Frequently Asked Questions - XENO Automated Investment Management


What makes you different?

Goal-based investing approach. Our core service is investment management for both individual and institutions. Goal-based investing simply means investing with a well-articulated goal in mind. This is approach to investing is superior to most because it focuses people on the purpose they are investing for rather than the hottest fads or what everyone else is investing in.

Risk-based approach. Because investing is about taking a bet on the future; and we know that the future is highly uncertain and therefore risky; investing is ultimately about taking calculated risks in the hope of earnings a return to meet your identified objective. Establishing a person’s risk tolerance (i.e. how much risk they are willing to take on in pursuit of their goal) is central to our approach to investing. Our approach ensures that the investor considers all the important aspects when making an investment decision takes on investments within his/her risk tolerance.

Automation: Xeno has automated the entire investment process and made it accessible to investors through our online platform. Access to professional investment management is now a click away.

Ease of use. Automation helps clients to effortlessly plan, save, and invest their savings. One can now invest their money without leaving their desks or living room. You get to monitor the investment through our platform 24/7.

How does Automation help deliver better service?

Automation makes it possible for us to quickly profile you as an investor, work out your risk tolerance, and recommend an appropriate investment portfolio. You can then create an investment account through the Xeno platform and fund it, all in approximately 10 minutes. Our team of investment professionals then invests your money and you can monitor the performance of these investments 24/7 by logging into your account and viewing the dashboard.

Can I speak to an investment advisor?

Yes! If at any time in the process you are unsure how to proceed or you simply just want to talk to the team, we encourage you to reach out to us using the details provided under our Contact page.


What is the minimum amount you can start with?

Investors can start with as low as USh 100,000. However, we realize everyone’s circumstances are different. One can start with a modest minimum amount and periodically add to their investment account (e.g. monthly contributions) over the investment horizon. Alternatively, you could decide to define a goal (e.g. retirement) and invest a lump sum amount at the beginning.

How do you determine the investor risk profile?

An individual investor’s profile is determined by the following:

  1. Financial goal and time horizon

    An investor’s financial goals and time horizon have a bearing on their risk tolerance level. Generally critical goals and/or short time horizons (e.g. less than five years) may dictate a more conservative approach. On the other hand, a less critical goal and/or longer time horizons may accommodate a more aggressive approach since they have sufficient time to weather short term market fluctuations.

  2. Financial situation

    A larger income and asset base may allow you the flexibility to take more risk because you have a greater ability to recover from underperforming investments. However, some investors with large assets may prefer to take a more conservative approach since they do not feel a need to take on extra risk to meet their goals.

  3. Personality

    Some people’s personalities often predispose them to towards more or less risk taking than others.

  4. Experience with investing

    Some people have experience investing and therefore have an appreciation of the risk-return characteristics of different asset classes. More experienced investors often have the ability to take on risk since they have a clear understanding whereas inexperienced investors may be better off holding relatively conservative portfolios given their limited understanding of investments.

Why assess my risk profile?

Your risk profile represents you as an investor in terms of your risk tolerance. By profiling you we can understand your characteristics and we can recommend the most appropriate investment portfolio you.

How do you understand my attitude to risk?

We developed a questionnaire based algorithm that measures your financial risk aversion, and combines it with other psychological characteristics that influence your perceptions about investments. The result will be your risk tolerance that falls on a scale that ranges from 1 (risk averse) to 10 (risk seeking).

Where is my money invested?

  • Money Markets and Money Markets equivalents (debt instruments with maturities of 1 year or less),

  • bonds (debt instruments with maturities of 2 years of more issued by governments and corporations),

  • domestic equities (shares of companies listed on the stock exchanges across the East African region), and

  • regional equities (shares of companies listed on the stock exchanges across the East African region).

All the above are considered traditional financial assets and are widely traded in transparent public financial markets around the East African region. The portion of your funds invested in each asset class will be determined by your individual risk tolerance level. A person with a low risk tolerance (e.g. score of 1 to 3) will hold a conservative portfolio whilst one with a high risk tolerance (e.g. a score 9 or 10) will hold an aggressive portfolio.

Can I have more than one investment goal?

Yes! Of course. Once you visit the platform, you will at first identify one goal (e.g. Retirement) to set up your investment account. You can then log into your investment account and add another investment goal. However, each goal has to have a minimum of USh 100,000.

Unit Trusts

How is my money Invested?

All client money is invested across the four asset classes (Money Markets, Bonds, Domestic Equities, and Regional Equities) using XENO’s four unit trust funds.

What is a unit trust fund?

A unit trust is a fund composed of investors' money, which is invested in financial assets according to a particular strategy. When you invest in a unit trust, your money is pooled with that of other investors to form a fund. The money in the fund is invested in various assets to meet the unit trust's objectives set which are set by the fund manager.

How do unit trusts work?

A unit trust fund is made up of units (think of these as shares) which have a unit price that fluctuates every day. For example, if you invest USh 1,000,000 in a unit trust fund whose current unit price is USh 100, you will be issued 10,000 units (=1,000,000 divided by 100) in return. The USh 1m pooled with funds from other investors and invested by the fund manager. The value of the underlying assets is calculated daily and the price of each unit is established every end of day.

The price of each unit moves based on the value of the underlying assets. Using our example above, if the price of each unit increases to USh 101 the next day, then your investment will be 1,010,000. On the other hand, if the unit price falls to USh 99 the next, then the value of your investment will fall to USh 990,000.

What are the benefits of unit trusts?

  • A unit trust funds is managed by a licensed professional fund manager with specific training and experience in investment. You can rest assured that the investment analysis and decisions are taken by a professional.
  • Income generated by unit trusts is exempt from tax. Unit trust funds is the most tax-efficient way to invest your money.
  • They are liquid. That is to say, you can easily buy and sell your units easily without loss of value.
  • They are well regulated and overseen by professional service providers.
  • Require small minimums.

What is the structure of a unit trust?

XENO unit trust funds have the following service providers:

  • Regulator (Capital Markets Authority)
  • Trustee (KCB bank – provides independent oversight over the affairs of the unit trust funds)
  • Fund manager (XENO – undertakes all investment decisions)
  • Custodian (Stanbic bank – holds the assets of investors in safe custody)

What unit trusts does XENO run and what are their stated objectives?

XENO runs four unit trust funds that broadly cover the four asset classes in its investment universe, namely:

  • XENO Uganda Money Market Fund (invests in treasury bills, fixed deposits, call deposits, etc.)
  • XENO Uganda Bond Fund (invests in bonds issued by governments and companies in East Africa)
  • XENO Uganda Domestic Equity Fund (invests in shares of Ugandan companies listed on Uganda Securities Exchange)
  • XENO Uganda Regional Equity Fund (invests in shares of other listed East African companies)

Contributions and Withdrawals

How do I transfer money to my investment account?

There are several ways to accomplish this:

Bank transfer

This can be accomplished in two ways. First, visit your bank and initiate a bank transfer (using an EFT or RTGS) to the investment account at the custodian bank. Second, set up a standing order at your bank to transfer funds to your investment account automatically every month. Standing order is great for monthly contributions.

Can I withdraw?

Absolutely! You can withdraw all or some of your money at any time by initiating a withdrawal request in your dashboard. However, in order to maintain your investment account, you need to leave a minimum of USh 100,000.

How long does it take to process a withdrawal?

Withdrawal requests are usually processed within three (3) business days.

What does it cost?

We will charge an annual management fee of 2% of assets under management. To illustrate, if you start with USh 100,000 at the beginning of the year and this investment earns 20% return that year so that your ending balance is USh 480,000. We will compute the average balance in the account that year (i.e. 440,000 = (400,000+480,000)/2). The total management fee will be USh 8,800 for that year, which is 2% of USh 440,000, the average balance in your account over the year. This comes to roughly USh 733 per month. Fees are exclusive of VAT.

How often are fees collected?

Fees will be collected monthly. This means that each month we will collect 2% divided by 12 (i.e. monthly fraction of the annual fees).

My Account

What information will I need to provide in order to open up an account?

We are obligated by the regulators to collect some minimum identification information about each of our clients. At the moment you will be asked for:

  1. Biographical details (e.g. Names, Date of birth, etc.)
  2. Official document (e.g. National ID, Passport, and Driving Permit – names must match what is provided above).
  3. Passport-size photo (full-faced selfie will do)
  4. Mailing address (e.g. P.O.BOX)
  5. Physical address (e.g. Plot Number, Road/Street, County, District)
  6. Phone number
  7. Email
  8. Bank details

Am I locked in?

No, you can withdraw your funds whenever you like and there are no additional fees. However, we encourage our clients to have a long-term view for long term goals.

Can I close my account?

Creating an investment account is free and does not oblige you to invest. There are no charges until you transfer money into your Xeno investment account. You can close your investment account and withdraw your money whenever you want. After closing your account, we will hold your personal information for a limited time as required by law. However, investment is an act of taking risk and it is possible that in some cases you may not get back the entire sum you invested.


Where is my money held?

Xeno does not handle your money at all. Like many investment managers, we believe that the safest way of looking after your investments is to appoint an independent custodian bank licensed by the Bank of Uganda. The custodian bank holds your money and maintains an accurate record of your contributions and the investments we purchase for you. Our appointed custodian is Stanbic Bank, one of the leading providers of custody services on the African continent. Stanbic Bank keeps all your investments in a segregated account for added security and will never mix them with Stanbic Bank’s or Xeno’s own assets. Your investments and any un-invested cash are therefore protected in the unlikely event that either Xeno or Stanbic Bank are declared insolvent. If this were to happen, your segregated account would be re-assigned to another financial institution and you would be kept informed.

How secure is my personal information?

Xeno takes the security of client information seriously. We therefore take precautionary measures to ensure that your personal details are held in absolute confidence. Your personal details and your account data are always encrypted and stored on secure servers.