Last Updated on January 18, 2023 by Chin Yi Xuan

Launched in February 2022, Kenanga Digital Investing (KDI) is Kenanga’s initiative to make personal finance solutions accessible to everyday Malaysians.

KDI is a financial app with 2 key features: Investing (KDI Invest) and savings (KDI Save).

Since its launch, I’ve been using KDI Invest for more than 9 months. In this review, let’s talk about my experience using KDI Invest, and why you should consider giving KDI Invest a try!

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KDI Invest Highlights:

  • 100% AI-Powered: KDI Invest is a 100% AI-powered robo-advisor that manages investments & risk on behalf of users. As such, there are zero human emotions (eg. fear, doubt) involved as all decisions are made based on pre-determined rules.
  • Global exposure: Gain access to globally diversified asset classes via Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) at low cost. In fact, your first RM3,000 invested with KDI Invest has ZERO management fee!
  • Low barrier of entry: Start investing with KDI Invest with just RM250 (and RM100 for subsequent deposits).
  • Regulated: Kenanga Digital Investing (KDI) is a financial initiative from Kenanga Investment Bank. It is regulated by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC). This means KDI has to adhere to the best practices set by the local authority.

KDI Invest review


How does KDI Invest’s AI help you invest?

KDI Invest employs a proprietary AI model to help each user invest. The investing process has a few phases:

  • Phase 1 – Data collection: Data such as fundamental, technical, and economic data is collected & organized.
  • Phase 2 – Machine Learning: Data is analyzed and KDI’s AI model will give a score to rank the ETFs that are available to be invested.
  • Phase 3 – Decision-making:
    • Exposure: KDI adjusts the maximum & minimum exposure for each ETF based on machine learning results.
    • Asset allocation: From Very Conservative to Aggressive Growth, KDI generates the optimal portfolio for users based on their risk profile (age, time horizon, risk tolerance).
  • Phase 4 – Execution & Rebalancing:
    • KDI executes trades on behalf of users and rebalances portfolios accordingly.
    • In event of market volatility, KDI will implement a Downside Protection Strategy to keep the user’s portfolios in check.

How KDI Invest AI works


Revealed: KDI Invest Actual Performance

2022 has been a challenging year for all investors alike.

It is also a good time to test the capability of a robo-advisor like KDI Invest in managing volatility and risk for users like myself.

So, how did KDI Invest performed?

Below, you can find out the performance of all 5 KDI Invest portfolios vs their benchmarks*. While 2022 has been challenging, the downside impact on KDI Invest’s portfolios is relatively less compared to their respective benchmarks.

KDI Invest performance as of 31 Oct 2022
KDI Invest performance from 15/2/2022 – 31/10/2022. (Source: KDI November 2022 Market Insights)

[*Note: Benchmark for Equity: MSCI ACWI Index. Benchmark for Fixed Income: FTSE World Government Bond Index (WGBI) USD. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.]

My thoughts?

In my opinion, I think KDI Invest has done a decent job of keeping the downside under control throughout the year. Keep in mind that the stock market has been especially brutal this year.


Why KDI: How did KDI Invest maintain the stability of my portfolio in a challenging 2022?

Personally, I’ve been investing in the Aggressive Growth portfolio in KDI Invest since its launch. To my pleasant surprise, I’ve experienced much less volatility in my portfolio compared to the overall stock market.

The question is, how did KDI Invest keep the brutal volatility of a bear market under control? I believe its AI model played a crucial role in adapting to high-risk environments throughout the year.

KDI Invest AI model
KDI Invest AI model adapts to market risks & volatility by rebalancing users’ portfolios. (Source: KDI)

From my experience, my exposure has been adjusted multiple times throughout 2022 to adapt to the volatile market condition.

Despite being an ‘Aggressive Growth’ portfolio, KDI is flexible enough to adjust my exposure to hold more lower-risk Fixed Income & Cash assets when downside risk is higher.

Take a look at how KDI rebalanced my portfolio in late May 2022 when downside risk was high:

KDI Invest Portfolio Rebalancing
KDI Invest rebalanced portfolios in late May 2022 when downside risk was high. (Source: KDI June 2022 Market Insights)
KDI Invest June 2022 portfolio statement
KDI Invest adjusted my exposure to lower-risk bonds to adapt to heightened risk in June 2022 (Source: My own KDI statement for June 2022)

The result? My KDI Aggressive Growth portfolio actually experienced much less downside in 2022 than its benchmark (95% equity + 5% fixed income):

KDI Invest outperformed benchmark
KDI Invest portfolios’ performance from 15/2/2022 – 31/10/2022. (Source: KDI Invest November 2022 Market Insights)

From this, I am certain that KDI Invest is built much more flexibly compared to other robo-advisors which have a more rigid rule (eg. Must maintain X% of equity exposure).

In other words, KDI is able to adjust and adapt according to various market conditions.


3 Other Benefits of KDI Invest:

#1 Low cost: Build your investment portfolio at a low cost.

Compared to conventional unit trusts, KDI Invest offers users a low cost of entry. There are 3 expenses while investing via KDI Invest:

  • (1) Management fee: ZERO management fee for the first RM3,000 invested. Thereafter, 0.3% – 0.7% p.a.
  • (2) ETF expense ratio: Average 0.2% – 0.4% p.a.
  • (3) Currency conversion cost: 0.2% of transaction value
KDI Invest fees
Source: digitalinvesting.com.my/pricing/

#2 Quick Deposit + Withdrawal Process

As a user of multiple robo-advisors, I have the best experience with the deposit & withdrawal process on KDI.

Having deposited and withdrawn multiple times from KDI, I consistently experienced a faster deposit & withdrawal process than KDI’s official required timing.

Online Deposit/Withdrawal KDI Invest KDI Save
Deposit 4 – 5 working days 1 – 2 working days
Actual Deposit Time (personal experience) 2 – 3 working days ~1 working day
Withdrawal 6 – 7 working days 1 – 2 working days
Actual Withdrawal Time (personal experience) ~4 working days ~1 working day

#3 One-stop savings & investment app

Aside from KDI Invest, KDI also offers KDI Save as a cash management feature within the app.

KDI Save is a great low-risk alternative to Fixed Deposit (FD) that offers an Effective Annual Rate (EAR)* of 3.50%! (*T&C applies)

As such, with the KDI app, I can manage my savings and investments easily.

Even better, I can easily transfer funds between KDI Invest and KDI Save. It is definitely a great app to simplify your finances.

Transfer funds easily between KDI Invest and KDI Save
Transfer funds easily between KDI Invest and KDI Save

READ MORE: KDI Save Review – A solid alternative to Fixed Deposit (FD)!


3 Improvements I’d like to see:

Despite all, KDI is not a perfect app. There are certain visual and features improvement that I’d like to see from the app as a user:

  • Implement biometric login

As an app built in 2022, it is weird to find that there is no biometric login feature for the KDI app.

I hope the KDI team will strongly consider adding this feature so it makes it easier for users to log in with convenience.

  • A clear breakdown of assets invested

Personally, I find the overall design of the app… unpolished.

As an example, for time being, you can’t find the breakdown of the ETFs that are invested on your behalf unless you look into your monthly statement.

Having a clear ETF holding within the app will certainly make the overall experience better.

  • Autodebit feature

I’d also like to see an auto-debit feature in KDI, so users can automate their investments or savings routine directly from their bank account periodically.


Who should use KDI

KDI is open to Malaysian citizens & PR who are 18 years old and above with a Malaysian bank account.

In my opinion, KDI is perfect for:

  • KDI Invest: You prefer a hands-off approach to invest in the global market.
  • KDI Save: You want to earn a respectable interest on your cash savings, alongside the flexibility to deposit and withdraw anytime without penalty.
  • You want to streamline your personal finance routine by managing both savings & investments in one app.

Who should use KDI Invest


KDI Referral Code: 101183

In collaboration with Kenanga Digital Investing, No Money Lah is bringing an exclusive deal for new users that are keen to start using KDI!

Use my dedicated KDI referral code – 101183, and you will get RM25 credited into your KDI Invest portfolio* when you successfully make a minimum deposit of RM250 on KDI Invest AND RM100 on KDI Save! Promo ends on 31/3/2023. 

*Note: RM25 credit will be made within 60 days upon successful verification & deposit.

KDI Save and KDI Invest Promo Code

Open a KDI account today!


How to open a KDI account

Creating a KDI account is simple and straightforward:

Step 1: Search and install the KDI app via Playstore or Appstore. Alternatively, you can also install KDI via my referral link by clicking on the button below:

Kenanga Digital Investing Account Opening

Open a KDI account today!

Step 2: Start your account opening process by keying in the necessary details such as email address, and password.

Remember to apply referral code 101183 to receive an exclusive RM25 account-opening reward when you successfully make a minimum deposit of RM250 on KDI Invest AND RM100 on KDI Save! Promo ends on 31/3/2023.

KDI Invest Promo Code

Step 3: You’ll go through a simple identification process where you’ll be asked to verify your phone number, email, IC, and personal details. This is a required process by the regulators to make sure it’s the real you that’s opening an account.

Kenanga Digital Investing Account Opening

Step 4: When you register for a KDI account, you’ll have access to both KDI Invest and KDI Save. Select a risk profile for your KDI Invest portfolio – don’t worry you can always change your risk profile anytime after account opening.

Kenanga Digital Investing Account Opening

Step 5: It’ll take about 2-3 business days to verify your account. Once that’s done, you can start investing in KDI Invest and KDI Save by making your first deposit!

Kenanga Digital Investing Account Opening


No Money Lah’s Verdict

The past year has been a challenging year (war, inflation, rising interest rates) for the market. In my opinion, this is where we can truly see if a robo-advisor can adapt to the test of the market.

While the app design could use more work, I am impressed with how KDI Invest adapted to a bear market by rebalancing my exposure whenever necessary. Its AI model is certainly built to be more versatile than most other robo-advisors I’ve used.

Now that we’ve seen what KDI Invest is capable of in a challenging bear market, I am keen to find out how KDI Invest would perform during a bull market.

I hope this review has been helpful and feel free to let me know your experience with KDI in the comment section below!

Open a KDI account today!


KDI Invest FAQs

How safe are my funds with KDI?

KDI is regulated by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC). This ensures that KDI is always operating in Malaysia as per the guideline from the local authority.

As for the safety of funds, the cash deposits from users are held by a third party (trustee), which is Pacific Trustee Berhad.

In other words, your deposits to KDI are separate from KDI’s company finances. As such, this ensures no deposits can be used for fraudulent purposes and you will always have full access and claim to them no matter what happens to KDI.

Where would KDI Invest deploy my funds?

KDI Invest deploys users’ funds to Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) listed in the US. ETFs are essentially public-listed mutual funds but they are traded just like ordinary stocks.

Which KDI Invest portfolio should I choose?

There are 5 different KDI Invest portfolios (Very Conservative, Conservative, Balanced, Growth, Aggressive Growth) designed for users of different backgrounds and time horizons.

My suggestion – go through the risk assessment process while opening your KDI account (Step 4), and you will be recommended the best portfolio based on the information you provide.

Is KDI shariah compliant?

No, KDI Invest and KDI Save are not shariah-compliant.


Disclaimers

Visual disclaimer:

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Securities Commission Malaysia. This advertisement is for general information purposes only.

Content disclaimer:

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Securities Commission Malaysia. This advertisement is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to constitute professional advice, and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. Please also consider our risk warning and investment terms before investing with us.