Confusion plagues investors and their fund managers

A woman in sunglasses passes by a screen showing stock prices in Hong Kong as investors and their fund managers struggle to maximise returns on their investments. Photo: Felix Wong

A friend asked me to examine her investment portfolio because she could not understand what her investments, which comprised funds actually represented.

Monday, 10 August, 2015, 12:49am

If it doesn't look right, then it probably isn't

Punctured dreams

There's a simple rule of business that some people learn the hard way, some discover by example, and some instinctively understand from Day 1.

This rule can be summed up as: if it doesn't look or sound right, then it probably isn't. It covers more or less everything, ranging from doing deals to people to ideas - and especially grandiose projects that come with lavish projections.

12 Mar 2014 - 1:18am 3 comments

Market-beating monkeys give hope to retail investors

Market-beating monkeys give hope to retail investors

It's now official. Even monkeys can beat the stock market index. Cass Business School researchers in London simulated 10 million portfolios of US stocks selected at random.

27 Apr 2013 - 3:31am 1 comment

Ten mistakes investors must avoid

Over-trading can give you a headache. Photo: Corbis

Walking on eggshells? Here is my Top 10 list of common blunders made by investors. 1. Letting your investment adviser act like he is managing "other people's money": This can be a dangerous attitude, particularly if your manager is rewarded on the upside (with performance fees) but has nothing to lose if your investments tank.

22 Apr 2013 - 2:28am

Spelling out the difference between investing and trading

Long-term investors require almost inhuman quantities of patience. Photo: David Wong

Investors are often thrown glib phrases like "Let winners run!" or "Kill dogs early!" or "Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent!" There are too many to list and whenever I hear one of these phrases I try to mentally file them into one of two investment categories: Investing or Trading.

25 Mar 2013 - 3:30am

Beware of unscrupulous financial advisers

The devil you know

Individuals put a lot of faith in financial advisers, making them vulnerable to fraud. But you can protect yourself, writes Nicky Burridge.

28 Jan 2013 - 7:19am

Core holding in portfolio should always be bullion

Third quarter global gold demand was close to 1,085 tonnes.

The attraction of equities and other financial instruments will rise and fall with the tide, but investors can always bet on one sure thing: as a long-term play, gold will never lose its lustre.

26 Nov 2012 - 9:35am

Overall market volatility remains 'eerily low'

US elections, an imploding euro, QE3 and China's leadership transition have fuelled speculation about where markets will move. Photo: AFP

Nervous investors - and fund managers with monthly reports to write - can find any number of reasons to worry. The United States elections, an imploding euro, the third round of quantitative easing (QE3) and the predictable leadership transition in China have fuelled all kinds of speculation about where markets will move and why.

26 Nov 2012 - 9:35am

Marc Faber shrugs off Dr Doom tag

Marc Faber. Photo: EPA

It's interesting how we place blind faith in financial gurus. Some have achieved the status of global celebrities and have made fortunes by investing shrewdly, like Warren Buffet. Investors and journalists lap up everything Buffet says as if it was handed down by Moses on some modern day Mount.

14 Nov 2012 - 11:10pm 1 comment

Hang Seng customers seek havens in uncertain times, says bank chief

Hang Seng Bank executive director Andrew Fung says the bank's customers want stable long-term investments. Photo: Bloomberg

Hang Seng Bank would continue to offer low-risk investment product services to meet customer demand, executive director Andrew Fung Hau-chung said.

In the current climate, investors preferred bonds or low-risk products over high-risk high-return products, said Fung, who is in charge of investment and treasury at Hang Seng.

17 Sep 2012 - 2:15am

Global fund houses mull shift in China strategy

Mainland stocks have cost much pain in recent years. Photo: AP

Global asset managers, including billionaire investor George Soros and the funds unit of General Electric, appear to be rethinking their strategies for investments in mainland and Hong Kong stocks, given the uncertain outlook.

17 Sep 2012 - 8:20am

Ask Melanie: should I hoard my cash?

I hate seeing the value of my investments drop, so I've been keeping my money in cash. Is that a good strategy given there's still so much uncertainty around?

By protecting yourself from risk in one area you may unwittingly expose yourself to risk in another. Keeping cash in the bank to protect its value leaves you wide open to a more insidious risk - inflation.

17 Sep 2012 - 3:26pm

When time is money - and you don't have any

Run, don't walk, to your nearest pension planner.

A recent Justin Timberlake science-fiction movie called In Time had the premise that, in the future, people will only live as long as they can pay for time. If your credit expires, so do you. The movie was not up to much, but the concept was compelling.

17 Sep 2012 - 3:36am