Endowus Review: Investing Your Cash, CPF And SRS Money At Low Fees

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With access to leading fund managers globally, Endowus allows the everyday investor to grow CPF, cash and SRS at a low cost. Here’s what Endowus has to offer amidst the competitive investment landscape.

Endowus is a Singapore-based financial technology company that allows you to invest your CPF, Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) money, and cash savings. With access to funds from leading global fund managers, Endowus curates your investment portfolio with institutional-quality financial products, at the lowest cost possible.

Here’s what you’ll find in this review:

What Endowus can do for your portfolio

#1: Investments: Providing wealth accumulation solutions

With Endowus, you can choose from six different portfolios to invest your cash, CPF and SRS money, depending on your investment objectives and risk tolerance. Your funds will go into a portfolio that is globally diversified, offering the best-in-class mutual funds (also known as unit trusts) from leading fund managers globally, without spending any more than you should on fees (more below).

The portfolios you’ll be choosing from are broken down into a percentage of stocks versus bonds. 

Your investments come with automated rebalancing to ensure that your portfolio is aligned to your goals. You will also receive investment advice, and you have an option to set up recurring monthly investments. The cost of these transactions is factored into a single, all-in access fee. 

#2: Cash management accounts: Grow idle cash

Endowus also offers a cash management account — Cash Smart. Cash management accounts are an alternative to savings accounts, helping you grow your idle funds. 

Unlike many high-yield savings accounts that require you to fulfill certain criteria to earn your interest, you can grow your money simply by keeping the money in your Cash Smart account. There is no lock-in period, no tiers to hit, no limit to the amount you can keep in the account and your interest returns are accrued daily. 

The cost? 0.05% per year (excluding fund-level fees).

The Endowus Cash Smart account is available not only for your cash, but also for your idle SRS funds. Here are the two different Cash Smart accounts available. 

Endowus Cash Smart Core: 

  • What is it: A diversified portfolio of cash and money market funds
  • Underlying funds: 50% Fullerton SGD Cash Fund, 50% LionGlobal SGD Enhanced Liquidity
  • Projected return after all fees: 0.9% to 1.1% p.a.  

Endowus Cash Smart Enhanced: 

  • What is it: A diversified portfolio of money market and high quality short duration bond funds
  • Underlying funds: 50% UOB United SGD Fund, 50% LionGlobal SGD Enhanced Liquidity
  • Projected return after all fees: 1.7% to 2.0% p.a.
Pros of investing with EndowusCons of investing with Endowus
Access funds from respectable fund managers otherwise only available to institutional investors$10,000 starting amount required
Invest not just cash, but also your CPF and SRS moneyMust be 21 years old to open an Endowus account
Low, all-in access fee that is 1/3 of the industry averageLarge investment amounts required to enjoy even lower fees
Cash management account available to store (and grow) your spare cash

Get a $10 GrabFood voucher and $20 off your access fee by applying through SingSaver and funding your Endowus account.

Why should you choose Endowus?

#1: Access leading global funds at the lowest cost possible

Endowus opens the doors for retail investors to invest in funds that are typically only available for institutional investors. 

Their platform allows you to access Smart Beta and actively managed Fixed-Income products from reputable fund managers such as Dimensional Fund Advisors and PIMCO, at the lowest all-in cost. 

With access to the funds from these fund managers, Endowus uses evidence-based investing to give investors the highest probability of investment success over the long-term. This means selecting the investment products that have exhibited good long-term performance with proven track records, that are also offered at attractive institutional-level costs.

Here is the list of funds Endowus invests in. 

#2: Invest your CPF, SRS and cash in a single platform

You can invest your CPF money with Endowus under the CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS). To do so, you will need to open a CPF Investment Account. Once your CPF-IA is linked to your Endowus account, you can start investing and fund your Endowus investments with your CPF accounts.

While the money in your CPF Special Account (SA) earns a solid 4% p.a. interest, the money in your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) earns a modest 2.5% p.a. There is also an extra 1% you earn on the first $60,000 of combined CPF balances, capped at $20,000 for the CPF OA. While a 2.5% p.a. interest rate isn’t too shabby, there are investors who will feel like they can do much better by investing their retirement savings – specifically, by investing with SRS or CPF OA. 

Through Endowus, your SRS or CPF OA funds can access a globally diversified portfolio at some of the lowest costs for CPF-related investments. 

#3: Low, all-in access fee

Fees are amongst the top concerns when making investments. The reason is simple: fees eat into your returns. The less fees you pay, the more returns in your pocket. For example, if your fees add up to 3%, in order to earn a 7% return on your investments, the investments would have to reap 10% in returns before fees. 

Your returns would depend on other factors as well, such as your risk appetite, which determines the makeup of your portfolio. Not all portfolios are primed for high returns as risk-averse investors could choose to take on lower risk for modest returns. 

Rather than paying multiple different fees at different levels, Endowus employs a simple, all-in fee that covers all the costs involved. The only fee that isn’t included in the all-in access fee is the fund-level fee of 0.18% to 0.64% p.a.

#4: Grow your spare cash

With the present low interest rate environment, numerous banks have slashed the interest rates for their savings accounts. This means fewer avenues to grow your spare cash or emergency funds. With their Cash Smart account, Endowus provides the opportunity to earn up to 2% p.a. on your idle cash, without bothering with criteria like minimum credit card spending or salary credit. You even have the option to choose between two different Cash Smart accounts depending on your risk tolerance and how soon you’ll need these savings.  

#5: It’s secure 

What if the company ceases to exist? One major concern many investors have when it comes to new-age robo-advisors is the security and safety of keeping money with the robo-advisory company. 

When you create an Endowus account, Endowus creates a trust account in your own name at UOB Kay Hian, Singapore’s largest broker. This means that regardless of what happens to Endowus in the future, you will have full access and claim to your assets that are held in the UOB Kay Hian account under your name.

Get a $10 GrabFood voucher and $20 off your access fee by applying through SingSaver and funding your Endowus account.

For whom is Endowus best for?

Endowus is best for investors looking to invest and maximise their ‘locked money’ – namely CPF funds. Where Endowus stands out is also their commitment in offering the lowest fee possible for institutional level funds. 

Unlike other robo-advisors that allow you to start investing with just $1, Endowus is suitable for those with sizeable capital, with a $10,000 minimum investment amount. 

However, this minimum investment amount can be made using different modes of funding across cash, CPF and SRS. For example, you can invest $5,000 through cash and $5,000 with your CPF OA in order to make up the $10,000 minimum. 

Your subsequent investment amounts beyond the first $10,000 are set at a minimum of $100.

What charges or fees should you look out for?

Endowus works with asset managers to access the lowest fees possible, ensuring that customers get 100% rebate of any trailer fees or sales commissions. As such, Endowus charges a single, all-in access fee that is based on your assets under advice (AUA), inclusive of GST. The more you invest, the lower the fees.

Investment typeFee details
CPF and SRS money0.40% flat fee for any amount
Cash (tiered, not stacked)Up to $200,000: 0.60%
$200,000 – $1,000,000: 0.50%
$1,000,001 to $5,000,000: 0.35%
More than $5 million: 0.25%
Cash Smart0.05% flat fee for any amount

However, do note that these fees exclude fund-level fees of 0.18% to 0.64%. These fund level fees are built into the cost structure of the fund and indirectly affects the fund returns. 

What does this all-in access fee include? It includes the account and portfolio creation, investment advice, rebalancing costs, dividend withholding tax, FX transaction charges, transfers into and out of the account and brokerage fees. With a single access fee, this also means that there are no sales charges, no transaction fees and no hidden charges. To top it off, you enjoy a 100% trailer fee rebate.

How is this fee charged? The access fee is charged on a quarterly basis, based on your daily average total AUA for that quarter. To make this a seamless process, if you have cash in your account, your cash balance will be used to pay for the fees. Otherwise, Endowus will redeem part of your investment portfolio that is equivalent to your fees due for the quarter.

Eligibility criteria

To open an Endowus account:

  • At least 21 years of age
  • Minimum investment amount of $10,000

To invest your CPF money under CPFIS:

  • are not an undischarged bankrupt;
  • have more than $20,000 in your OA; and/or 
  • have more than $40,000 in your SA.

From 1 October 2018, new CPFIS investors will also need to take the Self-Awareness Questionnaire (SAQ) before you can start investing under CPFIS

What are the promotions available?

Endowus promotion: New customers are entitled to $20 off their access fee credit upon successful investment of at least $10,000 into their Endowus account. This $20 access fee credit can be used to offset any access fee payable to Endowus. Customers can find this $20 credit under the ‘Rewards’ tab upon successful investing through your Endowus account. 

SingSaver exclusive promotion: From 22 September to 13 December 2020, if you sign up through the ‘Apply Now’ button on this page, not only will you enjoy the access fee credit given by Endowus as stated above, you will also be eligible for a $10 GrabFood voucher upon account approval and funding the minimum amount required. 

These two promotions can be stacked. To ensure that you receive both rewards, click on the ‘Apply Now’ button below to sign up. Don’t forget to fill in your email address on both the Endowus website as well as the SingSaver rewards form. 

How to apply? 

Follow these steps in order to enjoy both the SingSaver offer as well as the Endowus offer.

Step 1: Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button below to get started. 

Step 2: Enter your email address on the SingSaver application form. You will then be directed to the Endowus application page.  Fill in the SingSaver rewards form with your email.

Step 3: Begin creating your Endowus account by filling in your email — this must be the same email address as Step 2. Continue to fill in the application requirements set out by Endowus. You’ll be given a choice to fill in via MyInfo (which speeds up the process) or to make the inputs manually. Besides your personal information, you will also have to share your goals, risk tolerance and investment timeline in order for Endowus to recommend a portfolio that suits your requirements.

Step 4: Submit the SingSaver rewards redemption form which you will receive in your email. You will need to enter the first three characters of the same email address you registered with in Steps 2 and 3 in order to enjoy the $10 GrabFood voucher offered by SingSaver.

Step 5: After setting up your account, you will have to fund your account with a minimum of $10,000 in order to be eligible for the rewards. You can expect to receive your reward from SingSaver within 60 to 90 days from the completion of all five steps.

Terms & Conditions apply.

How does Endowus fare compared to its competitors? 

Underlying assetMutual fundsETFsREITs, ETFs, EquitiesMutual funds
Management/advisory fees*0.60% for first $200,000 
0.40% flat fee for any amount for CPF or SRS money
0.8% for the first $25,0000.65% for sum invested of less than $20,0000.50% – 0.60% p.a. (0% fee for the first $10,000)
Cash management accountCash Smart: 0.9% to 2% p.a. StashAway Simple: up to 1.4% p.a. 
Not availableMoneyOwl WiseSaver: 0.54% p.a. (5-day moving average as at 25 Sep 2020)
Minimum investment amount$10,000No minimum amount ($10,000 minimum required for Income portfolio)No minimum amount$50 per month (or $100 lump sum)
Cash, CPF or SRS?Cash, CPF and SRSCash and SRSCash and SRSCash and SRS

*Do note that besides management/advisory fees, other fees such as fund expense ratio apply

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By Ching Sue Mae
A flat white, an adventure-filled travel and a good workout is her fuel. This Manchester United fan enjoys sharing knowledge on personal finance while chasing the dream of financial independence.