Money is Indeed Everything

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Indeed in our world today, in this small island of affluent rich Singaporeans. Money is everything. It puts not just food in your mouth but also entertainment all day, all night long. What would you do without money? Cryptocurrency has taken a big fall along with traditional investments and the biggest news in town isn’t Bitcoin crashing down from it’s ATH (all time high lingo)

I also dabble in Cryptocurrency and at one point it made up about 20-30% of my entire portfolio. Which was amazing to be honest. It just raked on and on but I didn’t not take any profits. Instead I sink more into the ecosystem and punted for the 100x goal. Did I buy Luna? Did I do UST? No, I did not. Why didn’t I? I wasn’t too sure as well as I was playing MM.Finance and Dark Crypto Defi.

The Terra Luna Conspiracy

At one point I even pondered why didn’t I joined in the party at Terra Luna. But I had 0 holdings and I was wondering what did I miss out. Again, the 100x token. Unfortunately, things goes off in a snap this is part of the world and liquidity spiraled down to a level of pure single death tone. I’m not too sure how many people were hit locally but I do know there were plenty of suicidal comments online.

I read in many spaces that talked about having an asset allocation of not more than 5%-10% in your investment portfolio. But in that part of the space in my memory, it is just a 100% allocation into crpyto. I can’t help but feel sad to see it is down more than 50% but at least those were the profits that I ploughed in during the good times. Perhaps it is just time lost and research wasted.

Humble beginnings

In any case, It really brings back to the initial launch of why I started to note down my financial and blogging journey.

a. Don’t put in everything you can’t afford to lose when you invest. (Naysayers will say they took all the risk and became rich and that’s fine too if you made it) But I’m adverse. I have 2 young kids to feed, a mortgage and a car loan that is about to be paid up in a few years.

b. I’ve always been a bit skeptical about the all-in concept. How am I going to pay my bills for the next 6-12 months? Perhaps I’ve experienced this twice in my life. The first when I was in Secondary School where I had only $100 bucks in my bank account because I did not keep track of my spending. Needless to say, my parent’s scholarship eventually made up the bank book when I went to Tertiary.

This just proves that at a young age, it is hard to grasp the concept of personal finance. Especially when you can reach out and ask for money from your parents. This is non-existent in the World called America and Europe. Only Asian Parents do such things to spoon feed their previous child. (Laughing to myself – Who am I to say this as I also have 2 lovely girls)

My second experience of wiping out wasn’t exactly scary. It was when I got married and bought a house. Expenses were really tight and for a while, I scrimped really hard and saved on every little item.

My third experience was when I lost my job when I was 35. I had been living paycheck to paycheck. Bills, mortgage, expenses were what i needed but I lost my job. That made me think a lot. I was out of things for almost 18 months and I even tried to do a small business which put me in further financial disarray by the time I decided to pull out of it. Did I feel suicidal? I can’t deny it but I felt my existent in this world was worthless. But that thought didn’t stay long. So, for those guys who lost it all in Terra Luna, I can only say i feel you but money can’t buy you happiness.

Suicidal is an easy way out. Living is tougher. You can always rebuild but when you are gone, your loved ones will be distraught. Hence, the idea of depression can be really detrimental.

Cheers guys. I’m having a break today from work. Afternoon beer is a luxury – I understand that. My last few years were one of the greatest in a company whom emphasis is on getting things right and proper. Budget were never a budget issue. Everyone will have their day so keep on living. Don’t ever give up.

Conclusion

Health is Wealth guys. Don’t read it literally – Life is beyond just the money. Money gives you the capability and option to do many things. But life is beyond what you think it is. I can’t stress enough that when you think positive, you will get vibes and when you think you are young,  you will be young.

I’m not sure how many people do read this or follow me but if what I say matters to you, it tingles with you. This is human psychology. There isn’t a need to be connected physically. When things resonate, it doesn’t need to be reasonable. You just need to know it.

It is not literal. This post isn’t about money or referral or personal finance. I feel you and many of us experienced that at least once in our lives. Just make sure that it is a lesson you learned and it doesn’t deter you from exploring options. Because, you really cannot say never to something you have not tried.

Living is more important than dying. Easier said than done but get over it and restart again. With support, it will be easier but without it will just take longer.

A New Singlife Grow & Referral Scheme

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Singlife is offering up to $35 when you sign up for Singlife Account and their Singlife Grow. I’ve been following them for a while now and I realised that they have been promoting their GROW ILP account. I’m not sure if it took off well but given how there is marketing dollars to promote seems like it is encouraging a higher take up rate.  To get the $30 from grow, it takes very little effort. If you are an existing Singlife Account, you will still qualify for the Singlife Grow reward as long as you have never applied for Grow portfolio before. Just take note to use the code to get your credits – “ki02dAhi

The new scheme and promotion

There isn’t a lock-in period for your funds, and you can withdraw without penalty but it seems like there is a cap at S$20,000 per account per day so do take note.

The interest mechanic

On top of the sign-up gift, you also get 0.5% p.a. additional returns for your Singlife Account when you set up your Grow portfolio which is a nice cherry on top of the sign-up bonus. This gives you 1.5% p.a. on your Singlife Account for the first $10,000.

Not to mention that if you complete the $500 spending per month, you get an additional 0.5% p.a. and that makes it 2.0% p.a. on your Singlife Account for the first $10,000.

The Additional Perks

As all promotion goes, do some form of diligence and check out the Terms and Conditions to understand what you are putting your money into. Read it here: Terms and Conditions

The Cash Mechanic goes like this.

a. If you are not an account holder, sign up using this code ki02dAhi + order and activate the Singlife debit card to get a S$5 sign up bonus

b. If you are an existing customer then check GROW out.

  • Sign and apply for your first GROW policy using this code ki02dAhi + Fund your first GROW policy with a minimum of S$1000 to get a $30 sign up bonus.

In short, if you are a new customer, your max benefits will be S$35 and if you are an existing customer, your max benefits will be S$30.

The Real Deal, GROW ILP (Investment Linked Plan-ILP)

Without doubt, I scrutinise at the term ILP. Personally, I have terminated 2 ILPs that I bought some time back without knowing what I was going into.

Singlife Grow is primarily an investment ILP with very minimal insurance. You don’t have to pay high upfront commissions nor high assurance charges, and no lock-in period for your funds. However, I’m not quite sure if there is a fund switch function and what the bid-offer spreads are like.

Singlife Grow is more of a hybrid robo-insurtech /advisor perhaps and I can’t really classify them under any sorts but for sure they are in the Insurance industry so hence the term ILPs. They are not the typical ILP which loads the consumer even before the investing starts so that’s a plus.

However, do take note of the investment risks so it can go both ways and there’s no guaranteed returns.

  • I understand that the fund managers who will be managing your funds will be from Aberdeen Standard investments
  • There will be three different class of investing, namely (Conservative, Balanced and Dynamic). Allocations can be found here: Grow Factsheet and the investment breakdown
  • They are also under ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) which is a big thing these days as people approach sustainable investing.
  • Coverage will be 101% of Net premium or Account value (In the event it has gone up much higher)
  • Fees will be 0.25% per quarter of the account value. (Management Charge)
  • No Cost of Insurance (Excellent)

Some important information to note:

Singlife Launches Member Get Member Programme, Rewarding New and Existing Customers S$35 for Every Referral

Benefit

  • All referrers and referees receive S$30 when the referee signs up for Grow, and S$5 when the referee creates a Singlife Account and activates their Singlife Visa Debit Card. With no limits to the number of referrals, customers can continue to refer and receive more rewards.

The Grow ILP – Investment Linked Plan

  • Singlife’s Grow is an Investment-Linked Policy (ILP) with portfolios managed by Aberdeen Standard Investments. Accessed through the Singlife App, customers can manage, save and invest simply through a single interconnected platform with absolutely no lock-ins. For more information on Grow, visit https://singlife.com/grow/.

The Flexibility

  • The Singlife Account continues offering the same flexibility customers desire with no lock-ins or withdrawal fees, and better peace of mind. For more information about the Singlife Account, visit https://singlife.com/manage/ However last I tried, there is a cap of S$20,000 limit of transfer out per account per day so do take note.

The physical card

  • The Singlife Account is Singlife’s flagship everyday insurance savings plan that comes with a free Visa Debit Card, carrying no FX fees for foreign currency transactions.

The protection by SDIC

  • The Singlife Account and Grow are protected up to specified limits by Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC).

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. Just take note to use this code to get your credits – “ki02dAhi

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 Singlife website for this article.

Syfe – Performance Aug 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 (August 2021)

 

12 months has gone by and +28.65% is pretty insane in my opinion. The last time I looked at this was 6 months ago in March 2021 and it has increased by slightly more than 5%. 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.

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.

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.