It’s been 5 months since the #SAVVYUPTOGETHER squad met up for the first time. After revealing their respective pairings – each participant-financial expert duo was able to talk about what goals they want to achieve.

In the last 5 months, we have entrusted the participants to catch up regularly with their chosen financial experts to ensure that they are working towards their financial goals. We checked up on them to see their progress.

Vera Mao, marketing executive cum blogger expressed how she wanted to begin an investment portfolio. Along with Kyith of InvestmentMoats, Vera is learning more about the world of investment, buying one stock at a time.

The New Savvy: How often do you talk to Kyith and what advice has he given you?

Vera: I speak to Kyith once a month or so, and so far I have had one long meetup session whereby he walked me through how to read financial statements, calculate certain ratios such as EBIDTA, P/E, and Price per share etc, to determine if a stock is worth investing. It was a lot to grasp in one session but definitely very helpful.

Kyith also shared some resources online where I can look up stocks’ historical prices so as to determine their track record.

The New Savvy: What has been the hardest thing to do in your #SUT journey?

Vera: I think actually it is to maintain that the momentum of learning and to actually set aside time to be committed. Although I have gone through the session, I have yet to make any investments this year, which is something I intend to change soon.  

The New Savvy: What knowledge would you like to learn (from Kyith, or the journey itself?)

Vera: I would like to get to back to doing more exercises on stocks so that I’m familiar with what I have learned on calculating the financial ratios and subsequently coming to a decision on whether a stock is worth investing or not.

The New Savvy: What do you want to achieve in the last few months? What do you intend to focus on?

Vera: I would like to get invested in Singapore based REITs, as well as start investing a few global ETFs.

In addition, I also have intentions of dedicating a small part of the portfolio towards investment in cryptocurrencies.

The New Savvy: Do you feel that your role in the corporate world has given you an advantage when it comes to investing?

Vera: Not particularly, as I do not work in finance.


With Vera set on her goals, take a look at what her financial partner, Kyith thinks about her progress so far!

The New Savvy: Have you ever personally mentored someone with regards to their financial goals?

Kyith: Strictly speaking no, because I do not offer such a service, and even if I did, which I am interested in, most of the time because it’s free, people do not follow through with it. Due to some of the publicity, there are folks that approach me. I tried to help but it depends from person to person but most of it ends up with the people asking for one-time advice and then things stop, usually over time.

The reason could be of the dynamics between myself and the person, but most often life gets in the way, and things become less and less frequent.

The New Savvy: How has the #SavvyUpTogether journey been different than the rest of your financial pursuits?

Kyith: My experience is Vera is the same. However, what she is looking for is more nuanced. She is looking to get started with buying her first stocks, REITs and she has done the necessary to set up the basic infrastructure for that. To be honest, I do recommend that she does a fair bit amount of reading and competency build up. Not too dissimilar from the folks who request help inactive stock investing in the past.

The New Savvy: What do you think of Vera’s goals? Are they achievable in the given timeframe?

Kyith: I think the time frame would depend. For Vera’s case, she would have to prioritize, other than work, family to have this as a priority project. When we do that, then we can free up the time to learn. The time frame would depend. It depends on whether the person is suited for this form of wealth building, his/her critical thinking ability, how much hunger they have to learn fast.

We can kick-start immediately by buying some stocks definitely, but the learning process to become sustainable is usually 3 to 5 years.

The New Savvy: What advice have you given her so far?

Kyith: We met up once and also communicate through messaging.

We met up and I asked her what direction she would like this to go in so that she can get the most benefit. She wanted to learn about the fundamental aspect of investing and valuation.

It’s a heavy and deep topic, so I tried to be high level and explain how I approach investing and valuation.

We tried to carry out some valuation exercises over time, after the initial session. However, things stopped midway through, because I had become busy and she had also gotten busy.

The New Savvy: How often do you check up with Vera and how do you do so?

Kyith: Once in a while, not too often. I try to subscribe to the view that I let people know I am around. She probably reads some of my stuff and I do post regularly.

It can’t be the case where I kept checking up on folks how things are and it’s a one-way thing. I feel like I would be disturbing people too much and they should also have autonomy.

The New Savvy: From our first meet-up in February til’ now, what biggest change have you observed in Vera’s financial habits?

Kyith: I believe that I have not observed enough to make a meaningful comment. Hopefully, for the next meet-up, we will be able to work towards changing her financial habits!


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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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