A really busy month for me. Resigned from my previous job, took a one-week break and started a brand new chapter in a totally new environment with a 100% different job scope.


Exciting times indeed!

Squeezed out some time to attend yet another gathering organized by BigFatPurse who had shifted out from their Orchard Road office to JTC LaunchPad @ one-north. Enjoyed the opportunity to meet a few new faces and of course learn plenty of new things! It’s amazing to meet people from different industries and occupations. Time flies during events like this and once again, I failed to chat with a couple of familiar faces like Alvin from BigFatPurse and Andy from Tacomob. Next time, hopefully?

Smartly Beta

The launch of Smartly is moving along not as fast as expected and based on what I understand, there are regulatory concerns that simply cannot be rushed. Meanwhile, they are continuing to put their efforts into refining the Smartly platform and looks set to be the first of such platform to launch in Singapore.

The FAQ page and About Us page have been quietly updated as well. Looks like they will have iPhone and Android apps to complement the platform.

After meeting with Keir earlier, I’ve finally gotten myself a Beta account to poke around the Smartly platform during my free time, which is harder to come by nowadays with my new employment, but I try.


The platform looks just as sleek and clean like it was during the demo and it is incredibly easy for the entry-level investor to use. I have already sent my first few observations and questions to them.

Index Investing Tools

Along the way, I’ve been thinking of new ways to integrate a robo-advisor platform into a DIY-approach to index investing. The easy access it gives into the global markets is what I’m most interested in.

For example, I can divide my money into three pies. 2/3 could be diverted into a robo-advisor platform like Smartly which automatically invests and balances at an low-risk allocation of 50% equities and 50% bonds. For the remaining 1/3 of my investment funds, I can DIY and buy STI ETF on a regular basis. Periodically, just need to rebalance to ensure that the ratio of Smartly portfolio value is twice that of my STI ETF value, which means in totality, the portfolio allocation is roughly –

  • Equities – 33% <Smartly>
  • Bonds / TIPs – 33% <Smartly>
  • STI ETF – 33% <DIY>

This potentially means we don’t have to bother with a foreign exchange anymore. The eagle-eyed might be asking, what about SG Bonds? Considering we already have CPF, we could ignore it which would make the above really easy to maintain. Else, consider the below where you DIY purchase of ABF SG Bond ETF. You can work it into your portfolio easily if you want.

  • Equities – 25% <Smartly>
  • Bonds / TIPs – 25% <Smartly>
  • STI ETF – 25% <DIY>
  • ABF SG Bonds – 25% <DIY>

Or select a high-risk portfolio at Smartly. Hmm, resembles the famous Three-Fund Bogleheads portfolio?

  • Equities – 31% <Smartly>
  • Bonds – 2% <Smartly>
  • STI ETF – 33% <DIY>
  • ABF SG Bonds – 33% <DIY>

These are just ideas I’m playing with in my head for now, as I’m still awaiting clarification regarding issues like dividend withholding taxes and estate taxes depending on the ETFs in use and where they are domiciled. With more platforms and more options, it will give index investors more flexibility.

Exciting times indeed!