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Just like the dishes we choose for our cai png (mixed rice) and the clothes we own, everyone has differing needs and preferences — this applies to everything in life, including our financial objectives.
Indeed, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to satisfy every unique individual’s investment goal(s).
Everyone has a distinct take on the kind of risk level that’s acceptable, type of products/industries to pick from, amount of effort needed (passive/active or a mix of both), budget, and frequency of investment.
What is a core-satellite investment approach?
One popular school of thought when it comes to investing is the core-satellite approach.
In short, you build wealth over time through a core investment that’s tailored to your personal goals, and various “satellites” comprising financial products that allow you to express your investment ideas.
“The core of your portfolio should be composed of a multi-asset pool of investments offering low-cost diversified exposure to the market or index. Core strategies should form the bulk of your invested capital. Your satellites can make up 10% to 30% of your portfolio, depending on your risk appetite. These should complement your core and offer targeted exposures to specific asset classes, sectors or investment themes for their potential to outperform the market,” explained Ritesh Ganeriwal, Head of Investment Advisory at Syfe, a digital wealth management platform that offers investment portfolios catered to both beginner and advanced investors.
Working towards our investment goals, too
To better understand how this investing strategy can work for different investors, we spoke with our colleagues at MoneySmart to find out how they might use a platform such as Syfe to build their own core-satellite portfolios and achieve their unique financial goals.
While our opinions are definitely not representative of how all Singaporeans feel, even within the team, our differing investment needs and goals reflect some common life stages such as a first job, marriage, and raising a family.
Amelia, 25, single
As someone who’d rather be safe when it comes to investing, Amelia chooses to put her money in ETFs and REITs, which are better known for their stability (ETFs typically spread out the risk as it’s a basket of funds) and potential for growth (in land-scarce Singapore, property typically appreciates). She also opts for lumpsum investment-linked policies, iFAST trades — but has no interest in meme stocks and has yet to dabble in crypto currencies. Anything that’s volatile gets a big, fat NO from her.
In the long-term, she looks forward to achieving financial freedom by being debt-free with everything fully paid for. However, retirement is not for this self-professed workaholic who enjoys the daily grind.
As she builds up her core investment portfolio, she also looks towards themes that will do well in the future for her satellite portfolio, such as REITs, China and emerging markets, and pharma biotech (given the world’s ageing population and the current Covid-19 pandemic).
Alex, late 30s, married with 2 young children
For Alex, his passion for the sustainable energy sector and ideals on eco-consciousness draw him towards investing in businesses and brands that are pivoting towards environmentally friendly practices and sustainability.
While he’s comfortable with a certain amount of risk, he still seeks to adopt a balanced approach towards addressing various levels of products with varying risk levels in his portfolio. This means that he assigns different portions of his monthly investments towards low, medium and high risk products/platforms, with a greater bias towards low and medium risk choices.
Similarly, his investment goals also vary across the short, medium and long term, each with different products and platforms. Alex notes that for a long-term goal such as retirement, he works towards this objective with products that focus on consistent dollar-cost averaging investing in order to capitalise on compounded interest over time. To achieve his short- to medium-term goals, he gravitates towards investment products/platforms that are more liquid, albeit slightly riskier in nature.
As such, some satellite investments he might consider are Syfe’s Disruptive Technology portfolio that helps him to maximise his exposure to global equities with a focus on technology companies at the forefront of innovation — which is aligned with his short- to medium-term goal of adopting a more aggressive risk approach; as well as Syfe’s ESG & Clean Energy Portfolio, which is aligned to his passions and ideals.
He adds: “With no minimum entry and no lock-in period, it’s a good choice for my short-term investments of smaller amounts where I can afford to take a risk for greater returns along with liquidity when I need the funds back.”
Lionel, 20s, single
Growing up in a financially illiterate family, Lionel is still relatively new to the world of investing and looks to make better financial decisions for the future. While he’s still feeling his way, he believes that eco-conscious and sustainable investing should be the way forward, along with fintech solutions to today’s problems.
That being said, Lionel is not afraid to go all out when it comes to investing. He’s boldly ventured into the world of crypto from the get-go, citing the slower pace of stocks, ETFs, REITs and other financial instruments as a reason.
Nevertheless, he does believe in using proven financial instruments to set aside funds for the long-term, such as putting his funds into CPF.
Like many of us within the team, Lionel’s also gunning for the long-term goal of financial freedom, where he can retire in comfort and not have to work. In the short-term, he aims to have enough cash to pay the bills, with enough spare change leftover to spend on “crazy stuff”; while his medium-term goals include profiting off the volatility of crypto.
Looking at Syfe’s offerings, if using it to build his portfolio, he’d go for Syfe’s Core Equity100 as his main long-term investment with ESG & Clean Energy in the medium-term to capitalise on sustainable investing opportunities.
He adds: “I’d choose these products because they’re liquid enough for me to stay nimble, while providing the high returns that I usually see with crypto. Also, Syfe takes the headache out of selecting the best stocks to invest in.”
An accessible investing platform for everyone
With its easy-to-use interface, low barrier to entry (no minimum investment), no lock-in, broad range of fully-managed investment portfolios of differing risk levels, regular portfolio balancing by human wealth experts, and affordable fees (starting from 0.35% p.a.), Syfe is an accessible investing platform for everyone.
Prefer more flexibility when creating your own core-satellite portfolio? Consider Syfe’s custom portfolios. For this option, you can choose from over 100 top ETFs curated by Syfe’s investment experts, and decide your own portfolio composition and how much you want to invest. What’s more, you can adjust allocations to dynamically analyse past returns, portfolio exposures and overall portfolio risk.
For those of us passionate about certain themes for our satellite investments, Syfe offers ready-made thematic portfolios such as ESG & Clean Energy, Disruptive Technology, Healthcare Innovation, China Growth, and Global Income. Each thematic portfolio can be fine-tuned further.
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