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Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Apr 15" - SG Transactions & Portfolio Update"

 No.
 Counters
No. of Shares
Market Price (SGD)
Total Value (SGD) based on market price
Allocation %
1.
China Merchant Pacific
69,000
1.16
80,040.00
26.0%
2.
FraserCenter Point Trust
24,000
2.06
49,440.00
16.0%
3.
SembCorp Industries
10,000
4.71
47,100.00
15.0%
4.
Vicom
6,000
6.70
40,200.00
13.0%
5.
FraserCommercial Trust
11,000
1.52
16,720.00
5.0%
6.
ST Engineering
4,000
3.81
15,240.00
5.0%
7.
Stamford Land
10,000
0.58
  5,800.00
2.0%
8.
Noel Gifts
18,900
0.30
  5,670.00
2.0%
8.
King Wan
5,000
0.31
  1,550.00
1.0%
9.
Warchest*
45,000.00
14.0%

Total SGD


306,760.00
 100.00%

*Does not include emergency, social security (CPF), insurance endowment, and short term (1 month) funds for immediate working capital.




There's a couple of changes made to the portfolio since the last Mar update here which was roughly more than a month ago. I've added new counters into the portfolio for Noel Gifts which I blogged at over here and divested part of the stake in FCT which I also blogged here.

I have not made any transaction yet for the month of Apr but there's a few more days to go before the end so we'll see if that works out well in the end. I have been researching for at least two of the counters which attracted my attention and I may go for them depending on the market conditions. I'll blog about it should I be able to get them.

There's a flurry of good news for the month of April which I am very fortunate to be part of it and would like to share with fellow friends and readers. They are not entirely financial related, but to a large extent a big part of my life which I hope to do well in.

The first is the extended bull run which we've seen over the past few weeks and being heavily vested in equities, I've managed to participate in a lot of the recent run-up which pushes the market valuation of the counters rather high. I've considered the options about locking in some of the gains to some extent and I'll be honest to say that I've thoroughly looked at the counters in my portfolio and doing review after review to each and every one of them but have yet to come up to a decision. In the previous post, I've blogged much about finding the right conviction to sell and I certainly do not want to end up having to liquidate because of fear in the market for the short term. If I decide to sell, it'll probably mostly because of the right reasons I believe in - either an asset allocation rebalancing or valuations for stocks which I think has been overvalued.

The second good news is about the performance bonus which was distributed based on past year performance. Due to moving out to another company in the middle of last year which I blogged here and then going back halfway, the amount of bonus was pro-rated. Although the amount isn't anywhere significant, the timing of the bonus was perfect as I am in the midst of increasing cash as part of overall portfolio allocation. The recent run up has allowed equities to gain much and the cash portion would come in really handy to balance the increase value in the equities. I'm also glad that I am able to use part of the cash from the bonus to top up $7,000 for my special account which I have blogged about here.

The third good news is still somewhat related to my corporate role. I am extremely fortunate to be promoted within my organization this month which rather comes at a surprise. I wasn't definitely expecting any promotion to come so this is definitely a bonus for me. Human assets in an organization play a very important role in the capital I've managed to put in so far so this is something that I think many active workers out there have to fight for especially in the first few years in the corporate role. Even though my aspirations to quit the corporate world one day may resemble across many other aspiring financial independence bloggers out there, we still need to make it count for as much as we can. Just like dividend investing, the more we get out of our active income early in our life, the faster the compounding effect will kick in once you get to the 30s.

The fourth good news is probably by far the biggest impact I have for the month. My baby son is finally turning 1 year old this month and as a parent, I must say that I am delighted to be able to watch him grow and by his side every single day after my working hours and weekends. To make it more pleasing, the first word that he can mutter out of his mouth was "Daddy", which really makes it count for the amount of quality time I have been able to spend with him and my wife all these long. I thank every part of my lucky stars, including my wife for that to happen and probably what makes Financial Independence really about one day.

Last but not least, the final good news is my portfolio has finally been able to breach across the $300K for the first time ever. This is a great milestone I have been patiently waiting since my last milestone at $250K which was exactly a year ago (original post here) and even though the market run-up has been the major culprit, I must thank the spirit of continuous perseverance and persistence which have somewhat paid off rather nicely.




So that's it for the month of April. 

Having recounted all the positive news that has happened this month, I just want to thank a lot of these things to my families, friends and fellow bloggers who have supported me and make me who I am today. I know I can count on them for almost anything that happened in my life and I am so grateful to have them in my life.

Next month will be huge in terms of dividends. A lot of companies will be going ex-dividend in May and with market volatility as high as we are seeing right now, it's probably prudent to keep our eyes close for our investment.

Thanks for reading.

What about you? How did you do for your April month?


Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Beauty & Beast of Selling Stocks

Imagine yourself as an investor holding shares in ABC company at an average price of $10, which you have bought at a reasonably fair price based on your conviction. You see the stock price slide downwards to $9.50 in the short term and you managed to convince yourself that you are a long term investor. A couple of months later, the stock price trend upwards (and above the entry price) to $11. You pulled out your spreadsheet and a 10% gain is staring right in front of you. You hesitate a while and look out for news around to see the outlook of the economy. Heck, there is going to be some projected problems in the next few months ahead, let me lock in the gains first, keep them in my watchlist and re-enter them again when the price has gone down lower.


 
 
This post is about finding out the beast-art of selling stocks and the right convictions or reasons to selling. This is not a debate about whether you have made the right choice to sell because this can only be proven on hindsight and there is no way anyone can tell you it's right or wrong to do so unless things have happened.
 
A lot of books and value investing courses are focused on the art of buying but seldom do you see anyone touches on the action on selling. To me, I am not delusional to only buying. As an investor, I believe that we act as a business owner and every business has a valuation where there will be a point where the price is attractive enough to sell. It does not matter whether our term of valuation is subjective as long as our conviction to selling has led to the right justification to it.


 
 
Yesterday, I casually posted a question to one of my circle of close financial bloggers friends in the chatgroup. I just wanted to see the perception of what the majority of investors are thinking. I posted a question to see which of the following is the hardest as an investor:
 
1.) Entering into a position when everyone is selling and there's blood on the street.
 
2.) Building up a core position based on conviction within a portfolio.
 
3.) Sitting on a fundamentally unchanged business fundamentals and seeing a rising share price.
 
 
Majority of the choices led to choice number 3 because the temptation to take profits is there, akin to putting a gambler who has promised to quit gambling in front of the gambling table and do nothing. There's a reason why many investors sold their winners too early while holding on to the losers too long.



 
The recent market surge has provided a very good opporunity for investors to exit positions at a gains to lock in profits. I've written about the "half-half philosophy" in my previous post (here) to substantiate this point. The decision to sell should ultimately be wrapped upon your end goals, not for short term gains. This is the reason why we need to have a clear investment thesis when buying and that is to ensure that we do not engage in emotional trading in the short term. Sell only when these investment thesis are broken, either because the fundamentals are weakening or valuations are too high.
 
I am taking the below graph from my good fellow blogger, Jason (who blogged here) who illustrate this point. This is not to point out that divesting shares at a 20% or whatever it is is not fantastic, but to have a clear investment thesis and effective investing strategy because you never know if the fundamentally great stock you are selling will ever go back to a price lower than what you are selling at. If so, are you saying that you forego a fundamentally great business and start to look on for a new business with the same level of fundamentals but undervalued? A wonderful business with strong economic moat is usually very rare to come by, so I wouldn't be sure if I am willing to divest that for a mere 20% profits or so. Think yourself as a business owner and you get a better picture.
 
I've been a victim more than once now caught in this situation when I sell a fundamentally good stock in Boustead at a sub-par of $1+ and it has gone up ever since. This is not to say that it won't go back to where it was but the chances are highly unlikely unless the fundamentals dropped massively or the economy is tanking because of severe depression. Even so, my investment thesis for the stock would have changed too.
 
 
 

Questionnaire

I've been thinking of coming up with an informal sort of questionnaire for myself whenever I contemplate to sell something. This may not be comprehensive but I think these 10 questions allow us as investors to think through the whole end to end processes from buying to selling.
 
1.) What is the rationale behind the reason to sell?
2.) Are the fundamentals weakening? Has the fundamentals changed?
3.) Are the valuations too high compared to peers or historical average?
4.) Would I be a buyer at current price?
5.) Are there better alternative investments I can allocate the capital to?
6.) Was it driven by fear of the market/economy/news?
7.) Are the companies exposed to product or market cycle upturn and downturn?
8.) Are the companies still responding to positive catalyst news?
9.) Are the companies or management doing share buyback?
10.) Am I selling (not selling) because my average entry price is low (high)?


Final Thoughts
 
Just like buying, the decision to sell is ultimately personal.
 
As long as we've think it through and the decision doesn't get emotional, we should be able to make a more rationale decision than we would have if otherwise.
 
As you might probably realized by now, our behaviors and decisions drive whether we ultimately end up with a great investments or not. We'll be far more successful investing in stocks generating average returns than we will with the highest potential returns but with bad investing habits and behaviors.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Which of the 3 choices you think would have been the hardest for you as an investor?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Different Stakeholders Different Priorities

It should not be a coincidence to know that different stakeholders play different roles in a business organization and each stakeholder hold different objectives and priorities.

Many of us who are financial bloggers are mostly undertaking two different stakeholders role at the same time. We are either mostly employees in an organization or shareholders/business owners of an organization. We probably already pre-divulge the answer to ourselves unknowingly by having different expectations as an employee or shareholder. But let's go to that.


As an Employee

Employees are a very important part of a business organization that are much underrated by the key stakeholders of the company. We will see about this later.

Aligning employees with the organization's strategic goals has become increasingly important (and difficult) as organizations struggle to promote retention, ensure productivity and gain competitive advantage. This is probably why you see companies hiring on human resources to do all of these. They are not just there to do the administrative stuff you think they are doing.




The first thing we would not want to see ourselves fall short as an employee is in terms of our compensation and benefit. Before we commence our employment, we would usually consider thoroughly and compare the payscale throughout the different choices we may have to ensure that we are kept as competitive as we could in terms of pay.

As an employee, we'd also like to see that the management is competent enough to drive the company forward. This is more than just because we are able to receive higher bonus but more because our efforts have paid off to yield results over time. Most employees also feel proud working for an uprising organization than a sinking ship anyway.

Many companies have implemented a cost controlling activities in terms of hiring and increasing productivity. As an employee, it's usually difficult to understand the consequences underlying the actions taken by the management even if there are headcount crunch to churn out the work required to be done. This usually quickly backfired and resulted in resentment and unhappiness and retention becomes even more difficult to do so.


As a Shareholder

A shareholder can be considered as similar to a business owner, and we can see how quickly the perception difference in the priorities changes from the previous.

Similar to an employee mindset, I'd like to see a competent management driving the company forward by increasing shareholder's value over time.




However, as a shareholder, the difference now lies in the bottom-line profits of the company. I don't know about you but when I analyze financial statements of the company I am vested in, I'd like to see overhead costs, in particular salaries and administrative costs down due to increasing productivity. Take a friend of mine who is working for ST Engineering for example, a company I am vested in. I often get to hear him complaining about the bonus or increment the employees are getting but as a vested shareholder, I am actually smiling behind my back. Okay, I am not a pervert and I was joking about the last part but you get the idea. 


Final Thoughts

I never thought of financial independence to being in two different selections of stakeholders.

Some people like to work being an employee for as long as they would like while some wished they could be a business owner or shareholders.

I'd preferred to be in the quadrant of a shareholder or business owner one day when I finally achieve financial independence but I'll leave it to that when it comes to that stage.

For now, I'll just have to know that different stakeholders different priorities. 


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Where Market Valuation Is At Right Now? (2)

Back in February, I posted an article about the current state of market valuation at that point in time. You can read the article here. Given that we are now 2 months ahead, maybe we should take a quick revisit at where the market valuation is at right now.

As an investor, I think it is prudent knowing what and where the current market valuation is heading as a source of information, even if you do not intend to use them for decision making purpose. I've received a few emails in recent weeks asking me whether I'm starting to turn bearish on the stock market. I think the answer to what I think is pretty irrelevant. What is important is knowing and understanding your own position in the market justifying instead of deluding yourself into believing that you are "investing" when you are or actually not.




With that, let's see if there are any changes to the market valuation from where it were back then in February. I am going to use the same valuation metrics for easy comparison purpose.


1.) Market Capitalization to GDP (Buffett Valuation Indicator)

The market cap to GDP ratio, also dubbed the Buffett valuation indicator, is a long term ratio used to determine whether an overall market conditions is undervalued or overvalued. As the ratio suggests, a result that is greater than 100% is known to be overvalued while a value below 100% is know to be undervalued.

The ratio suggests 123.1% back then in the last quarter, and now it has increased slightly to 127.4% in this quarter. This simply implies that the valuation in this indicator is in bubble territory and the bubble is expanding in this quarter. The ratio is now above +2 SD and this is the first time that it happens over the last 50 years or so, only to be eclipsed by the great bubble in 2000.




2.) Q-Ratio (developed by Nobel Laureate James Tobin)

The Q Ratio is an indicator of the total market value divided by the replacement cost of the overall market. This is a little bit like measuring the Price to Book where the earlier was like the Price to Earnings. Again, anything above 100% represents overvaluation while anything below represents undervaluation.

No changes to this quarter from previous quarter. The current situation represents a ratio of 1.11 which indicates that the market is overvalued in terms of its replacement value, a concept that is almost similar to the book value.




3.) Regression To Trend

The regression trendline drawn through clarifies the secular pattern of a variance from the trend. Where the market is trending above the regression slope, they are known to be overvaluation while the converse is true.

The data shows that the inflation adjusted S&P Index price was 93% above its long term trend, down from 96% we've seen in the previous quarter. Nevertheless, there's no doubt that the trend suggests overvaluation above the long term average mean.



Half-Half Philosophy

In the previous article, I suggested that there may be a hype of speculating from the opening of the new accounts especially in the China and HK market.

Similarly, I've also seen many new investors coming into the market at this moment with the intention of investing for the longest term, but because for some reason they've landed in the market in the current situation, they have a "tendency need" to invest right now not bothering about timing the market consistently because a lot of proverbs have been saying that no one has the ability to do so. 

But contrary, some of the decisions I've seen in recent times suggest that these are the same group of people that are not investing consistently based on their own earlier philosophy because they are partly afraid of being caught in the situations of a correction. In other words, these people entered into a position with the intention of holding for a long term but because recent market surge has a potential to earn them a 5% realized gain, they decide to sell first in favor of the gain and redeploy the cash to some other counters, using similar method.

I called this the half-half philosophy because I've been caught in the same position many times, and many more so when I first started investing. The thought of investing for the long term seems pretty cool to many investors out there but when there are unrealized gains staring right in front of your screen, it seems pretty foolish not to be locking in those profits when you can.

To me, this is outright speculation and I've done it many rounds previously and and even now. Notice just how many times the word price is being mentioned and nothing about the fundamentals of the business or valuation is being mentioned. This strategy is definitely not wrong but just don't confuse them with investing.


Final Thoughts

In one of the books I'm reading right now in the "Intelligent Investor", Benjamin Graham defined the difference between investing and speculating this way:

"An Investment Operation is one in which, upon through fundamental analysis, promises the boundary of where valuations are defined, safety of principal is compromised and an adequate return is projected. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative in nature."

Most of us are probably grown up to be able to make our own decisions. We can choose to play any strategy or games we like and that is our prerogative rights to do so. But having said that, we should do so with our eyes fully open and knowing the truth of the consequences. That is probably what investing in realities is all about.


Friday, April 10, 2015

The Rising Dragon of China / HK Stock Market

The recent one year has been a spectacular gain for the rising dragon of the China Shanghai composite market. In less than a year period, the index has risen from the low of 1900 to a high of 3700. This is despite the soft landing issues China's economy has been suffering that we hear all years long. There's only one explanation that leads to this outcome: Speculation.




Interestingly, a giant pool of money has recently flowed to the HK market, spilling some contagion of euphoria into the HKSE index, which has seen over 1000+ points increase since the quota was introduced earlier in the week. It has been a spectacular show to watch for me this week, as we've seen the bull taking rage of the whole market this week.

The euphoria doesn't spill over to our STI index, though one of my core holdings from China Merchant Pacific (CMP) has profited from this run.




Some interesting things to take note is the existing vs new investors highest level of education attained tracked by Bloomberg.

According to the research, the existing investors level of education in the market are fairly spread well across all spectrum. However, the recent new investors coming into the market are mostly consisting of investors from the bottom spectrum of the education level that made up of mostly Junior High School and Elementary School. You can infer a few deductions from this. The most obvious is of course the level of speculation that these people might be engaged in. The argument arises because these people are the most likely not engaged in fundamental analysis and are likely to go for short term gains. There may be some truth in it, but we can also argue it the other way.

For instance, the level of education attained might not be a representative of deciding whether there are more investing or speculation. There are some with lower education who are proficient in investing because he or she has been in the market for a longer time or perhaps one can educate through reading and learning on their own.

Perhaps, it could be useful if they can track the age or even the profession of the investors. That would make a better choice for our own speculation purpose.




Will A Correction Takes Place?

While the market is surging higher, it is important to monitor on our stock's valuation to make sure they do not stretch to such extent that price has been going up much faster than earnings or fundamentals. 

When the fundamentals of the company isn't doing so good, selling them in the midst of the bull market seems a logical way to divest and take profits. However, when the fundamentals of the company is great, that will form a bigger dilemma of whether selling should even be considered.

Last but not least, I just wanted to share a sequence of bear case scenario that happened in the US market in the last 70 years. A bear market is defined as a 20% drop in the stock market from the recent high. 

It should be clear that bull runs do not go up in a straight line. There's a natural ebb and flow to the stock market that everyone should understand. In fact, contrary to popular beliefs, a bear market happens more frequently than they appear. That does not mean that one should time the market, but it is more important to look and make sure that we do not get lured into the party and forget to leave them. Even when we do, make sure those underwear you wore are still intact.





Monday, April 6, 2015

Advertising For Condominium For Sale - 8 @ Mount Sophia (District 9)

Regular readers of my blog would know that I often blog about anything that I can find that represents value to anyone looking for something out there. I have blogged a couple of times on stocks which I thought represents good value as well as food & beverages which I have shared not too long ago (here and here).

We all know how each individual sees value differently, but I think all of us know the difference between value and price. In this post, I will share another proposition on what I thought is a value purchase for a property located in one of the best district available in Singapore - District 9. More on the details will be shared later.

For the background, I am helping a close relative to sell her unit in the open market as she has urgent needs for cash flow issues to tide over, which is quite the reason why she might be letting go at quite an attractive price in my opinion. Regardless, I am just helping to sound out buyers who might be interested and I take no sort of rewards or commissions from the transaction, if any. I've personally seen the unit myself and I can guarantee that whatever is being published here is true upon my knowledge and understanding.


Property Sentiments

Everyone who are living in Singapore would have known how the property market has fared over the past couple of years. Sluggish sales, cooling measures, increase supply, are all typical form of words that you have heard a lot in the recent couple of years surrounding the property market.




Some of us may think that property price is unlikely to go anywhere up anytime soon, but there's one catch that we always need to think of as contrarians. Similar to stock purchases, a contrarian would buy when price has somewhat turn attractive (does not mean absolute bottom) and sell when valuations are stretched. Again, valuation is subjective so everyone has a different perception of what they think the value should be. I shall leave the discussion of this out for this purpose.

Interest rates are also going to go up in the next few years, so we know that loan mortgages repayment are probably going to go one way up from here, and every home buyers would not be a stranger to know that this is somewhat unavoidable.


Property Details

Anyway, for those who are interested, these are the detailed property details:

- Property Name: 8 @ Mount Sophia
- Property Type: Condominium
- District 9
- TOP Year: 2007
- Floor Area: 1,378 sqft / 128.02 sqm
- Tenure: 103 year leasehold
- View: Swimming Pool
- Room: 3 bedroom + 1 living room
- Next to Plaza Singapura and direct access to the mall via the carpark
- Amenities: Swimming Pool, Tennis Court, Gym, BBQ, etc







The owner (my relative) is opening up for sale at a price of $1,620/psf, which I think represents a pretty good value. Multiply that by the total area and the sum adds up to around $2.2m. Unfortunately, I am not equipped with so much money otherwise I would have considered to purchase property for investing at some stage in my life.

For serious buyer who are looking to purchase one, you may contact me privately and I am able to connect the two of you together. To benefit the readers, I will throw in some help and might just be able to negotiate a slightly lower price at around $1,600/psf or $1,580/psf, though is subject to approval.


Recent Property Transactions

Propnet and Proptalk recently updated regarding the recent sale for the properties at Botanique at Bartley, Northpark Residences at Yishun and Sims Urban Oasis at Aljunied. Let me walk you through some of the recent transactions made.

Botanique at Bartley

The project has sold over 150 units at an average price of $1,290 psf over the weekends. Some 300 units out of the total of 797 units were released.

Northpark Residences at Yishun

I actually personally made the trip to view the showflat unit in the interest of FCT, a counter which I am vested in. I am interested to see how they are able to include step-up rent in view of this huge interests :D.

The project has sold over 300 units our of the total of 350 units released during the soft launch. The total unit for the project is 920 and more will be released later. The average price psf sold is $1,390. 

Sims Urban Oasis at Aljunied

The project has sold over 220 units out of the total of 1,024 units at an average price of $1,397/psf.

I've yet to see the project myself but heard that it's popular due to its availability of a childcare center inside the condominium facilities.


Final Thoughts

I've probably said all that I know of in a property market.

There are obviously some investors who think that property prices are still high at the moment, and I will respect every person decision at that. However, for buyers who are interested in looking for property for investing or staying purpose, I think that the incremental difference between the Core Central Region (CCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) has narrowed rather a lot and based on the above transactions you can probably see that the difference is in fact not quite a lot. In fact, based on the transactions we've seen above, the difference between a CCR and OCR is only about 10%. That's a very narrow gap difference in my opinion.

If you are one of those who once dreamt about staying in the CCR region but could not afford it in the past, then these few months might be a good time to look out and shop because they have been beaten up rather severely these few months. It is quite unlikely that the price between the CCR and OCR will merge into one and the narrower it gets, the higher the likelihood that we have probably seen a bottom at it. However, one of my favorite quotes still apply, you still need to have the money no matter how cheap the property market is going to go.

This is just my personal opinion on the subject matter but the choice is still yours :)

*Only for interested buyers please contact me. Property agents will not be entertained for this purpose.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Are We Setting Up Ourselves To Fear Failure?

This past weekend, I was reading an article regarding the entrepreneur spirit of Elon Musk, who is CEO for SpaceX and Tesla which he shared some fascinating stories about how he started and enveloped his entrepreneur spirit during his early days. In the article, he shared about how he prepared and set himself up for the worst to happen when he first started out. To him, the most important thing is to be able to endure the hardship of having to live off only the basic necessities required, food and accommodation while the rest are sheer luxury to him. Should you be interested to read the full article, you can read them here.

I have always been fascinated by people who ventured on the entrepreneurship journey, the logic behind the thinking, the hardship that they endure, the ideas that they can come up with and the ability to face failure. Entrepreneurship is one of those professions I have most respect in. I used to think that people who embarked on an entrepreneur are idealistic and innovators in nature and you don't need to have much education with you as long as you have those traits. These are no longer the case these days as we've seen many people going against the flow.




Does Going To Schools Set You Up To Fear Failure?

Many of the families in my parent's generation are entrepreneurs. They are not entrepreneurs by choice but nature probably forces them to that direction. You see, back then education was extremely rare and only the wealthy can afford them. Our families started out really poor before my generation was born and my dad did not even completed primary school. There was only one way to go from here: Risk or Lose everything. They didn't even have an equal probability of choices given to make the decision, it was a decision made from nature and they just have to accept it. It turned out to be a very fruitful results in the end, and I was lucky to have the privilege to be born in the new generation where so much more was provided before my eyes.




Some people may argue that the new generations are losing the entrepreneurs spirit because the higher the education they received, the lower the likelihood that one is going to be an entrepreneur. There are some truth in that as we probably will see in a while.

Try thinking back the time while you were in school and the idealistic you were being taught. You would most probably have been trained to fear failure from an early age. In school, getting the "right" answer the first time is the only thing that is being rewarded in our society. Getting a wrong answer is equivalent to a punishment of  low grades, extra remedials and contempt from peers and teachers. I remember the days having to memorize the answers from a 10-year series and getting an A while forgetting everything once the exam was ended. I wonder if the education system to date are still being set up this way (will need teachers or tuition teachers bloggers to verify).

12 years of education, years after years of manipulation and all I need was upon graduation, I had lost total interest in entrepreneurship and fear of being "wrong" (failure). During adulthood, the more it becomes difficult to embark an acceptance of failure because failure does not reward you tangible stuff. Sure, you may heard some people say that failure makes you stronger over time but it is not easy to quantify this way. Failure kills you with lower pay, lower comfort and lower acceptance into the society. That's just how the way this society works, whether we like it or not.


The Most Optimistic Entrepreneurs In The World

Could you guess which country boasts the most optimistic entrepreneurs in the world? 

Note that this is not based on the actual entrepreneurs figure created but rather the people who are optimistic about the profession in general. Before someone asked regarding how the survey is conducted, I must confess that I do not know though I am more interested in reading the big picture than the small indicators.




If you look across, very few Asian countries made it into the list with the exception of countries like China, which make up a huge number of the population there. Having previously studied in the West for a while, I can really see the huge difference in the form of education that are being promoted between the East and West, not that either is not good, just somewhat different from the expectations they are trying to create.

Maybe the next time you met someone who is an entrepreneurs next to you, ask him or her the factors that drive them towards that direction. You might be in for a surprise.


Failure In Investing

Many people would advocate that failure cannot be taught directly in investing.

We can learn from the past history made and the likelihood is that history would repeat itself at least twice for one to rationalize that the mistakes are real.




I've made countless mistakes in my investing journey and I am learning as we move along. Given the choice, I'd rather picked up those mistakes as early as possible and try my best not to repeat them given that some mistakes are inevitable to avoid.

I've recently had a fear I didn't dare to tell anyone. My fear is now real. The last computed portfolio for the month of Mar is standing at $291,530 and as the size becomes bigger each day, the higher the fear is likely to grow in size. Although I have been through the same fear scenario when my portfolio size was much smaller when I first started out, it is an entirely different scenario right now. I am stepping on a whole new territory and as much as I've tried to understand this fear, I will never know until it really stepped on my toes. I've done a couple of things such as balancing my asset allocation to mitigate some of those fears but there's never going to be a perfect scenarios where everything is patched up nicely.

Maybe I'm just setting up myself to face failure this time or maybe I might underestimate the depth of those fears. I'll never know and neither can you. And maybe once I have experienced the depth of this fear factor, I might just be ready to face an entrepreneurships' role.


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