Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Shift in focus of this Blog

This blog is about 4.5 years old. Some stats:

  • 860,000 page views, about 15,000 per month
  • 1,097 blog posts, from "copy cat" articles with hardly any new content to heavy researched articles costing hours (sometimes days) of work
  • 1,127 comments (after deleting the usual ads and rubbish/insulting comments), often interesting ones

Certainly not bad at all, much better than I would ever have imagined.

But ..... a blog about Corporate Governance issues is often quite negative because of its nature.

And, may be more worrisome, the effect that this blog had on regulatory enforcement is about zero, I reckon. I am not aware of a single case where this blog actually made a noticeable difference.

That is not exactly unexpected in the Malaysian context, where enforcement is notoriously weak (and basically non-existent when VIPs and VVIPs are involved, as the 1MDB saga makes plainly clear) and given the "shoot the messenger" culture. But it is still frustrating.

Therefore, I have decided to shift focus and to start highlighting some of my investment ideas, something that I have avoided so far in this blog.

Areas of interest:

  • Under-researched small caps and mid cap companies, focused, well managed, dividend paying, high ROE, no or little borrowing
  • However, I will sprinkle large cap companies in between, I do see quite a few with interesting value
  • "Special cases", like well managed Closed-End Funds with low management fees trading at a discount to its NAV, REITs, etc.
  • Countries of interest: Hong Kong, US, Singapore, Malaysia (probably in that order) plus the rest of the world
  • Sometimes it will involve a whole industry or country/region
  • In general: more about (deep) value investing: articles, magazines, books and fund managers

However, I would like to "warn" the reader:

  • Despite being an active share investor for more than two decades and having had good/excellent investment returns, I am not a licensed financial adviser, nor do I have any intention whatsoever to become one. In other words, there won't be "hard" buy/sell recommendations, more sharing of ideas highlighting the positive aspects but also the risks involved
  • Not surprisingly, I will have a position in each company that I will write about; I will leave it to the reader if this falls under "putting my money where my mouth is" or "conflict of interest"; owning shares in the company will bias my views, I am aware of that
  • I might or might not inform the reader when I sell shares in the company, or buy more
  • The reader should always do their own homework and take their own decisions

Why do I do this, since I do not earn any revenue from this blog?

First of all it forces me to write my thoughts down in public, which is in itself a healthy exercise.

Secondly, I often have received good investment tips from others, also I have been rather lucky in live, so this is part of "paying back".

The danger: some of the ideas I will share might perform poorly, I am actually sure that not all will perform good. I don't know a single good fund manager who has not had his/her share of "duds", especially investing in the small and midcap area.

Besides doing their own homework I do expect readers to spread their risk by buying a basket of shares (six to ten should be ok, if spread out over different industries and/or countries).

Also, having survived the 1997/98 crisis (having invested for instance in shares like Public Finance (foreign) and watching them go down from RM 4 to below RM 1), I strongly recommend readers to use zero leverage. There is simply no need to use leverage, it just takes somewhat more time to get good results, while avoiding losing it all. Only two years later Public Finance was back to around RM 7, while having paid good dividends in the mean time (somewhat later it was merged into Public Bank, at a good price). Even a low leverage of say 25% would have bankrupted me in that crisis.

This blog will still report from time to time about CG issues, especially updates on older cases, but less so.

I hope the readers like the new focus of this blog.

Wishing all readers a joyous and blessed Hari Raya AidilFitri.


  1. As a novice investor i had enjoyed reading many of your well researched articles, good work and Thanks!

  2. Congratulations Mr Wind.

    The title is a misnomer with the new direction of your well- written and intelligent blog.

  3. Highly recommended move. However i do hope that you continue to expose those unscupulous companies in Malaysia. I strongly believe the theory that investing is not about finding the right company but equally important is to avoid those hanky panky companies

  4. Thanks Jack, agree with you.

  5. Appreciate the hard work all along...ya ..since CG enforcement is losing battle here,focus on capital gain from good company AND those good management with integrity,thus indirectly avoiding the bad hats, let them rot...
    keep it up...TQVM

  6. Way to go! You are already doing that all along, remove the questionable ones, and work on the balance.