What is your reference point…..?

I am sure you are aware that markets are pretty volatile these few days. In the case of my portfolio, the overall paper loss has not fallen to the Aug / Sept 2015 level yet.

Frankly I haven’t been focusing much on the stock market these days. Yes, I do sneak a peak at the prices everyday, reading up on news and articles. I am aware of the trading halts in China, and its effects on Wall Street. We may not have seen the lowest yet, and there could a bigger fall later in the year (or the start of a rally – who knows).

An investor reacts as he monitors the share index at a private stock market gallery in Kuala Lumpur on September 18, 2008. Share prices on Bursa Malaysia were broadly lower at mid-day amid a global sell-off triggered by growing concerns over the extent of the United States credit crunch and domestic political uncertainties, dealers said. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

The recent articles by some fellow bloggers and Motley Fools have mentioned about losses suffered (amount that could be worth a 5 room flat), and how the recent crash level is relativey small in comparison to the Financial Crisis in 2008/2009. It doesn’t give a sense of comfort to be frank.

How Much Further Will Singapore’s Stocks Fall? (read here)

However, you know that the stock market doesn’t ‘exist’ right? (well at least to Warren Buffett)


It is an auction house, where people come to bid and sell shares of companies. Sometimes the prices (due to the shareholders’ emotions) are disconnected from the fundamentals of the companies themselves. And the experienced value investors will always be there circling around waiting for someone foolish enough to be swayed by that.

There is this quote from Warren Buffett. (read here)

“As far as I am concerned, the stock market doesn’t exist. It is only there as a reference to see if anybody is offering to do anything foolish.” Warren Buffett

Always invest with money which you do not need in the near term, invest for the long term. Have the ability to plan long term……


Earnings reporting session is around the corner. I am eager to know how the companies in my portfolio fare. The last time I saw their earnings, most of them did ok (read here).

For the past week, like I mentioned before (read here), I have spent two days meeting up with the co-founders of 2 startups. It’s business as usual for them (irregardless of the volatility of the Singapore Stock Market). One startup is at its infancy while the other is a thriving business (having been in the media spotlight recently).

For the startup in its infancy, I am heartened to see the entrepreneur spirit of two undergrads trying to set up their first company (despite their varsity commitments). One is currently in his first year overseas (but seems to be the brain behind the idea, and with all the contacts). The other is hard at work trying to get investors and meeting up with business owners. Both fresh out of the army (NS).

They do not have a fully functional mobile app platform yet and requires cash for that… and have no results to show at the moment (due to the lack of an active platform). Their future is full of excitement but at the same time extremely hazy.

For the thriving startup, the co-founder has informed me earlier that they are not looking for investors, but nevertheless suggested that we meet up. Upon meeting, he highlighted that he would like to hear my opinions on their services and platform, my view on their competitors, and how they are better or worse etc. What they can do to make it better.

At the same time, I wanted to see his work place (didn’t manage to sneak a peek in as we were in a meeting room outside, and it is after office hours). I was able to figure out their strengths as compared to their competitors – ultimately I guess they (being in this business) would know best right. He was pretty straight-forward without revealing too much as he has met people posing as investors trying to dig information for other purposes.

Although the company has yet to turn profitable, it has already obtained the funding of a Venture Capital firm (VC), Incidentally, the tie up with the VC is more for strategic reasons. He does elude a sense of confidence, and highlighted that in terms of liquidity, the company is in a good spot. Very young guy, and rushing to meet his fiancee after this meet up.

It has been an interesting week for me (not because of the stock market). Talking to these young men, understanding and reading about these startups probably kept my mind away from the stock market. I guess when the market is bad and the media is churning out dire headlines, we sometimes do need to take a step back and focus on other things (just do what we like).



Shall leave you with this song (normally I will listen to this song when markets are shitty…and do my Excel sheet tabulating up my net worth when markets are doing well :p).



About apenquotes

Born in 1976. Married with 2 kids (a boy and a girl). A typical Singaporean living in a 4 room HDB flat. Check out my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/apenquotes.tte.9?ref=bookmarks
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