A note to my 19 year old self Part 2

If only I had that wisdom at that age to take that risk and buy those Telco stocks then. I would have reaped a handsome 5-7% dividend a year with room for capital appreciation as stock prices were heavily depressed due to the financial crisis. But no. I chose to tag along with my uncle to buy some random penny stock which I did almost zero homework on. And that my friends, I liken it to driving without a license. Things basically get dangerous when you do not know what you are doing. The good part is you live on, but the bad part, with lesser money. That's why I remind myself if I do have a kid in future, I will personally make sure he learns to be financially savvy on top of schoolwork.

First love with Telcos

Ultimately when I did get in to Telco stocks it was in University. Remember the good old days of our Nokias/Motorola sliding phones which was all the hype back in the day. And we were all on contracts, changing our phones when it was due and showing it off to our friends in school. Back then it was all about talk time and SMSes, yea? However, things took a huge turn when Apple rolled out their version of the phone, called the iphone. I had only known about the ipod from Apple because some of my peers used it in army, and it was a pretty big deal with its storage of a thousand songs when my old MP3 player could only do a maximum of less than a hundred. Sorry, I digress.

I remember my uncle, being a techie for someone his age, eagerly wanting to show me everything his new iphone could do then. I was blown away. Internet surfing on your phone, seriously?? Video on a screen size bigger than any Nokia phone models I know, woah. And most importantly the games on that phone were on a different level. Never did I think that the phone could be revolutionised to this extent. I was sold. But I did not buy the phone just yet. I found myself thinking deeper actually. I thought to myself what would happen to SMSes and calls which were the traditional services that Telcos made money from. Because the future seemed to be data because data could be used for calls on Viber to bypass talk time restrictions and data could also be used as a substitute for texting which was traditionally done via SMS. I only knew what I doing was fundamental analysis some time down the road. With all my homework and analysis done, brokerage account setup done, I got into M1. 

I remember one very big driving factor why I liked telcos so much was that I was cock very sure people would get carried away using data just like how as students we were carried away with SMSes such that the parents would get periodic bill shocks and despite being very angry, they Lan Lan had no choice but to pay. And I was right. Business boomed for Telcos in 2 aspects. The trend of data contributing to revenue was unstoppable Quarter on Quarter, Year on Year. The trend of customers bursting their allocated data bundle was unstoppable too. So naturally share prices reflected the good business sentiment of the industry and I too was glad I was participating in that growth. Depending on the share prices, I cycled between M1, Starhub and Singtel. Either ways I reaped some pretty nice money out of them. 

That my friends, was my first real personal investment. I really have to emphasize despite sounding casual, that it is hugely important to do your personal homework instead of blindly investing just because of FOMO. For everything that you can control, you can control your due diligence that is to be done by you.


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