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As a relatively new kid on the block when it comes to robo advising, Syfe is Singapore’s first neobroker and known for its straightforward interface, and affordable fees with no minimum investment amount.
Syfe is more than just a digital brokerage platform which allows you to invest in US stocks and ETFs at low cost, as it has a range of investment portfolios — Core, REIT+, Equity100, and Global ARI — and Cash+, a cash management account.
If you’re a beginner or experienced investor, and prefer to invest in less than a whole unit of a share of your preferred company, Syfe Trade's fractional shares offering is a great way to invest with lower risks, regardless of the stock's share price.
In this review, we’ll dive deeper to look at the pros and cons of investing with Syfe Trade, and compare it against some of the popular neobrokers in Singapore.
Currently, there is access to only the US market of over 10,000 US-listed stocks and ETFs, which you can trade on Syfe Singapore’s mobile trading platforms, and you can find out more about it here on our blog article.
One of the most notable exceptions from Syfe is its fractional trading service that enables you to buy fractional amounts of the stocks by mega-companies like Apple, Tesla and Google and fast-track the growth of your investment portfolio compared to investing only locally in the SGX market.
While it offers great access to US stocks, there is one disadvantage to this as you will miss out on the chance to trade on different exchanges across global markets.
If you’ve been comparing the different online brokerages, you may have noticed that Syfe’s trading products are quite similar to what many neobrokers offer, but different from the products which those bigger online brokerages provide.
Their range of products include:
Unlike most bigger names like Tiger Brokers, Futu Moomoo and IBKR who offer a wider range of products besides stocks and ETFs (such as mutual funds, futures, options, warrants, CBBCs), Syfe is focused solely on the US stock market.
Whenever you’re trading, it’s important to consider the fees involved as it may eat into your profits, depending on the type of product, market and investing platform you’re making your investments on.
For example, the minimum commission fee for US stocks range from $0 to $25. This can make up a significant percentage of your trading amount, especially if you’re making small or medium trades, which is what most fractional trading involves. In the end, the costs incurred may eat into your potential profits.
Currently, Syfe does not charge any platform fees, deposit fee, withdrawal fees, inactivity fees or account minimum fees. Basically, they’ll only charge you USD 0.99 per trade, an all-inclusive management fee, FX fees and regulatory fees.
One of the best things about trading via Syfe is that you don’t need a lot of money to start, which is an advantage for many beginner investors. Their first-tier Blue account has no minimum investment value, which means you can just jump in with a small sum.
And recently, Syfe Singapore is having a promotion that offers 5 commission-free trades a month (from now to 31 March 2022), and a welcome gift that gives you as a new customer a chance to earn more than SGD $200 in cash credits to buy any stock or ETF of your choice.
If you’re keen to find out the breakdown of the fees and related details before deciding to buy a fraction of some US stocks via Syfe Singapore, and choosing between ETFs or individual US stocks and other insights, you can read our blog review of Syfe Singapore.
|Management fee per year
|Minimum invested value
Syfe offers 4 investment portfolios — Core, REIT+, Equity100, and Global ARI — and Cash+, a cash management account. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or seasoned trader, these portfolios can cater to your needs. At the moment, whichever portfolio you choose, you’ll be able to hold funds and exchange them between SGD and USD as a Syfe account holder.
Comprising stocks, bonds and gold ETFs, Syfe Core portfolios are designed to expose its users to global diversification and better risk-adjusted returns. Depending on your appetite for risk, you can pick from 3 variations of low-risk to medium-risk portfolios, which include Core Defensive, Core Balanced and Core Equity100.
A portfolio that is very much like the iEdge S-REIT 20 Index, the Syfe REIT+ portfolio tracks blue chip REITs in Singapore such as Ascendas, Mapletree and CapitaLand, with the option to invest in either solely REITs (tracks only the iEdge S-REIT 20 Index) or REITs with Risk Management (a portion of your cash is allocated to Singapore Government Bonds).
Syfe Cash+ is essentially a “cash management account” that places your Cash+ balance in funds like the LionGlobal SGD Money Market Fund, LionGlobal SGD Enhanced Liquidity Fund and LionGlobal Short Duration Bond Fund. It comes with 0% fees and functions like a savings account but with variable and non-guaranteed returns. While these investments are optimised for liquidity and you may earn “up to 1.5% p.a.” as Syfe claims, there’s still some risks involved.
For those who prefer to customise their own portfolios, Syfe Select (Themes and Custom) would be an ideal platform that allows building personalised portfolios that gives Syfe users the flexibility to choose from a curated list of over 100 best-in-class ETFs, based on the thematic categories of ESG, Disruptive Tech, Healthcare Innovation, China Growth or Global income.
Syfe’s interactive and customisable app is available on mobile, with both iOS and Android versions available.
Currently, it doesn’t offer desktop trading platforms, but its mobile platform will appeal to you if you’re the kind who prefers being hands-on with your investments and trade frequently on the go.
Simple and user-friendly interface
The user interface is easy to navigate, with pages organised into sections such as “Daily Top Movers”, “Latest Market News”, “Most Popular Stocks”, as well as “Sectors” for various industries, different themes, and market segments.
Access to real-time stock data
Syfe Trade offers free market data and analysis, and stock prices are updated in real time, which is essential for you as an investor to better understand trends and analyse prices to trade on Syfe’s platform.
As a relatively new neobroker that was founded in 2017, Syfe has a limited track record compared to the other established online brokerages on the market, but investors can rest assured that Syfe is like all other registered investment brokerages in Singapore which comply with regulatory requirements set out by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Syfe Singapore is a registered retail fund management neobroker licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (License No. CMS100837).
All Syfe accounts holders’ securities are kept in Trust Accounts at DBS or HSBC, which are separated from Syfe’s own capital. In addition, the neobroker ensures that your funds are invested only in your portfolio assets.
Syfe’s sub-custodian for US securities is a broker-dealer registered with the SEC, a member of FINRA and a member of the SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation), which means you’ll be provided with protection of up to $500,000 for the US securities in your account when you trade via Syfe Singapore.
You’ll receive notifications via SMS, email and the Syfe app for every transfer and withdrawal to your account. A two-factor authentication system that sends you a one-time password is also put in place, which is helpful in the event that there’s any suspicious transactions which were not initiated by you or Syfe Singapore.
Here’s a comparison between these 3 platforms to help you make a decision on the one that’s most suitable for you.
The key factors which we’ll look at are annual management fees, commission fees (on the Singapore stock exchange), platform fees, market access and trading products available.
Although EndowUs charges the lowest annual management of 0.60%, Syfe and Stashaway have a much lower barrier of entry than EndowUs as both neobrokers do not require a minimum investment.
Syfe’s portfolios focus mainly on REITs, ETFs and equities, which has a wider range as compared to Stashaway, so if you’re thinking of investing in more than just ETFs while not forking out $1,000 or more, Syfe would be the more ideal option. But if you have a preference for mutual funds, you’ll want to go with Endowus instead.
|Commission Fee:USD 0.99 per trade (now till 31 March 2022)
USD 1.49 per trade (from 1 April 2022) (no minimum investment amount)
|Commission Fee:None (no minimum investment amount)
|Commission Fee:None (minimum SGD 1,000 investment amount)
|Annual Management Fee:0.65% (No management fees are charged for Syfe Cash+)
|Annual Management Fee:0.80%
|Annual Management Fee:0.60%
|Area of focus for investment:REITs, ETFs, equities (Mainly US market)
|Area of focus for investment:Known for ETFs (Mainly Singapore and US)
|Area of focus for investment:Known for mutual funds, CPF and SRS (Singapore, US and Pacific Basin countries such as Japan, Australia, China and Taiwan and more)
For Syfe Trade accounts, they charge USD 0.99 per trade thereafter. After the introductory promotion that ends on 31 March 2022, it’ll be USD 1.49 per trade thereafter. This fee will be charged at the time Syfe receives the order. In addition, an all-inclusive management fee, FX fees and regulatory fees will be incurred.
For Syfe Wealth investment portfolios, the fees range from 0.35% to 0.65% per year based on the higher of your total assets under management or total invested amount.
You can open an account with Syfe in 5 simple steps.