Investors Prefer Personal Advisors Over Robo or Digital

Investors Prefer Personal Advisors Over Robo or Digital

A recent wealth management study has found that most investors prefer having a personal advisor over robo or digital solutions.

Navigator Investment Services, an integrated investment platform under Singlife with Aviva, has launched an advisory report in collaboration with EY (Ernst & Young Advisory Pte Ltd) to provide an in-depth look into the global wealth management industry amid disruptive changes.

Titled "Advancing the Art of Advisory: Is Advisory still Relevant?", the report examines key wealth trends that are redefining how financial advisors engage and serve their clients as well as how they can be of relevance in a digital-first era.

As wealth management becomes increasingly digital in response to the growth of the young, mass affluent segment, the shifting landscape has brought a host of considerations and opportunities that this report addresses. Some highlights of the report include:

A New Generation of Young and Wealthy

In Asia, it is projected that younger generations will inherit US$2.5 trillion (approximately S$3.36 trillion) of family wealth by 2030. With changes in preferences of the younger and digitally savvy generation and increasing competition from the self-serve digital wealth platforms, this calls to question how much of the pie is left for the advisory business.

Human Touch Remains Indispensable

The report finds that 72% of investors prefer to retain the human touch when it comes to advisory services, consisting of advisor-led relationships (35%) and hybrid "phygital (a combination of both digital and physical)" relationships (37%).

This correlates with a 2022 CFA Institute study which found that 66% of retail investors consider their primary financial advisor as their most trusted source for wealth management advice, far surpassing online research (9%) and friends and family (7%).

Honing the Craft of Advisory

Investors say that "trust that their advisors will act in their best interests", is the top attribute for selecting a wealth management provider (34%). This is followed by the ability to achieve high returns (21%), their commitment to ethical conduct (15%) and whether they were a trusted recommendation (15%). Fees were the least important consideration (7%) suggesting that investors are willing to engage advisors.

The report also revealed that investors are more likely to engage advisors during major life events, such as starting a new business (61%), buying a home (60%), or inheriting money (59%).

Akhil Doegar, Chief Executive Officer, Navigator, said: "While the rate of digital adoption has been increasing, the desire for a greater human touch continues to grow in tandem. Our report validates the value of advisory services as a highly trusted source of advice that will not be easily replaced by self-directed, digital investment options. These observations bode well for financial advisors, but in order to sustain that competitive edge, they will need to address the critical blind spots to truly enhance client value propositions."

Han Wee Tan, Partner, Ernst & Young Advisory, said: "We believe that the role of advisory remains paramount – particularly in times of uncertainty. Financial advisors play important and diverse roles in their investors' life: as a consultant across life milestones; a confidant during good and bad times; and a sentinel safeguarding them against emotional investment decisions. Advisory requires dedication, hard work and communication to earn not just superior returns but, importantly, the trust of investors."

Celebrated Musicians

Celebrated Musicians

Singapore is home to many talented female musicians who have made a name for themselves locally and internationally. Some famous musicians include singer-songwriter Stefanie Sun; she has achieved massive success in Taiwan and China. The other is the jazz singer-pianist Lydia Shireen, a woman who has featured at some of the world's most prestigious venues. Sun began her musical career in 2000 with her debut album, Yan Zi; the album went on to sell over one million copies.

Sun has since released eight more albums; all of these have been hugely successful. Meanwhile, Shireen has been performing since the early 1990s and has released five albums. She has performed at iconic venues such as the Carnegie Hall in New York and the Royal Albert Hall in London. Sun and Shireen are hugely popular in Singapore- they have helped put the country on the world map as a haven for talented female musicians.

There are many famous female musicians in Singapore, but some of the most well-known are those who perform traditional music. The women are highly skilled in playing various instruments; their music is often excellent and moving. Since many have been performing for years, their music is integral to Singaporean culture.

Remarkably, several musicians were regarded as "talented female musicians" from their youth. They received accolades from the Music Gathering's annual Music Awards. Undoubtedly, Singapore's female musicians enter a highly specialized field. Women traditionally play warbling music, a style initially taught to them by their mothers and grandmothers. Today, many adorable female artists ply their trade locally and internationally.

They include Nguyen Phi Nhuong, Tran Ngoc Phuong, Tran Thu Huyen, Trang Chuyen Hong, Lam Thuy Thanh Hong and Sin Van Dinh. The artists are making innovative music that breaks free of tradition and explores new styles. Enthusiasts are thrilled to acknowledge and explore the women who make Singapore's music history. The latter represents a selection of inspiring heroes and musical legends. They inspire heartwarming discussions and a burning examination of legacy.

Genuinely speaking, Singapore is the birthplace of talented women musicians. Think of it: In India, the famous sitarist Ustad Alladiya Khan was born in a Bangalore bazaar; in Brazil, Chico Buarque was born into a humble family; in Japan, Rei Harakami and her husband helped found the Flower Power psychedelic rock band Fushitsusha; and finally in Singapore, Leslie Chew was born into a family of herbalists.

Singapore's celebrated female musicians have been recognized in various international fora. The artists have amassed a history of creative and performance excellence, which they continue to nurture; they've kept ever fresh in this evolving world. Yes, Singapore's female musicians have been referred to as some of the world's most extraordinary talents. The list includes famous names like Chew Chor Meng, Geok Yee, Siti Nurhaliza, and Foo San Yee.

Many female musicians from Singapore have won multiple awards, exhibited locally and internationally, and become renowned for their music, performances and artistic styles. You might focus on the movement of female musicians in Southeast Asia and the United States; these have given voice to creative and cultural achievements across the region. Singapore features a wide range of musicians creating inclusive sounds and inspiring new generations with bold innovation. As we approach 2023, we look back on Singapore's female musicians to discover their stories and why they are celebrated. What is the secret to their success? What would you expect from the recent MusiCares Concert featuring Whitney Houston and Sia? Well, you'd experience a collection of profiles, interviews and live performances from some of Singapore's most celebrated female musicians.

We celebrate Singapore's female musicians and the fantastic music community that promotes arts. From female singer-songwriters such as Mandopop star JJ Lin and Singapore Idol runner-up Angeline Quah to local pop culture icons like the teen pop queen, Stefanie Sun, these women have gradually carved out their identities through creating music- whether in writing lyrics or singing.

Undoubtedly, Singapore's female musicians have played a central role in their country's history and culture. History explores the intertwined lives of these women, their artistic influence and their legacy. It offers beautiful photographs and music videos highlighting the artists' iconic songs. Remarkably, many Singaporean women have had to negotiate the traumas of history to gain the independence and freedom that affords them a degree of personal decision-making. Yes, despite limited space, Singapore's female musicians have overcome formidable barriers that limit choices and opportunities.

Microsoft introduces new Surface devices

Microsoft introduces new Surface devices

Microsoft today commences pre-orders for new Surface products, including the Surface Pro 9 and the Surface Laptop 5 through its commercial authorized resellers, authorized retailers and Microsoft Store.

Consumers who pre-order a Surface Pro 9 from now till 16 November will receive a complimentary Surface Pro Signature Keyboard (worth SG$268). Those who pre-order a Surface Laptop 5, from now till 24 October, will receive a complimentary Microsoft USB-C® Travel Hub (worth SG$150). All consumer pre-orders will also include a 1-month free subscription for Microsoft 365 and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Commercial customers who pre-order a Surface Pro 9 from now till 16 November will receive a complimentary Surface Pro Signature Keyboard (worth SG$268). Those who pre-order a Surface Laptop 5, from now till 24 October will receive complimentary 4-year Microsoft Extended Hardware Service warranty with their order.

Microsoft also shared its vision for the next era of the Windows PC, where the PC and the cloud intersect, and tap into innovative AI technology to unlock new experiences. By bringing the best of Microsoft together on a single device, users are empowered to participate, be seen, heard, and express their creativity.

"We are pleased to bring the new Surface devices to Singapore, expanding our portfolio for Windows 11. For the past ten years, Surface has challenged the convention of the PC through innovative form factors and new interaction models that transformed what the industry expects from a laptop, desktop, tablet, and mobile productivity device. More importantly, Surface and Windows helped remove barriers, empowering each of us to connect, create, work, learn, and play in ways that are new and natural. With Windows 11, new Surface products, apps and experiences, today we take the next step on our journey." said Shyamol Bansal, Business Group Lead for Surface, Microsoft Singapore.

Surface Pro 9

A decade ago, Microsoft merged the benefits of a powerful laptop, versatile tablet, and ink-ready studio and today, Surface Pro 9 raises the bar again.

The device features the iconic built-in kickstand and a stunning, edge-to-edge 13" PixelSense display, with up to 120Hz refresh rate and a wide range of colors. Underneath the display is an HD camera, Omnisonic speakers, directional microphones, and Microsoft's custom G6 chip that takes inking to the next level with tactile signals. Combined with the new Ink Focus in Microsoft OneNote, or the new GoodNotes app for Windows 11, digital ink on the screen feels like writing with pen and paper.

Surface Pro 9 offers a choice of processors - 12th Gen Intel® Core processor built on the Intel® Evo™ platform[1] with Thunderbolt™ 4, or Microsoft SQ®3 powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon with 5G connectivity[2]. In either case, users will be getting the same iconic Surface Pro form, great performance, all-day battery life[3] , and Secured-core capabilities.

The Intel® Core processor offers incredible power and performance. Built on the Intel® Evo™ platform, it's ready for real-world multi-tasking, full desktop productivity, and intense workloads – with up to 50% more performance than Surface Pro 8. Thunderbolt™ 4 enables rapid data transfer, docking to multiple 4K displays, or supporting an eGPU set-up.

The Microsoft SQ®3 processor provides fast 5G connectivity, and up to 19 hours of battery life[4]. It unlocks new AI features made possible through an entirely new Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that transforms how users connect with people in their life. Capable of more than 15 trillion calculations per second, the NPU in Surface Pro 9 drives new experiences with Windows Studio effects.

Starting at SG$1,429, Surface Pro 9 is crafted with high-grade aluminum casing in a new set of beautiful, anodized colors[5] and provides options of personalization with its Signature Keyboard.

Surface Laptop 5

From the effortless opening and fast log-in with Windows Hello, to the touchscreen, precision touchpad, and perfect typing experience, Surface Laptop 5 offers the craftsmanship, comfort, and capabilities to jump in and produce your best work.

Surface Laptop 5 is sleek and elegant, providing all-day battery life[6] and now features Thunderbolt™ 4. Powered by the latest Intel® Evo™ platform, Surface Laptop 5 is over 50% more powerful than its predecessor.

Surface Laptop 5's signature 3:2 PixelSense display comes in 13.5" or 15" options, each with Dolby Vision IQ, providing users with the best possible picture, vivid colors and sharp contrast in any lighting conditions. The speakers are perfectly tuned and offer Dolby Atmos 3D spatial processing[7], to fully immerse users in their content. The front-facing HD camera and Studio Microphones capture in true-to-life fashion, even adjusting camera exposure in any lighting environment.

Starting at SG$1,429, Surface Laptop 5 comes with new capabilities enabling customers to enjoy a fully immersive content experience and do it all on their terms.

Surface Studio 2+

ln October 2016 Microsoft unveiled the first Surface Studio. It was unlike anything else, and instantly captured people's imaginations. As work environments have evolved in recent years, there continues to be strong demand for the ultimate creative canvas.

To meet demand for its elegant, powerful, and versatile product, Microsoft has unveiled Surface Studio 2+ and rearchitected the Surface Studio processing engine utilizing an updated Intel Core H-35 processor, with up to 50% faster CPU performance. Microsoft has also designed NVIDIA Ge Force RTX 3060 discrete graphics to double the graphics performance, achieving the most realistic ray-traced graphics when crafting 3D design or render models.

Starting at SG$6,848, Surface Studio 2+sports enhanced and modernized display, cameras, Studio Mics, and ports, while also meeting Secured-core PC standards for handling the most sensitive data. Together with the new Microsoft Designer app and digital pen, this elegant, powerful, and versatile device makes it even easier to enhance productivity and unleash creativity.

[1] Surface Pro 9 with 12th Gen Intel® Core™ processors and storage of 256GB and above are built on the Intel® Evo™ platform

[2] 5G not available in all areas; compatibility and performance depends on carrier network, plan and other factors. See carrier for details and pricing.

[3 and 4 and 6] Battery life varies significantly based on usage, network and feature configuration, signal strength, settings and other factors.

[5] Colors available on selected models only. Available colors, sizes, finishes, and processors may vary by store, market, and configuration.

[7] Requires Dolby Atmos® encoded content and audio.

For a seamless experience with Surface, customers can now access convenient support services at the Microsoft Concierge counter that is located exclusively at Harvey Norman Millenia Walk. Concierge staff onsite will be able to assist with Windows-related software queries. This includes troubleshooting or upgrading your device to the new Windows 11, helping with device set-ups or providing guidance on how to use Microsoft software products.

Smart Batteries that Power e-motorbikes

Smart Batteries that Power e-motorbikes

NEFIN Group, Asia's leading green independent power producer and investor, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today with Oyika Pte Ltd ("Oyika"), an electric mobility ("e-mobility") start-up that builds battery swap and charging infrastructure starting with electric motorbikes ("e-motorbikes"), to drive the adoption of electric vehicle ("EV") in South-east Asia, including Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Following its commitment to lowering the barriers to EV adoption in South-east Asia since the start-up's founding in 2018, Oyika offers customers affordable power subscription plans that bundle battery swaps with an e-motorbike, ranging from pay-per-use, to prepaid weekly and prepaid monthly subscription plans. This addresses several pain points for the gasoline to electric transition, such as range anxiety, battery degradation, charging times, the uncertainty of committing to an e-motorbike, and the upfront capital cost. In addition to powering vehicles, Oyika batteries may also be deployed to light up homes in off-grid communities, offering a more efficient alternative to traditional solar home systems.

"First, we make it easier for riders to switch from gasoline to electric. Next, we ensure the source of our electricity is green." said Jinsi Lee, CEO of Oyika. "We are excited to partner and tap into NEFIN's green energy technology and infrastructure to set up more battery swap and charging stations in the region."

Incubated by the Hong Kong Science & Technology Park and within a short span of eight years, NEFIN's combined portfolio globally includes 3,400MW of utility-scale, commercial, and industrial rooftop solar systems and other renewable energy projects. Being a one-stop turnkey provider to MNCs and Fortune 500 clients across its renewable energy portfolio, NEFIN streamlines the process of going green.

Mr Glenn Lim, CEO of NEFIN Group, shared, "I am proud to say that signing this MOU allows NEFIN to extend its business offerings to e-mobility. Together with Oyika, we will first target the B2B logistics and delivery market, before offering our services to the wider B2C motorbike market."

E-motorbike brands affiliated with Oyika include Yadea, TailG, Niu and Gesits. Oyika's mobile application and backend management system turn these two-wheelers into smart bikes. Each petrol motorbike on the road replaced by an e-motorbike saves about one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent a year, leading to the adoption of e-motorbikes in South-east Asia the fastest means of reducing vehicle emissions.

NEFIN is a premium green independent power producer (IPP) offering bespoke carbon neutral technologies & financing solutions in Asia Pacific. NEFIN, funded by ACEN Corp., has collectively installed over 3,400 MW of utility-scale, commercial and industrial renewable energy systems. ACEN is listed in the Philippines (PSE: ACEN) and is part of the Ayala Corporation, one of the largest conglomerates in Philippines, founded by the Ayala family in 1834. With its regional and multidisciplinary team, NEFIN offers comprehensive assessments and a full-suite of services to evaluate the ESG impact and commercial viability of projects through innovative approaches to technology under its unified energy management platform.

Oyika is an e-mobility start-up that aims to lower the barriers to EV adoption in South-east Asia, beginning with a battery swap service bundled with an electric motorbike, made available through affordable subscription plans. Oyika has rolled out its EV subscription plans successfully in Cambodia and Indonesia, and is ready to launch in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.