Monday, June 20, 2016

You only live once

My son translated this for me. YOLO=You only live once.
With my last day on Vietnam, I wanted to share some of my photos.
Best of all, the trip expenses are less than my yearly dividends!


Also, Long MCD :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Recent Purchase - DEO

With the mini dip and VIX over 20, I decided to review my positions and add in the areas of weakness. DEO is trading in my buy zone due to all the brexit and minor negative news. However, I believe the fundamentals have not changed much. Therefore, it is good to buy more.

Due to my remote purchase from Vietnam, I can't show my regular criteria table etc. Anyway, here's a snapshot of the trade.

I can tell you it's good to continue to have access to my account - anywhere in the world and with my VPN (for security). 

What are you buying this week?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Western Companies in Vietnam

As a sip on my coffee watching all the mopeds go by in a constant frenzy, I see a lot of western companies trying to expand into Vietnam. The most obvious are the fast food restaurants. Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald's and even Starbucks. Since I own shares in YUM and MCD, it's good to see companies trying to grow and expand. If the companies are successful, we'll see growth in the Revenues and Earnings which eventually equates to increases dividends (at least for my strategy). But as I look further, I see the presence of more companies - Cisco routers used in hotels,

Apple phones, and even Ericsson equipment based on the antennas and their 3G RRU. (Experience from a previous life). By the way, the coffee is really good here but the like-ability of western products give Starbucks an advantage. The same can be said for the fast food restaurants.
Roaming through the isles of the grocery stores, I see products that ABT (Ensure), JNJ, UL and P&G are well represented. However, the western industry hasn't fared so well in Vietnam in some industries. I haven't seen a Ford, GM car anywhere. This market is dominated mostly by Honda and Toyota. Mostly, mopeds though. Korean cars are popular.
The most striking thing though is the number of individual Mom&Pop store fronts at the ground floor of the 3-5 stories buildings that line the streets of Saigon. Here, it seems in order to succeed, you need to be your own boss. Having travelled to Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, this is a recurring theme. I think this is the main route to middle class here. Everyone else is working class (with the exception of the 0.01% wealthy class). The work can be brutal. They definitely don't have policies in terms of minimum wage. No protection. Either you work or you don't get paid. And what you get paid is not much. This is how it goes.


Disclosure: long MCD, YUM, PG, UL, ABT

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Random Thoughts from Vietnam

We've been in Vietnam for a week now. Jet lag is gone! Seeing the sights and soaking it all up. My son is having a blast!

I've been checking my financial accounts remotely, but it seems the market is near its high. So, I've converted my mutual funds in the 401k into cash. My goal is to convert the cash to income producing dividend stocks and even low cost market wide funds that yield at least 2%. I don't want to sit on all the cash, but my old funds were relatively high in fees.

Another thing, I set up a VPN before the trip and it seems to be working well. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates a tunnel to a host ISP back in the US which is trustworthy. The encryption of the tunnel means no one can peek at your data. The company I am using is PIA, and so far, no major issues with 3G or good Wifi connection. The VPN is important when traveling and using insecure hotspots.

Anyway, no market transactions this week since no companies are within biting range. I did look at my dividends for May and June (so far) and it's a good feeling that cash is coming in - it doesn't matter if you're vacationing or at home. Money just comes to you and that is a great feeling.

But, one last note before more pictures from my trip. I met a wise old gentleman the other day in Vietnam. He's obviously been through the old and new governments and was successful in terms of working successfully in both. After some translation, his advice really reasonated with me. He said that while we can make all the wealth now, the thing you should focusing on is health. When you reach a certain age, the health part is really difficult to get.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Where am I?

Last September (2015), my wife found some really cheap tickets for our trip to Asia. She's great at being frugal. The thing is, the trip is for June 2016. So, she's also good at planning also.  Of course, there are risks with planning a trip so early. But I see no difference with investing. You need to know what you want, plan ahead and buy as low as you can, and understand the risks.

Well, it's June now, and time for the trip. After an exhausting 24 hours of travel.....

Do you know where we are?

See link -

It's nice to see a different world.