Friday, October 6, 2023

Random thoughts: Yield and returns

Random Babbling Again: An Update

Exiting Equity for Private Property

I finally took the plunge. I believe I can get a better yield with my cash in equity. The last time I calculated, my average portfolio yield was around 4-5%. Not fantastic, considering the high interest rates on various fixed income instruments, but that's the yield I've been getting for the past 6-7 years, not just the recent 2 years.

With Hong Kong in a bear market, I believe there are plenty of opportunities for trading gains too.

However, I decided to go with my spouse's desire to leave behind a private property for our child. While she never pressured me for it, I believe it leaves a void in her heart, since all her siblings and relatives stay in one, and their common topic is property. Frankly, I find their conversation rather uninteresting. I do think I am more in tune with the property market, although I don't actively participate in it. Maybe it's a case of sour grapes mentality, but I am not terribly excited to join the conversation now either.

In terms of yield, HDB rental yield is the best. We are getting close to 10% yearly, and now it's almost 15%. No private property rental yield can come close.

Yet, life is not only about yield. The total returns of filling a loved one's heart are perhaps more important.

Talent Spotting and Development

Regular readers will know that I am in charge of the volleyball CCA. In my school, both basketball and volleyball CCAs perform well and are highly competitive. However, I feel that my training philosophy differs. We offer optional morning training sessions daily, allowing kids to build muscle memory. I welcome anyone willing to come and commit to training hard. Even if a short kid with poor psychomotor skills joins, I allow it. However, they have to endure the initial boring sessions of digging against the wall before moving on to other drills. If they decide to quit or stop coming, I don't stop them either. For those who perform well but don't come regularly, I try to encourage them, but ultimately, it's up to the players themselves. My management style is quite different from my predecessors'.

By 7 a.m. every morning, I usually have around 40 kids training. With such a diverse group of children with varying skill levels, I no longer get to "play with the kids." Instead, I walk around, giving different instructions to different groups and observing their postures, etc. I'm no longer "exercising" at the same time.

Compared to the basketball CCA, which has a selected talent pool of around 12-15 players to be trained, I know the yield will be higher for them. It's no secret that focusing on a few talented athletic players yields much better results than focusing on everybody.

However, the "returns" of appreciation from students, who know that they "suck" (their own words in their thank-you cards during Teacher's Day), and yet are given an opportunity to train and play for the school team, are truly immeasurable. Some of them really seize the opportunity and train very hard.

I've seen a P3 girl who couldn't dig against the wall for almost a year. She seemed unable to control her strength and posture, regardless of the number of sessions we practiced. She even practiced during recess when I could spare the time to bring out the balls. She seemed to have difficulty judging the distance of the ball from her hand and keeping her hands straight. I did vent my frustration once and said, "Why can't you just do it? It's been so long!" I felt very bad after that, and I thought she might not show up anymore. But she still came. I remember one of those sessions when I facepalmed seeing how she did her drills. However, I said this to her: "Just keep doing it. As long as you don't give up, I won't give up. To be honest, you might not make it to the first 8 main players of the team, but I will leave you a spot. I think you've shown resilience in the face of challenge."

Today, I think she can finally play, serve, and dig. In terms of yield, I think I could find a handful of players who could reach her level in perhaps half or even less of the time spent, but that's okay.

Then there are the talented and athletic ones who learn everything very quickly. Usually, there are only fewer than a dozen in a cohort. There have been several times when people asked me to quickly "capture/grab" these students before they join another CCA or are "snatched" by another. While I understand the joy of finding such gems (I have a P3 boy spiking as well as a P5), I sincerely said to my teacher-in-charge, let them choose, and if they accept an invitation from basketball, I am happy for them, as I know the basketball teacher will develop them well too. In secondary school, many CCAs have prerequisites for joining, and only those good enough to give the school a chance to bring back a medal can join. At least in primary school, I hope to give them a sky to fly. I am short too, but I'm glad my secondary school coach still allows me to play.

Total returns and yield—I don't regret my decisions. I might lose a game or two, but I think at the end of the day, if more children get developed, I am satisfied. Looking back, those P3 kids of 2 years ago, who look like kindergarden kids when standing beside the basketball players, are also alethics now. I believe the returns is worth beside the low yield.