Investing in inflationary markets is always tricky. Novice investors can find it difficult to choose the right investment platforms amid inflationary impulses. They are often plagued by questions like - “What services allow you to start small?”, or “What about short-term market risks?”
These are just some of the questions we’re driven to answer comprehensively with our series of insightful investment platform reviews.
In this third post, we’ll discuss Syfe - a Singaporean investment platform. Syfe was founded in 2017 and has since grown to become a leading robo-advisor in Singapore. Our Syfe review covers all of the platform’s important aspects, including:
- Investment Products
- Portfolio Performance
- User Experience
What is Syfe?
Syfe is a digital wealth management platform based in Singapore. Established in 2019, it is one of the country’s first, most prominent robo-advisors that provide simple, smart, and easily accessible investing solutions to retail investors.
The platform utilizes advanced algorithms and technology to provide personalized investment recommendations based on an individual's financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. Users can choose from various investment portfolios tailored to their needs, such as equity, bond, and diversified portfolios.
Syfe takes pride in its Automated Risk-Managed investment (ARI) strategy, driven by an algorithm that dynamically adjusts portfolios to maximize returns while managing risk. This was especially helpful during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic when ARI helped protect Syfe portfolios from significant crashes.
How Does Syfe Work?
Here's a brief overview of how investors can open, access, and use their Syfe accounts:
- Account Setup
To get started, you need to sign up for a Syfe account on their website or mobile app. During the account setup process, you will be asked to provide information about your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment preferences.
- Portfolio Recommendation
Based on the information you provide, Syfe's algorithm generates a recommended portfolio that aligns with your investment objectives. Syfe offers different portfolio options, such as Core, Equity100, REITs, Global ARI, and more.
- Automated Investings
Once you have selected a portfolio, Syfe's algorithm automatically manages your investments. It diversifies your portfolio by investing in a mix of assets, such as stocks, bonds, and ETFs. The allocation and rebalancing of your investments are done automatically based on market conditions and your risk profile.
- Regular Contributions
Syfe encourages regular contributions to your portfolio. You can set up recurring deposits to invest a fixed amount at regular intervals. This helps in building your investment over time and taking advantage of dollar-cost averaging.
- Fee Structure
Syfe charges a management fee based on the total value of your investment. The fee structure may vary depending on the type of portfolio you choose. Syfe also provides a fee calculator on their website to estimate the charges.
- Access to Account and Reporting
You can access your Syfe account anytime through their website or mobile app. The platform provides detailed reporting and performance tracking, allowing you to monitor the progress of your investments.
Is Syfe Safe?
Syfe is registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) under the CMS License No (CMS100837). This requires it to adhere to strict rules and regulations for customer data protection, security, and investment management. This ensures it operates in a safe, transparent, and compliant manner while enforcing a clear customer-first policy. If you’re still not convinced on is Syfe reliable, read on. We discuss some of the other measures that Syfe takes to protect its customers.
Syfe also uses bank-level security measures to protect customer data and assets, including two-factor authentication, data encryption, and secure server locations. In addition, the company operates under a custody arrangement system, where customer assets are held in separate third-party accounts with a custodian to ensure maximum safety and security.
Syfe's investment approach is based on modern portfolio theory, which emphasizes the importance of diversification and risk management in building an investment portfolio.
The platform uses advanced algorithms and data analytics to create personalized investment portfolios for its customers based on their risk profiles and investment goals.
A unique feature of Syfe's investment approach is the use of risk-based investing. Instead of simply investing in a fixed allocation of assets, Syfe adjusts portfolio exposure to different asset classes based on the customer's risk profile and market conditions. This approach allows Syfe to optimize portfolio returns while minimizing risk.
Syfe’s Investment Portfolios
Syfe offers three different investment portfolio options to its customers:
- Core portfolio,
- REIT+ portfolios, and
- Thematic portfolios.
Each of these options further includes several customized options that cater to various investors.
Syfe's Core portfolio is designed to provide investors with a diversified portfolio of low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) across multiple asset classes, including stocks, bonds, and commodities.
According to its website, “Syfe believes in a passive, long-term investment strategy.” Its Core portfolio allows investors to focus on minimizing cost and adopt a systematic investing approach that aligns with their financial goals. The fund allocation within this Syfe portfolio can be customized according to these four options.
- Core Equity 100
Core Equity100 invests 100% in equity ETFs and is suitable for investors with a long-term investment horizon. The portfolio aims to maximize potential capital appreciation, with an expected annual return of around 7-8%.
- Core Growth
The Core Growth portfolio is designed for investors who seek higher returns and have a high-risk tolerance. It invests mainly in equity ETFs, with a small allocation to fixed-income ETFs for stability. The option typically has a 75% allocation to equity ETFs and a 25% allocation to fixed-income ETFs. It aims to provide higher returns than the Core Balanced portfolio and has an expected annual return of around 6-7%.
- Core Balanced
The Core Balanced portfolio is designed for investors who seek a balance between income and capital appreciation. It invests in a mix of equity and fixed-income ETFs to balance the two. This option typically has a 50% allocation to equity ETFs and a 50% allocation to fixed-income ETFs. It aims to provide a balance between income and capital appreciation, with an expected annual return of around 5-6%.
- Core Defensive
The Core Defensive portfolio is designed for investors who have a lower risk tolerance and seek stable returns with minimal volatility. It invests mainly in fixed-income ETFs, with a small allocation to equity ETFs for potential capital appreciation. The portfolio has a 70% allocation to fixed-income ETFs and a 30% allocation to equity ETFs. It aims to provide stable returns with minimal volatility, with an expected annual return of around 3-4%.
Syfe's REIT+ portfolio is designed to provide investors with a diversified portfolio of real estate investment trusts (REITs) in Singapore. It tracks the SGX’s iEdge S-REIT Leaders Index, which measures the performance of the most liquid REITs in Singapore.
This portfolio is suitable for investors who are looking for a stable income stream with potential capital appreciation from real estate investments. Its diversification across different property types and locations helps to reduce overall investment risk, making it an attractive option for investors seeking a balanced real estate portfolio.
The REIT+ portfolio comprises a mix of diversified REITs, which invest in different property types and locations, providing investors with exposure to various real estate markets. These include top Singaporean REITs like:
- Mapletree Commercial Trust,
- CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust,
- Ascendas REIT, among others.
Syfe’s Thematic portfolios are designed to allow investors easy access to value-based thematic investing. Thematic is an approach that enables you to align your personal values and convictions with your investment preferences.
Syfe's thematic portfolios provide investors with the opportunity to invest in long-term structural shifts that are linked to big ideas or megatrends. These trends include disruptive technologies, sustainability, changing demographics, and the evolving economy of China. The company offers a collection of five thematic portfolios, each consisting of a curated selection of ETFs that align with a specific trend.
- ESG and Clean Energy
The ESG portfolio invests in companies that prioritize environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and good governance practices. This portfolio focuses on companies that produce renewable energy, practice sustainable agriculture, or prioritize workplace diversity and inclusion. It aims to support positive social and environmental outcomes while providing a potential return of around 6-8% per year.
- Disruptive Technology
The Disruptive Technology portfolio invests in companies that are at the forefront of technological innovation, such as those involved in fintech, healthcare technology, and artificial intelligence (AI). This portfolio aims to capture the growth potential of the technology sector and has an expected annual return of around 10-12%.
- Healthcare Technology
The Healthcare Innovation portfolio invests in companies that are at the forefront of healthcare research and development, such as those involved in biotechnology, genomics, and medical devices. This portfolio has an expected annual return of around 8-10%.
- China Growth
The China Growth portfolio focuses on investing in companies in China's growing tech and consumer sectors. This portfolio focuses on China's economy, which is expected to become the world's largest by 2030. The portfolio includes a carefully curated selection of ETFs that invest in companies such as Alibaba, Tencent, and JD.com, as well as companies in other sectors such as finance, healthcare, and real estate.
- Global Income
Syfe's Global Income portfolio focuses on fixed-income investments such as investment-grade, high-yield corporate, and government bonds. This portfolio is designed to provide investors with a regular stream of income and can be used as a way to diversify investment portfolios. It includes a selection of ETFs that invest in bonds from around the world, providing investors with exposure to different markets and currencies.
Syfe Trade is an exciting new addition to Syfe’s platform. It is Singapore’s first-ever neobrokerage service, which allows investors to trade stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) directly in U.S. markets. Neobrokerages are a revolutionary concept in-and-of themselves.
A neobrokerage, also known as a digital brokerage or online brokerage, is a type of financial service provider that allows individuals to trade and invest in various financial instruments, such as stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, and more, through a digital platform. Neobrokerages typically operate entirely online, without the need for physical branch locations.
Syfe Trade leverages cutting-edge technology and automation to streamline investing and trading, and make lucrative U.S. stocks more accessible to Singaporean investors. It offers user-friendly web interfaces, a dedicated mobile app, and advanced trading tools to empower users to manage their investments effectively.
How To Start A Syfe Account
Syfe boasts an extremely simple, five-minute account set-up process for users. Here are the prerequisites and steps you need to open an account with Syfe.
- Picture of a valid Malaysian passport (for Malaysians) - front and back.
- A utility bill as proof of residency.
- A valid Tax Identification Number (TIN).
Steps to open a Syfe account:
- Visit the Syfe Website: Go to the Syfe website (www.syfe.com) using a web browser on your computer or mobile device.
- Sign Up: Look for the "Sign Up" or "Get Started" button on the Syfe homepage. Click on it to begin the account registration process.
- Provide Information: Fill in the required information, including your email address and password. You may also need to verify your email address through a confirmation link sent to your inbox.
- Complete Your Profile: Once your account is set up, you will be prompted to complete your profile. This involves providing personal details, such as your full name, date of birth, nationality, and residential address.
- Risk Assessment Questionnaire: Syfe will assess your risk tolerance by asking a series of questions related to your investment preferences and financial situation. Answer the questionnaire accurately to help Syfe recommend suitable investment portfolios for you.
- Select Portfolio: Based on your risk assessment, Syfe will suggest a portfolio or a range of portfolios that align with your investment goals and risk tolerance. Take your time to review the recommended options before making a selection.
- Deposit Money: To start investing, you need to deposit money into your Syfe account. Follow the instructions provided to link your bank account and transfer the desired amount. Syfe may require you to provide additional verification documents to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
- Confirm and Activate: Once your funds are deposited, review the details of your selected portfolio and confirm your investment choices. This step will activate your account and initiate the investment process.
Syfe Customer Reviews
Syfe has garnered a good market reputation for itself owing to its user-friendly interface, low fees, and diversified investment options. It has a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 based on 900+ reviews on the investment community forum Seedly. It has also got positive ratings of 4.5 stars out of 5 on the Google Play Store and 4.8 stars out of 5 on the Apple App Store.
Many customers appreciate the platform's customer support, with several users highlighting the prompt and helpful responses they received from Syfe's customer service team.
Syfe Customer Support
Syfe has a team of dedicated customer support representatives who are available to assist users with any questions or concerns. Users can reach out to Syfe's customer support team through the platform's in-app chat or via email. The customer support team is known for its prompt and helpful responses, with many customers reporting positive experiences with the platform's support staff.
Syfe’s Investment Performance
Year-to-date returns as of Q1 2023 on Syfe’s Core portfolios compared to selected benchmarks.
Syfe Core portfolios demonstrated robust performance in the first three months of 2023, delivering favorable gains between 4.2% and 6.5% in SGD terms. Despite a challenging start to the year, Core Equity100 rallied in March and closed the quarter up 6.5%, thanks to the recovery in technology and growth sectors. Core Growth, Balanced, and Defensive portfolios also outperformed their respective benchmarks by 0.5% to 1.6%. These portfolios benefited from their higher allocation to longer-dated treasuries, which rose amidst the banking sector stress over the last few months, while gold acted as a safe-haven asset that shielded portfolios from market volatility.
Syfe's Core portfolios were among the best-performing portfolios compared to peers in Singapore for the first quarter of 2023.
Year-to-date returns as of Q1 2023 on Syfe’s REIT+ portfolio against a selected benchmark.
Syfe's REIT+ portfolio had a strong start to 2023, with January being the best-performing month since 2020 for Singapore REITs (S-REITs). Despite the global market turbulence in February, Syfe REIT+ portfolios remained resilient and delivered over 6.1% returns for Q1 2023. This performance was further boosted by better-than-expected dividend payouts for the S-REITs within the REIT+ portfolios.
Year-to-date returns as of Q1 2023 on Syfe’s thematic portfolios against selected benchmarks.
Syfe's thematic portfolios have seen a positive start to 2023, with the Disruptive Technology portfolio leading the pack with gains of close to 20% on a year-to-date basis. This follows the surge in NASDAQ100 and an optimistic start to the year for technology and growth stocks. The other thematic portfolios, such as Clean Energy and Artificial Intelligence, have also had a positive start with low to mid-single-digit returns. While Healthcare Innovation generated flattish returns for the quarter, it still managed to outperform the broader healthcare sector by about 3%. Overall, Syfe's thematic portfolios have demonstrated resilience and are well-positioned to capture growth opportunities in their respective themes.
If you need more information for a Syfe returns review, we recommend visiting its website or contacting them via email (email@example.com) or phone (+65 3138 1215).
Syfe offers customers a highly competitive and transparent fee structure with no hidden charges or transaction fees.
It charges a management fee that varies from 0.4% to 0.65% per annum, depending on the type of portfolio you choose. The fee is charged on the total value of your portfolio and is deducted monthly.
It's worth noting that Syfe does not charge any entry or exit fees, so you can invest or withdraw your money as you please without incurring any additional costs. There are also no platform fees, custody fees, or account opening fees.
Here's a breakdown of Syfe's fees for each portfolio:
Minimum Deposits and Withdrawals
Syfe Wealth prides itself on offering a streamlined and user-friendly investment process that caters to individuals seeking to grow their wealth. One notable aspect of Syfe's approach is the absence of any minimum holding or lock-in periods.
The lack of minimum holding periods implies that you have the flexibility to manage your investments according to your financial goals and changing circumstances. You are not obligated to maintain your investments for a specific duration before being able to make changes or withdraw money.
Likewise, the absence of lock-in periods ensures that you retain complete control over your investments. You are free to redeem or sell your investments at any time without facing any restrictions or penalties. This flexibility provides you with the peace of mind that your investments are not tied up or inaccessible, enabling you to react swiftly to market conditions or personal financial needs.
Funding and Withdrawal Methods
Syfe users can use the following funding methods for their portfolios:
Bank Transfer: You could transfer money from your bank account to your Syfe account using bank transfer. Syfe provided you with a unique reference number to include in the transfer for identification purposes.
PayNow: PayNow is a popular peer-to-peer fund transfer service in Singapore. Syfe allowed you to use PayNow to transfer funds to your Syfe account conveniently.
- Access the "Manage Funds" section within your selected portfolio on the Syfe platform. From there, you will be prompted to provide a reason for the withdrawal.
- Syfe offers two types of withdrawals: full or partial. With a full withdrawal, you can retrieve all the funds from your portfolio. Alternatively, a partial withdrawal allows you to withdraw up to 90% of the funds while keeping a portion invested.
- When withdrawing funds to an SGD currency bank account, it's important to select SGD as the currency to avoid any currency conversion charges that may apply. Additionally, you will need to provide additional details such as the bank's name, the account holder's name, the account number, and whether it is a Singapore account.
Pros and Cons of Syfe
Finally, here is a detailed list of the pros and cons of Syfe. It will help you decide is Syfe good for your individual needs.
Kilde vs. Syfe
Syfe and Kilde differ significantly in terms of their investment offerings. Syfe offers portfolios with publicly traded assets that are customized to investors' preferences, risk profiles, investment horizons, and objectives. In contrast, Kilde provides private market fixed-income deals, where investors can mix and match these deals based on their investment horizon, geographical allocation, target return, or other considerations.
Syfe has a minimum investment amount of SGD 1,000 for its portfolio offerings. However, subsequent deposits can be as low as SGD 50. In comparison, Kilde does not have any minimum investment or deposit amount requirements. Still, it is recommended that investors invest at least SGD 100,000 to produce tangible results.
Syfe portfolios consist of publicly traded assets, and like StashAway, they may experience drawdowns in value during their lifecycle. However, Syfe's diversified portfolios have historically limited these drops in value to less than 10% for its highest-risk portfolios (SR 36%). In comparison, Kilde provides consistent stable returns, and its redemption value does not depend on the situation in the financial markets. Kilde's private market bond deals offer a yearly return of 10-13% supported by cash-generating collateral of promising and profitable FinTech firms.
Syfe and Kilde both charge an annual management fee on the investment amount. Syfe's fee ranges from 0.4% to 0.65%, depending on the investment amount. In contrast, Kilde charges a flat annual management fee of 0.5%.
In conclusion, Syfe and Kilde target different investment preferences and risk appetites. Syfe provides a diversified investment strategy into ETFs tailored to investors' goals, while Kilde offers a private market fixed-income investment opportunity with consistently high returns and lower capital risks than the public markets. While both platforms have minimum investment amounts, Kilde's deals are exclusive to accredited investors, while Syfe is open to all investors.
It is always recommended that investors analyze their investment objectives, risk tolerance, and investment choices carefully before investing.
The views expressed in this blog post are solely my personal opinions and do not constitute professional financial advice. I am simply sharing my opinions with no guarantee of accuracy or completeness. No reader should make decisions based solely on the contents of this blog post. Readers should consult their own financial advisor before making any investment decisions. Neither the author of this blog post, Kilde, nor its employees will be held liable for any financial losses or damages that may result from the use of the information contained herein. Investing contains risks, including total loss of capital. Past performance does not guarantee future returns. Please conduct your own research before investing.
*KILDE PTE LTD (“Kilde”) is incorporated in Singapore (registration no. 201929587K) is licenced and regulated by the Monetary Authority Singapore and holds a Capital Markets Services Licence (CMS101016) and an Exempted Financial Advisor License under the Financial Adviser Act. The information provided in this marketing material is intended for “accredited investors” and “institutional investors” (collectively “qualified persons”) only. This marketing material, and any information in this marketing material, or any documentation that Kilde provides in relation to this marketing material is provided without any representation or any kind of warranties whatsoever (whether express or implied by law).
This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.