Kenneth Lou
Co-founder at Seedly
Level 8. Wizard
‧ 569 upvotes received
About
Helping people make smarter financial decisions one step at a time.
Credentials

More

Co-founder at Seedly
Finance at NUS Business
  • 400

    Answers

    Answers (400)

  • 34

    Questions

    Questions (34)

  • 13

    Reviews

    Reviews (13)

  • 18

    Topics

    Topics (18)

  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kenneth Lou
    Kenneth Lou, Co-founder at Seedly
    Level 8. Wizard
    Answered 1d ago
    Hi there Anon, just chanced upon your question, it's an interesting one indeed! Apart from consulting your parents on this matter... :) If I were you, and I'm in my mid 20s. I would go for something which looks like this: Portfolio breakdown for $50k: - 20% - Cash (in a high yielding bank account between 1.5% to 2% p.a) - 40% - Local STI stocks (STI ETF, or 2-3 blue chip (large cap) or REIT stocks) - 40% - Global or US index fund (S&P Vanguard funds or Robo advisors) I would shy away from the bond type of investments because you are still relatively young and have a longer time horizon to let your money grow. I would also hold some cash (20%) in the event of either: - Rainy day funds (6 months emergency expenses) - Or big ticket expenses eg renovation, family etc - Or in a crisis, you have some ammo you can still deploy for undervalued stocks Hope this helps! If you are interested to find out more about the REITs segment , you can tune in to SeedlyTV EP05 to learn more! Happening this coming thursday, with Rusmin from the Fifth Person!
  • Asked by Azzura Azrin

    Kenneth Lou
    Kenneth Lou, Co-founder at Seedly
    Level 8. Wizard
    Answered 3d ago
    Hey there Azzura! :) There are actually a ton of promo codes you can use here: https://seedly.sg/questions/anyone-willing-to-share-your-youtrip-referral-code
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kenneth Lou
    Kenneth Lou, Co-founder at Seedly
    Level 8. Wizard
    Answered 4d ago
    Hi there! I wrote about this extensively here: But to touch on your last point... On some things to note. What i understand is that the Ireland domiciled ETFs closely replicate the Similar composition of the US ETF, so in that sense it’s the same thing but with: - lower transaction volume (bid ask spreads) - sightly higher expense ratios But your witholding tax on your dividends are at 15% instead of the normal 30% tax if you were to directly buy a US domiciled ETF. Personally, i’ve not done this but based on extensive research this is what I’ve found!
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kenneth Lou
    Kenneth Lou, Co-founder at Seedly
    Level 8. Wizard
    Answered 6d ago
    I was going to point you here but looks like they have no reviews yet... FSM MAPS reviews: https://seedly.sg/reviews/robo-advisors/fsm-one-fsm-maps I personally use the FSM platform, so far it's been really good and easy to use! But that's purely for the online brokerage portion.
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kenneth Lou
    Kenneth Lou, Co-founder at Seedly
    Level 8. Wizard
    Answered 6d ago
    Hey there! I was also curious on this matter, for me personally, I’ve always done the global ETF investing via Robo-Advisors but recently have been looking into investing in the S&P500 and the US stock market as whole. Here’s my own research so far. TL;DR: For Singaporeans, if you are keen to invest in the US (global) market, it’s potentially a good long term investment: - The MGC & VTI which tracks the S&P500 and Total stock market respectively are the two most common attractive ETFs under Vanguard - You can do so via your online brokerage To break it down, there are a few parts which we’ll explain. What is the S&P500: - The S&P500 is an index which tracks 505 of the largest listed companies on the US stock exchanges - By largest, we mean it is based on market capitalisation - And stock exchanges include the NYSE, NASDAQ and others - Some companies include, Apple, Google (Alphabet), Facebook, Coca Cola, etc. (pretty well diversified) - Usually people tend to look to the US market because these companies you see above are global in their business operations What is an ETF: - An ETF is an Exchange Traded Fund which is traded on a stock market - It basically tracks an index where a pool of investors pool money together to buy into a portfolio of stocks - Usually have lower expense ratios compared to traditional mutual fund managers What is the Vanguard ETF - This is one such fund manager company which has a ton of ETFs which track US companies in the stock market - They are an index fund pioneer, with it’s founder (John Bogle) being a legend in this space Source: VANGUARD. Yields from Ameritrade and Motley Fool. The two most popular Vanguard flagship funds are: - Vanguard S&P500 ETF (NYSEMKT: MGC) - Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (NYSEMKT: VTI) It’s expense ratios are merely at 0.04% and it’s dividend yield sitting between 1.69% to 1.88% If you look at the returns for the MGC (S&P500 tracker) since the start, this is what it looks like: - Average 10 year returns at 15.76% p.a - Current fund total net assets sit at $1.9 billion - Some companies include Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway, Johnson & Johnson, Exxon Mobil, JPMorgan Chase etc. Similarly if you look at the VTI (Total stock market tracker) since the start, this is what it looks like: - Average 10 year returns at 16.06% p.a - Current fund total net assets sit at $772.7 billion - Some companies include the ones above but also over 4000 mega, large, small and micro stocks BOTH look pretty amazing when it comes to capital gains. (Rise in price of the ETF) Therefore if you are looking for a long term (more than 10 year timeframe) investment, this is actually a pretty solid investment that appreciates over time. Some downsides include: - 30% withholding tax (another fancy word for dividend tax for foreigners) - Under US domestic tax laws, a foreign person generally is subject to 30% US tax on its US-source income. - When markets are down, you similarly bear the brunt of your investments as well (so you may be unlikely able to withdraw your investments in recessionary markets) - It’s not that straightforward to invest in US ETFs from Singapore Where can you buy the Vanguard ETF? - Your online brokerage (eg FSM, POEMS, DBS Vickers etc) - You buy these as stocks using their tickers (VTI or MGC) - However, you can also choose to buy other trackers like the SPY (S&P500 tracker) which is by another company called SPDR I'm personally using FSM and Vickers. In this next portion, I will go deeper into the tax portion and how to overcome the additional tax deductions. If you are not interested, it's more of a further reading for more advanced investors! What is the Withholding tax for Singapore Investors? Withholding tax is a tax on interest or dividends paid to foreign persons. To illustrate, imagine that you buy US$1 million worth of US stock, which pays a 4% dividend yearly. The US$40,000 annual dividend is subject to a 30% withholding tax, so US$12,000 is deducted from your dividend to be paid to the US government. How to get around this Withholding tax for Singapore Investors? US and Ireland actually have tax treaties which retail investors like you and I will be able to benefit from. It’s a form of tax avoidance and perfectly legal as well, which most big companies with Tax advisers from PwC, KPMG actually do on a daily basis. In particular, there is a US-Ireland tax treaty that reduces withholding tax from the standard 30% to 15%. If you buy an Ireland domiciled ETF listed on a European stock exchange, you pay a 15% withholding tax. (Instead of the normal 30% if you were to directly buy from the US stock exchange) These include the Ireland-domiciled Vanguard S&P 500 UCITS ETF (VUSA) or the iShares Core MSCI World UCITS ETF USD (IWDA). Both of which you can actually buy via your normal online brokerages. Some problems with buying such ETFs: - Typically the expense ratios are slightly higher (more than 0.04 - Less liquidity as it’s not the main US stock trackers (bid ask spreads are not as good as the US ETFs which have superior liquidity) Here’s a good summary of Ireland domiciled funds here if you are keen to get the full list Are there capital gains tax? As a non-US tax resident, you are exempt from capital gains tax.
  • Asked by Benn Ng

    Kenneth Lou
    Kenneth Lou, Co-founder at Seedly
    Level 8. Wizard
    Answered 6d ago
    Hi Benn! I'm Kenneth one of the co-founders here at Seedly. We actually wrote a detailed piece about this here: https://blog.seedly.sg/seedly-security/ Essentially, We have met with representatives of DBS last week to discuss this issue, and both organisations are fully aligned that online security is of utmost importance to all of our users. Please do read the blog piece and let me know if you have any questions. Cheers!
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kenneth Lou
    Kenneth Lou, Co-founder at Seedly
    Level 8. Wizard
    Answered 2w ago
    I'd recommend first testing the market with Carousell or Shopee first? I've seen many interesting businesses which start there. I feel that building up a website from scratch may need more time and effort and money, which should be the next step after validating the market first :) If you are keen, then you can use either: - Strikingly - Wix
  • Asked by Gabriel Tham

    Kenneth Lou
    Kenneth Lou, Co-founder at Seedly
    Level 8. Wizard
    Answered 2w ago
    Wah thanks for helping us with this @Gabriel Tham . :D We have really some interesting ideas in mind... @Xinyi will share them!
  • Asked by Gabriel Tham

    Kenneth Lou
    Kenneth Lou, Co-founder at Seedly
    Level 8. Wizard
    Answered 2w ago
    Yes. Haha it is. But the material and lifespan of the products are usually not so good. Espcially the shoes. But you can try Queensway shopping center also, before it closes down. I recently bought tennis and futsal shoes there. Or IMM via the Outlet shops (Adidas, and Nike)
See more questions