Friday, April 11, 2014

Creating our own luck

Having received a fortunate prognostication from the Book of Changes in 2012 for my annual hexagram, I did not consult the Yijing again for my fortune for years 2013 and 2014.

In line with the guidance from the accurate Guan Yin Oracle obtained end August 2011, and forearmed with the experiential knowledge of when Yijing omens would come to an end – thus allowing me to ignore the then constant media and investment gurus harping on the European (PIGS) credit crisis - I have invested in the shares of five different public quoted companies (counters) in May 2013 just before and immediately after the Malaysian General Elections. The shares were bought in at the prevailing low prices then because of the uncertainties both in Europe and in Malaysia.

Unlike the previous share investment (sold early 2013) which had more than doubled in price, this time I did not consult the Book of Changes for any of these particular investments.

No, I did not use any charts analysis (have some basic knowledge) nor any fundamental analysis (piece of cake for someone who can read and digest The Financial Times of the UK) for the investments, merely relying on just pure luck?

When asked for investment tips, I told my remisier to just follow the picks in my margin account to make some money, but no guarantees. He said my picks always take a long time to go up and he did not have the patience to wait. Sure.

Three months later, I have had sold one of the five counters because the shares investment in a corporation - majority owned by a State Government – had made a 100% gain, not counting the dividends received. (Three months can be a long time to wait for share prices to double for those who want instant gratification! However this is not the bull run of 1993.)

A week after Chinese New Year 2014, I had sold another counter - dealing in fast food - since its share price had by this time also doubled.

Using part of the realized profit, I had decided to take my family for a holiday in Macau and in Hong Kong. Since Cathay Pacific was offering a fantastic online promotion package to Macau that includes the return (KuL – HK) air fare, ferry and a two night stay in a five star hotel there, I took the opportunity to book two Royal Suites in the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel for two nights by paying a slightly higher price – a few hundred ringgit - over the original subsidized package. According to online trips resources, the Venetian Resort Hotel ranks as the fourth most popular tourist spot in Macau. While I have stayed in five star hotels in a few Asian countries during business and pleasure trips in the past, I had never stayed in a suite in any one of them before. (The rack rate for the Royal Suite with a floor area of 755 sq ft was HK 7,500 per night – no wonder!)

Having checked into the hotel at the lobby counter, the four of us had to walk through the casino to go to our suites. It was pure luck that Sheldon G. Adelson, the US billionaire owner of the Venetian Macau casino and hotel, happened to be passing through the casino at the same time sitting on a mini motorized scooter surrounded by a few hugh bodyguards. He saw us and smiled as we passed! How often does that happen?

Three weeks have gone by since the overseas holiday trip, and currently I am waiting to sell the third counter, a penny stock, which price is literally a tick away for a hundred percent gain. Since it is amongst the most traded stocks in the KLSE over the past few days, the momentum should push its share price a few ticks higher.

Not knowing much except following the conventional wisdom of investing in stocks and shares can help us create our own luck:

Buy low, sell high. Know the company you want to invest in – knowing the traits of the owner also helps. Invest in at least five counters.

Of course if we happened to be Yijing aficionados who also foreknow timing and change, our luck could be better in such investments.

While others panic sell shares, we buy from them at our leisure. While others rush in to buy shares, we sell to them at the right time and at our target price. Is this not following the maxim of buy low, sell high? Is this not following the way of the Junzi who has foreknowledge of things to come? Or is it just lady luck?