Saturday, September 24, 2016

Doing company prospecting is risk management rather than prediction

This is somewhat triggered by B's post on swiber and the issue of hindsight commentary.

It is not difficult to find what's wrong with swiber, MPM, etc. but personally, DYODD is more about self-accountability and comfort level rather than anything else.

I remembered MPM had a price surge when it first announced its foray into Rig, if u have exited then, MPM is still a profitable (perhaps very) for some. I didn't because I am not comfortable with the rig being built without a charterer. Does that mean I am a genius? No la, just that I am uncomfortable with that fact. Similarly, I thought oxley will blow itself up sooner or later, but it's properties keep selling like hot cakes and it's going places, and those overseas projects are also generally successful. But I am still uncomfortable, it's not about whether we are right or wrong, but how u think of its risk reward profile. And if can u forgive yourself if you are right and uncomfortable about the risk but went in nonetheless. 

Cases of I am wrong about the companies earnings and still make money:
1) CMPH
2) Gaoxian (exited when dual listed)
3) Venture (growth drivers did not come from 3D printing and Penang cost control ,rather it's from life sciences) 
4) ST engineering ( AIMs and LSG did provide the growth, but offset by MRO) 

Cases of being right about the companies' earnings but still lose money:
1) Lee metals
2) LMIR


Then there is many cases of being right about the earnings but sold too early:
1) CES
2) Cogent
3) Silverlake axis

So all in all, I agree with B that "I told u so" is rather meaningless.

We need to get BOTH the earning forecast right, as well as the entry and exit right.

But the fun part is "reading the industry and management", equally fun as making money. 





Friday, September 16, 2016

Random thoughts: Weekend musings

Gold is worth 200k or a million?

The explanation years ago, by minister/ minster or state is the level of competition, meaning the number of competitors are vastly different. One go through the heats, semi finals than finals, while another went straight to the finals.

I felt for someone with an inherent disadvantage, the heats and semi finals are in his/ her life stages, and it may not be any easier. 

I was just amused until my colleague told me its "unfair" and the disparity is too big.  It means me wonder if the public miss the point. 

Recognition is good, important in fact. But can be measured in dollars? Ask the parents if there is no prize money, will they send him to USA? I dun know, I am not them, but I think they will. 

Then the issue of "signaling", what are we teaching our young kids with this disparity? 

I think we are teaching "reality". At the same time, the winners and the winner wannabes, they are trying to prove to others and most importantly to themselves what they are made of, value is intrinsic, less extrinsic, and when it is extrinsic, it is hardly monetary. "I do not wish to let down those who supported me so much in this journey", rather than "shucks, just 0.4 seconds and it's a quarter million"

Of course, there is nothing wrong tangling carrots. But u catch rabbits when u tangle carrots. There is a difference between scavengers and hunters, although they are not mutually exclusive. T-Rex is also a scavenger at times, but a pure scavenger can never be a hunter, and a rabbit never a eagle. 

Work and Tacomb   

I read plenty recently about "dog eat dog", office politics, etc. while I am glad my sector is relatively tamed in "politics" and basically no real "back-stabbing" (since our pay has nothing to do with targets and sales, at least not significantly ), I wonder if those who complained about "politics" are part of the politics.

I realize how much people take things "personally" and do not "speak their mind" and they claim its for self-defense.

Ya, blame the world, they made me who I am. While defintely, survivability will change a person, how many decisions you made is really a "survivability" decision? Will doing what u believe is right or refraining from doing what is wrong cost you your job? Seriously? 

Now, one more level, will that decision cost you that performance bonus? Seriously? Seriously, u think your boss is really blind that he/she will take whatever bad mouths about you at face value, or is that what your boss observed and hear overlapped? Or are you just afraid that it might cost you your performance? 

I am a male prositute, I want money and need my income, I am not an contender for FI, but I still do what I believe, whenever I could, say what I think is right, whenever suitable. Did it cost me my job, my promotion, my performance? 

No, maybe not yet. My boss hint I "low EQ", I am ok. I know where she is coming from. My RO told me to toe the line when a decision is made, that I agree. I dun seek to "change the rules", 
But I am not helpless within the rules, there can be so many creative interpretation of rules? How about being shameless and live in your belief as long as possible until it is not possible (power taken away, or warning given) and be ready to say "I am sorry". That is how I cope... I felt horrible when I failed myself, but less when I am reprimanded for not toeing the line that is counter to my belief. 

My staff sometimes ask me, "like that how? Can meh, sure a not", I tell them do what u believe is the best for your pupils, as long as you can. Then I will apologize on you behalf. 

I know I am the odd one and weirdo. That's why I am planning my succession. I think my organization can only take my harming/ toxic for 5-6 years, before the system caught up with us. So I am passing my helm over slowly, and when the time is right, I will extract myself to poison another place ... LOL.

While, I am not at odds with myself over my core beliefs, I do think my capacity to grow the unit is really limited. Always ready to pass on to the next better player. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Random thoughts: "beautiful souls"- a thought-provoking book

"Beautiful souls" is a wonderful book, it is cognitively stimulating and emotionally disturbing. It contains 4 true stories about  the courage and conscious of ordinary people in extraordinary times.

Just 1 story, and it stirs me. The story about the police captain who falsified papers so that Jews can stay in Swiss. 

It is not just a recount of what happens but also explanations of why it happens, with modern explanations why people do what they did. 

I remembered LP and I were talking about neutral good/evil. We weighed our options before committing. 

I found that this weighing of options, would properly mean I would have done the opposite, if I was in his shoes. Sending the Jews back to Austria. 

I had a break before reading the whole chapter, (waiting for my wife to finish her facial) and I thought to myself, if everyone is like him, wouldn't the place be swarmed with Jews and become a obvious target of hilter, who already annexed Austria? 

The author addressed this point, the "delegate" or shifting of obvious responsibilities to higher "doctrination", it also attempt to explain why the Nazis were able to do systemic killings. In short, they hid behind "were told to so", "others were all doing it" and there is a "greater reasoning" for all these.

The 3 factors applied also to the other side, who simply followed orders to send back the Jews to Austria. 

There is also one explanation that the "proximity" to the refugees, is why the police captain couldn't say no, while other captains "afraid of moral dilemma" simply delegate the duties of sending teh Jews back to more junior officers. 

The explanations are backed by modern experiments and not just by theories. There is this experiment of effect of "carrot and stick" but the test  was just carrot, and someone need to press the button to send electric shock of various intensity to a actor who will pretend to be uncomfortable, protest, shriek in pain and pass out. There are various variables introduce for the experiments but a high 60% of people would just continue to administer pain even if the actor is at the verge of passing out 

After the police captain was caught breaking the law, not only was he dimissed, experince hardship, but also had his reputations smeared that he was corrupted and receive monetary and sexual favors from those he helped. 

I shall not go into details, but the book classify those with moral courage into 2 groups, one who simply did what is right within his power, and others with conviction to lead opposition (change the world), the police captain belonged to the former.

While I was marveling at what moral courage he possessed and thinking he was angel on earth and happy they history has finally returned his name, the author wrote that the "glorifying" of his deeds decades after he died is yet another example of how he is extraordinary, gave the masses the excuse to delegate responsibility to be good to others within our power. We all could have done the choice under his circumstances, we need no superpower. It was like a big slap in my face and I felt ashamed. It's a bit like how my centuries, China has abused "Confucius" to confuse and enslaved the masses. 

A book that is worth reading. I am glad I picked the book. My paraphrasing of the content might not be accurate, just feel really like blogging about reading it. Pardon me. 




Friday, September 9, 2016

The numbers behind SIngpost

I have said in the comment section in my previous post that I expect Singpost to grow by 10-20%.

So here is how the numbers add up.

Recovery of rental income from SPC mall.

SPC mall rental loss is about 4-4.5 mio annually, if you track the last 3 quarters of loss of income.

When redeveloped, the retail space will double. Not just that, a check at property Guru of rental rate at the nearby Paya Lebar square show psf rental of $25-$27

Even assuming $20 psf for 25000 sqm of retail space, we know the recovery of rental loss will be significant.

Next, the expenses. Depreciation cost has increase due to Logistic Hub TOP, but the savings in expenses might have to materialize. If we look at expenses, the depreciation of Logistic hub will be 5-6 mio annually, so the potential in savings should be more than that to offset it.

Third party warehouse rental expenses at Q1 stands at 35 mio, there is no info on the area of warehouse of the new logistic hub except that it covers 2 floors out of 3. Assuming two-third of the 550k is warehouse space, 360k sft of in house warehouse would already net expenses savings in excess of 5 mio. (Assuming dirt cheap warehouse rate of $1.2 psf is what Singpost is getting now, which i believe is very conservative)

So the cost savings calculation and revival of SPC mall would have almost nett 10% of the growth needed for the underlying profits.

If the Alibaba JV does materialize, which I think it will, then the capital injection can be used to pay down debts or fund further growth. I do think it will materialize not just because management "suggested" it would during the Q4 analyst briefing, but also that it made no sense for Alibaba to ditch Singpost for Lazada, since Indonesia is Lazada's turf, but Singpost's Asia share is less than 20%. It made more sense for it to complement each other. Apparently, the market do not think the JV will materialize and hence the lower valuation and fall in price. If the deal does not proceed, Singpost's shares price might further go down, but that would make it more attractive since the underlying business is still good, unless Alibaba not only decided not to increase its capital in SIngpost and quantium but pull out totally. That scenario is a bit extreme in my view.

If the deal does go through, the market will rerate it upwards again (Alibaba's contracted price to increase another 5% stake of singpost is $1.7), most probably, with possible synergy from Lazada's movement of goods feeding through.

All in all, it seems a rather good risk-reward profile.

Random thoughts: How did I miss a multi-bagger

Cogent, that is.

I thought I got a steal taking a 35% profits within months. ( 5 years of projected dividends at one go, 7 years of actual dividends)

But it went to double its price.

Nothing new happen. The growth drivers are not new, not sure why Mr Market value it so much higher at close to 20 PE now.

Could I have avoid it? Again the debate of buy and hold Versus sell when the going is good.

Perhaps, we sell when we considered it over-valued rather than looking at gains. 

The most important lesson, perhaps it's from Brexit.

Always assume another Brexit, what are the stocks that u will not let go even if u have to risk losing all the capital gains and perhaps even endure the losses to accumulate more. 

Building "cash"'is more important than building portfolio as it build 2M at the same time, mind and money. 


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

随心笔:无奈

我不是飞机,跑道再长也不能起飞。
我不是人才,虽然我想做好自己的本分。

我不想掌控别人的未来,我想自己悠哉。
我很感恩工作,他让我能享尽天伦,拥有舒适的生活,给我快乐。

不过,我不想评价一个人的好坏,我不是官场中人,但还要为五斗米折腰。

后浪啊,把我推上岸吧,你来。

我放不下,你来推我一把吧。

我不可能在空中翱翔了,我不想耽搁你们。我想助你们飞翔,我不见意你们比我快,比我高。真的。

我想,我放不下。我还是挺爱钱的。

只是赚的有点心虚。我不想为别人负责任,我只会从自己的信念出发,我的信念跟工作文化不搭。

我还是一个只喜欢教书的傻子。

把我推上去的,是伯乐,还是我跟我一样傻?





Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Random thoughts: In search of that perfect life?

What is life? 

Can write a book on this? But let's simplify it and say life is how we spend our time? "A sick spending the rest of his life in bed", we can replace "life" with "time", isn't it?

So, we spend most of our time at work, at home, with ourselves. Of course there are variations for retirees, men of leisure, home makers as well, but one way of another, we have at least one of these few domains as of how we spend our time. 

Is our work perfect? Defintely not, u might be pissed off with your boss, with different ideas about how to manage your team, bored down with politics etc.

Is our family life perfect? Do we not have money problems, quarrels, lack of attention, differences in bringing up of child, how best to take care of elderly etc?

Is my personal life perfect! No, we have our inner demons, we have our unfulfilled ambitions, and our untapped passion

Since our time is our life. How we spend our time determine the quality of our life.

The pursuit of FI is to free up time. The important thing to this, do u know what u want to do when u do have time at hand? "Ok la, think I will continue to work" I always hear this, if this is what you want, why pull your hairs saving and investing and not spend time on other things now. 

If "wanted to have 1 million, 200k is enough for me to sustain myself, and the rest I will set up a fund to help elderly", is your mantra, every second in investing and saving for the future is your "perfect life", because every second is well spent living your life according to your beliefs. 

Same same but different. 

So how I spend my time, has nothing/little to do with how others spend their time unless we have a common goal, or how much others have in their FI days.

Every second passed, you are one step closer to death, spend it wisely and most importantly, happily. Chase after what really matters, and if there are imperfection in the way you think your time is spent, make the best out of it. 

Make the best of time. The f** rich also only have 24 hours a day, it's how we spend it that make a difference.