Dec 23, 2014

My year

The stock-picking strategy had been a great way to ride the post-coup rally in the SET this year. Despite the eventful year, the SET is still up about 16% YTD, not too shabby. The STI is somewhere... I have no idea. I have not kept track of the STI for a long time, only some individual stocks.

I am being proactive this year by making myself stop all activity early, curb that itchy-hand habit and be happy with what I have achieved this year. I am almost fully vested in my baht holdings, while I have been building up my SGD cash.

My regrets this year are TICON, SPCG and Sheng Siong. These are companies that I have prepared my homework for, and for some reason I just passed them over for others.

Several themes materialized throughout the year and I foresee myself to be heavily involved in sectors like renewable energy, telecommunications and food next year. I am also very concerned about the increasing role that China is taking in Thailand. It is not hard to get suspicious when the PRC starts touting the safety and quality of their rail systems. I very much doubt there will be anyone really getting onto the high speed rail on a holiday. It seems likelier that the true purpose is for freight.

Another potential theme capable of creating volatility and opportunity (or misfortune), are rumors. Rumor-mongers are only getting warmed up now and I suspect more activity to come next year. My biggest worry is not about oil prices, but rather, it is to miss the action when it happens.


Also in May this year, my decision to use a Thai broker as compared to a SG broker that offers SET access turned out well, because I am paying only about 0.1688% now, with faster trade execution, no custody fees, T+3 settlement. Thinking back, it was really ridiculous when I sold shares and the money reaches me in a week or longer. Although I do not rely on brokerage research material, Kasikorn is also pretty comprehensive in this aspect, as compared to CIMB or UOB. For UOB, I sometimes receive email newsletters covering regional news, whereas for Thailand they only have a single word, like Transportation, or Telecoms! I do not use the UOB broker based in Thailand so I cannot speak for them, but I wonder if they are really serious about their jobs.



Feuerzangenbowle
Great roasts at Augustiner Brau





















Exactly 1 year ago, I was in Munich for the first time. Germany is by far the European country that I enjoyed the most. It has only been slightly over 2 months that I have returned back to Singapore, but I still miss living abroad. I also miss that feeling of being free and roaming all over Europe as a student. I will never replicate that feeling when I return in future, although I suspect I can still get a student price even when I reach 30! There are so many things I miss, but I live in the present and I need to look to the future...



Dec 15, 2014

Panic is a wonderful, double-edged sword


Look at that! All the companies on my Thai watchlist were like this today. I wonder how many heart attacks it caused.

Unfortunately I was unable to watch the market during the day due to work and saw this only now. There were plenty of good companies on sale at very cheap prices today, for those who were fortunate to get them.

Looking forward to tomorrow!

Dec 12, 2014

My week

1. Sold TNDT on 8/12/14. I have several reasons to be long but sometimes I make irrational decisions and this is one of them. I had a very comfortable safety margin due to the share price rocketing a few months ago but I also have a bad feeling about their coal plant venture into Myanmar. It does seem unrealistic to expect a poorer neighbour to house your dirty energy plant which would only feed you. 

These are also my last shares bought using the local CIMB brokerage. I had long wanted to cash out and keep all Thai-related share activity on my Thai broker due to better comms and faster access. TNDT was my baby, my one decent chance at hitting a double bagger in less than 6 months. But I'll be back at the right price, on my terms. 


TNDT has been on a downtrend and while watching it on Monday, it did not seem to be able to break out. I managed to get a decent price for the day because I was able to watch prices, which brings me to number 2.


2. I had lunch with my Dad on a weekday. It was not a long lunch but I didnt have the opportunity for this in a very long while so I am happy. This was made possible due to a very sudden "urgent leave" that is related to number 3.

3. As investors, or rather, people who take an interest in the affairs of companies for the sole purpose of monetary gain, we look at all sorts of data, then form an opinion on whether you think this company/industry will do well or flop, perhaps in the words of Carson Block (the equity is worth zero!).

Do you have a tendency to apply this to your day job, working as a so-and-so in the so-and-so industry? Because I did, and my opinion is not positive. That scares me, and makes me feel the urgent need to review my career options and preparation.

4. I am down. With the flu, fever and sore throat. It is ironic how I was fine the whole year in the UK, with a colder climate and dirty air. Yes, the air is really dirty, just look at the color after a swab of your nostrils!

5.


I watched this. Ouch! We are getting further away from 1600 , in the wrong direction! 

Kasikorn research has an interesting presentation on the market going forward. While they have identified some trends/catalysts that are agreeable, I think I have better names than the ones suggested.