Endowus Performance March 2021 & YTD + New ESG Portfolio

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Time in March 2021 seem to just go by in a quick frenzy. Stock markets have retraced and between Tech and Cyclical equities, it seems to sway from side to side. There isn’t seem to be any clear signs for any particular trend. The slightest event such as the cargo tanker remained jammed up in the Suez Canal seem to have caught commodities in a stir for a week or two.

I’ve been talking about Endowus for a while now. I think there is something that attracts me to them. Perhaps it is the way they present themselves or maybe it is their mindset of investing that struck a chord with me. I would actually recommend them to anyone I know to be honest and I know that my investments will be safe with them. Further, they raised their first ever Serie A fund raising for expansion. It does sounds like a great step forward. Whatever was private, we don’t know but their first fund raising after being around for sometime does spark some confidence about how prudent they are and how much the founders value their own equity in the company. To me that is a plus when the founders want to keep stock value mainly because they see value in their own company.

ESG Portfolio (New)

I am quite intrigued in their new ESG portfolio that was constructed through the different fund houses. To a certain extent, I do want to put more into it but I am unsure since I’ve not read up on this but I do know that ESG have performed relatively well in the European zone. This segment would serve me well for a long term portfolio because I do see the value in investing in sustainable companies an practices. After all, we are saving this earth for our next generation – a little step goes a long way.

This is at +1.97% since inception some time in Mid March 2021. I like what I am seeing. Of course this is a 80%/20% Equity/Bond portfolio allocation so there will be more movement on the equity side. This is long term so, just leave it in there.

SRS Portfolio

Overall, portfolio is up 18.51% since May 2020 in SGD. As usual, in USD terms, due to no FX impact as the portfolio is USD ETFs, the performance will definitely be better especially when USD becomes stronger. Of course, the reference will be SGD since I use SGD. This is the SRS/Cash portfolio which consists of my favourite Dimension Funds in a 40% bonds/60% equity. Overall from May 2020 to 5 Apr 2021, it is a 18.51% increase in absolute terms – Fantastic. From Jan 2021 to 5 Apr 2021, the fund was stable and rising more  at 4.86%+ increase in portfolio. Not too bad really.

In Terms of YTD returns in 2021, I’m looking at 4.86%. I’m happy. Definitely topping up if there are any corrections (By definition a correction is more than 10% drop in a single day)

CPF Portfolio

For the CPF portfolio, it is also doing pretty well though not as well as my Dimension Fund portfolio. I’m still looking at 12.23% returns from May 2020 through to 5 Apr 2021.

In Terms of YTD returns in 2021, I’m looking at 1.68%. This is quite expected so not much of a surprise. I have no requirement to login daily to view my portfolio performance. Just a monthly review will be sufficient.

Similar to the previous months, cash management accounts have started to report a decline. This is also expected since LOW interest rate environment is here to stay for the long term.

I have been procrastinating about the Cash Smart Portfolio. Perhaps I will take a plunge to do it in April 2021. Takes a bit of courage to do that.

Like a broken recorder, the pros once more:

  • Endowus is the first and only robo-advisor to be approved by the CPF board.
  • 100% trailer fees back to the consumer, not the fund management fee. This is really one of a kind I’ve seen so far.
  • They do have a decent team who makes sense when introducing their platform in my personal opinion.
  • I believe all retail investor should try them out because of how they are trying to disrupt investing and make investing work for everyone.

Thank you all in advance for using my referral code.

Last point is to do your own diligence. What works for me may not work for you. Investing in traditional portfolios is about risk management, it isn’t Cryptocurrency. Super high risk = Potentially Super high returns. Fair enough in economic terms. Just remember that = Potentially Super high decrease in portfolio as well.

I’m not ruling cryptocurrency as an asset class here. What I do see is that they will be a disrupter in traditional currency in the future. What I am saying is traditional investments brings stable, slow and disciplined returns. I do have a portion of my funds in cryptocurrency and the latest trend of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). I deal with these two investments separately and realistically.

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.

AutoWealth – Performance Update & YTD (February 2021)

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AutoWealth is my long-term portfolio approach. For my child’s portfolio, this is to  add on over time and have a good 20 years horizon. My only gripe is that I cant measure YTD performance. Of course, there is no reason to do that expect for measurement purposes. A time weighted performance is more of an important indicator in my opinion. Just a reminder for myself and on why I chose Autowealth:

Why Autowealth?

My two reasons for doing so is really just (a) try out one more robo advisor/segregate a portfolio for a sole purpose and (b) segregate this fund for any other purpose other than the kid’s investment journey.

Don’t sweat the small things, the costs of robo are so low. We are talking about a 15-20 year horizon here so heck those low costs. You need to pay them to keep their lights running.

Perhaps Auto Wealth is in a different segment all together but they are the ones I see positively after the other two. After signing up in June, I finally got to funding the account in September and October when markets were on the downside. The idea of doing this over the long term is to really to buy in when markets drop.

Markets will go up and each 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 so it would be less of a pressure as a company.

As a pretty new kid on the block, it does look like they are one of those companies who keep things lean, mean and transparent for others. Many times, I do not mind paying slightly more for better service or better app/products. I speak for myself though as I do know many who penny pinch and I shall not comment more on this. My philosophy is to never sweat the small stuff – To have bigger dreams, you will have to let go of the small things. No change in Portfolio allocations.

Performance – Feb 2021

Looking at the portfolio, it is pretty expected as the market has been pretty neutral.  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 +9.13% and I like this. The impact of USD on SGD is about -2.08% and by referencing the portfolio in USD, absolute return would be at +11.00%. 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 $5457. Some simple and manual YTD calculations below

YTD Performance[($5457-$5334)/$5334] x 100% = +2.30% (YTD 10 March 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 https://lifejourney.blog/contact/ for the services.

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.

2020 – The Year in Review

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2020 is going on by quickly as with any other year. Especially this  year, with the Covid-19 announced as a pandemic. The world went into a global communism, shutting off the doors everywhere quickly. It feels like Industrial Revolution version 0.0 but yet you have technology that kind of connects you with the rest of the world as well. What makes it different is that some industry do well, some medium, some would benefit in the longer term. Irrelevant businesses would eventually shut down while new ideas continue to grow in the market.

Looking back there have been some hits and misses and while things didn’t shape up nicely. The year ended off with a small little cheer that can light up our faces.

There are some segments I would like to focus on in review. That would help me to understand what I have done right, do better or not to do at all. This very blog started on the basis of money matters and personal finance – This shall be the basis of the review. Christmas and the New Year is coming and so I would also like to wish everyone a Happy Holidays. I am for once looking forward to the coming year and for a great 2021!

Thank you everyone who reads my blog or thinks that it is worth looking at. I am humbled by anyone who actually stumble or read what I have penned down online. Hopefully, the coming year would see some interesting moments for my blog or perhaps even more interesting concepts.

Money Decision

The Good

  • The decision to enter the market during the market dips in March 2020.
  • The decision to divest funds into StashAway, Endowus, Syfe, MoneyOwl and Autowealth. This has proven to be an asset for the long term.
  • Full contribution to the SA account for both Tax Rebate and Retirement Fund in CPF.
  • Usual contribution to SRS account which supplements the Retirement Funds.

The Bad

  • Didn’t save as much as I wanted due to a lot expenses. Staying at home also meant that there were more expenses for food deliveries.
  • Celebrations were a little more elaborate due to the covid. More shopping and gifting at home since there wasn’t any travelling that can be done in the next year or so. Which I kind of miss and it has been taken granted for.
  • Not too sure if it is actually is a good or bad thing that Covid hits the business. We are actually pretty resilient to the situation.

Mental Health

The Good

  • It has been pretty refreshing to work from home. After 3 months of working from home, things have been turning rather boring but it is family bonding indeed.
  • It is actually better to avoid a lot of negativity in some offices. Luckily for me, I don’t have that issue but it kind of helped for the family mentally.
  • Work has more flexibility and there isn’t that much of a rush so it helps me generally.

The Bad

  • It became kind of stressful with the wife and kids and in laws.
  • Working from Home became both good and bad because it has become rather boring where I miss the hustle and bustle of communicating with colleagues and networking with new friends.
  • There are no limits to when working hours end so I can keep on working throughout which isn’t that great. My place of relax now becomes a place where I need to focus and work.

Fitness

The Good

  • Definitely more time to do more crunches and jogs.
  • A change in lifestyle and a change in diet.
  • Exercising is actually an individual sport. Group exercising are sometimes counter intuitive.

The Bad

  • The diet and exercising kind of slowly died off and I see myself seeking more new ideas to be more active.
  • The holiday weight doesn’t help so I need to work harder to stay focus.
  • Group games are pretty impossible now so less options to stay in better shape.

Summary

The Good

  • Finally, after procrastination for years. I decided to put in the effort to pen down and build a personal finance blog. How far will I go? I don’t know but due to the Covid situation, I took some time during the wee-hours of the morning when I could not sleep to build in some hosting, webpage, WordPress setup and finally writing articles which I think people might like to read about.
  • I would like to thank those readers who picked up my codes for the services that I use. Hopefully, these services will bring the same level of expectation that I already have since I have been using them for a while now.

The Bad

  • I am still deciding whether I should attempt to write a book. A simple and funny one. It’s just to figure new projects to work out on.
  • A long-term objective is to explore alternative income/passive income
  • I’m still in the infant stage of this personal finance blog. The growth rate isn’t quite what i expected but hey I’m still learning and exploring so I’ll keep trying.

Conclusion

I decided against looking at winners and losers in the equity markets as time and again I have traded, won and lost. At least 3 or 4 cycles it happened. Using the right services to not let my emotions go wild or make irrational decision only to regret it later on. The focus of investing money should not just be money but also investing in yourself. There should also be time taken to upgrade ourselves, improve our own health and find out what matters to every individual.

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.

The pictures were taken from the websites for this article.

SNACK – Microinsurance

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As I have said, I am a firm believer of insurance but not a firm believer of agents. I am of the mind that there are invested interest. Even the most honest guy needs to earn a living but I have yet to find anyone who is able to pass my test. More often than not, I tend to DIY on my own so most of my plans are generally bought online. The exception is that during the early years, agents used to manage those that I bought.

Why Insurance?

Let’s face it. Everyone needs to transfer their risk and that is a fact. Whether it is term or whole life plans, it is up for a debate but no best answer. You need health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, travel insurance, car insurance and the list goes on. My only grip is that DIY stuff comes cheap but you have to figure out how to to that on your own. Nothing wrong with that but it comes in as a pain when you don’t have time to manage those stuff.

Try Microinsurance

Personally, I feel that it is fine to try out a cheaper alternative of insurance just to get yourself covered at the lowest cost possible. SNACK is by Income and recently introduced this concept of microinsurance. I find it appealing personally coming from someone who understand how these things work. It kind of like supplement what i have existingly.

I think that the Income branding is starting to change and this helps with the brand image. At least they try to speak the millenia language. Next, I find that with such low cost products – There will be less barrier to entry. The difficulty in this solution is to educate people. It is much easier to say that it is complicated than trying to find out what this is all about.

Once you sign up online and register the amount you can commit daily, every document will be sent to you via email or digitally. Quite simply, I would say.

They are 3 ways your can choose to buy insurance from (Choose 1 or whatever you need):

a. Critical Illness

b. Personal Accident

c. Life Insurance.

You can also trigger these daily costs from a few parts:

a.  Redeeming a deal from Burpple or pay for meals using a VISA card.

b. Commuting bus, train or cab and pay for it using a VISA card.

c. Through retailing and purchases using a linked VISA card.

d. Shopping for groceries using a linked VISA card.

e. Through entertainment and paying using a linked VISA card.

f. Topping up petrol and paying using a linked VISA card.

g. Pay your utilities and paying using a linked VISA card.

h. Activate your fitbit app and fulfilling your daily steps.

You may be thinking what happens if you hit every objective. There is a limit to the premiums charged to your credit or debit card depending on the weekly cap you’ve set up. Once you’ve hit this weekly cap, SNACK will no longer charge you premiums when you complete lifestyle triggers and you will not be issued any more policies for that week.

The minimum amount daily you can set is $0.30 and you can add on as many triggers as you wish.

There is also a cap on each insurance segment:

a. For Personal Accident, the cap is at $100,000

b. For Life Insurance, the cap is at $200,000

c. For Critical Illness, the cap is at $200,000

These insurance are known as non-participating policies so the moment you stop paying for these, the coverage will stop. To me it is a stop-gap kind of coverage and at an extremely low cost. If you are looking at the full suite, take time to understand and learn. You will definitely benefit from the knowledge and to suss out your new insurance agent. Whether they are in it for the long term or to hit and run. We will never know unless we experience and have the basic knowledge.

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.

The pictures were taken from SNACK website for this article. If you need a referral code, please use my referral code “PAU4055” and both of us will be rewarded with additional $500 coverage for personal accident. Visit here https://www.snackbyincome.sg/ to find out more.

Grab Invest (Robo)

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During the earlier part of 2020, Grab announced an acquisition of a wealth start-up, Bento. The have since re-branded them to be GrabInvest. It looks like they have ambitious plans to expand into South East Asia with Singapore as its base. We have seen quite a number of new services and products that Grab has been rolling out. That is the benefits of having strong backers as well as a branding that aims to disrupt some industry. I’m not too sure how big they can become but they have been throwing marketing dollars for some time to build their brand. You can read more about the acquisition here at Bento As GrabInvest.

Invest, Save and Grab

It sounds like Grab is going to bring out the brand in their app once more. They probably want to integrate this into the Super App that we often hear about. The tag line is pretty effective I say.

Almost No Barrier to Entry

It takes only a small amount to start investing. I don’t think Syfe and StashAway has a minimum amount to start investing but this set them apart from the usual investing through micro-investing. I’m not too sure about the effectiveness though.

Saving Money

Each time you use the app to do certain actions, you get to choose an amount that will be used to invest automatically. Good habit though.

Spend

There is no lock-up for your funds so you can transfer your money back to the wallet anytime. Talk about flexibility.

Underlying Investments

Okay, looking at how things are. This is similar to the other robo-advisors as to their cash solutions. The underlying funds would be Fullerton Fund and UOB asset management. My guess is the usual short duration bonds or assets as close to cash funds. Due to the nature of the expected returns projected at 1.8% p.a., it is most likely the case.

Fees are simple at 0.45% p.a. Similar or higher than other solutions. If you ask me, I’ll go for Singlife account where you can deposit up to S$10k at 2.5% p.a. and it is SDIC protected. Micro-investing versus Singlife – Singlife wins hands down but integration wise and branding, Grab edges forward a little more.

Read about my previous post on Singlife here at Where to Park Your Funds? Singlife

For excess funds of more than S$10k, get into Dash and Earn. The first year will be at 2% p.a. capped at $20k. Then go for Tiq Gigantiq at 2%p.a. (For the first year) capped at S$10k. On the options available, I’ll give grab a miss unless I have too much spare cash in their wallet that I can’t take it out.

Conclusion

It seems like it is a hype for now. Other for convenience, I can’t find much differentiation from the rest of the many options available in the market except for convenience. It doesn’t help that Grab is trying to take over the world by trying to integrate everything. I don’t support a monopoly so that is a minus. However, I do think that there are other services which will show up on the app in the near future. Coupled with the fact that digital banking license will be announced in Q4 2020 or in 2021 should there be any delay. As a consumer, we should be happy about competition.

I do see more pros than cons though, given their history of data breaches and bad marketing. Also, I don’t see that they are MAS licensed or approved nor are they working with any financial institutions other than the mentioned fund houses or asset managers. On top of that, monies are held in custody of Grab. Reading their Terms and Conditions, it seemed like they got their own ass covered as compared to the consumer so I’m not too sure about that.

I still don’t see it on my Grab App even after updating the app so I’m wondering how buggy their app can be over time.

Disclaimer

This is not a sponsored post and purely my own opinion that I am writing about in my thoughts. If you like what you are seeing, do remember to check they out and do your diligence. Don’t be too fixated with what is the best.

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

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

Term or Participating Life Plans?

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Term Insurance or Participating Whole Life Insurance? This is the question that I often ask and discuss with my other half. Typically, people seek value when they buy or invest in something. For insurance, value seekers would prefer a cash value. Cash value is what you have contributed over the insurance tenor. These sum of money, deducting the cost of insurance, the fees, commissions, salary and what nots will be invested by the insurance company Fund Managers (Whether they choose in-house or external fund houses) – In short they are known as participating life insurance.

Term and Whole Life Insurance

Term Insurance are policies that do not have a cash value. They are typically cheaper than Whole Life Plans (Otherwise it wouldn’t make sense to get term insurance). For example, they cost $200 per annum for a coverage of $200K and it depends on your age at point of inception. They may or may not be renewable yearly, meaning that the premiums will increase with age and each individual health condition.

In my personal opinion, I think that a Whole Life Plan is really expensive. You pay premiums and the first three years, there is literally no value to your assets. Then your participating underlying investments are handled by someone else who tries their best to beat benchmark and regardless, they get paid in fees and costs.

Buy Term, Invest the Rest?

There is a famous saying, buy term and invest the rest. Well, I don’t have a view on that. It really depends if you want to leave some legacy behind for your family/kids/relatives or it may even be transitory. For e.g. used to cover debts such as a new house, a new car or assets. In order not to complicate matters, I’ll leave illness out of the equation and discuss solely on the death benefit. Generally, you need to cover your liabilities so that in the event of death, your family members not only are rid of their stress and pressure from the loss of a loved one as well as the financial aspect of it. To a certain extent, I believe in covering at least 2x of your liabilities so that there is comfort in dealing with more financial freedom.

The other stuffs to take note of

For a typical household, i believe that health insurance is the first thing you need to seek coverage on, followed by life plans but everyone’s scenario is different. In finance, there is a phase that all of us has to go through which is also the toughest and it is called wealth building. I’ll leave it for discussion on a separate day but my point is, you buy insurance based on what you can afford and not because it is cheap or time is not on your side.

For me, I take the approach of covering term as well as whole life plans. The hybrid style works for me as I am pretty savvy with financial contracts and insurance. In my own time, I am qualified advisor for insurance and more qualified than many out there but I never once worked for any insurance company. Though finance is my forte but there are too many products and innovation in this field that you cant keep up. So, you need to have someone in there to guide you along. It is annoying to talk to agents so you need to have someone you trust.

Let me just plant some ideas – If it make sense. It isn’t all encompassing but just to point things out.

Term Life:

A. A Substitute for liabilities (Housing loan, car loan, personal loan, student loan)

B. A transition phase which you do not mind protecting until that period is over. As term has no value, it is similar to a no-contract telco plan and you can get rid of it anytime (if the time period is short)

C. Supplement for a shortage of coverage that you have for your whole life.

Whole Life Plan:

A. It’s just for lazy people. Buy/Save and pay the premium for a period of time. Leave it there.

B. Buy at a young age and the premiums stay really really low which is smart. Consider your finances too as you need it to be as affordable until you have served the payment term.

C. If you have a young kid or elderly who are not working. You, are the income holder needs to be insured. When you are gone, the young kid and elderly will not be able to work to give you an income.

Above all, health is of the utmost importance. You will never know when or what hits you. Even then, your state of mind will be in a mess. So, no matter how prepared you are, no one will ever be prepared. All these little steps and conversations must eventually turn into real action. When shit comes, it comes and there is no point saying “I should have”. Don’t just listen to your agent out there. Seek alternative, ask and learn. No will will care more about your money more than you will – These life skills will bring value to your own life and frankly I can’t see a life with no planning and no one should.

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 need to deal with buying insurance for myself and my family. There is no one size fits all – different strokes for different folks.

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 the website for this article.