Author: 8% Value Investhink

Singapore’s Dividend Aristocrats

The S&P Dividend Aristocrats is a list of stocks in the S&P 500 index that has increased dividends for at least 25 years. As you might guess, this is definitely a very tall order and as of 2010, if I remember correctly, only 10% or 50 stocks made it to the list. It is expected that the list will further dwindle to 40 stocks or so which prompted some to ask whether the criteria is too stringent. Well, that is the way with our world, I guess, when we don’t make the cut, we can always lower the bar...

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What constitute an investment?

The way I see it, an investment has to be something that can generate cashflow. Stocks give dividends, bonds give interest and real estate gives rental income. These are real investments. However in the strange World of Wall Street Craft, anything and everything becomes a feasible investment, an asset class of its own. The recent boom earlier this decade being commodities. But if you think about it, commodities shouldn’t be considered an investment bcos you don’t get a cashflow. Holding a ton of copper, or a ton of wheat doesn’t give you cashflow. The whole premise is based on...

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Valuation Expansion

On Wall Street, a lot of educated monkeys like to talk about valuation expansion. Basically valuation expansion simply means that some stock trading at 15x PE should be trading at 25x PE bcos its industry is sexy, or the company has undergone transformation of its business to become the new growth story or some other cock-and-bull story. So say the stock price today is $15, and the stock earns an EPS of $1 ie PE is 15x. Valuation expansion simply means that the stock should be $25 bcos PE should be 25x. The basis of this argument is that...

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Portfolio Management for Retail Investors

Ok so much so for institutional portfolio managers. On average, they are crap. Once in a while, you find stars like Peter Lynch, Seth Klarman and Warren Buffett. But these exceptional people are far and few in between. The interesting story about Seth Klarman is always about this book that he had written like ages ago, called “Margin of Safety”. It talks about value investing and it didn’t sell well at all. So it went out of print. But recently, some Wall Street people started to bid for it on Ebay and it was sold for US$1,000! Well, I...

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How to Fail in Portfolio Management

Portfolio managers as a group has not contributed anything to the society at large. I mean a barber helps to cut people’s hair, a doctor saves lives and a teacher educates our children. Lawyers, politicians, portfolio managers, as a whole, subtracted value from the society, if you ask me. The famous stats is this, and I must state again: more than 80% of all fund managers fail to beat market indices over long periods of time. Some of them do beat the index for like 1 or 2 yrs, only to falter in the 3rd or 4th. The market...

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Portfolio Management: The Job

So basically portfolio management boils down to over or underweighting some benchmark stocks. Now that doesn’t sound too difficult, why should they be paid exorbitant salaries? And despite getting paid so much, they FAIL to deliver the results? Well first we talk about the skills needed. The portfolio manager needs to know a lot to do his job. And I really do mean A LOT. If you think in terms of those 300 page university textbooks, it’s probably 30-40 of them (CFA has 18 for 3 levels). Plus, 10-20 years worth of global news material, that is maybe volume...

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Dividend Yield Stocks – 2010

This is a bonus post! Generated a list of stocks with high dividend on the SGX (more than 5% dividend yield) Sorted according to payout ratio, a high payout ratio means that there is increased likelihood that the firm cannot maintain its dividend if earnings don’t do well. Read...

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Portfolio Management

To be a portfolio manager is a much coveted goal for a lot of people struggling in the financial industry. This position is deemed as being at the top of the food chain. Everyone feeds information to the portfolio manager so that he can make the best investment decisions. The portfolio manager is THE Top Dog. However, the way that the industry had evolved makes the top dog’s job rather stupid. In fact the whole fund management industry doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Just look at the whole management fee issue. For most funds that it out...

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On Wikipedia and Markets

I was reading this book “The World Is Flat” and this small little story on Wikipedia caught my attention. Btw this is quite an old book and one can so obviously deduce I am so behind in my reading… I think the author has written like a gazillion updates and published sequels. There wasnt much of truly good insights but lots of small interesting stories which makes it an entertaining read and perhaps that’s why it’s selling million copies. Anyways the story on Wikipedia was that even though it was a free encyclopedia, things posted can be quite accurate....

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The Acme of Value Investing

I have been thinking about this for a while. Some time back, Warren Buffett started buying over mum-and-pop businesses that have grown tremendously over a long span of time from its original owners. These owners have painstakingly built their empires over the years, they are now old, they want to cash out some of the future earnings of their business, so they go to Buffett. But how do they determine price? Buffett being Buffett, is not going to undercut them by paying them just 10x earnings. But he definitely will not overpay as well. In the stock market, Mr...

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The Truth Shall Prevail

Value investing is based on an inherent fundamental assumption: that someday, an asset’s true value (or intrinsic value) would be realized. Hence buying a stock when it is trading significantly below intrinsic value would yield good return bcos they eventually trade back to its intrinsic value (albeit after a long time and only for a short while). But what happens if the stock never reverts to its intrinsic value? Is that likely? Well I don’t have a good answer to that, but let’s explore this topic a bit more broadly first. Analogous to this the concept that a stock...

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Wealth, innovation, hardwork and others

This post serves as clarifying some economics concepts for myself also. It has to do with wealth and how it links to being rich and famous and getting adored by the masses. Imagine that the world has only 2 pple: 1 farmer and 1 fisherman. The farmer harvests some rice every day and the fisherman catches some fishes. The farmer will sell some rice to the fisherman and vice versa. So the money supply in this world has maybe like $4, $2 with the farmer which he gets from selling 2 kg of rice and $2 for the fisherman...

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On Financial Freedom

Just some thoughts on this term “financial freedom” that has become a much coveted goal in life popularized by Robert Kiyosaki in Rich Dad Poor Dad. Btw apparently Kiyosaki was never as rich as he proclaimed. He got rich after selling his book. Well, some of his ideas are refreshing though. What is the definition of financial freedom? I guess to most people, it would be having enough money in your bank to last a lifetime living the same quality of life and thus having the freedom to choose not to work for money. In the first ever post...

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Concerns on ETFs

I love ETFs. They allow retail investors to invest in indices with low costs, liquidity, give dividends and even have a helpline that you can call everyday to ask about the ETF you bought. What else can we ask for? However, due to time constraint and limited resources, I haven’t been able to research and answer some thorny questions on them. If anybody reading this have answers, pls do comment and share the knowledge. 1. Forex risk Most ETFs on the SGX are listed in USD and as we know, the USD is being dragged to hell as Fed...

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The 7 Levels of Market Participants

This was inspired by the 7 Levels of Photographers by Ken Rockwell, which was perhaps inspired by religion. Well, in any case, here are 7 Levels of market participants, with One being the lowest and Seven being divine. Enjoy! Level One: The Tippee The Tippee is someone who receives a tip or some advice and wants to make a quick buck out of greed. This level of market participants usually never had a brokerage account and decided that they should make a some money from the stock market bcos everybody else is doing it. They are inevitably tipped to enter the...

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