Interview with Ucypmas

Interview with Ucypmas

Postby winston » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:02 am

This week, we are very please to introduce ucypmas ..

Investideas: You have a very special nick. Why are you using this nick and what does it mean ?

My friends used to call me uncle when I was in school. The nick is a combination of that and other parts of my name.

Investideas: What can you tell us about your background ?

I graduated in from NUS Engineering in 2002. I am currently working as a market research person in the Oil & Gas industry. I am currently in my early 30s and I am married with one baby .

InvestIdeas: How long have you been investing / trading ?

I began investing in 2003, in the US stock market. It was a case of me doing what I know and I thought the best fishes were in the US market at that time. I actually followed the Motley Fool and their recommendations.

I eventually realised that their recommendations were a bunch of crock but some of their boards have good information, if you have the time to sift through the enormous volume of posts there to find things you are interested in. I also picked up my knowledge of financial measures from their site so its not a total waste of my time.

I got into the Singapore market in 2008 as the markets tanked and I started looking for something with less currency risk and closer to home.

InvestIdeas: What is your Investment Strategy ?

None really. Over the years I have learned to look out for the various attributes of a business, and to understand how they earn their keep rather than analysing a lot of ratios, rate of returns etc. This is also partially driven by my lack of skill with regards to analysing accounting statements.

But more often its because of my belief that you need to understand whether a business is a good (or at least reasonable one), to put their other things into context (e.g. a huge cash pile would be useless if left to a spendthrift management).

InvestIdeas: What are your favorite books on trading/investing?

None really. I get a lot from perusing the web for information, and articles which provide some context on various subject matters. My recent reads are The Snowball, which I think its too huge and difficult to digest, and Taleb's books, which I liked because of the stories more than anything else.

I particulary like a book by Bruce Greenwald: Value Investing from Graham to Buffet and Beyond. It crystallises a lot of the thinking behind looking at the underlying value in various businesses, and assessing their sustainability and durability.

I read economic blogs almost daily, and letters from people like Mauldin, Hussman etc for my diet of macro stuff. But you can't invest on timing them so its just for info and its what I like to do.

InvestIdeas: What are your investment vehicles ?

Stock market and a private investment into the company where I am currently working. I will consider unit trusts eventually, for accessing other markets. Not for Singapore as I think there is no point paying outsized fees to something you can access locally, and relatively easily.

InvestIdeas: What has been your best investment so far?

My private investment. It was easily a 4-bagger over 2 years due to the underlying growth of the business.

InvestIdeas: What has been your worst investment?

There's a number of them. Akamai springs to mind. I bought into the hype with zero understanding of the cut-throat nature of the business, at an overvalued price by any decent measure. I eventually exited at a loss of more than 75% of my starting capital but thankfully the absolute amount was not huge.

There were some others which I exited with breakeven positions but the swings were huge. Eventually I got the message that I should not be like a monkey shooting darts with my money.

InvestIdeas: What advice do you have for a young/newbie who is just starting out ?

1) Spend time developing your career. Most people do not get rich from investing
2) Capital protection is the utmost priority. Don't lose money
3) Compounding is key to growing your wealth

Most people want to get rich quick. They have this fantasy that they want to retire at 45 and travel the world. Usually the first few trades in which they make a couple of thousands at an annualised IRR of 3000% p.a. will convince them that this is doable (easily).

The reality is very few people can growth their wealth successfully in stock market investing. Those who say they can, and have the charts to prove it, are not you.

Odds are you will be better off adopting a pragmatic attitude early on and focus on getting your career to a good start, save and build a base of capital that you will not lose, and compound through a collection of investments that provide you with a continuous return for further reinvestment.

InvestIdeas: Are there any other non-investment related books that may have influenced your outlook on life ?

Not really. But my general reading in recent times, together with the financial crisis have sharpened my thinking on growing my wealth and protecting it from loss.

InvestIdeas: Are you able to tell us a bit about your family ?

I am the eldest. Had a baby last year and she's getting to be a handful now.

InvestIdeas: What are some of your favourite investment topics in the forum ?

Generally I move from topic to topic. I read some company specific posts, especially SGX-listed ones. I also read general discussions around investing concepts, Singapore markets, properties etc.

InvestIdeas: What are some of your other interests ?

I used to run as part of my exercise regime. Looking to get back to it as I start to find more time at home. Walks in the park, cycling / inline skating at East Coast etc.
It's all about "how much you made when you were right" & "how little you lost when you were wrong"
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Re: Interview with Ucypmas

Postby helios » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:49 am


What's your private investment? A company of your own? Which industry is this?
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Re: Interview with Ucypmas

Postby ucypmas » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:16 pm

I don't own the company. I am just another employee - like many others who also own shares in the company. Its a bit like those public listed cos who dole out options and share purchase programmes to their employees - just that I had to pay for mine through hard cash through a normal investment window and its a privately owned company.

My company deal with the oil and gas sectors.
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Re: Interview with Ucypmas

Postby Musicwhiz » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:48 pm

Thanks ucypmas,

It's good to know you better now. Happy CNY! :)
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Re: Interview with Ucypmas

Postby helios » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:10 am

Thanks, Ucypmas.

Happy Tiger Year to you and family.
[Finance disclaimer: The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought regarding investing of any stocks/ funds and/or whatsoever. The author has no vested interest in the mentioned stock at the time of writing.
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Re: Interview with Ucypmas

Postby ucypmas » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:22 pm

Thanks. Wish everyone a good year ahead!
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Re: Interview with Ucypmas

Postby LenaHuat » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:03 pm

Welcome, Ucypamas :D
I send U my good wishes for the year too :D
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Re: Interview with Ucypmas

Postby kennynah » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:13 pm

ucypmas wrote:Thanks. Wish everyone a good year ahead!

thanks. and same to you... :!:
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