12 December 2018

But Lo-lam

Columnist at the Hong Kong Economic Journal
  • 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...
  • 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:

    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:

    ‘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...

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