Targeted at high-net-worth individuals, Kristal.AI also has portfolios for retail investors and is the best robo advisor in Singapore if you’re looking to pay the least amount of fees.
Here’s our review of Kristal.AI and what you can expect when using the platform.
What Is Kristal.AI?
Kristal.AI is a systematic intermixture of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and human experiences aimed at offering a premium investing experience even to the masses.
A fintech company working across Singapore, Hong Kong, India, and Dubai, Kristal is one of the most recommended Singapore-based investment platforms in terms of cost.
They, with their professional team and advanced technology, attempt to simplify things to provide the best user experience by making it more accessible.
As they claim, they are a customer-centred investment platform with an investment strategy to help the investors reach their financial goals through Kristal’s advisory algorithm.
Their advisory algorithm is designed to help even the newbies in the field of investment to pick the right portfolios based on their financial goals and risk appetites.
However, their advisory methodology seems to be devoted primarily to accredited investors.
Kristal predominantly works based on a hybrid model where they provide 3 kinds of services –
- Robo advisory services for first-time investors
- Private Wealth services for accredited investors
- Curated Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) services
Basically, the purpose behind this hybrid model is to make the platform accessible to every kind of investor. Collectively, the platform offers you varied services and investment products including hedge funds, venture capital (VC) funds, private equity (PE) funds, and structured products at a comparatively lower price.
In terms of Kristal’s hybrid model, we’ll elaborate on the features of the different aspects related to the platform in a detailed way.
If you’re not an accredited investor and decide to use Kristal.AI, you can only choose Kristal Freedom.
Here are the portfolios offered to retail investors by Kristal.
On Kristal.AI, the portfolios are referred to as Kristals.
The platform allows you to pick a ready-made portfolio based on your financial goal and risk appetite from the vast collection offered.
Otherwise, they provide you with the option to customise your own portfolio. So, here, you can personalise one by choosing from their diverse ruleset-based strategies.
As for the asset classes, you can only invest through ETFs.
Other asset classes like bonds, mutual funds, etc. are available only for the high net worth investors.
Of course, be it ETFs or other asset classes, they provide the investors with the top investment products to assure the highest potential returns.
Kristal provides automated rebalancing features for your portfolio.
Unlike other robo advisory platforms, Kristal.AI uses an asset allocation strategy, where even the most aggressive portfolio shares an equity allocation of a mere 70%, whereas the other portfolios have equity allocations between 20-50%.
However, Kristal doesn’t disclose their proportions of asset allocation, geographical allocation, or categorical allocation for distinguished portfolios.
Still, we’ll attempt to reveal some instances of their asset allocation proportions.
Let’s have a peek at its automated portfolios and different facets related to those –
Kristal High Growth
Strategised for high-risk investors, this portfolio is the most aggressive one.
You can get the best returns by investing for a longer period, which is ideally more than 4 years as recommended by Kristal.
The investment strategy for this portfolio is governed by Kristal’s KAIRO algorithm.
The portfolio allows you to invest in multiple assets through ETFs.
It is constructed to handle volatility, with a diverse allocation to growth-oriented equities, fixed income ETFs, and a small portion of commodities too.
This diversified allocation is made on the basis of their AI and human-driven analysis algorithms.
This portfolio is constructed for medium-risk investors with a long-term investment portfolio recommended for 3+ years.
Consisting of a medium level of aggression, this portfolio is aimed at safety while focusing on capital appreciation.
Focused on maximising the risk-adjusted returns, Kristal’s Growth portfolio is strategised to keep the portfolio risk level in check.
Thus, you can conveniently invest in this portfolio without getting stressed about the market volatility.
This portfolio, again, is diversified with calculated allocation to fixed income, equities, and commodities.
Kristal Secure is a low-risk investment portfolio primarily focused on safe and secure attainment of slightly higher returns above the benchmark over a period of more than 1 year at minimum.
Powered by the KAIRO methodology, this portfolio follows a capital secure approach.
Based on the platform’s human and artificial intelligence-based analysis, this portfolio is designed with a mild allocation to stable equities, along with a calculated allocation to commodities and fixed income ETFs.
Ideal for investors with low to medium-risk appetites, the Kristal Balanced portfolio is aimed at both safety and capital appreciation.
This portfolio is recommended for a medium investment term of a minimum of 2+ years.
The portfolio is based on a risk-management strategy with multiple asset allocations mainly to equities, commodities, and fixed-income ETFs.
Completely governed by the KAIRO algorithm, this portfolio concentrates on attaining a safe and stable capital appreciation while keeping the volatility low.
Thus, it involves core and low-volatility equity ETFs.
Kristal All-Weather US
This particular Kristal portfolio is aimed at providing you with diverse asset allocation for attaining balanced growth.
This is structured to generate an equal or better return compared to broad GDP growth over a longer time period.
Here also, you get to invest with the 3 asset classes — equity, commodity, and fixed income — with calculated allocation accompanied by managed weightage.
Available to only accredited investors, you can select from a list of ETFs curated.
Kristal.AI will recommend a selected list of curated ETFs to ensure reliability and quality.
The ETFs are listed based on a comparative analysis depending on their recommendable historical performances.
Moreover, they also include a recommendation system for ETF selection from the advisors based on your risk profile.
Thus, you can narrow down the choices on the basis of different factors like categorical or geographical allocation, popularity, etc. using their filtering feature.
Otherwise, you can compare ETFs using their ETF comparison tool.
ETFs on Kristal.AI involve different minimum quantity requirements, where the costs are also varied with different ETFs.
Furthermore, each buying or selling of ETFs consists of a brokerage fee of US$1 with included taxes.
Kristal’s ETF selections include US exchanges consisting of NYSE, BATS, and NASDAQ; Hong Kong exchange (HKEX); European exchanges including XETR and GER; and Singapore Exchange (SGX).
The Private Wealth plan of Kristal.AI is aimed at providing a premium investment experience to high net worth (accredited) investors.
The Private Wealth investors on Kristal are provided access to certain other investment products apart from ETFs at a comparatively lower price of US$25,000. These include —
- Mutual funds
- Fractionalised Private Banking products such as Hedge Funds, VC/PE funds
- Structured Products like Fixed Coupon Notes (FCNs) and Equity Linked Options (ELONs)
- Institutional funds
- Listed products including ETFs and stocks
Also, you get access to human and AI-driven advisory that is conveniently available.
Along with having access to private markets, Private Wealth investors enjoy the services of a dedicated portfolio management team.
Ultimately in one sentence, Kristal Private Wealth is an aggregated service of devoted analysis, evaluation, recommendation, and adjustment.
Exposure to Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology
Another noteworthy feature of Kristal.AI is that the platform provides its investors with exposure to investment options using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Keeping portfolio diversification at the forefront, Kristal involves shortlisted regulated funds, low-cost ETFs, and ETPs (exchange-traded products) for this purpose.
Cryptocurrency options with Kristal —
Kristal.AI introduces rich educational resources for its investors. Along with keeping you updated about market ups and downs as well as investment opportunities on a weekly basis, they have also organised a newsletter subscription process aiming to better the user experience.
Although Kristal’s pricing is considerably lower compared to some of the other Singapore-based financial advisory platforms.
However, it has a somewhat complicated fee structure considering the varied costs related to different ETFs with different quantity requirements as stated above.
For instance, while the S&P500 IT Index requires a minimum investment of 97 units at US$21, you need to buy or sell a minimum of 2 units of the Health Care – Medical Devices ETF at a price of US$62 each.
The following table shows a breakdown of the different fees charged by Kristal.
|Different Fee-types||Kristal Freedom||Kristal Private Wealth|
|Account opening fee||0%||0%|
|Account maintenance fee||0%||0%|
|Cash holding fee||0%||0%|
|Management fees||0% up to USD$10,000||Custom pricing|
|0.3% per annum from US$10,000+|
|Asset operating fee||US$1+taxes per trade|
|Fx conversion fee||0.2% from the market rate|
Below are the fees you’d incur when making deposits and withdrawals on Kristal.AI.
(From any Singapore Bank account)
(From any Hong Kong Bank account)
|Up to USD 7.5*|
(To any Singapore Bank account)
(To any Hong Kong Bank account)
|Up to USD 50*|
*Charges incurred by Kristal.AI’s financial partners and any fees by your bank.
Apart from these, Kristal doesn’t charge any extra costs like brokerage fees, platform fees, account closure fees, etc.
Minimum Deposits and Withdrawals
Kristal.AI doesn’t include any minimum deposit and withdrawal amounts for Kristal Freedom investors.
This can be an issue for you if you’re depositing low amounts as each trade costs US$1.
If you invest US$100 every month, you’d incur 1% fees.
If you invest US$1,000 monthly, this goes down to 0.1%.
Thus, although Kristal.AI is the cheapest robo advisor in Singapore, it’s only applicable if you’re investing a larger amount monthly.
For Kristal Private Wealth investors, there is a minimum investment amount of US$50,000.
Kristal.AI Funding Methods
You are eligible to fund your account with Kristal only after your KYC is approved.
Once you make your deposit request, it takes up to 3 business days before the amount gets reflected in your account.
One advantage of this platform is that here you can make your deposit from a joint bank account, that is not the case with all robo advisors.
While funding, you can choose your preferred currency from the following choices —
- For Singapore residents: SGD, USD
- For Hong Kong residents: HKD, USD
- For Indian residents: USD
- For others: USD
Transactions for other currencies such as EUR, AUD, JPY, GBP, etc. are supported only for large-sized investments above US$0.5M.
Also, funding through such currencies involves varied charges between US$50 – US$150 per transfer.
As for the transfer charges, funding can involve charges up to US$7.5 per transfer.
Kristal.AI Withdrawal Methods
If you’re new to the platform, you are required to upload a bank statement that shows your name, bank name, and account number.
Also, your bank account must at least be 6 months old before you can make your first withdrawal, which will be approved in 1 business day.
The processing of withdrawals on Kristal.AI usually takes up to 4 business days before it gets reflected on your account.
You can find the option to withdraw funds in the Fund Transfers segment under the Portfolio section.
While placing your withdrawal order, even if you enter the amount in USD, the funds will be transferred to your account in your local currency.
Thus, you’d incur currency conversion charges.
If you want to withdraw your funds not in your local currency, you have to make a request through mail.
They will then send you a confirmation in 1-2 business days.
Yeah, it’s a bit strange.
Is Kristal.AI Safe?
The fact that Kristal Advisors (SG) Pte Ltd is regulated and licensed under the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Capital Markets Services License (CMSL) justifies its safety.
Furthermore, Kristal Advisors (HK) Private Limited is registered with the regulation and license under the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).
As for Kristal.AI’s counterpart in India, it is also regulated and licensed under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) license.
Another safety-related point regarding Kristal.AI is that, with Kristal, your funds are segregated from that of Kristal, and also from the funds of the other investors.
All your funds are kept with DBS.
Thus, these funds don’t belong to Kristal, — these are owned exclusively by you and held in a custodial account.
Thus, in case anything happens, your funds will be completely safe and secure.
Apart from funds-related security, Kristal.AI is even conscious about keeping your information protected.
They use measures like encryption, anti-virus software, firewalls, login protocols, etc. to fulfil this purpose.
Who Is Kristal.AI Best for?
As Kristal.AI offers one of the lowest fees to start investing, it’s a moderately good option for first-time investors.
However, keep in mind that the platform is focused mostly on Private Wealth investors with high net worth, so it’s an even better platform if you are an accredited investor.
Furthermore, as all the existing financial advisory platforms don’t offer to invest in cryptocurrencies, it can be a promising option for you if you’re willing to invest through Bitcoin or Ethereum.
If you have just set your foot in the field of investment and are dependent upon expert advice, Kristal’s educational approaches including its webinars, newsletter, rich advisory, etc. will prove to be significantly advantageous to you.
If you’re an accredited investor, Kristal.AI is definitely a robo advisor for you to consider due to its low fees and wide range of investment vehicles to choose from.
However, if you’re a retail investor, Syfe can be a better alternative to Kristal.AI.
Although Kristal offers certain extraordinary features compared to the other robo advisors, still, its services are predominantly focused on accredited investors.
Its hybrid structure doesn’t embrace all types of investors, where the traditional investors are having to get themselves content with a selected list of ETFs.
They also aren’t very transparent with asset allocations, category distributions, and geographical coverage.
Most importantly, you don’t really know what you can expect in terms of returns with Kristal.AI.
Considering such limitations, Syfe can prove to be a great option.
It’s affordable and easy to use.
Providing you with a broad arena of portfolios to choose from, Syfe allows you to invest in stocks along with ETFs with diverse asset allocations.
Unlike Kristal, Syfe lets you invest in fractional shares. If you’re investing low amounts every month, you don’t incur the US$1 fee which can accumulate quickly.
Instead, it starts at 0.65% per annum, which we think is pretty fair.
You can choose to read our in-depth review on Syfe to understand why we like it a lot.