Sunday, 17 February 2019

Crash Got Sound - What Doesn't Kill You Will Make You Stronger!

Once upon a time, Chinese stocks can do no wrong. Hence everyone loved China IPOs! From Nasdaq, to HKEX, to our local SGX. 

Then the investment world discovered fundamental analysis and fair value quite meaningless when you can't even trust whether the cash on the books really existed...

Then there was the commodity boom (similar China growth story). 

Soon we learned we don't really understand the industry at all... 

Hands up you know the supply chain of coal, sugar, coffee?

The short sellers were right.

Remember flavour of the year thematic plays for Water, Myanmar, Oil and Gas plays?

Some "buy-and-forget" investors learned you don't do that with cyclicals... (On a side note, they remind you of Bitcoin, no?) 

What are High Yield Bonds? 

Some accredited investors belatedly realised they were known as Junk Bonds in the past. Oh!

How safe are preference and perpetual shares?

Well, now we know.

Why buy REITs when we can get higher yields from Shipping Trusts?

Finally some get the poke about yield hogs and how both bulls and bears can make money, pigs just get slaughtered... 

Peer-to-peer lending at 18% yield good, better, best?

Well, usury or "ah long" can be very profitable! 

Go find out how much authorised money lenders charge their clients. 

How much illegal "ah longs" charge their victims

And how much credit card companies charge for lending unsecured loans to consumers.

Compare what are the various illegal and legal methods the above can recover their money when their clients/victims default.

Now ask how are you going to recover your peer-to-peer lending in a default?

You think you smart; others not stupid.

But then, this you only know when crash got sound!


  1. Didn't die from crash but still have ugly scars to remember. Not sure about stronger. Those chopped fingers

    1. CW,

      OK, maybe not stronger but definitely "wiser" when it comes to dipping our fingers into the cookie jar again ;)

  2. Maybe 10yrs later, you can add

    How safe is Reits?
    Now you know ...


    People used to say property sure earn!
    They learn depreciation the hard way...

    1. WolfT,

      For those who started their "investment" journey after 2009, they may have to wait like you say for the next downturn.

      For those around in 2008, we don't have to wait. We already knew some REITs in SGX nearly went bankrupt...

      When it comes to physical properties, this one "easier". We just need to talk to our older cousins or parents to learn from their experiences ;)

      If one has a negative view on Singapore physical properties going forward... Pray tell why buying REITs with a heavy Singapore concentration be any better?

  3. Hi Smol,

    For all the examples u listed, schips bitcoins, o and G, if u are early mover and got off in terms, u are power.

    Until now, my single counter gain of 70 percent came from a s-chip, gaoxian, which is already suspended. Luckily, I manage to cash out during the dual listing craze.

    Learning when a bubble will form and getting it before it forms and out before is burst is real skills.

    O and G, that's boring, remember the romance of the 3 pennies? 30- 100 baggers wor... And even the banks and brokerages join in the fun. Who can blame retailers

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      Well, now you know why I like to poke bei kambing Buy-and-Hold Long Term "Investors" ;)

      We all know the secret is knowing when to BUY and when to SELL.

      Entries and exits.

      Nothing more; nothing less.

      P.S. Theory 心法 is easy. Real world execution is .... Some even want to be "passive"? LOL!

  4. Hi SMOL,

    O&G is cyclical if one study long term trend.
    Was profitable when deep water horizon and 2016 oil crisis. Invested in the big boys who control the reserves and capex and not SG O&G where they depends on big boys capex to grow their business. Same but different, something i learn from my own industry

    1. AT_AT,

      I see you are not a panda or koala bear ;)

      Die, die SGX stocks only!

      Yup. Some investors just buy Apple. Some prefer to buy the components suppliers in Japan, Korea, or Taiwan.

      If we buyinto the components suppliers, we jolly well must follow the fortunes of Apple!

      Many bottom-up O&G "investors" overlooked the macro aspect of the industry...

  5. temperament,

    I'm not so sure on the miracle part ;)

    Well, someone who sits mainly on Cash and is "No Action; Talk Only" can easily survive 30 years too ;)

    Just like those CPF "savers" who call themselves "investors"!? Eh...

    But we know why that CPF thingy is so attractive.

    No need to worry about entries and exits!

    Look! Anyone and everyone can do it!

    No capital losses some more!


  6. I'm tempted to say that it seems like the Fed has finally mastered the art of forever propping up markets via QE... so maybe buy and hold is really the holy grail now???

    1. Macroanalyst,

      If that were so, it will be the end for the active fund management industry...

      GIC and Temasek can close shop too. Alpha is dead.

      And all those who voluntarily contributed to CPF would feel like idiots...

      I mean the reason for hiding in CPF is because stocks risky mah! Can lose our pants one! But if stocks never go down...

      Anyone and everyone can just buy into the passive index funds and live happily ever after!

      But then, I know a bit of history.

      That's not how the story usually goes...

    2. One could argue that GIC and Temasek are almost like buy and hold so they would do well actually. On the other hand, hedge funds might die out...

    3. Macroanalyst,

      Don't frighten me!

      Wait I have to ownself fire ownself?

      I've never considered GIC and Temasek as Buy-and-Hold forever and ever ;)

      That would be "too easy".

      They have made some great and interesting "divestments" of their portfolios ;)

      Well, I count getting privately owned companies listed on the exchanges as partial divestments in my book!


    4. The day that GIC and Temasek can make money in a bear market, I'll take them out of the buy and hold camp ;>

    5. Macroanalyst,

      Good one!

      Like Warren Buffett, when you have never ending NEW sources of fresh funds, you can take advantage of bear markets without need to go short.

      Buy on the cheap and divest partially during boom time charlie time to other soverign wealth funds or institutions.

      Rinse and repeat.

      Of course must say for PR reasons they invests for the LONG TERM...

      I guess for Chartered SemiConductor and NOL, "long term" has another meaning ;)

      And Temasek rotating out of all US listed banks to focus on fintech...

      Well, that's long term focus mah!?


  7. temperament,

    Very easy right?

    Just print money!

    I wonder why empires and countries in the past never thought of it!

    Properity forever!


    They did.

    And we are surrounded by countries that have lots of zeroes in their currencies...

    Can you imagine one day if one cup of kopi in Singapore would cost $100 like in Japan's 100 yen coffee?

  8. temperament,

    Wah lau eh!

    Out of the blue came this Swap Offer Rate (SOR)!?


    You don't anyhow quote CW.

    CW where got Buy-and-Hold?

    He feel asleep on the wheel in 2008; he's making sure it won't happen a second tme ;)

    Didn't you read his giggling at his CPF statements?

    Old liao, baxxs shrunk...

    Now mixing with the orphans, widows, and savers ;)

    (Don't hit the face!)

  9. Hi SMOL,

    I smile when younglings parrot the talking heads and talk down gold. :)

    Another Christian friend who frequents the blogosphere grows his own food at home. In time, I will learn from him.

  10. Unintelligent Nerd,

    They don't read history ;)

    Why Singapore acted very fast to exempt GST from physical gold and other precious metals?

    And why is Singapore fast becoming a popular safe haven for the safe keeping of physical gold for the well heeled around the world, who don't like or trust what their governments are doing with all the money printing?

    But noooo... The younglings can parrot what Warren Buffett said ;)

  11. temperament,


    I said so!

    I don't use "we" when I meant I.

    I don't hide behind what others have said.

    I don't wear a brown paper bag over my head.

  12. temperament,

    Don't say CW's ROI is better than "us".

    Thanks for sharing its better than yours!

    You want to fanboy CW that's your own business ;)

    Although if I CW I would give you a kick. You don't respect his rounds 1, 2, 3 performances?

    See? Your wife not an "investor" also can replicate CW's CPF interest withdrawal.

    And the point you want to make?

    You so very de cute!

  13. temperament,

    And you have to take the bait...

    Now wife is better at investing than you ;)

    You win liao lor!

  14. temperament,

    I am poking your feeble attempt to "angkat" CW ;)

    CW already a "Tarzan" (泰山); he got his benchmarking with other investment greats, GIC, and Temasek.

    We know where he stands ;)

    So someone who is sole breadwinner with 10 kids, got CPF like returns, he "outperforms" CW?

    Got more pity brownie points over CW!?

  15. temperament,

    Ah! The patronising comment finally came out...

    I poked CW a lot!

    I showed CW a lot of respect.

    Who wants to kick a dead dog?

  16. temperament,

    OK, now wife is back to not an "investor".


  17. temperament,

    You defintely have a masochistic streak in you ;)

    I think I must start charging people who come here begging to be poked!


  18. Hi SMOL,

    I really doubt he has no exposure to precious metals.

    I'm sure his wife and his daughter have some gold jewellery.

    Who knows? A 10 oz silver bar as a paperweight and a silver kilo bar as a door stopper, or maybe some gold-plated ornament on the desk? Or metals under some other family member's name?

    Especially so when he knows his words are watched like a hawk.

  19. Unintelligent Nerd,

    All of us will talk our own book...

    He made his money in equities ;)

    The same goes for me.

    If I can't afford a 2nd investment/rental private property, of course I would say REITs are better!

    I wouldn't share its because in 100 shares multiple, REITs are what I can settle for...

  20. temperament,

    I have no idea. You just made it up ;)

    But if its "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction", then its Newton's Law.

    Eh, want to parrot also must parrot properly lah!

  21. Hi SMOL,

    I am not ashamed to admit that I don't have enough firepower for investment properties. It is way out of my budget and research jobs have very short lifespans.

    I make do with what I have and play the best as I can with the cards that I am dealt with. :)

  22. Unintelligent Nerd,

    All in good time. Its like playing RPG games. Once we've reach certain levels, a lot more asset classes will be unlocked for us ;)

  23. Hi SMOL,

    As an important reminder to myself, what needs special emphasis on your blog title is "What doesn't kill you". Nobody can benefit from the "crash got sound" learning process if after crash, the sound is funeral music.

    When attempting risky stuff such as entrepreneurship/trading/investing with plenty of unknowns and a >50% probability of failure, a person needs to define the worst-case scenario so that when he crashes, he doesn't get killed. A "dead" person cannot benefit from the learning experience and become stronger later. I'm think all the seasoned investors here already know that. I write this as a constant reminder for myself.

    1. hyom,

      That's why we have risk adjusted returns ;)

      We can go YOLO, 破斧沉舟,背水一战。。。

      And there's plan B, emergency fund, insurance, hedging, bailout from daddy and mommy, understanding spouse, and so on...

      Which path we choose may depend more on our attitude and temperament ;)

      If we rollover and die, then its the end. It doesn't matter anymoere.


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