Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Random thoughts: Abstaining from meat

It's has been more than 2 years since I have tried not to eat meat.

It is not health reason that I tried to abstain from meat, more like I hope to reduce killings?

I never claim I am a vegetarian, because I take diary products and I didn't care about sambal chilli containing dried shrimps or what type of stock mushroom soup used. (Yes, chicken stock is use for mushroom soup at Swenson, I didn't bother)

I hope I can abstain from meat for a lifetime, but I have been taking meat for about 2-3 meals a week now.

The journey is quite a failure, I would say.

Initially, when I see roasted duck, I do feel for the duck being killed and roasted. Now, I feel like getting a bite. Yes, it is meaningless to abstain from meat now, but I do hope perhaps one day, I could still get that compassion and that simplicity back.

In my first year, there are occasions where I took meat with my dad, but I didn't consider myself failing to abstain from meat. There and then, my intention was for my dad to have a good meal, and I know he could not finish the food if he was to have it by himself. I also knew he feel bad wasting food, so I order and share it with him. I have no desire to eat the meat, I just want to be kind to my dad too. No guilt at all.

Now, when I have meals with my dad, I frequently take meat, but I knew the difference, because I wanted to have the food and I crave it now.

There is no lying to oneself.

The subtle difference means the world of difference, although looking at it for a external lens, maybe nothing much has changed. In fact, I consider it worse now, because it borders on cheating oneself.

If we look at it from a cognitive angle, I start to understand the innate disposition difference of a trader and a value investor.

Was discussing about TA and FA with LP and co, and while I couldn't quite explain myself clearly, I knew there is no fudging of the 2 at its core, although some might be able to find a balance between the two.

If one pursuit the other in depth, one would realise the inherent difference. I am not interested in semantics debate, I feel it in my bones.

But it is fine, as long as make money, who cares, it's more for self awareness anyway. It doesn't work for me, might work for others

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Random thoughts: Moral?


Saw this at Facebook. Strike a chord. This is my comment to his Qn, |"so what do we do"

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I think the article is right but ignore the fact about moral development readiness of a child.

Like learning, there is some rote learning at the beginning of mastery of  basic nummeracy etc.

Hence, a child would need to be simply reinforced and reprimanded for act of goodness and selfishness at certain early stage of life, until they could understand I do good or evil simply because I want to and it is who I am.

The only way for values to be learnt, is for it to be caught. After it is being caught, it tugs the heart and not just the mind. Therafter, it needs to be practised. (Hence the earlier reward and punishment for some practice before the action can be driven by internal values). Practices, is a dirty word nowsaday. It is associated with drills and is supposedly harmful to critical thinking and kills joy, which is bullshit. If u Understand a Maths concept or heuristic, but never practice any question, do u think u can apply the concept or heuristic fluently or naturally? Most probably, after a while, u will also forget the concept.

 Pic speaks a thousand words, and action speaks louder than words. And the action I am referring to, is not just the act of goodness or selfishness. The action, here includes also the reactions of a person after consequences or results is known. Is he at peace with himself doing good that no one appreciates and thinks of him as a fool?

A whinning man who feel victimized after doing good, acts based on expected rewards and not what he believes.

I am no sage. I know my karma will catch up with me, but I take reaponsiblity as I know it is my choice regardless of circumstances. Some circumstances might be migating enough but it doesn't change the fact that no one point a gun at your head.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Random thoughts: Sarine Technology update

Not vested yet.

I continue to read up on Sarine technology, or rather, more on Lab growth Diamond and synthetic diamond.

I scuttlebutt at one local retailer, and ask if they sell lab growth Diamond. He told me they dun, but it can be already be found quite easily in Singapore market.

He told me lab grown diamond will lose its shine after a long time as compared to natural diamond. Well, that is a good one because no one can verify long time now.

He goes on to say they have buy back policy for diamond and there is no such for synthetic diamond.

I tested his sincerity but checking if it is cheaper by 20- 30 percent. I know debeer create diamonds that are 80 percent cheaper. So it should be anything between 30 to 80 difference. He first tried to evade the ans by saying it depends. But when I come back to the qn  he said for his own opinion, it can goes up to 50 percent. BINGO!

When I ask around if anyone would buy a sythentic diamond, one mentioned it depends if there is accreditation that it is real diamond, meaning it's made of carbon hahahah.

I checked online and realized that there is accreditation for lab growth Diamond although there is some resistance from GIA to grade and accredited it specifically.

I change my thesis.

This could well be a big disruptor and is a war not easily won by incumbents.

If sythentic diamond offer buyback and accreditation, then the only differentiation would be the atas vanity effect to differentiate market segment. Although there is worse secondary market for sythentic than natural diamond now. I believe sythentic diamond would make secondary market for natural diamond even more challenging, such that any small stored value is considered as negligible for both diamonds

But there would have become a niche market and lost the mass market. Remember the farmed salmon and wild salmon thingy in my previous post.

If one is concerned about value, I would buy sythentic compare to natural because if a jeweler can't tell the difference, who is going to risk paying a premium even with accreditation?

Not only that, if I understand the young better, the yolo generation cares quite a fair bit about ideas and sustainability. Natural diamond marketing is a diamond is forever, and it is used to link to love.

Sythentic diamond claim to be green, sustainable and conflict free. In short, there is no blood stain on your pledge of love. I think that is quite a strong narrative that can easily catch on.

The things is, sythentic diamond require cutting, and polishing too. Sarine Tech has the capability to do that.

Right now, it's a war like oil sand and conventional crude by OPEC.

Debeer want to undercut the margin and at the same time, differentiate the natural diamond premium.

I think Sarine do not have any binding agreement with natural diamonds supplier, but going to the other side too early only risk angering the suppliers and customers.

In conclusion,

Sarine will survive, no matter who win the war. But before one side dominate, it can just make do with the smaller pie before switching ...

I would think it's really worth watching, like the CDG and Grab fight.

This time, I think I will not make the same mistake of not taking action when it is clear which side is gaining 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Random thoughts: just random

U know this is just pure randomness in thoughts, just penning down thoughts that stick with me.

U know, there is always this comparison with money and personality. And we always say we like to be treated well because we are kind of people like us, not because we are rich and powerful.

It is said that if we are welcome because of money and our position, when we lose it ( maybe because of fire ) we will have a hard time adjusting because those who respect us because of our appointment will then treat us with cold shoulders.

I generally agree that money simply amplify who we are, like Warren says, if u are jerk, u just become a bigger jerk when we become rich.

I would like to point to 1 similarity though.

We tend to think that we will lose money sooner or later, if later maybe due to retirement.

I would point out it is very easy to lose character too. If u think beliefs, values are part of character, just think back in our corporate race, how many times have we change our beliefs.

Then we lose the people who stick with us for our values. We can buy insurance to safeguard our financial wealth to a certain extend, but I am the insurance for our values is a bit more complicated. It contains both lump sum and regular premium and the frequency of payment could be in days

I dun agree it's one or the other too. It's totally possible to have two and have none.

But then if I can choose more of 1, I know what I will choose

Thursday, September 27, 2018

随心笔: 放下

如果本来空无一物,
何来放下。

如果没有抱着的艰辛,
没有坚持扛起的坚持,
何来放下的轻松,
何来放下的潇洒?

放不下,没有错。
重要的是,
看你背负着的是什么。

背着太多钱,
让你有銅臭味。
扛着太多情绪,
让我变得敏感。

放下后,再拿起来。
高兴就好。

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

随心笔:梦想

何谓梦想?
曾经梦想当明星。
梦想跟志愿一样吗?

我很幸运,达成了志愿。
没有发出万丈光芒,
只是一个普通的老师。

当老师,可以有梦想吗?
成为万人迷的老师?
桃李满天下?

只想教好学生,
让他们的成绩优异。
好像这样的老师也没什么特别?
我的梦想哪里去了?

我还想做好爸爸,好先生,好儿子。
但是怎么"好“,我也不清楚。

或许,明天挣扎后,
没有放弃,就是对梦想的交代吧。

也许,不管多厌烦,
还是负起应付的责任,
就是辜负梦想后的补偿吧。

梦想,我去见周公,做做梦。

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Random thoughts: Sarine Tech

This is not a analysis type of company prospecting. Just my loose thoughts and me writing it down to test my own understanding.

Whe I am doing some loose readings and prospecting, a few companies not currently in my radar caught my attention.

First and foremost is Sarine Tech. It is at almost 10 years low. It is not loss Making, has zero debt, gave good dividends, so what is the problem?

There are 2 known big risks. First, no matter how good its techology is in the whole value chain of natural diamonds priduction, from planning to retail, it is affected by the cyclicality of vanity consumer product market.

When the suppliers of rough diamonds slow production due to weak polished diamond prices, diamond Capex will be affected, so Sarine Tech Planning, Mapping, cutting etc software and hardware sale will be affected.

This is just 1 side of the problem. Synthetic diamonds reduce the need for mapping and as much as I tried to Google, I dun think Sarine do cutting for Synthetic Diamonds.

Why am I still interested?

2 reasons. Debeer stated its intention to also produce synthetic diamonds, and not only so, its doing it at a fraction of price of natural diamond. As stated in the newspaper article, the tactic is not so much to undercut the competition, but to really differentiate the natural and synthetic diamond. I am not sure how successful it will be. But I do think it makes a lot of sense to create the 2 tier system.

Personally, the cheapo effect on synthetic diamond, will contrast the premium of natural diamond. Think of farm salmon and wild salmon. Also, as a solitaire, unless u are proposing not with a diamond, which one will u buy? It's not logical and rational at all, but diamond as a vanity product is never logical at the first place.

Assume the price of diamond is 3K, u can get the same grade diamond for 2K, there is this glee feeling of getting a good deal. But when u get it for 800 dollars, it lost its shine. The girl will ask why, and u hope no one will explain to the girl about lab produce diamonds. Nevermind the composite of carbon is the same.

Sarine Tech's Journey, Profile and light series of technology/ software further work on the premium and vanity quotient of diamonds by allowing customisation and adding to the story effect - "A diamond is forever" told in another way, if I can interpret it in my way.

Sarine Tech also face copycat problem in India, it's single biggest market. So there are reasons enough for it's free fall.

But assume a dividend of 3 US cents, EpS for 6 months already 2 US cents, it's a counter giving 4 cents SGD and above 5 Percent dividend when all the odds are against it.

The joy of company prospecting is not so much finding the baggers now. I wish I could, but I enjoy reading and understanding the business and industry through my layman lens. It's quite fun. Acknowledgments to Valuebuddies again, I had fun reading how the early investors took a 3 baggers and unload it before it crash back to earth.

Such fun, reading the bullishness in 2011 and the downturn that lead to a once market darling to become a plague.

Really a eye opener as I read through how growth explode in the early years and the turn came suddenly and how even with 50% fall from the peak, many who predict an rebound would be 30 % in the red now.

If u read the AR and recent announcement, it's "Vanity Enhancing" software seem to be going places, with Singapore Sookee taping its service. Sarine Tech also setting up centers at Guangzhou, Japan.

Of course, if trade war blows, and economy go on tailspin, diamond as a discretionary vanity product will be hit further.

But it does seem worthwhile to be locked into my alert list after primary reading.

Hope, I have time to read and hence share about the second counter that caught my attention, Netlink NBN Trust