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7 best Robo advisors in Malaysia for newbie and pro investors


Many of us don’t hesitate to insure physical assets such as our homes, valued possessions, and vehicles. But what about our greatest asset of all and our ability to earn an income? Here’s the answer if you need a guide to invest your money with Robo Advisors.

What is the best Robo advisor in Malaysia
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Working toward financial security need not be an exercise in self-deprivation, though many people assume it to be. Attaining this goal even has some immediate benefits given that financial insecurity can be a serious source of stress. Finding ways to increase your regular earnings may improve your current financial situation and make it easier to save. By doing so, you could be providing financial protection against loss of income or unforeseen emergencies.

Sometimes it even lets you follow your passion as a secondary source of income. Some people make extra money by taking up part-time employment such as a part-time tutor or coach, while others create and sell arts or crafts at local markets or online. With all the opportunities out there, there’s bound to be something to suit you. One thing to consider is to learn how to make more money by using a Robo advisor. Read on for some tips on growing your income.

What is a Robo advisor

You’ve likely heard the term Robo advisor before. Betterment and Wealthfront, the pioneers in Robo-advising, have been around since their 2008 inception during the financial crisis. Automated investing was a new, straightforward, and low-cost way to invest that didn’t rely on a human managing your portfolio.

A Robo advisor can be a good tool to help you begin if you don’t know much about investing. Using computer algorithms and data, Robo advisors are essentially software platforms that invest on your behalf. They charge much lower advisory fees than a traditional financial advisor and setting up an account takes only minutes. From then on, you may never have to raise a finger since Robo advisors automatically rebalance your portfolio from time to time based on your risk tolerance, market conditions, and other factors.

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 The pros and cons of using a Robo advisor 

pros and cons of using a Robo advisor 
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Now you have got super hyped up about investing your money using a Robo advisor. Before stashing all your money into an app, why don’t you first learn the pro and cons to avoid investing mistakes?

Advantages of using Robo advisors

This shiny investment is more than just a regular platform that is full of things that can be beneficial to you. We are sure these advantages will help you to feel more secure. 

  • Lower costs 

The main reason for using this platform is the lowest cost of fees services. They offer traditional investments management at much lower fees than other human financial advisors.  A regular fund may charge you a yearly fee of 1% to 2% based on the NAV of the fund. You will pay a large amount to the company that manages the fund that you invested. It will cost you 20% of your fund to pay the company for 20 years if they charged 1% to 2% yearly. You will save a lot of money by using a Robo advisor.

  • Digital competitive edge

A Robo advisor also adds value by allowing investors to invest in many different asset classes conveniently through smartphones or web applications. Besides that, they also provide investors with maximum access to unlimited portfolio management tools which offer more security and flexibility. This will build up investors retention and assist in effortlessly onboarding new clients at the same time. Accessibility and ease of use are the top priorities for any type of service. For example, clients that use Robo advisors can access their investment portfolio without limited time anywhere.

  • Profile accuracy and fraud mitigation

The opportunity of error or deviation with machine learning and cloud-based applications like Robo advisors is notably less. Client data can be easily collected and monitored to create instant alerts and reduce fraudulent activity. 

If any abnormal activity is detected on the client’s mobile device, fraud systems can accurately investigate where that transaction went wrong. Perhaps the greatest benefit of this is the reduction of human error or the need for any manual input.

  • Enhanced portfolios

Robo advisors engage with mathematical algorithms that choose the ideal investment portfolio choice for the client. It is based on their mission and ongoing financial situation. This generates a secure or more strategic portfolio option for that client.

When it comes to investment opportunities, people tend to prefer face-to-face contact more than engagement online. But with AI, the groundwork for users is to lay out all the various facts and considerations before they can make a concrete decision. Moreover, it contributes to successfully gaining your client’s trust and also increases the accuracy of their asset investments.

Disadvantages of using Robo advisors

There are also the cons of using Robo advisors take you might want to take note of.

  • They are not 100% personalised

Most Robo advisors will not look at your eyes and talk you off the ledge after a significant market drop, different from human advisors that maybe will take care of your feelings. The human financial advisors will be there to assuage your fears and explain further how the investment markets work. A financial planner works to integrate your finance, taxes, and estate plans. The advisor’s office may have a diverse pool of other advisors to help with many aspects of life beyond just “money concerns.

Other than that, most Robo advisors won’t be able to help you if you want to sell call options on an existing portfolio or buy individual stocks. Newbies investors may want a broader investment portfolio with a wider range of asset classes than the typical Robo advisor offers.

  • They falsely claim they’re the only resource for newbies

There are financial-advisor options for those without a large amount of money or those just starting. For example, the XY Planning Network is a fee-only financial planning collection of advisors with a reasonable monthly fee structure. The XY Planning Network advisor also aims for a younger client. A fee for service advisors will put a cap on the client’s charges. Trade infrequently with an advisor paid by commission and your costs can remain decreased.

  • No face to face meeting

Some people prefer to take their investment too seriously and sometimes they want a “relationship” with their financial advisor. The Robos can’t be their partner because of the limited communication that they can provide. Robo advisors don’t have an office where a client walks in and talks directly to an advisor.

  • They tend to bash advisor’s price schedule

Even though most Robo advisors have a low price schedule, please remember not all human financial advisors are expensive. Some financial advisors charge approximately 1% of assets under management for their services. This fee is comparable to those of several Robo advisors.

Other advisors will charge an hourly rate or a service fee. This practice gives the consumer a chance to control costs while receiving more personalized information. The newer “web-based” personal advisors can forgo the cost of a fancy office and serve you personally via webchat for lower fees. Additionally, there are advisors that “lease” Robo advisors’ platforms and combine them with their advisory services, thereby cutting fees.

Which Robo advisor has the best returns

invest in malaysia
© marchmeena/ 123RF

Whether the Robo advisor has the best return on investment depends on the type of investors. Every Robo advisor has its own best feature, such as :

  • Best overall
  • Best for beginners
  • Best for high balances
  • Best for low fees
  • Best for Sharia-compliant etc.

No matter how long you’ve been investing, choosing the best Robo advisor for your needs can be challenging. Between fees, features and funds, there are myriad aspects to compare and consider. That’s why Forbes Advisor researched dozens of Robo advisor platforms to identify the cream of the automated investing crop. Below you’ll find the best Robo advisors to invest in Malaysia.

What is the best Robo advisor in Malaysia

Which Robo advisor has best returns
© zerbor/ 123RF

The usage of Robo advisors in financial investments is becoming more prominent now. They also advise and manage funds for both retail and accredited investors. If you are interested in getting one to manage your portfolio, you can check out the best Robo advisors in Malaysia below for your comprehensive wealth management.

1. AkruNow

Akru was founded by people with vast experience in investment banking, financial management, and fintech. Supported by an investment team with capital market licences from the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) as well as experienced investment advisors, Akru is an always-on, easy-to-use product in your pocket that empowers you to invest in diversified portfolios with exposure to global investments.

  • Investment components: Equities, bonds, and cash
  • Minimum capital: Any amount
  • Type of portfolios: Conservative (low risk) to Growth (high risk)
  • Portfolio switching fees: None
  • Withdrawal fees: None
  • Annual management fees: 0.2% to 0.7%

2. BEST Invest/ BIMB Investment

BIMB Investment Management Berhad (BIMB Investment) also known as BEST invest previously is a leading Shariah-ESG investment management company in Malaysia. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, BIMB Investment is a licensed Islamic fund management company registered with SC. BIMB Investment is the first bank-backed Islamic Asset Manager in the region to be a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI).

  • Investment components: All Sharia-compliant equities, sukuk, and money market funds
  • Minimum capital: RM10
  • Type of portfolio: Do It For Me (Smart Investment Plan (SIP) or Lump-sum), Do It Yourself
  • Portfolio switching fee: None
  • Withdrawal fee: None
  • Annual management fee: 0.5% to 1.8%

3. myTHEO

The Malaysian-Japanese joint venture began in Japan at a fintech company called Money Design. As a continued legacy, they have partnered with Japan’s THEO. Over 110,000 investors trusted myTHEO with more than USD 1.4 billion of funds to manage. It is led by a team of experts with fund management backgrounds such as BlackRock and Nomura, with the technological prowess of Silverlake.

  • Investment components: Cash, stock, bond, others
  • Minimum capital: RM100
  • Type of portfolios: Growth, Income, and Inflation Hedge portfolios
  • Portfolio switching fees: Free for the first 6 switches in a calendar year
  • Withdrawal fees: None
  • Annual management fees: 0.5 % to 1%

4. Raiz 

raiz malaysia
© Raiz Malaysia

The Raiz Malaysia investment application intends to make investing and saving more accessible to the general public by allowing micro-investing which does not require a large capital sum. With the Raiz invest application, you will be able to do Lump Sum, Recurring, and Round-Ups (main feature) investments.

The Round-Ups feature works by detecting transactions from your set Spending Account and rounding off any cents to the nearest ringgit, for example, a transaction of RM 12.40 will be rounded off to RM 13, the 60 cent difference will be charged from your Funding Account into your savings/investments.

  • Investment components: Two unit trust funds from Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASNB) ASN Sara 1, ASN Imbang 2 and ASN Equity 3 at this time.
  • Minimum capital: RM5
  • Type of portfolios: Conservative (low risk), Moderate (medium risk), and Aggressive (high risk)
  • Portfolio switching fees: None
  • Withdrawal fees: None
  • Annual management fees:
    • A monthly account fee of RM1.50 for account value less than RM6,000 at the end of each month
    • 0.30 % per annum fee payable for account value of RM6,000 and more

5. StashAway

StashAway is a data-driven digital wealth management platform that personalised financial planning and portfolio management for the vast range of needs of both retail and accredited investors. Their technology delivers automated, personalised portfolio management for each client’s portfolio. Their risk-management investment strategy, Economic Regime-based Asset Allocation (ERAA), is designed to maximise clients’ long-term returns while keeping each customer’s specific risk exposure constant through changing economic cycles.

  • Investment components: International equities, corporate bonds, real estate, commodities, and cash
  • Minimum capital: There’s no minimum investment amount needed but would typically recommend a new client to maybe start with RM50 (to ensure they have sufficient funds to purchase the ETFs for you).
  • Type of portfolios: General Investing, StashAway Simple and Thematic Portfolios
  • Portfolio switching fees: None
  • Withdrawal fees: None
  • Annual management fee: From 0.2% to 0.8% annual management fee is calculated as a percentage of the total assets under management

Is StashAway legit in Malaysia

StashAway is regulated by the SC. They are the first Robo advisors in Malaysia to be awarded the Capital Markets License (CMS) by the SC under the Digital Investment License framework.

6. Versa

versa duit your way
© Versa

Versa, a digital cash management platform licensed by SC, is here to transform your sleeping cash into money-earning potential through return rates that are potentially higher than a Fixed Deposit. But with Versa, you can ‘duit’ your way and enjoy the freedom to withdraw your savings at any moment without penalties.

  • Investment components: Money market fund
  • Minimum capital: RM1
  • Type of portfolios: Money Market Fund – Affin Hwang Enhanced Deposit Fund (EDF), mostly 99% is invested into deposits in multiple Malaysian banks. A small portion of cash is set aside to pay off customers’ daily withdrawals.
  • Portfolio switching fees: Currently there is only one fund available. So there’s no switching option available.
  • Withdrawal fees: None
  • Annual management fee: There are 0.30% annual management fees and 0.05% annual trustee fee.

7. Wahed Invest

Wahed Technologies Sdn Bhd (Wahed Invest Malaysia) is an American financial technology and services company based in New York City. In July 2019, the company launched the first exchange-traded fund in the United States that was compliant with Sharia law. Wahed operates in 130 countries and has offices in Washington D.C, New York, London, and Dubai.

  • Investment components: Global stocks, emerging market stocks, real estate, sukuk and gold
  • Minimum capital: RM100
  • Type of portfolio:  Very conservative to Very aggressive
  • Portfolio switching fees: None
  • Withdrawal fees: Inclusive of all management fees, custodian fees, and transaction fees
  • Annual management fee: 0.39% to 0.79%

Is Wahed Invest trustworthily

Wahed Invest collaborates with Value Partners Asset Management Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Value Partners Malaysia) in making available the recently launched world’s first Islamic ETF investing in China A-shares, VP-DJ Shariah China A-Shares 100 ETF (the China A-Shares ETF) on their platform.

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Edited by Rebecca Hani Romeli

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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