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Kristal.AI Review: Freedom To Design Your Very Own Portfolio

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An up-and-comer in the robo-advisory space, Kristal.AI offers a unique proposition: the ability to curate your very own portfolio on their platform. Here’s what else this robo-advisor has to offer. 

Kristal.AI is a robo-advisor that allows you to customise your own portfolio. This is done mostly by including ETFs, though a wider range of asset classes are available for investors with larger investment amounts. 

If you’re not looking to create your own portfolio, Kristal.AI also offers ready-made portfolios with different compositions and investment purposes for you to choose from. 

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

Overview of Kristal.AI

Product summary:

  • What you are investing in: ETFs, funds, private equity, venture capital, pre-IPO deals and other alternative investments 
  • Minimum investment amount: No minimum amount imposed for Kristal Freedom, US$50,000 recommended for Kristal Private Wealth.
  • Management fee: Zero advisory fee on ETFs up to US$10,000 and 0.30% p.a. on incremental account value above US$10,000
  • What can you invest? Cash

Here are the pros and cons of using Kristal.AI for your investment needs.

Pros of using Kristal.AICons of using Kristal.AI
No management fee for the first $10,000Cannot use SRS or CPF funds to invest
Create your own investment portfolio Additional charges when you make fund deposits or withdrawals in USD, AUD, EUR, and GBP
Top ETFs identified for you 
Trove of educational resources for all investors 

How does investing with Kristal.AI work?

Kristal.AI harnesses the strengths of both an algorithm as well as an investment committee, to help craft investment portfolios.

Kristal.AI chooses and offers the best-in-class investment products across multiple asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, funds, private equity, venture capital and more. The Kristal.AI investment committee is made up of experienced financial experts that provide inputs that are forward looking, to help capture future trends and opportunities.

Investors can select from more than 200 investment strategies — also knowns as Kristals — to suit their investment goals and risk appetite. Alternatively, you can build your own Kristal, using your own strategy, with the support of Kristal.AI’s wealth professionals. 

Ultimately, there are two different types of Kristal accounts you can have. 

Kristal Freedom

If you’re an investor looking to start small, you can choose from: 

  • Curated ETFs

With Kristal.AI’s curated ETFs, you get to choose from a bank of ETFs that span different asset classes, geographies and industries. Kristal.AI further narrows down the ETFs for you based on ETFs you can start with, popular ETFs, ETFs by categories, sectors or geography. You can also manually filter ETFs or use their compare ETFs tool for you to compare three different ETFs.

  • Auto Rebalanced Portfolios

The hand-off option, the auto rebalanced portfolio (also known as Kristal Portfolios) are fully managed and dynamically rebalanced. Choose from four different types of portfolio that suits your investment preferences. 

Kristal Private Wealth

If you’re an accredited investor, you have more options available, on top of what Kristal Freedom users enjoy. Besides selecting from curated ETFs opting for the auto rebalanced portfolio, Kristal Private Wealth users can also invest in: 

  • High-Performance Funds
  • Alternative Investments
  • Pre-IPO and Startup Investments
  • Tailor-made Products
  • Fractional Bonds

You’ll have to contact a Kristal.AI relationship manager in order to invest in the additional portfolio types available for Kristal Private Wealth users. 

Why should you choose Kristal.AI as your Robo-Advisor?

#1 No management fee for the first $10,000

Regardless of your investment size, fees matter because they ultimately eat into your returns. With Kristal.AI, you enjoy zero management fees for your first $10,000 — a draw for new investors that have little capital to start investing with. 

As you grow your portfolio, there will be a 0.30% p.a. management fee charged on the incremental account value above US$10,000. Alternatively, if you’re a Kristal Private Wealth user, you will incur a cost of up to 1% p.a. of account value for managed Kristals and custom Kristals.

#2 Create your own investment portfolio 

Most robo-advisors help you create an investment portfolio based on your risk profile, financial goals and personal preferences. However, you have no say in what exactly goes into your portfolio, as this is all done based on the robo-advisor’s algorithm. 

For example, you can’t tweak your portfolio to hold less cash and to increase exposure to Chinese stocks

With Kristal.AI, you can. Kristal.AI allows you to customise your portfolio based on your investment preferences.

#3 Top ETFs are identified for you 

If you’re just getting your feet wet in the world of investing, it will undoubtedly be difficult to choose the ‘best ETFs’ from the hundreds of thousands of ETFs available. Kristal.AI makes selecting ETFs a walk in the park. 

You can find trending ETFs such as the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF, ARK Innovation ETF and iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF. For popular ETFs among investors, you’ll find SPDR Gold Shares, SPDR S&P Dividend ETF and Vanguard S&P 500 Growth. You can also manually filter ETFs based on the risk, industry, issuer, unit value or geography.

#4 Trove of educational resources for all investors 

Beef up on your own investment knowledge with Kristal.AI’s library of educational articles; from entry-level investment articles, to advisory pieces, investment ideas, opinions and more.

If you’re not much of a reader, there are videos and podcasts. Their video content focuses on webinars with specific investment themes – there are some made for everyday investors to learn the basics of investing, hear what professionals have to say, get trade ideas, and tap on the insights on current trends and opportunities.

All their content is available to even non-Kristal.AI users, be it on their blog or their YouTube channel.

For whom is Kristal.AI best for?

You can consider Kristal.AI if you’re looking for control over your investments and the ability to curate a portfolio that suits your preferences. With Kristal.AI, you can cherry-pick ETFs that you’d like in your investment portfolio. Kristal.AI also benefits new investors that are starting with a small capital of under $10,000, offering zero management fees.  

If you’re an accredited investor, the availability of investment classes beyond ETFs could appeal to you. As a Kristal Private Wealth user, you have access to portfolios that can include investments into funds, private equity, venture capital, pre-IPO deals and other alternative investments such as Bitcoin and hedge funds.

What charges or fees does Kristal.AI charge?

Management fee charged: 

  • Kristal Freedom (all investors): Zero advisory fee on ETFs up to US$10,000 and 0.30% p.a. on incremental account value above US$10,000
  • Kristal Private Wealth (accredited investors): Zero advisory fee on mutual funds, hedge funds and Kristal funds. You will incur a cost of up to 1% p.a. of account value for managed Kristals and custom Kristals / Holdings.

What does this fee include? This fee is not all-encompassing. There are other fees you would incur, including brokerage charges, FX conversion fees, as well as charges when you make fund deposits or withdrawals in USD, AUD, EUR, and GBP. Fund deposits and withdrawals made in SGD or HKD do not incur the additional movement fee.

To get started with Kristal.AI, funding your account is made easy. All you need to do is to follow the steps on their website and transfer the money via PayNow or FAST transfer.

Kristal.AI vs Endowus Fund Smart vs StashAway vs Syfe 

Besides Kristal.AI, one other robo-advisor that allows you to tailor your own investment portfolio is Endowus with their Fund Smart product. 


Kristal.AIEndowusStashAwaySyfe
Underlying assetETFs, stocks, bonds, funds, private equity, venture capital funds and other alternative investmentsMutual fundsETFsETFs
Management fees (per annum)Zero advisory fee on ETFs up to US$10,000 and 0.30% p.a. on incremental account value above US$10,0000.60% for first $200,000 

0.40% flat fee for any amount for CPF or SRS money
0.8% for the first $25,000 and gets lower depending on your investment amount0.65% for sum invested of less than $20,000
Minimum investment amountNo minimum amount for Kristal Freedom, but US$50,000 recommended for Kristal Private Wealth.$10,000No minimum amount ($10,000 minimum required for Income portfolio)No minimum amount
Cash, CPF or SRS?CashCash, CPF and SRS

Read our full review of Endowus here.
Cash and SRS

Read our full review of StashAway here.
Cash and SRS

Read our full review of Syfe here.

Besides Kristal.AI, there are many other robo-advisors for you to consider, such as ones that allow you to invest your Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) money or your CPF money. Compare the best robo-advisors in Singapore on SingSaver’s comparison page below! 

Read these next: 
Best Robo Advisors To Auto-Pilot Your Investments In Singapore
Money Confessions: 9 Singaporeans Share Their Portfolio Asset Allocation
Best US Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) To Invest In (2021)Investing In Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): A Newbie’s Guide To Getting Started
Best ETFs In Singapore For Tracking Stocks, Bonds And REITs


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.