Digital & Technology

Endowus challenges traditional unit trust fee structure with debut of unique hybrid fund investment platform with lowered fees

Endowus has recently debuted their new Fund Smart platform, heralding an innovative hybrid fund platform that combines the best of digital financial advisory services and an open fund platform. And all this on the back of lower fees on an exclusively selected list of best-in-class funds.

Fund Smart provides retail investors direct access to over 100 curated best-in-class funds from over 25 of the world’s leading asset managers. Investors achieve greater convenience and control in buying unit trusts and constructing customised portfolios at low, transparent and fair cost. 

After crossing SGD1 billion in assets in under 20 months from launch, Endowus has moved quickly to further innovate and improve the Singapore investor’s access to best-in-class funds at a lower and fairer cost than ever before. 

With the revised pricing of 0.30% per annum, Endowus can save clients 50% or more per year on their all-in investment costs for all unit trusts, with over 100 of the most popular funds now cheaper on Endowus than on any other retail platform in Singapore. 


“The improved Fund Smart on the Endowus app is a major advancement in innovation and cost for individual investors in Singapore. Improving our clients’ investment experience and empowering them to make better choices is a key mission of Endowus and we have broken new ground with the new Fund Smart service and tools. On top of a greater selection of geographical and thematic funds, we have created an improved fund screening experience and the lowest cost access single fund offerings,” said Samuel Rhee, Endowus Chairman & Chief Investment Officer.


Endowus’ all-new fund screening tool leads the industry in allowing clients to easily filter, view and learn about each fund, including complete transparency on the reasons to which Endowus’ Investment Office has selected these specific funds and the detailed breakdown of fees and rebates. 

Investors can easily compare funds in real-time and view curated information that is most pertinent to making informed decisions. These include performance, all relevant fund data, and the extent of fee savings on Endowus versus other platforms, in addition to more advanced risk metrics for experienced clients. 


“As with everything at Endowus, transparency is key,” said Gregory Van, Endowus CEO. “Some investors look for agility to quickly capitalise on opportunities they spot — we are focused on providing data-driven technology and access to suitable products and experts to support their goals as they take control of their financial future.”


Fund Smart offerings continue to expand rapidly, and now include many strategies that can be invested using cash, CPF and SRS savings and target different sectors and geographies across the globe, all managed by leading global asset managers. 

Many of the funds made available to retail clients have previously only been available to institutional and ultra-high net worth investors, or the top 0.1% of society. Strategies exposed to real estate, megatrends, healthcare, technology, income and more, have been screened and selected by the Endowus Investment Office and are now available to investors starting from as little as $1,000. 


“We provide institutional quality screening and due diligence to select the best-in-class funds in the universe based on a proprietary fund selection framework by the Endowus investment office. And we do this based on the expertise of man and machine: a quantitative screening framework coupled with qualitative assessment of the global fund managers and their respective strategies,” said Endowus Chief Advisory Officer, Wei Mei Tan, an industry veteran who prior to Endowus was at UBS and Credit Suisse, and whose last role was Global Co-Head of Advisory & Investment Solutions at Deutsche Private Bank.


Endowus helps clients block out the noise and difficulty of having to choose from thousands of funds and only invest in best-in-class funds by working to improve fund access, launching top-performing strategies that were previously not available. Endowus has continued to work with its fund manager partners — leading global and local fund managers to bring their top funds into Singapore. 

As a fee-only investment platform, Endowus can only be paid by its clients. This is different from most incumbent distributors, such as the leading fund platforms, brokers and private banks, that keep the recurring trailer fee kickbacks paid by fund managers. These trailer fee commissions can reach as high as 70% of the fund fees. By returning all of these fees back into clients’ accounts, Endowus’ 100% trailer fee rebates leads to immediate and meaningful savings for the investor. It lowers total all-in investment cost for the investor and continues to put pressure on incumbent fund platforms, banks and brokers to improve transparency and alignment with their clients. 

Endowus remains independent and can only be paid by its clients directly and transparently.  


“Endowus’ digital fee-only investment platform is the future of money management, where structural alignment and transparency are embedded from the get-go. It is not just lower cost, but will lead to better outcomes for the client and the industry,” said Gregory Van, Endowus CEO.


Today, asset managers available on Endowus Fund Smart include: Aberdeen Standard Investments, AllianceBernstein, Allianz Global Investors, Amundi, BlackRock, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Eastspring Investments, Fidelity International, First Sentier Investors, Franklin Templeton, Fullerton Fund Management, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Harris Associates, HSBC Asset Management, Janus Henderson, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Legg Mason, Lion Global Investors, Mirova, Natixis, Neuberger Berman, Nikko Asset Management, PIMCO, PineBridge Investments, Schroders, Thematics Asset Management, UBS Asset Management, UOB Asset Management and Wells Fargo Asset Management, with more to come.