A Look At Syfe’s New Robo-REIT+ Portfolio

Recently, Singapore’s Roboadvisor Syfe has just announced the launch of their new real estate portfolio.

As the name suggest, with the new Syfe REIT+, you get to invest in a basket of REITs in Singapore.

The portfolio also combines Singapore listed REITs and Singapore Government Bonds and rebalances both the composition based on market sentiments.

For example, during good market condition, Syfe will auto rebalance the portfolio such that there is a higher proportion of REIT and a lower proportion of bond.

Here’s a look at the Syfe REIT+ composition breakdown: 

At first glance, the Syfe REIT+ portfolio looks really enticing and sounds somewhat too good to be true!

With just a fraction of cost from as low as S$100, you can get access to all the high quality Reits in Singapore, such as Ascendas REIT, Keppel DC REIT, Mapletree Logistics / Industrial Trust and more. Investing via Syfe means you dont have to pay any additional transaction fees or CDP fees as the stocks will be hold as a custodian stocks for you.

Individually, these counters are trading at high PEs now and you will have to fork out a lot of money to own all these REITs. To buy all these individual stocks, you will have to pay the individual stock transaction fees and CDP fees. These fees will definitely add up and will not make sense for small positions of S$1000 – S$3000. I’ve previously done a calculation for the fees here.

Also Read: What Is The Ideal Stock Amount To Buy For The Brokerage Fees To Make Sense

So from a fees perspective, you will end up saving a lot just by buying these REITs via Syfe REIT+.

Returns wise, here are the projected 15 year returns provided by Syfe REIT+

The returns are also in the range of 6 – 10% IRR for a 15 year forward looking projection – and that sounds really attractive!

When I compared the returns to the global equity portfolio, the Syfe REIT+ is projected to also provide almost similar returns as the global equity portfolio, and this gave me quite a shock – Shouldn’t the global equity portfolio provide a higher return since they are a higher risk instrument and comes with more downside risk? 

For context, here’s the projected returns for the Syfe Global Equity portfolio with 25% downside risk:

Syfe Global Equity Projected Returns

The most likely returns for the global equity is at S$321,164 while it is S$315,874 returns for the Syfe REIT+ portfolio!

There are other articles that says that actually REIT as a investment class is behaving more like equities now since they are providing equity-like returns, and most REITs in Singapore has been benefitting from a low interest environment over the past few years. Hence we are seeing REIT as attractive investment options in Singapore. 

Knowing that, will we shift our monthly contribution from Syfe global equity to Syfe REIT+?

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure.

I do manage my own portfolio of REITs at this point, and can definitely use more global diversification, hence I started a RSP into Syfe’s global equity portfolio. 

While the new Syfe REIT+ provides a really attractive alternative for me to continue my exposure to Singapore’s REIT market, I guess for now it makes more sense to continue my RSP into the global equity portfolio as I have a relatively high exposure to Singapore equities and REITs. 

Here’s a look at my current portfolio composition:

Pension Fund36.03%
Global Equities13.85%
SG Equities & REITS27.03%

However, if you are looking to get really high quality Singapore REITs at a low cost, you should definitely check out Syfe REIT+. If I don’t already own some of the REITs in the Syfe REIT+ portfolio, I would definitely start a RSP into the new Syfe REIT+ portfolio.

If you do sign up for Syfe, do use my Syfe Referral Code: SRP6X8B8Y and you will receive S$50 when you invest with Syfe.

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monthly updates

What Have We Done This Month Towards Our Financial Goals – January 2020

So January has came and gone now.

While everyone else is doing a monthly portfolio update, we thought it is more meaningful to document what we have done this month towards our financial goals.

Mr Budget
Position Added: MNACT, Syfe, CPF SA Take Profit: N/A
Mrs Budget
Position Added: N/A Take Profit: N/A

Here’s a graphical representation of what we have done this month towards our financial goals:

Earlier this month prior to the Wuhan virus outbreak, Mr Budget initiated a position on Mapletree NAC Trust as the Hong Kong protest seems to be recovering, and the trust price seems to be attractive enough to warrant a position,

However, the price dropped further after the virus outbreak, hence it is in the red now. We are not too worried about it as the trust has a strong sponsor and we foresee the price to recover in the future.

As shared in our previous update too, Mr Budget contributed S$7,000 to CPF SA for FY 2020 to leverage on the higher interest rate returns. He also started a monthly investment plan with Roboadvisor Syfe. 

For Mrs Budget, there is not much changes this month. However, she will also be contributing to her CPF SA in the next few days when we do our monthly finance reconciliation. 

Our net worth continue to grow and excluding our properties, we are hitting S$560,000 in net worth (including CPF). Our net worth increases by a fair bit as we received some bonus from our employers end last year, along with the corresponding contribution to our CPF accounts.

Our targetted joint net worth which we set for ourselves by end of next year is S$800,000, and it seems like we may need to revise the target since we will have more property mortgage commitment in the net 24 months. To hit S$800,000 of joint net worth, we will each need to grow our net worth by S$60,000 this year and next year. Let’s see if we are able to do that. 🙂 

For now, the Wuhan virus outbreak seems to be getting worse every day, and things will be worse before they get any better. We probably won’t be doing anything much next month, and will start to look at some counters in Singapore and Hong Kong once things have stabilise a bit.

In the meantime, stay safe everyone!

Monthly Tracking

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Syfe Portfolio Update – January 2020

Frequent followers of Mr and Mrs Budget will know that Mr Budget had started a regular savings plan with Syfe, a relatively new roboadvisor in Singapore. 

The main reason why Mr Budget decided to go for Roboadvisor is because he is looking for a more affordable way to invest in multiple baskets of ETFs to get more diversification.

Another reason is that, Mr Budget views roboadvisors as the professionally managed portion of his portfolio since he does not have any financial advisor. As Roboadvisor firms have professionals looking at the funds daily, I’d think the results won’t be that bad as compared to our own DIY portfolios.

So here’s Mr Budget’s monthly Syfe portfolio summary.

January 2020
Total invested: S$2010.00
Current Value: S$2009.00
Portfolio Return: -0.25%
Downside Risk: 25%

Portfolio Breakdown

Not too concerned about the returns at this point as this will be a long term investment. It will take time for the portfolio to see some returns. 

According to Syfe’s forecast, based on a monthly RSP of S$1000 for 15 years at max risk, the optimistic expected return with a total capital of S$181,000 will be S$400,831, or an IRR of 10.856%. For the conservative return of S$245,971 after 15 years, the IRR will be 4.85%, still higher than the bank’s interest rate or even comparable to CPF. 

Will we be able to get the 10.85% return? Only time will tell. We will be tracking the returns monthly and will update here accordingly. 🙂

Syfe Referral Code: SRP6X8B8Y

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Of Wuhan Virus, Syfe’s New Real Estate Portfolio, And CPF.

Hi guys, Mr and Mrs Budget has been away last week for our honeymoon, hence the lack of articles. But we are now back with our regular scheduling. 

The biggest news this past week is definitely the Wuhan virus which has gotten many people worried. The Mrs and I are equally worried too and we are one of the many kiasi-s who have started wearing our mask when we take the public transportation. 

Of course, the virus have spooked the market too, with our portfolio registering a 3% decrease in one day yesterday! They dropped as fast as they rose! However, we have not taken any actions and are keeping the faith that this too shall pass and that our portfolio will continue to return us the annual dividends.

Some of the counters that we are eyeing this year are the usual suspects of high quality REITs which we find the prices are still sky high.

Notably, we are looking at the Mapletrees and the Ascendas, as well as Keppel DC REIT.

The good thing is that, our friends at Syfe told us that they are launching a new fund focusing on REITs in Singapore. The new Real Estate portfolio is slated to launch in February, and we might choose to put some money in it if we like what we see. According to the investment manager, the way the portfolio is constructed, one will be shielded from major corrections! Sounds too good to be true, but let’s see. 🙂

If you are looking to join Syfe, here’s my referral code: SRP6X8B8Y

Besides that, Mr Budget has also received a lot of great feedbacks with regards to my CPF calculation. Some readers pointed out that the calculation is slightly wrong. It makes more sense to max out the Medisave first so excess Medisave will overflow to our Special Account up to the full retirement Sum. There is also a cap on the RSTU to our SA account. 

Another great pointer pointed out was that one should keep some money in the OA and not empty out the OA to SA because of the cap on the RSTU so that in the future, we can continue to enjoy the tax relief of RSTU, hence it makes more sense to drag out the time where you hit your full retirement sum of the SA account. We will probably be doing another article and scenario play this. 

We have also received our CPF annual statement as with everyone else. In 2019, the total interest credited was S$3063.91 as compared to a total of S$1029.86 interest credited in 2018. This represent a 300% increase! This is not far off from our projections.

Mr Budget’s 2018 CPF Interest Received (highlighted in yellow)
Mr Budget’s 2019 CPF Interest Received (highlighted in yellow)

Do keep a look out for more of our articles in the next few days for our monthly updates! In the meantime, happy Chinese new year to all, and don’t let the virus dampen our festive mood. 🙂 

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Our Portfolio Is Probably Lacking A Roboadvisor Component – Here’s Why

Earlier last week, after reading our post on the ideal minimum salary range and the thoughts on retirement, Syfe reached out to us to have a chat with us on our financials.

We subsequently agree and met up earlier today. 

If you didn’t know, Syfe is a roboadvisor which adopts a hybrid model – there is the automated monthly investment portion and it is complemented with a human financial advisor.

From a methodology point of view, compared to the other roboadvisors in Singapore, Syfe believes that your investment should be more about managing its risk and if that is properly defined, you are able to see what your potential returns (and subsequently your portfolio allocation) are based on your acceptable risk.

This approach is in line with Mr Budget’s view towards investment – the first step to investing is to know what is your risk profile.

For Mr Budget, I am a rather impatient guy, and has a relatively high risk profile. 

Hence when I first dabbled into investment, my first stocks that I bought were all US stocks. US stocks is probably one of the investment product with the highest risk (daily fluctuation of 1-5%). With an understanding that my investment journey will be at least 10 to 20 years old, I am more focused on building my capital now. 

US stocks also fits me the best because it can provide a decent capital gain in a short period of time (although this can go both ways). I can also accept the higher risk that comes with this.

For other products like ETFs, local REITS et cetera, you can only see the return in 5-10years for the compounding interest to kick in. 

So this forms the fundamentals of my investment strategy: 

  1. For the first 2-3 years, aim for capital gain via higher risk instruments
  2. With the capital gain, invest them into relatively safer instruments such as REITs and subsequently fixed income or bonds.
  3. Rinse and repeat, and at year 5 – 10, I should have built up a strong portfolio of REITs as well as holding on to some of my US stocks which hopefully have become multi baggers by now

For Syfe, the process is largely similar, you identify your risk profile, and then you will be allocated a recommended portfolio based on the maximum drawdown you are able to take. 

So for example, taking the self assessment test on Syfe, my risk profile will be the highest, and I am recommended the high risk portfolio with a potential drawdown of 25%.

This portfolio has a 100% equity allocation.

One of the pointers brought up by Syfe’s head of investments was that, for DIY investors (like us), how often do we beat the index?

More often than not, we can’t, because there are just too much information out there, and that we might miss out on some opportunities because we are caught up with other aspects of life. 

And that is true, if I look at the returns I generated for my portfolio over the past few years, I have not beaten the index at all. So perhaps, our portfolio has been lacking a roboadvisor component which serves as a “professional managed” portion of our overall portfolio.

For a while now, we have been looking to try out roboadvisors, and do monthly regular investments into these platforms and let professionals manage a small portion of our portfolio for us. 

Who knows, with the addition of roboadvisors in our portfolio, our overall portfolio might enjoy higher returns.

The outreach by Syfe is timely since this has been in our mind for a while now, and we will most probably be starting a regular investment into Syfe.

This post is not sponsored, and nor was there at any point did Syfe ask us to help promote the brand, but here are some personal thoughts which I like about Syfe:

  1. Relatively low fees (0.4% – 0.65%) + 0.15% ETF fees, with no withdrawal fees, no trading fees and no entry or exit charges
  2. The investment methodology is in line with my belief
  3. Investment team is definitely more experience than I am
  4. Aggressive portfolio allocation is investment in not just companies that I am similarly following (US high growth equities), but also in other industries I am not familiar in: utilities, consumers, energy etc. Would love to have some exposure to these areas which I am not familiar in.
  5. Access to financial advisors to periodically check in on any gaps that we may have in our financial planning process

To me, the last question I ask myself is, what is the risk for this other than market risk, which I am also exposed to. The biggest risk is that Syfe closes down, and that we will lose all of our capital. But that is minimised by the fact that they are regulated by MAS, and that they have several high profile backers. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.

So for Mr and Mrs Budget, we will most probably start to park a monthly amount to Syfe and use that as our emergency + retirement hybrid fund.

When we start doing that, we will be tracking the monthly investment gain from the portfolio and share it with you guys. 🙂For now, Mr Budget will have to go back to number crunching mode to see how much we can invest and what will the impact be towards our financials projection before committing an amount.

If you are looking to sign up for Syfe, here’s a referral code for you: SRP6X8B8Y

If this referral code, you can get $50 when you invest S$10,000.

Are you investing in any roboadvisors? 

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The Ideal Minimum Salary Range For 30 – 35 Years Old Singaporean Is Between S$3,500 To S$4,500

Syfe, a roboadvisor in Singapore, recently released a study that looks at whether Singaporeans are ready for retirement. 

Dubbed the Syfe Retirement Readiness Index, the study showed a few findings after polling about 1000+ Singaporeans across all age groups.

Here’s what they found:

  1. 60% of Singaporeans feel that they are not adequately prepared for retirement
  2. 69% of Singaporeans don’t think they can retire comfortably
  3. 50% save less than 20% of their income
  4. 40% of Singaporeans are significantly behind on retirement planning
  5. Women are slightly more retirement ready than men
  6. Nearly 30% of homeowners saved less than 10% of their salary

What caught our attention is actually the low savings rate for the 35 – 44 age bracket – also most likely to be new homeowners and young parents.

Seeing that this will be Mr and Mrs Budget’s profile in the next few years, this worried us a bit too. 

According to the study, for the 35 – 44 years old, only 52% save more than 20% of their salary, and nearly 30% of homeowners saved less than 10% of their salary.

With this in mind, we tried to do a forecast on our future expenses and see how much do we need to spend, and then we can work backwards from there to see how much we need to earn, in order to have excess money to save up for our retirement.

For the forecast, we will be calculating based on a young couple, with one kid as well as a maid to help with household chores, living in a private condo.

Budget Forecast when we reach 35 years old

Currently, Mrs Budget and I spend about S$700 for groceries and meals, and we order in quite a fair bit.

With a child and a maid, we forecast the groceries and meal to be around S$1000 a month. For the home utilities, we calculated in the home utilities, mobile bills as well as the internet bill.

We estimate the cost of a maid to be about S$800. Other assumptions: mortgage payment will be S$3000 a month, and we are contributing a monthly stipend to our parents.

Hence the rough estimated household cost is at S$7,400 a month.

And wow that’s a lot. 

We tried to see if our estimation is too far off, hence we compared this projection with another young family’s expense. We found that the figure is not too far off.

Here’s the real monthly expenses as shared by Dave and Kate:


From the above spending, you will see that the monthly average is S$7916.63 a month. Of course, they have two kids in the family so the expenses is slightly high.

So it will seem like the average household expenditure is around S$7000 – S$8000.

If we split that by two working adults, you will need to earn at least S$4,375 per person so that your take home pay is at least S$3500!

S$4375 per person can be quite high for some, and it is no wonder that young parents who are homeowners will struggle to save more than 10 or 20% of their salary every month. When the money comes in, all of it will have to be spent on household items, your child, your parents, and the hefty mortgage. 

I’d imagine if a person is earning less than S$4,000 when he or she is older than 40 years old to feel as if he is living pay check to pay check. In my previous article, I have calculated that one have to earn at least S$2,600 a month before 30 years old.

Coupled with this new calculation, it seems like the ideal minimum salary range between 30 – 35 years old will have to be at least S$3,500 – S$4,500

Ideal Minimum Salary By Age

This way, he will be ready for all the mortgage and household expenses when he is 35 years old. This is also assuming the other partner has equal share in terms of household expenditure.

Also Read: At 30 Years Old, Your Monthly Salary Should Have Been S$2,600 For You To Feel Financially Secure.

Which is why prudent spending during your younger age is extremely important, and once you have this habit, you will bring it along with you even as you grow older. 

It is also equally important to make sure that you increase your income every year, so that you can catch up with new expenses as we grow older. 

For Mrs Budget and I, we will be using S$8,000 of monthly household expenses as a baseline to do a cash flow forecast for the next few years, and to see if our income can support that household expenses requirement.

Otherwise, we will have to make certain lifestyle adjustment to bring down the monthly household expenses. And it certainly looks that way now.

For our readers, do share with us your household expenditure so that we know if our figures are too far off. 🙂

Disclaimer: Figures above are not adjusted to inflation, and are only used as a general estimation. Real life expenditure varies from individual to individual.

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