Smartly Singapore responded to our query emails and sent us the sign-up notification email with the referral code. Good job with this and appreciate the follow-up! Previously, I mentioned that I will be setting up the Smartly robo-advisor account since my wife set up the StashAway Singapore robo-advisor account. But I changed my mind after realizing the bulk of the Monthly Investment Plans (MIPs) with the various banks is in my name. It’s essential that my wife holds more investments in her own name and we decided to let her set up the Smartly account as well.
The Smartly onboarding process was smooth and the interface was simple & easy to use. The current 4 x S$100 transfers in a month for my wife’s StashAway account are on the 1st, 8th, 15th and 25th of every month. For July 2017, S$200 has already been transferred into her StashAway account: one-time transfer of S$100 and regular transfer of S$100 on 25 July 2017. To mirror the setup for my wife’s Smartly account, we are doing 2 x one-time transfer of S$100 (i.e. total of S$200) into the account by this week. We also set up 4 x S$100 transfers in a month for my wife’s Smartly account on the 4th, 11th, 18th and 28th of every month.
The direct competition between StashAway and Smartly is on! They both have similar starting funds and funds transfer dates & amounts. If possible, we intend to support both robo-advisors in the long-term and have no problem parking even more funds with them. This should be the case even if one outperforms the other because the ETFs they invest in for the portfolios my wife have seem to be somewhat different. These are the holdings of her Smartly account:
- Emerging market bonds
- US small cap value stocks
- US total stock market
- US large cap value stocks
- Inflation protected bonds
What I like about both robo-advisors is that their ETF holdings don’t overlap much with our own manual ETF holdings. This diversification would allow us to build our manual ETF holdings and increase our exposure to other equity markets. Without worrying about what we are also doing with our robo-advisor accounts.
With the last piece of the puzzle in place, this is our monthly automated investments setup:
- POSB Invest-Saver: S$200
- Maybank MIP: S$200
- OCBC BCIP: S$1,500
- StashAway: S$400
- Smartly: S$400
The total monthly cash funds invested automatically is S$2,700, which works in the current bull market environment. It’s also important to identify the points of increase in a bear market environment i.e. which MIP or robo-advisor to increase the monthly investment amount and by how much.
This is our intended action plan in a minor bear market:
- Increase monthly OCBC BCIP investment from S$1,500 to S$1,700
- Increase monthly StashAway investment from S$400 to S$600
- Increase monthly Smartly investment from S$400 to S$600
Total monthly invested amount goes up by S$600 to S$3,300.
This is our intended action plan in a major bear market:
- Increase monthly OCBC BCIP investment from S$1,500 to S$2,000
- Increase monthly StashAway investment from S$400 to S$800
- Increase monthly Smartly investment from S$400 to S$800
Total monthly invested amount goes up by S$1,300 to S$4,000.
These steps will be taken on top of our own manual ETF investments during mini and major bear markets. No point planning to make big increases because it would be difficult enough to make those small increases. By staggering the small increases, we are more likely to stick to the action plan in a tough market environment. Otherwise, we will be too afraid to make any significant changes to our automated monthly investments. Besides, nobody knows when and how the next crisis will happen that causes the bear market, much less the severity of it.
Our asset portfolio is finally up and running with the triggers and plans in place. More importantly, it’s growing every month with regular cash injections into our savings and ETF portfolios. Of course, this is contingent on us not losing our jobs. But we can now focus better on addressing the higher retrenchment risk without having to worry much about our savings and investments. We can also look to reduce our high expenses but still spend on fun items such as travel, dining and entertainment. Limit the number of focus areas & decision-making points and we just might achieve better results.