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StashAway launches robo-advisor services in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 1): Singapore-based robo-advisory StashAway Malaysia has launched its services in Malaysia, rolling out its platform to over 5,000 people who have put themselves on its waitlist.

Looking at global trends in investment, StashAway Malaysia country manager Wong Wai Ken said the company expects Malaysians to also demand more convenient avenues to invest.

"We've seen what's been happening in the investment space in countries around the world and by now, we expect these low-cost, convenient, transparent and sophisticated investment options to be available to us," he said in a statement today.

"Overpriced, inconvenient and one-size-fits-all unit trusts and investment-linked policies don't cut it anymore. Malaysia's population is growing and life expectancy is increasing; we need investment solutions that enable us to manage our growing wealth better," added Wong.

StashAway, which allows users to manage their investments through a mobile app, offers intelligent, data-driven asset allocation investment strategy with no minimum balance, no sales charge and management fees of between 0.2% and 0.8%.

The app is also flexible on deposits and withdrawals and allows personalised financial advice and portfolio management via its proprietary Economic Regime-based Asset Allocation (ERAA) for both retail and accredited investors, with back-testing showing that the ERAA would have outperformed in risk-adjusted terms during the 2008 financial crisis.

StashAway claims that its proprietary asset allocation system combines a comprehensive risk management strategy with a macroeconomic data-driven asset allocation strategy allowing investors to navigate the ups and downs of economic cycles.

"When you think about how 43% of gross financial assets in Malaysia are in bank deposits, it's clear that current investment options aren't doing their jobs of enabling Malaysians to build their long-term wealth through intelligent investing," said StashAway co-founder and group chief executive officer Michele Ferrario.

"This huge amount of wealth sitting in cash proves that the financial services industry has failed thus far to equip Malaysians with the right investment tools," he added.

StashAway is also the first to be awarded a capital market services licence for digital investment management by the Securities Commission Malaysia to carry out fund management activities according to the digital investment licence framework.

The company worked with Wong & Partners — a member firm of Baker McKenzie International — for the licence application process, led by financial services regulation partner Wong Sue Wan and supported by associates Koay Shin Mei and Amanda Cham.

"This was a great opportunity for us to work alongside the highly motivated and driven team at StashAway and we are proud to have been involved in this ground breaking, innovative service which could potentially change the way Malaysians invest in the future," said Wong.

This article first appeared in The Edge Markets: by Ahmad Naqib Idris


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