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MoneyOwl Is Shutting Down Its Operation By 31 December 2023: What Will Happen From Now Till Then

The journey will be ending for MoneyOwl at the end of the year.

On 31 August 2023, MoneyOwl, a social enterprise under NTUC Enterprise, made an announcement that it would be winding down its financial advisory business and all commercial activities by 31 December 2023.

While the company has done relatively well since starting in 2018 in building up its market share and reputation for being a social enterprise that aims to help Singapore families make good financial decisions, it appears to be still an unprofitable business that would require continuous funding from its shareholder, NTUC Enterprise, to continue sustaining its business.

As shared in their press release.

The decision to wind down follows a joint review by the Company and its shareholder, NTUC Enterprise Co-operative Limited. The review concluded that the business would not be commercially viable, and a decision was made to redeploy resources to other areas where NTUC Enterprise can deliver greater social impact.”

This has led to the decision to wind down its operation and it is unfortunate news for its current clients, including some of us in the DollarsAndSense team.

In this article, we will share some information that current clients of MoneyOwl ought to know about, and what actions, if any, they should take.

There Is No Need For MoneyOwl’s Clients To Do Anything. MoneyOwl Investment & Insurance Business Will Be Transferred To iFAST

There is a dangerous misconception that the closure of a robo-advisor means that the investments and/or other financial products that the client has invested or purchased will be at risk. This is not true, at least not in Singapore.

In Singapore, all the robo-advisor platforms that we know use a custodian to hold their clients’ investments. What this means is that even though we invest through the robo-advisor platforms (e.g. MoneyOwl, Endowus, Syfe, Stashaway), the investment that we made through the platform is held with a custodian entity, and not by the robo-advisory platform. If a robo-advisor goes bankrupt or closes, the investments we have made through them are held with a custodian and are kept safe and untouched.

In other words, what you invest or deposit through the robo-advisor platform isn’t affected because it was never their assets to begin with.

MoneyOwl’s Investment Business

In the case of MoneyOwl’s investment portfolio, MoneyOwl will transfer its fund management business (“Investment Business”) and insurance advisory business (“Insurance Business”) to iFAST Financial Pte Ltd (“iFAST”). All investment holdings (cash, SRS and CPF investments) will continue to be safely held in the investment account with iFAST.

It’s worth noting that iFAST is already the current existing custodian of MoneyOwl clients’ investment accounts. Some MoneyOwl investors may already be aware of this since we typically transfer funds to an iFAST account whenever we want to fund our MoneyOwl investment accounts.

Source: MoneyOwl

MoneyOwl’s Insurance Business

Similarly, for any insurance products that we may have purchased through MoneyOwl, there is no need for any concern.

This is because like all other insurance policies bought with other individual advisors, the policies that we purchase are always with the insurers (e.g. AIA, Great Eastern, Prudential, Singlife, etc), and not the financial advisors or representatives who sold us the policies.

Thus, MoneyOwl exiting the market today is no different from a financial advisor whom you bought an insurance policy from and who is no longer working in the industry. Your insurance policies with the insurer continue to remain in force, unless you choose to terminate it.

When an advisor leaves, the agency from whom the advisor is from would typically reassign you to another agent who would be the person responsible for servicing you.

In the case of MoneyOwl, it would be iFAST that would take over the servicing of the insurance policies that were bought through MoneyOwl. If you didn’t already know, iFAST also has an insurance advisory business.

In other words, whether you have an investment portfolio with MoneyOwl and/or insurance policies bought through MoneyOwl, the investment portfolio and the servicing requirements for the insurance policies will be passed to iFAST.

Source: MoneyOwl

iFAST will also continue to pay the commission rebates that were promised (if any) by MoneyOwl to MoneyOwl clients.

Source: MoneyOwl

Other MoneyOwl Products Such as Comprehensive Financial Planning & Wills

It will be more straightforward for both Comprehensive Financial Planning (CFP) & Wills offered by MoneyOwl.

For CFP, MoneyOwl users can continue to access, edit and download their digital Comprehensive Financial Plan until 15 December, 6pm. Thereafter, all online services and all MoneyOwl accounts will be disabled. MoneyOwl users are encouraged to update and download their PDF copy of their Comprehensive Financial Plan as soon as possible.

Similarly for Wills, MoneyOwl users can access, edit and download their Will until 15 December, 6pm. Users are encouraged to update and download the PDF copy of their will as soon as possible.

Here’s a quick summary of all the key dates for existing MoneyOwl clients to note.

8 September 2023 (Date Has Passed)

This would be the last day for any new clients to submit insurance applications through MoneyOwl’s client advisers. MoneyOwl will not be accepting any new insurance applications from 8 September onwards.

2 October 2023

New sign-ups for investment accounts through MoneyOwl’s platform must be completed by 2 October, 6pm. MoneyOwl will not take in new sign-ups for their investment account after this date.

24 October 2023

All investment clients are to complete their investment transactions on MoneyOwl’s platform by 24 October 6pm. After this date, we can no longer continue investing through MoneyOwl.

25 October 2023

On 25 October 2023, all MoneyOwl clients can log in to iFAST’s platform from 12am onwards to make transactions. The MoneyOwl investment portal will also be disabled at this point and clients will no longer be able to view or transact their investments on MoneyOwl. Instead, clients can continue to view and transact their investments on the iFAST’s platform from 25 October 2023.

15 December 2023

All MoneyOwl accounts and online services (including digital Comprehensive Financial Plan and Will-Writing services) will be disabled on 15 December, 6pm. Clients will no longer be able to access Moneyowl’s portal.

31 December 2023

Cessation of all commercial activities by MoneyOwl.

Source: MoneyOwl

In a webinar organised by iFAST on 4 September, it was reiterated that iFAST taking over MoneyOwl’s insurance and investment business will essentially be business as usual for MoneyOwl clients. You can read the recap of the webinar here or watch the full video here.

Read More On iFAST: What Every MoneyOwl Client Needs To Know About The Transition To iFAST