At a Glance

Want to grow your money but don’t have the time manage your portfolio? We’ve got you covered with digiPortfolio.

Stay tuned to this page to get the latest news on the investment world and how we’re moving your portfolio to be resilient in rain or shine.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Watch quarterly videos for updates on the markets
  • Read commentaries on how digiPortfolio has managed your portfolio
  • Gain insights to market changes and how it affects investments

Ready to learn more about digiPortfolio?

Find out more

 

Who moved my digiPortfolio?

Keep up-to-date with quarterly videos that cover hot topics in the investment world and the views that are driving your digiPortfolios.

Meet the expert

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes in digiPortfolio? Find out exactly that and key investment principles from one of the portfolio managers.

Quarter 4 video update

How do we cope with rising prices? Will there be a recession? Should you still invest, and how? Our experts Robin and Lorna share tips and ideas on what you can do.

 

Fed in Focus

This year has been challenging for global markets across the board. Inflation, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, and central bank hawkishness continue to weigh heavily on sentiment.

In 4Q22, we expect market volatility to remain high and continue to focus on quality by reducing our emerging market bond exposure and adding to shorter-duration high quality developed market bonds. However that said, we also see value emerging especially for equities. We advocate investors to stay the course and adopt a patient “dollar-cost average” approach to ride out the current policy normalisation cycle.

03 Nov 2022

Over the third quarter of 2022, both equities and fixed income markets went through a rollercoaster ride, recovering well through July to mid-August before taking a dive after the US Federal Reserve reiterated their hawkish stance to further tighten monetary policies to combat inflation. Global equities (as measured by the MSCI ACWI Index) and global fixed income (as measured by the Bloomberg Global Aggregate Total Return Index) markets fell by -4.8% and -7.3% respectively over 3Q’22 (as of 28 Sep 2022).

While our Global ETF portfolio inevitably fell by -5.8% over 3Q’22, the portfolio still slightly outperformed the global market reference composite which fell by -6%. Year-to-date, while the Global ETF portfolio fell by -19.8% in absolute terms, it outperformed the market reference composite which fell more by -22.1%. Broadly speaking, our underweight call on European equities panned out well as European equities fell by -11.1% over 3Q’22 (as measured by Stoxx Europe 600 Index, USD terms). Our overall underweight stance on fixed income was also right as bond markets suffered on rising interest rates. However, our overweight call on Asian equities which fell by -13.6% over 3Q’22, remained a drag. 

Looking into 4Q’22, we expect market volatility to remain high and continue to focus on quality by reducing our emerging market bond exposure and adding to shorter-duration high quality developed market bonds. However that said, we also see value emerging especially for equities. We advocate investors to stay the course and adopt a patient “dollar-cost average” approach to ride out the current policy normalisation cycle.

Global Portfolio Slow n Steady Comfy Cruisin Fast n Furious
3Q 2022 USD -3.5% -5.8% -7.0%
YTD 2022 USD -15.0% -19.8% -22.8%

Figures as of 30 September 2022.
The above table is based on the Indicative Model Portfolio gross of fees returns. Individual performance may vary.


03 Nov 2022

Over the third quarter of 2022, both equities and fixed income markets went through a rollercoaster ride, recovering well through July to mid-August before taking a dive after the US Federal Reserve reiterated their hawkish stance to further tighten monetary policies to combat inflation. Global equities (as measured by the MSCI ACWI Index) and global fixed income (as measured by the Bloomberg Global Aggregate Total Return Index) markets fell by -4.8% and -7.3% respectively over 3Q’22 (as of 28 Sep 2022).

Asia is facing challenges from China’s Zero Covid policy and strengthening USD. Our Asia ETF portfolio fell by -7.8% over 3Q’22, compared to the Asia market reference composite which fell by -7.3%. Year-to-date, while the Asia ETF portfolio fell by -12.7% in absolute terms, it also outperformed the market reference composite which fell more by -17.7%.

Looking into 4Q’22, we expect market volatility to remain high and continue to focus on quality. However that said, we also see value emerging especially for equities. We advocate investors to stay the course and adopt a patient “dollar-cost average” approach to ride out the current policy normalisation cycle.

Asia Portfolio Slow n Steady Comfy Cruisin Fast n Furious
3Q 2022 SGD -4.8% -7.8% -9.9%
YTD 2022 SGD -11.4% -12.8% -14.4%

Figures as of 30 September 2022.
The above table is based on the Indicative Model Portfolio gross of fees returns. Individual performance may vary.

 

Market Insights

Timely articles addressing current market events.

18 Mar 2022

Staying diversified amidst China panic

The MSCI China Index, which tracks China equities, suffered from a turbulent start to the week as it faced a two-day sell-off, losing more than 14%. It was little different for the Hang Seng Tech Index, which tracks the performance of Chinese technology stocks. It plunged 18% since last Friday (11 Mar 2022).

Recent heavy sell-offs are deemed to be triggered by a combination of factors relating to:

  1. Worries that US allegations of China’s ties to Russia could lead to further sanctions on Chinese companies
  2. Regulatory headwinds in sectors like property and technology that have persisted since 2021
  3. The impact of renewed Covid-19 lockdowns affecting the domestic economy

These concerns outweighed positive economic data on Tuesday signalling strong retail sales and industry output in January and February 2022 as well as assertions that China is not involved in Russia’s war with Ukraine.

Diversification within the portfolio

It is often said that “Too much of a good thing can be bad”. This holds when it comes to investing too. At times, investors can hold a very positive view on certain markets or sectors, which might lead them to invest too heavily into those areas. Instead, investors should realise the importance of sizing up appropriate allocations within a portfolio.

As the largest economy in Asia, China investments would naturally have a place in well diversified global investor’s portfolio, let alone an Asia investor’s portfolio. It is no different for digiPortfolio as its portfolio managers seek to draw on multiple sources of returns, providing for diversification. While a well-diversified portfolio doesn’t eliminate risk, it can cushion the blow from heavy sell-offs in particular markets and sectors.

While the Asia Portfolio (Comfy Crusin’) invests in China equity as well as a China technology index, the allocations are moderated with a 15% allocation to a MSCI China ETF and just 3% in the Hang Seng Tech ETF. The Asia Portfolio further invests in Singapore bonds, Singapore equities, Real Estate Investment Trusts (Reits) and India equities within a well-diversified portfolio.

While the portfolio is down 5.4% for the month, the drawdown is relatively muted compared to the markets and sectors that are feeling the brunt of the turmoil this week.

1M returns in SGD (15 Feb – 14 Mar 2022)

MSCI Asia Ex Japan index

-12.0%

MSCI China index

-23.4%

Hang Seng Technology index

-30.3%

Asia Portfolio (Comfy Crusin’)

-5.4%

In summary

There are no guarantees in investing but investment principles such as seeking diversification is crucial to tide over challenging market conditions. digiPortfolio offers investors such portfolios driven by the views of the DBS investment team.

This article was first published in DBS NAV insights, a weekly subscription-only newsletter.


03 Mar 2022

Navigating the Russia-Ukraine crisis

The Russia-Ukraine crisis is the main topic on everyone's minds. Many questions have been raised on how the situation may evolve, and how investment portfolios should be positioned.

Here's a factsheet from DBS Chief Investment Office that will address some of the key questions surrounding the conflict.

1.   What's happening

Why did the crisis unfold?

In the years after the breakup of the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1991, many newly independent states of the former Eastern Bloc chose to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a defensive alliance.

There are two distinct viewpoints on what triggered the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The Russian view: NATO's expansion to Eastern Europe is a security threat, with the alliance's intention to admit Ukraine, deemed has crossing the line.

The US view: US President Joe Biden believes Russian leadership is harbouring a bigger ambition beyond Ukraine, to “reestablish the former Soviet Union”.

Sanctions on Russia

Economic and Financial: Limited access to financial systems for banks, key state-owned companies, and individuals as well as asset freezes and visa restrictions.

Technology: Ban on the import and export of technological goods, suspension of licenses, ban on sale of aircraft and equipment, and limits on access to semiconductors and select software.

SWIFT: Banning of some Russian banks from using the platform, which is a messaging network for financial institutions to securely send and receive information.

Low risk of economic contagion

As Russia accounts for only 1.8% of global gross domestic product, the impact on the global economy is likely limited. This compares with 24.7% for US and 17.4% for China. In terms of global trade flows, Russia accounts for only 1.7% of global exports (vs 9.5% for US and 12.1% for China), and 1.4% of global imports (vs 12.8% for US and 10.8% for China).

A bigger threat is likely to come from commodity prices. With Russia a primary exporter of energy to Europe, a prolonged crisis may result in slower production and supply shortages.

US Federal Reserve policy could be affected

With sentiment taking a turn from geopolitical tensions, the Fed could invoke more caution in the hiking cycle and pare back expectations for aggressive hikes.

Unlikely the start of a bear market

On average, global equities have rallied 38% during military conflicts. Rising uncertainties, meanwhile, triggered average gains of 138% for gold and 89% for crude oil.

During the 2014 Crimean crisis, where Russia invaded and annexed the peninsula from Ukraine, global equity markets were flat while gold and oil registered only slight dips.

European banking system little affected

Most European banks derive 1% to 2% of their profits of even less from Russia, and a much lower percentage in terms of total banking assets. Moreover, they have sufficient capital buffers to weather the direct impact of the Ukraine crisis.

The European Central Bank (ECB) could also turn more cautious on policy tightening given the proximity of the crisis to the continent, allowing funding conditions to remain stable while tensions persist.

2.   What to expect now

Demand for inflation hedges, geopolitical risks, and volatility is expected to rise leading to higher gold prices. As a hard asset, gold has preserved and risen in value during environments of hyperinflation, stagflation, and negative interest rates. Its attribute of being uncorrelated to risk assets makes it an effective hedge during periods of high volatility.

Europe is most exposed to the conflict due to its proximity as well as dependency on Russia’s energy resources. Domestic sentiments will likely be weak in the near term, and recovery delayed. Investors should stay with resilient sectors such as oil majors, luxury brands, and commodity producers while scanning the banks for exposure to Russia and companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 project, which has been halted.

3.   Are there market opportunities?

Investors can consider focusing on sectors and secular themes that are supported by strong fundamentals and resilient against geopolitical events. These are predominantly sectors with globally diversified revenue streams and pricing power.

The investment expressions include US big cap Technology stocks and global Health Care sectors which will maintain outperformance over the broader markets. For Technology, we maintain our conviction on semiconductor upstream and equipment, software services, cyber security, cloud computing, and electric vehicle supply chain. For Health Care, we like large pharmaceuticals and drug developers.


The above is a summary of DBS CIO Perspectives report titled "Factsheet: Navigating the Russia-Ukraine crisis" published on 28 Feb 2022. The full report can be accessed through the DBS Private Bank website, under Market Insights.

This article was first published in DBS NAV insights, a weekly subscription-only newsletter.

Subscribe to DBS NAV insights, a weekly subscription-only newsletter, and stay updated on views from our experts at the DBS CIO office and DBS Group Research.

Subscribe now

 

Archive

Read previous commentaries here


Important information
In all other jurisdictions where the DBS/POSB iBanking website(s) is/are accessible by its residents or entities, it is intended for use by corporate, institutional, professional, wholesale and other qualified investors in accordance with the laws and regulations of such jurisdictions.

The material and information contained herein is for general circulation only and does not have regard to specific objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any specific investor individual and/or entity (collectively referred to as investor), wherever situated. The material and information contained herein does not constitute an offer, invitation, recommendation or solicitation of any action based upon it and should not be viewed as identifying or suggesting all risks, direct or indirect, that may be associated with any investment decision. Prospective investors should seek advice from a financial adviser regarding the suitability of the product before making a commitment to purchase the product. In the event that the prospective investor chooses not to seek such advice, he/she/they should carefully consider whether an investment in the said securities is suitable for them in light of their own circumstances, financial resources and entire investment programme.