A lack of cash is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for new investors.
It can be tempting to put off investing to some indeterminate point in the future – until one has saved up a tidy sum. However, starting early allows budding investors to benefit from compounding interest, and to seize time-sensitive opportunities, among others.
Thanks to a growing range of easy-to-use investment solutions, investors are now finding it easier than ever to start building their nest eggs for the future.
Conventional investment-linked plans (ILPs) and robo investors tend to be popular solutions for beginners. However, they often require a lump sum of cash to start with and can be out of reach for some.
Those who wish to start small can turn to SNACK Investment, Singapore’s first micro ILP. Available on the SNACK by Income mobile app, this new product offers an intuitive way to invest even the tiniest sums.
Start investing from just $1, with protection included
As a micro ILP, SNACK Investment’s key purpose is to enable users to diversify their portfolios and start building their wealth. As is the case with conventional ILPs, users’ premiums are used to purchase units in professionally managed funds for investment purposes. At the same time, the plan offers insurance protection with a payout in the event of accidental death.
What sets SNACK apart from conventional ILPs is that users pay bite-sized, micro-premiums costing as little as $1 to $10. These are tiny amounts compared to the premiums being charged by conventional ILPs and thus make SNACK much easier to get started with.
“Consumers are usually attracted to conventional ILPs because of their higher projected returns and the promise of diversification due to the underlying funds, but the high minimum investment amount required can limit accessibility,” said Mr Peter Tay, Chief Digital Officer at Income, in the press release announcing the launch of SNACK Investment.
“With SNACK, we are breaking down the conventional approach to purchasing ILPs by keeping the benefits that consumers desire, while at the same time lowering the barrier by keeping the initial investment amount to just a dollar.”
SNACK’s accessibility is boosted by its high degree of flexibility. Users have the freedom to decide how much they wish to invest and calibrate the amount from week to week according to their preferences. This enables them to adjust their investment amounts to suit their desired lifestyle.
100 per cent of premiums are paid into the micro ILP, which enhances SNACK’s cost-effectiveness. Users also receive accidental death coverage amounting to 105 per cent of the total premiums paid up to that point.
In order to generate returns, SNACK premiums are used to purchase units in Income’s Asian Income Fund that is managed by Schroder Investment Management (Singapore) Ltd, with plans to make more fund options available in the near future.
Manage investments on the go
Users can start investing through the SNACK by Income mobile app, which takes a novel, lifestyle-centric approach and is easy and fun to use.
Users begin by linking an EZ-Link or Visa card to their SNACK account using the app. Once that is done, they can link their desired micro-premium of $1 to $10 to selected everyday activities like grocery shopping, eating out, ordering food on delivery platforms, buying takeaway food, making retail purchases and taking public transport.
These everyday activities are linked to the SNACK system, which is alerted each time they are performed on the linked card. Linked activities function as triggers which set off a micro ILP purchase.
Each time the app detects that a linked activity has been performed, SNACK automatically purchases a micro-policy on behalf of the user that can be stacked onto previously-purchased ones. For instance, if a user buys groceries on the linked card, SNACK will automatically purchase a micro-policy.
To ensure that they only invest what they can afford, users can, if they wish, specify a weekly cap of up to $100 on accumulated investment amounts, with the option to auto-invest any amounts that still remain uninvested at the end of the week. A user investing $100 every week will have put aside $5,200 in a year, a testimony to how small, regular investments can really add up.
Suppose a user opts for a premium of $1 and a weekly cap of $10. In a given week, the user spends once on groceries and once on public transport using his or her linked credit card. Both grocery shopping and public transport rides are linked activities, so SNACK will automatically make two micro-policy purchases after each of these transactions is completed, leading to an investment of $2 during that week.
If the user has activated the auto-invest function, SNACK will automatically invest the remaining $8 at the end of the week to enable the user to invest up to his or her weekly cap of $10.
This unique mechanism enables users to gradually build up their investments and insurance coverage as they go about their daily lives. As the process of purchasing micro-policies is automated by the app, little effort is required on the part of users, and investing becomes an easy and intuitive process even for total beginners.
Users are also free to withdraw money from the plan at any time, making it more flexible and more adaptable to individuals’ preferences than conventional ILPs. To make a withdrawal, users can simply submit a request on the SNACK by Income app without incurring any withdrawal fees.
Small investments can lead to big results
Time is of the essence when it comes to investing. Starting early is extremely beneficial for investors as it offers a longer time horizon over which to ride out market volatility, as well as to let compounding interest accumulate.
Compounding interest enables investments to grow exponentially over time as interest is earned not only on the principal sum but also on any interest already accumulated. Therefore, the more time a sum of money is left invested, the greater the extent to which interest can compound.
Regular and consistent investing is an approach to investment known as Dollar Cost Averaging. It involves investing fixed or equal sums of money regularly over a period of time. The consistency of the investments evens out the impact of market fluctuations, enabling investors to sit back with peace of mind and benefit from long-term growth. Such an approach saves investors from having to time the market or wait until they have saved up a lump sum of cash.
In SNACK Investment’s case, the app ensures that small sums are automatically invested on a regular basis as users go about their daily lives. This system ensures that users’ money is invested at multiple points within a single week, thus gaining regular exposure to the market.
In this way, users are led to invest using a dollar cost averaging strategy without having to muster up the discipline to put aside money regularly. The subtle, unobtrusive way in which it helps users integrate investing into their daily lives is perhaps SNACK’s greatest strength, making it ideal for beginners as it enables them to start immediately and invest regularly.
For a limited time only, get a head start and receive complimentary $30 of investment credits when you start investing on SNACK by Income!