Day to Day, Reviews

Hugo – 6 Months later

It has been roughly 6 months, almost half a year since I signed up for my Hugo account, got my Hugo card and wrote an article about it here. I will be sharing some of my thoughts and use cases today so that you can gain some insights or benefit from it.

But first, let us get some things sorted out before we continue. This article, including the previous one, are not meant to be financial advice. The purpose of these articles are to share my thoughts and experience so that you, as a reader, can use them as a reference. What you do after that is based on your own choice and responsibility. With that out of the way, let us continue.

An Overview

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A lot of things has happened for the past 6 months, and my peers would agree with me that this year, 2021, seems to be worse than 2020 when COVID-19 struck.

  • Delta variant in Singapore around the 2H of the year
  • China regulatory crackdowns and Evergrande issue
  • Inflationary risk
  • Rise of cryptocurrency trading and NFTs
  • Huge uncertainties in the market
  • Omicron variant getting ominous

So what do I think of Hugo and where it stands amidst all these noise and chaos? Here are some quotes from the article “Making the Singaporean Case for Gold” by David Fergusson, CEO and co-founder of Hugo.

… the gold market is still one of the most liquid markets in the world, with roughly US$200bn traded on recognised exchanges, making it the 3rd largest financial market.

Making the Singaporean Case for Gold, David Fergusson (2021, para. 10)
Retrieved from https://hugosave.blog/singaporeans-buy-gold/

Thus, having gold in their portfolios can serve to dampen out the volatility. Not only is it liquid, but Gold is also one of the rare asset classes that are non-correlated. This means that you can put it in your portfolio as insurance, and you can be comfortable that if the world around you blows up (or when your Bitcoin value goes in the opposite direction as the moon), your Gold will provide you safe-haven performance and lower the turbulence somewhat.

Making the Singaporean Case for Gold, David Fergusson (2021, para. 13)
Retrieved from https://hugosave.blog/singaporeans-buy-gold/

Given the current amount of uncertainties in the economy and markets, and with an increasingly bleak outlook for 2022, it would be prudent to plan for the worse. In this regard, I do think that Hugo is one of the options to consider as a safety net or hedge against rough times. Even our government has increased gold reserves by 20% lately.

Photo by Alizee Marchand on Pexels.com

There is an idiom, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. That is why I am using Hugo as one of the tools I have to dampen volatility when the going gets rough. I do applaud their Wealthcare® buddy concept which encourages people to spend smarter, save for their goals and grown their wealth. These are good financial habits to cultivate for everyone. However for this article, I will cover my use case(s) for the following:

  • Roundups
  • Money Pots

Roundups

I would use my Hugo Visa Debit card on small purchases such as public transport, grocery shopping, and day-to-day small expenses. Do not underestimate all these small expenditures, with Roundups, they amount to quite a bit of cash. If you have lots of small transactions daily, you can probably just rely on Roundups for gold purchases instead of manually doing dollar cost averaging (DCA). Having said that, I still do buy gold from time to time during the occasional dips in prices. For bigger purchases, I would delegate these to my credit cards that offer better rewards and/or cash backs.

One of the initial hurdles I had when making use of Roundups was changing my habits. I was used to using one credit card for all my purchases, hence there was a need for conscious effort to adjust my usage to maximize the benefits accordingly. I have an odd habit though. Instead of automating bank transfers to my Hugo account, I would do it manually. It serves as a reminder for me to be aware of my expenses and where my money is going. Sometimes by doing too much automation, one might take for granted certain details in life and when there is a problem, it might be too late.

Money Pots

To be honest, I’m not using Money Pots at the moment as I do not have a use case for it – yet. To some it might be helpful, such as enforcing a saving habit to park a dollar each day to buy a toy or gadget for their birthday. It would be nice if there is a way to earn interest or reward points by fulfilling goal targets under certain conditions. Or perhaps, gamifying it could encourage its usage or provide more incentives to achieve their goals. Just my 2 cents.

My Thoughts

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Gold provides a practical option to diversify your portfolio and dampen volatility. With Hugo, it is more accessible and easier now. However, it has no lack of competitors vying for attention and a share of investment money. The latest entrant are digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). They are changing the status quo as we speak.

For instance, we now have a wide variety of gold-backed cryptocurrencies available on the market. Some examples are Tether Gold (XAUT), DigixGlobal (DGX), PAX Gold (PAXG), Perth Mint Gold Token (PMGT), and Gold Coin (GLC). All these digital tokens are backed by physical gold and they allow fractional purchase, which means one token is worth X gram of gold.

MAS frowns on cryptocurrencies or tokens as an investment asset for retail investors. The prices of crypto tokens are not anchored on any economic fundamentals and are subject to sharp speculative swings. Investors in these tokens are at risk of suffering significant losses.

“The Future of Money, Finance and the Internet” – Speech by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, at Singapore FinTech Festival on 9 November 2021
Retrieved from https://www.mas.gov.sg/news/speeches/2021/the-future-of-money-finance-and-the-internet

In terms of safety, under Hugo General Terms, Section 7.6 (e), it is stated that – “Your funds are protected to the extent the safeguarding bank, DBS, is a Deposit Insurance (DI) Scheme member bank under the Deposit Insurance Scheme of the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation Limited, SDIC.”. Hence your money in Hugo is covered under SDIC similar to a bank.

And under the Hugo Gold Metal Agreement, under Terms of Custody – “Hugo shall store for the Customer precious metal sold by Hugo to the Customer or deposited by the Customer at the designated Storage Facility, subject to the terms of this Agreement. All metal held in storage shall remain the property of Customer at all times.”. I also like that in their agreement, you are able to transfer your gold assets under certain circumstances.

When examining the terms of one of the major cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore – monies in fiat wallet are not covered under SDIC. Crypto assets in the exchange might be insured but only under certain circumstances.

Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com

In my humble opinion, buying gold through Hugo is much more easier and safer as compared to gold-backed cryptocurrencies now. Although it is not as sexy nor exciting compared to other investment products out in the market now, i.e. (Roboadvisors, ETFs, ESG funds, digital assets), gold has been around way longer and it will continue to be relevant in the future.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not against crypto assets, in fact I have invested into them. The general consensus is typically allocating about 5%-10% of your portfolio in crypto assets. Moving forward, it is inevitable that digital assets/cryptocurrencies will work together with existing financial instruments to create new products and opportunities which will be very different from now.

Once again, please be reminded that these are my own opinions and are not financial advice. I am not a qualified licensed financial advisor. And I will not be liable for any damage or losses arising from usage of these information. Please do your own research. If you are interested in signing up for a Hugo account, you can use my referral link here.

Updates

Is Gold a Bad Investment? My current views and thoughts.

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