Life goes in cycles, predictable yet uncontrollable; just like the markets, but markets give you a second chance
Friday, August 28, 2020
Random thoughts: Highlights of the week teaching
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Company prospecting: Lonking 3999 (HK)
Has been a while since I done this, but Lonking is a company manucturing for the construction machinery industry. Again, I used price screener to screen stocks in HKex. I recommend FSM price screener.
Lonking is a company with almost an 10% yield. Following pictures are sourced from FSM.
Here is what i find:
1) It is a cyclical company, beyond the 5 years info from FSM, you can see earnings going up and down and there is a year in 2013 where they skip dividends.
2) This is a company that has enough market share that allowed it to positively correlated to the construction machinery demand. When i read about the industry having a rebound from excess supply of machinery, in 2017, the revenue and profits also improved tremendously
3) When I compare it with Caterpillar, I am quite surprised that they only focused on 4 products, as compared to the wide spectrum of construction machinery offered by Cat. When I search backwards, they use to focus on only 3 products for their growth, so this is a company that is very conservative. The market is still mainly in China.
4) They have successfully read the downturn in 2013, and survive well to gain in the upturn in 2017. Quite impressive track records.
5) After the 1st Quarter(due to Covid19), China demand for construction machinery has rebounded strongly, if the correlation is to hold, Lonking should be at minimal able to maintain earnings as last year.
6) 2020-21 will be unlikely be peak of construction machinery demand, this is my own speculation. I believe China will fast track some infrastructure projects, and rebuild some cities to take into account 5G technology.
7) Shares price has also rebounded strongly from its low, and is in fact at 52 weeks high.
Conclusion: An interesting company to add to radar and monitor. However, given the cyclicality of its business, this is a company that need to be agile, also since they only give final dividends in June-July, there is plenty of waiting.
Friday, August 21, 2020
Random thoughts: 2 words Decoding
This year, I teach the bridging graduating class. Their vocabulary base is really limited in the begining of the year.
As the year progresses, I feel that they should know enough words to start tackling comprehension passages in July.
Yet, I am surprised that they can't cope with simple MCQ. When I get them to read one to one to me, they can read 60 to 70 percent of the words, and yet they are not decoding the text. What a pity, I felt.
After more observations, I noticed that pupils tend to give up when their read long sentences, they might know most of the words in the sentence but not decoding.
Thus, without explaining a single word, I simply ask them to identify the verb and noun of a sentence (I dun use the term "verb" and "noun") I simply say, the word not useful for me to draw a accurate picture, what is happening ...
No teaching of words, just selecting of words, and if a sentence is too tough, they skip to the next.
As I draw, they get excited.
The words start flowing. Although most of the time they are complaining how ugly the drawings are, it doesn't bother me.
After the exercise, I ask them to retell the story.
Then, I ask them to try the questions again. Most pupils get most questions correct, this time round.
This exercise of visualization of a image with at least 2 words become a importing thinking process when the pupils decode a text. They start to try to make sense of a sentence despite having difficult words that they don't understand.
It also become more palatable to ask pupils to.keep reading and guessing. I ask, are u able to form an image? Nope, poor quality words, chose another to say if it helps.
Maybe there is still some novelty in this approach, and my pupils are willing to try.
This is a good way, also to explain the term "key words" now, so what is the question asking, what are the key words.
They know 2 words is all it takes to make some sense of a passage, of course the more words the more accurate the picture.
Don't give up. My pupils
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Random thoughts: Adapting and Applying MTV Word-Phrase-Sentence
I have diffficulty teaching pupils to answer open ended questions in reading comprehension.
At such, I decided to try a different way.
First of all, I type a shorter text, consisting of new vocabulary learnt.
Before I ask pupils to read the text, I ask an Oral Question, and get pupils to write down what they think are logical and possible answer to that question.
Then, I ask them to read the text, and write down whatever words and phrases (I combined the 2), that they think they can use in the oral question.
The oral frame is prior knowledge which was taught much earlier for them to elaborate on what they want to say.
They differentiate the 2 answers by writing them in different colors. What is surprising is everyone can identify key words and some pupils can identify "all" key words related to the question. (I always have a problem of having comprehension answers that made sweeping statements that are too short or generic)
The sentence phase of MTV is adapted. Instead of looking at which sentence is meaningful or captured the essence of the text, I ask pupils to write out their key words in sentences in coherence way using connectors such as "because, if, for example, but" and making sure they are aswering the question directly.
I just completed marking the answers to the question, this is the first time I saw many different rehrasing of answers to 1 question, and at the same time, making sense to the question.
Why I think the process works:
1) There is a step of activating self-knowledge or prior knowledge in their daily life, and then connecting that to the text. When the pupils junp into the text without any thinking frame, the idenitification process of key words, is more difficult.
2) The text is shorter, about 30% shorter, and I gave them time to ask questions to decode.
3) They are familiar to the oral text, and frame to use, the transfer to knowledge hence become easier. Instead of a 1 answer frame, the pupils are allowed the paraphrase the key words into sentences in whatever ways that make sense to them
What didn't work:
1) Some pupils have the key words identified, yet they did not write it dowm. The process broken down is the sentence making process.
2) Some make sentences without making any reference to the question at all.
What can be further done:
1) Simply asking pupils to be mindful of using all key words identfied. Ask them to tell me what words have they not use?
How the process can be differentiated?
1) The environment, helping the weaker pupils. Products is standardized, an written answer. Content is already scaldfolded. Maybe, better pupils should have the scaldfold removed, to start the transistion.
2) It can be done for comprehension questions for my P5, when they do corrections. Stronger pupils do their corrections, weaker pupils have the scaldfolding diagram
Saturday, August 1, 2020
Random thoughts: Keppel - Don't be surprised to see price increase come Monday
Also, I have a conspiracy theory about lock-down. When the lock downs happen, one of the reasons is the world is in dire lack of masks, PPE etc, the lockdowns send almost everyone home as the governments firm up stratgies and address the supply shocks. Now that the world has already went through that phase, I doubt they will go into total lockdowns unless it becomes a last resort.