Ep 3: Must you Invest to Retire Early? – Kyith from Investment Moats

Must you Invest to Retire Early? – Kyith from Investment Moats

In episode #3 of Chills w TFC, we bring on one of Singapore’s most popular investing blogger. He offers much insights to both season and new investors. What’s even more impressive is that he publishes his portfolio on his website. 

Join me as I chill with Kyith from Investment Moats. He shares some important habits someone a new investor should have. You also get to hear why he finally decided to venture into USA’s and Hong Kong’s stock market after being in the local market for so long. Many people think that you have to invest to retire. BUT, he shares a different point of view. Not everyone has to be an investor to build wealth. Tune in to find out why.

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podcast Transcript

Reggie: Welcome to another Chills with TFC session! In this series, we hope to bring on interesting, relevant people to help us learn better from various perspectives. Life is not always about learning from people that you already agree with. Perspectives shape a rounder thinker. So in our pursuit of the life we love while managing our finances well, our guest for today runs one of the largest financial blogs in Singapore. He has successfully “retired” and he even publishes his portfolio holdings on his website. That means you can go to his website and see everything that he owns in the stock market. So let’s welcome Mr. Kyith Ng from investmentmoats.com

Kyith: Hi, Reggie. 

Reggie: Cool, welcome. I think one thing that is very popular these days is the idea of early retirement. 

Kyith: Ah. Okay. All right. 

Reggie: So do you think early retirement is a fad? What do you think of early retirement?

Kyith: I think it’s a good idea. An idea that I think a lot of people, if you put in front of people, right, a lot of people want it, but there’s a lot of people have misgivings because it’s so farfetched that it sounds like too astonishing that they think they couldn’t achieve it. But I think it is a good pursuit for a lot of people because when you go through that process to learn to be… I think more of being financially independent than trying to get to early retirement and — and if you go through that process, you realize that you learn a lot things first.

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Firstly, I think in order for you to get to there right, you need to manage your money well. You need to learn how to earn more. And in order to add more, you got to be quite a good worker, or you have to be like, think about those kinds of business ideas.

And in order to get there, a large part of the process is also to build up different disciplines.  The main one is like what you really want in life, because you, you go through that process. You understand, you can prioritize things. And when you can prioritize things, I think it’s always, always a good pursuit. So the issue with early retirement, right, is that after a while you realize those people that early retired, right, there’s a lot of free time. You cannot possibly not do anything. 

Reggie: [Laughs] Yes, yes, yes. It’s true. 

Kyith: So even if you look at all the podcasters or all those bloggers, they’re still like earning some money here and there. But I think the key thing is that when you reach that financial independence stage, your work becomes optional.

If let’s say you want to do something, but the job doesn’t pay so well, right? Then you are able to do it because you’re already financially independent. 

Reggie: So essentially you have the choice, you can do all those things that you want. But at that point in time, when you started, like what did you actually want? And what did you want to achieve?

Kyith: Actually I wanted just to be financially secure, because a lot of times our money stories is quite affected by when we’re young, some of the traumatic experience and all. And when I grow up, it’s not like I’m super poor, but it’s like, my mum had to think about a lot of these things for us.

So after a while you look at them, think about all these things, you also start thinking about those things and you’ve been counting money all your life. So when I started, let’s say when  I graduated, the goal wasn’t so big, the goal was just, all right, let’s build up to maybe $135,000. I’m not sure why it’s $135,000, I see my pay then, I see what’s a comfortable sum that I can set aside every month, and then, 10 years later, can you get to $135,000? Okay, so that’s my goal la. But the general idea is that if you build up around $135,000, right, you can reach a certain level of security. You get yourself further and further away from that situation where anytime you’ve been let go, you will face challenges.

And when I started at work back then it was like, post-SARS, just 2004. So my cohort before me, even if they were IT, they couldn’t find jobs. So the mindset at that point, right, it’s like, you don’t even think there’s a thing called pay increment, because if you have a job it’s quite good. Yeah.

Reggie: So then your money story has definitely changed over time, right. Do you feel still shackled down by the original money stories in your head? 

Kyith: In a way, yes. I think that kind of financial insecurity when you’re young, it somehow will affect you in a certain way.

And we see it in our work as well, because we also work with high net worth clients as well. And there there’s a few of them. We realize that technically speaking — because we know how much is considered well off and not well off — we realize that technically they are well off, definitely, but they have a problem sometimes spending money, sometimes stopping work, because they were affected by their money stories when they’re young.

So to a certain extent that colors things, but one other things that will balance it off, right, is when you learn about all these investing, finance things, whatever some of the preconceived notions about money, you iron them out. So this balance off a lot of things, which is why someone risk averse can only put their money in fixed deposit. Eventually you can invest in single companies, you can play options, yeah. That’s how things get balanced out. 

Reggie: And then that’s you, right? [Laughs] So I mean, everyone can see your portfolio on your website, right. Openly you disclose your portfolio — we are talking to a millionaire, yeah? Not too bad. But you are still tainted by the  stories, but you feel much better now because you know, you’re more certain in a sense, you have a better understanding.

Kyith: Yeah. 

Reggie: Okay, so that’s cool. So at what point, so you started at 2004 and right from the get go, you already wanted to, you know, build your security and, you know, understand all these things?

Kyith: You just build wealth la. You, have an idea, okay, you read… because when I started you read more on unit trust, when you start investing in unit trust, right, the competency is a bit different compared to individual stock investing because you’re thinking about asset allocation, all those portfolio stuff, which for most people they learn after they do individual investing. So when you learn about that one, a lot of times, it’s more like you understand the aspect of, I think, the financial planning earlier. You see like, okay, what’s your expected return? Let’s say, let’s be conservative, about 5%. If you know the math behind this one, you can work it out. 

So back then the idea is just put part of your income away, channel it into your portfolio. over time, and then when you get some increment, you just scale it up accordingly.

And then when you get to somewhere, then you realize that, oh, okay. So this is how it works. This is how things build up. 

Reggie: So at what point did you feel like, okay, you understand now? How many years into building this machine of yours? 

Kyith: I felt that truthfully, right, after 30. I started probably around maybe 24. It’s like, for the first six years, it’s like, you’re trying to do, you’re trying to learn but you realize it’s like, you’re trying to make sense of things. It’s only when you’re, I think when I’m 31 or 32, when I really like, after you look at all the different kinds of investing and all the different kind of mess that you did, right, you just focus on something that you think that makes sense. You deepen your knowledge there, then you start seeing results

But of course, sometimes it’s luck la, because it just so happened, the market was calm enough. You cannot remove the element of luck. 

Reggie: So when you say mess, like, what are some of the mess that you’ve made?

Kyith:  Like, you just freak out la. Like in 2008 period, it’s a good opportunity to invest, but because you have no one to actually guide you. And then there’s a lot of crosscurrents, you’re going to hear a lot of things. Like this is a cool opportunity to invest, this is the biggest financial crisis ever. And then everything will be going crazy. And then the psychology makeup make you such that you wouldn’t put money in. So you actually miss out on a lot of opportunity cost there. A lot of people made their fortunes back then. So that’s some, and of course, if you invest in individual companies, there will be a lot of companies that you invest. 

And then — you think that you’re investing, actually, you do not know what you’re doing. It’s like when something happens, let’s say some news, earnings not very good, you just let them go and you’re not very stable. So that’s why I say you really do not know what you’re doing. 

Reggie: And I think, I mean, I’ve been through the journey, you know, similar, you’re probably way more in the journey, but I’m on the way, and I get what you’re saying about the mess, the noise, and, you know, understanding and learning over time.

But I think there’s one question that a lot of people have: must you be an investor? Does everyone need to be an investor to gather wealth? You know, or can you actually do it without, being an investor? 

Kyith: I think a lot of times when people talk about wealth building, they will think about investing and that is why they realize that for some reasons they see their friends doing, it is implied that they need to invest.

But they are… sometimes they’re not competent and they don’t have the time or not willing to actually build out that competency. But essentially for a lot of people, right, that’s not the only path. 

I wrote about this thing called The Wealthy Formula, which is, if you look at a lot of the materials out there, right, in order to build wealth, all boils down to the same thing la. You try to earn more, you try to optimize your expenses. When you earn more and optimize your expenses that get there, right, there’s your free cash flow. And then you try to build wealth wisely with this. So for a lot of people, maybe it makes more sense, right, that to concentrate on their job because they started off, let’s say on the ground.

And eventually they climb to, let’s say the C-suite and they might eventually go to a stage where they earn $300-400,000 a year. So, although they earn that, they also have a lot of responsibility and they don’t have that time to actually build up their competency. So in this way, right, what is more suitable for them?

It’s those kinds of passive investments, right? That is more diversified, that you’re not going to get very outsized returns from individual stock investing, but it takes away a lot of the effort. So in a way you still need investing, but you don’t need to push your money to work that hard. So that’s why you can see a lot of people that they reach that stage, they know that the majority of their money they made from their job. And then they just don’t spend like too crazily la. And then whatever that’s left, right, they invest in those kinds of insurance and government plans. Because by then they will definitely, by that stage, they will have some insurance advisor, and then they will say, eh it’s a good idea to buy this investment-linked policy or endowment plan. It’s not always the best advice, but largely speaking, it preserves the wealth and it grows at a slow pace, but majority of the growth will be from their careers la. Yeah. 

Reggie: So for those people, their main wealth generation is from work. And then when they look at endowment plans, it’s really for preservation. 

Kyith: They didn’t think that way la, but for a lot of people, it ends up like that through the sheer culture of Singapore. 

Reggie: Yeah. So your take is that, you know, there is a tool for everyone in the investment space. 

Kyith: There’s a tool for everyone. To look at investing, we look at all the assets, right? 

They have… All the assets, they have a certain risk to them, there’s a spectrum of risk. Some low risk, some very high risk, right? Those that is like higher risk, right? If you put your money in there, what you’re hoping is that the returns compensate you for taking that risk. 

Now there’s a third element to it, which is effort. All right, you can do individual investing, but you need to build up that competency at the start. You always have new money coming in. Let’s say you have this person, every year, they’re going to put in maybe it’s $25,000 a year. So this new money you have to deploy it. So do you put it inside your existing individual companies or do you find new ideas? That is work. 

Reggie: Yes, I get it. And I totally understand what you mean by effort because I pick stocks and I get lazy, right. So there’ll be a time, I’ll be like, uh I don’t know what to pick la, never mind la, take a break la. In the grand scheme of the perfect world, you’re always scouring for good companies. You’re always on the go. You’re always, you know, finding a better deal, you know, but realistically, unless you’re hired to do that day in, day out, you know, we as humans, we do other things la. So do you ever get lazy? 

Kyith: I get lazy all the time. It’s like recently, the job demands more from me, right. Then I’ve learned all these things in the past already. But when it comes to this stage, when it gets busier, right, it’s really tough la, you depend on other people to give you ideas. And you can still do the prospecting, but sometimes it’s after you stop for a while, the muscle gets weaker and then it becomes more difficult. And this is where people get more lazy, lazy, lazy. It happens to me as well. 

Reggie: There it is [laughs]. Very good, at least I feel better  now because for a period of time I was like, wah, so lazy, this half a year never do much work. But, but yeah, you know, like you say, effort is a thing. You pick stocks, it takes time, it takes energy. All right. So, okay. Let’s take a break. And after the break, we will come back and just talk about some of your posts, some of your discussion, you know, on your blog. So yes. Thanks for tuning in guys. We’ll see you shortly after the break. 

Welcome back and I think you definitely write a lot of posts, right? Like everyone knows you, Kyith from Investment Moats, K-Y-I-T-H. It’s okay, you know, we will not going into that, but yes. Cool stuff. 

And I think one of your posts, you know, your advice to 20-something, right. And many, many advice inside, one of the main advice is everything compounds, good or bad. What do you mean by good or bad? 

Kyith: I get the idea from, I think reading this post from this guy called Blair Livingston. I’m not sure whether he’s still writing…

Reggie: Whether he’s still living or not — no, no, no [laughs]. Blair Livingston?

Kyith: Should be, should be [laughs]. So he was writing about that it’s not just… the first thing that comes into our mind when we talk about compounding is about the monetary stuff. But you realize that there’s a lot of elements of our life that compounds as well. There’s positive compounding, there’s also negative compounding. And some of the good examples of other things that compounds as well is like some of your habits, your eating habits and particular to health la, like even dental hygiene.

And for someone who understands compounding and all, I don’t have very good teeth. This is one example, you understand  compounding for the money part, but you really didn’t take care of the other portion. It’s like, is it that difficult to spend some effort every day to take care of your teeth? Probably not.

Yeah. So that’s a good example. After a while you compound all the bacteria inside, the build up all the…  This will all sound very gross to the audience. 

Reggie: It helps to have a good mother la, right? The mother, every day, meh meh meh meh, after 10 years, it becomes a habit, right? If you don’t have… it’s like a mentor, right? 

If you don’t have the mentor or you don’t have a coach that always make sure you do a certain thing, whether or not you comprehend it. Then it builds up into a habit and it compounds over time. If you don’t have that, then you know, dirty teeth la. 

Kyith: And unfortunately she didn’t nag enough of the dental hygiene portion of it. But yeah, I agree with you on that. Nagging to a certain extent builds strong habits. 

Reggie: Yeah. I agree. So what are some of these, like, habits that you think are beneficial for someone that’s starting out?

Kyith: Starting out ah? I think building that curiosity to learn. When you don’t know something, how do you go about finding out those kinds of things? It’s not just about investing, because there will definitely be some areas where you need whether it’s work-wise and all, because a lot of times, if you have work, you will be sent to a lot of those kinds of company courses and all. Not saying that they’re not good.

But I felt that for a lot of time, if you’re motivated enough, and if the question is clear enough for you, you could do a lot of work yourself by learning about… building up these competencies so that you can execute the work, at work or even in your personal life and all that. So I find that reading and knowing how to learn things, that one compounds.

Reggie: That’s a very powerful compound, right? Like you continue to learn new things and pick up new things and… you write extensively about it actually, right? It’s like, you don’t have an article specifically for it, but somehow every article I read, got “learn something,” “grow your competency.” And I was like, oi, every article got this one point. It appears. So what are some competencies that you feel that you’ve picked up over the years that has definitely benefited you, other than investing. 

Kyith: Other than investing? I felt is the health aspect. Especially if let’s say I have a skin problem, it’s like,  you have no choice but to learn about all these things and it sort of benefits others as well, because when you go down this journey and just like investing, you’re not just learning about your own problems. These kinds of things is like, the problem might be more deep set that it affects other areas as well. So when you go down that path, right, you learn about all these insulin sensitivity, you learn about cholesterol, you learn about how cancer manifested. And everything compounds la, but a lot of things, it falls back to that knowing how to learn things,  knowing how inside there, inside yourself, how do you ask questions. 

Reggie: Mm. So how do you then learn things? Like if you’re interested in something, how do you personally embark on it?

Kyith: You start somewhere. It’s like, I’m always like trying to reach let’s say, because engineer mah. Engineer, what you want is to reach a minimum viable product or the first run, the first run is like, okay, let’s think about what is the framework? 

Say for example, like what are some of the things that in my job I need to learn about that? Universal life insurance or those kinds of legacy planning: first thing is that, what you need to reach is that, what is the framework to think about universal life insurance or legacy planning? Why do people need in the first place? Like what are the basic tools in the first place? So once you learned about this already, then you can go deeper into like, okay, now you start questioning each of these things like, okay, now a lot of people talk about, okay, in order to do this, you need to buy universal life insurance policy. Is that really the case or not? 

A lot of times, it’s about being skeptical enough, not trusting things, the face value of things. So you start peeling the onion, one layer, until a certain stage where you realize that it’s like either you think that most likely you know, majority of it already or that you reach a certain dead end already, and then you seek experts out la. You seek those seniors out that understands  these things more, hear from their perspective.

So you get more of the book stuff, but you also try to hear from the real juice on both sides. Those proponents and those people that are against it. 

Reggie: Okay. Yeah. I think that it’s important. And even I really struggled to kind of decipher who is the real deal. So it’s like, like what you say, you peel, you peel, over time, you learn more and more, you see the different perspectives. And sometime you want to reach out to some people, you want to reach out to people that “more knowing,” they know better. And how do you then tell, you know, if this guy’s a real deal? What are your matrices?

Kyith: Sometimes you… honestly, sometimes you wouldn’t be able to tell because some people, they’re not trying to deceive you, but somewhat they might be… 

Reggie: They just naturally deceiving you [laughs]. They never try, they never try, they just somehow do it. 

Kyith: It’s more like, what they have been taught all this while, right. They think it’s correct. So then they try to evangelize and tell you that these are some of the advantages. So a lot of times is that, you only realize that they’re either lying or that that’s not the right thing, right, after you really hear different perspective about it. I think I’m quite a big podcast listener for the past few years.

And a lot of times, some topics like health,  it can get quite political in the sense that should you eat… 

Reggie: Should you drink milk, eat eggs, that kind, right? 

Kyith: Yeah. Should you eat a low carb, high fat diet, and should you… is it okay to eat vegetarian? Even the thing about vegetarian it’s like you can get quite, quite political as well. But what I realize is that you try to be open to listen to both sides, to different angles, and you hear more things, you hear more nuances, then you will be able to form your opinion. 

For some topics it’s generally like hard for you to actually tell what’s correct, or what’s not correct, but there’ll be definitely be certain aspect where people from both sides would say the same thing and you know that these things would most likely be the axioms or the truism la, this kind of thing. Yeah. Then for the rest of it, it’s more like, okay, it’s an ongoing journey, to validate some of these  things. 

Reggie: Okay, and so I’m sure you try a lot of things, you see a lot of things, you know, and it’s like what you say, it’s an ongoing journey, right? So currently, what is on your journey? Like what are some things that you’re working on? What are some elements you are trying to decipher and be better on?

Kyith: Okay. This one will eliminate those that I need to decipher at work [laughs], because a large part of my work is trying to make sense of these things that was tasked to me. So personally, it’s more like, even for wealth building, it’s more like, I need to find like a steady stage, because like what I say, if you realize that you don’t have so much time to actually prospect companies, right?

How do you transition to a stage where your money doesn’t blow up? You have to shift a certain way that you invest. You probably have to think about how to passively invest. So sometimes it’s not just like that, you just say, oh, I’m going to do it. And then I’m going to sell everything and then move it over. Because I’ve been like individual stock investor for, I don’t know how long already.

So there is a lot of the identity that is tied to it. You have to like, wonder whether is it okay for you to just switch to everything? Let’s say you buy exchange traded funds. Would you regret not being able to prospect stocks and all. So there is a middle ground somewhere in the sense that you can switch to, I think 50% doing that.

And the other portion of things, you will have to also change the kind of companies that you prospect as well. So that it’s not like, if let’s say you go for a holiday, five days holiday and then something happens and one of them blows up in your face. Yeah. 

Reggie: And that’s the whole portfolio management, portfolio structuring angle of things. And you actually publish your portfolio fully, you know, on your website, right. Investment Moats. So everybody that wants to see his portfolio can go there and see, but I think more important is why do you even do that? Like a lot of people, they don’t publish their portfolio. 

Kyith: I think, I think it’s more like, the reason why I started it is because I created that free Google spreadsheet to actually help people monitor their portfolios based on transaction, because you realize, back then I think — I forgot, was it 2013 or 2011, right. I actually wanted to do that. That sounds like the more sensible thing, how you monitor your portfolio. You just add, buy, sell, dividends, and splits, all these transactions. But there wasn’t such a spreadsheet out there.

So I thought let me try to create it lor. And I created it, and I was thinking, I can show a sample portfolio, and I was thinking, why not just show your actual portfolio? So it’s been like that for a while. It’s not like, because I want to like brag, or put my portfolio out there. Yeah.

Reggie: To prove to your once a year meet up classmates, that eh, actually, I’m okay, okay? Mai siao siao ah [laughs]. And I see from your portfolio, so I went to look at your portfolio that, you know, you’re quite vested, you know, not just in Singapore, but abroad. So you have Hong Kong, you have US, so a lot of Chinese and you know US exposure. So how did you get there? Did you start in the US or where did you start it? 

Kyith: I started more in Singapore. I’ve always been in the prowl of Singapore. It’s probably in about three, probably three years ago, when you start venturing into Hong Kong because you realize, firstly I think Hong Kong is quite a country that is similar to Singapore, in terms of their tax regimes.

They…  those who are domicile in Hong Kong, they don’t have dividend withholding tax. They don’t have estate duty as well. And a lot of companies, they provide quite good dividend use, and that was a good area to look into, but there’s always like a lot of, like, resistance because you need to build up another school of knowledge about the companies over there, but you try to do it over time la, if you have the time you try to do it over time. 

The US portion, it’s only recently, I think in the March period. That was when, when March happens, right, then you realize that you made a fatal mistake in terms of investing, because you’re always like trying to find whether … my style of investing is that if you’re investing for long term, if you’re buying a company when it goes down, right, you need to make sure that they are able to sustain.

If you look forward about two to three years, right? They’re going to turn around. They’re going to be okay. Then when I look at that period I realize that there will always be that doubt in your head, whether these companies would be able to survive or not, or whether how long it’s gonna take. Then, it sort of also snap a little bit that eh, you’re looking at things the wrong way, because you have always been finding those companies that have been growing earnings right now.

And those companies that have been doing well for a large part is in the US, so why are you like, so enamored and so focused on this area. So that was when, like you frantically try to build up their competency in the other areas. So it’s a learning process because different markets, they have their different characteristics. 

Reggie: Okay, so you start in Singapore, went to Hong Kong and then now you’re in the US. And from what you just said about being very enamored about investing in Singapore — because I think a lot of the younger audience, right. When I talk to them it’s quite polarizing. For people that believe in investing abroad, then it’s like US, right. Then for those that are like, you know, they just want to invest locally, right. So what are your thoughts when you want to share with them? Like where should they start? You know, and given the current market sentiment, so I’m very pro US, ah, and China, because I think that is where the growth machines are.

You should see… I personally think you should see the next decade of growth in these two areas predominantly. So that’s my thesis, and that’s why I ventured to these places. But what are your thoughts if someone wants to start investing? Do you think they should be in Hong Kong, Singapore or in the US?

Opinion, ah. Opinion-based ah, this is not advice. I want to give you a caveat, ah, this one. This is for entertainment only ah. Must say wan, must say [laughs]. 

Kyith: Okay, any companies that I’ve mentioned here, right [laughs]… 

Reggie: It’s for opinion, entertainment, discussion only. It’s not advice!

Kyith: It should not be construed as advice.

Reggie: Feel free to share your thoughts. Feel free to share your perspective. I’m sure people are interested to hear. 

Kyith: I think Singapore is quite challenging in a certain sense. It used to be, you still have more companies. The good companies delisted, not to say in the last few years, gradually overtime. It’s like those good businesses, they know that they’re not going to get fetch good valuations. So, and if you list, there is a listing  cost, so a lot of them, they weigh the pros and cons, right? And then they decided to delist. Some of them, they went over to Hong Kong and all that. But I think firstly for the new investors, they need to think a little bit about their strategies.

Even, let’s say whether you are doing growth investing of value investing, right. You need to know like what kind of companies that you’re hunting for. So I find that if, let’s say this pond is so small, right? Then it might not make sense to actually start learning from there. If you want you can learn in Hong Kong or you can learn in US. US is quite established already.

The good thing about US for a long time is, I think because it’s developed, there is better governance there. If you’re bothering about Singapore and Hong Kong, right, or even not just these countries, we call these the emerging market countries, right? That governance aspect is something that you need to bother about because for some strategies, over in the US, you can concentrate your portfolio.

You can have let’s say two, or some people they have two or three stocks and all. In some of these other countries, unless you’re buying, let’s say, those blue chips that has been mispriced, for a lot of those smaller companies, there’s always that element: are things real or not? Because you’re not owner operator, meaning to say that, if you’re owner inside those companies, right. You have a sensing like whether things are going to turn very, very badly or not. But because you’re not there, even though no matter how much work you do, right, you cannot eliminate that kind of risk. 

So in summary to me is that this pond is a bit small la. If you like real estate investment trust or those kinds of yielding things, right? Singapore, it looks quite established in this area. So for those people that needs income or that they felt that the real estate investment trust is like you focusing on one sector and then learning that sector. There’s nothing wrong with that. 

It’s like, sometimes it’s quite good because when it comes to real estate, everyone is living in one, they would know the buy to rent concept, and it’s just a step up to learn how people do it in the portfolio. So it is an area where people can easily deepen their competency there and do rather decently. But if let’s say you’re working on some other strategies and all, then maybe that might not be the ideal. 

Reggie: Opinon ah, opinion, yes. And are you concerned about information? In the sense that… because I, you know, I started in the US, so I invested in the US right from the get go. And when I came back, when I was trying to bring some money back and just kind of see what’s around here, and I realized the information is not very open in a sense that companies here don’t really give you the breakdown.

Like they give you like, oh, this is my yearly revenue. And they will tell you briefly, we are in this business, this business, but they don’t exactly give you the breakdown as to, you know, let’s say, let’s just talk about sell beer wan, right, okay. Malaysia, I think has Carlsberg, right. They give me their revenue, right. Every year growing, growing, growing, but they never tell me like which beer brand is bringing how much. So it doesn’t give me the understanding of, okay, so what’s going on. Are their big brands anchoring their business and are their growth brands really growing to show it? 

But in the US, you know, it’s very common. They will give you the breakdown in much more detail, you know, in a pharma company, they will tell you which brand is doing — you know, how, how are they doing? What’s their growth strategy? There’s so much more information and it’s so much clearer. What, what do you think? Is that an issue here?

Kyith: I think because it’s, that place is more established and a lot of information you probably… I think it’s a mixture la. But it tends to lean more closer to the part where it’s not as comprehensive as what they reveal in the US but you also see that, let’s say some companies, right? They also, like, it’s not talking about brands, but they’re actually like compartmentalizing it into certain segments. They’re not segregating them based on brands. 

So in that regards, right, it’s almost the same because over here, the companies, they might put them into, let’s say property investment, property construction, and then this is, let’s say, their medical devices. For some reason property investment will mix with medical devices. 

Reggie: Still got mix with newspaper wan, right [laughs]. Anyway, by the way, it’s the press holdings la, they hold a lot of properties. So, okay, I get what you’re saying. And maybe just to sum up our session . Are there any segments that you’re looking at, are there any investment areas that you are trying to grow more of just to give everybody a decent idea? Because I’m sure they can go and read your blog.

There’s a tons of things there, and there’s a lot of good stuff by the way, guys. So I just want to hear from you personally, you know, where are you seeing your investments heading towards? 

Kyith: I think I used to be quite concentrated. So right now I think the idea is actually to be more diversified. So that you diversify away all the idiosyncratic risk. And which is those risks that is pertaining to certain companies. If one company blow up, then your whole investment blow up and all. And so that is quite aligned to that, I don’t have the time or that maybe I really don’t want to spend so much effort just looking into some of these things. Then personally, I think in terms of stocks, right, I’ll still be looking more into Hong Kong and the US space and all. So a lot of the companies that I’ll be focusing on would be those companies that I will invest more of the effort upfront to make sense of it. And most of the effort upfront, then over time it’s more of the monitoring. So I’ll go for those companies compared to, let’s say those kind of Graham style strategies where you’re looking for those mispricing, sudden mispricing that you realize that eh actually, they’re actually worth much more, but you just wait for the catalyst and then to turn over. Last time I used to do a lot of those kinds of things. So not sure whether I’ll still get itchy. I think I’ll probably still get itchy. 

Reggie: I’m sure you will la, really. You can’t run from it. This is your call, this is your base. You’ll get there, but yeah, I get what you’re saying, fundamentally, I think I just want to chime in that good companies can keep getting better, you know, peak prices can keep peaking, right? It’s not always about finding the turnaround, not always finding about the value, the misplaced pricing because those things do get a little jittery and we can definitely have you on again to chat more.

But I think to sum up what Kyith essentially just shared with us is, as time passes your lifestyle changes, your strategies will change. Your financial practices will change, but learn the core, learn the basics, and read his blog. So, yes. Yeah. Thanks for coming on. And I’ll see you soon again. Bye-bye!

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Woo-hoo, so I hope you learned something interesting. I think he writes a lot. His blog posts are pretty good, honestly. So we didn’t really go too deep into the whole investment thing because I think he really wrote a lot of stuff and we have a lot of other guests that will come on and talk about  investments.

So I thought I’m gonna get him on to talk a little bit more about retirement, what’s his perspective, and I think , some pretty cool stuff. Hope you learned something useful. Next week, all right. So next week we got a very popular individual finally. So next week Freddy is coming on, right. Freddy from Stashaway, the CIO. 

We went on a journey around the world when we were interviewing him, right. So we talked about everything from US, to China, Japan, Europe, Singapore, you know, disruptors, all sorts of stuff, and many of the questions that you guys asked for, we’ve actually asked him straight away.

So yeah, it’ll be fun next week. And this whole pursuit of starting well, I think he’s a great guest to start the year with, so we’ll see you next week!

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