Thursday, January 16, 2020

Using Boost e-wallet to trade gold with HelloGold app

HelloGold is a Shahriah-compliant online platform to make it easy for us to buy, sell and/or transfer 99.99% (24 Karat 999) pure gold.

Account opening and all transactions can be performed in the HelloGold mobile app, available for free download in Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

You can check for its gold trading price from the app's opening screen, even without the need to login to the system. The price is updated every few seconds.

HelloGold separates gold price from trading and administrative charges. So, there is only a single reported trading price for both buy and sell, without any spread between them.

You can login the system by either using password or Touch ID fingerprint.

It has a very straight forwards menu, which is self-explanatory.

It used to have an Add Cash option, but that option was recently taken out from the menu.

The gold that you purchased is claimed to be kept in a vault in Singapore. For each single day the gold is kept by HelloGold, they will charge you a fee on daily basis, and the fee is deducted from the quantity of your gold held with them.

You can opt to redeem physical gold that you have purchased, which needs to be in whole gram of PAMP Suisse gold bar. However, redemption will take some times, and it will incur charges from administration, shipping and insurance services, which added up together will not be a cheap amount.

To buy gold, you can make payment by using your cash balance (the cash proceed from previous gold selling), FPX online banking, or Boost e-wallet.

The advantage of using Boost is that it has zero processing fee (compared with RM1.20 processing fee per FPX transaction). In addition, this Boost payment will be entitled for Boost shake for coins, and occasionally there will be joint promotional campaign between HelloGold and Boost for additional cash rewards or benefits.

After selling your gold, you can withdraw the cash by online transfer to your bank account at no cost.

The cost involved in trading gold in HelloGold including:
  • Buy fee (weekday): 0.79% of buying cost
  • Buy fee (weekend): 2.79% of buying cost
  • Sell fee (weekday): 2.00% of selling price
  • Sell fee (weekend): 4.00% of selling price
  • Keeping cost: 0.0055% of your gold deducted per day (equivalent to 2% per year)
The keeping cost is a major drawback with HelloGold. The longer you keep your gold in the system, the lesser your gold will become, as every single day, a little bit of your gold will be deducted to pay for the keeping cost. If you keep for a long time, lets say 5 years, then you will lost 10% of your gold by paying the keeping cost. As such, HelloGold is OK for short term and mid term trading, but will be harmful to your gold keeping for long term due to the cost involved.

If you have already opened a HelloGold account, either new or old, you can go to the Rewards page, choose Enter code, key in FOON5YPH and apply.

You will get a cash reward of RM5 the next time you buy gold worth RM50 and above in HelloGold.

Note that the rewards code can only be used one time per account.

Starting from 15 January 2020 until 14 March 2020, there is a promotional campaign whereby you can get RM10 cashback from Boost and also another RM10 cashback from HelloGold if you buy RM200 and above worth of gold in HelloGold and paid using Boost and keep the gold for 30 days without selling it out.

Assuming you buy RM200 gold with this method, you will get RM20 which is an immediate 10% return, on top of a Boost shake reward.

Note that you are only eligible to buy gold with this campaign for up to 2 times only. So, for the 2nd time of buying RM200 or more gold, you will get another round of cashback.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Using Boost e-wallet to invest in Opus unit trust funds with 0% sales charge

Opus Asset Management has a track record of more than 14 years in fund management industry, and is specialized in fixed income investment.

They used to offer wholesale funds for the sophisticated investors (i.e. rich people) with minimum investment starting from RM50,000.

Recently, they have launched 3 unit trust funds targeted for ordinary investors with minimum investment starting from a much lower RM1,000.

The 3 unit trust funds are:

  • Opus Income Plus Fund (IPF) which is a kind of bond fund seeks to achieve higher returns than Maybank 12-month fixed deposit rate over the medium to long term, while preserving capital and providing an opportunity for income.
  • Opus Money Plus Fund (MPF) which is a kind of money market fund seeks to achieve higher returns than 1-month fixed deposit rate and to provide liquidity while preserving capital.
  • Opus Shariah Income Plus Fund (SIPF) which is a kind of sukuk fund seeks to achieve higher returns than Maybank 12-month Islamic fixed deposit rate over the medium to long term, while preserving capital and providing an opportunity for income.
As you can sense from the description above, all these 3 unit trust funds are pretty conservative, emphasizing more on capital preservation, at the same time trying to beat the fixed deposit rate.

Therefore, they can be used as alternative to fixed deposit savings. They have the following advantages over fixed deposit:
  • You can withdraw your invested money either partially or in whole at any time, without those restrictions as imposed to fixed deposit.
  • You can potentially earn a higher return than fixed deposit rate. In fact, the MPF is pretty safe with minimum chance of losing money, at the same time able to produce slightly better return than fixed deposit.

On top of that, if you invest directly through their website called Opus Touch (URL:, you can enjoy 0% sales charge and 0% repurchase charge, which means that 100% of your money will be utilized to buy the fund, and none will be gone as sales commission.

The self-service Opus Touch website is pretty straight forwards to use. It can be accessed either from the web browser of your handphone, tablet or computer. It works flawlessly with Google Chrome.

It seems like Opus Touch does not have a mobile app yet, and can only be accessed with web browser. Hopefully in the near future, they can come out with Opus Touch mobile apps for easier use from handphone.

You can open your master account there with an initial investment in IPF of at least RM1,000. Once your master account is successfully opened, you can invest in any of the 3 available funds there.

You can also perform up to 4 times of fund switching per year for free, after that there will be a charge of RM25 per switching of fund.

Note that there are annual management fee and annual trustee fee, accrued on a daily basis. Their rate is pretty low compared with other unit trust funds in the market:
  • IPF: mgmt. fee <= 0.85%, trustee fee <= 0.025% or min RM12k
  • MPF: mgmt. fee <= 0.35%, trustee fee <= 0.025% or min RM12k
  • SIPF: mgmt. fee <= 0.85%, trustee fee <= 0.025% or min RM12k
As such, the total fees per annum is less than 1% for all of the 3 funds above.

One of the thing I like about Opus Touch is that you can invest by using either Boost e-wallet or FPX (bank transfer).

By investing with Boost, you can also enjoy Boost rewards such as the shake rewards, mission rewards, etc.

In addition, if you run Boost from ShopBack app, you can also earn some ShopBack cashback.

In addition, you can top up your money in Boost to be used for Opus unit trust investment from BigPay, which in turn topped up using your credit card.

As such, you can get multiple tiers of rewards by investing Opus unit trust online with Opus Touch, including:
  • Credit card cashback or points
  • BigPay BIG Points
  • ShopBack cashback
  • Boost rewards
  • Unit trust returns
Happy investing!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Instruction manual for Xiaomi Redme AirDots TWSEJ04LS true wireless earbuds

The Xiaomi Redme AirDots TWSEJ04LS true wireless earbuds looks very identical to its cousin Xiami Mi AirDots Basic TWSEJ02LM.

The key different between them is that Xiaomi Redme AirDots has a large physical button on each of the earpieces, while the Xiami Mi AirDots Basic is using touch sensitive surface instead of physical buttons on its earpieces.

The Xiaomi Redme AirDots TWSEJ04LS features a 7.2mm dynamic driver, Bluetooth 5.0 support, and IPX4 rated waterproofing.

Despite selling at a very affordable price, its sound quality is pretty much satisfactory. It is able to produce strong punching bass, energetic treble, and lively vocal.

Before using the product after unboxing, remember to remove all the plastic films and stickers on the earpieces. The plastic films are isolating the earpieces from getting power charge, and need to be completely removed to ensure you can re-charge their built-in battery properly.

The casing itself is also a charging dock for the earpieces. You can find a USB port at its outer surface for charging purpose.

To re-charge the earpieces, put them in place inside the casing, close the cap, then connect the casing to a USB charging source.

When charging, you can observe a dim LED light in front of the casing. The LED is red when charging, and turns into white when fully charged. The white light will automatically turn off itself after 1 minute.

Using the earbuds:

To use the earpiece,  press its button for 1 second to turn it on (white LED on the earpiece will light up).

To turn off the earpiece, press its button for 5 seconds (red LED will light up for a while).

Use your handphone's Bluetooth function to search for Redmi AirDots_R to do pairing. No pairing password is needed.

You can use the earpiece either in left ear only, or in right ear only, or in both ears. When both are used, you can get stereo sound effect. If only one of them is used, it will be running on mono mode.

Resetting the earbuds:

If you find anything not functioning well, you can try resolve the problem by resetting the earbuds.

First of all, take out both the earbuds from the casing, and then proceed to turn them off.

After that, press the earbuds button for 15 seconds respectively. When you see the earbud's LED is alternating between red and white, put it back into the casing. It will then be reset and all previous settings will be restored to factory default.

You will need to redo the Bluetooth pairing with your handphone before it can be used again.

Features and functions:
When there is incoming phone call:
  • Press the earbud's button once to answer the call
  • Long press the button for 1 second to reject the call
  • Double press to toggle between mute and voice
  • When in a call, press the button once to hang up the call
When there is another call coming in while you are already on a phone call:
  • Press the button once to answer the other call, and put the first call on hold
  • Long press to reject the second call
  • Double press to switch between the 2 calls
To listen to music played from your handphone, when not in any call:
  • Press the button once to listen to music with the phone's default music player
  • Press again to pause the music

To call up the handphone's virtual assistant, when not in any call:
  • Double press the button to call up virtual assistant (Siri, Google Voice Assistant, Xiaomi XiaoAi, ...). After that, you can issue command to your phone by talking to the virtual assistant. For example, you can ask it to open up Google Maps and guide you to a destination. You can use the earbuds to listen to the turn-by-turn driving instruction with voice navigation.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.