TTI’s General Portfolio Musings… And Investing Note (The Investing Platform)

I’ve been away for a break (again!) and just returned. There’s a famous Steve Jobs speech that he gave during a commencement ceremony at Stanford:

In his speech, the legend spoke of how every morning, he’d ask if the day is his last, would he be doing what he’s about to do for the day. And if the answer is no for a few days in a row, he’d know he had to change something.

Well. I think I must be doing something right then. Because each time I’d look forward to a family holiday (and that’s rather often), but just 2 days into the holiday I’d be looking forward to coming back and getting back to work.

There’s just no pleasing me.

Anyway, on the investing front, I’ve been really really busy and I think before the year is up, TTI’s portfolio would likely see some major changes.

I haven’t shared about all the work I’ve done of late, some of that is because there’s still more work to be done. Mostly because it’s really quite a hassle to pen it all down coherently.

Anyway, I think I’m gearing SG TTI’s portfolio to be even more concentrated. I’m very confident of my approach and how it’d turn out in the long run.

As 2016 approaches the end, I think it’s fair for me to predict that this year is likely to be a somewhat boring year for me. TTI’s ROI is likely to just barely outperform or barely underperform the STI ETF. Mostly thanks to my position in Valeant.

2017 though, would be the 1st full year since I’ve changed my strategy to involve more concentration, more deep value, more focus on quality rather than quantity in terms of research and I feel justifiably confident that SG TTI would completely trash my benchmark next year. Yes, trash. Not beat. I’ve reasons for this confidence, and that’ll be revealed in subsequent posts.

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from the guys at Investing Note about a blogger campaign. I believe probably some of the other financial bloggers received the same email as well.

To cut a long story short, they’d like to collaborate. Basically, I’ll have to write a post about Investing Note, with a link for readers to sign up. For every successful reader that signs up, I’ll receive $2, up to a maximum of $200.

I declined.

Not because Investing Note ain’t good (this is the 1st time I’ve heard of them tbh), but simply because it seemed to be too much of a hassle for $200.

Plus I’m generally skeptical of anything that sounds like it’d take up my precious time. I have a full time job in the healthcare sector, and on top of that, I decide on capital allocation matters for a private investing holding company. Add on the demands of family life and SG TTI, and my schedule is really hectic to say the least.

So time, is a very valuable resource to me.

Now, this is just my honest, personal opinion, but I think most investors who set out to do research into a company, probably spend too much time looking at the news rather than actual data and formulating their opinions.

This is because there are just simply way too many avenues out there sprouting out news. The news is the same regardless of which site you read it from.

Actual opinion pieces with good substantiation though, are much rarer, simply because they are much much harder to produce. They’re also much harder to read and understand, and humans being humans, we would rather have something that sits easy with our brains.

So I generally limit my online research reading to just NextInsight, as well as occasionally,

Although even the latter seems a bit “stale” recently. Rather quiet and nobody’s really sharing anything that’s of much value to me. I remember it being much more useful and helpful previously.

NextInsight, on the other hand, has consistently proven to be very informative and relevant. I honestly think their tagline “a hub for serious investors”, is very appropriate. So that’s the site that I make a point to at least peer at everyday.

But Shanison (from Investing Note) is a convincing guy, and I decided to at least test out their platform, and boy, was I surprised.

Some background here: Since SG TTI was set up 8 months ago, I’ve received quite a number of emails from guys who are interested or have plans to create an investing platform for people to share ideas or for others to read and follow other investors they respect.

Suffice to say, these guys who contacted me weren’t interested in my “legendary” IT skills. Rather, they were more interested in seeing if I would write for them, and in fact, port over the entire SG TTI to their site.

I think most of these enterprising guys were inspired by SeekingAlpha. They seem to be the most lively and respected, when one talks about global companies. They’re not really relevant for SGX equities though.

Anyhow, Investing Note is, as far as I am aware of, one of the first and most user friendly sites that focuses on the local SGX companies. Essentially they seem to have accomplished what many others are planning to do (from my email discussions), so kudos to Shanison and team.

Since I have declined to receive any remuneration from them whatsoever, I guess that means I can be as blatantly frank as I want in my review.

I can see why the platform is gaining traction so quickly. It’s user friendly, and there’s already an active community there discussing…. just about anything I think.

This is very important, as the main essence behind such investing idea platforms, is the community. Kinda like Facebook. (even though I don’t have Facebook…)

I also like how the team behind Investing Note are proactive, and they take feedback about their site very seriously. There’s a small icon at the bottom left where one can write your feedback, and unlike most feedback avenues whereby nothing gets done, here they are serious about receiving feedback and improving.

As an investor, the charts and data they’ve compiled are also updated and easy to navigate and use. Trust me, when I say it’s user friendly, it means ANYONE will think it’s user friendly. I’m not the most tech savvy of guys.

They even have simple explanations for some of the financial metrics listed, so if you’re a newbie just starting out in investing, that’d be rather helpful.

Those are the positives.

Now the negatives. I can only think of 1 actually. But it is quite a big one, IMO.

Most of the posts/comments/info that I can find on Investing Note, seem to be either just baseless opinions, or are TA in nature. And when I say most, I mean by far. Like… 90% maybe.

For example, the site has a pretty cool feature whereby anyone can give an “estimation” on a particular company. So for example, I can say… “Hock Lian Seng target price of $0.40 within a time frame of the next 6 months.”

The problem is, most of these estimations look like they’re just given randomly by some guy sitting behind the screen with scant thought. No different from horse punting.

No, actually, horse punting may actually require more research cos you’d need to look at the fitness of the horse, the jockey track record etc.

So someone would give an “estimation”, and if it succeeds, hooray, it looks good on my track record. If it fails, nvm, let me give another.

Not very useful, ain’t it.

For example, I saw an estimation “Company XYZ, to hit target price of $0.26 in 1 month.” Current price… $0.245.

(The figures are not exact but it’s something like that)

I actually giggled a little when I saw that. Seriously. I’m not sure how useful something like that really is to anyone reading it.

And worse still. If one is just taking these estimations seriously and investing speculating based on these… well. Please don’t do that.

Unless you’re extremely wealthy. Then please do that. We need to spread some of the wealth around.

Anyhow, that’s my honest verdict. The hardware part is fantastic actually. Would’ve loved to get more intelligent discourse from the site. And in all fairness, that may very well be the case in time to come, if they can attract more investors to go on board.

I’ll be checking in periodically now that I’ve an account there. For existing users of Investing Note, SG TTI’s posts will be “crawled onto the site” according to them.

My username is “ThumbTackInvestor” if you’d like to drop in and say hi.

Alright, so this is the end of my simple, lazy, quick post/update.

My next post though, is going to be very, very entertaining (I promise). It’ll be the most image intensive, it’ll definitely be unique and well, I can already imagine the fun I’m going to have writing about that. 

Stay tuned.

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