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Hey guys,

Remember the last invitation I made to Value buddies here to dine with Mr Ho Chin Soon, unfortunately noone from value buddies came despite some queries, but it is alright cause 9 others from my property network came.

Here are some of the picture of the past event held, only one Singaporean turned up though. http://alphamarketingsg.com/index.php?op...1&Itemid=2

So, hopefully by sharing here, I can get to more Singaporean real estate investor to join our next meet up.

Not to worry, no sales is involved during the dinner. You pay for your own meal & drinks.

Cheers,
Melissa

(26-07-2011, 01:04 PM)Chess_gal Wrote: [ -> ]Hey guys,

Remember the last invitation I made to Value buddies here to dine with Mr Ho Chin Soon, unfortunately noone from value buddies came despite some queries, but it is alright cause 9 others from my property network came.

Here are some of the picture of the past event held, only one Singaporean turned up though. http://alphamarketingsg.com/index.php?op...1&Itemid=2

So, hopefully by sharing here, I can get to more Singaporean real estate investor to join our next meet up.

Not to worry, no sales is involved during the dinner. You pay for your own meal & drinks.

Cheers,
Melissa

Hi Melissa,

Good to know you saw good response for your seminar. It will be good if you can continue to share your property experience here, and the necessary procedures and processes for investing in Malaysian property. I am sure many here would appreciate it.

And oh yes, I left a comment on your Chess Gal blog post "√ɬŹnefficiency" almost a month ago, but you have yet to reply! Tongue
Hi MW,
It is a sit down dinner, not seminar ^.^ . More of a sharing session. One singaporean guy who has attended Andy Ong's seminar shared with us how Andy invests in Singapore. It was a great insight to play Singapore market. I'll write more when I have more time. Still in office now >.<

Saw your comment just now, I dont really blog much, only when I am bored. And thanks for the comment!
(26-07-2011, 06:27 PM)Chess_gal Wrote: [ -> ]Still in office now >.<

Haha, I am often in office till 7 p.m. or later as well, to finish up my work. Working hard is important if you want to build wealth, and also to make one realize how hard it is to earn dollars and cents. Of course, working smart is just as important as working hard! Big Grin
(26-07-2011, 07:43 PM)Musicwhiz Wrote: [ -> ]
(26-07-2011, 06:27 PM)Chess_gal Wrote: [ -> ]Still in office now >.<
Haha, I am often in office till 7 p.m. or later as well, to finish up my work. Working hard is important if you want to build wealth, and also to make one realize how hard it is to earn dollars and cents. Of course, working smart is just as important as working hard! Big Grin
i started work at 9 and left office at 10.30pm yesterday..feeling very guilty and tired..today i wanna rest more
I agree with Roy - people spend far too little time on their investments and far too much time on their job! And their investments usually constitute quite a large portion of their wealth, so it's rather shocking and surprising.

I am impressed by Roy being 29 and already managing $200,000 (through a company); but it seems he also has expensive desires like getting a car, and planning a "freehold condominium" (usually in excess of $1 million in Singapore) and a Golf Club Membership. Tongue

Business Times - 01 Aug 2011

STARTING YOUNG
Gutsy Roy charts his own path


Roy Chua switched courses in university to follow his heart, reports DICKSON LI

GRIT, sheer determination and a healthy risk appetite - that's what it took for Roy Chua to get to where he is today.

Now an executive in a shipping company, the 29-year-old recalls how he secretly took the $15,000 his mother gave him for his university fees and deposited it in his brokerage account. His father was incapacitated by a stroke and thus unable to support him through school.

With that sum for his school fees as well as the five-figure commission earned from working as a property agent during his school holidays, Roy started to build up his portfolio.

Today, he manages a six-figure portfolio in the region of $200,000. Roy's investments are all made with an investment holding company, so that profits and losses can be taken account of. He eventually hopes to go into investing full-time and this, he believes, will help him build the credibility that he will need.

Q:What got you interested in investing?

A: I was doing my National Service when I caught the Rich Dad Poor Dad fever, a book written by Robert Kiyosaki. I also met a group of like-minded friends from an online forum. I was so hooked on the idea of finance and business that I later quit my bachelor in computer engineering course after a year, to study business (with a major in finance) at Singapore Management University (SMU).

Q:What do you currently invest in?

A: I currently have about 80 per cent invested in equities listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX), around 5 per cent in a US counter, and the rest in cash. Derivatives, currencies and other forms of investments, including property, do not appeal to me. I like businesses and I specifically look out for companies that can generate a stable and resilient stream of income, and manage their finances prudently. I avoid investing in stocks whose companies compete mainly on pricing - such as airlines.

There are a lot of companies in the US which I would like to invest in, but the current state of the US economy is holding me back.

Q:What has your best investment been so far?

A: Raffles Medical Group. You can't see much from its last two years' financial statements, but looking at its statements over the past 5-7 years, you can see that it is a sound business with good management. I bought in most heavily in 2008 when prices were at rock bottom - about 60 cents a share. To date, I have not sold a single share.

Another of my favourite investments was Robinsons. A colleague recommended it to me in 2007 as a dividend play. I looked over its financials for the last five years and took a position in it with the intention of holding on to it for the long term. Unexpectedly, Robinsons was taken over about five months later, giving me a 66 per cent return.

Q:What has your worst investment been so far?

A: I'm not sure if you can call this an investment. During my army days, a group of us were conned into investing in private equity. But it turned out to be nothing but a scam - the person we put our money with disappeared and, personally, I lost $5,000. It was a good but expensive lesson.

Q:What tips can you share from your experience in investing?

A: Start as early as possible, do a lot of reading, research and thinking to learn how to grow your wealth without taking unnecessary risks. Talking to different people can also help broaden your mind. However, regardless of what others say, it is important that you make the final decision based on your own rational analysis.

I believe that everyone should pay more attention to their financial planning and be more involved with their financial investments rather than leave it to a financial consultant, or blindly listen to their brokers' recommendations.

One thing I fail to understand is how people spend at least eight hours a day, five days a week for a paycheck of a few thousand dollars, yet spend next to no time at all on their investments - which are usually worth many times more than their monthly paycheck.

Finally, staying rational is especially important in times of huge price volatility where the market gets irrational. Isaac Newton said: 'I can calculate the movement of the stars but not the madness of men.' If you can't maintain your rationality, you are better off staying away from the markets - that, or you need a ton of good luck.

Q:How did you handle money when growing up?

A: With thrift. Since I was young, my mum has cultivated in me a habit of saving by giving us slightly more than what we need, and encouraging us to save up by buying each of us a colourful coin bank.

As we grew older, she got us to open our own bank accounts, and every January, she would take us to update our bank books personally to let us see the interest earned on our savings. Back then, I didn't understand the concept of interest, but it made me terribly delighted to see 'free money' credited into my account.

Q:What sort of financial planning have you embarked on?

A: Apart from a car which I bought using cash a year ago, almost all my savings are invested in my investment holding company now. The next step is to get my own place, preferably a freehold condominium, and after that, a golf club membership.

Q:What are your long-term investment goals?

A: To grow my investments to a scale such that, firstly, my family would not have to worry about finances at all, and then to have enough resources to invest in renewable energy and sustainable food supply, for the betterment of mankind.

If you're between 17 and 30 with investing experience to share, do get in touch.

E-mail btyif@sph.com.sg with 'Starting Young' as the subject heading and include your name, contact details and a short write-up on your investing story.
Ambitious young man, but investing is not as easy as it looks! Tongue

Business Times - 08 Aug 2011

STARTING YOUNG
Aiming for financial freedom


By ENYA LIM

NUS undergraduate Sean Foo is not your typical chemistry engineering geek. He enrolled in the course as a natural progression - or so he thought - from doing chemical engineering in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. But that was before Sean began investing. Today, his initial investment of $15,000 has blossomed into a sum of about $100,000.

The younger of two boys in a family of four, the final-year student, who plays volleyball and fences at school, claims to spend 60 per cent of his time devouring finance-related material. Sean runs AssetTrend.com, a three-month old website that is aimed at being a financial investment and education portal accessible to both professionals and the layman, students in particular.

Sean's father is a retired insurance agent and his mother works at Barclays, while his elder brother owns an advertising firm.

Q: How did you handle money growing up?

A: Before realising the importance of saving during my secondary school days, I used to spend money while hanging out and shopping with friends. My mother imparted the concept of thrift to me - if you save money now, it could open doors for you in the future. Following that, I was rather frugal with my money, but of course not thrifty to the extent of being a miser.

Q: What sort of financial planning have you embarked on?

A: I am covered by some plans my mum bought some time back, and right now I'm also talking to a friend who sells insurance, and exploring the options. Apart from health insurance, I may consider buying property insurance next time.

Q: Do you spend more or save more?

A: I lean greatly towards being a saver; I only spend on quality things and am not much of a shopper in general. You could say I don't have the shopping gene.

Q: Do you use credit cards?

A: Yes, for the convenience, and for some of the perks they offer. I've had my current credit card for the past seven to eight months, and it gives me quite a few good discounts - I also regularly obtain deal coupons that can be used at various outlets.

One thing about credit cards though, is that you must be disciplined when it comes to paying the bills on time - for me it's like second nature, because I cultivated the habit from the start. It's also important to choose carefully and be familiar with the terms of your chosen credit card(s).

Q: When and how did you get started on investing?

A: It was during the time in the army that the interest to grow my money arose. After the army, I put all my savings into bank deposits, but realised they had paltry return rates of only between 0.1 and 0.5 per cent. So I withdrew it all and started seriously reading about investing.

My brother was the one who first piqued my interest in investing (in commodities). I remember he passed to me a gold coin and said that gold would soar in the coming years. At that time, I had only a rough idea of what investing entails, definitely not enough to make an informed decision.

Q: What do you currently invest in?

A: Right now, all my holdings are in physical gold and silver commodities - 70 per cent gold and 30 per cent silver. Gold forms the larger proportion because at the end of day it is more liquid. Also, the demand for gold is much higher, so it is easier to sell too.

I have a trading account, but it doesn't seem to be the right time for investing in stocks now - what with the US debt crisis and all the market instability, they won't give me the returns I want.

Q: How would you describe your risk appetite?

A: Low-moderate. I don't take stupid risks, but neither am I risk-averse. If you're too risk-averse, your profits won't be high, and if you're too reckless, your profits and capital will just evaporate - some sort of a compromise is necessary.

As you gain more though, the focus becomes about preserving what you already have, which is where I am now. I was more daring when I first started investing.

Q: What have been your best and worst investments so far?

A: Silver has been both the best and the worst. Best because it is more versatile - as an industrial metal, a source of value and it being more scarce than gold. It initially went at US$10-11 apiece and peaked to US$48 per piece within one year. I made a tidy profit from selling half of my silver commodities after that.

But my worst investment also lies in silver - from that near US$50 per piece peak, it plummeted to US$32. So it turned out that my combined profits and losses (from silver) cancelled each other out in the end.

Q: Any tips to share from your experience in investing?

A: It is most important to have sufficient capital in the first place, as you can't really invest without it, so aspiring investors should make the effort to save more. Also, try to go in informed, don't waste time fishing in the dark.

Commodities such as silver and gold are viable for the coming few years because they are safer assets for the time being - especially in view of the risk of US defaulting on its bank debts.

Q: What are your long-term investment goals?

A: I hope to achieve financial freedom by 30, and have my investments provide a nice monthly passive income. Maybe I'll even start my own company eventually.

If you're between 17 and 30 with investing experience to share, do get in touch. E-mail btyif@sph.com.sg with 'Starting Young' as the subject heading and include your name, contact details and a short write-up on your investing story

Business Times - 15 Aug 2011

STARTING YOUNG
Inspired by Warren Buffett


By TAM YU LING

WHILE many value investors may have paid homage to Warren Buffett by reading books on the investing guru, few have met the man himself. Goh Chin Siong is one who did.

No, he did not win the bid for Mr Buffett's annual auction lunches, which can often go up to millions of dollars, but 'came within a metre's reach' of the man during the 2007 AGM for shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, of which Mr Buffett is chairman and CEO.

Perhaps as a tribute to the investing legend, Mr Goh, 26, a civil service economist, is interested in philanthropic causes as well. He is keen to use some of his future income to help expand educational opportunities for all. He tells BT why he thinks sufficient financial literacy and adequate preparation are key to making successful investments.

Q: What got you interested in investing?

A: In 2007, while I was still studying economics at the University of Chicago, I was invited by one of my friends, who had shares in Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and was thus entitled to four tickets, to attend the company's annual shareholders conference, Woodstock for Capitalists.

The experience I had at that particular AGM was amazing. Not only was its scale unlike any other, I also got to meet Warren Buffett up-close. It is a stretch to compare myself to the investment legend, but I told myself then that if I could achieve just 10 per cent of his financial success, I would be a very happy man.

Although I had no financial assets at that time, that experience motivated me to read up on value investing. I started reading classics such as The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, Margin of Safety by Seth Klarman, books on Warren Buffett, as well as past letters to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. After all that preparation, I started to tiptoe into investing proper.

Q: What is your general approach towards investing?

A: Broadly, I take an asset allocation approach to risks and returns, bearing in mind the long-term risk and return profile of each asset class. Given my current asset size, I focus on equities as there are sufficient opportunities for small value investors.

Contrary to popular belief, retail investors do have certain advantages that raise their odds of success. Certain classes of equities, such as small-caps, tend to be under-researched as available positions are too small. Big equity houses seldom buy small caps as they are not liquid enough.

Retail investors can also afford a longer investment horizon of three to five years compared to institutional investors who have to outperform the benchmark or their peers on a year-to-year basis or risk investors' drawdown from their funds. It is also difficult for most institutional investors to take big contrarian bets (usually the best market opportunities) as the downside risk to their careers is very great if the bet goes awry, so herd behaviour takes place.

All this means that there may be pockets of market inefficiency. With due diligence and research, value investors can find good companies to put their money in.

Before I take a position, I will assess if the company is currently under-valued with respect to their intrinsic value, based on fundamentals reflected in the balance sheets. The key is to have an independent investment thesis and understand why the market is under-valuing it. I will then see if the stock discount meets my personal margin of safety. I must also be convinced that there are good catalysts for the stock to eventually recover its intrinsic value before I put my money in it. The value investor's worst enemy is the value trap.

Q: What financial instruments are you currently using?

A: My current portfolio is split into three main sections. For equities, it consists of individual equity stocks, followed by a small amount of ETFs for access into markets restricted only to institutional investors such as China A shares. My bond exposure is mainly via CPF OA and SMA. My personal asset allocation is around 30 per cent for cash, 30 per cent for bonds, and 40 per cent for equities.

Q: Would you consider yourself a fundamentalist or a technician?

A: I definitely consider myself a fundamentalist. That said, I remain open-minded towards trading styles such as momentum trading (which is often associated with technical analysis) as it is backed by empirical research.

I favour fundamental analysis over technical analysis for three reasons. First, my investment horizon is three to five years and this matches the long term approach of value investing. Second, I do not have luxury of time to monitor the market on a regular basis, as most technical analysts do. Third, I do not believe in some of the tools employed in technical analysis. For example, the drawing of trend lines is based on little empirical foundation. Technical analysis offers little informational superiority over other market participants.

For these reasons, I believe it is difficult for technicians to consistently outperform the market and thus favour the fundamental approach to investing. Then again, what doesn't work for me may work for someone else and I can be convinced with good evidence.

Q: What has your worst investment been so far?

A: My worst investment has to be Citibank which suffered huge financial losses during the financial crisis in 2008. I bought it at US$20 per share, and it fell to a new low of US$1.10 at the height of the crisis. I eventually sold it at US$13 per share when it recovered partially. My losses were around US$3,000.

But the experience was a good exercise, and I have come to see the losses incurred as tuition fees. In retrospect, I recognised that I did not exercise due diligence as I had based my investing decision on analyst reports and followed in the footsteps of others who were also buying.

Q: If you could go back in time, what would you change with regard to your investment strategy?

A: I am continually refining and calibrating my investment strategy to make it work better. Being schooled in the principles of value investing also leads to a general tendency to downplay macroeconomic risks. Considering financial trends in the past few years, I recognise that I should have paid more attention to the macroeconomic environment. An example can be seen in foreign exchange risk.

The strong Singapore dollar has led to translation losses that offset investment returns of some of my foreign stocks. Unfortunately, for a small retail investor like myself, there is no easy and cheap way to hedge this exposure and I should have just consolidated my portfolio earlier.

If you're between 17 and 30 with investing experience to share, do get in touch. E-mail btyif@sph.com.sg with 'Starting Young' as the subject heading and include your name, contact details and a short write-up on your investing story

(15-08-2011, 06:21 PM)Musicwhiz Wrote: [ -> ]Business Times - 15 Aug 2011

STARTING YOUNG
Inspired by Warren Buffett


By TAM YU LING

Q: What has your worst investment been so far?

A: My worst investment has to be Citibank which suffered huge financial losses during the financial crisis in 2008. I bought it at US$20 per share, and it fell to a new low of US$1.10 at the height of the crisis. I eventually sold it at US$13 per share when it recovered partially. My losses were around US$3,000.

Reminds me of Tummysick.Angry
(20-06-2011, 11:42 AM)Musicwhiz Wrote: [ -> ]....Haha we seldom get interviewees from Business Times or Straits Times visiting our forum, so it's an honour and pleasure. And yes, very admirable indeed, keep up the good work! Welcome to Value Buddies! Smile

Good to know you saved up a pile to plough into property. I can't comment much since I don't know about Malaysian property, but I do feel Singapore property is too over-priced..... Smile

(20-06-2011, 01:28 PM)kazukirai Wrote: [ -> ]I always wondered that given the amount of comments and debates on articles posted here, whether the personalities involved in the article would end up joining the forum to post their thoughts- Finally it's come true! (Ok, I'm sure there're some others, both personalities and journos who might be lurkers too)

Anyhow, welcome to Value Buddies! And kudos to you on your achievements and your entreprenuerial spirit.

Hi everyone! I'm new here (was referred to this forum by a friend), and its really great to know that there's a community of like-minded value investing buddies (and interviewees) here. This thread is a good archive for the series of "Starting Young" articles too.

I'm 29 years old and my first name is Roy. Big Grin
Hope to be able to learn from everyone here!
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