Lessons from Omaha – Part 1

A trip to Omaha, Nebraska, USA is like a pilgrimage. Muslims hope to visit Mecca once in a lifetime. In the olden days, Christians went to Jerusalem on crusades. As value investors, well, we should pay homage to the world's greatest investor - Warren Buffett aka the Oracle of Omaha, by going to Berkshire Hathaway's Annual General Meeting (AGM) for shareholders, maybe as many times as possible … [Read more...]

More on Sustainability

This is a continuation of the last post.In the last post, we discussed how we should focus on the big picture and pull the big levers to move things. In diet, it's about cutting meals and cutting meat and putting in the hours in the gym or hit the road running 20 km per week. In investing it's about understanding business models and putting in the hours reading annual reports. Needless to say, … [Read more...]

Think Big and Think Sustainability

There are a few tough things in life, one of which is losing weight. It is said that 95% of diets ultimately fail and losing weight successfully is one of the hardest things to do, along with quitting tobacco, kicking off addictions and investing successfully. As such, having some mild success with both (diet and investing), I would like to share lessons which we could draw from one to the … [Read more...]

Buying Singapore Savings Bonds

Investing is a fascinating game in a sense that no formula ever works all the time. There is no "Bao Jia" or sure wins. There are no programmable solutions, no absolutes and we must always break the rules to win. There is also no such thing as never. Warren Buffett himself broke his own rules so many times, in order to win. He said he would never buy tech stocks, yet he bought IBM and Apple. ┬áHe … [Read more...]

2017 High Dividend List – 1H version!

The annual high dividend list is here! This will be the first list for 2017 with a second list coming out closer to the end of the year so as to shorten the waiting time for these highly popular lists. Over the years (this is the 8th year), these lists had become an attraction of its own, drawing lots of traffic for the site. Although the rest of the stuff is actually pretty good! :) Final … [Read more...]

Investing: Riding a Bicycle Up a Mountain in the Night

I have been thinking about yet another an apt analogy for investing and so far here's the best that I have come up with - investing is pretty much like riding a bicycle up a mountain in darkness. To further elaborate, it's also a mountain located in Finland where the signs are in Finnish and daylight won't come in a few months. Yet, we still have to climb up. The summit is waiting. How's that for … [Read more...]

Let’s talk about Money and Gold too!

A very Happy Valentine's Day to all! This is a continuation of the previous post. In the last post, we discussed asking some really fundamental questions about companies to see if they stood the test: 1. Does the company help improve the well-being of its customers? 2. Does the company add value fundamentally in ways that make all lives better? 3. If the company did not exist, would … [Read more...]

Happy CNY! Let’s talk about Money!

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Wishing all readers a very happy Chinese New Year! Happy CNY, Huat Ah! Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari was a book published in 2014 that became a New York Times Bestseller and has been translated into 30 more languages. I have read the book twice and found it intriguing enough to discuss it here as some of the concepts were not just refreshing but relevant to … [Read more...]

Health and Wellness: A Secular Trend

Happy New Year and Welcome 2017! As a semi follow-up to the previous post, let's expand on the health and wellness theme that was discussed. There are two key factors to health and wellness: diet and sports. Ideas for diet would be about nutrition. Stocks could be Nestle, GNC (the supplement company) or maybe Danone. But in this post we focus on the second factor: sports. Or more specifically, … [Read more...]

2016 in Review: Most Unpredictable Year Ever!

2016 has to go down in history as the worst year for forecasters ever. Who would have predicted that the China market would collapse 25% in the first month of the calendar year, after dropping 40% in 2015, then only to rebound by year end? And the Bank of Japan reducing interest rates into negative territory, pulling 20-30% of the global bond market into negative yields. And commodities! Oil from … [Read more...]

Hierarchy of Financial Needs

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Most readers would probably have come across Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs: a pretty neat explanation of how humans should view our existence in terms of our needs. Abraham Maslow, an Amercan psychologist, created this hierarchy as he was trying to understand human nature. The hierarchy of needs is usually produced in a pyramid like the one shown below. The theory goes like this: humans … [Read more...]

Vietnam Property: 5 Bagger! – Part 2

This is the continuation of the previous post on Vietnam Property.We have established the following in the last post:1. Vietnam has a huge and hungry population and is on the growth trajectory to be a developed country. GDP will continue grow at high single digit and property prices at a multiple of that over time. It might be the last Asian Tiger in our lifetimes.2. The development of the Ho Chi … [Read more...]

Vietnam Property: 5 Bagger! – Part 1

Here's an investment opportunity of a lifetime, yes once in a lifetime. If there is one post that you should read in 2016, this is the one. It's about Vietnam - the last Asian Tiger.For most of us in sunny Singapore, Vietnam is probably not on most people's radar. It's not as vibrant as Bangkok and the rest of Thailand, there is no historical site like Angkor Wat or Borobudur, hence not as big a … [Read more...]

SIA Engineering – Part 2

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This is an continuation of the previous post on SIA Engineering (SIAEC). As described in the last post, SIA Engineering has a solid business model that helps global airlines maintain their fleet. SIAEC's business moat is built on strong branding, economies of scale, efficiency which churns out high free cashflow and a high return on equity (ROE). It's also worth noting that the business is … [Read more...]

SIA Engineering – Part 1

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SIA Engineering (SIAEC) is one of the strong blue chips name in Singapore to buy and hold for dividends. It has also made regular appearance in the annual dividend stock list posted on this site in almost every year since 2009. The long term stock chart below shows that it has compounded its intrinsic value, albeit with some cyclicality while paying annual dividends for the past 14 years (based on … [Read more...]

2016 High Dividend List – Singapore, US, Australia

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It's out! The second section of this year's list threw out a few interesting names in the tech, finance and other sectors and there's an interesting discussion point that would serve to transform fundamentally the way some of us might want to invest! Yes, it's a big deal. First, here's the list: 2016 Dividend List - Part 2 Again, since the list gone global, Singapore names were relegated. … [Read more...]

2016 High Dividend List – Singapore, Europe, US

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The annual dividend list is out! As per last year, restricting the list to just Singapore can only yield a handful of names, hence it's more worthwhile to see things from a global perspective. The criteria for the screen had not been change for years except minor tweaks. Here's the first 20 names: 2016 Dividend List - Part 1 There are two Singapore names in the list: Yangzijiang and UMS. … [Read more...]

Great Scot! Brexit?

It's been three weeks into Brexit and the financial world now think that maybe it was never an issue at all? US S&P is back near all time high, the FTSE 100 bounced back with a vengeance and hit its high for 2016. Even the STI is now close to 3,000. Brexit? Nah. Let's Move On! That's market short-termism for you. For most people, it was actually more disappointing that in the same week, … [Read more...]

Teach Less Learn More – Lessons Learnt Part 3

This is the last instalment about Singapore's Teach Less Learn More Education Philosophy, its trials and tribulations and the improvements needed. Links to the earlier parts below: Part 1 Part 2 We discussed how Singapore's education system should nurture the love for learning and also focus on collaboration not competition. Google and the great companies of the world collaborate to bring … [Read more...]

Teach Less Learn More – Lessons Learnt Part 2

This is a follow-up post on Teach Less Learn More - Part 1. Teach Less Learn More (TLLM) was touted as the frontier philosophy in Singapore's education system to make learning holistic, bringing learning from inside the classroom to hands-on experiences, learning by discovery and less rote memorizing. Unfortunately, the implementation left much to be desired. Today, after years of TLLM, we are … [Read more...]