Doing One’s Job as a Value Investor and Entrepreneur in Asia, or How to Avoid Value Traps

Dear Friends and All,

Doing One’s Job as a Value Investor and Entrepreneur in Asia, or How to Avoid Value Traps

“Management must be willing to submit themselves to the disciplines required for growth.”

– Philip Fisher, Warren Buffett’s mentor


You are now a changed man. But you were just doing your job.” This is a feedback comment received by one of Singapores top-notch professionals in his conversation years ago with another outstanding top brass whos a shrewd observer of people. The professional shared this recollection with the Bamboo Innovator last Friday. The seemingly simple and unremarkable comment made in the course of a classic Asian-style conversation with its underlying  wisdom, reflects the inner sense of purpose of this highly dedicated professional when he was in a position that had made him possibly Singapore’s most feared professional in uncovering financial lapses and irregularities.

Often times, people only see the glamorous side of a leader, their eye-popping remuneration and big title, the power and influence they wield from their position, the perquisites and social respect they enjoy. In the case of a value investor, many think that it is attractive as a career and lifestyle with “work-life balance” given that one only has to do some readings without the long working hours and make twenty-idea punch card investment decisions to become another Buffett. Whether one is a Professional, Entrepreneur, Value Investor or Educator in “doing one’s job”, it is critical to think about what skill-set, professional care and personal sacrifices that job requires in order to become the best in that field so as to create value for the people around him or her. Everything else such as the perquisites is simply a distraction. True professionalism means the pursuit of excellence, which inspires the extra level of intensity and dedication to serve. True professionals understood that their time belong not to themselves but to creating value for others so it’s no longer about “retiring before 40” or having more perquisites to enjoy as all these thoughts and activities are secondary and distractions from “doing one’s job”. They care only about two simple yet profound things which we will elaborate shortly. Read more of this post

Some Key Differences between a Happy Life and a Meaningful Life

Some Key Differences between a Happy Life and a Meaningful Life

Roy Baumeister 

Florida State University – College of Arts & Sciences

Kathleen Vohs 

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities – Carlson School of Management

Jennifer Aaker 

Stanford University – Graduate School of Business

Emily N. Garbinsky 

October 1, 2012
Stanford Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 2119

Being happy and finding life meaningful overlap, but there are important differences. A large survey revealed multiple differing predictors of happiness (controlling for meaning) and meaningfulness (controlling for happiness). Satisfying one’s needs and wants increased happiness but was largely irrelevant to meaningfulness. Happiness was largely present-oriented, whereas meaningfulness involves integrating past, present, and future. For example, thinking about future and past was associated with high meaningfulness but low happiness. Happiness was linked to being a taker rather than a giver, whereas meaningfulness went with being a giver rather than a taker. Higher levels of worry, stress, and anxiety were linked to higher meaningfulness but lower happiness. Concerns with personal identity and expressing the self-contributed to meaning but not happiness. We offer brief composite sketches of the unhappy but meaningful life and of the happy but meaningless life. Read more of this post

Bad is stronger than good.

Bad is stronger than good.

Baumeister, Roy F.; Bratslavsky, Ellen; Finkenauer, Catrin; Vohs, Kathleen D.

Review of General Psychology, Vol 5(4), Dec 2001, 323-370. doi: 10.1037/1089-2680.5.4.323


1.       The greater power of bad events over good ones is found in everyday events, major life events (e.g., trauma), close relationship outcomes, social network patterns, interpersonal interactions, and learning processes. Bad emotions, bad parents, and bad feedback have more impact than good ones, and bad information is processed more thoroughly than good. The self is more motivated to avoid bad self-definitions than to pursue good ones. Bad impressions and bad stereotypes are quicker to form and more resistant to disconfirmation than good ones. Various explanations such as diagnosticity and salience help explain some findings, but the greater power of bad events is still found when such variables are controlled. Hardly any exceptions (indicating greater power of good) can be found. Taken together, these findings suggest that bad is stronger than good, as a general principle across a broad range of psychological phenomena.


Top Anecdotal Signs of a Market Bubble

10 February 2014

Top Anecdotal Signs of a Market Bubble

By Jason Voss, CFA

At the risk of further inflating the bubble in discussion about whether or not global equity markets are in a bubble, I think it is worth discussing the topic from a qualitative point of view. Most of the talk of bubbles is data-driven analysis focusing on things like multiples, profit margins, revenue growth, historic equity market tops, equity risk premiums, and so forth. Read more of this post



Wednesday, February 5, 2014 — Tweet this article

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, once pirates, now legends, are forever linked in tech history. You know the lore: both collaborators and competitors in the 80s; Gates dominant in the 90s; Jobs triumphant in the 00s. Their career arcs were different though: Gates went out on top, retiring to a life of philanthropy, while Jobs spent a decade in the wilderness, returning to Apple at its darkest hour and leading it to impossible heights.

It turns out, though, the story may not be over. Read more of this post

Twilight of the Brands; brands have never been more fragile


by James SurowieckiFEBRUARY 17, 2014

Twelve months ago, Lululemon Athletica was one of the hottest brands in the world. Sales of its high-priced yoga gear were exploding; the company was expanding into new markets; experts were in awe of its “cultlike following.” As one observer put it, “They’re more than apparel. They’re a life style.” But then customers started complaining about pilling fabrics, bleeding dyes, and, most memorably, yoga pants so thin that they effectively became transparent when you bent over. Lululemon’s founder made things worse by suggesting that some women were too fat to wear the company’s clothes. And that was the end of Lululemon’s charmed existence: the founder stepped down from his management role, and, a few weeks ago, the company said that it had seen sales “decelerate meaningfully.” Read more of this post

Before you can focus your business, you must focus yourself

Before you can focus your business, you must focus yourself

Published 10 February 2014 16:45

New York Times

“On an average day we spend 2.1 hours on distraction,” says Robin Sharma, a best-selling author and personal coach. “We’re distracted by technology every 11 minutes, and it takes us 25 minutes to refocus our minds on the deep, creative work we were doing before we were distracted.” Read more of this post

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