Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fund Awards

Read in the newspaper on the 25th Feb 2009 about the Edge-Lipper Singapore Fund awards for the best in the Fund Management industry. Not a word from the reporter mentioned about the performance of these funds to avoid embarrassing the award recipients, I suspect they won for losing the least money in the different categories. 2008 was really a lousy year.

The top-performing equity funds over a 10-year period, UOB United International Growth Fund had a annualised return of only 1.19% a year! If you happen to buy into the Fund last year, I think you would have lose a bomb as well. The absolute average performance of CPFIS-included funds lose an average of 38.12% in 2008. Its better off for investor to put their money into CPF Board that guaranteed 2.5 to 4% interest rates, risk free. Why so stupid to put your money with some goondos that most likely will lose money on your behalf and still get paid?

Can't imagine how the worst have performed.

I don't trust any of these Fund managers as I am a victim too in the past investing in a few funds that never see daylight the moment I put my money down, some losing big time. Those relationship managers selling the Funds are really sweet talker, they have target to meet and their bonuses depend on how well they convinced the gullible to invest.

It's a big gamble to buy into any of these Funds or Unit Trust that give you a false sense of security, such as being managed by professionals and a diversified portfolio. I was frequently told to hold these toxic investments for long term return and some even asked me to average down as it was cheap, but they simply got cheaper until I cut my losses.

As a very disciplined futures trader that never hesitate to cut my losses, I felt really stupid in some of my investments. I am shy to admit my mistakes too especially the trust in others to manage my money including few friends that lose money big time in some business ventures.

It's really difficult to find another Warren Buffett or George Soros who have consistently make money for their investors.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


"There has never been, and there will never be, an easy way to make money. It requires discipline, knowledge, experience, hard work and plain common sense" by Texan Tycoon Allen Stanford who misled investors in a fraud whose total value reaches US$ 8 billion.

We always have to be very careful with sweet talking people, those that give promises without consideration and those that constantly boast about their abilities, capabilities and self worth. Once you let your guard down, it will be easy meat for these unscrupulous people.

Profit to date is S$18,024.00.

The stock market worldwide weaken further despite President Obama's inking the Stimulus Plan. How low can we go? There is no confidence in the market at all, this should be the best time to pick up good quality, well managed stocks.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

GIC's Performance

The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) suffered an investment loss of between S$45 billion to S$50 billion last year, two unnamed sources told Dow Jones Newswires yesterday.

Temasek Holdings, Singapore's second sovereign wealth fund, saw its investment portfolio fall by S$58 billion- in the eight months to November 2008.

Together the paper losses add up to more than S$100 billion as they are not going to sell down any of its major investments. They'll wait until they recover. It's so simple, just sit on it and ride it out, time will heal all wounds, prices will recover sooner or later.

The major lesson that we learn here is that we simply cannot afford to be complacent during the good time, assets build up over the years can go down the drain faster than we would have expected.

So, how competent are the fund managers in these 2 organisations? I don't have the answer.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Went for an operation on Friday to remove the tonsils, laser the inner nose and tied a string inside the tongue to hold it back from blocking the airway occasionally while sleeping. Including consultation fees the total cost is more than S$22,000 done in Singapore's Mt Elizabeth Hospital.

My wife went to fetch me on Saturday morning and have to queue for a long time to find a parking lot. Despite the impending recession, most private hospitals and doctors are still enjoying a jolly good time. It's better to exercise and have a healthy lifestyle, getting sick is definitely a costly affair.

Our account suffered some losses and our profit is down to S$12,340.00. Taking a hit is part of trading, it's a tough and tiring job adjusting to the ever changing market condition and at the same time remaining constantly motivated.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Temasek's Performance

Temasek Holdings' net portfolio value dropped 31% between March 31 and Nov 30 last year, from S$185 billion to 127 billion, Senior Minister of State for Finance Lim Hwee Hua revealed in Parliament yesterday.

Fund managers yesterday called Temasek's performance "respectable" because it was less than the 44% decline in the MSCI Singapore Index and the 45% decline in the MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index. What a Joke!

I will be ashamed of such performance, no excuses, mistakes after mistakes were made acquiring the various foreign assets that tank. These highly paid Fund managers were the best in the industry, they should be made answerable to the billions lost on paper. Their timing was horrible! Temasek would have save at least a couple of billions to help spur the local economy.

All of us make mistakes and we have to admit the mistake instead of giving lame excuses such as expected returns over a 20-year horizon, and not the actual year-to-year returns. It will take many years just for Temasek to beak even not to mention about returns. What about the opportunity cost?

I can understand the time horizon for Temasek's investment, probably over many years, but buying into a fast falling market and underestimate the extend of the fallout is unacceptable for an organisation with all the brilliant people and resources available.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I was cautious for the week with no idea of where the market is heading. Many of my trader friends complained about the difficult trading condition recently, obviously not making the money they have been used to during the past few months of market volatility.

Market is consolidating at these levels in a narrow range with the leaders of the various countries rolling out different rescue packages to salvage the deteriorating economies. It's indeed scary to be bombarded with bad news one after another everyday, it make traders nervous to go long and at the same time fearing to short at such low levels.

Profit to date is S$16,035.00

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Stepping Down

After more than 6 years at the helm of Temasek Holdings, Ms Ho Ching is stepping down as CEO. Chairman S. Dhanabalan said he was instrumental in bringing in Ho Ching purely on the basis of merit and not her relationship with anyone. Of course it's hard to believe since she is the wife of the Prime Minister.

Ho Ching said that Temasek have a strong balance sheet built up over the years. No doubt about it, I can only guess that they were built up with local assets and owning companies that were mostly Monopoly in nature. But their foreign investment stink!

Despite Temasek having the brightest scholars and the best fund managers, they have performed poorly in spite of the connections and information available to them. There is no doubt that managing well over S$100 billion is no easy meat but with all the resources available to them, it's rather disappointing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Risk Trading

A trader friend came to our room yesterday afternoon and announced that he had lost about US40,000.00 for the day. I would consider him a big trader, scalping up to 100 lots of open Nikkei position when he is down on his luck. This is one of the major mistake most traders make, trading bigger position to recover the initial losses and end up burning a big hole in their pocket.

Should I consider him a good trader? He has been consistently making few thousand US a day and once in a blue moon he will get caught in some lousy position and start averaging on the bad trades. There were of course bigger losses in the past but at least he cut his losses at the end of the day no matter how painful.

What I admire most is his guts to trade such huge size, utilizing the maximum margin available in his account. The risk he took is not what a trader should take. Despite the huge losses, this trader has the ability to bounce back numerous time with his confidence still intact.