Cards N Such – More Cards – You Trip Debit Card

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The thing about Cards (Being Credit card, debit card or prepaid card), there seem to be a trend of introduction usable physical card. Just to name a few, Razer Card, Big Pay Card, Wise Card, GrabPay Card, Singlife card and an upcoming card Hugo Card. There is just too many of these around isn’t it. I’ll say it isn’t a bad thing, It is indeed a little troublesome but as long as you manage it properly, it will assist you in your little own personal finance journey.

You Trip Card

Today, I shall discuss more about the YouTrip card. It used to be a wonder travel card before the pandemic hit. Basically, you get superb FX rates when you use the YouTrip card to make a purchase in a foreign currency. Pretty decent I say. Yes, it is another card and you need to preload the amount in SGD (If you dont have any other currency). The max limit I believe will be the same, which is S$5000 at any point in time and an annual limit at S$30,000.

Within their app, you can store any of the following 10 currencies:

  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • Great British Pound (GBP)
  • Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Japanese Yen (JPY)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Singapore Dollar (SGD)
  • Swedish Krona (SEK)
  • Swiss Franc (CHF)
  • United States Dollar (USD)

Pros:

  • It has a great Forex Exchange rate if you need to purchase an item in another currency
  • They don’t charge you any other fee except for the amount they need to pay Mastercard as a service provide.
  • It works just like any other card that you use. Even has a pay wave function.
  • You can most likely use a credit card or debit card to top up the You Trip Card. Pre-Paid cards are most likely not accepted.

Cons:

  • You can’t add it to your mobile wallet.
  • It is a Debit Card (Meaning you need to preload the amount in there and it is capped at S$5000) at any point in time.
  • You also cannot take that money out once you have put it in so think wisely.
  • Other than good Forex rates, there are no perks, rewards or cashback so it really depends on what you are looking out for.

Disclaimer

If you decide to sign up on the You Trip Card, do remember to use my referral code: You Trip Card Referral Link, You will get S$5 once you made your first top up to the card and I will receive the same too.

If you like what I am sharing or if it resonates with you, do use my referral codes for other services at Referral and Recommendations

These pictures were taken off You Trip website for reference

Syfe – Performance Mar 2021

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Here is yet another robo advisor that I get on my portfolio since the start of 2020. It has been okay I feel. Ever since 2020, it has been a year and till today – I’m not exactly convinced though.

I am caught in both minds. I like reits but yet I don’t quite like Singapore equities in general. Dividend paying equities are definitely good but yet I have more appetite for a growth company. It is just not that sustainable over the long term I feel. Where are the money coming from to build more creativity and expand their business.

Why Syfe?

When the markets were down during March 2020, it was quite exciting times because those were the kind of period which I actually will put money into investments. To a certain extent, I have also put money into other robo advisors such as Endowus and StashAway. While those are more of a “global diversification”, Syfe is more of a local bias for it’s Reits+ Portfolio and truth be told I then took the plunge for a small amount just to try it out a non-DIY approach to Reits investing.

Next, what I struggled with then over the period is that there were quite a discount off many equity tickers and I didn’t really know what to buy or what to expect since the market was in a downtrend. As with every investment, making a rational or emotional decision can only be determined after the event has passed. Reits has since risen, dropped and risen yet again. Frankly, I’ve been busy to keep looking into my own portfolio.

I haven’t got around to increase the investment funds so it is only a very small initial amount. Partly, my mind tells me to do dollar cost averaging for my other investments so we still have to see how things go.

Performance (March 2021)

12 months has gone by and +23.44% is pretty insane in my opinion. Then again, the base that I started out with is quite a fantastic benchmark so maybe that isn’t too fair. From here, there isn’t fresh funds invested as I am think more about my overall portfolio. I do think I have enough of the local investments and typically Singapore equities are rather slow and neutral in performance. Even the STI isn’t that exciting in my opinion. If you really look at a 50 year and beyond horizon for S&P 500, it is an amazing uptrend with good returns.

Do use my referral code to get some benefits when you sign up a new account with Syfe. Referral Code: SRPTSMQ5J

You will get (Find our more about their referral scheme here Syfe Signup) :

a. S$10 bonus if you invest S$500

b. S$50 bonus if you invest S$10,000

c. S$100 bonus if you invest S$20,000

Disclaimer

This is not a sponsored post. This is purely my own opinion after using their service and/or products. If you like what you are seeing, do remember to check they out and do your diligence. There is no one size fits all investment strategy.

If you like what I am sharing or if it resonates with you, do use my referral codes here at Referral and Recommendations

The pictures were taken from Syfe website for this article.

AutoWealth Performance – March 2021

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Here we go for March 2021 performance for another Robo Advisor. Different robo advisor really does things differently. They concept, the drive and the unique selling point are all different. Some just have more marketing power than others while some just like to lay low. It is a little like a new acquaintance to a friend and eventually to a close friend. Wondering if you made the right choice? I guess only time will tell.

Why Autowealth?

Every month, I’ll just to just remind myself why was I a friend of Autowealth. My two reasons for doing so is really just (a) try out one more robo advisor/segregate a portfolio to find out how they invest and what their model is and (b) Diversify my investment assets through different companies.

Against all odds, the costs of robo have set a bar in the local scene that they are one of the lowest cost solutions to build a portfolio. These options used to be only available to people who have access to unique solutions like private banks or high networth individuals. Then again, the manager takes a big cut from their investments by taking risks.

As Usual, overall market goes through peaks and troughs. Every time it drops, just pick some up and let the robots do the work on balancing and re-balancing. As long as fees remains low, the portfolio will grow over time and over a longer period. It should remain in the black based on some back testing. I like it that they have already breakeven into their third year so something is working right for them.

So far, no change in asset allocation. I think I have been rebalanced two times now. It’s a little like locking in gains due to the rising market.

 

Performance – Mar 2021

Looking at the portfolio, the last few months have been stagnant and I still feel that it will continue to do so through 2021. My investment horizon would be estimated to be 15-20 years. This is a portfolio which is set at roughly 40% equities and 60% bonds. The investment vehicles will be through ETFs. It does look like it can withstand long term peaks and troughs. What i really like is that i can switch between the SGD and USD currency performance portfolio as well as the impact on USD SGD forex on performance. USD has been steadily increasing versus the SGD.

 

Overall, since funding to date (in SGD currency) performance is +10.66% and I like this. (compared to Feb 2021, it is up +1.2%) The impact of USD on SGD is about -2.69% and by referencing the portfolio in USD, absolute return would be at +13.14%. No complaints thus far.

 

Looking into the details if I were to look at the portfolio value at $5334 (end Dec 2020) versus today at $5533. Some simple and manual YTD calculations below

YTD Performance[($5533-$5334)/$5334] x 100% = +3.73% (YTD 8 Apr 2021 and +1.4% as compared to 10 Mar 2021)

Disclaimer

This is not a sponsored post. This is purely my own opinion after using their service and/or products. If you like what you are seeing, do remember to check they out and do your diligence. There is no one size fits all investment strategy.

If you like what I am sharing or if it resonates with you, do use my referral codes here at Referral and Recommendations

The pictures were taken from Auto Wealth website for this article. If you need a referral code, drop me a message and you can indicate my full name during registration. From there, both of us will  get $20 each to supplement the fees.

StashAway Performance – Mar 2021

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I have been later for one quarter in 2021 in terms of updating. Nothing much has changes for the StashAway portfolio. Similar to Endowus, it is on auto-run and monthly additions are placed into different portfolios. I am still on the risk index of below 20%, split all the risk portion for 3 different portfolio. I still maintain that having calculated risk per $ makes more sense in my opinion. It doesn’t mean high risk high rewards although it can give you high rewards.

As I have always preached, the important thing is that I am not left on the sidelines. If Mr Market decides to go either way, it would matter that much to me in my opinion. If Mr Market drops, then I will add on more to the portfolios. That is what I believe will work for me for my traditional and rather stable investments.

Retirement Portfolio A (risk-14%)

The SRS account since deposit is currently at +2.11% as on 8 Apr 2021 (Time-weighted return). I think this is quite okay as I entered the market at a high before it dropped in March 2020. Performance wise, I think it is decent and also this is a super long term portfolio – I would say close to 25 years horizon so I’ll just leave it there to monitor on the progress. It was at around +3% in Dec 2020 but oh well. Let it be i guess.

In USD performance, that’s about 5% (Time-weighted return). That’s expected.

 

Education Portfolio B (risk-16%)

This portfolio is set out to be on a 15-18 year investment horizon. It is at 7.63% on 8 Apr 2021 and I think that this is pretty good. It’s the same as the last time i measured during Dec 2020. I have been averaging in whenever there are market dips. The risk index is at 16% and I will adjust those risk levels as and when I feel that there is a risk on or off.

In USD, I’m looking at double digits 11.75% (Time-weighted returns)

Education Portfolio C (risk-20%)

For this portfolio, I look at this at shorter horizon of 12-15 years so I feel that I need to take on some risk to achieve my goals. This SA risk index is currently at 20% and will take on to be one of my riskiest portfolio. Return is at 14.42% (Time-weighted return) at inception as at 8 Apr 2021 Not much of it has changed or rather it has dropped slightly but this is just a note to self and measure the monthly performance. Over time, more funds will be added to achieve the targeted invested goals.

In USD terms, we are looking at 18.81% (Time-weighted return). Looking great I feel.

Conclusion

So far StashAway has been a great supplement as a robo advisor. I will try to do more regular updates as a reminder to self. After using a few robo-advisors, I find that SA will play second fiddle to my Endowus Portfolio. The year of 2021 should be a test of time for most portfolios. I still believe that rebalancing regularly will be the key.

StashAway does have their own advantages. They do hedge their portfolios against huge crashes and take a stand on some positions which I do like because a lot asset managers don’t and even though they talk big about macro. I can’t see those actions being translated into customer’s returns.

To sign up or try out Stash Away, visit the website and use my referral code at Stash Away Referral

We’ll both get up to $10,000 SGD managed for free for 6 months which is a good deal.

Disclaimer

If you like what I am sharing or if it resonates with you, do use my referral codes for other services at Referral and Recommendations

The pictures were taken from the Stash Away website for this article.

ESG & more on Endowus & Why Endowus

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There’s a lot of hype around Robo-Advisors these days. I still go by the same rules, if nothing is broken, there isn’t a need to fix anything. Robos are here to stay for sure and they have been rather un-emotional when it comes to investing (That is a good thing by the way if you are thinking otherwise)

Trust

Trust – It is the pinnacle of consideration when you invest or put money with a certain institution. Endowus has been – I would use the word trustworthy to describe them. A lot of these have been shown in how they conduct their business. Firstly, I have a finance background and for the longest time, I’ve worked in Finance. To be honest, there wasn’t a single day I felt happy until I truly left the industry. Finance is all about numbers and money. People are motivated by the fact that they make the quickest buck from the fastest source. However, what I am seeing here is quite the opposite. They are pretty truthful and walk the talk through their actions.

The points in Summary

  • The introduction of institutional class funds. If you are not in the know, you will not know. The more funds/money you have, the more you will be in the know hence you save more on fees.
  • The exclusivity in certain funds that only that few can launch with other fund providers. Sometimes, it’s about the expertise that is focused on the fund type
  • The fund rebate. No need to explain more about it. Fund fees and rebates are very transparent and apparent in how they rebate it back.
  • Quarterly fund charges are charged only end of the quarter. I’ve never seen that before or not many does it. Most funds and banks does the front loading. The worst type of funds are ILP – They embed the bid-ask to 5% (That’s just rip off and I say that those who offer these may not even know about it)
  • First and only digital advisor to be able to use your CPF to invest. Speaks a a lot about the trust of the board to allow them to do so.

New Point to Note (& ESG)

  • Recently, they launched an ESG fund portfolio that is made up from several well known fund houses specific to the ESG criteria. It is important to invest responsibly and sustainably. ESG has been around for the longest time. In Asia, we hardly ever hear it until only recent years and by quickly moving on this front – They are really one of the fastest to bring this up to scratch. No doubt, this is one to invest for the generations to come.
  • To secure your funds, all your investments are not held in custody. You own your own account in UOB Kay Hian but the investment is managed by Endowus. This is to safeguard your own money should they decide to close down one day (which I don’t think they will in the near term)

Finally, i recently received an email from them. For the longest time, they have the bar set at an initial S$10k investment. This has been slowly reduced and to date. For every friend who invests with Endowus, you both get $20 in Access Fee credits, equivalent to $10,000 advised free for 6 months. There is no limit to the number of friends you can invite.

There is anything much to add on and nothing to complain about other than your investment and redemption takes times to complete.

Disclaimer

If you decide to sign up with Endowus, do remember to use my referral code: https://endowus.com/invite?code=EDZ8M

If you like what I am sharing or if it resonates with you, do use my referral codes for other services at https://lifejourney.blog/contact/

These pictures were taken off Endowus website for reference.

Being Angry for the things you have no control over. Does it help?

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There are many times when we are angry. Be it for the right or wrong reasons, there will be times where our own limits are being tested. Some people just cannot take it that they are wrong, that’s just more Alpha kind of folks. Some people are just generally angsty all the time. The slightest thing piss them off. However, when you are angry, who is it that is really affected? Are you venting to the person beside you though you are not angry at them? Or are you just shouting to yourself for someone else you are upset about?

The person whom you are shouting and angry about probably don’t even know. So, what is the point in getting angry. I get it, sometimes i need to let off some steam too but not all the time though. The other day, there was an angsty driver who couldn’t get on the main road because there were just too many cars. The other day, I heard someone banging the table downstairs while working from home. Shouting eventually came on and I could hear someone else shouting back.

Deep Thinking

That made me think a little deeper. When you are angry, the person who do not know you are angry at them. Should you really express it? Eventually, the question to ask is that if one can control their emotions. Not me I would say. I am human and I cannot control over worrying, being angry and also overthinking. I’ll say most of us tend to think that we are right but is that really true? Truth be told, that little arrogance sometime annoys me a little. All we need is just to keep our heads down, be humble and learn along the way. There will always be someone or something that is better than you.

Investing the same?

Similarly, your investment style differs. Emotions run wild in those events and each time you think that markets are coming off, you actually risk missing a chance to recover more than what you should have if you would have chose to do nothing.

The thing about personal finance is that whether one has just starting building your finances, middle stage of building your fund or at a late stage of taking on your retirement funds. Young, old, poor or rich in all categories – There is really no one size fits all and regardless if you are famous or not. There will be emotions involved in all situation.

Recently, I also fell ill and because of that I had to take some matters off my hand. At the same time, markets doesn’t care if you are ill or well and that kind of struck a chord that I need to do less of trading and more of passive investing. Looking back at some of the portfolios for 2020. All 4 robo-advisors returned double digits which is by far the best I have seen. Of course, trading returns have been the best returns for me but those are super high risks.

Robotic in Nature

The idea in letting someone trustworthy to manage your funds are hard to come by. Banks are driven by profits and their pockets matter more than what money you have. Even if they did, they would have another agenda. Nonetheless, the idea – You get it! Only services make revenues.

Convincing Strategy

I’ve been convinced by the way Endowus and StashAway have been working for me as a portfolio:

  • Fee wise it is always all inclusive.
  • ETFs or Fund investing has always been the way to invest regularly. They track index and replace those companies who underperform along the way.
  • In particular, Endowus provides that 100% trailer fee rebates. It is the best one I’ve seen so far to not take a dime that is not transparent to the consumer. On a side note, your funds are in your own name (invest and managed via UOB Kay Hian but through your own channel) If anything happens to Endowus, your money is safe in that sense.
  • Such portfolios are not timing the market and look further into the long term. You need to be disciplined in that manner.
  • I mean especially for Endowus, they charge you a small fee which keeps them running. They invest into some fund types which are institutional in nature. Layman, it means as a normal consumer – you probably could not access these funds.
    • Usually but not always, the so called “hidden fees” are reduced due to economies of scale (Institutional class – Imagine Sovereign wealth funds)
    • Special corporate classes which have a minimum to invest. By using Endowus, collectively as retail investors normal retailer investors can put their money in at a fraction of the cost.

Agree to Disagree

Some points I kind of read and agree but disagree:

  • Yes, I read and heard that you can mimic trades and portfolios but my question is that if you have the economies of scale. How big are your trades?
  • Forex Exchanges rates especially in USD. Can you really accept using another channel to make the exchange or accept the market rate in your brokerage?
  • Replacing and re-balancing your portfolio. I think time matters more to me than doing these stuff which is time consuming. There are people who love doing this and do not mind doing so. So, leave it to those who does the best in their jobs.

This image was taken off Seedly and taken as a reference. Frankly, minimal investment amount should be the last thing on your mind. Fees, rebates and what is the company trying to achieve should be the top priority.

Disclaimer

If you like what I am sharing or if it resonates with you, do use my referral codes for other services at https://lifejourney.blog/contact/

a. Use my Endowus referral link and both you and I will get $20 credit to our account: Endowus Robo-Advisor to sign up now.

b. Use my Stash Away referral code and both of us are entitled to a 6-month management fee waiver, for up to $10,000 SGD of assets invested. Visit Stash Away Referral here to sign up now.

Wellnex & My-Insurer Platform

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Something interesting came in my way last week. I managed to speak with the General Manager of Wellnex (Link here if you are interested to find out – https://www.wellnex-singapore.com/) and My-insurer. (Link here – https://www.my-insurer.net/) They are in the field of Insurtech field – Insurance Technology. (Something that works differently as compared to the traditional agents who sells you an insurance) I’ll say that they are more of a 99.co or property guru in Insurance style but with a tad more zest as all interactions and details are done digitally so it is as good as meeting the customer face to face. Given current Covid situation, I’m not sure if I want to meet anyone face to face for a 2-3 hour chat about personal finance.

It isn’t a sponsored post. I’m very strict with the way things are being done regarding a sponsored post. As the way it is, I’m happy to write and type whatever my views are and trash whatever I find is trashy. In any case, my-insurer has a separate wellnex platform – which is more of a deals, news, more information kind of portal where businesses and writers can create and post articles.

The Wellnex Interface

In terms of user-interface, it is simple – no frills but also nothing fancy. The whole idea is to create content, display them out and get people to read them. Hopefully, some people actually think that my content is worth reading. I am a firm believer of things taking time to grow organically. Spending marketing dollars on stuff is what companies who have cash to burn does. Usually it comes with a price, there is always a catch or ROI to it – Then the marketing dollars will eventually be reduced or some others suckered into buying into it and spending even more marketing dollars.

Data Trustmark

Sometime last week, i received an email from them stating that they have achieved the Trust-mark for Data Protection so you can be sure that there is a standard or ISO for dealing and protection the data that you store with them. I’ll say that is a good job considering that they hold key to agents and customer data.

What I really do like about them is that, they have no requirement for me to have at least one post per week or anything of that sort. There isn’t a fee that they pay to me or I need to pay them for using their application to post articles as they wish to stay neutral and free from conflict of interest. That is respectable for a business who work on that ethics. Not many companies are true to what they preach.

Help one another / Refer a good deal

If you own a company or wish to share some deals, do reach out to these folks out there. Perhaps, they can add more marketing value for space or reach or impressions as the marketing guys call it. After all, the idea is to get what you have out there so people know and talks about it.

The whole idea that I wish to do is to create a space where people enjoy reading articles about finance. Perhaps, get them excited about finding out what is out there. What is the current trend? Sometimes, even finding a good deal or good idea will come back. Though I did not start out as early as so many other bloggers did, it is never too late.

Eventually, finding out and working together as online bloggers is something I wish to build in the community. I started out reading financial blogs for many years. In the process, I procrastinated about building one as it takes up too much time. However, the circuit breaker forced me to take on something that I have put off for many years. I hope I will grow my project to a sizable one in the near future.

Disclaimer

These are just solely opinions of mine. Different people have different needs, requirement, financial situation and views. For me, this is what I would do if I would like to build my blog. The main aim to to get more viewership and subscribers to keep the lights running.

If you like what I am sharing or if it resonates with you, do use my referral codes here at https://lifejourney.blog/contact/ for the services.

The pictures were taken from Wellnex website for this article.