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Amanda Ong

StashAway is a digital wealth manager, that empowers you to reach your financial goals.

Amanda Ong

Head Of Client Engagement & Pr at Stashaway

18Upvotes

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StashAway is a digital wealth manager, that empowers you to reach your financial goals.

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Head Of Client Engagement & Pr at Stashaway

Amanda Ong

Head Of Client Engagement & Pr at Stashaway

18Upvotes
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Retirement

Investments

Hi there, Thank you for sharing that consideration with us! With the addition of more asset classes and the re-optimisation we did, we've actually moved most of our allocations away from the region and all of these changes have a medium-term forward-looking objective. In contrast to the resilience we have seen in the US, the global economy faces a higher level of uncertainty. Looking at China specifically, which has the largest allocation in AAXJ (one of the ETFs in our list of funds), the Li Keqiang Index has shown that a cyclical slowdown has already begun since February 2017 when the index peaked at 12.85% YoY. By June 2019, the Li Keqiang Index has declined to 6.85% YoY. Remarkably, this cyclical slowdown in the Chinese economy has started roughly a year before the US-China trade war broke out. Hence, with the recent re-optimisation we've removed allocations to AAXJ. If economic conditions change going forward, we will definitely see if it makes sense to re-allocate to the AAXJ asset class and do so. As mentioned, it is still in our list of funds universe :)

Investments

Stashaway

Robo-Advisors

ETF

Amanda Ong
Amanda Ong, Head Of Client Engagement & Pr at Stashaway
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 02 Sep 2019
Hi there, Thank you for your question! To summarize, here are a few changes we've done: 1) We've made our portfolios more globally diversified. We previously had 19 asset classes, we now have 32 different asset classes. You can have a look at the full list here: https://www.stashaway.sg/r/stashaways-etf-selection. It's been 2 years since our original list of ETFs and it would make sense to update the list based on the performance and information over the past 2 years to ensure that we always have an optimal list of asset classes or funds on offer for our clients. For example, if we have 2 ETFs with the same features i.e tracking error, net returns (performance), liquidity etc then we will compare the amount of withholding tax we are able to claim back for both and select the higher one. In particular, VGIT qualified for withholding tax refund in 2017 but did not in 2018, hence we decided to change it to another ETF with similar qualities but has a lower expense ratio and one that will potentially qualify for the withholding tax refund. 2) We re-optimized our clients' portfolios i.e we've changed the target allocation of the asset classes in your portfolio and have changed the asset mix (either by adding or removing ETFs). We do still see strong data coming out of the US but we do see a slowdown in non-US economies. We are deploying asset allocations that maintain portfolios under a “disinflationary growth” regime for US-based assets and shifting to our “All-Weather” strategy for non-US assets. What you’ll see in your updated asset allocation is that we are allocating more growth-oriented assets toward the US and invest more in protective assets when it comes to non-US markets. We are also allocating funds toward European equities, despite weaker economic performance in the Eurozone. This is because one of the core pillars of our investment framework is to monitor the market’s valuation relative to economic fundamentals and to make valuation adjustments whenever their differences are significant. In the case of European equities, we have identified that the market has priced in a level of sentiment that is significantly more depressed than what economic numbers are suggesting. You may also find these articles about the recent changes, helpful: https://www.stashaway.sg/r/stashaway-adds-new-asset-classes-and-geographies https://www.stashaway.sg/r/non-us-economy-slow-down-reoptimisation The reason the portfolio risk level recommended may be higher is because based on your inputs (current financial situation, risk preferences, future goals, investment horizon etc.) when you are creating that particular goal, we recommend a portfolio risk level that we believe will help you achieve your goal amount. You are however free to adjust it to a higher or lower risk level, as per your preference. With that said, we recommend that you select a risk level that is in line with your risk appetite. If you'd like, I am happy to have a look at your portfolio and discuss this in greater detail with you perhaps over a call? You can also always reach out to us via any of the following channels: [email protected](mailto:[email protected]), call us at +65 6248 0889 (9 am - 6 pm, Monday - Friday, excluding SG public holidays) or Whatsapp us at +65 9467 2416.

Robo-Advisors

Investments

Stashaway

Amanda Ong
Amanda Ong, Head Of Client Engagement & Pr at Stashaway
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
Hi John, Just jumping in to clarify some of points above. Our pricing structure ranges from 0.2-0.8% i.e the more you invest with us or as your AUM grows, the lower it gets. The 0.1% currency conversion fee is charged by our broker and is actually much lower than what you would get if you converted with your bank. If you'd like to save on your fees, you can also consider our referral programme here :)

Investments

Robo-Advisors

Autowealth

Stashaway

Amanda Ong
Amanda Ong, Head Of Client Engagement & Pr at Stashaway
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
Hi Lai Chong, Just jumping in to help you with your question :) To clarify, all dividends of US-listed securities are subject to 30% dividend withholding tax (WHT). These taxes are applicable as long as you own US listed assets, regardless whether the assets were bought through StashAway, or via your own broker. The WHT is held at source and the rest of the dividends are redistributed back to your StashAway portfolio(s) and reinvested automatically. Under the QII (Qualified Interest Income) rule, some of the dividend WHT from US domiciled funds (e.g. US government bonds) can be claimed back. Our broker will do this on your behalf and there is no involvement on the customer's part. We will do this once a year, and will notify you via email if you have any claimable WHT, which would be redistributed to your portfolio and automatically reinvested. We reimbursed clients their WHT refund for the year 2017 in October 2018 and will do the same every year. For further illustration, you may like to view the Dec 2017 iShares report on QII ETFs (link: https://www.ishares.com/us/literature/tax-information/qualified-interest-income-qii-percentages-2017.pdf). Some examples of QII ETFs that StashAway invests in are 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) and 10-20 Year Treasury Bond (TLH). Our investment team has given serious consideration to the 30% WHT and have considered other exchanges that have lower or no withholding tax. However, at the end of the day, we have decided to stay with US-listed securities despite the tax implications due to the its deep liquidity, reputable fund management and most importantly, the lower tracking error. If you'd interested to see a comparison between US-listed securities and foreign securities, here(link: https://www.stashaway.sg/r/etf-taxes-returns-and-tracking-errors) is an article that presents its case. I hope this does clarify some of your concerns. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]

Investments

Amanda Ong
Amanda Ong
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
Hi there, just thought I'd jump in to help you with your question. My name is Amanda and I work at StashAway. We keep it as flexible as possible for our clients- there is no minmum deposits, you can deposit anytime you wish, you can set a standing instruction with your bank to make monthly deposits or choose to stop your deposits anytime you'd like. We do however, recommend clients to keep investing through regular contributions in order to reap the rewards of dollar-cost averaging. You can read more about it here: https://www.stashaway.sg/r/dollar-cost-averaging. By investing a fixed dollar amount on a regular schedule, regardless of market conditions, you will purchase more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high. This ensures that you will invest at a reasonable price and exchange rate, and avoid investing at market tops, helping you to manage the risk of your investments. Therefore, reducing the probability of making a large investment at an unfavorable price/exchange rate, especially considering the volatile markets in recent months. With that said, investing steadily and consistently into a diversified portfolio, while maintaining a long-term perspective, will definitely have a bigger influence on your long term returns. I hope this helps! If you have any further questions, please feel free to drop us an email at [email protected], our team will be happy to help! :)

Autowealth

Stashaway

Robo-advisors

General

Amanda Ong
Amanda Ong
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
Hi! Thank you for your interest in StashAway! My name is Amanda and I am the Head of Client Engagement here at StashAway. Just to share, when you create an account with us, we will build for you a customized portfolio of USD-denominated ETFs, based on your goals, risk level and financial information. By investing in ETFs from different asset classes, our portfolios provide diversification . Metaphorically, as you do not "put all your eggs in the same basket", investing in diversified ETFs helps you to manage risks in the face of uncertainty. As we use fractional shares , you are able to achieve this diversified portfolio even with a relatively low capital outlay. Our portfolios are designed for medium to long term investment, managing risks and enhancing returns with our in-house investment framework. Our algorithms monitor your portfolios daily, and rebalance them regularly to precisely manage your portfolio's risk level. Our investment framework constantly monitors prices and economic indicators, and updates your portfolio allocation, helping you to navigate through changing economic cycles. You can read more about our investment strategy here: https://www.stashaway.sg/r/stashaways-asset-allocation-framework. By leveraging technology, we can be both time and cost efficient. We pass these cost savings on to you in the form of lower fees. If you would like to learn more about us, you can contact us at [email protected](mailto:[email protected]) or +65 6248 0889 (9am - 6pm, Monday - Friday, excluding public holidays). We will be happy to help! :)

Robo-Advisors

Investments

Autowealth

Stashaway

Coffee Meets Investing

Amanda Ong
Amanda Ong
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
Hi! Just to share, we have just reimbursed the witholding tax refund last week to all clients who are entitled to it for the FY2017. If you received a reimbursement, you would have received an email from us informing you of this :)

SeedlyTV EP04

Investments

Robo-Advisors

Smartly

Autowealth

Stashaway

MoneyOwl

Endowus

Amanda Ong
Amanda Ong, Head Of Client Engagement & Pr at Stashaway
Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 17 May 2019
Hi there, That is a really good question! All dividends of US-listed securities are subject to 30% dividend withholding tax (WHT). They apply to US listed assets whether they were bought through StashAway or via a broker. The WHT is held at source and the rest of the dividends are redistributed back to your portfolio(s) and reinvested automatically. Under the QII (Qualified Interest Income) rule, some of the dividend WHT from US domiciled funds can be claimed back. At StashAway, our broker Saxo will do this on your behalf. We will do this once a year, and will notify you via email if you have any claimable WHT, which would be redistributed to your portfolio and automatically reinvested. We reimbursed clients their WHT refund for the year 2017 in October of 2018 and will do so again this year. The process is simple, we (Saxo and us) do the processing, you get the email. Every client will get the refund that they are entitled to. This is the case even if you closed your account. We will still send you an email (and if your account is not closed a push notification as well) to inform you of the refund. You can contact our support team via WhatsApp, email, Facebook or by calling us and we will manully withdraw it for you. For more details, you may like to view the Dec 2017 iShares report on QII ETFs. Some examples of QII ETFs that StashAway invests in are 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) and 10-20 Year Treasury Bond (TLH). Our investment team has given serious consideration to the 30% WHT and have considered other exchanges that have lower or no withholding tax. However, at the end of the day, we have decided to stay with US-listed securities despite the tax implications due to the its deep liquidity, reputable fund management and most importantly, the lower tracking error. If you'd interested to see a comparison between US-listed securities and foreign securities, here is an article that presents its case. I have also shared our returns here, and I think it illustrates our point that despite the withholding tax, the pros do outweigh.

SeedlyTV EP04

Investments

Robo-Advisors

Amanda Ong
Amanda Ong, Head Of Client Engagement & Pr at Stashaway
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 15 May 2019
Hi there, While it might seem tempting to pick your entry and exit points, especially when markets are volatile, research has shown that market timing can be detrimental to your long term investment performance. As summarised by this article, almost all big stock market gains and drops are concentrated in just a few trading days each year. Missing only a few days can have a dramatic impact on returns. For example, between 1994 and 2013, just missing the 20 best days of the S&P500 would have eroded 67% of your returns. As the best days and worst days of the market are equally concentrated, timing the market can be a perilous proposition, and may be detrimental to your long term returns. Another academic study examined the probability that market timing can benefit investors' returns. Examining the Dow from 1900–2006 shows that "a few outliers have a massive impact on long-term performance. Missing the best 10 days resulted in portfolios 65% less valuable than a passive investment and avoiding the worst 10 days resulted in portfolios 206% more valuable than a passive investment. Given that 10 days represent 0.03% of the days in the sample, the odds against successful market timing are staggering ." A few more recent example can be seen here. At StashAway, you don't have to worry about where markets are heading because we manage your portfolios for you. ERAA and Re-optimisation Instead of timing the market, StashAway’s Investment Framework, Economic Regime Asset Allocation (ERAA), automatically re-optimises your portfolio, reallocating assets when there are substantial changes in the economy, or when asset prices deviate substantially from their economic fair value. By investing in assets which are undervalued and more likely to outperform in current economic conditions, we provide your portfolio with exposure to strong upsides. In addition, by reducing allocations into assets which are unsuitable for a particular economic regime, or are overvalued, StashAway’s portfolios can manage your portfolio risk actively, protecting your portfolio. If our investment team sees a fundamental change in economic conditions, we will re-optimize your portfolios for you. What these means is that, for example, if the economy were to go from “good times” to a “recession”, we will recommend a re-optimization that will reduce equity exposure and concentrate it in protective sectors (e.g., consumer staples), and increase allocations to asset classes such as government bonds, particularly for long maturity dates and gold. Our investment framework (ERAA) is risk-centric: the goal is to maintain your risk exposure constant across market and economic cycles while optimizing returns. Hope this helps! :)

SeedlyTV EP04

Stashaway

Smartly

Autowealth

Amanda Ong
Amanda Ong, Head Of Client Engagement & Pr at Stashaway
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 14 May 2019
Hi Issac, Thank you for your question! We believe that investment returns should be looked at in the medium-to-long term, and that’s why we have never really shouted about our returns so far. We are however, not shy about talking about returns, and answering to our clients’ request in July 2018, we shared our performance publicly through our First Year Anniversary email. If you’ve attended one of our StashAway Academy seminars or sent in a WhatsApp to our support and asked about our returns, we’ve probably shared those numbers with you then as well. Our clients can also check their returns on a daily basis inside the StashAway App. On performance, we generally recommend clients to have a look at our long-term backtested results on our website instead. The reason is that this actually "stress tests" our portfolios across several market corrections, economic recessions and across a much longer investment timeline. For example, it shows you how we would have performed in the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, and our portfolios' drawdown versus a benchmark. StashAway Portfolios vs same-risk Benchmarks You cannot talk about returns, without first talking about risk: it’s very easy to increase short-term returns by increasing risk, if you get lucky! Below I have attached the returns for our lowest risk portfolio, for a balanced portfolio, and for our highest risk portfolio since inception, as well as in 2018. These are 6.5%, 14% and 36% StashAway Risk Index, respectively. ! The StashAway Risk Index is how we classify our portfolios. In itself, it is a measure of risk (Value-at-Risk at 99%) and you can read more about what it means here. We use public benchmarks to measure our performance on a “same-risk” basis. We base the benchmarks on 2 indices: the MSCI World Equity Index and the FTSE World Government Bond Index. The benchmark chosen for each portfolio is comprised of a mixture of world equity and world bond indices that have generated the same average volatility to the relevant StashAway portfolio between the 1st of January 2007 and the 31st of December 2017. This time period was chosen in July 2018 and we will periodically review it from the risk perspective. More importantly, this time period captures a range of economic scenarios and market conditions, such as the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, the European Market routs of 2011 and the taper tantrums of 2015, together with a long bull market. For example, the table above shows that the StashAway Risk Index (SRI) 6.5% portfolio has the same risk as a 10% MSCI World Equity Index and 90% FTSE Government Bond Index portfolio, the SRI 14% portfolio is equivalent to 40% MSCI World Equity Index and 60% FTSE Government Bond Index portfolio and, the 36% portfolio has the same volatility of the MSCI World Equity Index. ! Since inception on 19 July 2017, our portfolios have outperformed significantly their respective same-risk benchmarks at all risk points. Our lowest risk portfolio in particular, has returned 4pp more than its benchmark, the 14% SRI portfolio has overperformed a 40%-60% portfolio by 3.1pp and our highest risk portfolio has made 5.6pp more than the MSCI Equity World.This good performance is the outcome of intelligent diversification. The above table shows cumulative returns in a 21.5-month period, which means that annualized returns of the 3 StashAway portfolios have been 3.2%, 5.2% and 11.3%, from lowest risk to highest risk respectively. As requested, I have also shared below our returns and thoughts on 2018. 2018 was a negative market for most asset classes globally. In volatile times like this it’s important to have diversified portfolios to reduce losses, and it’s very positive to keep investing in order to benefit from “low prices”. If you have been a client of StashAway during 2018, you might remember that we wrote several times that the February, October and December market losses were temporary corrections, and we recommended to stick to one’s plan. The below table does not take into account the benefits of dollar-cost-averaging, as it assumes a lump sum investment on the 1st of January 2018. ! In 2018, the SRI 6.5% portfolio showed losses against its same-risk benchmark (1.9pp worse performance), while our 14% SRI balanced portfolio (equivalent to 40% equity, 60% bond portfolio) and our highest risk portfolio outperformed its same risk-benchmark by 0.7pp and 3.9pp respectively. Overall, clients who read our CIO Newsletter and watch our Weekly Market Commentary , already know Freddy’s advice to not overreact, and to stick to their investment plan. Those clients would have seen a great recovery year to date in 2019. When looking at returns, we believe it is important to consider a long-term horizon. Over the short term, market ups and downs are inevitable. If in 2018 the volatility of your portfolio(s) kept you up at night, perhaps it is time to relook the risk level you have selected and whether it is in line with your risk appetite. I will leave you with an excerpt from our latest CIO Newsletter: “Today, on the other side of the same coin, we cannot emphasise enough how important it is not to get over-excited about amazing returns YTD, to stay invested, and to keep dollar-cost-averaging by sticking to your plans. Don’t try to “sell at the peak”, but also don’t bet the house on the fact that the rally will continue. Just stick to your plan.”. You can read the full article here. See Important Notice & Standard Disclaimer at https://www.stashaway.sg/legal
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