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Investment Notes

The product is strong for a few reasons. It’s a 100 year-old formula that works, we sell 50 million units a year – and 50 million people in more than 100 countries worldwide can’t be wrong. Sixty per cent of the product is made from active ingredients – it’s not all wax and petroleum. That’s why a jar last between six and 10 months, as only a little is needed each time.

http://www.mumbrella.asia/2015/04/the-thinking-behind-the-asian-global-brand-that-works-where-it-hurts/

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Investment Notes

…he likes companies that he has a reasonable idea of how they might look in five years. …”Do we really want to be in partnership with this person and count on them to behave well in the future? “That stops a fair number of deals…

If we talked our book, he says, “we would say pessimistic things about all four of the biggest holdings we have” because all four are repurchasing their shares at the moment…“If people weren’t often so wrong, we wouldn’t be so rich.”

When it comes to expensive stock prices, he says the level of interest rates going forward is what will shape his view on how attractive stocks are…

Cumulative results have the money invested in the S&P up more than 63%. The hedge funds are up 19.6%…“the hedge funds haven’t done badly.” They’ve been collecting their 2-and-20 in fees…“The investors in the hedge fund have paid a pretty big price,”…

When you get old, you’ll get the reputation you deserve.

…will not be buying oil and gas stocks very often going forward… probably has not bought its last one…

The battery business will be a declining one…but it will be around for a long time here and around the world.

…they favored investments in companies where they were pretty certain of a “decent result” instead of a chance of a great result.

…there’s more to life than ”merely be[ing] shrewd at picking stocks and passively holding them.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2015/05/02/live-analysis-the-2015-berkshire-hathaway-annual-meeting/

Investment Notes

“You don’t own a stock because somebody else owns it. You own it because you do your own analysis and you decide where you think the future will be, and if you don’t know the answer to that, you don’t own it.”

I buy IBM because I like it.”

On why he’s buying Deere: “It’s not one variable. You should make your own decisions. If you don’t feel capable of making your own decisions, you should buy an index fund.”

“The decision between dividends and repurchases is simple. If you can repurchase your shares for below what they’re worth, you’re doing the shareholders who are going out a favor and you’re doing the shareholders who are staying in a favor, and nobody’s getting cash that they don’t want.”

“If you’re a 20- or 30-year-old and you can invest for your next 50 years and you just consistently buy American business, American business is going to do wonderful over that time, and I think you’ll do wonderful as a shareholder. But you have to do it consistently and you shouldn’t try to dance in and out or pick this stock or that stock. Just own the country. The best days of America lie ahead and the best days of American investors lie ahead as long as they don’t beat themselves.”

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102463493

My Investment Portfolio Returns (2014)

My portfolio returns (including dividends) in 2014 was about 16.33%.  Major portfolio changes this year:

  1. Divested Goodpack  – KKR made a general offer for Goodpack at $2.50 a share via a share scheme.
  2. Divested Eu Yan Sang, Food Empire, SPH, Super Group and The Hour Glass.
  3. Added 5 new companies to my portfolio this year (some are relatively small stakes): 800 Super, iFAST, Raffles Medical Group, Singapore Shipping Corp, Yoma Strategic.
  4. Adjusted my stake in some of my existing holdings.

I am satisfied with the performance of most of the companies in my portfolio this year.  Although some of the companies are currently facing some challenges, I hope they will perform satisfactorily in the long run.

Investment Notes

…..an aphorism from late GIC Deputy Chairman Goh is inscribed on a wall.  CIO Lim can recite it from memory:

“The more you save and the more wisely you invest, the faster you get rich.”

Lim says, “It sounds so simple.” He smiles and adds an aphorism of his own:

“But simple things are hard to do.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-08/singapore-sovereign-fund-bets-big-on-trophy-real-estate.html

Investment Notes

An interview with Charlie Munger.

“Knowing what you don’t know is more useful than being brilliant

“Too much competency and no gumption is no good. And if you don’t know your circle of competence, then too much gumption will get you killed. But the more you know the limits to your knowledge, the more valuable gumption is.”

 

http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/09/12/a-fireside-chat-with-charlie-munger/

Investment Notes

Singapore Grocery-Delivery Startup RedMart Gets Funding Boost “…I characterize us as a technology and logistics company that happens to focus on grocery retail at the moment,” he said. “We’re building a very valuable logistics and last-mile delivery infrastructure which we hope to leverage for many other things….”

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/07/15/singapore-grocery-delivery-startup-redmart-gets-funding-boost/

On a separate track, Fairprice is launching a Costco-styled membership only warehouse club retailing in the last quarter of 2014.

http://www.warehouseclub.com.sg

Investment Notes

A short interview with the CEO of General Storage Company Pte Ltd.

General Storage Company Pte. Ltd (GSC)

“…The self-storage facilities in Hong Kong, which typically range from 8000-10000 sq ft, are generally smaller than those in Singapore. They are also located closer to the MTR as their customers tend to use the MTR, whereas in Singapore, our consumer sentiments survey has shown that the typical self-storage user in Singapore travels by car/owns a car…”

http://sbr.com.sg/telecom-internet/exclusive/singpost-acquires-store-house-in-hong-kong-122m

The self-storage facilities in Hong Kong, which typically range from 8000-10000 sq ft, are generally smaller than those in Singapore. They are also located closer to the MTR as their customers tend to use the MTR, whereas in Singapore, our consumer sentiments survey has shown that the typical self-storage user in Singapore travels by car/owns a car – See more at: http://sbr.com.sg/telecom-internet/exclusive/singpost-acquires-store-house-in-hong-kong-122m#sthash.AudP6zNp.dpuf

The self-storage facilities in Hong Kong, which typically range from 8000-10000 sq ft, are generally smaller than those in Singapore. They are also located closer to the MTR as their customers tend to use the MTR, whereas in Singapore, our consumer sentiments survey has shown that the typical self-storage user in Singapore travels by car/owns a car – See more at: http://sbr.com.sg/telecom-internet/exclusive/singpost-acquires-store-house-in-hong-kong-122m#sthash.AudP6zNp.dpuf
The self-storage facilities in Hong Kong, which typically range from 8000-10000 sq ft, are generally smaller than those in Singapore. They are also located closer to the MTR as their customers tend to use the MTR, whereas in Singapore, our consumer sentiments survey has shown that the typical self-storage user in Singapore travels by car/owns a car – See more at: http://sbr.com.sg/telecom-internet/exclusive/singpost-acquires-store-house-in-hong-kong-122m#sthash.AudP6zNp.dpuf
The self-storage facilities in Hong Kong, which typically range from 8000-10000 sq ft, are generally smaller than those in Singapore. They are also located closer to the MTR as their customers tend to use the MTR, whereas in Singapore, our consumer sentiments survey has shown that the typical self-storage user in Singapore travels by car/owns a car – See more at: http://sbr.com.sg/telecom-internet/exclusive/singpost-acquires-store-house-in-hong-kong-122m#sthash.AudP6zNp.dpuf
The self-storage facilities in Hong Kong, which typically range from 8000-10000 sq ft, are generally smaller than those in Singapore. They are also located closer to the MTR as their customers tend to use the MTR, whereas in Singapore, our consumer sentiments survey has shown that the typical self-storage user in Singapore travels by car/owns a car – See more at: http://sbr.com.sg/telecom-internet/exclusive/singpost-acquires-store-house-in-hong-kong-122m#sthash.AudP6zNp.dpuf

Investment Notes

“We view our cost of capital as the returns we can get from our second-best idea…and we have to exceed that with our best idea”

 

“You can’t judge your performance compared to what could have been achieved by buying stocks at the absolute bottom. First of all, you can never tell where the bottom is except in retrospect. Second of all, you probably wouldn’t have been able to buy a significant volume of shares at those low prices.”

 

“There is a tradeoff between risk and return. If copper prices go up, you will make the most money in the lowest-quality copper producer, because they have the highest marginal cost and the most earnings leverage. But that doesn’t mean the low-quality company offers an attractive risk/reward tradeoff before the fact.”

 

“GEICO is like Costco–very few companies have a great product at a great price. Those that do tend to steadily gain market share over time.  GEICO has very high persistence rate, like Costco”

 

“My life would not be happier if I spent more money.  Higher wealth and income makes a difference up to a point. But beyond that point, greater consumption can be inversely correlated to well-being.”

 

“Aesop invented the concept of intrinsic value: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”Ben Graham emphasized quantitative factors in assessing in intrinsic value, while Phil Fisher and Munger emphasized qualitative factors….Several factors matter in that comparison, including how close the bush is…and what interest rates are.”

 

“One reason other companies haven’t tried to copy Berkshire’s approach is that it’s slow and difficult–the get rich slow approach”

 

http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=645622

http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/05/03/live-blog-the-2014-berkshire-hathaway-annual-meeting/

Investment Notes

“Focus on the future productivity of the asset you are considering…”

“If you instead focus on the prospective price change of a contemplated purchase, you are speculating…”

“We first have to decide whether we can sensibly estimate an earnings range for five years out or more….”

“Those people who can sit quietly for decades when they own a farm or apartment house too often become frenetic when they are exposed to a stream of stock quotations…”

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2014/02/24/warren-buffett-berkshire-letter/