Author: Eight percent per annum

How to Be a Really Bad Portfolio Manager

Intuitively, most people would think that portfolio management should be more science than art right? After all, the two words: portfolio and management just sound so scientific! In reality, portfolio management is probably more art than science. Yet most professional fund houses like to approach portfolio management scientifically. Hence the no.s speak for themselves. 80% of all portfolio managers cannot beat an index like the Straits Times Index, or the Dow Jones. Good portfolio managers* are a unique breed. Especially those who had been humbled by the markets time and again. They spent their entire careers learning about markets,...

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Books #5: Best Selling Books

Did a quick google check on most books ever sold. Interesting list – no non-fiction and the best selling book was not written in English.  Fortunately for 2018, we do have some non-fiction. In fact mostly non-fiction. 2018 was definitely Year of #MeToo and Girl Power! Haven’t read Michelle Obama’s autobiography, should be good! Meanwhile, just finished Shoe Dog by Phil Knights, founder of Nike. Amazing story, must read for...

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Lesson from Bohemian Rhapsody – Part 3

This is a continuation of the previous two posts about lessons learnt after watching Bohemian Rhapsody, a movie about the famous rock band Queen and its lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie was a free spirited artist who lived recklessly. He brought joy to millions while bringing sorrow to those closest to him. Hence, he have the many life lessons that we can learn here. In this last post, we shall talk about a Chinese idiom – 祸从口出 (huo4 cong2 kou3 chu1).  In Chinese, the famous saying above states that disasters come out from one’s mouth. This is another lesson...

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Thoughts #13 – Trump Lies

Michael Cohen, fixer for Donald Trump, gave the biggest exposé on Donald Trump recently. Yet Trump supporters continued to believe in him and he would still be the US President and might win the second term.  Why did Americans support Trump despite overwhelming evidence that he lied profusely? Why do we believe in half truths? The article below shed some light: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/can_the_science_of_lying_explain_trumps_supportWe forgive lies if they were told for some greater good. This is a bit like white lies. Trump supporters believed he told the lies for the greater good – to make America great again.  Sometimes, we do...

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Lesson from Bohemian Rhapsody – Part 2

*This post contains spoilers about Bohemian Rhapsody – the 2018 Hollywood movie about Freddie Mercury, pls stop reading if you intend to watch the movie.  In the last post, we talked about never ever betraying your cadre and how if you did, your most trusted friends and family will forgive you once or twice. But, there is only a few times you can do this. There are people who keep betraying and in the end, they have no one to turn to. Sometimes we hear stories about lonely old men living in temples with no one to turn to....

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Lessons from Bohemian Rhapsody – Part 1

I have this habit of viewing everything with investors’ lens and again this was what happened when I watched Bohemian Rhapsody recently. This top grossing movie of 2018-19 was about Queen and its lead singer: Freddie Mercury. Friends and acquaintances raved all about it and seeing it as the top movie on the inflight entertainment, I put on my headphones and started watching before the plane left the tarmac It was good but not as good as my expectations. Expectations – the markets are also all about expectations. When expectations are too high, then the stock will likely fall....

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Happy CNY 2019! Huat Ah! Bcos We Are Singaporeans!

Is it because I’m Chinese? No, sweetie, we are Singaporeans :) The Year of the Dog is coming to an end. Tomorrow, we usher in the Earth Pig. Yes, while the media always reports that this year is the Year of the Golden Animal, it seldom is. The last real Gold animal was in 2011 – called Gojek, the Golden Jackass. Just kidding, it’s the Golden Rabbit and before that the Golden Tiger in 2010.  The next one is in 2020 – the Golden Rat. As there are five elements (Earth, Fire, Water, Wood and Gold) and each element gets...

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Thoughts #12: Is the World a Better Place?

WSJ published an interesting article titled “The World is Getting Quietly, Relentlessly Better” sometime back arguing that the number of people living under extreme poverty conditions had decreased. The global middle income group is now nearly 50% and many diseases not longer posed threats to lives. On many counts that is true, but living in Singapore we tend to feel that life didn’t get better, don’t we? Maybe we started out in Middle Class (defined as earning $10-100 per day) and not enough of us are in the rich. But even if we are in the rich, we not...

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Goodbye 2018! Hello 2019!

Yesterdat was the first trading day of calendar 2019 and we witnessed how the markets “lao sai” (had a diarrhoea) all the way on its first trading day (slightly better today though). It is believed that the first trading day of the year determines the direction for the year. So if that’s the case, we can only go south in 2019… Of course, all these old traders’ tales aren’t necessarily all true as with most things that concern the markets. The markets are forever unpredictable and no rules of thumb or any other finger ever works. It’s different every...

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Top Five Myths about Investing Busted!

We had discussed a lot about investing myths in the past and here’s a post to really bust them once and for all. 1. Investing can make you filthy richI think this notion deserves a lot more analysis and the way I would think of it is to look at the top 10 or even the top 100 richest people in world, in each region and also in Singapore. Investors seldom get featured on these lists. The most famous rich investor remains to be Warren Buffett. In Asia, there is no equivalent. Most of the richest Asians are either...

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Top Five Myths about Investing Busted!

We had discussed a lot about investing myths in the past and here’s a post to really bust them once and for all. 1. Investing can make you filthy richI think this notion deserves a lot more analysis and the way I would think of it is to look at the top 10 or even the top 100 richest people in world, in each region and also in Singapore. Investors seldom get featured on these lists. The most famous rich investor remains to be Warren Buffett. In Asia, there is no equivalent. Most of the richest Asians are either...

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Charts #17: Billion Dollar Club

Found this recently on WSJ. Most interesting.The global QE created this. Hundreds of billions of dollars in valuations of companies with no earnings. Surely it would have been unthinkable for Ben Graham. The father of value investing only bought stocks trading below its book value. His most famous strategy was buying net-nets: companies with market caps that were less than the company’s current assets minus its total...

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