A New Service in Town – Goldback on Hugo

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With the internet, news and services get rolled out pretty at a light speed. Recently, the blog community and several other channels (likely paid/sponsored) has seen a new service in town. It isn’t your usual savings or investment account but instead a Goldback account. At at current, it looks really simple at this point in time. I’m not sure what they have in store for future development. (https://onelink.to/hugosave)

Hugo Save or Wealthcare

Savings are made made simpler through the Hugo Save App. How this works is through Roundups – every transaction on the Hugo Platinum Visa Debit Card is rounded up to the nearest dollar. This weekly Roundup savings are then automatically invested into real physical gold via the Hugo Gold Vault.

There are also other options such as:

1. Micro Investments – Grab Invest (Nothing Fancy but also nothing exciting). These have no lock-ins.

2. Micro Insurance – SNACK by Income. They offer small insurance benefits that build up over time. They can be a good source of insurance coverage for freelancers or folks who just came to employment.

3. With Hugo, they focus on savings and what more can they do to provide it as a platform to save eventually rounded into Gold.

a. You sign up with your details here at Hugo: https://www.hugosave.com/, click on the download button.

b. Fill and submit your details. I believe they have a pretty quick turnaround. Meanwhile, you will need a photo of your NRIC and selfie as a check.

c. Within the next business day, you should have your account setup and proceed into the app to get your physical card. This portion takes about 2 weeks minimally to obtain the physical card and start spending.

Each account is provided with an account number and a DBS Swift Code which is safeguarded within DBS Bank. You can load money via FAST to your account at Hugo

c. You can then explore to create moneypots (Savings) and if you spend on your card, there will be a round up function which will complete your micro savings into what they call Goldback.

Features

There are several features on the app:

  1. You can add money pots to create saving goals. (for example – different kid, PS5, new gadget) Take note though that there will not be any interest earned.
  2. Separately, there is a Gold Vault which you can:
    1. regularly invest in by setting a monthly date and amount to put into Gold
    2. Ad-hoc invest into the Gold account.

The Gold account in the Gold Vault is physical gold allocated against your investments. They are stored in an accredited London Bullion Market Association vault and insured by Lloyds of London.

Some Partnership links

It seems like HugoSave have a couple of partnership links that users can take advantage of:

a. From Circles (Telco): https://bit.ly/HugoXCirclesLife (minimum S$40 payment for 5 bills, get $S20 in staggered Goldback payment) You will need to be a Circles customers I suppose and looks like they have a promotion code to sign up too.

b. From Ohm Energy (Electricity Retailer): https://bit.ly/HugoXOhm (minimum S$40 payment for 5 bills, get $S30 in staggered Goldback payment) You will need to be an Ohm customer I suppose and looks like they have a promotion code to sign up too.

My Personal Thoughts

Pros

Good things first – When i first checked this out, the first thing that came to mind was a structured way to save money. This works for me in terms of setting saving goals for myself and pocket money for my kids.

The idea of roundups came in as a fresh perspective. Putting it into Gold was a little off-putting initially but i figured out that it is a safe haven so no harm to do so.

Next, I eventually thought about freelancers and people who say that they can’t really save every month. This put in to practice what you can really do now. Putting money pots and fix your savings without spending it.

With the increase and new generation into freelance work, this will help people in terms of educating savings. You have a fixed

Cons

I’m just thinking as a devil’s advocate. Should there be more than Gold as an option in this roundup function?

Next up, the physical card took rather long to arrive before I can use it. Perhaps, there can be consideration for spending on the numberless card before it arrives.

Are there any signup perks for customers? Since the objective is driven by savings instead of an interest bearing account. Considering that I can do the same via a Bank app, what is the edge other than purely savings.

Afterall, I’m pretty seasoned in this new app, new services stuff. They spend money to acquire customers, then roll a tight budget to stay sustainable. Nothing wrong in doing so, that’s just entrepreneurship and staying relevant.

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.

Now, if what I am sharing does resonates with you, do use my referral codes here at Referral and Recommendations

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/

The pictures were taken from Hugo Save’s website for this article.

Stash Away (Sep & Oct 2020)

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I’ve not been diligent in posting my performance that i invest into Stash Away. It has been positive so far (the experience) and I’ll say it is on par with what Endowus is providing. In my own words, I’ll say that they complement each other and offer different perspective. I do trust and believe their views on certain aspects of investing and hence, SA shall be the second robo advisor that I will build a long term goal with over time.

I have since adjusted the risk index to below 20% as I felt that there isn’t a need to go all out Risk On. Having calculated risk per $ makes more sense in my opinion as news and information goes on a random rampage. Most importantly, I am invested – So if Mr Market decides to go up that is fine too. If Mr Market decides to go down, then it will be time to put more funds in. After all, it is a long game.

Retirement Portfolio A (risk-14%)

The SRS account since deposit is currently at +2.46% as on 5 Nov 2020. It’s one of those that I went in February 2020 before the crash came in March 2020. Nonetheless, I believe in the long term strategy that S&P 500 or index generally rises over the longer term so I have a super long horizon on this. I haven’t decide if I should fund more SRS monies into SA or Endowus. We shall see how things turn out.

Education Portfolio B (risk-16%)

This is something I set on a 15-18 year horizon. It is at +5.06% as at 5 Nov 2020 and I think that is a good return in my view. I have been averaging in whenever there are market dips. The risk index is at 16% and I will adjust from time to time as I do believer that by doing so, you sell some assets while buying into a new asset class based on the risk you set so in a certain sense, I can take profit while increasing or reducing my risk. Try not to touch any of those if you don’t quite understand how that works. There is some level of punting involved.

Education Portfolio C (risk-20%)

This portfolio has a 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. More funds will be added over time to achieve my targeted invested goals.

Conclusion

So far StashAway has not failed me in a sense that it fits in to my investing style and logic. I wish to put more into the accounts but I cant bring myself to invest when prices are going higher and higher. Instead, when things come down I find it easier to put money in.

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 https://lifejourney.blog/contact/

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

What Will I Invest with S$10,000

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I realised that such posts actually attract more viewership as compared to technical breakdowns. I get it that most people want a quick and fast way to read content and download views. The first 3 seconds of every post will most likely decide if the reader would like to continue reading, be skeptical or just scoff at it. In my earlier posts, I talked about having an emergency fund. It takes time to build such things so don’t forget, the little things count.

In this article, I’m going to discuss more about what to invest and why especially for folks who just got out of school. When I graduated, I remember vividly that it seemed to be pretty hard to save money. A few years on, I realised what constituted the bulk of my spending and why I could not save more. These life experiences cannot be bought so I would say the money spend networking and forging friendships are my human capital.

Going back in Time

Going back to 5 years ago, there wasn’t many choices to invest extra funds into. It was the standard brokerages, fund houses or at most bank/custodian brokerages. There wasn’t a lot of tools to invest in and let’s be honest, the retail bankers can’t be too bothered with a S$10,000 fund. It just isn’t worth their time. So, like many others who preaches, I shall say it again – If you do not care about your own money, no one will. I remember I used to buy funds via FundSupermart, trading some Forex with CMC Markets/Saxo Capital and used Standard Chartered Brokerages to buy US/SGD equities. Nothing fancy that you can really do though.

Moving forward 2020

With the current options we have available, traditional investments seems really cool. (At least it is for me) I really like the options out there for me to pick and choose. You can Insurance Tech, Robo Advisors, Cryptocurrency, Real Estate Block-chains, ETFs, Leveraged Equities/Indexes and many more. With the upcoming digital bank in Singapore, I think that this is going to be great for consumers. The key problem now is to get more people interested in their own personal finances.

What to do with S$10k?

We are going to take away the cash solutions for this since this is on the assumption that cash funds are kept away in a safe place. With the new funds, this is money that you can afford to lose. I used to know something who likes to take a punt, he would leverage and buy options on the same counter without considering the risk. Well, he wanted to win big but eventually his portfolio became pathetic and he lost his job while these options expired and markets dropped. The objective of sharing this story is to always abide by your investment discipline.

I am reminded of the rules:

  • No one has the crystal ball and you will never know when the markets decide to be green or red.
  • A small amount of leverage is fine but not when it is concentrated into one counter. Remember to diversify but not over diversify.
  • Always use option to your advantage, not to speculate.
  • When you lose to the market, blame no one but yourself because no one forced you to invest. You can keep cash and seek cash solutions but if your cash deflate, that’s on you and no one else.

With a S$10k portfolio, I would split it up into a few tranches.

Robo Advisors

  1. Robo Advisors are a great tool if you do not know what to buy or when to buy. The whole idea is to buy when markets go up or down. The entry level for robo investing is so low that anyone can invest. Let’s also be real, all platforms have a cost upkeep so fees are unavoidable. For this I would Assign at least S$6k (~60% – 70%) into such funds and this forms the Core part of the long term portfolio
    1. The first option can be Endowus (USD ETFs) which i discussed before here at Endowus
    2. The second option can be Stash Away (USD ETFs) which i discussed before here at Stash Away
    3. The third option can be Syfe (For SGD related equities or the Global Equity Portfolio) which i discussed before here at Syfe

Now, you must not forget to top up your investment on a monthly basis. Treat that as a form of savings. The earlier you save, the faster your will reach your retirement goals.

From the robo advisor portfolio construction, you can choose a partial bond|equity balanced fund. This is where your bond exposure comes in. Do not waste your time with SGS or SSB during this period because they returns are not great.

Cryptocurrency

2. They say that trend is your friend. The trend now with all the hype is about Cryptocurrency. I can’t help but would add a small amount to the portfolio. They are supposed to act different as compared to fiat currencies. For this I would assign at least S$1k (~10%-15%) and i consider these as alternative asset class.

    1. The first option is to buy Bitcoins. They are by far the largest Cap in the Crypto World.
    2. The second option is to get a foot in to Crypto.com. I previously discussed about this as well here at Crypto.com App/

Funds

3. Personally, I like income or dividend equities or funds. If you are more risk adverse i would suggest to put some money into the PIMCO income funds. They are just the best in class for bonds. Depending on what you like, the average dividends is roughly around 3-4% p.a. For this, I would assign at least S$2.5k (~25%-35%) and these are supposed to be a stable source of dividend funds.

Trading

4. Finally, what fun is there if you leave everything in the Core Portfolio. The balance 15% of funds (~S$1.5k) can be use to buy in specific equity counters in the SGX. (for e.g. bank stocks or reits whenever there is a market pullback) If you really wish to fully invest these monies, just put them back into the Robos or ETFs.

What other options would you do or suggest to do? Feel free to comment. The whole idea of writing is to really share about opinions and you never know when an idea strikes you.

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 https://lifejourney.blog/contact/ for the services.

Images seen in this article were take off the relevant websites for illustration purposes only.

Foray into CryptoCurrency – The MCO Card (Crypto.com)

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Cryptocurrency

Invest in cryptocurrency! The first thing that comes to mind is that it is a scam or it is risky. It is not only after you take some time to find out more.

Getting someone to go into cryptocurrency can be challenging. When I first started, I was late to the game but the fees I paid were way much higher than what it is today. Today, I can see that the adoption crypto is slowing and steadily increasing and solutions are being provided to solve the problems in the real world. There are indeed real world situations that need solutions.

MCO/CRO Card

I have been with crypto.com (CRO) for almost 2 years now. (Updated:  3years now) Though I did not experience that huge dip in prices after it went as high as USD20+ (MCO) but what I have seen from them is absolutely amazing.

CRO coins are what define crypto.com (They were used to be called Monaco and MCO coins) and the fact that they managed to obtain the domain name says something great about them.

I would say the CRO coin is more of a hybrid crypto. You can get a real metal card depending on how much of the coins you buy. A real debit card that pays you instant cashback on anything you can pay with the card.

You can always opt for a “free card” and that gives you a 1% cashback on all transaction and it gets better.

Buying and staking 50 MCO coins will get you the Ruby card – 2% cashback

These staking requirement changes from time to time so do visit https://crypto.com/cards to find out more.

In summary:

Blue card – 1% cashback (No staking required)

Red card – 2% cashback (USD 400 equivalent)

Blue/Green card – 3% cashback (USD4,000 equivalent)

Icy White card – 4% cashback (USD40,000 equivalent)

Black card – 5% cashback (USD400,000 equivalent)

What I really like about this is not just the cash back. However you have to be comfortable to lock in at least 10000 CRO for an initial 6 months.

Pros:

1. I always want to buy cryptocurrency more fuss-free and easier. This platform makes it really easy

2. Funding from SGD does not incur any fees if you use xfers and follow their instructions diligently

3. 100% cashback in CRO coin for subscription to Spotify and Netflix (literally free – capped at the amount for blue and green card)

4. Unlimited access to loungekey (Airport lounge)

5. You can trade other crypto available on the app and their exchange

6. Certain coins have “earn” capabilities, meaning you get interest by staking it on the earn platform on the app.

Cons:

1. The price of CRO is around 0.25 SGD at time of writing. That’s double of what I initially got into but you never know when it will go higher or lower

2. You need to put in an initial investment to get all these benefits

3. You need to fund your debit card with cash first before using it.

Things may get complex from here if I add on more information. If you wish to know more, drop me a note and I can share more with you.

Meanwhile, if you use my link/referral code, you will get USD25 and I will get USD 25 worth of CRO.

All you need is to make a transaction and stake your CRO to get the debit card of your choice. That’s some cool amount of cash to start off with.

https://platinum.crypto.com/r/im3py887ty to sign up for Crypto.com and we both get $25 USD 🙂

Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) – Reits Version

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The Singapore equity market is really slow to say and there are only a handful of reits ETFs that were launched previously (that was like 3 to 4 years ago). Quite a number of people were rather yield starved back then. With that bullish USD interest rate hike (Before Covid-19) it was almost a guarantee that this will happen.

I kind of blame the media for setting off such rumours. The central bank will never act on just pure speculation but rather more than data and in today’s world. There will be even more data that they can ever get. A big economy like the USA is something that most people watch. This trend has slowly diminished after successful propaganda by the emergence of the Chinese. Don’t get me wrong, it is kind of good that they are getting their act together. It is just that there’s much more skepticism more than ever since anything and everything can be fake. The Chinese just look at profits over anything.

Back to the point here. I was trying to look for yield related stuffs that could add on to the portfolio. When I did a quick filter away from reits, there isn’t much that is available on the SGX that is sizeable. (i.e. blue chip enough) To diversify that reits risk, I went into the details and tried to see if I could mimic the fund portfolio. As it turns out, it might be too much of a challenge.

Diversification

Diversity lies in the location: Singapore, Hongkong, China, Australia with the scope to add on more countries according to the fund manager. (Exposes some FX risks along with fees, fund management, platform fees)

Diversity in the types of holdings: Office, retails, industrial, others and more diversified real estates (Exposes to certain sectors that are cyclical in nature)

Lower fees as compared to a fund, as it is structured as an ETF (Exchange Traded Funds), it’s annual management fees are also lesser than usual. (Cheaper but more passively managed)

Yield: Approximately 4-5% p.a. Nett for all the trouble. Perhaps even using different brokers and also different FX rates. Believe it or not, institutions get a better Forex rate just because they have the size to do so and sometimes. The fees on the allocation can be rather cheaper than a retail customer. It’s pretty much how you value it. Some people prefer total control, counting the pennies. (every cents counts) Some prefer to delegate via a fee based model.

Reits ETF

NIKKO AM – Straits Trading Asia Ex Japan ETF (Check that out here: Nikko AM reits ETF)

Philips SGX APAC dividend Leaders reit ETF (Check that one here: Poems reits ETF)

Both are much similar in context just that with Philips, the majority holdings will be Australian reits (about 60%) while Nikko AM will be the majority with Singapore reits (about 60%).

Always do your due diligence, after all everyone has different risk levels. There are always other options. ETFs are just one of the many tools.