Sunday 8 April 2018

How Long Can (The) Boring Investor Blog Continue?

This is post no. 260, which represents the 5th birthday for this weekly blog. In past years, this would have been a joyous occasion, as it means that I have blogged for another 52 continuous weeks. This year, however, there is a tinge of sadness, as there is a realisation that all things will eventually come to an end, including this blog.

Regular readers of this blog would know that I like to string all posts with the same theme together, such as the telco theme of recent weeks. However, to have something useful to blog about, I need to carry out research. And research takes time. Despite this being a weekly blog, the amount of time needed to search, analyse and write useful stuffs is sometimes quite overwhelming. For example, the 4 posts on Hyflux last year were spread out over 7 weeks, simply because the research could not keep up with the blogging. 

Besides the lag in blogging, a lot of personal stuffs are also piling up. There are 400 over unread emails in my mailbox; I have not calculated my Profit & Loss for 2H2017; my database of 260 stocks is only updated up till 2016, etc.

What contributed to the lag in blogging since last year? Starting from last year, I have been analysing stocks as business investments rather than financial investments. This means having to understand the operations of a business and know what factors would affect its profitability, rather than just looking at its income statements, balance sheets and cashflow statements and conclude whether the stock should be bought or sold. A case in point is the telco theme that I have been blogging recently. To have an informed analysis about whether telcos' profitability is going up or down, I need to understand Will SIM-Only Plans Cannibalise Regular Telco Plans?, Impact of Data Upsize Plans on Telcos, Will MVNOs Cannibalise Telcos' Business?, Is Pay TV Still A Reliable Cash Cow?, Do Telco Investors Need to Fear the Fourth Telco? etc., before I can reasonably conclude Is Starhub's Dividend of 16 Cents Sustainable? Looking at the various aspects of the operations of the business is similar to the scuttlebutt approach mentioned in Philip Fisher's book "Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits".

Although very time-consuming, this change in blogging approach has benefited my investments as well. Global Logistic Properties (GLP) was the largest winner in the 20 years I have been investing with my own money. As for M1, although I am sitting on paper losses currently, I am confident the stock price will turn around. Likewise, I am confident that my analysis for the likes of Keppel Corp/ SembCorp Marine, Hyflux, Starhub will turn out to be correct. There is no going back to the days of just analysing the financial statements and buying/ selling the stock. Similarly, I also believe readers would want to know how the business aspects of the company are doing rather than just the financial aspects. 

Thus, as much as I like to continue blogging once every week, there will come a time when this trend will be broken. After having blogged 52 times every year for the past 4 years, I will be quite sad when this day comes. In the meanwhile, let us relish for every week that this blog can continue.

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  1. Nooooo, I look forward to reading your blog posts every week!!

    Sadness aside, I can understand if the trend is eventually broken. I'm sure many readers will be sad too. Your posts are in depth, informative, and very easy to digest. Hope you can continue your blog as long as possible!


    1. Thks for your compliments! I'll continue for as long as I can.

  2. Happy 5th Birthday ! I enjoyed your telco series :).

  3. Hi,

    Great ideas don't come often and great posts come with a lot of effort and research. You can think of your blog as a thinking-out-loud avenue to make sure your investments make sense and you are investing based on good fundamentals.

    You can consider use stockscafe as a useful tool to track / manage your portfolio. Though if you have large number of transactions, it will not be free and you have to weigh the costs and the benefits.

    Consider pacing yourself out and blog at a leisurely pace instead of a tight schedule. You should enjoy the process more than the proceeds! (Page view counts).

    1. Thks for your suggestion.

      Yes, I won't force myself to blog if I really cannot finish it.

  4. Replies
    1. I wish I can spend more time reading your work.

    2. You are welcome.

      No hurry. My blog is always here. You can slowly read through the posts.

  5. Thank you for your contributions!