Most days, I don’t really check my Syfe REIT+ portfolio. I mean, Syfe is a robo-advisor and for me, the whole idea is to be able to automate investments of my real estate investment trusts (REITs).
Once in a long while, I’ll log in via my Android mobile app to do a quick check (make a tweet, perhaps) and that’s about it.
Ten months ago in August 2020, I had written a review of my Syfe+ REITs portfolio and it has steadily grown from $500 when I had first created the portfolio to a grand total of $41,433 as of today, largely due to injection of funds into the portfolio.
Recap : what is Syfe REIT+?
As a brief introduction to folks who are not familiar with Syfe, it is a digital wealth manager (robo-advisor) licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore under a Capital Markets Services License and they offers fully-managed investment portfolios for everyone, making it easier for all to reach their financial goals.
REIT+ is one of the portfolios that we can select when investing with Syfe, and it is an easy way to invest and closely replicate the performance of the iEdge S-REIT Leaders Index.
Index investing for REITs to me, basically.
You may refer to my previous blog post review of Syfe REIT+ for more details.
Portfolio value from 2020 to 2021
I do not perform regular investments or DCA for my Syfe REIT+ account. All injection of funds were done on adhoc basis.
- May 2020 – Created Syfe REIT+ portfolio with $500
- July 2020 – Portfolio value $20,000
- December 2020 – Portfolio value $25,000
- February 2021 – Portfolio value $30,000
- April 2021 – Portfolio value $40,000
If you are interested to follow some of the developments related to my Syfe REIT+ portfolio with screenshots etc. as they don’t always make it to my blog, my Twitter thread is above! (click to open in new window)
Portfolio composition is now 100% REITs
When I first started my REITs portfolio, it was configured not as 100% REITs but with the Syfe risk management option – Automated Risk-managed Investments (ARI) selected.
It was in the midst of Covid uncertainty (May 2020) and I felt that it was prudent to shield my portfolio against volatility back then.
ABF Singapore Bond ETF (A35) went up in price and proved to be an excellent hedge in the presence of market uncertainty and volatility from 2020 to 2021.
As Singapore wrestled and seemingly began to overcome the Covid situation, I shifted my portfolio to 100% REITs instead.
The current composition of my Syfe REIT+ portfolio can be seen above.
In March 2021, the iEdge S-REIT Leaders index which was being tracked by Syfe REIT+ conducted its semi-annual rebalancing exercise.
As such, Syfe followed up with the re-balancing exercise as detailed in their email.
One item to mention in particular is CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust (CICT) which has exceeded the 10% originally due to the merger event.
However, you’ll notice that the capping of index weights at 10% will only take place during the semi-annual rebalance date.
The merger event itself does not automatically trigger a rebalancing to take place, which means that for a significant amount of time, CICT was actually “overweight”.
But what about the returns?!
Yesterday, my wife was telling me about a piece of news about Facebook giving employees the option to work from home permanently, and both of us had a good laugh over one of the comments left on CNA’s Facebook post.
Every once in a while, I’d receive a comment asking about the returns of Syfe REIT+.
This is one of those types of questions that I don’t really like to answer, because if you know, you know.
Nevertheless, I try my best.
Syfe REIT+ doesn’t guarantee that you’ll make money – it simply seeks to replicate the performance of the SGX iEdge S-REIT Leaders Index.
If you want to know the returns, going to the official SGX website will do.
Distributions and dividends
Also shown in my earlier screenshot above is the dividends that I had received from Ascendas REIT and Mapletree Industrial Trust.
These events are illustrated clearly in the Transactions section, and how it works is that my Syfe REIT+ portfolio will collect all dividends and distributions in the small cash buffer that is maintained for my portfolio, until it is time for the quarterly payouts in the months of January, April, July and October.
One point to note is that the automated quarterly payout option is only for clients on the black tier and higher.
|Mgmt. Fee |
|No min.||SGD $20K||SGD $100K||SGD $500K|
|Wealth Experts |
|Customer Care||All channels||All channels||All channels||All channels|
|REIT+ Dividend |
Technically, it doesn’t really matter because you can always trigger a free, manual withdrawal of funds to simulate the idea of withdrawing your dividends.
As I had opted for the automated quarterly payout to be active, above is my payout history I have extracted from my Syfe portfolio.
Give or take, that’s equivalent to about $500 * 4 / $40,000 = 5% yield for my Syfe REIT+ portfolio.
The role of Syfe REIT+
I use a number of different robo-advisors to complement my investments –
- Index (global equities) – Endowus [CPF]
- Index (global equities) – AutoWealth
- Index (SG REITs) – Syfe REIT+
- Cash Management – Endowus Cash Smart, Enhanced and Ultra
- Cash Management – Syfe Cash+
Looking at the long-term, I am considering moving more of my portfolio into index-based options so that I don’t have to spend much of my time monitoring them.
This is why I’m paying a little more attention to my Syfe REIT+ portfolio these days and deciding whether to make it a significant part of my portfolio.
If I were to sell my DIY-picks and move the funds over to Syfe REIT+ for a 100% passive approach, I’d qualify for the Gold tier and enjoy a 0.1% reduction in management fees.
I’ll be sure to write another blog post if that happens!
I’ll keep using Syfe REIT+ because ..
Syfe is well-funded to keep growing its customers base via new markets and improving its platform offerings. Syfe raised US$18.6m led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures (Sep 2020) and US$5.2m (Jul 2021), with existing investors such as –
- Unbound (Shravin Bharti Mittal) – son of Bharti Enterprises billionaire Sunil Mittal
- David Rogers – former managing director of State Street Global Advisors
- Paul Redbourn, former managing director and head of equities at UBS Japan
- Philipp Freise, partner at KKR
2. Good level of service (platform and support)
I enjoyed an excellent level of service whenever I needed help or information from Syfe. Their web and mobile platform provides me with most of the information I needed, and most interactions are digital.
I don’t like, and don’t need to speak with a person to manage my Syfe REIT+portfolio.
3. Recurring income stream
Over the past one year, Syfe REIT+ performed exactly as expected throughout the ups and downs of the market.
In the process of doing so, I received my quarterly dividends exactly as expected – which was one of my primary motivations of using Syfe.
4. Ease of use
Syfe REIT+ way of allowing me to invest into underlying REITs abstracted away the troublesome process of having to deal with events such as rights issues, for example.
I think that this was one point that I underestimated but deeply appreciated after using Syfe REIT+.
5. Wife is on-board
Syfe REIT+ illustrated clearly that making investment can be simple and fuss-free with the use of tools such as robo-advisors!
In addition, the benefit of receiving regularly dividend payouts served as a positive feedback loop and she even increased the amount of money invested.
Fees paid and Syfe referral code : first $30,000 managed for free
Plenty of Syfe REIT+ items aren’t covered here because I have already mentioned them in my review last year. As I have mentioned frequently on my blog, “skin in the game” = name of the game!
These blog posts are only possible because I have invested my own hard-earned money into these platforms. I am simply sharing my experience now so that you can make an informed decision on whether Syfe can help you to achieve your financial goals.
As always, if you don’t understand what you’re investing in (see above section But what about the returns?!), it is safer that you stay away from them.
You can see the fees that I have paid to Syfe over the course of the past year, as my portfolio size grew from $500 at the start in May 2020, to approximately $40,000 now.
No doubt, it is a sizeable amount of fees but then again, if I were to make manual transactions it would add up to much more than that. To avoid much of the fees you would potentially be paying, my personalized referral code – TURTLEINVESTOR – would give your Syfe portfolio a headstart when you decide to start an investment portfolio with them
If you are opening an account for the first time with Syfe, you can have your first $30,000 managed for free for 6 months (terms and conditions).
In case you missed it : I’m also using Syfe Cash+ (read review here) to supplement my REIT+ portfolio, and what it does is to put my idle emergency cash to work by earning returns via investments into high-quality money market and short-duration bond funds.
Recommended pillar posts
As my portfolio grows, I’m increasingly relying on robo-advisors and start-ups in the personal finance scene to help manage my wealth. If you are thinking the same way, I have written a series of pillar posts – articles that range from 1,000 to 3,000 words that discusses my personal experience in detail. Perhaps they would be helpful!
- Endowus CPF $20,000 Portfolio Review (And 3 Questions I Asked About It)
- Syfe REIT+ $40,000 Portfolio Review (And 3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About It)
- Singlife $10,000 Account Review: Is It The Best High Returns Savings Account?
- AutoWealth 5-Figure Portfolio Review : 3rd Year, Pure Market Returns
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Hello! I’m Kevin, Turtle Investor
At the age of 30, I am the Personal Finance Blogger who laid claim to a negative net worth of minus $25,755 – and decided to turn things around.
- Seven years later in 2019, I hit CPF Full Retirement Sum (FRS) of $176,000 without making a single cent of CPF top-up
- In eight years, I added $453,000 to my net worth (excluding the value of my HDB apartment)
- I earned over $175,000 in alternative income in 2021 in addition to my full-time job
I am married to a lovely wife and that means dual income with no kids. In my free time, I chase miles so that we can fly in business class. My hobby is making pocket change off this blog and sharing everything I know with you!