Month: October 2019

Moment Of Silence Please.

I’ve previously written several times about the absurdity of Beyond Meat’s valuations, and what the market thinks the company would do.

To Infinity & Beyond? Nah!

I’ve also been shorting BYND by selling naked calls on it for the past several months, and BYND has been extremely well behaved, going in an almost linear fashion downwards. I’ve answered some queries on shorting BYND, and have also put up some of my short options (the ones that haven’t expired then):

+1,680% In 4 Years!

Yet, tonight, it all comes to a head.

BYND’s top shareholders and insider’s shares lock-up expires after 6mths post-IPO, and they are freely traded tonight.

Finally, after months of extremely, totally, mind-blowingly ridiculous over-valuation, BYND has now tanked to being just ridiculously over valued.

906) tanking BYND.jpg

A 20% drop in a single day is no joke… but BYND has been dropping every day for the past 2 months prior to today’s 20% drop.

With it, I’ve locked in a very nice $20k USD gain on my direct short position, which was entered into just last Friday by selling some in-the-money calls:

905) BYND shorts 29102019.jpg

Collecting a $20k USD profit over a literal 1 weekend, makes me a happy man.

Funny thing is, I got a little lucky here.

Thing is, BYND timed it’s earnings release to be yesterday (Monday) after trading hours. Exactly in time for the lock up expiry today (Tuesday)

Come on, that ain’t a coincidence is it, Ethan?!

I was expecting BYND to report stellar results. This was my comment a month ago, in response to a query in IN:

907) BYND short comment

So on Monday night, there I was, sitting in front of my lappie, weighing the pros and cons of keeping my direct short position.

On the 1 hand, I knew the Monday’s results would be good, which could possibly be a huge downer for my short position.

On the other hand, Tuesday’s the lock up expiry, and I expected that to be a strong negative for the share price, since I’m pretty sure the something like 1000% gain in the share price since IPO was largely caused by a series of short squeezes due to liquidity issues.

It was honestly a tough call.

1 strong factor on each side. I could’ve locked in a $3k USD profit if I had covered on Monday, which would’ve still been a pretty good piece of shorting business to do for a single day.

In the end, since I am on holiday currently and hit with a bout of food poisoning, I decided to screw the thinking after 30mins of pondering, and go to bed early instead.

When in doubt, take a deep breath and do nothing right?

I really had no strength to do too much logical thinking anyway.

Food poisoning turned out to be a blessing in disguise cos I was paid an additional $17k USD or so for sleeping early and waiting just 1 more day.

Probably the other “lesson” to be gleaned here is that betting on “good results” to lead to an immediate share price rise is really quite simplistic, level 1 thinking.

Cos BYND really did report very good results.

Yet the share price tanked 20%. (I covered at opening bell when it tanked >20% even)

No kidding about the good results part:

913) BYND EPS beat.jpg

Beat revenue estimates, beat earnings estimate, 1st ever profitable quarter, and even raised forward revenue guidance for full year.

I mean, I dunno how much better can the results get. Beating every metric you can think of.

Yet it tanked 20% tonight.

I wonder how many longs saw the results, and felt optimistic and happy, hoping for a reprieve from a 2 months constant drop… only to be hit in the gutter by a sucker punch.

Hell no, it’s not the bottom yet.

Too simplistic, level 1 thinking, my friends.

What’s next?

CEO Ethan has publicly reassured that he’s “not touching his shares after lock up expiry”

Yet, he also can’t say the same for employees or institutional shareholders.

Also, he and other insiders sold out in a secondary offering at USD 160 a few months ago, so that says a lot too.

I’ve shorted BYND by rolling over far OTM calls over the past 2-3 months, collecting about $60k USD in premiums.

I’ve previously put in 4 short estimates on BYND, all of which have hit, a 5th and final one, would also very likely hit within this week:

908) BYND est 1.jpg

909) BYND est 2.jpg

910) BYND est 3.jpg

911) BYND est 4.jpg

912) BYND est 5.jpg

I’ve covered my direct shorts, and intend to let my short calls expire uneventfully.

Unless eating their ersatz meat starts curing cancer, it’s quite impossible for the calls to get exercised. (We’re talking about an almost 100% rise from the current share price for the calls to get exercised. Within the next 8 days!) (heh, yep. The impossible pun is intended)

I’ve looked at BYND again, and finally, the options thread is starting to look logical.

Which is bad news for me cos there’s nothing much for me to exploit anymore.

The calls that I want to sell are too cheap to be worth allocating capital into, and suddenly everyone has turned negative on the company.

Will the share price tank further?

It could jolly well drop another 50% from here!

Yet, I prefer not to squeeze water from rocks.

Leave the party early.

Leave something on the table. Always.

So as of now, I’m done with BYND. Not much meat in shorting from here. haha, get it?

A total profit of about $80k USD isn’t too shabby for 4 months.

Perhaps, the best way to illustrate the craziness and the hype, is this:

914) Thomas George.jpg

Credits to @metalcorn, who also anyway, candidly admitted that he stole this from someone’s twitter feed.

This image, is sooooooo not going to age well for Thomas George.

I dunno how can anybody predict, to such a level of certainty, what the share price would be like almost a decade from now. Might as well predict what are the lottery numbers next week.

Moment of silence please, for BYND.

On a different note, since I previously briefly wrote about FutureLand, I thought I’d close the loop by updating that as of today, I’ve taken profit fully on my position:

914) FutureLand.jpg

Having sold my last remaining 60,000 shares today at HKD 8.38, I currently hold no more shares.

915) FutureLand.jpg

And already, the markets are making me look stupid by continuing to assign every higher share prices for FutureLand right after I sold.

Ah well, can’t complain here.

With the latest successful investments and the conclusions of these positions, I think I’ve a shot at further increasing my ROI from the last update:

+1,680% In 4 Years!

Ending 2019 with a ROI exceeding 40% would be really nice, so let’s see in 2 mths’ time.



+1,680% In 4 Years!

No, silly. That’s not my performance. I wish.

As my posts get far and infrequent, each would naturally be a mish mash of several stuff that’s unrelated. So, of course, I’d choose the 1 with the most attention grabbing headline. It’s not scammish though… I’m featuring a friend’s performance.

More on that later…

@Homan (From the comments section)

Here’s the screenshot that I couldn’t attach to the comments section then. So I’m attaching them here for you:

892) bynd CALLS.jpg

So yea, pretty far OTM. All obviously expired now. (In fact, I could’ve doubled my premiums earned if I was a tad more adventurous and sold nearer to the money options, but I prefer to sleep better.)

At the point of typing this, the following are the current outstanding options. I’ve rolled over several, and unless a mother-of-all miracle happens, I’d be taking these off the “liabilities” column of my “balance sheet” in a fortnight. There are now considerably less options, cos the lock up expiry is fast approaching, and the markets know what I know, so yea, the premiums aren’t fantastic, and I’m not that keen on picking up tiny pennies, so it’s a no-go if the premiums aren’t worth the risk. (Although at this point, I think the risk is pretty negligible). Anyhow, my thesis in BYND has played out beautifully, and provided a nice fat cashflow every week for the past 8 weeks or so.

893) BYND oct12.jpg

2019 YTD Performance

Hmmm, I’m kinda in 2 minds about whether to write about this, since the last report was only a mth ago (To Infinity & Beyond? Nah!) and I don’t really like to spend so much time tracking. But since IB does up all these reports nicely, so I’d just mostly cut and paste here.

SG Markets

Total portfolio value in SG markets is SGD 243,092

Comprising mostly stakes in Dutech, Q&M and Venture Corp, I haven’t done any work here aside from some cursory tracking.


Again, nothing much to talk about here, the bond portfolio is approximately SGD 550,000.  It’d be another 1-2 yrs before the fruits ripen here. I’m possibly being too conservative here, and this portion might balloon when they are due in a couple of years, depending on the market conditions.

US / Global Markets

894) IB ROI.jpg

I wouldn’t mind ending 2019 with a 34.95% return.

(Assuming S&P stays at a +20% return, thereabouts)

NAV dipped a little since the last report (To Infinity & Beyond? Nah!) cos I withdrew a lump sum of $50k SGD to stuff into my property fund. I’ve been doing lots of work here, and feel that I can now be a better property agent than most other agents out there. LOL. Maybe I’d write about it in another post.

Using USD-SGD of 1.37, total portfolio value is now SGD 2,196,369

That’s a slight dip from the last report 1mth ago, mostly due to the cash withdrawal of about $50k SGD, which I’ve taken out of the investing portfolio and channeled into the property fund instead.

Global portfolio portion is pretty much the same as last month, nothing too much has changed. Trade wars on, trade wars off, whatever. Doesn’t quite affect what I do too much actually. More volatility is good for me actually, IMO. If there’s no volatility, that means there’s no uncertainty, and if there’s no uncertainty, that means there’s little mispricing to take advantage of.

HKEx listed Future Land, which has since become 1 of my core positions, has been recovering steadily:

895) Future Land.jpg

Since the last post, I’ve gone into tracking their various land banks and developments, some partially completed, some ready for sale. This is no mean feat as there are like 27 PAGES worth of listed projects at various stages within its AR!

I’ve zoomed into those that are partially or wholly in the sale phases, the main reason being that I’m concerned about being blindsided by any sudden write downs in valuation.

Now, although Future Land is HK listed, it has ZERO holdings or developments in HK. Most of their projects are in the tier 2 or tier 3 cities in China. As of now, most of the completed projects are in Chong qing. I’m confident that if anything, there should be revaluation GAINS instead, as Chong qing’s residential index has risen substantially when comparing y-o-y, esp in the 1H of 2019. Since June though, the market has cooled considerably, as the local governments are mandated to tame runaway prices and new local measures have been put in place.

Some substantiation here on Chong qing’s residential property prices:

(Note that the article is written in April this year)

Although we are talking about non-cash items here, I think in the short to mid term, the earnings will drive the news and the share price, so it’s key that I don’t get caught out by suddenly revaluation changes. (unless they are positive ones!)

Although my estimate is up 17% currently, I’m still looking to add to my substantial stake on any dips. This may not happen though, as the markets are probably going to react positively to the Trump partial trade deal on Monday, so prices may run away. Anyway, my current stake is enough to move the needle.

On a different note, I’ve sometimes been asked about the specific “inefficiencies” in the options markets. I’ve screenshotted 1 a couple of weeks ago, so let me illustrate a very simple to understand, straightforward example here. It’s a very simplistic example, and in all likelihood, there are other factors at play, but yea, this should be easy for readers to comprehend:

896) STMP options inefficiency.jpg

This is the options chain for STMP a couple of weeks back. (in which I hold a moderate position, and have previously put up an estimate for)

903) STMP.jpg

At the time of the screenshot, the share price was around $73.8 or so, as we can see in the chain.

The further out the calls (calls with strike prices further from the current share price then), would in theory, be less likely to be exercised than the nearer calls, and hence, should IN THEORY, command a lower premium right?

Yet as we can see in the option chain above, the bid prices for the $76.50 option are much HIGHER than the other options below them (the $76, $75.5, $75 etc)…

If we examine further down the option chain, at various intervals, there are sometimes higher bid prices for further out options, and correspondingly, narrower spreads.

They’re mostly just a reflection of the demand for these option contracts at these strike prices. Simple as that. It may not necessarily be logical.

I’ve also observed on several occasions, that options with strike prices that are whole numbers, tend to have greater liquidity than those with odd numbers or not whole ones. Like for eg, $80 contracts would be more “popular” than say, $81.50.

Which doesn’t make sense mathematically to a robot, but we are humans and humans have a preference for nice round numbers yea?

So there we go. That’s inefficiency right there, as a result of human bias and preferences.

Real Estate

Looking back at some old posts, I’ve been accumulating a property fund for over 2 years now.

TTI’s Portfolio Updates – End July 2019 + The Thanos Of Global Macro Funds Is Coming Back!

TTI’s Portfolio Performance – May 2019 + Avenue Therapeutics Updates

Right now, the property fund has about SGD 600,000 worth of liquidity. 

Which I realize, isn’t too much more than what I had in the fund back in May 2019.

So somewhere along the lines, I took out some funds, probably to invest in the US markets. Which is why now, I took out some funds and re-inflated the property fund back to around $600k.

Despite hunting for deals for over 2 years, they are really hard to come by. The 1 time I came across a REAL firesale deal, it got snapped up within a week and I failed to capitalize cos of a lack of liquidity.

If there’s a real firesale, you can’t then go to the bank to get pre-approval and all that. Speed and financial firepower are of essence. These are the real deals that I’m looking for, and I’m incredibly patient here.

At various points, I’ve been tempted, and still am, to put this $600k ++ to work harder in the financial markets. Imagine giving up a simple 5% additional yield on this $600k… That’s an additional $30k every year.

Not a game changing number, but not really negligible either.

Yet, I prefer to forego this, and keep my gunpowder dry, cos of my previous experience (I prob wrote about it somewhere in a long forgotten post)

Most of the property fund is kept in FSMOne’s MMF, which gives me a low-no risk kinda return. I don’t know how much. Probably around 1-1.5% I think.

I used to just keep everything in my UOB account, but the large number attracts “relationship managers” who keep cold calling me, and it’s super irritating. UOB’s RMs have a high attrition rate, and I get a letter followed by a determined caller every few months, often asking to “catch up over coffee” so that they can “serve my needs” and you know, all that lingo.

Truth is… I’ve only really needed their services ONCE.

And they didn’t come through for me.

Yep, once, for the very 1st time, I gave my faceless RM a call. I remember clearly, it’s right after meeting CEO Tung of Geo Energy. I called my RM while sitting in my car cos I was just so excited about spotting a good opportunity.

Their Jan 2018 maturing notes were trading at a crazy YTM yield then, and I could’ve easily raked in a 60% ROI for a BBB rated bond that was maturing within less than a year! (Edit: an earlier post erroneously wrote that the bonds were maturing in Jan 2019)

After talking to Tung, I realized that there’s certainly mispricing here cos the company certainly had enough funds to redeem the notes. When 1 of the company’s own directors bought 1 (or was it 2?) of the bonds (they were $250k per pop), I figured that it’s pretty safe. I mean, surely the director isn’t going to throw away $250k of his own money if he wasn’t sure the company could redeem them in 9 months.

I asked Tung why didn’t the company buy back their own bonds then, since they were about to mature within less than a year, and were trading at such a deep discount. His reply was that they couldn’t buy it efficiently in the open market. There was too little liquidity, and nobody was selling. I checked, and true enough, nobody’s selling on the bond markets.

To illustrate his point, Tung pointed to a lady in a bright red dress, who was seated just beside us as we were chatting, and said “why don’t u ask her if she wants to sell? She’s holding a lot of the bonds!”

And the lady just looked at us and smiled dryly without saying a word.

But since their own director could buy 1 of the bonds on the open market, and since UOB was the underwriter for the bonds then, I thought to ask my RM if he could help me or at least refer me to someone who could sell me 1.

The phone call lasted all of 3 mins.

When the RM realized that I’m not asking about some financial product that he could sell me, man, the cursory tone was emanating across the call. He just wasn’t interested to even continue the conversation. He wasn’t even interested to TRY.

“This 1 ah, I not sure. You ask your broker better la ok.”

So there.

So much for “finding out how he could be of service over coffee”.

I don’t know what’s the use of a “premium account” with UOB. I didn’t ask for it. They just upgraded my account automatically when they realized there’s a high 6 digits sitting in it doing nothing for years, and not buying their financial products.

As I’ve found out, I certainly don’t need the “personalized relationship manager”, and since I hardly physically go to the bank, I don’t need a priority queue either.

It’s probably just for them to classify and figure out who amongst their clients, are best targets to push more products to.

Alright, let me get to the main course now.

Some weeks back, I received an email from a fellow investor that I’ve on occasion, spoken to on an investing public forum:

897) vincent wong email.jpg

I readily agreed to meet up (and it’s not often that I do), cos Vincent’s quite an interesting character with 1 helluva track record (that’s verifiable. Not some junk make believe, con job return that anyone online can generate)

Here, check out Vincent’s track record:


899) vincent wong YTD.png

Since inception (I dunno when that is, I think sometime in 2016):

898 )vincent wong returns

Normally, I’d view someone hawking such figures, with a healthy dose of skepticism.

But Vincent readily discusses his ideas, and posts about his positions in real time. (or almost real time.)

Plus it’s not just about posting about entries and exits or whatever.

It’s the strength of his ideas.

And I’ve a hack of an ability to sieve out the real masters from the fake dudes.

We met up and spent almost 5 hours discussing both our positions and ideas, until I had to excuse myself abruptly as I was very much late for another appointment.

I’d say the best way to describe his style, is that of the old school value investing, but with a very heavy touch of realism and practicality. Throw in a big chunk of industry knowledge and qualitative analysis to the usual quantitative touches.

In that aspect, we have quite a fair bit of similarities here. Main difference being that Vincent is 100% in the HK and Chinese markets only, whereas I’m mostly in the US markets.

This doesn’t mean that we see eye to eye on everything.

For example, Vincent told me straight up, no holds barred, that he wouldn’t short BYND. But even then, the reason he gave is really unique, and this is the 1st time I’m hearing someone describe it as such.

Vincent thinks that there are now many rich family offices and part of their mandate is to allocate funds into companies that have a “social impact”. And since there are very few companies that can fulfil this criteria, there’d always be excessive funds looking to park themselves into such companies. Like BYND. Supply and demand.

I’ve never heard of such a reason given with regard to BYND. But yea, it perfectly illustrates what I mean.

Value investing, but with a healthy touch of realism and practicality. 

I wouldn’t say I totally disagree with him, which is why my options have a wide moat, instead of trying to sell close to the money options, but my reasons are certainly different from his.

At least we both can agree that there’re no fundamentals to talk about here.

Looking at the performance the past 2 months, and esp the past week though, I’d have to claim victory here. hahaha! yay.

I’d add a disclaimer here. Although Vincent knows beforehand that I’d be writing about him in this post, he has no idea as to what are the contents, and neither am I running the content through him prior to publishing this. Read: This is my honest, un-edited opinion. (yes, of course I gotta ask for permission to talk about our discussion first. It’s basic courtesy.)

We also discussed, at length and in detail, about Ping An Good Doctor, and Vincent’s ideas are pretty interesting. They mostly focus around finding industry leaders (quality companies), for which, he is willing to pay a reasonable price, or even a slight premium.

Since our discussion a mere week or so ago, Ping An GD’s share price has popped over 10% or so, and unfortunately, neither of us initiated a position.

Good ideas will always exist though, so I’m excited to see what other stuff he has up his sleeve.

Vincent is currently working as a cook (Yes. A cook.), while studying accounting part-time. I’ve blocked out his email address above, but anyone who wants to have it, can either drop me a mail directly, or ask him yourself if you are on InvestingNote.

I’d end this post by giving Vincent some coverage here.

This is an old post that he wrote, that I really liked a lot. Prob the best investing philosophy stuff I’ve read in IN.

I don’t know if he plagiarized it from elsewhere or he came up with it himself, but personally, I think there’s a lot of insights to be gleaned from every line.

The fact that it has “14 likes” whereas some other useless junk stuff talking about nonsense lines and intersections or counterparty stuff can have like a 100 likes tells me I’m in rarified company.

Which is a good thing.

For me, that is.

898) vincent wong 1.jpg

899) vincent wong 2.jpg

900) vincent wong 3.jpg

901) vincent wong 4.jpg