The COVID-19 pandemic paved the way for the adoption of digital financial tools. Robo advisors were not left behind. The automated investment platforms make it easy and fuss-free for individuals to start their wealth accumulation journey.
Syfe is new to the Robo advisor industry but has quickly become one of the most popular in the market. Its affordable fees, straightforward interface, and minimum investments are among some reasons why most investors in Singapore prefer using the platform.
If you are new to investing in Singapore, here is a comprehensive review of Syfe that will guide you as you start your investment journey. We will also help you see if this is the best investment approach.
What is Syfe?
Syfe is a digital investment platform built for next-generation financial solutions for investors across Asia. The Monetary Authority of Singapore licenses it with the Capital Markets Services (CMS).
The platform was launched in July 2019 with a mission to transform how people manage their money while making high-quality financial series affordable and accessible to all. Syfe has almost all financial services under one roof where regular investors can access smart, affordable, and straightforward investing to help grow their wealth.
Syfe offers customized portfolios to help clients achieve their long-term financial goals. In addition, the platform does not have a minimum investment amount and offers a low annual fee of 0.35% p.a. of the total amount invested.
The Robo advisor has introduced Syfe Trade, the first neobroker in Singapore. This has enabled their users their money by selling and buying US stocks and Exchange Traded Funds. Users can easily invest in some of the world’s biggest companies with as little as one dollar.
Users have access to free trades, access to real-time market data and analysis, and a simplified user experience.
How Does Investing with Syfe Work?
Syfe offers fully managed investment portfolios with no lock-in periods or minimum investment amounts. The platform has eight portfolios, so you will have a wide range of portfolios to choose from.
The portfolios charge a fee ranging from 0.35% to 0.65% p.a. of the total assets under management. Syfe’s management fee covers everything in the portfolio, including automatic rebalancing and cash management portfolio monitoring. The fee schedule is the same for all portfolios except for the cash+ portfolio, making it easy for users.
Here are Syfe’s different portfolios. They each are a mix of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). If you are not sure of which assets to invest in, here is a complete guide:
Syfe’s Core Portfolios
1. Core Equity 100
The Equity 100 portfolio is fully allocated to global equities and does not expose other class assets such as fixed income and cash. With this global portfolio, you get exposure to more than 1500 companies worldwide.
An example of such an ETF is the iShares Core S&P 500 UCIT ETF that tracks top companies in the USA, such as Visa and Microsoft. Syfe’s Core Equity portfolio invests in a total of 13 ETFs.
Syfe uses the Smart Beta strategy for this portfolio while hoping to outperform the index while maintaining the same risk management. This portfolio offers the potential of high returns while having high risk as well. This is part of why these portfolios suit investors with holdings in other asset classes such as fixed income and commodities.
Second on the list is the Syfe Core Growth portfolio, which has the second-highest risk appetite from four core balanced portfolios. Core Growth asset allocation includes 70% equities, 255 bonds, and 5% gold. The returns on this portfolio are pretty high, but it offers significant exposure to market volatility.
ETFs with a high weightage on this portfolio include the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight, iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond, and Invesco QQQ Trust Series1. It also offers gold ETFs and bond ETFs, which sets it apart from the Core Equity 100.
The Core Defensive portfolio offers the lowest risk compared to the other three portfolios. Its asset allocation includes 7-% bonds, 20% equities, and 10% gold. This ensures that your returns are stable and can still perform well during weather storms like recessions and pandemics.
ETFs with the highest weight on this portfolio include iShares’ series of Treasury Bond ETFs and Vanguard’s Total International Bond Index Fund ETF Shares. It is important to note that this is a global portfolio heavily focused on the USA. 60% is composed of US government bonds.
Last on the list is the Core Balanced portfolio. This is a medium-risk portfolio, as its name suggests. Its asset allocation includes 50% bonds, 40% equities, and 10% gold, which offers an opportunity for higher returns.
The portfolio has 50% of its allocation to bond ETFs helps cushion it against market risks exposed to most equities. ETFs dominant on this portfolio include the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond, SPDR Gold Shares, and iShares MSCI EAFE. The bond ETFs are still dominated by US Treasury bonds. The equity ETFs on the other hand, are globally diversified.
When Syfe REIT+ was first launched, there were no other Robo advisors in the market offering a similar product. REITs are known for their high yields and are the foundation of dividend income portfolios partly because they must distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders.
This REIT portfolio is ideal for passive investors who do not have exposure in the real estate industry or want to have a passive stream of income. The REIT+ portfolio replicates the SGX iEdge S-REIT Leaders Index, with about 20 of Singapore’s largest REITs. With this portfolio, you get to choose between two options which include:
- 100% REITs that tracks the SGX iEdge S-REIT Leaders Index.
- REITs with risk management allow you to shield your own portfolio against volatility by managing your risk with Syfe’s ARI methodology. It includes Singapore Government Bonds into your own portfolios.
You can also choose to have your dividends paid out quarterly into your bank accounts or reinvested at no additional cost. The 100% REIT portfolio has a 5.1% yield, while the REITs with risk management have a 4.6% dividend yield.
In 2020, cash management portfolios provided much-needed competition to traditional savings accounts. The Cash+ portfolio gives users a way to grow their savings in today’s low-interest environment.
It has a return of up to 1.5%p.a. and S$0 management fees. The Cash+ offers a high yield compared to other high interest savings accounts that have slashed their rates in the past years. The underlying funds in the Cash+ include:
- LionGlobal Short Duration Bond Fund: 35%
- LionGlobal SGD Money Market Fund: 30%
- LionGlobal SGD Enhanced Liquidity Fund SGD: 35%
Syfe Cash+ attracts clients due to a lack of a lock-in period, and no minimum account balance required minimum deposit and free and unlimited transfers.
Syfe Select Themes
Syfe’s select themes offer investors an easy way to invest thematically. These investment themes were unveiled in September 2021.
You can choose from five portfolios here. These themes are specialized to appeal to people who want to align their beliefs with their thematic portfolio holdings. Syfe also allows you to create your thematic portfolios using Syfe Select Custom.
The themes include:
1. Disruptive Technology
Features ETFs tracking firms on future tech, including robotics and artificial intelligence. They include the Global X Robotics & AI and First Trust Cybersecurity ETFs. Returns are at 25.22%.
2. ESG & Clean Energy
Features ETFs tracking businesses with sterling ESG credentials. They include Invesco Water Resources and iShares MSCI EM ESG ETFs. Returns are at 22.39% over the past five years.
3. Healthcare Innovation
Features ETFs tracking innovative companies in the health sector. They include ARK Genomic and SPDR Health Care Sector ETFs. Returns are at 20.23% over the past five years.
4. Global Income
Features ETFs that track bonds across nations and companies with a target exposure to emerging markets and China. They include iShares Short Duration High Yield Corp Bond and iShares JP Morgan EM Corporate Bond ETFs. Returns are at 5.1% over the past five years.
5. China Growth
Features ETFs racking Chinese companies that focus on consumer sectors and tech. They include iShares China A Shares and WisdomTree China ex-State-Owned ETFs. Returns are at 17.33% over the past five years.
The select custom feature allows you to create your personalized investment portfolio. It lets you select from more than 100 ETFs to build your syfe portfolio from the ground up. You get to select 8 ETFs and adjust them accordingly.
You can also select one ETF if you feel the management fees are much better than transacting through online brokerages. The ETFs to choose from Select Custom were selected by Syfe’s investment team based on an unspecified methodology. They are from reputable companies such as Invesco, Vanguard, and Blackrock.
Syfe provides advice for investors who want to create their customized portfolios and helps them make better financial decisions. With Select Custom, you will pay the same fee as all the other Syfe Portfolios, and you do not need to make a minimum deposit as well.
How Much Are Syfe’s Fees and Charges?
Syfe charges a management fee of 0.35%- 0.65% p.a. for all your investment or assets under management. There is no management fee levied on the cash management account because of their low returns.
Here is a full description of Syfe’s fee schedule:
- S$0 – S$19,999 (Syfe Blue): 0.65% p.a.
- S$20,000 – S$99,999 (Syfe Black): 0.5% p.a.
- S$100,000 – S$499,999 (Syfe Gold): 0.4% p.a.
- S$500,000 and above (Syfe Private Wealth): 0.35% p.a.
The best part about Syfe is that there are no hidden charges that will have you combing through the terms and conditions. You are not required to lock up your savings over a certain period. Syfe does not charge withdrawal or deposit fees, and you are also not required to make a minimum initial deposit in Singapore dollars.
Should You Invest in Syfe?
Syfe offers investors an affordable way to invest their incomes. There is no minimum investment, deposit, or withdrawal fees. The only fee the platform charges is the annual Syfe’s management fees deducted automatically from the cash on your portfolio.
The platform also offers selected themes and custom portfolios to suit your desired investment goals.
- Low management fees
- No minimum investment and free withdrawals
- Effortless investing with fully managed portfolios
- You get to choose from 7 portfolios
- Easy sign up with Singpass
- Syfe is still young in the industry; hence no proven track record
- Frequent retooling of its product line
How Do I Open a Syfe Account and Fund It?
You will need to be 18 years and above to open an account. If you work with an investment bank, you will need to seek the advice of your compliance department to ensure that there is no conflict of interest.
So, which steps should you follow to start investing? After signing up, click ‘Get Started’ and follow the steps below:
- Select the portfolio type.
- Answer the question to help personalize your portfolio. After, explore your portfolio, develop an investment plan, and create your account.
- Use Singpass to verify your details immediately. You can also enter your details and upload the required documents.
- Once you have created your account, transfer funds to your portfolio using FAST, PayNow, Telegraphic Transfer, and other methods.
- Once done, Syfe will invest your funds for you, and you can access your account from anywhere via the web or an app.
How Do I Fund My Syfe Account?
You can fund your account in two easy steps. They include:
- Fast (Fast and Secure Transfer) is an electronic fund transfer service you can transfer money quickly to your Syfe account. You can fund your account through the following bank account.
- DBS Bank Account: 0720110196 (Bank branch code: 072)
- Name: Syfe Pte Ltd Clients AC
- Swift/BIC: DBSSSGSG or DBSSSGSGXXX (if using Citibank)
- PayNow via Unique Entity Number (UEN): For PayNow via UEN, key in Syfe UEN number: 201834952HDBS, or search for Syfe Account Number.
Syfe is one of the newest members of the digital investment market. The platform offers no minimum investment and no withdrawal fees, so most beginner investors prefer it. Syfe also offers customized portfolios that are ideal for investors who do not have the time to create their personalized portfolios.
- Syfe offers seven ready-made portfolios
- Features Select Custom where advanced investors can create their portfolios
- No minimum investment and withdrawal fees
- Low annual management fee
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