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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Our Bad Experience with Manulife ReadyMummy

Insurance is all about transferring risk to another party. Our recent experience tells us again that it is simply better to self insure...

In our previous posts - 1 Month as a Parent and Mount Alvernia Delivery & Phototherapy Charges, we mentioned that our baby had severe jaundice (290+ level) and had to be admitted for phototherapy 6 days after she was born. 

Long story short, we tried to claim the phototherapy treatment from the ReadyMummy policy but was rejected. To be honest, the amount that can be claimed was supposedly just $100 which is a relatively small amount considering the phototherapy treatment cost $967.92 while the ReadyMummy premium cost $798.00. What really pisses me off was the lack of transparency in the way Manulife promotes/markets ReadyMummy and the lack of product knowledge from this agent.


I checked with him on the day our baby got admitted for phototherapy. Sounds like an easy/straightforward claim right? 


I opted for express checkout (sounds like a hotel right. lol) so it took some time before I received the hospital bills. When it finally arrived, I sent it to him and all of a sudden, he is asking for a doctor's memo. He should have mentioned it earlier but regardless, I got the doctor's memo and sent it to him.


One fine day, I received the rejected claim letter. The agent is so cui (lousy) that he made no effort in communicating the result of the claim to me. I had to find out from the slow mail while he would have received an email. The reason for rejecting it was ridiculous! Apparently, it was not severe enough because Baby Ong was admitted for less than 3 days. Why would the severity be determined by the number of days admitted? Regardless, I went to their website, brochure and even the documents (e.g. product summary) my agent sent me previously but I did not find the minimum 3 days being stated/mentioned anywhere.


He responded that he will appeal only after I confronted him. Shouldn't the approach be him informing me that the claim has been rejected and proceeding to appeal for me?


Anyway, the appeal failed and this was the response I got. It was stated in the policy document which we had to download separately in another email from Manulife. Even the agent said that Manulife was being misleading by not indicating this clause in the product summary.


When we buy insurance, we do not want to find out how good the policy is or to make any claim. To be fair, the Manulife ReadyMummy plan has many other coverages too (on paper and maybe possibly other hidden T&Cs) and it is not right for us to say that it is a bad policy simply based on the above but it was really a bad experience we had to go through. Will we buy this policy if we were to have a second child or any Manulife policy? Definitely not. Is it fair to expect the agent to be well versed in the product he/she is selling? I certainly think so.

End of the day, is it agent cui or policy cui? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Monday, February 15, 2021

Who has the lowest fees? StashAway vs Syfe vs Endowus

I first did a comparison 3.5 years back - Who has the lowest fees? StashAway vs Smartly vs AutoWealth when robo-advisors were new to the Singapore market. Time flies and one of them is already "dead". lol.

Anyway, I felt it was about time to update the spreadsheet with some of the new robo/competitors. The new additions are Syfe and Endowus.

1. StashAway has tiered fees - https://www.stashaway.sg/pricing.


2. Syfe has a very straightforward fee structure but unclear if Platinum clients enjoy a lower management fee as compared to Gold clients - https://www.syfe.com/pricing.


3. Endowus has a tiered, not stacked fees structure for the cash investment and a flat fee pricing for CPF and SRS - https://endowus.com/pricing.


At one glance, which one do you think has the lowest fees?


The correct answer is still "It depends". lol. However, it is pretty obvious that if your investment is large (more than $1,500,000), StashAway is clearly the winner in terms of the annual fee charged for the respective portfolio size.


These are the raw data/numbers used to plot the graph above. For any investment smaller than ~$900k, Syfe would be the cheapest option. Anything more, StashAway becomes the cheapest option. Interestingly, Endowus Cash would be the cheapest for a very brief period when it crosses the next tier which is at $200,001 and $1,000,001.

Based on the above, we can also see why StashAway was able to reach 1 billion AUM so quickly. They are simply the cheapest by a huge margin when the portfolio/investment amount is large. All they need is (multiple) 1 person with 1 million to invest instead of 100 people with $10,000 each competing with Syfe/other robos because there are cheaper alternatives.


These are the raw data/numbers for CPF/SRS investment. Similarly, any investment smaller than ~$900k, Endowus CPF/SRS would be the cheapest option (flat fee of 0.4% which is similar to Syfe's Gold tier) while StashAway becomes the cheapest option beyond $900k.

For CPF investment, Endowus is your only option. For SRS, it really depends. Firstly, how long is your investment horizon and do you foresee your investment growing beyond $900k? Given that the maximum SRS contribution/investment is $15.3k per year (capped), your only variable is how long you can invest vs the return to achieve your goal. Let's say you are starting your SRS at mid/late 40s, you would need a much higher return (e.g. 14%) as compared to someone who started their SRS investment at late 20s (e.g. 3%) to grow the portfolio beyond $900k. Simulate with a finance calculator and decide for yourself! Secondly, are you already investing your cash through StashAway? If you are, you might want to just continue using StashAway to reap the economies of scale (easier to grow beyond $900k) since StashAway does not differentiate between cash/SRS when computing the fees.

Anyway, you can refer to this google spreadsheet for the data and graph.

Do stay tuned to our next article on the Effects of Fees on Returns for StashAway, Syfe, and Endowus which will be pretty similar to what we blogged about previously too - Effects of Fees on Returns - StashAway vs Smartly vs AutoWealth.

Referral
If you are interested in StashAway, do use our referral link. You get $10,000 free management fees for 6 months and we will get $16!

If you are interested in Endowus, do use our referral link for our readers! You will get S$10,000 managed free for 6 months ($20 equivalent) and we will get $20 too! $28 if you fulfill the above conditions.

If you are interested in Syfe, do use our new referral code (KPOCZM). You will have your first $30,000 managed free for 6 months and we will be receiving a $10 cash incentive for our portfolio if you invest $500 or more on your first deposit.

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
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Friday, February 12, 2021

Endowus - January 2021

Happy 牛 Year Everyone! Wishing all the readers lots of wealth, happiness and stay healthy! Endowus is running a CNY promotion and it is for the last 2 days (until 14 February). I will recommend using this opportunity to invest through Endowus if you have been sitting on the fence because the minimum sum is too high (it has been reduced significantly, more information below).

Risk Profile
Goal type: General wealth accumulation
Risk tolerance: Maximise returns (loss tolerance -60%)
Monthly investment using SRS: $638


I have modified my monthly investment in order to max out my SRS contribution for the year.

Account Summary


Capital: $11,788.00
Current: $13,080.35 (11.00%)

There are quite a few differences as compared to StashAway. Firstly, all the cash has been invested while StashAway keeps 1% of the portfolio in cash. Secondly, the fees are not deducted on a monthly basis. The Access Fee charged by Endowus will be deducted at the end of each quarter as stated in their FAQ.

As of 12 February 2021, the portfolio value is $13,813.06 (+17.22%).


Asset Allocation


This shows that the number of shares for each fund that I owned:
- Dimensional Global Core Equity Fund (187.0010)
- Infinity US 500 Stock Index Fund (2,208.0500)
- Dimensional Emerging Markets Large Cap Core Equity Fund (70.2910)
- Dimensional Pacific Basin Small Companies Fund (68.4890)

It will be great if they actually showed my average price vs the current market price.

Transactions


That's all! Overall, I think the statement is pretty straightforward and easy to read. On a side note, StocksCafe does not has the ability to track funds, hence unable to do any form of comparison/benchmark.

Speaking of which, Endowus has finally launched a mobile app:
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.endowus.mobileapp

Oh. Endowus is running a pretty attractive CNY promotion -  lowering of the minimum investment amount to just $888! Huat ah! 
To kickoff the Chinese New Year and to help people invest better from the start of the year, we will be running the following initiatives:
1. For the entire February, we are lowering our minimum investment amount from $10,000 to $888
2. From 1 - 14 February, we have a sign-up bonus for new clients from $20 to $28

To be eligible for the $28 sign-up bonus, the prospective clients have to:
1. Be a new Endowus client
2. Create an account between 1 to 14 February (leave an email and password on our website) using a referral or affiliate link
3. Fund their account with $888 before 28 February


If you are interested in Endowus, do use our referral link for our readers! You will get S$10,000 managed free for 6 months ($20 equivalent) and we will get $20 too! $28 if you fulfill the above conditions.

You might be interested in the previous monthly update too:
Endowus - December 2020 - $12,466.20
- Endowus - January 2021 - $13,080.35

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
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3. Click here to subscribe using email :)
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