Looking back at 2017, it has been an incredible year in so many ways.

Lots of development that are very much related to index investing too! Let’s touch on some topics then, shall we?

The Rise Of Robo-Advisors

This is no doubt the year of Robo-Advisors for Singapore, and they made a huge splash. For retail investors, there is AutoWealth, Smartly and StashAway (in alphabetical order) to choose from.

Time will time whether they would be able to sustain themselves and mount serious challenge. Even in the space of a few months, I’m beginning to form my own impressions of where my money would be in the loooong run.

If you’re thinking of investing with them or already did, then read up on their investment methodology and think about whether you would put their money with them in the long run – think 5, 10 or even 15 years.

Passive investing is not necessarily good investing.

Is it passive from the perspective of the investor? If so, I can buy into a penny stock every month and still be considered as passive investing. Not necessarily a good idea, right? Likewise for robo-advisors. I can invest $500 every month. But what if the methodology or framework is doing funky stuff behind my back?

Also, Robo-advisors isn’t necessarily equivalent to Index Investing. Some attempt to beat market returns. They may succeed. Or fail.

Currently, I’m using them to complement my portfolio and in time, perhaps use them to form the bulk of my global equities and bonds allocation.

Pro Tip :Use Stocks Cafe to track your US-listed ETFs and compare to STI performance automatically! If you dig the platform, show them some love and donate!

Cryptocurrency Mania

This year is when Cryptocurrency sort of went mainstream. Everyone is blogging on them nowadays, which is why I try not to. Let’s see if it lasts.

Don’t get me wrong. I do believe in the underlying blockchain technology and it will be a game-changer in so many ways. Just be very careful if it concerns money. Also, I see cryptocurrency emerging as an alternative asset class and I have a very small percentage of my portfolio in it.

An interesting piece of news that caught my attention was when SMRT Feedback launched a Crypto Index Fund called Currency X. No, I did not participate in it. If you missed it, I heard they are coming back with a second round in January or February. Anyway, I prefer to .. ahem, pick my own coins. Besides, the irony of the whole thing is just .. 🙂

However, if you do want to venture into cryptocurrency by yourself, the PDF file provided by SMRT Feedback has a basic “selection criteria” guide if you desperately need a checklist when considering if a coin is worth investing in.

Well, cryptocurrency and index investing. Who would have thought the two would come in the same sentence?!

Importance Of Private Medi-Shield Plans

My family members got into a couple of medical situations this year. Having a basic private shield plan coverage, even if it is for the most basic government wards, would make a world of difference.

It’ll start to hit you when you see medical bills in five-figure sums before the subsidies and insurance coverage kicks in.

My wife and I got our integrated medishield coverage and basic six-figure TPD/CI plans when we were younger with no exclusions. It would serve us well as we get older.

Part Of Finance Blogs Community

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to be invited again to another community gathering, this time organised by BigScribe.

Finally got to meet up with a couple of new faces like FinanceSmith (John), SimplyJes (Jes) and Tacomob (Andy) along with many other veterans that I’ve already have the honor to chat with previously. It was a fun and fruitful night with sharing by many. I look forward to getting to know new friends as the community keeps growing.

Blogging is fun. Not only do I get to write what I want, it has gotten me the chance to get sneak previews of up-and-coming platforms such as StashAway and Smartly.

Income Report

Early this year, I dropped Google Adsense and took a leap of faith with Monumetric. Long story short, they are an advertising network which has a pool of publishers/blogs signed up under them. With increased negotiating power, they get access to better paying ad inventory from advertisers for us publishers.

Revenue this year is coming in at around US$610.27 based on 174,818 page-views (urgh I’m not a popular blogger) when I last checked, which is around US$3.50 (S$4.70) per 1000 page-views.

This is based on TurtleInvestor.net which I’m using as a testing ground. My stand is still the same. Most bloggers don’t get filthy rich from blogging and ad revenue. If you engage in affiliate/product/service sales and think of some other ways to monetize your site traffic, then you stand a good chance of making moolah.

Me? I simply write for fun here. Silly enough to upgrade my hosting plan and pre-paid three years in advance too 😉

Project Suites Miles Report

The wanderlust in me worked hard for a full year and has collected a grand total of 140,000 miles as of 16th December 2017. It has far exceeded my original target of 100,000 miles. Woohoo!

Miles Available (KrisFlyer) : 83,666 
Miles Available (Citi)
 : 30,520 (30,520 Citi Miles)
Miles Available (DBS) : 6,680 (3,340 DBS Points)
Miles Available (UOB) : 19,134 (9,567 UNI$)
Total Miles Available : 140,000 (140%)

With the revamped SQ Suites rolling out to the Sydney route this year, time is running out to get a taste of the first generation Suites. Suites Class, here I come!

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Like I have mentioned previously, now is a good time to be an index investor in Singapore. Here’s to a better year in 2018, for all of us.

To bloggers, readers and investors – Happy New Year!

P/S : I forgot about the net worth post. Next month, perhaps?