FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

OCBC launches robo-investment service

It has an initial investment amount of $3,500.

OCBC launched its robo-investment service called OCBC RoboInvest which targets young and tech-savvy investors. According to an announcement, it requires an initial investment amount of $3,500.

The bank likens OCBC RoboInvest to picking a playlist using a digital music service. Customers can choose from 28 portfolios of equities and exchange-traded funds (ETF) across six markets. There are also themes like technology, real estate investment trusts (REIT), fast-moving-consumer-goods (FMCG) companies, property, healthcare, and food & beverage.

OCBC RoboInvest uses algorithms to monitor each portfolio automatically and periodically re-balance assets if there are economic and market movements that impact the portfolio, the bank said. It then alerts customers via emails so they can approve the re-balancing.

Customers will have access to a dashboard to see how their investments are performing and can withdraw or add on to them at any point. The management fee is at 1.5% annually for assets under management of up to $50,000, and 1% annually for assets under management of more than $50,000.

The launch of OCBC RoboInvest follows a pilot run from March to December 2017. In the pilot, two categories of investment portfolios were offered to investors. The first category consisted of five portfolios made up of ETFs and equities listed on the Dow Jones and Nasdaq.

The second category consisted of four thematic baskets of stocks listed on the Dow Jones and Nasdaq. The themes were centred on the technology play, fast-moving-consumer-goods companies and high performing stocks. The average amount invested by the pilot users was US$9,000. The average age of these investors was 35 years old, the bank said.

OCBC RoboInvest was developed with a Singapore fintech start-up, WeInvest. Ther partnership was forged through its Fintech and Innovation unit, The Open Vault at OCBC. WeInvest was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Singapore.

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