OCBC RoboInvest: How This Robo-Advisor is Now Even Easier for New Investors to Get Started With

OCBC RoboInvest - changes November 2021 - robo advisor investment

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Robo-advisors are growing in popularity, and for good reason — they offer new investors a super easy way to start investing right away, even with minimal financial knowledge.

One such robo-advisor is OCBC RoboInvest, which was launched in September 2017, back when robo advisors were a relatively new innovation. The platform was also the first robo-advisor to be offered by a bank in Singapore.

As a pioneering bank in the robo-advisor space, OCBC makes sure it lives up to this accolade, and has been hard at work, constantly refining its RoboInvest platform.

New and existing investors alike will be glad to hear that in addition to OCBC RoboInvest’s low minimum deposit amount of just US$100, some of the recent improvements make it even easier for them to find opportunities to grow their money.

They can pick from a selection of 36 portfolios, including a mix of thematic and core portfolios; making RoboInvest a robo-advisor that’s ideal for a wide range of users, from novices to know-it-alls.

In particular, let’s look at some of the ways OCBC RoboInvest makes it even easier for new investors to get started.


Direct debit of your funds

Being able to transfer funds quickly and easily to your robo-advisor is important, because time is of the essence in the world of a budding investor! Also, jumping through hoops just to get started in investing is quite a barrier for someone new to the world of investing.

Previously, transferring money to OCBC RoboInvest used to take a few days; but now, it’s direct debit through FAST, which just takes minutes.

For new investors, this means they’re able to get started almost right away and face next to no delay whenever they need to top up their account (note: the actual trade will be placed within the next working day). Why is this important? When it comes to investing, time wasted is time potentially missing out on compounding interest (or price movements/market opportunities), and OCBC RoboInvest’s direct debit function now helps prevent that.


Choose from the themes you care about

These days, it’s not enough to just invest in any old stocks. People are more concerned with investing in sustainable businesses, industries with growth potential, or other themes they care about.

One thing that sets OCBC RoboInvest apart from other robo-advisors is its wealth of thematic portfolios, which lets investors choose investment directions that interest or are important to them. The portfolios can also be sorted by risk profile.

For instance, OCBC recently launched 2 new themed robo portfolios — Electric Vehicle and Cyber Security. Both were put together based on customer research surveys, part of OCBC’s efforts to keep its ear close to the ground when it comes to keeping up with customer needs and trends.

Other interesting thematic portfolios include Gen-Z Winners, which features companies that are likely to benefit from Generation Z spending; and Future World, which taps emerging trends that have the potential to develop into major themes in the future.

Themed portfolios offer new investors a comprehensible and relatable way to build an investment portfolio according to their values or the types of opportunities they wish to invest in.


Core portfolios to choose from as well

OCBC RoboInvest also has a series of non-thematic portfolios for those who are not inclined to invest in themes. The core portfolios enable investors to build a diversified and well-rounded portfolio based on risk tolerance.

OCBC RoboInvest’s Core portfolios include the following:

  • Defensive portfolio — Low-risk portfolio aimed at helping investors preserve their capital while offering modest growth opportunities. Features mainly fixed income instruments with some equities.
  • Cautious portfolio — Geared towards achieving modest capital gains while limiting risk and downside. Largely composed of fixed income instruments with some equities.
  • Balanced portfolio — This diversified portfolio tries to achieve a balance between capital gains and risk mitigation. It features bonds, equities and gold.
  • All Weather Portfolio — This portfolio tries to strike a balance between capital preservation and capital appreciation, and offers a diversified selection of fixed-income, equities and gold.
  • Growth Portfolio — For those with a healthy risk tolerance, this portfolio is geared towards achieving long-term capital gains and features a high allocation of equities, as well as smaller allocations of bonds and gold.
  • Aggressive Portfolio — This portfolio, for those with a high risk tolerance, aims for long-term capital appreciation with a globally diversified allocation of equities, as well as some gold.


A more seamless and intuitive user journey

Another plus point for new investors is OCBC RoboInvest’s interface, which is designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate. Over the years, OCBC has also improved the UX to make it more of a breeze to use.

For starters, anyone with an OCBC deposit account can sign up quickly and easily for OCBC RoboInvest through its mobile banking app. Otherwise, applying for an account is as easy as signing up for one of OCBC’s debit cards.

The OCBC RoboInvest mobile app makes it easy to track and manage your investments on the go. You can also subscribe to alerts to receive OCBC’s market views and learn about how your investments will be affected by the latest developments.

Here are some glimpses of the app’s interface:


OCBC RoboInvest changes November 2021

The app lets you check at a glance the performance charts of your portfolios as well as  an overview of your account.


OCBC RoboInvest changes November 2021

Monitor the performance of all your portfolios with metrics like estimated value and unrealised profit/loss.

In order to help you make well-informed investing decisions, you can also access a detailed summary of each portfolio, including allocation and historical performance. Here’s what the Future World portfolio might look like on your app:

OCBC RoboInvest changes November 2021

OCBC RoboInvest changes November 2021


Ease of investing journey

One of the little details that makes OCBC RoboInvest so seamless is being able to invest directly from your OCBC bank account rather than making a transfer.

Other than investing a lump sum upfront, you can also automate regular investments to take advantage of dollar cost averaging. For instance, you can start from as low as US$100 per month. The app will automatically invest your desired amounts without you having to open a separate securities or custodian account.

And what if you experience cash flow issues along the way due to unforeseen circumstances? No problem — OCBC RoboInvest has no lock-in period, so you can make full or partial withdrawals whenever you need to without incurring any charges.


Why robo with a bank?

These days, there are so many robo advisor platforms out there offered by startups or big financial institutions.

If you’re new to investing and want the peace of mind that you’re using a reliable company, your best bet is to go with a trusted financial institution such as a well-known bank like OCBC. While you may have to pay slightly higher management fees, you’d benefit from the platform’s reliability, security, portfolio offerings and so on. In general, the growth of your investment generally exceeds those fees, so you should still see overall growth.

You may also have noticed that OCBC RoboInvest is powered by WeInvest, its outsourced platform operator. In the unlikely event that WeInvest goes under, OCBC says: “The customers holdings are custodised with HSBC and Citi and will be moved to the new provider. From a Funds standpoint, the firm’s monies are separate from customers’ monies to comply with MAS regulations. So it’s safe as well.”

OCBC RoboInvest changes November 2021

Source: OCBC

In terms of the performance of OCBC RoboInvest’s portfolios, as of September 2021, all but two of the portfolios for which 1-year returns data is available have achieved positive growth, with returns ranging from 2.66% to 80.65%.

For comparison’s sake, the Aggressive portfolio achieved 17.39% growth, while the Defensive portfolio grew by 4.58%. These are great returns and, for the results-minded investor, really one of the most important factors.

Find out more about OCBC RoboInvest.


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