How to Build Your Investment Portfolio from $1 in S’pore (By Drinking Bubble Tea?)

Last Updated on 2022-02-28 , 6:08 pm

Every year, you make the same three New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Set aside more money for your savings
  2. Drink less bubble tea
  3. Exercise more

And every year, every single year, you break these resolutions.

Let’s face it, overcoming your boba addiction will take years of therapy, and exercising more will, well, require effort. 

But while those two things may be out of your reach, there’s one very simple way to set aside money and potentially make it grow on its own.

And you don’t need thousands of dollars to do this, or even hundreds of dollars.

Believe it or not, you can start with just $1. 

Reader: $1? Okay, this is a phishing scam. I’m going to delete this SMS—

No; for a start, this isn’t a scam. And secondly, you’d not need to give anyone your password.

Reader: Okay, so what the heck is this?

Welcome, dear readers, to SNACK. 

SNACK by Income, the App That Can Invest Your Money For You

Now, what if I told you that there’s an app that helps you invest a little bit of your money at a time when you go about with your daily lives?

Developed by NTUC Income, SNACK is a mobile app that allows users to build their investment portfolio with bite-sized contributions as low as $1.

The cool thing about SNACK, besides its convenience, is how you invest those tiny contributions.

See, once you’ve set your desired micro-premiums on the app (from $1 to $10), you don’t have to do anything else.

That’s right, you can carry on drinking bubble tea while not exercising whilst SNACK invests your money.


Well, these micro contributions can be tagged to your selected lifestyle activities, such as taking public transport or buying bubble tea—you can do this by linking your EZ-Link card or Visa card to your SNACK account on the app.

Then, the specified amount will be set aside for SNACK Investment every time you take the bus or train or buy a cup of bubble tea.

That’s right, you could be investing in SNACK whilst having your favourite drink.

Nothing is too little: as mentioned, even if you somehow managed to find a $1 bubble tea, you’d still contribute $1. Also, do tell me where you find a $1 bubble tea.

Dollar-cost Averaging

By investing a little at a time, you’re also taking advantage of Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA).

For the unversed, investors pick one of two strategies when investing – DCA or lump-sum investing.

As the name suggests, the latter involves taking all of the money you have available to invest at that moment and investing it all at once.

On the other hand, those who prefer the DCA method invest smaller amounts at certain intervals.

This is good for two reasons:

  1. It takes the emotional component out of your decision making – if a friend tells you that she just hit it big by investing in a certain company, you might experience FOMO and impulsively invest all of your money into it, hoping to achieve similar results
  2. It reduces the impact of volatility in the market – the market goes up and down, and despite what some people on WhatsApp say, it’s impossible to predict

With the DCA method, you don’t need to be a Warren Buffett to start your investment journey.

SNACK Ensures You Invest Only What You Can Afford

Worried you might end up investing more than you should?

Well, after selecting your micro-premiums, you can also make use of SNACK’s weekly cap feature, which limits your weekly investments to a specified amount.

Say you don’t want to invest more than $20 a week, SNACK will ensure that happens, even if you take the train across the country daily and have bubble tea for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The Magic of Compound Interest: Time Matters More Than Money

There’s a popular saying about investing: the best day to start was yesterday. 

As previously mentioned, it’s not the amount of money that matters so much as how early you start and how consistent you are.

Take this example:

Investor A starts investing $100 a month on his 25th birthday until he’s 65, while Investor B begins investing $120 a month on his 30th birthday until he’s 65.

Assuming there’s a 7% return, Investor A will receive nearly $240,000, while Investor B will receive around $199,000, a full $40,000 less, even though he only started five years later.

Reader: But wait, five years should only mean a $6,000 difference.

Ah, this is due to the magic of compound interest, dear reader. See, even though Investor A invested $1,200 in the first year, his investment amount for the second year won’t be $2,400 but $2,484, because interest is also earned on any interest already accumulated.

Reader: Woah

Cool, right?

But just to add, this calculation is not an indicator/guarantee of SNACK Investment performance; it’s just a maths lesson to let you know more about compounding interest.

Everything is Automatic

If you’ve tied your investments to your daily activities, you won’t even have to lift a finger once you’ve specified your desired micro-premiums.

And the best thing about it is there’s an auto-invest option as well for any remaining amount at the end of the week.

So, if you stayed home six days this week watching a show on Netflix you’re too embarrassed to name and only went out once, the app would initially invest your micro-premiums for that day only. But at the end of the week, it would invest the remaining amount, thanks to the auto-invest feature.

Reader: This is perfect for lazy people like me

And me too, dear reader.

And when I say you don’t have to do anything, I mean you won’t even have to choose what you invest in, which can be a tough task for beginner investors.

All your funds will be used to purchase units of the Asian Income Fund, which invests primarily in Asian equities – including real estate investment trusts – as well as Asian fixed income securities. More funds will be added in the coming months.

Need Your Funds Back? Withdraw Them At Any Time

The longer you keep your money in SNACK, the more interest it can accumulate, which is better for your portfolio.

But you also have the option to withdraw your funds at any time, unlike some investment plans where funds are locked in for a certain period.

After all, all you need to begin is just $1, and here’s the best part: You don’t need to make any changes to your lifestyle, which means you can still have 6 bubble teas per day.

Head to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to download SNACK by Income now!

Also, get Investment Credits worth 20% of every dollar invested, up to $500, from 28 Feb till 30 April 2022!

Promo T&Cs apply:
Important Notes:

Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.

This article was first published on Goody Feed and written in collaboration with SNACK By Income.

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.