount for this portfolio is US$100.
This is NOT a recommendation or financial advice from DollarsAndSense. Please do your own due diligence on what is appropriate for you to invest in.
Step 5: After selecting the portfolio, we will see further information about the investment such as its past performance, and allocation and constituents.
Step 6: Choose the amount we wish to invest. If the investment has to be made in foreign currency, OCBC will automatically do the foreign currency conversion for us. In our case, the minimum was US$100 which converts to S$136. We will be asked which OCBC savings account we wish to deduct the investment amount from.
Step 7: Review and confirm the investment
After we have confirmed the investment, our trade will be executed by the next working day.
If we wish to invest more, whether it’s in a similar or different portfolio, we can do so anytime. Also, we can withdraw our investment at any point in time without incurring any transaction cost.
Investing via OCBC RoboInvest is very easy. We can do it on your laptop/desktop at home, on our mobile phone via OCBC mobile banking if we are out and about.
Since OCBC is a bank that most of us already have a savings account with, it’s convenient as the funds for our investments can be deducted directly from our designated OCBC deposit accounts, rather than for us to need to make a fund transfer to an external platform or brokerage. This makes it much easier for us make investing a regular habit. In addition, with investment from as little as US$100, it’s easy for us to adopt a dollar-cost averaging (DCA) approach to investing.
To be clear, just because the investment can be done easily within minutes doesn’t mean we do not need to do our own research.
As the investor, we have to decide which are the sectors that we are confident of investing in. A platform such as the OCBC RoboInvest can help us gain exposure to the sectors we want to invest in, so that we do not have to worry about which are the right stocks or ETFs to invest in. But ultimately, the decision on which sector we want exposure to still remains with us.