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Impact 0540: Financial advice made accessible and affordable

Junxu · 16 April 2022
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Junxu, or Jx for short, is the CPO of Endowus! After graduating in the United States from the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford, he returned to Singapore thereafter and spent a few years at the Economic Development Board, where he helped to anchor large technology companies in Singapore. 

This experience reinforced his interest in technology and he decided to take the plunge and join the tech sector—first in San Francisco in the US, then in Shanghai, working for various fast-moving tech companies such as Lyft, Dropbox and Bytedance. Today he shares more about EndowUs and the journey that he has been on!

Tell us more about what you do!

Endowus is a digital wealth platform, and we are currently Singapore’s first and only fee-only digital advisor that allows our clients to invest their Cash, CPF and SRS. 

As the Chief Product Officer at Endowus, I drive the product strategy, execution and design for the firm, as well as oversee operations. This includes the design of our mobile and web platform, launching new features and investment solutions, as well as working with our banking partners to make it easier for clients to transfer money and invest.

What inspired you to start this?

When I moved back to Singapore, I realised that investing for the long term was a lot more difficult than it has to be. In Singapore, as a retail investor, we have limited access to good financial products, often receive poor, misaligned financial advice, and face high costs all around. 

Saving and investing for retirement is one of the most challenging and important problems to tackle. If we do not start as early as we can, it becomes increasingly difficult to ensure that we will have enough to live comfortably as we grow older. 

Endowus was started to solve these issues of access, advice and cost. We wanted to provide high quality investment solutions, unbiased financial advice through not accepting trailer fees, and keeping our costs as low as possible. 

My time in the public sector has taught me that one of the most meaningful things to do is to create good jobs for people in Singapore. It is awesome to start and build up a homegrown company that is solving such a meaningful problem together.

Have you faced any challenges so far? And how did you overcome them?

Gaining financial knowledge and being financially literate is difficult. Our goal is to educate our clients so that they can invest better and live better. However, this is a long game and there are no shortcuts here. We have thus put in a lot of effort to curate and create not just useful but interesting content for the broader community. This content may come in the form of an opinion piece in the media, an insights article on our website or a live webinar where experts from our firm and the industry can take questions from the audience.

As Singapore’s hiring activity picks up in 2022 and workers look to switch jobs, tech talent has been reported to be high in demand. With the pandemic prompting a digital shift, demand for tech and tech-lite talent rose correspondingly in 2021. Given the high demand for talent in Singapore, Endowus is up against some of the biggest tech players here. Therefore, on top of a fair compensation package, we had to put a lot of focus on positioning the company right to be able to attract and hire talent who is aligned with the company’s vision.

If you could share one piece of advice with your fellow youth, what would it be?

I think the mindset of experimentation and taking risks, as well as the entrepreneurship space has really matured a lot in Singapore. If you are exploring the startup world, one piece of advice I can share is always think long term and about the impact that you can create for decades to come with the work that you are doing now!

What are your hopes or plans for the future? What do you want to see or perhaps do?

Watching the Singapore tech community grow has been one of the most exciting developments in the past year. Just five years ago, it would have been challenging to find a high-quality, tech-focused role. 

Currently, not only do we have great companies across the spectrum (from MNCs like Facebook and Bytedance to local champions like Grab and Carousell), we also have strong interest from students in our universities and folks wanting to make the transition to technology. I hope to continue contributing to building up this community.

It is also exciting to build up a homegrown company in Singapore and to expand into other regions. Endowus is aiming to launch in Hong Kong this year—our first international market after Singapore. 

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