Personal Wealth

Singapore's household wealth grew 3.4% to US$1.2 tril

SINGAPORE (Nov 14): According to the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s 2017 Global Wealth Report, Singapore’s household wealth increased by 3.4% to US$1.2 trillion ($1.6 trillion) and is expected to increase by 2.3% per annum over the next five years to reach US$1.3 trillion in 2022.

Personal wealth per adult grew strongly in Singapore up to 2012. Since then, it has risen slowly in domestic currency units, and declined a little in terms of US dollars.

How to avoid the next flop of a fund

SINGAPORE (Dec 2): Several local fund investors found themselves in a peculiar predicament this year. After paying a front load of 1% to 5% to invest in a fund, they were informed that the fund would be closed.

They were given the option of either liquidating their holdings in a short time or switching for free to another fund managed by the same house. Needless to say, neither option was more attractive than the other.

Which are Singapore’s most cost-inefficient funds?

SINGAPORE (Sept 16): Diminutive funds with sky-high expense ratios and dismal long-term performance should be dumped, say fund experts. 

Indeed, extensive research has shown that investment funds with high expense ratios tend to have a return disadvantage over those with lower such ratios. The reason is simple — costs and expenses generally eat into investment returns.

And the connection, according to widely-documented academic studies, appears to be very direct. Just load up on the funds’ expenses and the average returns, as empirically observed, will decline.

3 US equity funds for early-bird investors in Singapore

SINGAPORE (Sept 9): The tables appear to be turning for US equities.

After trailing defensive sectors in 1H2016, growth and cyclical sectors in the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 outperformed strongly in July and August. In this period, utilities and telecoms retreated over 5%, while technology and financials gained 9.8% and 7.1% respectively as at Aug 31.

This is leading investors to scrutinise multiples being paid for future earnings growth rather than dividend yields alone.

How this fund became the year’s top performer

Zendesk

SINGAPORE (Aug 12): Launched last January, the Wells Fargo (Lux) WF — US Select Equity fund is the top performer this year, buoyed by exposure to energy and gold.

Managed by 41-year veteran Richard T Weiss, the fund takes an unconstrained approach to market cap, analysing companies on a bottom- up basis to take advantage of relative mispricing.

As at end June, the fund held just 36 stocks. Technology accounted for 17.4% of its assets, while financials accounted for 14.4%. The fund also had an 11.5% weighting in energy, which is higher than its peers.

Do alternatives really hedge against volatility?

SINGAPORE (July 11): When global financial markets dived in the immediate aftermath of Brexit, alternative funds proved resilient. From June 23 onwards, the S&P 500 index closed 5.3% lower at its worst point while in Europe, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC indices fell 9.6% and 10.8%, respectively. In contrast, alternatives had materially smaller falls than worldwide equity indices (see charts below) in the same period. Some funds even registered gains.

Risk averse? Here are some funds you should avoid after Brexit

Brexit

SINGAPORE (July 4): When the Brexit vote last week made apparent that Britain would be leaving behind its 43-year membership in the European Union for a very uncertain future, it triggered a widespread risk aversion among investors and several Singapore registered equity funds which are invested in European and UK stocks were badly hit.

Daniel Kahneman on sidestepping investment blunders

Daniel Kahneman, 2002 Nobel Prize for Economic Science

Does your fund own 1MDB bonds?

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)

SINGAPORE (May 24): If you think media reports about the scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) state fund have unnerved even the most daring of fund managers, think again. As many as 13 funds sold in Singapore hold US dollar-denominated bonds issued by 1MDB.

Among funds that list holdings of 1MDB bonds in the most recent filings are three from the Fidelity International group. As at Oct 31 last year, the fund group’s Emerging Market Debt fund, Global Multi Asset Income fund and Growth & Income fund all had some exposure to the 1MDB Global Investments bonds.

DBS lowers front load charge on RSP purchases to 1%

DBS Bank

SINGAPORE (May 23): DBS Bank has reduced its unit trust front load charge to 1% for customers who opt to make regular purchases every month. The move enables an investor to build up a long-term position in a portfolio of funds at a relatively low cost without being caught wrong-footed by market volatility.

Be informed of the stories that matter

Subscribe

Be informed of the stories that matter