I pitted 6 Malaysian robo advisors against each other for a year in 2021. Here’s what happened.

Almost a year ago in 2021, I had an idea to test the fledgling robo advisories in Malaysia against each other. As these FinTech companies seem to pop up like mushroom everywhere, it felt overwhelming. Which robo advisor is the best?

The idea became reality as I put out the mental note into the world and I was amazed as my Twitter following exploded. The tweet became one of my most popular ones with thousands of retweets and hundreds of thousands of impressions. I gained thousands of followers from this experiment alone. I made new friends and new opportunities opened up. Talk about serendipity, huh.

At long last, after a year, it’s time to compare the results.

Surprise, surprise – none of the robo advisors made money

So the 6 robo advisors that I chose are as below:

  • StashAway
  • Wahed Invest
  • MyTHEO
  • Akru
  • BEST
  • Raiz

Idea: to test each robo advisors’ algorithm and merits to determine a clear winner.

Aim: as a guide for newbie investors to see which robo advisor can perform well over the long run

Methodology: RM100 is deposited on the 28th of every month for a year. This totals RM1200 invested in each robo advisor over the course of a year, employing a dollar-cost-averaging (or rather ringgit cost averaging) method.

Since not all of the robo advisors invest in exactly the same things, the only way to test their mettle is by relatively standardising the method. I did this by selecting the most aggressive portfolio possible for each robo advisor wherever possible.

Drawback: Raiz is not exactly an apple-to-apple comparison since they predominantly invest in the local bourse. BEST doesn’t invest outside of Bank Islam’s own fund management products so it’s really pitting their own products against the other robo advisors’ relatively wide range of ETFs.


Here’s the result after a year of meticulously recording the results month after month, in order of top-performing robo advisor in year-to-date return. The calculation is as such: latest balance / total deposit, thus this reflects a simple return on investment calculation and doesn’t take into account the time weightage of each deposit.

PositionRobo AdvisorReturns
2BEST Invest-4.19%

As you can see, NONE of the robo advisors return positive ROI since the inception of the test in April 2021.

StashAway needs no introduction as one of the first to introduce the concept of robo advisors into Malaysia. They started off strong with sleek UI for their apps, but their performance has been disappointing due to their heavy exposure to the China tech sector. Though the adjustment to their portfolio composition came a little too late, still I hope StashAway can regain their footing and come away stronger.

Wahed, MyTHEO and Akru performed on average relatively on par with each other, with perhaps the exception of MyTHEO possibly due to the higher fees imposed (I don’t know, I haven’t done the exact calculation).

Suprisingly, Raiz came out ahead with merely a -1.89% drop of portfolio value. However, bearing in mind that Raiz is 100% invested in the local bourse, this means Bursa performed slightly better compared to the world over April 2021 – April 2022.

I have nothing much to say about BEST Invest.

Overall, it has been a wild ride, and 2021 definitely was not kind to the portfolio.

What Next?

After much deliberation, I have decided to continue this experiment as a public money experiment. 1 year is also too short a time to be comparing the returns as typically funds need at least 3 years to smoothen out the volatility.

I’m hoping by continuing to DCA across all the funds, the returns would at least be positive and beat the Malaysian banks’ FD rates. Otherwise, what’s the point?

I will also be adding 3 new contestants to the fray: KDI from Kenanga, Bitcoin and Ethereum. The more the merrier. Results will be posted on my Twitter as well as on this blog on the 28th of every month.

Here’s hoping for a better 2022 – 2023 session, and do follow along on my social media channels as well as subscribe to my newsletter to get the latest update on this experiment.

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