$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: StashAway - November 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

StashAway - November 2017

USD has fallen slightly which is great for those shopping at Amazon during Black Friday and Cyber Monday but not so good for our StashAway portfolio. lol.

On a side note, I realized that the statement is different again this month!

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

The exchange rate at the start of the month was 1 USD = 1.3608 SGD as compared to 1 USD = 1.347 SGD at the end of the month. What does this mean? If you are optimistic, it means that you will be able to buy more underlying ETFs units for the same Singapore dollar (assuming the price of the ETF remains constant) going forward. On the other hand, it also means that your current USD investment/portfolio is worth lesser as compared to when you first invested which is why our portfolio would be experiencing a negative currency impact. On the bright side, our capital is SGD $2,500 so there is a $36.57 profit even with a -$20.06 currency impact.


We receive USD $0.92 dividends which have been paid and reinvested.


I still hate the fact that we are not provided the exchange rate when the SGD deposit was converted to USD.


No fee this month because I recommended a friend. The projected fee (assuming no referral) would be the monthly-average assets SGD $2,091.63 x 0.8% / 365 days * 30 days = $1.38

So what has changed?

They added an appendix to provide explanations for the various financial terms used in each section of the statement. I thought this was pretty neat and helpful to those new to investing.

Saving the best for the last, I shall be revealing the most interesting change! KPO has sharp eyes/attention to details (CZM says self-praise is no praise). Drum roll please! lol.

Above is a screenshot of both the October and November statement side by side. What do you see? Yes! There is a GST Registration number! Ever wonder why some shops/eateries do not charge GST while some do? According to IRAS website - GST Registration Liability, this can only mean 2 3 things for StashAway.

You are liable for GST registration if:
  1. Your taxable turnover at the end of the calendar quarter (i.e. 3 months ending Mar, Jun, Sep or Dec) and the past three quarters is more than $1 million. ("Retrospective View")
  2. You can reasonably expect your taxable turnover in the next 12 months to be more than $1 million ("Prospective View")

3. Alternatively, as some readers have pointed out, it is possible to register for GST voluntarily but why register for it now and not right at the start?

A quick search on the IRAS portal revealed that they registered for GST on 3rd November 2017. Whether StashAway has already made $1 million in the last few months or will be making $1 million in the next 12 months, I would view this as a piece of good news similar to those where companies are conducting shares buyback or insiders buying more shares. This is definitely a boost of confidence for those that are worried that the company would close down/go bankrupt. lol. This is purely my opinion.

StashAway VS STI ETF
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.

This month commentary: In terms of absolute P&L, StashAway return is ranked number 2 at 1.4%. Using SCB Priority Online Trading to invest in SPDF STI ETF has the highest return at 2.19% as compared to using POSB Invest-Saver to invest in NIKKO STI ETF with the lowest return at 1.12%. Although both STI ETFs are tracking Singapore Straits Times Index, the difference in return can be attributed to the effect of fees/commissions due to the usage of different platform to invest. The same can be said when one chooses to invest in ETFs vs unit trusts/funds - fees/costs matters.

Apart from the absolute P&L, we should also look at the Reward-to-Risk Ratio where risk/volatility is taken into account. For more information, do read StashAway Clarifications - Reward-to-Risk Ratio. StashAway has the highest ratio of 0.98 which is significantly higher than the other 2 STI ETFs. Let me quote Freddy Lim (Co-Founder & Chief Investment Officer of StashAway), "for every dollar of risk taken, StashAway P28 is producing 0.98 times the return".

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.

StashAway Referral Link for Our Readers
Here you go: KPO and CZM Referral Link

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
1. FB Page - KPO and CZM
2. Twitter - KPO and CZM
3. Click here to subscribe using email :)


  1. still comtemplating... suddenly it dawn on me there's still the exchange rate.

    if put in more $$ won't it affect the forex even larger?

    1. Hi usurper,

      I believe all the robo-advisor invest in USD (due to the wide selection of ETFs) so forex will always be there which can be a diversification to the SG portfolio. It can work against or for you. I would not be too worried about it.

      If you are still contemplating, I will recommend that you attend one of SA's talk to find out more or even speak with the founders :)

  2. Hmmm, i may be wrong but if we take into account the conversion rate of SGD to USD when we make a deposit and later if we withdraw also from USD to SGD , all these will affect the overall returns we may get, so far i only got 0.4% total returns in SGD.

    1. Hi Jackie,

      Yes you are right. The foreign exchange rate will have an impact on the return. It can either work for you or against you. At the current moment, it is working against us as USD has been dropping (around 1 USD to 1.33 SGD now).

      On the bright side, that also mean that we can now exchange for more USD to buy more underlying ETFs! Our return will definitely be different for various reasons such as the aggressiveness of our profile and the date which we deposit/transfer the money (FX rate will be different).