Is Acorns available in Malaysia? 🇲🇾 Alternatives in 2024

Maya Chidiac

Acorns is a fintech company that works as a robo-advisor. It is best known for its micro-investing feature that allows users to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar and invest the spare change in the market. Investments are made into different portfolios with varying levels of risk.

The app is designed to make investing simple and available to everybody, especially those who may not have large amounts of money to invest. Acorns is a helpful tool for anyone wishing to enter the world of investing because it also provides goal-based saving options and educational materials.

In this article, we will uncover Acorns’ availability and expansion plans in Malaysia, as well as provide alternative solutions.

Is Acorns available in Malaysia?

Unfortunately, Acorns is not yet available in Malaysia and it’s currently available exclusively for US residents. According to their website, Acorns “is only available to US citizens or legal residents currently residing in the United States. Exceptions are made for active Armed Services personnel that maintain US addresses and are temporarily overseas”.

The good news is that the fintech industry is continually developing, and investors in Malaysia have many Acorns alternatives available, each with its own special features and chances to assist in navigating the road to financial achievement.

Keep reading this article as we attempt to shed light on some of the top Acorns alternatives accessible for investors in Malaysia wishing to take advantage of the benefits offered by robo-advisors and micro-investment apps.

Acorns alternatives in Malaysia

Here’s a comparison table of top financial platforms in Malaysia that share comparable features with Acorns and can be the best alternative you’re searching for:

Comparison of Acorns vs Alternatives in Malaysia

Raiz

Raiz is a micro-investing platform established in Australia that allows users to invest tiny sums of money automatically. Raiz's goal is to make investing more accessible to a wider spectrum of people, including those who do not have huge sums of money to invest or who do not have much experience investing.

In Malaysia, Raiz was introduced as a joint venture between their Australian parent company and Jewel Digital Ventures, which is wholly owned by PNB. Raiz operates in Malaysia in partnership with PNB, one of the largest fund management companies in the country.

Key Features

Management Fees: The fee structure depends on the amount invested and it is as follows:

  • For Investment amounts below RM6,000 you pay a monthly fee of RM1.5
  • For Investment amounts above RM6,000 you pay a monthly fee of 0.025%

Additional Fees: There are no additional or hidden fees with Raiz. The management fee paid monthly covers the cost of administering your Investment Account. You can withdraw or move your money from your account freely. If your account has a balance of RM0 you won't be charged any fees.

Minimum Deposits: No minimum is required to open an account with Raiz, however, a minimum of RM5 is requested to start investing.

Investment Strategy: Raiz uses the Ringgit Cost Averaging Strategy which means investing small amounts regularly. That way, if prices go up, you buy fewer of the now more expensive shares and, if they go down, you buy more of the now cheaper shares. It’s an automated, disciplined approach to investing for the long term.

Spare change Investing: With the roundup feature, your purchases are rounded up to the nearest Ringgit and the difference is invested in your account. You simply have to link your bank card to your Raiz Mobile app. The spare change is then invested into the user's Raiz investment account.

Asset Classes: Raiz Malaysia invests in a variety of asset classes including Equities, Bonds (or Sukuk), Real Estate, Commodities, Digital Assets, Cash, and Alternative Assets.

Portfolio Types: Raiz offers 4 portfolio types for investors in Malaysia each consisting of a mixture of unit trust funds, that differ by their level of risk. You can choose between Conservative, Moderate, or Aggressive portfolios, depending on your financial goals and risk tolerance, or opt for a Custom Portfolio that allows you to choose where to invest your money.

Automatic Rebalancing: Raiz automatically rebalances your portfolio as you invest. Every time you deposit or withdraw funds, the company adjusts the proportions of the unit trust funds purchased to move your account towards its target portfolio allocation.

Trading Platform: Raiz is an easy-to-use mobile app and website that allows users to track their investments, evaluate performance, and manage their accounts.

Regulator: Raiz Malaysia has a Capital Markets Services Licence and is regulated by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC).

Safety: Money in your Raiz account is held in a trust account by an independent Custodian: CIMB Bank who is a member of the CIMB Group Holdings Berhad ("CIMB"), a listed entity in the Bursa Malaysia Stock Exchange.

StashAway

StashAway is a robo-advisor that provides financial and wealth management services through a digital platform. Founded in Singapore in 2016, it has now expanded to Malaysia and other markets.

StashAway is made to make investing simple and available to people of all financial backgrounds and experience levels. The company’s algorithm creates a diverse investment portfolio based on your risk tolerance and objectives. StashAway invests your money in a variety of asset types, including stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments.

Key Features

Management Fees: Annual Management Fees with StashAway range between 0.20% and 0.80%. You pay 0.80% for the first RM50,000 invested. The fee drops when the amount invested rises and it reaches 0.20% if you hold an account with assets above RM3,000,000. This fee is calculated as a percentage of the total assets under management and is charged monthly.

Additional Fees: In addition to the management fees, there are 2 additional fees you should take into consideration:

  • Portfolio expense ratio charged by the ETF manager that ranges between 0.15% and 0.25% depending on the portfolio you choose.
  • Currency conversion fee charged at 0.1% of the transaction amount.

Minimum Deposits: There is no minimum amount required to open a trading account and start investing with StashAway Malaysia.

Spare change Investing: Unlike Acorns, Stashaway does not provide any roundup feature allowing customers to invest their spare change in the market.

Asset Classes: StashAway invests in Bonds, Equities, Commodities, ETFs, and Cash.

Portfolio Types: You can choose between 5 portfolio options with StashAway depending on your financial goals and risk tolerance:

  1. General Investing Portfolio powered by StashAway: A globally diversified portfolio that captures long-term returns, all while keeping risk constant.
  2. Thematic Portfolios: This portfolio grants you exposure to new sectors that aren’t available in most balanced portfolios. You can choose between 4 themes: Technology Enablers, The Future of Consumer Tech, Healthcare Innovation, and Environment and Cleantech.
  3. General Investing powered by BlackRock: The most diversified portfolio that gives you broad market exposure. This portfolio is powered by Blackrock and managed by StashAway.
  4. Flexible Portfolios: Pick your assets, adjust their allocations, and build your own customized portfolio.
  5. Responsible Investing with ESG: Invest with a purpose. StashAway uses 2 leading ESG scoring models to screen the underlying funds for this portfolio: The MSCI ESG rating and the Morningstar Sustainability Rating.

Automatic Rebalancing: StashAway rebalances your portfolios by maintaining the target allocations set by you. By buying or selling specific assets, the company will realign your portfolio and allow you to stay on target with your investment strategy. Rebalancing occurs when changes happen to the market or when you make a deposit, request a partial withdrawal, or make change in your portfolio’s allocations.

Trading Platform: Easy to navigate and user-friendly mobile app.

Regulator: StashAway is regulated by the Securities Commission  Malaysia (SC). They are the first robo-advisor in Malaysia to be awarded the Capital Markets License by the SC under the Digital Investment License framework.

Safety: Your money with StashAway Malaysia is safely stored in a separate custodian account in your name. Your deposits are put in a Citibank trust account and your purchased securities go to a custodian account through Saxo Capital Markets.

eToro

eToro is a multi-asset brokerage and social trading platform that was created in 2007. It has grown in prominence as a leading online platform for social investing and trading in a wide range of financial assets such as equities, cryptocurrencies, commodities, FX, and others.

While eToro provides some social trading and portfolio management capabilities that are comparable to robo-advisors, it is important to remember that eToro's core functionality is centered on social trading, and its platform may not fully mimic the services provided by dedicated robo-advisory firms.

In Malaysia, the company offers robo-advice services through its “Smart Portfolios” which are designed to help investors create diversified portfolios with minimum risks and maximum returns.

Key Features

Management Fees: Zero Management and account Fees for eToro’s Smart portfolio.

Additional Fees: eToro charges 0 trading fees, however, there’s a flat withdrawal fee of $5 applicable on every withdrawal. In addition, eToro works with USD as a base currency which implies a foreign-exchange conversion fee applied when you transfer Malaysian Ringgit into US dollars and vice versa.

Minimum Deposits: A minimum of $50 is required to invest in an eToro smart portfolio.

Asset Classes: Cryptocurrencies, Stocks, Commodities, ETFs, CFDs, and Currencies in All Markets.

Investment Strategy: eToro’s Smart Portfolios present a hybrid approach to investing, which is a combination of both active and passive strategies. Smart Portfolios are not updated daily, and they are regularly rebalanced by the eToro investment team.

Portfolio Types:

  • Top Trader Portfolios: Managed by eToro Traders that copy strategies from top traders.
  • Thematic Market Portfolios: These include CFD stocks, commodities, indices, and ETFs
  • Partner Portfolios: The funds are managed by fund managers who are partners with the investors and not by eToro's investment team.

Funding options: You can fund your eToro account using a debit/credit card or an electronic bank transfer and even e-wallets like Skrill or Paypal.

Islamic Accounts: eToro offers Islamic accounts in Malaysia. These accounts are subject to requirements provided by “Sharia” including no interest on deposits.

Trading Platform: Advanced user-friendly Mobile Application and website.

Regulator: eToro is available for customers based in Malaysia but it is not licensed by the Securities Commission Malaysia.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to financial technology and robo-advisors, Malaysians are increasingly using micro-investing applications to grow their money.

In order to make informed judgments and choose the platform that best meets your needs when looking for the best Acorns alternative in Malaysia, you must research the unique features and advantages of different platforms.

While there are multiple robo-advisory firms in Malaysia, Raiz, Stashaway and eToro can be considered as the best Acorns alternatives sharing numerous similar features. Having said so, always remember that choosing the best robo-advisor depends on your personal goals and financial situation, so it's essential to stay informed about the latest developments and explore the ever-expanding range of financial tools available.

We hope we helped you in your search for the Best Alternatives for Acorns in Malaysia.

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