Syfe Review: The Comprehensive Review [2024]

Syfe Review

Syfe is a digital investment platform with the aim of making high-quality, smart, yet affordable investing accessible to everyone. As a robo-advisory platform, Syfe provides investors with an automated way to manage their investment portfolios in exchange for an annual fee. Syfe also offers investors a trading platform via its Syfe Trade. This Syfe review will discuss Syfe’s pros, cons, and portfolio offerings.

Syfe Pros Review

We have been using Syfe for a while, and here we summarize what we like about Syfe.

Transparent Competitive Fees

Fees are among the most important investment considerations. We love Syfe’s simple, transparent, and inclusive fee structure. Syfe charges a fixed annual management fee for your portfolio. There are no sales, withdrawals, or hidden costs that some other financial products may have. Here is the summary of the fee structure:

Investment Portfolios
<$20,000 0.65%
$20,000 to <$100,000 0.5%
$100,000 to <$500,000 0.4%
>= $500,000 0.35%
Cash Portfolio
Any amount 0.1%

Looking at the fee structure, we find Syfe’s fees pretty competitive compared to other robo-advisory platforms. If you can invest more than $20,000, the annual fee is around 0.5%, one of the lowest fees among other platforms.

The cash portfolio charges you an annual management fee of 0.1%. It is not the lowest, but also not too high, so we are neutral on the cash portfolio fees.

MAS Regulated

Being regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is a basic hygiene factor when choosing a platform. Syfe holds the Capital Markets Services License and is regulated by the MAS. Syfe is also regularly audited by the Big Four auditing firms.

Third-Party Custodian

Syfe segregates client assets and its own assets. This separation is very crucial for any investment platform. Syfe works with DBS, HSBC, Saxo, Lion Global, and Alpaca as the custodian of clients’ money and assets.

  • Your money and assets are held in separate custodian accounts at established and regulated financial institutions.
  • Your money/assets are separate from Syfe’s assets, and there is no co-mingling of assets between them.
  • In the worst case, when Syfe shuts down, your assets are safe and accessible directly from the custodian account. There is no forced liquidation of your assets. And more importantly, your assets are protected from Syfe’s creditors in the event of liquidation.

Withdrawal Time

Syfe withdrawal time is relatively faster than that of other platforms. For its Core, REIT, and Custom Select portfolios, it generally takes 2-3 business days. For the Cash+ portfolio, it is by the next business day; wow! The Income+ portfolio will take 4-5 business days.

We particularly like Syfe’s Cash+ portfolio withdrawal time of just one business day. This liquidity is essential because most investors use this portfolio to park their short-term cash; therefore, having faster access to it will significantly benefit them.

Comprehensive Portfolio Offerings

Syfe offers diverse portfolio offerings for investors with different risk profiles and investing objectives. Core portfolios provide investors with exposure to the global broad market. Its core portfolios invest in stocks, bonds, and golds of varying allocations.

Investors with the highest risk profile and longest investing horizon can choose Core Equity100 as it invests 100% in global stocks, giving the highest historical annualized return among all portfolios.

For investors with slightly lower risk profiles who want to grow their portfolio over a longer term, the Core Growth portfolio may be suitable because it primarily invests in stocks while incorporating risk-adjusted returns.

The Core Balanced portfolio offers investors optimized allocation balancing risk and return, ideal for investors with lower risk profiles.

For investors with the lowest risk profile who seek income primarily as their investing objective, the Core Defensive portfolio may suit them as it mainly invests in bonds for stable and steady returns.

Syfe also offers the Income+ Preserve portfolio for investors who prefer regular monthly payout with capital preservation as their objective, while their Income+ Enhance portfolio targets higher income with capital appreciation. These two portfolios primarily use bonds as the underlying asset class.

You can also target specific markets or asset classes by investing in satellite portfolios, such as REIT, China Growth, Disruptive Technology, etc. And for parking short-term cash, you can consider investing in their cash management offerings: Cash+ Flexi and Cash+ Guaranteed.

Low-Cost ETFs

We like that Syfe uses low-cost ETFs as the underlying assets for their portfolio offerings. Low-cost, best-in-class ETFs tracking some popular market indices have been shown to outperform most actively managed funds. If there is no proven track record of beating the market, there is little reason to use these funds, and we can stick with low-cost ETFs instead.

Portfolio Automation

Being a robo-advisory platform, Syfe automatically does the heavy lifting of portfolio management for you. You can adopt a buy-and-forget approach when investing with Syfe portfolio offerings. Syfe will take care of all portfolio management and rebalancing. This is especially suitable for investors who prefer to be more passive with their investing strategy.

This automatically managed portfolio with a low annual management fee is more cost-effective than the traditional model of hiring a personal financial advisor, who may charge more than 1% per year in fees. A personal adviser may offer more human touch elements, but Syfe’s automated offering is still worth considering for most retail investors.

No Minimum Investment Amount

There is no minimum amount to start investing with Syfe portfolios except the Income+ portfolio. Indeed, you can start with any amount, which is beneficial for everyday people to get started as soon as possible. For the Income+ portfolio, the minimum is $5,000.

So, there is no excuse not to start your investment journey, right?

Ease of Use

The Syfe platform is user-friendly. We love our experience with Syfe so far. The registration process is simple. The investing process is also straightforward, clear, and transparent. Just a tiny nitpick: It is kind of annoying that we need to upload our PayNow screenshot proof after each funding 🙂

Investing with Syfe is generally an effortless and enjoyable experience, with the process being transparent and most of the portfolio management effort being done for you.


Syfe Cons Review

Portfolio and Performance

As with any robo-advisory platform, investors need to carefully evaluate whether the offering provided by the platform is worth the recurring annual fees. For the more savvy investors, there is a case of just building a similar portfolio using simple, low-cost ETFs. Using a mix of low-cost ETFs can minimize the annual cost while still getting the desired portfolio allocation. However, you still need to do the portfolio management work, such as rebalancing yourself. Ultimately, it is your call whether the benefit offered by Syfe outweighs the cost.

Relatively Newer Platform

Syfe was launched in 2019. A few years is not a long enough investing horizon to prove whether or not an investing strategy works. Sure, you can backtest any strategy, but a proven track record is more comforting for investors. That said, we believe the Syfe team has the experience necessary to make Syfe a successful investing platform.


Syfe Portfolio Offerings Review

Here are the main Syfe portfolio offerings that investors may choose from. They serve different risk profiles and investing objectives.

Core Portfolios

The core portfolios provide investors with broad market exposure and diversification across sectors and geographies. This is usually the starting point for most investors to get initial exposure to the market. The portfolios are constructed using low-cost ETFs using stocks, bonds, and commodities as the underlying assets.

Here is the summary of the core portfolio offerings:

Name Risk Profile Avg Annualized Return (8Y)
Core Equity100

100% exposure to global stocks.

High 10.87%
Core Growth

Stock-focused with risk-adjusted return. Focus on US technology and Chinese stocks.

70% equity, 24% bonds, 6% commodities.

Moderately High 8.13%
Core Balanced

Optimized asset allocation with balanced risk and return.

39% equity, 49% bonds, 12% commodities.

Moderately Low 4.63%
Core Defensive

Bonds-focused with stable and steady payouts.

20% equity, 70% bonds, 10% commodities.

Low 3.07%

Source: Syfe

Income+ Portfolios

The income portfolios are designed to optimize for yield to deliver steady monthly payouts. These portfolios suit investors with lower risk tolerances or shorter investment time horizons who want to preserve their capital. The underlying building blocks of these portfolios are funds actively managed by PIMCO, one of the largest fixed-income asset managers in the world.

  • Income+ Preserve: Its objective is to generate a steady regular income with capital preservation.
  • Income+ Enhance: For higher income with capital appreciation. Slightly higher risk profile with exposure to emerging markets.

Satellite Portfolios

Satellite portfolios offer investors exposure to specific market segments or asset classes. Investors already exposed to the broad market may supplement their portfolio with these satellites to boost their overall return.

Their REIT+ portfolio invests in Singapore’s largest REITs to earn regular, steady incomes. Investors may mix it with bonds for an additional risk management option.

Other satellite portfolios include China Growth, Disruptive Technology, ESG and Clean Energy, and Healthcare Innovation.

Cash Management

The cash management portfolio aims to maximize the return on your cash while still providing enough liquidity. Syfe Cash+ Guaranteed offers a guaranteed rate in return for locking your money for a fixed period. The underlying instrument is fixed deposits. The Cash+ Flexi offers flexibility yet with a competitive target return by investing in the money market and high-quality debt instruments.

These portfolios are ideal for parking short-term cash due to their low-risk profile and high liquidity. You can withdraw your money and receive it by the next business day.

Syfe Trade

Syfe Trade allows investors to invest in individual stocks or ETFs in the US and Singapore stock markets. Investors can add individual stocks or ETFs to their portfolios to improve their performance, depending on their confidence in the investment.

Syfe Trade also allows trading fractional shares, a great feature for retail investors who have just started investing. The fees are also quite competitive:

Singapore Market 0.06% (min $1.98)
US Market US$1.49 / trade


Who Is Syfe Suitable For?

As a robo-advisory platform, Syfe is ideal for more passive investors who want to take a buy-and-forget approach to investing while still benefiting from portfolio diversification. You outsource the research and management part of your portfolio to Syfe in exchange for their annual management fees.

More experienced investors comfortable with more active portfolio management may choose to invest directly in the underlying low-cost ETFs and avoid the annual management fees charged by Syfe. These ETFs can be bought directly from stock brokers with access to the exchange where those ETFs are listed.

So, are you interested in Syfe? Get a promotional 3-6 months of fee waiver and up to $20 cash by signing up through here.


Disclaimer: The review is based on subjective opinion from the author’s personal experience. The information provided here is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or any other advice or recommendation of any sort.