Saturday, September 16, 2017

Going on Holiday to Hong Kong and Indonesia!

KPO and CZM will be going on holiday for the next 2 weeks - Hong Kong for 5 days and Indonesia (Bandung and Jakarta) for 6 days!

Our total expenses before we even go for the trip are as follows:


Disclaimer - I did not pay for all the trip. The KPO is referring to our KPO Expense Fund :) Our flight to Hong Kong is through Jetstar (without luggage). If you are wondering why the flight to Bandung is so cheap, I have written an article on how/why we decided to use miles to exchange for it - KrisFlyer 50% Redemption Promotion on SilkAir. Our hotels were all booked through Hotels.com and we used ShopBack too!


If you have yet to sign up for ShopBack, you can use my referral link to get $5 in the account first and another $5 once you make a purchase! KPO gets $5 too only when you meet a minimum spend of $25 + cashback turns redeemable. Personally, I have collected >$100 of cashback from ShopBack. The site is legit! lol.


Do you know what's the fastest way to become a millionaire?


Change $102 SGD to Indonesia Rupiah. I guess this joke never gets old. Hahaha. I was given this stack of cash by the money changer. KPO and CZM will be carrying 7.72 million with us.

Health - KPO Needs to Lose Weight
Date: 2017-09-16
Weight: 79.5 kg
BMI: 26.6

So much for losing 4 kg in the last 2 weeks... Will I gain it back in the next 2 weeks? 买东西, 吃东西 >.< For the non-chinese, it was an old advertisement by Hong Kong Tourism Board where one gets to shop for lots of stuff and eat non-stop.

CPF Milestone ($40k in Special Account) and The Power of Compound Interest

Yay! KPO's CPF has hit a milestone, my SA (Special Account) has hit its first $40,000!


If you are wondering, what is the big deal? It is just 4/5% of risk-free interest (for now) that can be compounded for many many years :) I have been transferring my OA to SA ever since I started working. The reason why I can do this is that I do not have any liability/mortgage to pay as of now. Going forward, I will stop transferring as I need to build up my OA for my house in 2019!

Anyway, the interest rates for our CPF are as follows:


These interest rates include an extra 1% interest paid on the first $60,000 of a member’s combined balances (with up to $20,000 from the OA).

To be more specified, OA has 2.5% interest with an additional 1% on the first $20,000 (3.5%) and 4% for SA and MA with additional 1% on the first $40,000 (5%). You can refer to the CPF site for more information - CPF Interest Rates.

As usual, KPO likes to make some assumptions and play with the numbers...


Assuming if I were to stop working now and there will be no contribution to my CPF SA account anymore, I would have an estimated amount of $141,000 in my SA account when I reach the retirement age of 55. That is an increase of 2,525% based on simple interest. Pretty impressive right? This is also why Albert Einstein claims "compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe".

KPO took a step further and tried to forecast the Basic Retirement Sum required when he reaches his retirement age to see if he can hit it "now". lol. According to the CPF Retirement Sum Scheme site, the Basic Retirement Sum has already been determined for the next few years, till 2020.


Based on the above, the average "inflation" rate is around 2.97%.


Woah. $188,141 is required (imagine the pui blood meme). Seems like KPO needs to continue to work and contribute to CPF. Hahahaha.

You can refer to this spreadsheet or even download a copy and play with it - CPF SA Forecast.

Let me end with another of Albert Einstein's quote - "Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it".

Health - KPO Needs to Lose Weight
Date: 2017-09-16
Weight: 79.5 kg
BMI: 26.6

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Look Into StashAway Monthly Statement

We have finally received the August monthly statement from StashAway! Immediately KPO went into excel/spreadsheet mode and generated MULTIPLE spreadsheets. We received the statement last Friday but was too busy window shopping at bridal shops over the weekend. Hence, this article got delayed.

I felt that this article would be extremely useful for those that are new to StashAway or considering to use it. There are 5 sections in the statement and they are as follows:

1. ACCOUNT OVERVIEW (as of the last day of the month)


You will be able to see the amount of USD invested in securities/ETFs together with the cash (USD and SGD). The total value is displayed in SGD based on the exchange rate provided by Saxo on the last day of the month.

2. SECURITIES BREAKDOWN 


You will be able to see your position at the first day of the month vs the position at the last day of the month. The closing positions in August will become the opening positions in September.

3. CASH BREAKDOWN (self explanatory)


4. TRANSACTIONS


I have a love and hate relationship with this section. One of the most annoying thing when I was first started using StashAway's platform is that there is no information on the average cost price. As a result, I have no idea/visibility as to which ETF is the one making/losing money and it felt like a blackbox. However, with the above information, I can compute the average cost price for each ETF myself and was able to tally the numbers on my spreadsheet (modified based on Investment Moat Portfolio Tracker) with what is shown in their platform.

At one glance, I can easily tell that Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund is losing money.
The thing which I still hate is that the spot/exchange rate for the conversion of SGD to USD is not being captured in the transactions or anywhere in the platform!

5. FEE CALCULATIONS


The fees are deducted on a monthly basis based on a monthly average.

Since there is no way to compare the performances among the robo-advisors, I came out with a spreadsheet to track our StashAway portfolio performance (General Investing - Risk Level 28) against that of STI ETF which I will be updating on a monthly basis. For simplicity, I shall assume that one can either invest in Nikko STI ETF using POSB Invest-Saver or invest in SPDR STI ETF using SCB Priority Online Trading (no minimum commission). These would be the opportunity costs while we continue to invest in StashAway.


Which is the best? Only time will tell :)

This is the link to our spreadsheet - KPO & CZM StashAway Portfolio VS STI ETF which I have also added to Our Portfolio page.

Health - KPO Needs to Lose Weight
Date: 2017-09-12
Weight: 81.2 kg
BMI: 27.1

Monday, September 11, 2017

Weekend Bridal Shop Window Shopping

It was pretty random but CZM and I went to check down to a few bridal shops over the weekend. However, our intention was to check things out and not sign anything.

These are the bridal shops that we went to:
Rico-A-Mona
Yikeshu Bridal and Photography Studio
1728 Wedding House

CZM has been sharing and tagging me on a lot of Rico-A-Mona gowns on FB. She would ask me if this or that is nice and I would always say "all of it looks nice on you". Hahaha. Naturally, that was the first bridal shop we went to check out. We were served by Sinny and she was pretty nice, not pushy at all. She started by explaining the details of the package and then CZM showed her some of the gowns she shared on my FB page. Sinny let CZM tried all of them and even recommended her something different! When CZM first wore the gown and walked out of the fitting room, my heart melted. CZM is so pretty <3 Unfortunately, Rico does not allow one to take photo of their gowns. Anyway, seeing it on the show and experiencing it yourself is so different! In total, CZM tried 4 gowns (all very pretty) and we spent like 2 hours in Rico. 

Next, we grabbed (there was $6 off promotion for 20 rides!) to Yikeshu Bridal and Photography Studio since they were having an open house. We were served by Eagles who also started by explaining the details of the packages. Price wise, Yikeshu is a lot cheaper as compared to Rico! KPO's eyes $_$ We asked to take a look at the gowns and was then served by Helen. Similarly, CZM showed her the Rico's gowns that she like but Helen was not very helpful or good in recommending gown to CZM. She tried one of it which both of us thought was not very nice and CZM lost interest. I am so wrong >.< Not all gowns are nice. The overall experience was so different and we spent about 30 minutes in Yikeshu.

We grabbed again to International Plaza and wanted to visit Alisha & Lace under the recommendation of a friend but they were out for a wedding show! Fortunately, 1728 Wedding House was opened! We wanted to check out 1728 because one of their models is our friend! We were served by Elaine who showed us their packages too. CZM then went on to try 3 gowns (2 looks nice but 1 with sleeve looks weird. lol). On a side note, Elaine is also the makeup artist for Mrs. Fish Bridal. We spent about an hour in their cozy small shop and left the place feeling extremely tired and hungry.

We grabbed to 2D1N Soju Bang and had a huge feast! lol. We ordered 2 BBQ items (1 black pork and 1 chicken) which comes with a free steam egg and a Kimchi pancake + all the free flow sides! I did not really like the black pork and chicken is always nice. Never really like Korean steam egg and will always prefer Japanese chawanmushi. However, my favorite dish is the Kimchi pancake. I would probably order 2 of that next time. lol. I know. There goes my weight loss plan for the day...

We are still undecided on the wedding stuff as of now and we have ample time till our wedding date (next year October). Do share with us if you had any tips or experiences in the comment or privately :)

Health - KPO Needs to Lose Weight
Date: 2017-09-10
Weight: 81.2 kg (karma for the feast)
BMI: 27.1

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Portfolio Update - August 2017

Our portfolio grew by 3.20% to $266,765 - $5,182.17 of capital injection and around $3,095.83 of capital growth!


BOUGHT
- Sheng Siong (2,000 units) @ $0.935
- Raffles Medical (6,000 units) @ $1.10

Amazon first launched its services in Singapore last month and immediately, we saw weakness in Sheng Siong price and decided to accumulate more. We surveyed both our parents and they said "online grocery not fresh". lol. This article by Singapore Business Review - Why Sheng Siong can shrug off threats from Amazon states that "Singapore's online grocery retail market remains small at less than 2% or $96m of modern grocery retail sales of $6b".

I did a review on our 3 worst performing stocks last month:
- Bleeding Stocks - QAF [Part 1]
- Bleeding Stocks - Raffles Medical [Part 2]
- Bleeding Stocks - Ezion [Part 3]

During the review, Raffles Medical fundamentals were still intact and it seems to be undervalued as compared to its peers. So we went ahead to accumulate more/scoop the bottom but it looks like a falling knife now >.< Regardless, life goes on :)

The total dividends collected this month is $1,274.63. The breakdown is as follows:

Company Symbol ExDate Shares Total
QAF Ltd Q01 28-Aug-17 3,000 $30.00
Croesus Retail Trust S6NU 24-Aug-17 6,801 $276.12
Raffles Medical Group Ltd BSL 21-Aug-17 7,000 $70.00
Wee Hur Holdings Ltd E3B 17-Aug-17 5,000 $15.00
Singapore Post Ltd S08 16-Aug-17 4,000 $35.00
Far East Hospitality Trust Q5T 11-Aug-17 10,156 $98.51
Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust D5IU 10-Aug-17 4,000 $36.00
Sheng Siong Group Ltd OV8 10-Aug-17 12,000 $248.00
OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust TS0U 08-Aug-17 8,000 $110.40
Starhill Global Real Estate Investment Trust P40U 03-Aug-17 12,000 $141.60
Singapore Telecommunications Ltd Z74 01-Aug-17 2,000 $214.00

Total dividends collected for 2017: $8,042.2
Average dividends per month for 2017: $670.18

StashAway
Capital: $1,000
Current: $1,005.98 (0.60%)

Initially, I scheduled $500 to be transferred to StashAway on the 1st of every month. However, when the monthly statement came last month, it did not capture the transaction made on the 1st. Hence, I shifted the transfer to the 25th of every month. I am currently waiting for the monthly statement (should be this week) and I will publish another article to give you guys more insight into it. Depending on what is shown/captured in the monthly statement, if we are comfortable with it, we might increase our monthly contribution.

I have also written 3 other articles on StashAway last month:
Who has the lowest fees? StashAway vs Smartly vs AutoWealth
Effects of Fees on Return - StashAway vs Smartly vs AutoWealth
A Coffee Session with Michele Ferrario - CEO of StashAway

Health - KPO Needs to Lose Weight
I have not been very strict with the low carbs diet. When I told my mum not to cook rice/noodle for me going forward, she scolded me and said that I am being unhealthy. The next morning, she heated up a Bak Chang (粽子) for my breakfast and today she cooked fried noodle. lol. I am not complaining because I know I am very fortunate to have my mum take care of everything. Haha.

On the bright side, I have been drinking Vitasoy/Mr Bean soy milk without sugar for lunch for the past few days. Not too bad but I do get hungry much earlier. My colleagues are asking if I am depressed and if my diet is a result of CZM leaving/changing job (we used to work in the same company). lol.

Date: 2017-09-07
Weight: 80.7 kg
BMI: 27.0

Woah. I am a bit shocked. It has only been 3/4 days.

Monday, September 4, 2017

KPO Needs to Lose Weight

Not everything that goes up is good especially when it comes to one's weight. KPO has been putting on more and more weight ever since he started working. He hardly exercises apart from the "force" IPT sessions which he surrenders signs up for because he cannot pass his IPPT. lol.

Let's take a look at my fundamentals:
Weight - 83.5 kg
Height - 173 cm

At one glance, we know this is a lousy stock unhealthy man, not sure why CZM continues to invest in KPO. To make sense of the above numbers, we shall make use of BMI (Body Mass Index). The formula is to divide the weight in kilograms (kg) by the height in metres (m) then divide the answer by the height (m) again to get the BMI.


You can find out more here - Health Promotion Board: What is a Healthy Weight? I quote "BMI measures the relationship between your weight and height to measure the amount of body fat you have. The higher your BMI, the higher the amount of fat in your body." My mind is as lazy as my body so I will be using our Health Promotion Board BMI Calculator instead of calculating it manually. My result is as follows:


GG la. I am so far away from the standard BMI of 20. According to the above formula, to obtain a BMI of 20, my weight has to be around 60 kg. Siao! When I was in BMT also not so light. lol. Let me set a more achievable target - lose 10% of my current weight to 75 kg first. What's my game plan? Reduce/avoid carbohydrate (low carbs diet in Singapore) and exercise more.

CZM and I came up with a plan/punishment to ensure that we will exercise at least 4 times a week. Whoever that did not hit the target will have to contribute additional $5 per day to our KPO Fund. Example if I did not exercise for a particular week, I will have to top up $20!

The reason why I need to lose weight is that CZM and I will be getting married next year and we have around a year remaining to prepare for it! CZM says she does not want to take photo shoot if we continue to be fat (her BMI is 20.8 but she is claiming that she is fat -.-) Anyway, we all know that it would not end well so I better start to lose some weight.

Going forward, I will also be updating my weight at the end of my post as follows:

Date: 2017-09-03
Weight: 83.5 kg
BMI: 27.9

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Coffee Session with Michele Ferrario - CEO of StashAway

Let me start by saying that this is not a sponsored post but from our experience.

It was just another typical day at work (2 weeks back) when I suddenly received an email from Michele Ferrario inviting us out for a lunch/coffee. Turns out he has read both of my articles on StashAway and wanted to discuss further. He was very sincere and even offered to travel near our workplace to make things easier for us. CZM and I were laughing at the email when he addressed CZM as "Zui Mao". lol. The thoughts of meeting him were quite daunting (we are just some random bloggers in the lowest level of the corporate ladder who have not even met our own CEO in person) but we still agreed to it.

These are the 2 articles:
Introduction to StashAway - Robo-Advisor/Automated Investing
Who has the lowest fees? StashAway vs Smartly vs AutoWealth

After some emails to and fro, we settled on a day where CZM and I happened to have taken leave to celebrate our 9th year anniversary at JAAN to visit the StashAway's office! (不好意思 - shy shy to let CEO travel to meet us. lol) Save me the trouble of planning what to do on our anniversary date too. Hahahaha.

During our 1 hour long meeting, we discussed various stuff but I shall not go into the details. It was quite entertaining when Michele got rather agitated while sharing his own experience - how he (CEO of Zalora then) was sitting on cash and ended up buying unit trusts sold by the bank. He then addressed some of the feedback I wrote in my articles and explained the rationale to us which I thought I should share it with the readers as well.

In my first article, I showed the 28 different risk levels and mentioned how it was an overkilled.

Risk Level 1 - Conservative

Risk Level 28 - Very Aggressive
Turns out there is a very good reason for these 28 levels which was not evident/explained during the selection of the risk profile or in their FAQ. The exact words from Michele are that each portfolio targets a different risk level, measured with R-VaR (Regime Value at Risk). You
can read about VaR in Investopedia as I will only confuse you if I were to explain it or you can search for Regime Value at Risk which will return you a bunch of scholarly articles. In short, a level 1 risk means that one would have a 1% chance of losing up to 6.5% of your capital in a given year while a level 28 risk would have a 1% chance of losing up to 20% of your capital (R-VaR increase by 0.5% for every risk level). I was told that a basket of investment grade bonds has a VaR of approximately 14% so one could argue that StashAway’s portfolios are not very aggressive.

If you were to look at the goal projection, a smaller risk profile would have a smaller variance resulting in a smaller lower and upper bound while a higher risk profile would have a wider/larger lower and upper bound. The example below is based on a $500 monthly deposit.

Risk Level 1 - Smaller Lower and Upper Bound
Risk Level 28 - Wider Lower and Upper Bound
Apart from the "General Investing" goal, there are 3 other goals that can be selected:
1. Plan for retirement
2. Buy a home
3. Pay for your child's education
(Michele tells me more goals are about to come!)


I was told that based on the selected goal and the input provided, it will automatically assign one of the 28 risk levels to you with the flexibility of adjusting it by +/- 4 risk levels. The assigned risk level has a 70% chance of hitting your target by the specified time frame as compared to the classic way of targeting a 50% chance. Unfortunately, I was not able to find the above information explicitly written/documented anywhere on the site so you will have to take my word Michele's word for it.

One of the most common questions I get when discussing this with my friends is what happens in the event StashAway closes/goes bankrupt?


Although this was already stated in their FAQ, I decided to ask Michele the same question. His response was much longer than the above but you can be sure that your money will remain intact. The Capital Market Services License for Retail Fund Management awarded by MAS to StashAway has a minimum Base Capital Requirement of S$1,000,000. In the event, StashAway is not making any profit and has to close, that $1,000,000 will keep the company operational till it returns all of the customers' capital/investment. Depending on the circumstances, the customers will be offered to either liquidate all the shares and get their monies back or choose to keep the shares. In the latter case, StashAway would assist to open the relevant account with their partners and transfer those shares over.

How often would you find an insurance agent buying the insurance/ILP he/she is selling? It is different for Michele who believes in the platform/product he is building. He himself is a customer of StashAway with a significant sum of money in it. Seeing is believing, he showed us his account during parts of our discussion. lol.

At the end of the meeting, we just had to ask for a wefie with Michele!


Anyway, if you are interested in finding out more, you can check out some of the sessions StashAway is holding from Eventbrite, meet the co-founders in person including Michele and listen to what they have to say. KPO and CZM will be attending one of it too!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Bleeding Stocks - Ezion [Part 3]

This is the third and final series of "Bleeding Stocks" where KPO will be looking at 老鼠屎 (rat shit) dragging down the overall performance of his portfolio. Do check out the rest if you have not :)

Bleeding Stocks - QAF [Part 1]
Bleeding Stocks - Raffles Medical [Part 2]

I was wondering if I should rename this to dead stock instead of bleeding when Ezion made an announcement to suspend trading. lol.


Based on the last closed/suspended price, that is a -68% loss! I am guessing it will be even more when Ezion resumes trading. How did KPO even end up in this state? He was once a clueless investor that did not have any investing/financial knowledge and made many mistakes along the way.


This is a record of my past transactions. There was a bonus issue of 1 for 5 stocks, hence the free 200 shares on 18th Sep 2014. The above shows that I was trying to average down but ended up catching a falling knife >.< This was one of the stocks which I had bought simply based on banks' analysts' reports when I first started out.

i3investor.com used to be one of my favourite sites to hang out. It provides a list of analysts' reports, their target price, possible upside/downside and other information. If you were to head over to Ezion page, it will look like below:


The average target price is $0.44 and there is a possibility of it increasing by 123.35%! KPO, do not give up hope! Let me continue to deceive myself, I have yet to look at its last quarter earnings/report. lol.

Let me bring you back to the past, to the year of 2014 where I first bought this stock to show you what I was looking at. When people say what is on the internet stays on the internet, it is pretty true. Introducing the WayBackMachine which lets you travel back in time on the internet given an URL. You can try using it on facebook/google to see how they looked when they first started.


Welcome to 2014 where the whole world is making "BUY" call on Ezion. lol. Do note that this is before the oil price tumbles. Let's travel to 2015 now.


The price has already fallen to $0.69 and the oil price was at a 10/11 years low but the analysts are still making "BUY" call with target price > $1!

Enough time traveling, let's come back to reality where Ezion just reported its second quarter on 14th August 2017, 7am and 30 minutes later, request for trading suspension before the market opens. Well played.


The latest update on 23rd August 2017 states that it is "arranging a series of informal meetings with its lenders and holders of securities issued by the Company pursuant to its S$1,500,000,000 Multicurrency Debt Issuance Programme"

Looking at its balance sheet, Ezion has US$2,910,775,000 of total assets and US$1,609,835,000 of total liabilities. Given that there are 2,073,843,405 shares in the market, its NAV is US$0.6273 and S$0.85  (assuming an exchange rate of 1 USD = 1.36 SGD). Ignoring the fact that its EPS has been negative since 2016, it is currently trading at a PB of 0.232, isn't that a huge discount?! Anyone interested in joining me to become a shareholder? lol. I hope not. Simply looking at the PB ratio does not give a sufficient context.

A good example would be Rickmers Maritime which has wind up the business and liquidated its assets to repay the debts. It has a NAV of US$0.21 based on its 2016 annual report (the total asset of US$531,862,000 and total liabilities of US$348,389,000). However, the assets are usually not liquidated/sold at book value (usually at a significant discount). As a result, the bond holders got back a small amount (12% of capital) while the share holders lost everything.

What is more worrying apart from its huge amount of debts is that its operating cash flow has gone negative this quarter. This means that the business is no longer making sufficient money just to be operational, not to mention paying off debts. Hence, the need to suspend the stock for further discussion.

On the bright side, Ezion has not defaulted on any of its loans unlike Erza, Swiber, etc and its CEO/founder Chew Thiam Keng has never sold any shares since 2014 but continued to buy more/average down over the years. His last purchase was 500,000 shares at $0.22 on 31st August 2016; 500,000 shares at $0.235 on 30th August 2016 and 500,000 shares at $0.255 on 22nd August 2016, $0.29, $0.602 and more. He is currently holding on to 217,583,440 shares (10.49%) and he certainly has a lot more to lose (based on last closed price, that is S$43 million) as compared to my 9,900 shares. lol.

KPO will not be showing any chart. $0.197 is already at an all time low and that is a very weak support that will definitely be broken >.<

CZM has been asking me to sell but I continued to hold on to it hoping that one day something magical will happen. After all, cut loss is easier said than done. What would you do?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Effects of Fees on Return - StashAway vs Smartly vs AutoWealth

This month has been a pretty busy month and KPO will be on reservist for the next 2 weeks! CZM has finally came back to blog about our 9th year anniversary lunch at JAAN. Do check it out and show your support :)

There was an interesting discussion going on in the comments section of my last article - Who has the lowest fees? StashAway vs Smartly vs AutoWealth. It all started when foolish chameleon asked if one should be switching the money from one robo advisor to another once one has reach the next level to be entitled to lower fees. The followings were the conclusion:
- StashAway: < $10,000 or > $400,000
- AutoWealth: between $10,000 and $100,000
- Smartly: between $100,000 and $400,000.

As usual, KPO spent some time and played with the numbers to find out how would the difference in fees affect the growth of one's portfolio. For simplicity, one assumption is made - the 3 robo-advisors provide the same annual return.

Interestingly, the results turned out to be quite different from my previous article. The previous article was a one dimensional analysis on the fees based on the absolute amount of the portfolio. This time round, the compounding effect was added to provide a two dimensional analysis.

Scenario 1: Invest $50 on a monthly basis and the expected return was 7% per year.


Scenario 2: Invest $50 on a monthly basis and the expected return was 8% per year.


Scenario 3: Invest $500 on a monthly basis and the expected return was 7% per year.


Scenario 4: Invest $1,000 on a monthly basis and the expected return was 7% per year.


If we are choosing a robo advisor purely from a fee/cost perspective, AutoWealth seems to be the most cost effective after taking into account the compounding effect. On the other hand, I hardly see Smartly performing better. I would recommend that you download a copy of this google spreadsheet and play with the numbers yourself. Simply change the number in the highlighted cells, everything else is formula linked.

However, I would like to point out that the above assumption is too simple. lol. The 3 robo-advisors will definitely provide different returns. CNBC has published an article on it - Returns vary widely for robo-advisors with similar risk. Another article by Senzu also shows the different in returns - Compare Performance & Portfolios of Robo Advisors. This is because the asset allocation, the underlying ETFs as well as the way the logic/algorithm use to rebalance the portfolio will all be different.

Will we continue to use StashAway? Yes! Among the 3 robo-advisors, only StashAway provided a clear explanation of their logic/asset allocation framework - ERAA (Economic Regime-based Asset Allocation). On the other hand, AutoWealth "takes a rule-based approach towards investing" but I could not find any further information (the same can be said for Smartly).

Update: As pointed out by Kevin, Smartly uses Harry Markowitz Modern Portfolio Theory which you can find out more through Investopedia - Harry Markowitz. Miru also shared his own experience dealing with the 3 robo-advisors in the comment section. Once again, the cost/fee should not be the only consideration.

Hope you enjoy the article!

Monday, August 21, 2017

9th Anniversary at JAAN

KPO has decided to bring me to JAAN to celebrate our 9th year anniversary (gosh yes we are together for almost a decade). Some background of JAAN - located at level 70 of Swissotel, this is a French restaurant which was awarded 1 star in the Michelin Guide 2017 and voted as one of Asia's best restaurants 2017. Given this and strong recommendation by our close friend, we decided to give it a try. We were given a nice window seat and this is the view.


There are a few different types of seasonal lunch menu to choose from but being a Kiam Pok, we decided to go for the cheapest option - 4-course menu at $88++ per pax. We also opted to pair it with 3 glasses of wine at $58++ (the a la carte menu for wine costs approx $40 per glass, so it doesn't make sense to order there in my opinion).

1st dish (before the actual 4-course meal)
Foie Gras and Truffle Macaron - KPO's favourite dish


2nd dish
Potato Soup - savoury taste!


3rd dish
Specialty bread with seaweed and normal butter!


4th dish (1st course)
Golden Beetroot


5th dish (2nd course)
Some fish dish - halibut to be more specific.


6th dish (3rd course)
Some pork dish - KPO and I find this the most ordinary among the rest.


7th dish (4th course)
Ivory Caramel - super nice chocolate dessert which includes warm chocolate cake, ice cream and different types of chocolate. CZM super love this dish!


8th dish - complimentary chocolate dish (not counted as part of the 4 course meal)
Couldn't remember the name of this, but there were 3 different bite-size choc provided by the restaurant. By the time this dish came, we were so full that we were already having food coma. @.@


As this was our anniversary celebration, JAAN has also thoughtfully provided us with a petite chocolate cake to celebrate this occasion with us.

Overall, each dish is designed like an art piece and the service there is top-notch. Highly recommend people to go there for special occasions!

Rating: 4.5/5

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Who has the lowest fees? StashAway vs Smartly vs AutoWealth

I previously wrote about Introduction to StashAway - Robo-Advisor/Automated Investing and my friend (lulu - not her real name. lol) asked, why do I think that StashAway has the lowest fee. She then highlighted to me that StashAway has tiered fees. OMG! Can you imagine how shocked KPO would be (especially when he started investing in StashAway)? I was under the impression that the annual fees percentages simply decrease as the portfolio value increases. So KPO went home, took a closer look at the fees involved and started crushing some numbers!

1. StashAway has tiered fees - Pricing Structure.


2. Smartly charges at 3 different rates depending on the value of your portfolio - Pricing.


3. AutoWealth has the most straightforward fees structure (0.5% + USD $18 platform fee) - Our Fees.


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


The correct answer is "It depends". lol. However, it is pretty obvious that if your investment is large (more than $500,000) and in the long run, StashAway is easily the winner.


Note that AutoWealth requires one to start with at least $3,000. The sweet spots are somewhere around $10,000 and $400,000. Invest using StashAway if the amount is below $10,000 or above $400,000. Use AutoWealth if the amount is between $10,000 and $100,000 and Smartly for an amount between $100,000 and $400,000. You can refer to this google spreadsheet for the data and graph.

Will I continue to use StashAway? Yes! CZM has agreed to invest $500 of our KPO Investment Fund per month through StashAway. After 30 years, the projected return based on our risk profile is around $800,000 (50% chance of achieving it. lol).


We will probably increase it to $1,000 per month once we are more comfortable with it but that shall be another post for another day :)