Okay. So let's just take into a bunch of questions that I pulled from a bunch of different sources. And for those people who are watching this from the Facebook group, I have tried asking your question, so if I missed it, sorry, but, well, we'll go from here. Right?
How does an investor who is working with a personal finance advisor benefit from using a robo advisor?
Oh, that's a good question. So, if your financial planner has a bunch of investment options for you, and they recommend StashAway, or you asked them to consider StashAway. Ultimately, it still comes down to the fundamentals. What are your investment goals and how long do you have to invest?
I'm sure your financial planner has already laid out some options for you. So it's rather you want to, carve out a piece of that for StashAway if you really have a use for it. Or you want to continue along the plan that your financial planner has as determined for you. But what you have to really do is trust the financial planner to ultimately recommend the right product for you.
In your conversation with them. Bring up StashAway, see if we can really be part of your asset allocation. Otherwise, if you already have a plan, stick to it. Make sure you understand the fees and do your comparisons and your StashAway is a better option than yeah, switch. Switch over. Otherwise stick to your plan.
What funding options are available right now for StashAway?
Yep. So, so in Malaysia, all you have to do is download the app and then pick your portfolio and then go to your online banking and transfer it across. So all you have to do is use gyro or our jom pay, to transfer money across, we accept ringgit only in Malaysia. So, whatever options you have available to you on your online banking is perfectly fine.
Can someone pay with a credit card?
No. So you can't pay with a credit card because of regulations. Because it's an investment account we also don't suggest that you use borrowings to fund your account. whatever you have in terms of your savings account is perfectly fine. So just use a gyro to transfer it across or use jom pay to transfer across. Credit cards are a no.
So I guess e-wallets at this point are not possible?
It's a gray area, but I would say that online banking is sort of a safe assumption.
Are there any fees for depositing your money?
There are no fees, so whatever your transfer across gets invested.
Do you foresee that we can use our EPF money to invest in robo advisors or in, RoboAdvisor funds, like StashAwayy? Or have we not reached that stage yet?
We're very new, so we're in ongoing conversations with both PRS and EPF to allow us to qualify for that program. So once we reached that stage, we'll let everyone know. At this stage, it's still in talks.
What exactly is the StashAway conversion fee?
Because we invest your money in the U S market. We convert your, ringgit into USD. And if you did that by yourself using a brokerage account, the fees would be quite high. But on our platform, all you pay is 0.1% above spot price.
So if let's say the conversion rate, today's 4.1 is 0.1% on top of that, it's a really slim fee, a really small fee, because where we're a large player and we've negotiated the best rate with the bank, so we can pass that saving on to you.
So the conversion is really low and it's only 0.1% .
And is that conversion fee also apply for withdrawals?
Yes. So when it comes back, it's an additional 0.1% to convert your us dollars back in ringgit for us to transfer it back into your bank account.
What are some of the scenarios for people who should be using StashAway to help them.
So you can use it for just savings and then you can use it for your investments. So how I would use it for my savings is I pick a portfolio that's very low risk. Whatever excess cash I have, I use it to build my safety net.
And then I have my investment goals. If I want to go, if I want to retire or if I want to save for my kid's education or a car, then I set up different portfolios and then fund it because each portfolio has a different risk. So it's really about what you want to save and what you want to invest for.
Okay. So I guess. For most people, StashAway can be used almost for any purpose. From savings to actually investing for the goals that they have.
How safe is this platform especially when all these things happening with like digital hackers? How is StashAway going to be confident that this won't happen to them.
So there are two important pieces of, of data, which we really need to protect at this point. As a fund manager who is licensed by the securities commission. There's a bunch of safeguards which we've already put into place, and we use those safeguards to protect two things. Firstly, it's your money, and secondly, it's your data.
So when it comes to your money, we actually have a trust account sitting in a bank we use to Citibank to be the custodian of this money. It's completely separate to StashAway. So we don't actually use that money to pay off my salary or pay rent or fund our operations. It's completely separate and all we can do this with, this money is invest it on your behalf.
So it's very, very difficult to hack a bank and physically steal that money. So the security of that bank is very, very high. Yeah. And then there's your data, which is very valuable in this day and age, and particularly when it comes to your finances, your money. So we save your information in the cloud.
We use Amazon web services and that encryption is incredibly secure. So we trust them to protect your personal information. And we make it very, very difficult for anyone to hack any one part of our system. So it's not vulnerable throughout the whole process.
How does the risk index work and what does it mean in real life?
So a risk is something that we choose to highlight because returns and risk come hand in hand. When you have an expectation of a high return, you're really taking on more risk. And the inverse is true if you're not taking a lot of risks, your expected return should be lower.
So the way we use this risk index is this metric called "value at risk". We use a 99% chance of making a loss or not. So if you have.
A risk portfolio, that's 20% you have 99% chance of losing less than 20%.
And you have a 1% chance of losing more than 20%. It's a risk term that a lot of sophisticated investors use to really measure risk.
Yeah. So how does it work in real life?
How you could think about it is if we go through a financial crisis, there's a chance that you could lose. More than that risk index. If that risk index is 20% you have a 1% chance of losing more than 20% so 1% is a very low chance, and we'd like to highlight that upfront because the more risk you take, the more expected return you should be able to get and the less risk you take.
You should also be looking at less returns. We don't just talk about returns, returns, returns. It's also about the risk.
And I guess this is somewhat connected, but can you explain your E R A A model to non finance professionals? What does that, yeah, so E R A A or ERAA. is the main thing that differentiates us from a lot of other robo-advisors, a lot of other robo-advisers in people, your money and a portfolio of ETFs.
And that is purely a passive vehicle. But for us, we want to improve on this model by. Having our own proprietary investment vehicle, our own proprietary investment framework. So ERAA for the layman out there, tries to put your money in the right investments at the right time. So by time, I mean where we are in the economic cycle, there are a lot of things that affect the prices of different asset classes, but we believe the main driver of that is the fundamentals of the economy, how a healthy economy is doing.
Or how badly an economy's doing. So if we are in good times, we will give you more growth assets, things like tech or consumer discretionary or emerging markets or energy. But if we swing to a downturn and move into a recession, then we'll give you more protective assets so you don't lose so much of the value of your portfolio. So we invested in things like bonds and gold, consumer staples, and, ultimately, it's about trying to ride out the different cycles. You don't want your portfolio to be so volatile like a yoyo. You want it to be exposed to the upside in good times and be protected in bad times.
So how does ERAA decide which economic regime we are in and adjust to that.
So we look at economic fundamentals and for us to do that, we extract information from governments and statistics all around the world. So we look at indicators like industrial production and inflation, and also some leading indicators like the conference board. Leading economic indicator index or CBLEI, it's public. You can look it up. It's done by an independent think tank in the U S to kind of look forward into the future using 20 or so economic indicators to predict where we are in the economy. So we look at data from official sources relating to economic fundamentals.
How reliable would this algorithm be when faced with an unprecedented crisis with no historical economic data?
Then it's really, you're talking about, a black Swan event, right? A very, very isolated event where something happens and past performance doesn't indicate future performance.
So that situation, I'm not going to lie, we don't know what's going to happen, but I think the protections that you put in place are a portfolio that is diversified. If in that situation, certain asset classes are badly hit. Then at least you have some that will protect you from, from the downturn. So for example, in the financial crisis, there were a lot of uncertainties. So asset classes, like commercial real estate. Or, retail real estate did terribly lose a lot of money, but things like gold actually went up in value in those two years during the financial crisis. So we have different components within the portfolio itself. We should protect you from unprecedented events.
I get asked this every so often as well. Like, Oh, you know what, if the stock index dropped to zero. And then for me, like my answer is at that point, like the last thing you probably are worried about is getting your money back because there's probably world chaos at that point. Right. And that money's probably not going to be your biggest priority.
There are risks associated with everything you do. Yeah. So that's why we always advocate to have three to six months in. Cash in your bank, at least if the stock market tanks, you still have access to your cash, and then you should have also three to six months in liquid assets.
So if you see the stock market tanking and you want to pull out your money, you can pull it out quickly.
How did ERAA respond in the days leading up Q4 2018 and then how is it predicting the Corona virus uncertainty certainty right now.
So that's why it's really important to have an investment framework. And that investment framework will have a point of reference that is based on something like economic fundamentals. If you have a normal fund manager going through those ups and downs, it's very emotionally charged. There's a lot of anxiety, so they might not be at the top of their game and their judgment might be clouded.
That's why it's important to have an investment framework. So in Q4 2018 where we had a correction, the market went down, almost 20%. It was 19 point something percent. we were faced with a decision. The model said that everything is fine. The U S market is not in a recession in the global markets.
I know the global economy is still not in a recession. Should we respond? And Trump was tweeting almost every day, and that's what, that's what drove markets down. So we looked at Euro and you're, I didn't suggest any changes to the asset allocation. So we stuck to our guns in Q4 2018 and I think a lot of fund managers would take the safe route and actually put it off that money in cash.
Yeah. And would actually put it in safe asset classes, but then they would have missed out on January and Q1 in 2019 where it was the best January 15 years, and it was the best first quarter in, I think since 2011 so you just don't know. Where you are and you need to be in a position to be able to benefit from the upswings.
So in that situation, it was really good that we had an investment framework and we responded very well. When we look at the Corona virus, obviously these are things that could and would. Impact economies because you're talking about factories shutting down travel bands, health risks and things like that.
It will effect the economy, but at some stage, at this stage, the U S economy is still sound and the market is still climbing. It's not affecting us economy yet. It would affect the Chinese economy in a few quarters down the line, and if we see a slow down in the global economy as a whole, we would shift your assets to something more safe like bonds and gold and things like that.
The issue with trying to predict what would happen is if we switched your portfolio too early. And we find a cure for Corona virus in two months. There'll be an upswing in the financial markets and we would miss out on that. That's why we don't predict using external factors like the virus. We look at economy, economic fundamentals.
When the global economy has shown the effects of the Corona virus, then we'll respond.
Are you guys mainly invested in overseas funds or do you have any currency hedging? So I guess it's more of a currency risk that we're talking about.
So we don't hedge your risk as we don't hedge your currency risk explicitly. But what we do is we do, we diversify your investments. So while we invest in the U S what you really have to look at is the underlying exposure to different countries. So your effective exposure to the U S could be 40% it could be 70% and then the other pieces of exposure are things like Europe, international bonds, gold, so on and so forth.
So your actual exposure is what really matters, not the currency denomination. So there is no hedging on this. Currency risk because it's very expensive to do so. And we don't want to hike up the price for investors because we have some hedging instruments. But what we do is we diversify the actual exposure.
We limit your currency risk. What we do on top of that, as well, is to, to make sure that a significant amount of your portfolio is in gold. If you think about gold as a currency, it is just another option. And in these uncertain times, if you currencies go up and down, go or really respond in a good way.
So ultimately, it's very, very, diversified. Yeah. And if you look at the Malaysian ringgit for a long term, say 10 years, or more against developed markets like the US, Singapore dollar, the Aussie dollar and the Euro, you will see that it has depreciated over a long term. So as a Malaysian living in Malaysia, spending in Malaysia, it's important that you diversify some of your funds outside this country because you also have a lot of other investments. Things like your EPF, your PMB, some of your unit trusts that are based in Malaysia. So some of your portfolio should be diversified overseas.
How safe is StashAway.
Yeah, so we are a regulated entity, so I would say that because we're regulated, we are very safe. First of all, we need 2 million ringgit just to put aside to get our license. If anything happens to us, say we go bankrupt, the 2 million will be used to, not just pay back investors, but also make sure that whatever investors have invested with us can be liquidated. And given back to investors.
So you're not taking any counterparty risk or in layman's terms, you're not taking a risk on StashAway.
What you are investing in is in your name. It's on your behalf. All the ETFs that we use when your portfolio is owed to you, and it's also invested in very, very liquid asset classes. So it's very, very easy for us to sell. Bring that money back to Malaysia. And attribute it back to clients.
Okay. So I guess in that, from that perspective, it means, let's say something were to happen to StashAway as the investor using StashAway, we can still get that pretty much all the money we've invested.
Yeah. It will be. We don't necessarily protect the capital of your, of your investment, but whatever your investments are worth at that time, you will be able to get it back.
What makes StashAway different from the other, roboadvisors and what is your view on the decisions that are being made by retail investors and Southeast Asia?
Ah. So how we're different from other advisors in Malaysia is mainly our investment framework. ERAA a is extremely sophisticated and intelligent, and it's proprietary to us. So the other robo advisors invest in ETFs, which may be similar to us, but there's no investment framework in place. So your ETFs are purely passive and they will go up when the stock market or the asset classes go up and then go down correspondingly.
How we're different is ERAA, where we are in the economic cycle determines your asset allocation. So that layer of sophistication sets us apart. I would also look at other things like costs, you know, and I'm very sure we are very competitive. No matter how much you choose to invest in us. So do compare the fees and, and, and look at which ones are the lowest costs. Okay. And I would also also look at the underlying investments itself. What ETFs do we choose. Since ETS are listed, you can do research.
For those of you who are, are very hands on, you can look at all the ETFs that we choose and stack that up against, our competitors who will choose different ETFs, right? So you can see which ones are performing well in the short and medium and long term. And I will also say that. because we invest globally, it sets us apart from other robo advisors who just invest locally. So, as I said before, it's important to diversify your holdings, have global exposure. So that's, I think, really where we get set apart. I think our investment framework and our cost and our ETF selection is what sets us apart from other robo-advisors.
How StashAway good for beginners for investing.
Yeah. So we help you guide what portfolio you choose. So all you have to do is download the app and then pick an investment goal that you'll use your, you're saving for. Say if it's something long term, like your retirement or something short term, like buying a new house. We'll be able to recommend a portfolio for you, so all you need to do is understand yourself, understand your investment objectives and your risk.
And take 30 minutes of their time to sit down in and fill out the things you're set right?
Is StashAway still considered a startup?
I would say we've grown past the startup stage. We are a FinTech company. And we are a digital company. We use a lot of automation in all parts of our business, but the business is really, more than three years old now. And we're very established in mature markets like Singapore, where we manage a lot of people's money.
So in Singapore and Malaysia, we have over 100,000, over a hundred thousand users. And imagine just putting all of these people. In a stadium, right? A hundred over a hundred thousand people have trusted us with their money, and I think that's a huge responsibility. And we've grown, grown past the stage where we're really testing out the product.
You really have a product that has yielded amazing returns. A lot of people are using it, and we are in different markets like Malaysia and . Singapore and we're going to expand in the region.
How sustainable or profitable is StashAway as a business?I guess their main concern is just, you know, is StashAway going to be here for me in the future.
Yeah. So us being a FinTech company, we are taking venture capital money at this stage. We have raised about 50 million ringgit or $12 million in our last round of funding. And we have many sophisticated investors backing us.
So the main investor we have on board is Eight Roads, which is fidelity internationals venture capital arm. They have put their faith and the dollars in us. By funding finding us at series B. So we think that we need to raise more money in the medium term, but for us to be truly profitable, we need to reach a certain scale, a certain amount of AUM, which ultimately we are able to...
For those people who don't know, AUM is…
Assets under management, we need to reach a certain amount of assets under management to then be sustainable for, to meet your long term goals. So we are well on our path to becoming profitable at some stage. And our business model is very, very low cost. So we keep things automated, we try to keep costs low for the investor, and once we reach a certain scale, we'll be able to sustain ourselves.
How difficult is it to deposit or top up, your StashAway account?
Super simple. All you need to do is go to your online banking and figure out how much you need, where you want to save, and then transfer it across. We should get it in the next day and within another two days, your money will be invested.
So it's very simple and they'll get email notification throughout the whole process, right?
Yeah. They will get notified when we've received your deposit. And you will see your money being put to do it in a couple of days.
What's the difference between rebalancing and reoptimization
Yeah, so we're talking about two main things then. Rebalancing is mainly the act of keeping your portfolio risk constant. So as you can imagine with different portfolios in your portfolio, there are different asset classes. They would rise and fall with different movements in the market.
So it's important for us to rebalance this, from time to time to keep your risk constant. We do this every day, and if there's a need to rebalance, we will. So this is done automatically. Reoptimization on the other hand is really where ERAA comes into play. Our investment framework. So read up on how it actually works, but ERAA is a shift in your asset allocation based on where we are in the economic cycle.
So we will inform people whenever your portfolio is reoptimize and we'll tell you what we are, what the new constituents of your portfolio will be and why we've chosen it. So it's not just a black box where we do whatever we like with your portfolio. We tell you the logic behind it as well.
Okay. And for those people who don't want to read the whole thing, we did do a little QA about ERAA previously. So check that one out.
Is a robo advisor the same thing as a low cost passive index funds?
There are overlaps, but I will say it's not exactly the same thing. So a low cost investment index fund is a fund that tracks a particular asset class. So if you go into an index fund, which tracks the S&P, that's the only asset class you are exposed to with a robo advisor.
We've picked several ETFs, or in other words, listed index funds to track different markets, to track different asset classes. So we put that together for you. And on top of that, we have an investment framework, which is proprietary to us. So it's not completely passive for the most part, it is passive.
But when we see a shift in the economic cycles, we need to optimize, and that's what we'll do. And we'll explain the logic to people once you've made that shift.
What is the difference between lump sum and dollar cost averaging? Do you have a suggestion for those who are getting started?
Yeah, we, so first of all, there's, there's obviously two different ways of investing your money. You can put it all in at the same time in one moment - lump sum investing. And then you have dollar cost averaging. We always prefer dollar cost averaging or spacing out your investments because lump sum investing is like. Putting it all on black, on a roulette table in Contin casino. And that's not a really wise thing to do because if you put it all in at once and if the market falls, then your, your, your portfolio will fall along with it.
But if you average out your investments or you do dollar cost averaging, you can go in and out regardless of where the market is going. Because in the long run, equity markets and asset prices go up anyway. So all you want to do is just space out your investments. Don't put it all in at once.
And we have a feature in StashAway where we use direct debit to pull from your bank account, whatever amount that you, that you've decided so that you will go into your investment and allow you to dollar cost average with no extra fee.
So let's say someone is sitting, you know, they have 100,000 sitting in their bank, and you know, they don't want to just dump it all in, but okay. Like when it comes to dollar cost averaging, how much, you know, how many months should they be using that 100,000?
So you should look at three to six months to put in your initial capital. So if you want to space it out over five months, just break it up to 20,000 investments every month.
So once you've done that, you should also look at topping up your investment account regularly. So whatever you can put aside, you know, say you have, $5,000 every month that you want to put aside. You can then also just averag in after you put in your initial capital.
Can you increase your risk after doing the survey?
Yes. So. Once you choose your risk and we've recommended a particular portfolio, you can look at your constituents and actually say, is this the right investment for me? And if you think that that portfolio is too high risk or too low risk, you know, you can adjust anytime. So once you put in that money and it goes into your investment, you can also change that risk.
So all you have to do is adjust the portfolio risk and we would switch it into a different portfolio at no extra cost.
Okay. And for those who might want a step by step, we'll create some sort of a guide for you to go through all of that.
Will StashAway's portfolios include the China market?
Yes. So the China market is important because it's a huge economy and it's a dynamic economy, and that's where we can expect growth for a very long time. But right now, in the first quarter of 2020 we actually don't have exposure to the China market because back in August last year, we actually saw the global economy going close to zero growth. So zero growth means that we are almost in a recession.
If you look at the countries outside of the U S because the U S is still growing quite strongly, if you're heading towards a recession, what you don't want to be doing is to be exposed to emerging markets or volatile markets like China.
You really want to be looking at, safer asset classes and safer regions. So in August last year, we actually reoptimize to allocate more of your assets towards international bonds. And also to Europe because we thought, and the system suggests that all the bad news has been factored into the European market, and it was a good valuation at that point.
So if we do go back to good times or we go back into different environments in the economic cycle, we will go back to picking Asian markets, which obviously include China.
And I guess it was actually in my next question, which you answered indirectly, but. I guess at this point, because of what your model is saying, you, you guys have pulled out of the Asia Pacific region as a whole.
Why is StashAway choosing five to 10 different securities when this person believes one to three is enough to cover both equity and fixed income?
Because, it's really important to be diversified and not all equities are the same, and not all fixed income or bonds are the same.
So each asset class really works in a different way. So first of all, let's talk about what equities and bonds don't cover.
It doesn't cover things like gold. So real estate and gold, asset classes that you definitely should have in your portfolio.
And then let's dive into equities. With equities, you don't just have different regions like Asia versus America versus Europe, but you also have different sectors and all of these perform different ways depending on where we are in the economic cycle.
Obviously in very, very good times, places like Asia or some emerging markets will do better than developed markets.
So in good times you want more Asia exposure or emerging market exposure, but in bad times you want developed economies like Europe and, and certain sectors in the U S so now let's now talk about different sectors as well. In the U S there are a lot of ETFs that are exposed to many different sectors, right?
And obviously in good times you want to have things like tech or consumer discretionary. And in bad times, you want to have things like health care. You want to have things like, consumer staples. So we use all these different permutations to diversify your portfolio and to have it perform well in good times, but also protected in bad times.
Not everything you touch turns to gold. Yeah. You should not put all your eggs in one basket. And recent research has shown that diversified portfolios do well in the long term because in tough times, like a recession or a global financial crisis, they go down less than.
Then more concentrated portfolios. If you're invested in very concentrated portfolios and your portfolio goes down 50-60% you're very likely to sell, get very emotional and get out of the investing game entirely. But what you want to do is actually have a portfolio that is protected in a good time.
So if it goes down 10% 20% you're still fine and you can recover and continue investing. That's a very, very hard thing to do.
Are you fully invested all the time or do you keep a percentage of your portfolio in cash or cash equivalent.
Hmm. So whatever you choose to invest in this is, is invested almost a hundred percent. We only keep 1% in cash. We believe that whatever money you give us, we should invest it. Otherwise, cash is better off in your bank account. So whatever you give us, we invest entirely.
Do we as people who invest in StashAway, get taxed 30% dividends that come through those companies?
Yeah. So let me rephrase that question a little bit.
So whenever a foreign investor invests in the US they will have a certain portion be taxed, and it's called a withholding tax. So this withholding tax is only applied on dividends or interest, which in totality is actually a very small part of your total gain. So for example, if you're. If you have a $1 stock, which goes up to two, $2, and you have a 10 cent dividend, you still have, what you still have that whole gain and only thing that's taxed is interest or the dividend that's 10 cents.
So we're only being taxed on a very small portion. Okay, so let's address that portion. As a sophisticated and qualified investor, we actually help you claim that money back. So for interests, withholding tax, we are allowed to claim about 90% of that. For equities, the dividends, we are allowed to claim about 40% of that.
So whatever we can claim back, we came back for you and we reinvest in in those ETFs for you. So the whole claiming process is entirely automated so far. For those of you who are not tax experts, what you basically have to do is, nothing because we help you claim. Well, we help you claim that for you.
Very, very similar to VAT. When you go shopping in Europe and you claim you can claim back that VAT, we do that whole process for you. Perfect. Yeah. and are we required to, so not the question here around taxes.
Are we required to submit a tax documents annually to the local government here?
Yeah, because in Malaysia we're in a regime that doesn't tax capital gains, there's nothing that you need to declare in your returns.
Does StashAway include leverage or synthetic ETFs?
Okay. So coming back to what ETFs are and what they're supposed to do, and then addressing that question directly, ETF stands for. Exchange traded funds, and what they're meant to do is track a particular asset class, say like gold or REITs or bonds, or tracks an index like the S&P 500 right? So that is what an ETF is supposed to do.
So when we choose ETFs, we have a few criteria. The first of all is costs. The lower the cost. The better it is for investors because they get charged less.
The second is liquidity. Liquidity is very important because when investors choose to sell, we don't have any problem selling it on your behalf and then giving the money back to you.
And a third thing we look for is what is called a tracking error, or how closely it tracks. The asset class or the index that is supposed to track. So we look at all these things and we make a decision on what ETFs we choose. The fourth criteria, which relates to your question is do we use leveraged or inverse ETFs?
The question, the answer to that is no, we don't. Because we believe in picking ETFs that are backed by real assets. So we buy and hold ETF backed by real gold. If we buy an equities ETF it's backed by real stocks, and same with bonds as well. So if anything happens to us, happens to the ETF issuer, like black rock or Vanguard, as unlikely as that is, you still have the holdings of the underlying assets.
Plus when we're talking about building long term wealth, you really have. To look at these asset classes as something to diversify your portfolio rather than pick ETFs that are leveraged or inverse to trade on a daily or weekly basis. Those are for traders. We invest your money for long term growth, which is why we've picked the ETFs that we've chosen.
How can I nominate a beneficiary for my StashAway asset in case of death?
Yeah, so the best way to do that is actually to state your holdings in a will. If that is not the case, your and you are aware of certain assets that are held by someone who is deceased, all you have to do is contact us and we'll work with the administrator to assign those assets back to the estate.
With bond yields at all time lows. How much return can a conservative portfolio, generate and when yields go back up, will it result in massive losses?
Not necessarily so, because globally we are seeing interest rates being cut. What we are doing is looking at other alternatives to bonds.
So if you pick a very low risk portfolio, you will see that what we've chosen is predominantly, short term, US government bonds because the yields on the short term are still healthy, commensurate with the tenure of the bond. Yeah. We're also being exposed to REITs. And if you look at REITs, they're really like bonds.
They're giving you a coupon or giving you a rental yield. So they act very similar to ones. And you're also exposed to very safe equity classes like consumer staples and also gold. So all these protective assets. May not necessarily be bonds that give you high yields, but there'll be different types of bonds, like short term or international or corporate bonds, which gives you high yield, which are still investment grade or other asset classes entirely, like consumer staples, which are very safe equities or gold, which is a safe Haven asset.
Is StashAway going to be around in 30, 50 years?
Yeah, that's a really important question because you've trusted us with your money, you've trusted us with your long term investment goals. So I will say we are geared for long term success because of a few things. Firstly, we are backed by very serious, very sophisticated. Venture capital firms want to make sure that we grow in the right way to ultimately achieve scale in terms of managing enough assets under management so that we can become profitable by being profitable.
We can then look at sustaining ourselves for the long term, and in Singapore, for example, we've actually been qualified to manage. SRS funds, which are the PRS equivalent here in Malaysia, which means that we actually invest Singapore Ian's money for their retirement. So the government has qualified us for the scheme, which shows their confidence, you know.
To survive for the long term. Yeah. So I will say with good financial backing, a strong footing in many, many markets to reach a scale that is profitable to us, we'll be here for long term.
Can non Malaysians open a StashAway account?
Yes. So anyone who's working in Malaysia as an expert can come on the Malaysia platform and invest. We will accept a ringgit if you get paid in ringgit. However, if you get paid in us dollars, as some experts do, we would advise you to open a Singapore account while you're in Malaysia because Singapore is an international financial market and anyone around the world can access that platform.
So, you know, there's definitely a lot of people who are on the younger side watching this type of material right now. For some of them, investing is a very new space for them or dealing with money, it's very new space for them. Right. do you have any closing words for how you would recommend them start this journey?
Yeah. My advice, first of all, is always to look at your investment objectives. That's the first one. Secondly, always compare fees before you invest. And the third one is do your own research. And once you think StashAway is safe and it's a good place for you to put your money, then all you have to do is download the app, deposit and watch your money grow.
Perfect. Thanks so much, Ken, for participating and helping us understand the basics of investing, what people should be doing and how StashAway can play a role in their investment journey and for the people who are watching right now. Thank you so much. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment down below and we will try to answer that for you as soon as possible.
Otherwise check out the other videos that we have with Ken here. We have a bunch of other questions that we have recorded and helped and hopefully will help you in some way, shape, or form. And if you're ready to take the next step and joining StashAway, just feel free to use one of the links below in the descriptions because you'll get some bonuses that you can't find anywhere else. All right. Thanks a lot.