Which Safe Haven for your Hard-earned Money?

Interest rates have been going up and needless to say, the topics going around these days are the attractive Fixed Deposits and Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB) rates. That has certainly generated a lot of excitement and for a good reason.

In the backdrop of COVID-19, we have the Ukraine war with the potential to escalate to a nuclear exchange, a gloomy global economy sleepwalking seemingly towards recession, US-China rivalry and climate change, just to name a few. Oh, and not forgetting all those cryptocurrencies meltdowns. All these negative news have solidify the default status of the color RED in markets worldwide.

Just as it looks like the dearth of safe havens for common folks like us, these headlines provided us the much needed hope and possibilities.

Banks in Singapore lift fixed deposit rates further with latest round of promotions

CNA, 6 October 2022

Singapore Savings Bonds 10-year average return hits record high of 3.21%

CNA, 03 October 2022

Looking at the queues at the banks around the neighborhood, I am definitely not the only one who sat up and got moving. Of course, there are many other options such as cash fund (robo-advisors), money market funds, treasury bills, and so on. However, we will focus on Fixed Deposits and Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB) as they are the more popular options.

What are Fixed Deposits

Fixed Deposit (FD) or Time Deposit, is a type of bank account that promises you a fixed rate of interest for your principal based on the agreed tenure, or term (i.e. 6 months/1 year/2 years/etc.). In return, you agree not to withdraw the amount of funds. Your deposits are protected if your bank is listed in Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC), up to S$75,000.

What are Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB)

Singapore Savings Bonds are debt instruments issued and backed by the Singapore Government. They enjoy good credit ratings and are considered to be safe investments. Fully backed by the Singapore Government, you can always get your investment amount back in full with no capital loss. Touch wood, if you cannot get your money back, you have more important things to worry about.

From 1 Feb 2019, you may subscribe to SSB using your Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) funds to grow your retirement nest egg. The Individual Limit has been raised from S$100,000 to S$200,000.

  • Both provide a safe option for growing your money
  • Your deposits/capital are protected
  • Interest rates are about the same in general.
Fixed DepositSingapore Saving Bond
Insured up to S$75,000 by SDIC, depending on bankFully backed by the Singapore Government
Various Tenure Options10 years, can withdraw any time
Forfeit all interest for early withdrawalRetain existing payout prior withdrawal date
Interest payout end of tenurePayout every 6 months
Require account with bankRequire bank account with one of the 3 local banks and an individual CDP Securities account
At most 1-2 business day to process withdrawalsNeed to wait till specific payout date per month
Full capital amount will be investedAllocated amount subjected to allotment limit
No maximum limitMaximum limit of S$200,000
Can have joint accountPersonal account only
Promotional rates subjected to terms and conditionsStandard rate for all
Might have minimum requirementStart with as little as S$500
The Better Choice?

Fixed Deposit

  • Comfortable with short term lockdown funds
  • Only need a bank account / Unable to have a CDP account
  • Able to get cash fast at the expense of interest payout
  • Have lump sum for capital and want to place full amount
  • Fresh funds and/or minimum placement for promotional rates not an issue
  • Able go to a physical bank branch for certain transactions (for some banks)

Singapore Saving Bond

  • Comfortable with longer term horizon
  • Regular savings in small amount when lump sum is not possible
  • No requirement to get cash fast (because need to wait for payout date)
  • Already have or wants to create CDP account and have local bank account
  • Able to accept allotment limits
  • Can subscribe digitally (i.e. online banking, ATM, etc.)

You might be interested in a recent post from the Turtle Investor – “How To Check Singapore Saving Bonds Allotment Results And Useful Tools“.

Special Mention: Stablecoins (Cryptocurrency)

This would probably be the last thing on a lot of people’s mind after what has happened in the cryptocurrency world – Terra Luna, Celsius, Three Arrow Capital (3AC), Hodlnaut and other DeFi attacks. Hence, they are NOT recommended as a form of safe investment. Unless you know what you are doing, it would be prudent to avoid them. It is possible to lose all your assets with no legal recourse. There are no form of protection such as SDIC or FDIC, and they are not backed by any financial institution nor government.


Not sure if those are isolated incidents but some old folks might be obsessed with chasing after the rising fixed deposits interest rates. After hearing from their friends or relatives that XYZ bank is having a higher interest rate than what they had signed up for, they are bent on switching their accounts without considerations.

Why would you want to take out your fixed deposit account which is due in a month or two, and forfeit the interest, just to chase another one with a higher interest rate? Or to jump from a month or two year old account to another one just because of that increase in 0.5%?

I am not sure if that is a good idea unless they really have done their calculations. Or perhaps I am the one who got it wrong?


19 Oct 2022 – For fixed deposits, you can request to withdraw to a bank account of your choice or by cheque. For Singapore savings bond, the withdrawal will be to the bank account that you have set in your CDP account.

Terra Luna Fallout – Retrospect & Takeaway

The Terra Luna fallout needs no introduction, especially since it had became global news and the impact was so great that it was the talk of the town amongst common folks who were totally clueless on cryptocurrencies. That had also painted a big red bullseyes for the regulators.

It also took quite a while for me to get a grip on the situation and understand what happened. A lot of people had been burnt by this fallout and some time is needed to calm down and assess the damage.

Brief Background

Unless you have been living under rock, here is a brief summary of what happened.

TerraUSD (UST) is an algorithmic stablecoin that maintains its 1:1 peg with the US Dollar via software logic instead of being backed by physical assets (unlike USDC). LUNA is the native token of Terra, a blockchain developed by Terraform Labs and is primarily used to operate the collateralizing mechanisms that ensures UST’s peg. USTs are minted by burning LUNA and can be also swapped for LUNA. For example, if the UST values goes above USD$1, the equivalent value of LUNA would be burned, which mints more UST, making it less valuable. If the UST price drops below USD$1, they are swapped for LUNA, which in turn makes UST more valuable.

Early this month, a large amount of UST was dumped, and UST started to de-peg. As it dragged on, with the backdrop of lack of official information, more UST was sold in mass panic. Hence it was not just a case of UST being de-pegged but it also had an effect of crashing the price of LUNA. With both UST and LUNA prices in free-fall, the rest is history.

Biggest run in crypto history.


Needless to say, it triggered a fallout on the broader crypto market as well as getting international headlines. Even Tether (USDT), another stablecoin, but backed by physical assets de-pegged for a brief period of time. A lot of people’s hard earn money went down the sink and talks about suicides were everywhere. I think it was the largest wipe out in the crypto market.

Personal Experience

I had done my research and knew of the risks involving algorithmic stablecoins and how Terra Luna works. I knew that it is a matter of time before a serious de-peg occurs and that the potential of a bank run is always there. Even with their Bitcoin and other reserves, it is in my belief that they are unlikely to survive a full run onslaught.

At that time, before the great crash, 5-8% of my portfolio is in UST and LUNA. I was expecting that I would have enough warning and buffer time to exit if I had to. In the end, I lost almost everything despite knowing what I had gotten into and having an “exit plan”.

Then came the de-peg and crash.

I didn’t expect it to free fall so fast and both at the same rate. The plan was to exit if there was a loss of more than 50% for LUNA. When the price of LUNA was around $30, I was considering selling it all, including UST. Actually, based on the plan, I WAS supposed to sell it all. But I hesitated, thinking that there was a chance that it might recover, despite all signs pointing to further free-fall ahead. It was sunk cost fallacy at work.

When I did finally wake up from my slumber, the price was at $8-9. I sold everything. And later on, out of greed and false hope that I could recoup some of those losses, I stupidly bought some LUNA at around $0.05, and you all knew what happened after that.


It was my first crypto crash. In the last major crash, I was only an observer and I thought I would have learnt from it. I was so wrong. It was very stressful to experience it first hand and for the first time and you really need steady nerves and calm mind to do the right things.

I had a plan, but my discipline to follow through with the plan failed. My emotion is the weakest link. You can make all the plans you want, but when the crunch comes and you could not execute, it is pointless.

Another thing learnt is don’t be greedy. Most of the time when you are too greedy, you lose more.

The fortunate thing is that because I had done my research and knew what risks of I am getting into, UST and LUNA did not constitute a major part of my portfolio, hence losses were limited.

There were two questions that I had been pondering about since I started my crypto journey and perhaps it might be answered this time.

  • Is it better to stake or earn/keep in CEX (Centralized Exchange)?
  • Compensation/Airdrops for staked coins vs coins in CEX?

Staked coins might not be easy to exit as compared to coins store in centralized exchanges. But in the event of compensation, in the case of LUNA, you will be the first to get airdrops but for coins in exchanges, you probably might get nothing at all.

That is why I am pleasantly surprised that Hodlnaut supports the new Terra Network airdrop.

Hodlnaut Supports the New Terra Network (LUNA) Airdrop

To my knowledge, they have been the only one that supports it and throughout this Terra Luna fiasco, they have been very professional and provide clear and timely updates. Major exchanges should be learning from them. Am certainly very impressed and I think they have a bright future ahead.

Moving forward

I still believe that there is future in crypto and it is just the beginning. However, we have to be realistic and looking at the path it took for internet to be part of our day to day life, it will be a rough journey ahead.

The lessons learnt today, I hope, would allow me to avoid making even more costlier mistakes in the future. Life is an on-going learning experience. And always remember, invest what you can afford to lose and always, always remember, there is more to life than dollars and cents.

If you are curious on what caused and how TerraUSD (UST) came to de-peg, you can check out the link below.

Nansen – On Chain Forensics: Demystifying TerraUSD De-peg

Is Gold a Bad Investment?

Commodities prices tends to go up, especially during war or disaster. Gold is no exception. Gold prices rose in response to the Ukraine War amidst inflation worries. This war is unprecedented in recent history and has far reaching implications for the world and our future. One should not underestimate and label this as just another proxy war between superpowers. Having said that, we hope for peace and recovery for all.

Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding on Pexels.com

Recently, two tweets caught my attention and set me thinking about gold as part of one’s portfolio. Peter Schiff lamented in his tweet that gold was up above $2,050 for the first time and CNBC chose to cover Bitcoin which was trading below $39,000. Meanwhile, James from MoneyZG mentioned in his tweet that gold is a waste of time as a good “hedge” because you need a war for it to go up, and as a result, 1% of your portfolio is up while the rest is down.

So who is right? It depends.

Before we continue, let us understand and accept the assumptions, biases and context for this article. I have purchased both gold and cryptocurrency assets and I am impartial to both. This article was written from the aspect of the common folks (the average joe/jane, not some financial guru/expert or seasoned investor or trader) in Singapore, though some of the content might relate to overseas audiences. The article written here are based on my personal thoughts and opinions, they do not constitute or meant to be used as financial advice.

Where to buy gold in Singapore?

Photo by Alizee Marchand on Pexels.com

Let us briefly look at some options to purchase gold in Singapore.

Jewellery / Physical Gold (Retail)
The most accessible option. You can head into any jewellery or pawn shop to buy them but do note that not all jewellery are in the form of pure gold. Jewellery might be more expensive than gold bar or coins due to the additional craftsmanship charges. For pure physical gold, you can walk into a gold retailer to buy gold bars or bullion coins. While you can hold it physically in your hands and admire them, you have to consider where to keep it safely.

Gold Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)
Instead of buying physical gold and have a headache over storage and security concerns, you can invest in gold through an ETF that owns, holds and derives its value from holding physical gold. ETFs, like STI ETF or S&P500, have been providing cost-efficient investment solution for the average person. You can consider SPDR Gold Share ETF that is listed on the SGX. You will need a brokerage and a CDP account as a pre-requisite though.

Gold Savings Account
“Eh? Got this kind of things meh?” Yes, but unlike regular savings account, no interest are given out. It offers an easier way to buy and sell gold without worrying about storage and security issues. UOB provides such services but it comes with extra charges. I would recommend using HugoSave. It is much easier and cheaper to use as compared to UOB. You can check out my experience with HugoSave via the links at the bottom of this article.

Bitcoin? Oh no no no, not this ­čśÇ We are not referring to that digital “gold” but cryptocurrencies pegged to commodities. Similar to stablecoins where 1 coin is peg to 1 US dollar, 1 PAX Gold – PAXG token is backed by one fine troy ounce (t oz) of a 400 oz London Good Delivery gold bar, stored in BrinkÔÇÖs vaults. If you own PAXG, you own the underlying physical gold, held in custody by Paxos Trust Company. So if you are already knee deep in crypto land, this can be another option for you.

But what makes this option interesting is that if you hold it in either Crypto.com or Gemini, you can park it under their Earn feature to earn interest (starting from 0.5% APY at this time of writing). This is something that is not possible for the above options, but it is more risky.

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

Why gold?

Gold is a precious metal that has been around for centuries and is universally accepted as an alternative to money. Besides its role as an investment, it is also a raw metal for electronic products such as computer processors. Some people believe it to be a good hedge against inflation. Gold is a tangible asset which you can own physically as compared to stocks, bonds or Bitcoin. It is global accepted and recognized, you can use it anywhere. And it looks really nice and shiny.

Why not gold?

Long term returns tend to be poor, and safely storing physical gold can be difficult. It will not provide a steady source of income like dividend stocks. If you own a gold bar for 30 years, you still own the same gold bar. It might be more “expensive” as compared to 30 years ago but that is because the value of the dollar has gotten smaller. If you own a company stock for 30 years, there is a chance that it will worth X times more. In a way, you are losing out the opportunity to make more money if you bought gold instead of Apple stocks. Contrary to popular beliefs, some people think it is not a good hedge against inflation.


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Let’s have a very simplistic assumption here. Imagine we are in stagflation, war is raging in Europe and there are food supply shortages. No one knows when good days are coming.

Assume that we have Portfolio A which has 5% Gold and Portfolio B which has 5% Bitcoin. None of the portfolios have both Gold and Bitcoin. Both portfolio have equal ratio of Cash, Stocks and Bonds. Here are some questions to ask for each of the scenarios listed below.

Scenario #1 – Something happened and you need a lot of cash urgently

  • Would having gold in Portfolio A give you more options and flexibility in liquidity?
  • Are you fine with selling your stocks or Bitcoin that are in the red, at a loss in Portfolio B?
  • Are you really comfortable in doing the above to get the cash?

Scenario #2 – The stock or cryptocurrency that you have conviction is at a good price

  • Would having gold in Portfolio A give you more options/confidence to buy the dip?
  • Are you fine with selling your stocks (at loss) or using cash in Portfolio B to buy the dip?
  • Are you really comfortable in doing the above, not knowing how long this will go on?

Scenario #3 – Fiat/Cash is basically worthless

  • Would having gold in Portfolio A give you more confidence in making it out alive?
  • Would having Bitcoin in Portfolio B give you more confidence in making it out alive?
  • Would having both Gold and Bitcoin be better in this scenario?
Photo by Vie Studio on Pexels.com

Yes, or No to Gold? That is the question.

It really depends on what you want, your goals, and your risk appetite. I think the most important thing is to know what you are doing and your expectations. For some people, it is alright not to have gold in their portfolio while others prefer some form of security. There are no right or wrong answers, just what matters for the individual.

To me, the role of gold in my portfolio is not to generate revenue for me but to serve as an insurance, especially in an emergency. I have never expect investing in gold is going to make me rich and I think it is unrealistic to assume that. So far, I have not heard anyone who got rich by from gold investment alone. Instead, those millionaires or billionaires made their riches, then they buy gold as an “investment”. If you think deeper, do you really think that they do it to increase their wealth, or does it not seem like buying insurance instead? Food for though huh.

My opinion on gold is that it is often a better hedge against a crisis than against inflation. History has proven that gold prices tend to rise in times of crisis.

Photo by David McBee on Pexels.com

But is that the only question?

What if, god forbids, war has arrived at our shores or we are at the receiving end of sanctions? In this case, gold is only useful if you have it physically. However, you will have to deal with the issue of carrying it around and safeguarding it. The Ukraine war has shown that cryptocurrencies have a place in our modern world and it is a viable option as a currency/asset. The caveat is that this will work only if cryptocurrencies are decentralized in nature (i.e. Bitcoin). No, your coins and tokens in centralized exchanges don’t count. What matters if you can use them in offline wallets (i.e. Ledger) for day-to-day transactions that can keep your life going.

Many people tend to compare or associate Bitcoin as gold or technology stocks. It is too early to give judgement and very much unfair to limit their potential. Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrencies are still at their infancies and are trying to figure out where they fit in our world. They have the potential to be an unique asset class, something that we are unable to visualize or understand for now.

At the end of the day, gold and cryptocurrencies are just tools for us to use, you have to decide which works to your best advantage.

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

Related contents from I Am Doufu

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Crypto Noob Doufu – Primitive Beginnings

Join Doufu in his noob journey into the cryptocurrency rabbit hole. Experience the excitement, the angst, the fear, the greed and most importantly, the lessons learnt. We start off with the usual disclaimer that I am not a financial advisor nor am I giving financial advice. I am just sharing my experiences, thoughts and opinions for entertainment purposes. Always remember to DYOR (Do Your Own Research)!

In this post, part one of the “Crypto Noob Doufu” series, we look at how it all started. What I did not do back then and how I jumped on the bandwagon later. Hop on and enjoy the trip down the memory lane.

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I first heard of Bitcoin back in 2013 through an internet article. It seems to be some sort of thought experiment to me that was pretty novel and it caught my attention. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much information (at least for a beginner), and especially Bitcoin in those days was pretty much under the radar. I saw the potential in blockchain technology and wanted to be part of it, even though there wasn’t a real life use case for it – yet. The idea of using it as a replacement for fiat and as a global currency was revolutionary but I knew it wasn’t realistic and practical. That is a story for another day. Further research didn’t gather much steam and it seems that you have to own a bitcoin to get started. There wasn’t any exchange or places that I could easy get or purchase a Bitcoin and hence, in the end I gave up.

Photo by Worldspectrum on Pexels.com

Fast forward to late 2019, my brother re-introduced me to the world of crypto “investment” after recommending me to sign up for a Crypto.com account. Back then, I didn’t sign up due to some issues. First, they had stopped all new sign ups in Singapore to comply with the local laws and regulations. Second, there were problems with the KYC (Know your customer) approval process. Opportunities wait for no one and I decided not to wait. I jumped on the crypto bandwagon with Coinhako.

Coinhako Logo on Coinhako Blog

“Investment” funds started flowing into the Coinhako account in early 2020. To be honest, it was more like gambling than investment. I had not a single clue on what I am buying or doing. The first crypto asset I bought was Bitcoin (BTC), this was pretty much a no brainer. The second one, of course, Ethereum (ETH). Next stop were the altcoins, Polkadot (DOT) and Ripple XRP. I didn’t spend a lot of money, because I didn’t have much – unfortunately – hard truths. In total, I pumped in about 600 dollars in fiat throughout the whole of 2020. This portfolio bagged a 2x increase which I liquidated before the end of 2020, thanks to the volatility and fed’s money printing adventures.

Crypto.com logo from Crypto.com website

2022 was quite the opposite of 2021. I took a hiatus due to the events in the family and work. When things had settled down a little with some pocket of breathing space, it was already somewhere Q3 of 2021. The period of easy money was replaced by learning things the hard way. The highlight of the year was DYOR (Do your own research). I finally got my CDC (Crypto dot com) account running and it took quite a while to understand how the whole thing/ecosystem worked, and yes, paid quite a bit of “learning fees” in the process. It was then I realized this was different from 2020. I was more rational back then and in 2021, I totally FOMO-ed. I have fallen into the rabbit hole and I can’t get out.

Gemini Logo from Gemini Exchange website

I had also created a Gemini account in order to get my BAT (Basic Attention Token) coins from Brave browser. How it works is Brave browser will serve you advertisements (which you have to enable, it is not turned on by default), and they will pay you in their native token (BAT). You can then use these tokens to tip other content creators that you want to support. However, to cash out the value of these tokens to fiat money, you will need to accumulate a minimum amount of token and sign up and link your account either with Uphold or Gemini.

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So far, my “investment” in crypto has been in the red by at least 50%, which is no difference from my china tech stocks holdings, but it has been a learning experience which I should have learnt 10 years ago. Better late than never. Hence, the reason for this series, to share my journey, thoughts and experiences so that no one would make the same mistake as I had. Feel free to leave comments to share your thoughts and experience too.

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 crypto exchange account, you can use my referral links below.

Use my referral link https://crypto.com/app/wpp4d7nqvz to sign up for Crypto.com and we both get $25 USD ­čÖé

Check out Coinhako – The platform to buy, sell and store your crypto assets. https://www.coinhako.com/affiliations/sign_up/173349_36362274

Have you seen the Gemini app? Try it using my code and we’ll each get $10 USD of Bitcoin. https://gemini.com/share/axnymaaud

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

Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com

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


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

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

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.


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

Hugo – First Impression

My brother introduced to me this Wealthcare┬« service by Hugo that was just launched recently in Singapore. He mentioned that if one is risk adverse to cryptocurrencies, especially due to the recent crash, buying gold can be an alternative as it is seen to be more stable and not as volatile. I guess he was recommending this service as I seemed not so enthusiastic in cryptocurrencies anymore. That is not case for I have been real busy at work and you do need to invest quite a fair amount of time to keep up with the news and all. Nevertheless, I decided to give Hugo a try, out of curiosity and also for “diversifying” my “investments” and “supporting” my brother.

So What Is Hugo?

Meet Hugo !

Hugo, a cute red little robot, is your Wealthcare® buddy who takes care of your financial wellbeing via your digital account that helps you spend, save and invest starting with gold. So how does it do that? According to their website, they provide you with insights so you can spend smarter and also provide tracking tools so you can plan accordingly to save up for your goals. Lastly, they help you to grow your wealth through one off or scheduled deposits into their wealth products (gold investment).

Hugo Save – SingaporeÔÇÖs first Wealthcare┬« app

They are also advertising their services as “Accounts Without Compromise”. The money in your account is safeguarded within DBS Bank and your gold is insured and securely stored in LBMA-accredited Vaults. Hugo uses ID theft technology, 2FA and Biometric authentication. They are among the first to offer “numberless” Visa Debit Card, issued by a Fintech in Singapore. According to them, they have 24/7 fraud monitoring and real-time alerts for all your transactions and are covered by Visa’s Zero Liability policy in case of any unauthorized transactions on your Hugo card.

Hmm … That Sounds Interesting …

Now that got me interested. An easy way to buy/trade/invest in gold? I don’t think I have seen any services like that before in Singapore. This is new compared to Robo-investors and cryptocurrencies, and besides, who do not love gold, especially physical gold.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

But let’s be clear about this, the gold that you have bought through Hugo are not stored in your possession and they have made it clear in their FAQs that while they allow you to buy and sell gold via their platform, you will not be able to take them out physically. I mean, it is a fair and valid point. You can’t exactly take 10 gram of gold out of a 1 kilogram slab of gold, just like that.

Still I like it for the fact that you can buy fractional amount of gold as compared to buying them in certain “denominations”. There are no recurring charges for the service to store the gold, which by itself is attractive enough. Currently there are no transaction fees for gold trading for the first 6 months from launch, but that might change after that. It also provides a more accessible option for small timers like me to buy gold. Of course, these are all my opinions and my perspective, you might see it differently based on your background and environment. And to me, this is more of an instrument for wealth preservation than investment. Note: Not financial advice, these are just my opinions.

Let’s Sign Up!

The signing up process is relatively straightforward. You can click on my referral link here and be directed to a sign up page.

  1. Enter your particulars at the referral sign up page
  2. Download the Hugo Save App from Google Play Store or from Apple App Store
  3. In the app itself, create your new Hugo account and enter your particulars
  4. Follow the instructions and you are done!

It is quite a hassle free process and the KYC is straightforward, you just have to take a photo of your identify card (front and back) and a selfie. There are no option to register with Singpass though, but that is fine. KYC verification took less than an hour for me and I sent a request for my Hugo card. I’m still waiting for it after a week.

What Do I Think About Hugo?

Note: Not financial advice, these are just my opinions.

This service might not be for everyone so it is important to figure out what do you want in the first place. Are you looking to preserve wealth, or to get huge returns or to go into gold trading? These are some of the questions to ask yourself first. They are also new in the market and this is something not seen before (at least to me) so it is still pretty hard to gauge if it will take off. So please do your homework, due diligence, research, whatever before making the decision. And with any investments/financial services, there is always a risk that you might lose your money.

I’m also wondering if there are provisions or any information if it is possible to transfer ownership of your account to your descendants. That would be interesting. Not a lot of robo investor service have that information out there. It’s a bit of a gray area. I might do another update a few months later once I received my Hugo card.

Please use my referral link if you are interested! You get $20 Goldback® referral signup bonus with a spending of at least $100 on your Hugo card within 45 days of signing up while I earn $10 Goldback®. Terms and conditions apply. Meanwhile, stay safe everyone!


You can check out my follow up post hereHugo – 6 Months Later as well as my current views on gold as an investment.