AutoWealth vs StashAway vs Kristal.AI: 5 Key Differences

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AutoWealth vs StashAway vs Kristal.AI: 5 Key Differences

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AutoWealth vs StashAway vs Kristal AI

Table of Contents

No matter whether it be AutoWealth or StashAway or Kristal.AI, all of them are unique in their own way. If you are seeking a cost-effective way to invest your funds, one of them can potentially come in handy for you.

Here’s a detailed and comparison-based guide that will help you choose your best-suited robo advisor in Singapore based on your preferences, budget, and requirements.

Investment Strategy

AutoWealth’s Investment Strategy

Mapped to make life simple and better, Autowealth’s investment strategy is structured on a passive market-returns portfolio investment approach. They have an index-tracking investment slant based on a cost-effective allocation and diversification method.

Instead of focusing on single asset allocation, their investment portfolios are designed to blend multiple asset allocations depending upon the risk index.

While the portfolios are diversified across major geographical regions, they encompass multiple industries.

To elaborate, AutoWealth’s investment portfolios support investments across 4 major geographical regions – the United States, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Emerging Markets – and all major industries including financials and technology, healthcare, telecommunication, oil & gas, materials, industrials, consumer goods, consumer services, and utilities.

Thus, with AutoWealth, you get the chance to invest in more than 8,000 stocks and 600 government bonds. This makes their portfolios defensive enough against any financial crisis.

Let’s dive deep into it.

While opening an account with AutoWealth, they provide you with a recommendation regarding your investment portfolio. This is based on your answers to their questionnaire, where they figure out your risk index.

They provide you with 5 investment goals – House, Car, Children’s Education, Retirement, and General Investing.

Based on these, you select your portfolio.

However, they keep the option to change your portfolio mix and rebalance it.

Now, AutoWealth introduces 4 investment portfolios based on the risk index. All these portfolios are diversely allocated to equities and government bonds.

Preservation Portfolio

Being the lowest risk-level portfolio, the Preservation Portfolio is primarily designed to emphasise capital preservation.

With a substantially high allocation to government bonds and quite a small allocation to equities, it is mainly inclined towards securely growing your capital investment.

With the meagre percentage of its equity allocation, you gain with this portfolio secure regular bond coupons, dividends, capital appreciation, and portfolio diversification.

Conservative Portfolio

Compared to the first risk portfolio, this portfolio has a comparatively lower allocation to government bonds and a higher equity allocation.

But, it is still a low-risk portfolio providing a higher allocation to government bonds that focuses on safe and secure investment growth, while taking a calculated risk towards equities.

Thus, here also, you get secure regular bond coupons as well as dividends and capital appreciation.

Balanced Portfolio

Showing a high allocation to market equity and a relatively lower allocation to government bonds, this portfolio has a reverse effect of the previous one.

It balances the security of regular bond coupons while involving a higher risk compared to the 2 previous risk profiles.

Thus, it is intended for getting good returns over a long period. However, along with gaining dividends and capital appreciation, you gain secure regular bond coupons with this 3rd risk profile too.

Long-Term Growth Portfolio

With the highest allocation to developed and emerging market equity and the lowest allocation to government bonds, this portfolio emphasises long-term capital appreciation.

Being the highest risk-involving portfolio, its goal is to get the highest return as well as growth over long-term investment, while involving the highest risk.

With this portfolio, you can manage to gain a small number of regular bond coupons along with dividends and a portfolio diversification effect.

StashAway’s Investment Strategy

StashAway’s investment strategy is based on their Economic Regime-based Asset Allocation (ERAA) framework. This methodology is designed to minimise your risk and maximise your returns throughout economic cycles while investing.

The ERAA framework works based on their mentioned 5 economic regimes based on a distinct relationship between growth and inflation.

According to this methodology, these economic regimes impact the behaviour of asset classes.

So, ERAA will potentially alter your portfolio’s asset allocation while needed, but at the same time maintain your risk preferences.

With StashAway, the portfolios are based on asset allocation, not on securities selection.

Based on your answers to the questionnaire you fill out during your account opening process, StashAway makes an analysis of your risk preferences and your financial circumstances using live and historical data.

Based on those analyses, they themselves select the most suitable portfolio for you, rather than leaving the decision upon you.

Now, let’s have an elaborate discussion of the portfolios offered by StashAway. Basically, they introduce 5 portfolios for different kinds of investors –

General Investing Portfolio

This portfolio is designed according to your selected risk exposure that you are willing to take on. It is inclusive of two different categories of portfolios, – Core and Higher Risk portfolios.

While Core Portfolios have a StashAway Risk Index between 6.5% and 22%, Higher-risk Portfolios have a StashAway Risk Index between 26% and 36%.

Goals-based Investing Portfolio

This particular portfolio follows the strategy of making investments based on your chosen life goals. So, with it, you can obtain returns that actually meet your real-world requirements.

Income Portfolio

Income Portfolio is structured to supplement your income over the long run. Along with that, with this portfolio, you get the opportunity to build a dependable income stream based on carefully picked assets.

Responsible Investing (ESG) Portfolio

Responsible Investing Portfolio shows you the way to responsible investing, where you invest for both profit and purpose without sacrificing returns.

It lets you invest in ethical, responsible, and sustainable businesses. Thus, it makes you do your part to provide the world with positivity.

This is ideal for long-term investing as well as building your core wealth.

Thematic Portfolio

Thematic Portfolio is a comparatively new addition by Stashaway, which is suitable for long-term investment so that you can maximise your income by investing in industries that you understand and trust.

According to StashAway’s risk index percentage, they provide you with a maximum of 36% risk index. However, the risk index percentage refers to the 99% probability of not-losing percentage related to a portfolio.

Kristal.AI’s Investment Strategy

Kristal.AI is an AI-powered financial tool with human touch available. Their investment strategy is based on goal-based financial planning and customised portfolios.

They nurture a human and AI-driven approach when it comes to portfolio advisory, customisation, and management.

Portfolios are the ways to invest with Kristal too. But, the peculiarity is that with Kristal, your portfolio is not essentially decided exclusively based upon your chosen risk index.

Here you get the options to pick a pre-constructed portfolio or to construct your own based on your own investment approach and objective, as well as your risk appetite.

This portfolio construction process is hassle-free with the help of their set AI-driven algorithm and human advisory service, which will efficiently drive your ideas into reality.

Alternatively, when none of their ready-made portfolio strategies works for your investment goal, you can choose from their list of curated exchange traded funds or their auto-rebalanced portfolios.

As for their curated ETFs, Kristal provides you with a range of ETFs from different asset classes, geographies, and industries.

Here’s a detailed discussion of Kristals portfolios –

Kristal High Growth

This portfolio is designed for long-term investors with a high-risk appetite who invest their funds for a minimum of 4+ years.

This completely algorithm-driven portfolio is aimed at managing market volatility. Its approach is based on having an aggressive capital appreciation.

Kristal Growth

This portfolio is designed for long-term investors with a medium risk appetite.

This is best suited for those who are willing to invest their funds for a minimum of 3+ years with a nook for safety as well as capital appreciation. It is aimed at maximising the returns at a managed lower risk.

Kristal Secure

If you want to invest safely at low risk, but expect slightly higher returns over traditional deposits, then this portfolio is ideal for you.

This allows you to invest your fund for a span of 1+ to 2+ years. It is again completely driven by Kristal’s KAIRO algorithm while following a multi-asset ETF strategy.

Based on a capital protection approach, this portfolio helps you generate better returns with mild participation in equities.

Kristal Balanced

Kristal Balanced, as its name suggests, is designed for low to medium risk investors, who want to invest securely and earn capital appreciation over a longer time span with a minimum of 2+ years.

Based on balanced risk management, this portfolio again follows a multi-asset ETF strategy completely driven by the KAIRO algorithm.

The portfolio is aimed at having a safe and stable capital appreciation with low volatility.

Kristal All-Weather US

This diversification-based portfolio is designed to provide you with balanced growth in the US economy. It will help you in generating a return equivalent to or more than broad GDP growth over an extended period of time.

Apart from these portfolios, the platform offers you additional options of Tax Efficient Kristal Portfolios. These portfolios are related to tax requirements and are dependent upon your specific country of onboarding.

So, Kristal’s investment strategy totally depends upon you in case you choose to invest with the platform.

Choose whatever investment strategy best fits your financial goals and objectives. Kristal’s support team will always be there for you to guide you through your investment journey.

Asset Classes

AutoWealth’s Asset Classes

AutoWealth lets you diversify and allocate your funds across more than 8,000 stocks and 600 government bonds.

These asset classes are selected based on ETF fund size, diversification, reputation, expense ratio, liquidity, etc. However, it doesn’t invest in commodities.

Your diversified portfolio with AutoWealth tracks the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) All-country World Index and the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) World Government Bond Index.

Let’s discuss the distribution of asset classes and allocation with each portfolio.

Preservation Portfolio

This portfolio invests 80% on government bonds and 20% on emerging market equities. The distribution of asset classes with this portfolio is as follows –

Asset Classes Total Percentage Invested Geographical Regions Percentage Based on Geographical Regions
Government Bonds 80% International Government bonds 52.5%
U.S. Government Bonds 27.5%
Emerging, Developed & Market Equities 20% U.S. Equity 12.3%
Europe Equity 4.9%
Asia Pacific Equity 2.8%

Conservative Portfolio

With the second risk profile, you allocate 60% to government bonds and 40% to equity. Here’s the detailed distribution of asset classes –

Asset Classes Total percentage  Invested Geographical Regions Percentage Based on Geographical Regions
Government Bonds 60% International Government Bonds 39.4%
U.S. Government Bonds 20.6%
Emerging, Developed & Market Equities 40% U.S. Equity 24.6%
Europe Equity 9.9%
Asia Pacific Equity 5.5%

Balanced Portfolio

This portfolio lets you allocate 40% to government bonds and 60% to equities. The detailed distribution is as follows –

Asset Classes Total Percentage Invested Geographical Regions Percentage Based on Geographical Regions
Government Bonds 40% International Government Bonds 26.2%
U.S. Government Bonds 13.8%
Emerging, Developed & Market Equities 60% U.S. Equity 32.6%
Europe Equity 13.1%
Asia Pacific Equity 7.4%
Emerging Market Equity 6.9%

Long-Term Growth Portfolio

With this 4th Risk Profile, you can invest only 20% in government bonds and 80% in equity. The detailed picture is below –

Asset Classes Total Percentage Invested Geographical Regions Percentage Based on Geographical Regions
Government Bonds 20% International Government Bonds 13.1%
U.S. Government Bonds 6.9%
Emerging, Developed & Market Equities 80% U.S. Equity 43.5%
Europe Equity 17.5%
Asia Pacific Equity 9.8%
Emerging Market Equity 9.2%

StashAway’s Asset Classes

With StashAway, you primarily invest in government bonds, agency bonds, investment-grade corporate bonds, real estate investment trusts, and high dividend yield stocks.

Including the 13 newly-added asset classes, StashAway now lets you invest in a total of 32 asset classes.

These asset classes are chosen from commodity-exporting countries like Canada and Australia; from varied equity sectors including healthcare, energy and finance; from newly included bonds like international treasury bonds; and from Emerging Market Bonds, global ex-US REITs, floating-rate bonds, and global ex-US inflation-linked bonds.

However, StashAway’s portfolio deals with 4 main asset classes –

  • International Equities
  • Equity Sectors (US)
  • Real Estate
  • Commodities

 

With this, they can focus on the performance of a combination of assets from a wide range of classes and markets instead of an individual asset.

According to StashAway’s Economic Regime-based Asset Allocation policy, the risk factor is the basis of the investment strategy. As mentioned previously, asset allocation depends upon 5 economic conditions.

As the re-optimisation technique used by the ERAA framework states, your portfolio’s asset allocation will change to prepare for the current or upcoming conditions while maintaining your risk preferences.

This re-optimisation might be caused by one of these 3 events –

  • A change in economic outlook
  • Uncertain economic conditions flagged by StashAway’s Risk Shield
  • A change in valuation of an asset class

 

As StashAway focuses on the ERAA strategy, the asset allocation will change rather frequently and any breakdown we provide will probably be outdated soon. Thus, you should check before you make a decision.

Kristal.AI’s Asset Classes

While it comes to the accredited investors, Kristal primarily deals with investments in Pre-IPO and Private Assets, Mutual Funds, Institutional Funds, Structured Products like Equity Linked Option (ELONs) and Fixed Coupon Notes (FCNs), and Listed Products represented by ETFs.

Retail investors can expect to invest in a variety of ETFs and unit trusts offered by Kristal.

Let’s go through the detailed allocation of asset classes on Kristal based on their portfolios –

Kristal High Growth

With this portfolio, the assets are allocated mainly to growth-oriented equity ETFs, fixed income ETFs, and commodity ETFs.

The asset allocation here is based on frequent market datapoint analysis and investment-related macro analysis.

Kristal Growth

The allocated asset classes related to this particular portfolio are ETFs in the following assets –

  • Fixed Income
  • Equities
  • Commodities

 

Kristal Secure

With this portfolio, you can invest in stable equity ETFs, fixed income ETFs, and commodity ETFs.

Here also, the asset allocation depends upon the analysis of frequent market data points and macro analysis regarding the investment industry.

Kristal Balanced

Kristal’s Balanced portfolio lets you invest in low-volatile equity ETFs, fixed income ETFs, and commodity ETFs.

It shows a higher allocation towards safer assets such as gold and fixed income.

Kristal All-Weather US

Here also, the allocation is primarily based on ETFs in these 3 asset classes –

  • Fixed income
  • Equities
  • Commodities

 

Along with these, Kristal’s Private Wealth services provide you with the additional options of high-performance funds, tailor-made products, alternative investments, and fractional bonds.

Fees

AutoWealth Fees

AutoWealth introduces a straightforward fee structure with no hidden cost. Instead of a tiered fee structure, all kinds of investors using this Robo advisor pay equal amounts as their fees.

Autowealth holds a minimum investment amount of $3,000.

With AutoWealth, you pay 2 types of fees – a 0.5% annual management fee and a US $18 annual platform fee. While deciding between AutoWealth vs StashAway vs Kristal.AI, AutoWealth resides in the middle from the perspective of fees – if you’re investing large amounts.

In low amounts, even at the minimum of $3,000, that’s 1.1% in annual fees, which is the highest amongst all!

Their convenient technical support is a reason that helps you enjoy the benefits of a comparatively lower management fee as such, thereby enabling you to invest more efficiently.

Besides, AutoWealth’s platform fee covers all the prospective custody fees and transaction fees generated by the management of your investments.

They provide you with the advantage of making unlimited deposits, withdrawals, and rebalancing at no additional cost.

StashAway Fees

StashAway doesn’t have any maintenance fees, withdrawal fees, or platform fees.

With StashAway, there’s no minimum investment amount when you make your deposit in SGD.

But, there’s a minimum investment amount of US$10,000 per deposit for USD deposits.

Again, you have to pay an annual management fee depending on your investment amount on the platform. It differs from as low as 0.2% to as high as 0.8% per annum.

Here’s the detailed list of their fee structure –

Management Fee  Investment Amount
0.8% $25K
0.7% $25K-$50K
0.5% $100K-$250K
0.4% $250K-$5,100K
0.3% $500K-$1Million
0.2% $1Million+

So, if you invest more, your fees will be lower.

Kristal.AI Fees

If pricing is an issue, then Kristal can be a great option for you with its convenient pricing.

They don’t charge any account opening fees, account maintenance fees, or cash holding fees.

Here’s the fee structure of Kristal.AI for management fees –

Fees Type Investment Amount Kristal Freedom Kristal Private wealth
Management fees Lower than US$10K 0% Customised pricing
Higher than US$10K 0.3% per annum Customised pricing

As for the minimum investment amount, for retail products, it is US$100 for US-listed products.

For any other exchanges, it depends on the minimum lot size determined by the exchange.

Potential Returns

AutoWealth’s Potential Returns

AutoWealth’s passive investment returns strategy is based on achieving a better investment return by 80-100% compared to active investment strategies.

This performance is based on the index-tracking diversification methodology.

However, the potential return is dependent upon the portfolio type you select, as the portfolios are created according to your selected risk level.

From that perspective, the potential annualised returns given by all the portfolios are as follows –

Portfolio 7-Year Annualised Returns
Preservation Portfolio 4.9%
Conservative Portfolio 5.5%
Balanced Portfolio 6.2%
Long-Term Growth Portfolio 6.9%

Factual records of AutoWealth users on a local forum say that with relatively good positive annual returns, AutoWealth is worth trying.

For instance, a prolonged user states in an article written in 2021 that AutoWealth had been giving her positive returns annually, with the highest being 20% and the lowest being 15% between 2019-2021.

StashAway’s Potential Returns

With StashAway’s investment strategy, you obtain maximised returns with minimised risk.

However, you’ll come across 2 types of returns with StashAway’s portfolio – time-weighted return and money-weighted return.

Fundamentally, you get your potential returns with Stashaway based on your chosen risk appetite.

StashAway assures you that you won’t lose more than what you are comfortable with.

Here are the annualised returns since inception as of March 2022, before fees.

StashAway Risk Index Benchmark Annualised Returns Difference
36% 12.39% 8.21% -4.18%
30% 11.44% 9.20% -2.24%
26% 9.93% 8.40% -1.53%
22% 9.70% 7.23% -2.47%
20% 7.20% 7.31% 0.11%
18% 6.27% 7.21% 0.94%
16% 5.67% 6.22% 0.55%
14% 4.81% 5.95% 1.14%
12% 4.18% 5.87% 1.69%
10% 3.14% 5.64% 2.50%
8% 1.78% 3.70% 1.92%
6.50% 1.07% 2.06% 0.99%

As you can see, StashAway’s more aggressive portfolios have underperformed its benchmarks. However, it still performed better than AutoWealth’s portfolios.

And they’re transparent with their performance, which is something we like!

Kristal.AI’s Potential Returns

Different portfolios with Kristal are designed to have different potential returns based on their unique strategies.

The risk appetite and objectives of different portfolios decide how much potential return they will possibly incur.

Let’s look at it on the basis of Kristal’s portfolios –

Kristal High Growth

Kristal High Growth is capable of deriving a high aggressive return at a high-risk factor and based on its volatility management methodology.

Kristal Growth

Kristal Growth is designed to give you a maximum risk-adjusted return at a relatively low-risk level. Here, you get the potential return without having to worry about the market inconsistencies.

Kristal Secure

This portfolio is structured for having a good return without any heavy participation in your equity-related investments. Here you can get safe and stable returns at mild participation.

Kristal Balanced

With its risk management strategies, you can obtain safe and stable capital appreciation at low volatility risk with Kristal Balance.

Kristal All-Weather US

This portfolio allows you to gain a return equal to or more than broad GDP growth over an extended period of time.

Unlike the other robo advisors in this list, Kristal.AI isn’t as transparent with their returns.

Other Features

AutoWealth

  • You get a human wealth manager assigned to you while opening an account with AutoWealth. Your manager is responsible for answering your queries via WhatsApp.
  • Strict security measures provided to its investors by AutoWealth is a noteworthy feature.
  • They keep your funds and portfolio assets quite segregated from their own funds. Your account is opened at HSBC through Saxo Capital Markets which is their partnering MAS-licensed financial institution. Hence, in case somehow AutoWealth goes into any kind of financial crisis or bankruptcy, your money is not affected by that.
  • The platform accepts multiple currencies as deposits such as SGD and USD. Moreover, customers can contact AutoWealth’s help services in case they wish to make transactions in certain other currencies like AUD, GBP, EUR, HKD, JPY, and CHF.
  • Furthermore, they follow a Transparent Methodology with their investment strategy.
  • Moreover, AutoWealth provides you with control of your investments.
  • The dividends you receive from your investments with Autowealth get automatically reinvested. They work with Saxo Markets so that you can make your investments at a possibly lower tax rate.
  • The Robo advisor also facilitates the way to recurring monthly or quarterly investments, where you can invest as little as $100 a month.

 

StashAway

  • While AutoWealth and Kristal let you invest only in cash, StashAway lets you invest in SRS funds along with cash. This way, you save on your taxes while building long-term wealth.
  • Their Reserve facilities provide you with access to exclusive institutional-level private investments and truly personalised wealth advisory.
  • StashAway keeps your funds completely separated from their own funds.

 

Kristal.AI

  • Kristal provides you with a dedicated portfolio management team that will monitor your investments and help you grow them.
  • Kristal keeps a newsletter subscription system for weekly news and investment opportunity-related updates.
  • The platform allows you to invest using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology which is not the case with the other 2 platforms in our discussion (only for accredited investors).
  • Kristal lets even new investors a chance to invest with its specific portfolio designs such as early retirement, college, vacation, etc. that are made accessible at as low as $10.
  • They provide you with 24/7 support via mailing, phone, and chat options.
  • Kristal provides its investors with educational materials for their aid in investing.

 

Conclusion

Amongst these 3 robo advisors, we prefer StashAway.

They have more portfolios for us to choose from, are more transparent with their returns, perform better than the others in this list, and have a low minimum investment amount.

It is, however, on the high side of fees with 0.8% annual charge.

We think Syfe is better than those on this list, and we use Syfe ourselves.

Despite that, if you look at AutoWealth vs StashAway vs Kristal.AI, all of these 3 platforms are worth investing in if you want to grow your wealth.

But, at the end of the day, the decision is yours. Your personalised choices, as well as needs, will impact your decision.

Need help investing instead?

It’s always good to talk to an unbiased financial advisor.

Disclaimer: Each article written obtained its information from reliable sources and should be purely used for informational purposes only. The information provided by Dollar Bureau and its affiliated parties is not meant to be construed as financial advice. Dollar Bureau shall not be held liable for any inaccuracies, mistakes, omissions, and losses incurred should you act upon any information listed on this website. We recommend readers to seek financial planning advice from qualified financial advisors. 

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