Hello everyone, welcome to our interview series – “MyTwoCents”.
Today, I have the honour of inviting Jerry over for our 1st interview.
Jerry is the owner of a tuition centre and a financial blogger @ bfgfmoneyblog.com. He has been supporting charities like the Children’s Cancer Foundation. I regard him as my mentor because he has taught me a lot about online marketing as well as the nuts and bolts of running an online business.
Without further ado, let’s get straight to the Q&A!
- Please tell us more about yourself.
Hi, I am Jerry and I run 2 education businesses and I invest (on the side). I have also set up a financial blog named bfgfmoneyblog.com.
- What led you to start this blog?
A long time back, my girlfriend and I had a heart-to-heart talk at Grub in Bishan Park. We were happily eating and the bill came up to $50+ dollars. Then we started talking about how much to get married, how much to renovate the house. And at that time, I just started my businesses and was struggling with money issues.
We came to realize how ‘dirt-poor’ I am in the face of these huge financial commitments – getting married, owning a house and have children. In fact, it turned out to be the most unpleasant meal we had.
So, I decided to make something positive out of it. We created this blog to have something in common and chart our financial plans (in concert). The main purpose is to help us better our relationship and to enjoy scrimping and saving together.
I don’t want to experience the ‘guilt’ feeling that i am spending $50-60 on a meal next time.
- What got you started into investing?
I started investing when I was in my 1st job. I wanted more capital to start a business so I want to maximize the amount of income I was earning back then. It is also for my safety net so that I have something to fall back on in case my business fails.
- What is your investment strategy and what do you like about it?
Value Investing. Just like the saying – ‘Look at stocks like you’d look at a business”. Generally I like to do businesses so I would also approach stocks investing in the same way.
The main thing I like about it is “Buy and Hold”, and you don’t need to look at it (your portfolio) so much. History has shown that 90% of the traders lose so I think that value investing is the only ‘logical’ way to invest.
- What are some of the challenges that you have faced?
One of the challenges I faced is ‘valuations’. A lot of people think that valuations are simple but I do think otherwise.
Take for example Facebook.
When it IPO’ed, everyone thinks it is overvalued and its share price came crashing down to the mid-20s range. However, today it is trading at over 100 dollars. With a hindsight bias, you would know that it is undervalued even though it was trading at 100 times PE during that time.
Another example was Nam Cheong. I used to buy it because its PE was very low, probably in the single digits. But look at it today, it is almost going bankrupt.
As for the 2nd challenge – I call it the “itchy-finger syndrome”. I like to buy stocks when I see my cash piling up and sitting idle in the bank, even though sometimes the best approach is to ‘do nothing’. And because of that, I think I have bought over-valued stocks and don’t get as good return as I should.
- Can you share more about your Worst investment & Best investment?
Worst Investment: GoPro
I lost around 70-80% on GoPro and it’s not a small amount – it was a 5-figure sum. I think that the losses was mainly because of confirmation bias.
What happened was that I made 36% gains in just 2 to 3 months on my 1st purchase and I was even more convinced about all the research I have done. I went to place another huge bet on the stock, over-allocating to 1 individual stock when it totally didn’t make any sense.
Best Investment: Priceline
It was the 1st U.S. stock I have bought and if I don’t remember wrongly, it’s up 66%. I bought it twice, 1st in Dec 2015 and
- Is there a particular book you will recommend for our readers?
I would recommend any book by Peter Lynch. ‘Beating the Street’ is the best inspirational book I read.
- Lastly, any advice or words of encouragement for fellow aspiring investors??
I think that one should invest in what he/she knows best. Personally, I wished I had utilized my capital more efficiently by pumping it back into my business. It is the thing I know best and thus, generates the highest returns for me.
If you think you are good in your job and buying a particular book can make you earn more money, it’s a worthwhile investment as well. Taking time to learn new skills or going for courses are all investments in their own right.
In short, if you invest in yourself or something you specialize in, that usually brings about the best return you can find.
And that’s all folks!
We wish to say a Big Thank You to Jerry and hope you all have enjoyed our interview with him too. Stay tuned for more success stories of financial bloggers @ MyTwoCents!