Jakarta. Singapore-based independent fund manager Jachin Capital's digital investment platform iAdvisor allows real-time investments in listed securities.
After the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently issued it with a capital markets services license, Jachin Capital now offers the iAdvisor platform in the city-state and seeks to expand to other markets in the region, including Indonesia.
The company is devoted to the "know your customer" principle and transparency.
Prior to developing iAdvisor in 2015, Jachin Capital founder and chief executive Joyce Woo observed several problems people face when investing.
"You need to take a lot of effort to find out how you are performing. Even if you know what investment to buy, it is about tracking the performance. Secondly, it is to decide when to buy, to sell, or what you want to do with your investment," Joyce told the Jakarta Globe in an interview on June 6.
iAdvisor was designed to address these concerns. Joyce believes investors should be empowered by knowledge and have an efficient way of executing an investment idea. iAdvisor provides investors with 24/7 access to everything they need to know about their investments, such as risk indicators, performance metrics and profit and loss. Anywhere, anytime and any-device access is possible with iAdvisor.
Joyce is a seasoned banking professional with more than 30 years' experience in corporate and private banking in Singapore and Southeast Asia. She highlighted a key feature sought by all investors – transparency.
"When I first looked at this platform, which at that time was a prototype, I said it is very transparent basically to anyone who access it," said Joyce, who also worked with major financial institutions, including Merrill Lynch International Bank, OCBC Private Bank, Citigroup Private Bank, UBS, Morgan Stanley and Bank of Singapore.
"When you invest in a portfolio on iAdvisor, you know exactly what it is that you are buying. We started using iAdvisor in June 2015 to manage our clients' money. Now we have a robust working platform," she said.
How iAdvisor Works
To set up an iAdvisor account, users first have to answer 15 investment and risk-tolerance questions to determine their risk profiles. Jachin Capital currently uses three client risk profiles: conservative, moderate and aggressive.
"We always start with 'what is your investment objective, what is your risk profile?'" Joyce said.
Before Jachin Capital obtained the MAS fund management license, the company was only able to offer iAdvisor to a limited number of accredited investors in Singapore.
"Now that we have our license, we are offering iAdvisor to all accredited investors in Singapore. Investors on iAdvisor will be able to browse and invest in all 28 trends – or portfolios – on the platform," Joyce said.
The 28 portfolios have investment themes ranging from banking to Fourth Industrial Revolution themes such as cybersecurity, robotics, 3-D printing and driverless cars. The underlying securities for each theme are stocks listed in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States.
Reflecting its active approach to investing, all iAdvisor portfolios have a rebalancing element. This means that there is a specific schedule for reviewing and possibly realigning the stock composition of each iAdvisor portfolio. Joyce believes this is key to adopting a disciplined approach to investing.
Depending on a stock exchange's trading hours, iAdvisor provides prices for each portfolio with a 20-minute delay.
Indonesian Stock Market
Jachin Capital has been exploring strategic business opportunities in the Indonesian financial sector since last September. One idea is to tie up with Indonesian securities firms, insurance companies or fund managers.
"We can give the financial institution access to our iAdvisor platform," Joyce said. She added that there can be a cross-exchange of ideas on how to build meaningful investment portfolios.
Indonesia's financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority (OJK), sets a maximum cap of 15 percent for fund managers in the country to invest in offshore portfolios. A potential partnership with an Indonesian fund manager can mean that the local fund manager can use iAdvisor to manage this allocation to offshore portfolios.
During the interview, Joyce also touched on the prospects for financial technology, or fintech, companies in the region. She noted that recent consultation papers and regulations have been introduced in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Fintech companies in Singapore are waiting for the release of a consultation paper by the MAS. She observed that growth in the fintech space may be hampered by regulatory hurdles.
"It may be unintentional, because it is about the unintended consequences. I personally see that if there is a blow out in the fintech space, regulators may overreact. We want to share what we have learnt; we want to share the experience we have had in constructing portfolios," she said.
Enhancing financial literacy is a key objective, she added. Investors must be able to understand and differentiate between the available fintech platforms. For example, exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are commonly offered by fintech companies.
There is growing debate in the United States about liquidity risks faced by ETFs, should a significant market correction occur. Investors need to be aware of this should they decide to invest in ETF baskets offered by fintech companies.
Jachin Capital has already met with the OJK to propose an educational partnership in the form of seminars and workshops on the fintech sector.