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Subscribe to RSS feed The True Cost of Being Free

Updated: 25 Dec 2017 By evankoh posted on 21 Dec 2016  -  9,531 views

SGXcafe was originally built to help manage my own portfolio. I decided to share it freely when I realized it might be useful to many other retail investors like myself who do not have access to proper portfolio management tools. However, I was soon notified by SGX that SGXcafe requires appropriate licensing to continue operating publicly.

At that time, under the encouragement of many users, I decided to pay for various licensing so as to be able to continue to operate SGXcafe. In turn, I asked for donations from users to help share the burden of running SGXcafe. I was encouraged by many users who donated generously, and several donated well beyond the SGD30 that I had hoped for. The highest donated amount at this point stands at SGD500. You know who you are :)

Unfortunately, at this point, only 71 users (or ~2% of the >3500 registered users) have donated, with the total amounting to around 15% of SGXcafe's annual operating cost. Together with the current monthly ad revenue that is at about 40-50% of the monthly operating cost, SGXcafe is nowhere near breaking even in the near future unless something changes.

Therefore, in order to encourage more to donate and also to reward those who have been donating generously to SGXcafe, in the year 2017, SGXcafe will introduce the following changes:

1) There will still continue to be a free tier where basic free users will still be able to access most features/tools, especially those related to portfolio management. (Update: This is no longer true. Please read this article for changes in 2018 onwards.)

2) Benefits of becoming Friends of SGXcafe will become more prominent. Apart from the current benefits for Friends of SGXcafe, many advanced features, especially those that use significant computational resources or requires the more expensive licensed data (i.e. Fundamental data) will become limited to only Friends of SGXcafe. iAssist, Screener, and Dividend Strength are among some of the features that will be made exclusive for Friends of SGXcafe.

3) To further encourage users to donate now as well as to reward current donors, the cost of becoming Friend of SGXcafe for a year for those who donate on or before 31 Dec 2016 will always stay at SGD30. From 1st Jan 2017, I intend to increase that to SGD35 a year.

I hope you would understand that I am doing these because I hope that SGXcafe can be sustainable by itself and not burning my pocket everyday.

SGXcafe is free for you because other users and I are bearing the costs. Join us in supporting SGXcafe today! It costs less than 10 cents a day!

You can find instructions on how to donate here.

p.s.: I am not explicitly stating the licensing costs publicly because it is an agreement between me, SGX, and Xignite hence it is inappropriate for me to share this information in detail. However, the current total annual running cost of SGXcafe is well beyond SGD20,000 where the bulk of the cost is coming from licensing. (The actual amount paid to SGX is actually is a relatively insignificant portion which is several hundred a year.)


reality - Merry Christmas, Evan!! I agree with you completely on the need to share costs, now and going forward. I am in, all the way. Cheers!
24 Dec 2016 18:04:48

jackology - support!
27 Dec 2016 11:09:06

evankoh - Thanks :)
28 Dec 2016 10:42:53

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