I attended AK’s inaugural event last evening. What is a chit chat session without food and I bought a burger along which happens to be my dinner and SMOL complemented me with his Starbucks drink.
The overall event was like a gathering of friends. There was a mix of young and old and I think the majority are 30s and 40s unless like what AK put it – you have very good genes. This suits me perfectly because I am not there to ask what stock to buy but the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life and to hear, exchange and learn from them.
The real life AK is very similar to his online self. He spoke freely (maybe the hat and mask played a part) and was not afraid of stepping on some toes but of course he knows where to draw the line. I think most of the audience do not mind since they are here for his ‘brain’.
I had the opportunity to meet some new faces from the online community. Kenji – one of the partners of The Fifth Person whom I believed is in charge of the site’s development. I shared with him about my difficulty funding the site and he share some ideas with me. Then there was Matthew a regular guest blogger in AK’s site. He looks a little shy but in him is a brilliant mind as you can see from the articles that he has written. He brought along a few youthful friends and they are all buzzing around with positive vibes. Not forgetting old friends, I met SMOL and am always glad to see a familiar face. He was ‘poked’ by AK a few times and he responded with his usual humorous self. I have a feeling that they both kind of enjoy doing that.
I also got to know a few random people from the crowd. One of them was seated next to me and he mentioned that he started investing in stocks last year. He did not have many stocks but one of them was Lippo. He is worried now after hearing AK views. I believe he has questions in his mind and I will encourage him to contact AK or drop me a note to link him up. I spoke to a middle age guy who shared that he started investing only after reading an interview with a successful investor who happens to his classmate. I was encouraged that he does not see his age as a limiting factor and wants to start now. He reminds me of my younger self when I was dabbling with Internet Marketing and Blogging. If you are reading this, feel free to contact me and we can share ideas.
There were a total of 4 speakers
- AK – need no further introduction
- Sean Seah – an investor author and speaker. Thanks to him for the event space.
- Rusmin and Victor – equity investors and co-founders of The Fifth Person.
I wanted to do a minutes for this event but my battery juice was already at 15% both physically and mentally. I will just post a summarized version based on my own interpretation. The usual Caveat emptor applies.
Started off by sharing how they each get started on Investing. AK talked about his family narrow escaped from bankruptcy, Sean on his “get rich quick” mindset, Rusmin on his near death experience and Victor’s story was very similar to AK.
The Q&A session was the highlight of the event.
Q. How can retirees stretch their savings?
On top of reducing your wants, the general recommendation was to look for income generating products e.g. POSB 1.88%, Fix Deposits and CPF. There was a special mention to avoid bond funds because it does not have a maturity date and may not suit retirees.
Q. Views on office related REITs.
One has to look the gearing and debt ration. Is it a fix or floating loan? A rising interest rate will have an impact on the loan.
Q. I have investment in stocks but little savings. Should I continue to invest in stocks or should I buy a property instead?
With the drop in property prices, many people are hungry to go in. However, the answer from the panel is a straight no because based on current price, there is little room for both yield and capital appreciation.
AK shared about the rule of 15 where one should aim to pay off the property in 15 years with a 6.6% yield and do not believe stories like there is never a bad time to buy property. Entry price is important. He also shared his insights as a landlord.
Q. Private Property is going down. Should first time home owners buy a private property?
Buy something that you want was AK answer. Private property is for capital gains and HDB for yield. One should not the both up and he went on to talk about yield.
Q. How much war chest should you hold?
There was a lively debate on this. The question was posed by Sean which AK adeptly put it as (tai chi) to him. A few bloggers including me blogged about it but there was no clear answer. I guess it is because every individual preference is different. I will be setting up a poll on this. Stay tuned.
Q. Do you buy ETF?
Directly at AK only. His answer was no because he has the time and is able to beat the ETF returns.
Q. Your take on precious metal. (My battery juice is at 5% now)
Again only AK is able to answer because he is the only one who owns precious metal. His target is 5% of his portfolio and to not underestimate it because at time of crisis, this 5% can balloon. He went on to share how one can buy them from UOB Gold/Savings account and the success stories of people he has come across.
Q. Views on commodity stock.
Rusmin and Victor take is to look for companies with a integrated supply chain management so as to reduce your risk in commodity prices. They then went on to talk about their research on Wilmar and Sugar prices. There was also a discussion on interest rate impact on commodity and the answer was to look at the gearing and assets.but
Some of the stocks that were discussed but there was no call to buy or sell or anything. (credit: Matthew)
- Sabana Reit
- Lippo Malls Tr
- Mapletree GCC Tr
- OUE Com Reit
- IREIT Global
- AIMSAMP Cap Reit
- ParkwayLife Reit
- First Reit
- Accordia Golf Tr
- Boustead (Victor)
- Wilmar Intl
- China Minzhong
- Keppel Corp
My battery juice was almost flat at the end of a fruitful and engaging session. I stuck around to have Sean autograph my book and offer a handshake to the speakers. I will definitely like to be back provided AK do not kick me out.
If you have any questions or suggestions (like an AK autograph bookmark and merchandise) for AK and his friends, feel free to drop a comment and I will definitely bring it to their attention.