Author: Eight percent per annum

People, Management and Networking – Part 1

Investing is fascinating because it touches so many facets of life. We need to know finance, we need to understand business models. But that is not enough, we have to look out for trends and what are the new innovations in life and in society. Finally, we also need to look at people and culture. People, or rather relationships, play complex roles in both business and life. We can read a book and learn many a lesson, but most of them are just being understood at a very surface level. When the same lesson is shared via someone’s life...

Read More

Thoughts #18: Money Flees When You Need It

The recent collapse of Thomas Cook brought about an old revelation: money flees when you most need it and vice versa ie money attracts money until extraordinary investing returns are longer possible. On the former, Thomas Cook’s share price below shows the story well. Thomas Cook, the 178 year old company was not in any kind of trouble until late last year. Its share price was healthy and it even added airline capacity to capture strong demand during last year’s summer. As usual, it was the bond markets that first saw the warning signs. Thomas Cook bonds started showing...

Read More

Books #6: Shoe Dog

This post contains spoilers for Shoe Dog, if you intend to read the book, click the “x” at the top left or right corner of the browser right now, thanks! Do come back next week! Shoe Dog written by Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight was published in April 2016. It was written in plain English and immediately shot up the bestseller list as one of the best business books ever. Phil described how he tried to build up Nike, the difficulties he faced, the juggles between work and family and the seemingly insurmountable task to beat Adidas, which in 1965...

Read More

Charts #25: Trade War Update

Here’s another trade war chart from BBC. The last two bubbles are simply increasing tariffs from 10% to 25%.Interestingly, the cumulative amount of the trade war impact was smaller than Lehman’s financial assets at USD 600 billion when it collapsed in Sep...

Read More

Thoughts #17: How much can one spend?

As the 1MDB facts come to light, we caught a glimpse of the capacity of crazy rich people. Or rather, the max limit if you have unlimited amount of money to spend. It was reported that Najib, his wife and several others spent 700m ringgit or close to USD 200m on 12,000 pieces of jewellery, 284 designer handbags, 423 watches and 234 pair of sunglasses. In my mind, I believe this marks the possible cap for a lifetime of spending for rational people. No rational person would spend more than USD 200m in his lifetime. Note that the key...

Read More

Activision Blizzard – Part 3: Risks

This is a continuation of a series on posts on Activision Blizzard. In the last two posts, we established the investment thesis and laid out the positives for this stock. Today, we shall delve on the most important topic – the risks. Every investment has risks and it is important to lay out all the risk scenarios. I did not lay out the worst case scenario for Hyflux in 2011 and lost 80% of my capital. So, no matter how positive we are on a potential idea, learning the risks and debating these with other like minded friends would...

Read More

Charts #24: Malnutrition in Children

It is estimated that 150m children are suffering from malnutrition. That’s 30x the population of our little red dot. While we worry about school results and whether our kids are picking up the right enrichment, children globally don’t have food to eat. The chart below was really an eye-opener for me. There are malnutritioned kids everywhere! Asia formed the biggest subgroup with more than 80m children having stunted growth according to the 2019 UN report. Malaysia has 20%. Even Japan and South Korea still has malnutritioned kids. More can be done and more should be...

Read More

Activision Blizzard – Part 2: Positives

This is a continuation of the previous post on Activision Blizzard with ticker code ATVI. In the last post we established ATVI’s investment thesis. It is one of the best gaming companies in the world with eight strong franchises. It has a huge loyal user base across these various games and it is starting its own esports global league with Overwatch. In this post, we shall explore deeply into some of these positives as well as the risks involved (in the next post). Positive #1 – Innovation ATVI is one of the rare companies in the gaming world that...

Read More

Three Investing Adages That Are Not True

Adages are fascinating, they are beautiful and usually true. Take everything in moderation, it’s universal. There is no example one can think of when this phrase doesn’t work. Or better safe than sorry. It’s common sense but unfortunately, also commonly forgotten. It is also the basic tenet of investing – don’t lose money, look for a big fat margin of safety. That’s how we make money.  But not all adages are true. I have had problems with the following three, the more I think about them, the more I believe they are not true. Well, to be more specific, I...

Read More

Thoughts #16: Lessons from Serena Williams’ Coach

Patrick Mouratoglou (born 8 June 1970) is a Greek French tennis coach and sports commentator. He has been the coach of Serena Williams since June 2012.  My coaching method, which I apply to everyone, involves learning to understand the player, how to speak to him/her, how to analyze that player’s game and how to work with each of them taking into consideration their particular personality. I used to say that every player has their own world and their own language, and this is something you need to learn as a coach in order to be heard, trusted and followed....

Read More

Activision Blizzard – Part 1: Investment Thesis

Gaming has become part and parcel of everyday life no thanks to casual mobile gaming that had captured the eyes and minds of people young and old. The industry, segregated into mobile games, PC, console and others, is today a USD140bn industry which is larger than Hollywood and music combined. What’s more, the growth is accelerating. Esports, games with millions of spectators watching professional gamers play against others, is set to grow as big as traditional sports. This comes with it ticket sales, sponsorships, advertisements and merchandise purchases which would also serve connect the internet and real lives. Esports...

Read More

2019 Dividend List: 10 Years On

We started this dividend list in 2009 and in a blink of an eye, ten years flashed past. The list had since gone global as there are just that many (or few) dividend stocks in Singapore. Some of them had been bought out, some just weren’t strong businesses to begin with and faltered and some others go in and out of the lists and a handful of names remained in it to this day.  Last year, we dissected global dividend companies and discussed a few interesting names: Coach, Cisco, advertising companies. We see some of the same names this...

Read More