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kotmj

Gloriously off-topic

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Watched an interview with Nassim Taleb on youtube when he said something that completely made sense. He said Trump says the things he does because he never had a boss. Trump was never a subordinate to anyone. This explains the way he speaks.

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I'm in the process of renting this place. It's great to have the space for the dog. Also, I'd like to experience cabin living. This is very close by where I'm currently living in the country. Rent is RM200/month. 

I'll obviously need to renovate this. But I'm quite fine with rudimentary living. This is practice for the future when I buy some agriculture land and build my own cabin on it.

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Sometime in January, while out walking with Max in Gohtong Jaya, I found the puppy above, quite abandoned. It lives inside a covered drain in the Genting Spelling Station, barking at whoever comes by. A car mechanic nearby would come feed the puppy during his lunch hour. It has no other sources of food.

I'd visit every few days to feed it. As CNY approached, the mechanic asked me what we're going to do with the puppy. I said I can't take it home because I live in an apartment. Maybe he can think of a bungalow I can rent? He couldn't think of any.

I eventually brought the puppy home anyway. I recently moved both dogs into a terrace house, but I haven't myself moved into it. Here's the puppy today:

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It's an extremely affectionate dog. Very gentle and sensitive. It's quite different from a retriever like Max who has been bred for specific properties. It's more of a scavenger: lightning quick and opportunistic at swiping food, barks quite a bit more, and doesn't really watch the owner's cues like a retriever would. More of a wild dog. But very affectionate and gentle.

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Bringing puppy to the vet this Tuesday to be spayed. Nowadays, I have to pick which dog I want to bring out: Max or Puppy. Both can't fit in my car.

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Life got too boring. I started working out, since I seem to have a surplus of energy and well-being recently.

Then, I restarted an old hobby. Stock investing. I opened a Rakuten Trade account, which allows me to buy stocks at the lowest fees in Malaysia. Yesterday and today, I bought quite a bit of shares. I bought Yoong Onn, the manufacturer of Jean Perry pillows and operator of Home's Harmony retail outlets. I also just bought AirAsia Bhd. Pretty much in equal amounts.

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The story with Yoong Onn is very straightforward. Basically, both revenues and profits have quadrupled and tripled respectively over the last 12 years. In about 5 years, they doubled the number of Home's Harmony outlets from 10 stores to 20 stores.

No debt. A bit more than 50% of the company is owned by the founder and CEO. Those shares are worth some 81 million ringgit.

No capital raising exercise since being listed. No company acquisitions. Purely self funded and growth is 100% organic.

PE ratio is 6.7X when you look at earnings for the last four quarters.

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The story with AirAsia is more complex. In fact, I just found AirAsia a few hours ago. Impulse purchase?

The reason I bought it: The sheer entrepreneurship! There is no other such game in town. They don't give up pursuing what they want to see happen, and are innovating across a variety of adjacent areas. They are just at the beginning in other markets outside Malaysia.

Revenues, profits and market share are all growing. The PE ratio for what is indisputably a growth company is remarkably moderate.

AirAsia may be too big and complex for me to look at too closely. Too busy.

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Another stock I'm thinking of buying is Star Media group, publisher of The Star. People are giving away their shares in it almost for free.

Yes, yes, I know the newspaper business model is broken. People no longer watch TV and do not read print newspapers. So advertisers have decreased their ad spend on print media. This has caused the company to have declining revenues.

The way I see it, Star has merely a distribution problem. People still love the product Star makes. What product? The news they put out. Malaysians love the damned thing. Not many companies have structured themselves to produce such a quantity of writing that the public loves to consume. They just want to consume it on their phones, not on paper. So the product is still very relevant, just the distribution has been superseeded.

Management has shown itself to be very quick to act. Though revenues are down, profits are up due to VSS/early retirement scheme. They've removed thousands from the payroll.

Management has also conserved cash. The share price is 76 sen. Of this, 23 sen is cash.

It's too cheap, too cheap!

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Minutes ago, added Berjaya Food to my portfolio. It owns the Starbucks, Kenny Rogers and Jollibean franchises within Malaysia and a few other countries.

I was dismayed to see Chryeis Tan on the board. She's one of Vincent Tan's daughters and does almost nothing with her life except going on perpetual and neverending holidays. I happen to follow her on IG. Doesn't one tire of being a full time tourist?

This is really a play on the continued success of Stabucks within Malaysia. At a PE ratio of roughly 20X depending on how you want to calculate earnings, it's not cheap. But, revenues have never dropped, and Starbucks' SSS are still increasing. Historically, the stock has almost never traded lower than it does today. Yet, revenues were never higher. Like McD, Starbucks goes from strength to strength.

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Today, I added DRB-HICOM to my portfolio. There are two major portions to this company. One is Proton. The other is Posmalaysia+Poslaju+Alam Flora. They call the former Automotive and the latter Services. Revenues are about 50-50.

Services has been making money and has showed solid growth due to the rise of online buying. But the profits have always been erased by the deep losses of Automotive. As a result DRB-HICOM is often seen in the red, occasionally making a profit then going back into the red.

It reached a nadir in mid 2016 when the share price touched 86 sen. An announcement of three new models reversed the slide. The stock rallied. In mid 2017, the government gave a billion ringgit to Proton. Then shortly after, Geely bought half of Proton.

The share price went to RM2.65 in February this year. Today, it's at RM1.93.

I bought because I liked the turnaround story. Geely licensed 3 models to Proton in exchange for RM810 million, which DRB is paying for by selling Alam Flora to Malakoff.

The Proton version of the Geely Boyue is coming in a few months. This will be followed by the VF11, an MPV. Then a crossover called the Binyue is coming.

Turnarounds, if successful, cause the share price to really shoot up. I do not think the market has properly priced DRB-HICOM's much improved prospects. Proton has been transformed from a basket case living off government grants to becoming a proxy for Geely in ASEAN. The share price does not reflect this. So I bought.

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