Singapore REITs may not be as cool as growth stocks like Tesla or Amazon, but they have a special place in my portfolio. As Peter Lynch puts it: “Know what you own, and know why you own it.”
It’s fairly easy for Singapore investors to get a feel of how a REIT’s shopping malls or office buildings are doing. You can go to a mall like Plaza Singapura to check out the footfall and see how quickly vacated shop spaces are occupied.
As to why own REITs, I do it for the passive income. I like the comfort of knowing that I’ll be receiving regular dividend payouts regardless of share price performance.
My REIT+ performance
I invested in Syfe REIT+ in April 2020, nearly 2 years ago. The REIT market has seen plenty of ups and downs during this period, but my overall time-weighted return stands at 21.89% mainly because I invested near market bottom.
Your return may be different, depending on when you started investing.
Zooming in over the past 6 months, my portfolio performance is up slightly, notwithstanding the drop that occurred during the last quarter of 2021. As you can see, REITs have been rallying since February 2022.
In total, I’ve received $664.81 in dividends since I started investing in REIT+.
- 2020: $200.01
- 2021: $351.60
- 2022: $113.20 (to date)
Based on my invested amount of $7,431.45, my dividend yield for 2021 was 4.73%. That’s pretty decent, considering it’s passive income.
While I knew there were weeks where the REIT+ portfolio just kept falling due to the overall negative sentiment, I left the portfolio alone and resisted the urge to keep checking it.
Ultimately, I’m pretty satisfied with the performance and intend to keep Syfe REIT+ as a complement to my US exposures.
A recap of what Syfe REIT+ is
If you’ve chanced upon this article, let me walk you through what Syfe REIT+ is.
In essence, it’s a portfolio holding 20 Singapore REITs. This portfolio tracks the iEdge S-REIT Leaders Index very closely, meaning that the performance of the portfolio will be very similar to the performance of the index.
Price returns of the iEdge S-REIT Leaders Index
There’s been talk recently about the different investment approaches used by different robo-advisors in Singapore. If this concerns you, you’ll be happy to know that the REIT+ portfolio passively tracks the index. Syfe does not do any “active management” to it.
What’s in Syfe REIT+
The portfolio was recently balanced on 25 March 2022, in line with the iEdge S-REIT Leaders Index’s semi-annual rebalancing.
In the update provided by Syfe, we can see that minor adjustments were made. The index itself is rebalanced twice a year mainly to cap index weights at 10%.
The top 10 REIT holdings are established names like CapitalLand, Mapletree, Ascendas, Keppel etc. Industrial REITs (including logistics and data center) make up the majority of the portfolio, followed by retail and office REITs.
Some of you may be wondering why not just buy individual REITs?
For me, the advantages of Syfe REIT+ lie in its convenience and cost-effectiveness.
#1: Syfe has no minimum investment so it’s easier to dollar cost average monthly. If you buy individual REITs, you need to take note of the minimum lot size.
#2: Dividends are reinvested for you, free of charge. According to Syfe, reinvested dividends can generate an extra 0.5% in returns for you each year.
#3: Rights issues are taken care of by Syfe so you don’t have to worry. E.g. Last year, they automatically helped me subscribe to the rights issues from Mapletree Logistics Trust, ESR-REIT and Mapletree Industrial Trust. You can view these details by filtering your transactions.
#4: With one transfer, your funds are automatically invested for you into 20 REITs. Boom – instant diversification.
Regarding dividends, Syfe reinvests them by default. But if you’re a black / gold tier client, you can choose to get quarterly payouts to your bank.
Fees and how to get them waived for 6 months
Syfe portfolios have the same fees ranging from 0.65% to 0.40% per year, depending on how much you invest across portfolios.
So if you have $10,000 in Syfe REIT+ and $10,000 in Syfe Select, your fee is 0.5% each year.
Interested to start an investment portfolio with Syfe? If you’re a new customer, you can use our personalised referral code FRUGALFOX to get 6 months of fees waived for extra savings.
Enter the code when creating your account, and deposit a minimum of S$2,000 to meet the eligibility criteria. You’ll get free fees for half a year, on your first S$50,000 investment.
I also use Syfe’s other products like its brokerage platform and Core Equity100. Check out my other reviews in the links below and feel free to drop me a note in the comments if you have any questions!