StashAway

Meet Up

Having been watching and hearing a lot about StashAway for the past few months, I finally met up with Wai Ken and Albert Kok from the StashAway team.

I got to know more about the company itself and the team behind it. I was impressed by both the team and the technology behind StashAway. I’ll, therefore, be guiding you to opening a new account and investing in them with this article.

Economic Regime-based Asset Allocation (ERAA)

I’ve put off opening an account for a while now as I wasn’t too sure what kind of ‘sophisticated investment strategies’ the company was going to apply to my hard earned money.

They call it the ERAA. In short:
1. You determine your risk levels
2. StashAway picks the securities to invest in for you
3. ERAA will re-adjust the asset allocation to maintain your previously determined risk level

What I Like About StashAway

  1. As a retail investor, you get access to a multitude of investments from the US, Japan etc.
  2. You also pay fees only available to the big boys.
  3. Auto readjustment of your portfolio. You can leave your portfolio as it is for years and let StashAway handle it.
  4. Annual fees start at 0.8% and it goes down as you invest more

Dislikes

I found that I was unable to pick and choose personally the assets which I want to invest in. The only choice I had as an investor was to reset my risk profile and look at the breakdown of assets to be invested in.

Why? This is in StashAway’s FAQ –
Based on your risk preferences, selected goal, and current economic regime, our algorithm carefully picks the ETFs most suitable for your goal. This allows us to provide the most optimal diversification personalised to you. As such, it is not possible for a customer to handpick the ETFs or the allocation.

Getting Started

First things first, sign up at this link hERE.
Dividend Magic has partnered with StashAway to get you 50% off your fees for the first RM100,000 invested for 6 months.

Now, I didn’t have too much trouble with the account sign up. It took me about 5 minutes but I’ll guide you through it as best I can. With pics.

Step 1 – Getting Started
Step 2 – Your Email and Password
Step 3 – Your Goals and Portfolio
My Parameters
Projections for my Portfolio – I wish.
Step 4 – Eligibility
Step 5 – More Assessments
Final Step – Set up your risk profile!

My Investment

I’ll personally be depositing about RM3K to RM10K as a start.

This will be a long term passive investment for me and I’ve decided to put my money into a balanced portfolio, with a StashAway risk index of 14%.

The portfolio mix will consist of 54.5% growth assets and 45.5% protective assets.

Have any of you started investing in StashAway? How is your porfolio doing? And for those who are planning to start out, please do share the portfolio mix you’ve decided on and why.

The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF)

EPF Dividends 2018 – 6.15%


The Employees’ Provident Fund has a good track record of declaring above average returns to Malaysians. Also, have a look at their very simple vision and mission.

Vision

Helping members achieve a better future

Mission

Safeguard members’ savings and deliver excellent services

Quality Policy

The EPF is committed to help members achieve a better future through continuous improvement in safeguarding members’ savings and delivering excellent services. 

With the EPF, Malaysians essentially have in place a system of forced savings, investing and reinvesting for their retirement.

An independent governmental body whose goal is not motivated by fees but to earn the highest possible return for its members.

In general, Malaysians are happy with the 6.15% declaration of dividends by the board of our good old EPF.

And YES! 
EPF = KWSP. They’re one and the same.

We’re all familiar with EPF as our retirement fund. But what does EPF actually invest in?

dividend magic - retirement
‘How late do you expect to be working?’

Main Assets of EPF


As of 2018, equities made up about 41% of EPF’s total assets.

A further 50% is invested in fixed income instruments.

Let’s have a look at some of EPF’s largest equity holdings.

It’s a good idea to have EPF’s investments as a reference, apart from my Freedom Fund of course. ; )

What Will Become of Your EPF Savings?


With the recent 6.15% declaration in dividend, what do you plan to do with your savings in the fund?

I’ve created a simple poll in an attempt to gauge the mentality and financial decisions of everyone here.

No pressure. Also, there are no wrong answers.

What Will You Do With Your EPF?

View Results

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What I Do With My EPF

I personally am leaving my EPF untouched till I reach 55. And then I’ll withdraw a monthly amount to keep me alive, slowly drawing down on the capital.

Your EPF is essentially forcing you to save a portion of your income every month. And it helps you reinvest those 6% and above dividends every single year.

Even though I’ve mentioned there being no wrong answers to the poll above, I do believe Option 2 and 3 – where you’re essentially drawing down on your funds from your EPF savings is the least financially sound decision.

I see no reason for one to forego that 6% return in lieu of mutual funds or property. If you’ve got to take money from your retirement savings to purchase something, you definitely can’t afford it. In my opinion, of course.

Has anyone done this long term and made good money from Options 2 and 3?

End.

You may have heard from uncles and aunties telling you to withdraw as much as you can during times of uncertainty.

Mutual fund agents may have enticed you to believe their RM100 million funds are superior to our national fund – worth over RM800 fucking billion dollars.

Property agents may have hinted that your purchase of that 3BR apartment is a better decision than leaving your money in the hands of a professional investing team.

I think all are a load of hokum and I’ll stick with EPF for the foreseeable future.

I think you should too. 
And this is a plea to all Malaysians, don’t squander away your retirement savings.

TL;DR – Withdrawal from EPF? Bad idea.