don’t dread data & play the long game
Am I better than myself six months ago?
Howdy howdy, let’s get rowdy. Keeping it neat and tidy this week after a week off as I get back into the swing of things. I’ll be honest, having a little bit of an identity crisis with this newsletter, so I’m offering my firstborn child in exchange for some feedback or hit reply and get in contact. Basically, I’m not sure what people want from me and how I can best manage to deliver that. Do you want just interesting links and a summary? Do you want deep dives? It’s tough shit sometimes. Anywhooo, a quote from Steve Kerr to start:
I’ve long felt that’s one of Steph [Curry’s] secrets to his success, he loves his life. He loves his family, he loves his hobbies, his daily existence on the Earth, he just enjoys it so much. He’s got so much going for him that it makes everything smoother and more fun for him on the court. I think that’s true for everybody. If you can get things in order and you’re in a comfortable place, you’re going to have more success.
Welcome to Curated by Kalani! I curate and compress investment topics with a focus on Asia-Pacific, optimizing my emails for maximum return on your time invested. I find, summarize and simplify important information so you don’t have to.
Join 992 legends by subscribing here:
Here’s the format of today’s email:
Part 1: Latest from Compounding Curiosity
Part 2: Keep up with APAC - Stuff to Read, Watch, and Listen
Latest from Compounding Curiosity
Since there was no email last week, you get treated and receive two awesome podcast episodes in this issue!
Mio Kato, Don’t Dread Data [Transcript] [Apple Link]
Mio is the founder of LightStream Research, where they meld traditional research with alternative data and AI to provide deeper insights into companies, industries and economic conditions. Mio and I talk about why people misunderstand data in investing, why forecasts are so bad, and a little about Japanese equities.
My takeaways and lessons:
Data isn’t pretty nor easy.
“2% of what you have in [large data sets] there is actually usable. And you don’t know which 2% immediately. So the problem I see with the way a lot of funds are using this is that they’re getting people to analyze that data and figure out what’s useful who don’t actually have the fundamental skills to come at it from a different angle and sort of double-check that.”
Data is leverage. If you’re good at financial statement analysis, effective use of data will amplify it.
Japanese Equities are back on the menu, boys!
“Japan’s kind of figured out a lot of its problems and weaknesses at the same time that they now have stronger balance sheets to actually go out and start getting more aggressive.”
Pratyush Rastogi, Playing the long game [Transcript] [Apple Link]
Pratyush is the CEO & Founder at Farrer Wealth Advisors and I took away a tonne from this conversation. Particularly in regards to mindset and preparation. Pratyush’s curiosity and drive to improve are infectious, so hope it rubs off on you as it did for me!
My takeaways and lessons:
Play the long game and put your ego aside
“You should never put yourself up to this pedestal that becomes a hindrance. You should absolutely think about doing things that may hurt your pride in the short run, but in the long run, will do wonders for you. […]
The reality is, is really the only person I need to compare myself to is myself. Am I better than myself six months ago? Am I better than myself a year ago? And it’s the same thing with investing. You want to learn as much as you can from people so that you can improve and compare yourself to yourself six months ago, a year ago. Bottom line, if you can put your ego aside, it’s going to benefit you a lot in life.”
Find balance in whatever you do. Pratyush makes time for work, family, and for his health. “it really comes down to basically being disciplined about your schedule and being very, very concentrated on what you need to achieve that day. So if you get into a routine and you maintain that routine with discipline, there’s plenty of time in the day to do everything.” but why is balance so important? Because:
“portfolios tend to be a reflection of the person managing them.”
Something to read: How is Malaysia’s coffee culture evolving? [Link]
A great look into how Malaysia’s coffee scene is moving into the third wave of coffee, and how it’s disrupting kopitiams. Kopitiams are traditional coffee shops or open-air kiosks that offer low-cost blends of locally-produced coffee. In Malaysia, these blends are generally a mixture of robusta and liberica, and are roasted with palm-oil margarine to give them rich, buttery aromas and flavours. If you travelled to Malaysia before, you can probably picture one right now in your head.
Lot’s of interesting takeaways, but the nightmare importing coffee beans is an interesting one:
The importing procedure is very complicated. Firstly, you need a proper import license, which you can only get from the Ministry of Agriculture.
They require you to show proof of the farm, where it is exactly, who the farmers are, how the coffees are picked, how they are stored, how they are hulled… you need photos, contacts, and an explanation for everything.
See also: Gentrification Is Hurting Kuala Lumpur's Iconic Coffee Shops [Link]
Something to watch: Why Japan Looks the Way it Does: Zoning [15 mins]
Something to listen to: Shane Parrish - Mastering Mental Models [Transcript] [Apple Link]
Blast from the past (2016), and whilst not specific to APAC, it’s a required listen. And how do you best improve?
The way that you grow and get better at something is to have it just beyond your level of competence. There's a sweet spot where if it's too hard, it's just impossible, and even with a growth mindset, it becomes so challenging that it becomes difficult to kind of struggle through that. Where there's this zone in the median where it's not too easy, you're outside of your competence level. Usually, you want some sort of coach or guide to guide you through that process, and that will help you get better. That's when you learn.
Singapore residential property [Link]
A great overview of the market and covering some of the largest players.
Sea Ltd, Part 3: SeaMoney - The Fintech Opportunity [Link]
Punch Card Investor don’t miss! Seriously incredible work here. “A key driver of the e-wallet usage has been aggressive promotions and cashback. […] However just like with Shopee, this is a deliberate scaling strategy designed to get people transacting via ShopeePay on a habitual basis, which in turn should attract more offline partners to the ecosystem.”
Selling China's Story: How the Chinese Gov't Privatized Facebook Propaganda [Link]
“rather than paying individuals (E.g the “fifty-cent army”) to post and promote content along with other government duties, local governments are contracting out social media influence work to private internet companies”
China’s Maritime Power Projection Network [Link]
Unsure how this will look on mobile, but on desktop, it’s fucking sick. Illustrates China’s radar, anti-ship and anti-air missile capabilities in the South China Sea and how it affects the region.
But until next week, have a good one!
You can find previous emails here. I also interview legends at Compounding Curiosity and shitpost on Twitter @scarrottkalani.
Want to get in contact? Reply to this email, comment on Substack, or send a letter via carrier pigeon and trust that fate will deliver it.
Enjoyed this? Chuck a “❤️” on Substack or share it with a mate who dreads data