25 February 2020

But Lo-lam

Columnist at the Hong Kong Economic Journal
  • Prices of US long-dated treasury bonds have been climbing as the yield continues to drop. Photo: Reuters

    The risks in chasing yields

    - Sep 4, 2019 11:16am
    Buying stocks for dividend was once a common theme. However, the investment culture shifted in recent decades and people began focusing more on speculative activities and the hunt for quick capital gains. But over the last...
  • Portfolio management for retirees needs to ensure wealth protection as well as growth amid the inflation factor. Photo: Reuters

    Retirement saving plans need to strike a delicate balance

    - Jul 31, 2019 12:12pm
    Most developed economies are faced with the problem of aging population. Today, Americans retire on average at 62, in contrast to the situation a century ago when many of their ancestors tended to call it a...
  • Given the wild fluctuations, bitcoin investors could fall from heaven to hell in just a couple of hours.  Photo: Reuters

    Should we jump on the bitcoin bandwagon now?

    - Jul 2, 2019 4:32pm
    Bitcoin is in the news again. Facebook’s plans to issue a cryptocurrency called Libra and march into the electronic payment arena have generated a lot of hype for cryptocurrencies again. But I think the real reason...
  • British fund manager Neil Woodford has decided to suspend his flagship fund and block investors from withdrawing money amid mounting redemption demand. Photo: Woodford Investment Management

    Why flagship of UK star fund manager Neil Woodford is in trouble

    - Jun 6, 2019 12:29pm
    It might be a coincidence or a curse, but famous fund managers who have been compared to billionaire investor Warren Buffett often ended up in failure. Neil Woodford was the manager of Britain’s biggest equity fund...
  • Lyft's strong first-day gains will help add to investor interest in the new wave of tech IPOs in the United States. Photo: Reuters

    Why investors are crazy about IPOs

    - Apr 2, 2019 11:31am
    Ride-hailing platform Lyft had a very successful debut on the Nasdaq last Friday. The stock opened 20 percent above the offering price, before paring the gains later and ending the day with an 8.7 percent gain....
  • Wall Street is probably just using the recession chatter as an excuse to lock in profits after the recent advance in equity prices, a market observer says. Photo: Reuters

    Why the recession talk is a bit premature

    - Mar 27, 2019 10:51am
    The inversion of the US yield curve has stoked fears of an economic recession. Leaving the yield curve topic aside, the dovish stance of central banks in US, China and EU also raises concern that the...
  • Netflix has to keep burning money to cement its leading market position. Photo: Bloomberg

    Netflix investors are more like adventurers

    - Jul 4, 2018 10:45am
    The Economist runs a cover story on Netflix in its latest issue, explaining how the video streaming company used algorithms to identify the different tastes and preferences of its viewers, establishing some 2,000 “taste clusters” for...
  • Japanese equities typically move in opposite direction to the yen. Photo: Reuters

    Why Japanese equities are a good bet

    - Oct 27, 2017 3:27pm
    With the Nikkei Index reaching a 21-year high, foreign investors’ interest in Japanese equities continues to pick up. Investment in Japanese stocks is typically driven by two things: expectations of a weaker yen, which will stimulate...
  • To achieve extraordinary return, Charlie Munger always tries to wait for the rare chance to buy great companies at great prices. Photo: Reuters

    Applying Munger’s horse betting theory to investing

    - Jun 16, 2017 1:08pm
    When betting on horses, Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger defines a good bet as a horse that has a more than 50 percent chance of winning with a payoff that is at least three to...
  • Year to date, Apple, Amazon and Facebook alone have contributed about one-third of the S&P500’s gains. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why it’s too early to worry about tech boom wearing out

    - May 31, 2017 3:18pm
    The US tech stock boom seems to be unstoppable. While it continues to attract strong capital inflows, some keep wondering if the narrow-based rally powered mostly by tech counters suggests the party could be ending. PowerShares...
  • A Vanguard research shows US investors put 80 percent of their assets in domestic stocks. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why US investors have little interest in Europe

    - May 31, 2017 2:21pm
    Two years ago, Hong Kong equities were enjoying one of the biggest rallies and investors could have made a fortune just by sticking to the hottest counters such as Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (00388.HK) or...
  • Teradyne acquired Universal Robots two years ago to expand into industrial robotics. Photo: Teradyne

    US tech plays: Looking beyond the big names

    - May 16, 2017 10:06am
    After breaking the 6,000-points mark on April 25, the Nasdaq Composite Index continued to maintain strong momentum in May. On Monday, the benchmark closed at 6,149, notching a year to date gain of 14 percent. Leading...
  • Strong foreign investment inflow and improving political outlook in Britain could help the pound sterling. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why the pound sterling is set to become stronger

    - May 5, 2017 10:16am
    After bouncing back from 1.20 against the greenback, pound sterling has cleared a major hurdle at around 1.27 and is poised to break 1.30 soon. Much of the chatter regarding the Brexit vote has been centered...
  • 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, 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...