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Based in S'pore, informing the US

THE WORLD'S THEIR OYSTER: Ms Cheng and Mr Pla are behind, a consumer-finance website that helps users decide on the best credit cards for various usage. Their second start-up is online coupon-code website


    Jun 18, 2014

    Based in S'pore, informing the US

    THEY are located more than 15,000km away from New York, the world's financial centre, and have not set foot on United States soil since 2008.

    But from the comfort of their Sentosa Cove home, Grace Cheng and Pedro Pla have been dishing out financial information to US residents every single day.

    "In this age of connectivity, information on almost every part of the world can be gotten in seconds," Ms Cheng told My Paper.

    The husband-and-wife duo even spent close to a year, from September 2007 to August 2008, travelling around the world "without missing a day of work".

    The couple are behind, a consumer-finance website that helps users decide on the best credit cards for various usage, such as paying for travel and petrol.

    It also enables one to make mortgage, insurance and certificate of deposit comparisons in the US.

    The website, created in 2008, has become increasingly popular. Ms Cheng, who graduated from the National University of Singapore in marine biology, would only say that it raked in an eight-figure sum in revenues last year.

    It all began when Ms Cheng, 33, started a personal blog in 2006 recording her forex trades and thoughts on the financial markets.

    "I was one of the few people trading currencies from home and people found it interesting to read about things from the perspective of a person not working in the industry," said Ms Cheng, a self-taught forex trader.

    The blog soon gained popularity among US readers. Hedge-fund traders and individual investors began using the platform to contribute their own thoughts on the markets.

    Ms Cheng's blog even caught the attention of British publisher Harriman House and she published the book, 7 Winning Strategies For Trading Forex, in 2007.

    Mr Pla, a Spaniard whom Ms Cheng first met when he came to Singapore on a work-related assignment, has taken charge of the technical aspects of the website and, for the couple, managing it is now a full-time job.

    On a typical day, they communicate with their employees in the US and Europe, update the website's content and take care of their one-year-old son. "We could be having lunch and answering a call from our team in Europe at the same time," said Mr Pla, 32.

    If the lifestyle sounds laidback, it is not. They don't even have time to socialise.

    The couple, who married in 2006, recently expanded their team from just two writers to a staff of 14. They are also busy with their second start-up, online coupon-code website

    Launched in April, provides users with access to tens of thousands of coupons and deals from thousands of retailers based mainly in the US.

    "Everyone wants to get the best deals and save money where possible," said Mr Pla.

    The couple themselves are "fanatical about saving", putting aside 80 to 90 per cent of their earnings.

    They hope to work with local banks to expand the content available on to the Singapore market.

    But, of course, they could run the website from anywhere in the world. That's the nature of their business.