Date
25 April 2017

But Lo-lam

Columnist at the Hong Kong Economic Journal
  • The performance of benchmark indices is getting more reliant on a very small number of top performing companies, a study shows. Photo: Reuters

    Why it’s getting harder for stockpickers to beat the market

    - Apr 24, 2017 11:50am
    In a recent report, S&P Dow Jones Indices compared the performances of actively managed US equity funds focusing on small caps, mid-caps and large caps and their respective benchmark indices and found out that in all...
  • Tesla founder Elon Musk mentioned “stormy weather in Shortville” in his tweets, apparently mocking the short sellers of his company's shares, which have already surged beyond US$300. Photo: Reuters

    Tesla surge marks misfortune of traditional rivals

    - Apr 11, 2017 4:36pm
    The hot topic on Wall Street this week is Tesla’s stock surge to over US$300. (The shares last closed at about US$312.) Although the electric car maker is hardly making any money, its founder Elon Musk...
  • Part of the reason why Amazon shares have gone up so much over the past 20 years is that the company went public when it was still quite small. Photo: Reuters

    Why finding a home-run IPO like Amazon is next to impossible

    - Apr 7, 2017 9:22am
    The personal wealth of Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com, has surpassed that of Zara’s Amancio Ortega and legendary investor Warren Buffett, and he is now the second richest person on the planet. Bezos...
  • US small-cap index Russell 2000 and finance stocks could be good early indicators for a flame-out of the market's Trump rally. Photo: Reuters

    Is the Trump rally coming to an end?

    - Mar 27, 2017 10:23am
    On March 21, benchmark US equity indexes fell over one percent for the first time in more than 100 trading sessions. Although the magnitude of pullback wasn’t large enough to send off an alarm, and there...
  • Last week's ouster of Park Geun-hye as president could trigger reforms and lead to a revaluation of South Korea stocks. Photo: Reuters

    South Korea stocks may offer deep value amid political turmoil

    - Mar 16, 2017 3:57pm
    South Korea’s Constitutional Court has unanimously upheld the legislature’s impeachment of Park Geun-hye as president, making her the first democratically elected leader in the country to be stripped of her powers. The current political uncertainty could...
  • Investors would have already lost 30 percent of their money had they bought Snap shares at their high during its IPO earlier this month and held them until now.  Photo: Reuters

    How profitable are tech IPOs?

    - Mar 16, 2017 3:14pm
    Snap Inc. spiked shortly after listing earlier this month at the initial public offering price of US$17. The stock hit a high of US$29.44 at one point but has since then given back most of the...
  • Despite a winning streak of 20 years, Edward Thorp decided to call it a day to spend time enjoying life rather than amassing more money. Photo: YouTube

    Some people always want more money, some seek the best life

    - Mar 2, 2017 5:22pm
    Though there is roughly one more year to go for the bet to run its course, it is clear that Warren Buffett is set to win his much-discussed wager with Ted Seides. That is because the...
  • Defying overwhelmingly negative forecasts after the British voted to leave the European Union last year, the UK economy has been holding up well thanks to a weaker pound. Photo: Reuters

    So much for the forecasts by Brexit bears

    - Feb 10, 2017 4:13pm
    British stocks have chalked up a gain of more than 30 percent in the past year. The FTSE 100 index briefly surpassed 7,300 points last month, marking a record high. The market also maintained a rising...
  • In five of the past six years, buying the dogs of the Dow returned better than investing in the index. Photo: Biztechmojo

    A simple way to beat the Dow

    - Jan 9, 2017 1:36pm
    Dogs of the Dow refer to the ten companies in the benchmark US stock index that offer the highest dividend yields by the end of each year. If an investor invested in a basket of dogs...
  • If someone invested a dollar in Amazon in 1997, that one dollar would be worth more than US$380 today. Photo: Reuters

    Who would be crazy enough to hold Amazon for two decades?

    - Jan 6, 2017 5:12pm
    This year is the 20th anniversary of Amazon as a listed company. If someone invested a dollar in the e-commerce giant in 1997, that one dollar would be worth more than US$380 today, an annual compound...
  • US small caps can fall dramatically in a panic situation but over the long run, they can be as rewarding as large caps. Photo: Reuters

    Best way to play US small caps

    - Dec 5, 2016 12:15pm
    US small caps have been among the best-performing equities since the Nov. 8 presidential election in America. However, there is a problem with the segment: it tends to be relatively volatile, which can easily scare investors...
  • Oil prices are expected to gain some strength even if an upcoming OPEC meeting doesn't lead to an output cut agreement. Photo: etfdailynews.com

    Using oil call options as a Trump trade

    - Nov 22, 2016 5:09pm
    Very few big names in the investment world predicted Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, and even fewer people believed that a Trump win will do any good to Wall Street. The list of...
  • Many people may not be aware that behind the McCormick seasonings they have in the kitchen lies a company that has delivered bountiful returns to shareholders. Photo: shescribes.com

    ‘Boring’ firms can sometimes be beautiful investments

    - Oct 31, 2016 5:16pm
    Some investors may dismiss names such as fruit product maker J.M. Smucker, cigarette maker Altria, or spice and seasoning brand McCormick with regard to their appeal as investment targets, simply because the firms’ businesses look so...
  • Time Warner owns a vast library of movies and is one of Hollywood’s most prolific producers. Photo: Reuters

    What can investors learn from AT&T?

    - Oct 31, 2016 2:08pm
    Whether it is Verizon, Comcast, AT&T or other telecom and cable operators, these service providers are essentially doing the same thing — delivering content to consumers for a fee. Amid fast-changing technology, they all face the...
  • If you have no idea how to identify winners, investing in a well diversified index fund and keeping it for a long period could be the best chance of getting great returns. Photo: Reuters

    Stock investing: To diversify or not to diversify

    - Oct 24, 2016 11:50am
    A couple of months ago, I read a story on the Motley Fool website about a report from Horizon Research on how a group of art brokers made a fortune in the 19th to the 20th...
  • With more than a century of history, Hershey’s candies and chocolate bars have been part of life for many people. Sales normally top US$7 billion a year. Photo: Hershey’s

    Forever stock: ABC of a simple business

    - Sep 19, 2016 2:04pm
    Billionaire investor Warren Buffett and famed investment manager Peter Lynch have emphasized the importance of investing in companies with simple businesses and operations that an average investor can understand. In fact, lots of successful companies that...
  • Picking a stock that outperforms the market is much harder than most people think. Photo: Investopedia

    Want to beat the index? Look before you leap

    - Sep 1, 2016 3:14pm
    The National Weather Service of the United States spends about US$1 billion a year on weather forecasting. So how accurate has it been in predicting the weather? The answer is 66 percent of the time, two...
  • Wrong reactions to extreme market volatility often result in big losses for investors. Photo: Nerdist

    A better way to handle market volatility

    - Aug 24, 2016 11:41am
    Famed financial blogger Ben Carlson recently shared the results of his study on the volatility and performance of three key stock indices – S&P500, Russell 2000 (a benchmark for US small caps) and MSCI Emerging Markets Index....
  • In the era of zero or negative interest rates, it's becoming questionable if stock investors can get some sort of downside protection by diversifying into bonds. Photo: Disequilibrium.org

    Rethinking the relationship between bonds and stocks

    - Aug 15, 2016 12:28pm
    A common goal for stock investors who invest in bonds as well is to reduce the overall risk profile, given the usual negative correlation between the two. When stock markets weaken, the bond portion of a...
  • Investors who were able to capture the huge rally in gold prices from 1970 to 1980 would have achieved a much higher long-term average return on the asset than others. Photo: goldcitymall

    Data may not lie but the presenter can

    - Aug 11, 2016 4:37pm
    An asset’s long-term performance can present a mixed picture, with the returns markedly different depending on the time period selected for the assessment. Take the Cisco stock, for example. Excluding dividends, the tech counter has given...

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