AntiFool Transcript: Teaching Malaysians about Value Investing with KayaPlus' Joo Parn and Choon Beng

Transcripts May 20, 2020

Please enjoy this transcript of my chat with Joo Parn and Choon Beng of KayaPlus.

Joo Parn and Choon Beng are the founders of mykayaplus.com, a Malaysian value investing education website spreading financial literacy to the public. They’re here to prove two things: one, anyone can invest successfully without having a financial degree, and two, investing can be fun. If done right, it not only becomes a very self-fulfilling journey for learning, but it can also grow your wealth.

For the full shownotes, click here

Listen Here

Transcript

Norman Chella: [00:00:00] Just a quick reminder that all statements in this episode are solely opinions of each of the guests. All information in this episode is not intended to provide any form of tax, legal, accounting, financial, or professional advice. We are not liable for any loss or damage, including without limitation, indirect consequential loss or damage or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of profits arising out of any information in this episode.

Investing involves risk, please be careful.

Joo Parn and Choon Beng are the educators the informed on a mission to deconstruct value investing. They are the AntiFool.

Welcome to the anti fool podcast. This is where we deconstruct the wisdom of people from all fields, backgrounds, and walks of life. My role is simple.

I played the fool, I asked the questions and you get the answers. Our guest is the Antifool, the source of wisdom, who we will learn from today. I’m on a mission to create the antidote to foolishness so we can understand the world and ourselves better. Wonderful stuff, right?

So, shall we.

Hello, the King of all fools Norm here.

Welcome to the show. I want to talk to you about value investing or investing in general. The term is scary. You, noticing your wealth at its current stage right now decide to try to grow it in many different ways in order to preserve it for the future. And investing is one of these ways, but it’s intimidating

Under the umbrella of investing, you have many different kinds of investing from property to retail and much more. And then there’s value investing. But because it is intimidating, how do we as layman as nontechnical people learn more about investing in order to preserve our wealth and ensure a future where money is in abundance or at least in greater abundance than now? And that is where the founders of KayaPlus.com come in.

Joo Parn and Choon Beng are the founders of mykayaplus.com, an investing centric website that aims to spread financial literacy to the mass public. They’re here to prove two things. One, anyone can invest successfully without having a financial degree and to investing can be fun. And if done right, not only becomes a very self fulfilling journey for learning, but it can also grow your wealth.

Starting off their website with insights and analysis, even a beginner can pick up right away the basic understandings and concepts to become an investor, or at least start on the journey to become more knowledgeable about the world of investing.

With a focus purely on value investing, which is an intimidating concept in itself. I wanted to talk to them to unfurl more about this topic and break it down so that even a normal individual such as myself, can learn more about it as well. Since it’s for anyone who wants to know more about investing but clueless, we are here to have that conversation.

We talked about the origin stories of my Kayplus.com how Choon Beng reached out to Joo Parn about investing, knowing about the term, but knowing not a single thing about its concepts, the barriers that make up those who are inclined in investing than those who aren’t, the principles of value investing and how it can boost your wealth and the role of investing gurus nowadays, especially in Malaysia, Joo Parn and Choon Beng share their thoughts.

We get quite wide in the amount of topics that we cover here. So if you are ready for something a little bit more. Technical, but simplified at the same time. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy this talk. Let’s play the fool and learn from the wise by diving into my chat with Joo Parn and Choon Beng of Kaya Plus.

All right, Mr Joo Parn and Choon Beng, welcome to the show. How are the both of you doing?

This has got to be pretty fascinating because we have the both of you on at the same time, so it would be nice to know the history and origins of Kaya plus, which is your value investing, educational website, which is, I think how I would say it and it will be great to hear it both sides of the story.

But before we even start, I do want to ask, before Kaya plus even was made or the idea of it, we have Joo Parn and Choon Beng, pre KayaPlus, and I actually want to know about the origin stories of the both of you. So could you tell me, how did you come about, say, getting to the point where you made Kaya plus.

And how did you guys meet?

Joo Parn: [00:04:40] Okay. I think maybe Choon Beng could start off because I think the initial person who actually thought of creating Kaya Plus was Choon Beng.

Choon Beng: [00:04:48] I think, uh, let me give a little bit of background both of us, we know each other for more than 10 years. We were high school mates used to be  very close but then after we went into uni, while we were in different universities, we were not so frequently interacted after that. Since then, uh, we continue to work as a normal individuals.

Uh, I was in the IT consulting line. Well, Joo Parn is in the FNB industry. Throughout the years, I am the one who are like the newbie to investing. I wanted to learn, but I always don’t have the time to do it or. Another way is maybe I’m a bit lazy, but Joo Parn is the one that very dedicated in this field. Uh, he has been, uh, working very hard attending courses learning about it.

Both of us actually are not from a economy or finance background in terms of studies. Uh, we are, we are engineers. So I find it interesting that, uh, how, uh. A normal person, like, like us, like Joo Parn can, can pick up the skill through, uh, attending different courses, uh, learning from Investopedia, uh, learning from YouTube through practicing in the real stock markets.

Uh, I think he has some, some of his way to make it through for me. Uh, I’m the one from IT background. I think maybe I can be the one that work with him to present his thoughts or his way of investing that has been working for a few years to the rest. So this is how we actually have the thoughts and through some meet up session during Chinese new year or whatnot.

Then we decided, why don’t we just start to do this? Why don’t we, we just, uh, turn all your thoughts into some articles or images or even videos in Facebook. And then. Of course of us, which we try into some ventures that will be interesting to take note, even though it might be successful or maybe a fit in the future, but at least it serves as a good memory for both of us.

So this is how we started, I think back in. 2019 but again, at the beginning I was busy. He was busy then, uh, we were slacking here and there. And then after that we had decided to set a deadline of whether you have five articles or you have five infographic, launch it.

So I think in early of Q3 we started to publish a lot of things and then this is how we actually started. But then, uh, push it to Joo Parn to share, uh, how is the initial response and how we actually do something more, more funny.

Norman Chella: [00:07:18] There is something else I want to ask as well to Joo Parn. Which is during that Chinese new year meeting. Choon Beng comes up to you and he says, let’s start an investing website. And he mentions that you did have years of experience teaching yourself about investing, even if you weren’t from a finance background. Can you tell me what was your reaction when Choon Beng comes up to you and says, can we start this website?

Joo Parn: [00:07:40] So my initial thought was like, um, because out there in the market, you already have a few individuals. Who are doing something  similar, they teach investing, and then they also have a huge presence in the social media. Uh. Uh, background. So the thought of doing it, and, uh, when you do something, of course you need to eventually see ourselves like five to 10 years down the road, how big are you going to grow.

The thought of even matching that scale. Uh, that’s give me, uh, some, some shadows because, uh, of course from where we were from no one and then trying to target yourself five to 10 years down the road. The, uh. The so called, uh, expectations was a bit terrifying. But nonetheless, we started because we thought that, uh, of course, uh, deep down inside we feel that we can really do something better.

We can improve the current system. So, uh, we, I just put aside the so called fear, and then just started doing it on a consistent basis day by day. Uh, what should we do and what should we not do? So, and I think the momentum eventually pick up. Uh, now we are not that, uh, we don’t really care about what other people think about that.

We just try to do our best wishes to, uh, put ideas, put numbers, put difficult words into simple to understand pictures or words so that the layman can understand and eventually pick up your interest into going into investing.

Norman Chella: [00:08:59] Oh, that’s pretty awesome. I like that. Despite the fears, despite the shudders that you are getting, you’re like, we need this out there.

And like you’ve set that deadline and then you launched the website and then you’ve, uh, and you said that there was like a good response, like a gradual good response

Joo Parn: [00:09:15] Before we even launched. We know that taking the conventional way of sharing investing related stuffs, just this, which is a serious, which is facts.

Uh, but without adding some sort of substances into it, it would just make us like everyone else. Like Investopedia, which is just defining a keyword by it’s own. So we taught off incorporating, uh. New ideas into it, like, um, instead of, yeah. Describing something, we would use a scenario or if there’s a, well, the news, uh, we try to make it fun.

We turn it into a meme. So a, it kind of acts up. So it’s from there that that’d be, uh, also found, uh, it is possible to make investing funny and to get the public response, uh, even more.

Norman Chella: [00:10:05] I like that because, uh, increasing the accessibility of something as, shall we say, intimidating as investing, it makes it a lot easier to absorb because you know that it’s going to be difficult.

And you know, there’s a lot of risk and commitment to it, to learning about investing. But I liked that, that both of you would try to make it a lot more, shall we say, simpler and fun. Yeah, but still in depth enough that it is useful for say, investing on your side. Now, I do want to ask about value investing as a concept, but before we even get to that Choon Beng I have a question for you.

What was hard about learning about investing in the first place from your take?

Choon Beng: [00:10:47] I think everyone will have a lot of challenges when they go into investing is they cannot differentiate between investing and speculation, which is one of the very first thing. Uh, when I have the chat with Joo Parn, I think he said, regardless, we need to make this thing very clear, you are doing investment means it’s a calculated risk.

Instead of you are basing some, some news, uh, some sharing from the other gurus. Some feeds in the Facebook, uh, without verification. Uh, is, is about. You find a way to collect a lot of info, consolidate and then judge with your own view, uh, and then do the investment, uh, with the calculated risk. I think this is one of the key thing.

And then the next question that he asked me, uh, when I wanted to go into investment is. He want me to ask myself if I were to be in this kind of activity on a longterm perspective? What is the style that you will be pursuing? So, so he can give a very good example, uh, are you a more conservative, uh, guy where you don’t want to spend so much time doing a lab analysis?

There may be, you should go for dividend investing. You locate a few, blue chip stocks that it’s relatively good. Determine the entry price then. Pretty much it. You buy it and then you hold, then you don’t need to spend a lot of time. But then on another way, if you want to go in depth, then maybe value investing is one of the thing that you want to identify the stock that have growth potential. That one will involve more hard work and so on. And then the next one is if you look for a short term gain, uh, you have, you have the technical skill to, to look into it. Maybe you want to go for traders to go through, uh, the, there was a few questions on that. Sort of align you which part is the best that that you will be.

Once you have confirmed on which role you wanted to play, then only you start to do it. I think this is a few key things to do it before we go talk about how to analyze the stocks, what is the thing to learn, this is very important.

Norman Chella: [00:12:48] Definitely clarity over what kind of investor are you in the first place, or at least your relationship with your money.

Right? It’s more like, Oh, are you more of a conservative kind or are you a more aggressive, high risk, high reward, kind of a trader, at least in terms of value investing. Joo Parn, what was hard about teaching Choon Beng in the first place? Like teaching the concept I, you said you mentioned that. You want to bring it down and simplify it so that the layman can understand.

But I know that you were into this for years and now you’re given the chance to teach somebody, first person being Choon Beng of course. But what was hard about teaching it in the first place?

Joo Parn: [00:13:26] One of the tough parts of actually getting, uh. Someone new to getting to understand investing is that it’s basically owning a part of a company that has, ah, very good growth potentials.

They are in a very good business model, and sometimes they just need money from retail investors or normal people like us. The next one . The main reason they got listed in the stock market. And, um, once you identify such chances, and uh, of course you’ve got you in for a long, so you just put a sum of money into it and then watch the company grows its profits and eventually be in terms of share price or in terms of the dividends are going to pay out.

It’s going to increase along the years if the company goes, uh, does well. Because it’s, uh, it’s just pretty much common sense. So the idea was easy to, pitch to Choon Beng. But eventually, I can’t, like determine what Choon Beng should do or not because it’s up to his personal preferences. So he has to find out, whether he’s a low-risk kind of investor or aggressive type of investor.

So I think. Uh, the idea of it is pretty much common sense and it’s pretty much easy to convey. But sometimes, uh, investors themselves, they don’t put in time and effort to really understand what kind of person they are and they end up going for the wrong  methodology or the wrong stocks, which doesn’t coincide with their risk profile,

Norman Chella: [00:14:44] Especially when you want to do that initial conversation where you have to ask yourself, what kind of investor are you. Right? And you can always teach the technical part, right? You can always teach the concepts.

You can always teach, like how would you determine the stats on this graph? Or someone’s like a company’s annual report, but in the end I guess you’re not the one shooting, right? You’re not the one actually putting the money in. It’s all a matter of what Choon Beng will say. Right? Well, just because you put, just because you mentioned this company and they’re doing good, doesn’t mean that Choon Beng is going to be like, Oh, I will put money because then it will be a matter of yourself and your character.

Now I want to get into value investing like as a concept, because we both spend the first few minutes talking about the uprising of Kayaplus. Just a quick question actually. How did you come up with the name Kaya Plus?

Choon Beng: [00:15:39] W e are from Malaysia. Uh. To resonate with most of the people who want to be rich or financially independent or even go to financial freedom.  Kaya is always the one to go for because it’s a Malay word that represents, uh. rich if I’m not mistaken. Okay. But how, how we become KayaPlus and so on, there was the cost of certain technical constraint.

We wanted to find something related to Kaya but then the domain name was taken and sold on. We have a lot of thoughts. In, in iPhone, you have iPhone seven, I and on then, then we were thinking it cannot be, uh, we are I, it’s weird. Then they find something that is, it’s like an example of evolve version of something, uh, some models. Then plus size seems to like a good thing. Then we start it off a bit. Why didn’t we call ourself  kaya, plus and then then we find the domain and be able to find the domain and straight away purchase that domain.

Norman Chella: [00:16:44] No, that’s  pretty smart, a strategic move. I have to agree. At first I thought kaya would be like the spread, like the coconut spread on bread.

But I see what you mean. If we want to go with the notion of kaya being rich. And you would say a rich plus, you know, is that your goal? Is that your goal to be richer, is that increase in wealth? So I guess there’s many different ways to interpret that. So I think it’s a really good catchy name. I was just actually curious why you chose that name specifically.

That’s pretty cool. And now if we want to get right into the nitty gritty, Joo Parn, I’m going to play the fool. So I’m going to ask you like I’m an idiot. I don’t know much about investing. I’m interested in investing. Okay, I have wealth and I want to save it. I want to save money for the future. I know all about the word investing and I look at you and KayaPlus and the word value investing.

Could you tell me your definition of value investing? What should I know and why should I care?

Joo Parn: [00:17:39] Okay. Uh, you mentioned you have, wealth, and I presume when you say that when you have wealth, uh, most of it, or a big chunk of it, will be in the form of cash sitting in a bank. And, um, we all know that, um, the country, eventually economy will grow, people will have more spending power.

And this is a good thing. But. It comes with a downside. When  economy’s growing, people have more money. The spending power increases. That means a cut off the purchasing power of the cash lying either in your bank, will depreciate in a certain amount of value one year, uh, maybe a 2% depreciation in terms of value.

But if you look at it at the longterm, if every year, the amount sitting in the bank, gets depreciated 2% 2% 2%. Maybe in 50 years time,the power of cash sitting in a bank will be something lesser compared to today. So you need to find a way to preserve or to increase the value of that wealth sitting in your bank so that it does not get depreciated by the growing economy.

So, uh, what to do then, then, um, of course, there are plenty of ways to actually, preserve or even grow wealth, uh, people can talk about, uh, uh, investment. People also talk about property investment. Ideally, this special age, value investing or stock investment actually provides is the liquidity. We are now in a very tight situation.

And of course there are people who have invested in properties, and took a lot of borrowings from a bank. And, uh, if the economy now, you know, in a tight situation, you may face a situation where your tenant is not able to pay you back your rental and part of this rental that will be used to service a bank loan.

But for stock investment,  basically, you’re pledging in your own money. Money you don’t need in the short term. And, uh. If you can even take advantage of current situations to even buy more quality stocks. Uh, because at the end, if the economy grow, if the company also grows as well, you’ll see your company returns or investment returns, you know, five, 10 years, uh, timeframe.

Norman Chella: [00:19:47] Will do this kind of, shall we say, mental model or thinking when you are in this kind of context, you’re in Malaysia for example, and you’re looking at the current market. Should I be thinking about this even outside of the country, like other markets will, should I consider that as well or is it a matter of, should I just start off with trying to grow my wealth locally?

Joo Parn: [00:20:10] You should consider, uh, your options because at the end of the day.

I had this so called mental thought. When we talk about the people that the public general public talk about, I’m going on a vacation. We never, ever had a split second of, um, considering countries out of Malaysia or vacation spots out of malaysia, when it comes to, uh, going on vacation, we will actually plan for vacations in us in Europe because.

Mmm, of course. Of the sites or the experiences, but when it comes to just purely investing, people would just a dove down their risk profile and say that since I’m on Malaysia, why not just I focus on Malaysia? The attitude or the so called that perspective has to change if you’re willing to.

Spend down the amount of money to go out to, uh, outside of Malaysia to experience, um, vacation and experience traveling around the world. Actually investing should also be the same because you will have plenty of opportunities. The world is just basically in your palm and you can choose whatever countries you want to investigate.

And, uh, of course, markets in the US are so big, you have plenty

Choon Beng: [00:21:11] of choices as well.

Norman Chella: [00:21:13] Now, see, the thing about that is that although we have the world in our hands in terms of whichever market, whichever country that we are interested in, it is still a bit overwhelming, especially as someone who. Let’s say hears the word investing and thinks immediately of, Oh, this is something that only the rich can do, or like, I don’t have the money to start off with, or I’m living paycheck to paycheck.

Uh, things like this. I would love to hear thoughts from the both of you, maybe when you were, when the both of you are teaching other people, uh, through Kaya Plus, what are some of the fears or worries or a negative thoughts that come through a person’s mind when they start learning about investing?

Choon Beng: [00:21:51] I I can think, I think the first one where I think I laugh, people are including me, myself.

When we think about investment. In stock markets essentially, we were thinking, Oh, I only have a saving of 2000 ringgit, uh, that it’s a free liquid cash they can use for investment. It makes sense togo into this. Or if I don’t have the time to start studying my, so I put in FD which is pretty much secure and safe, and then, uh, is this 2000 going to make an impact? Maybe I understand that the return of stock versus FD and so on is much higher, but then I need to spend time to, to do it. Uh, this is the thing that troubled myself because when I was starting, I am not from a very, technically, I’m not very loaded.

It’s a hard decision to the thing where, whether you should even start off, but, but I, I will see the investment vehicle has been evolved in into many, many tactics to help you are to invest even in you are having a validated cash. So, so the concept conservative fund is like mutual funds. Very minimum, uh, time you need to spend.

I need to put in into certain funds that you have confident with. Even you have some agents who have a with that and then is sort of diversify in that sense. But of course this is, maybe it’s too easy. You didn’t really pick up the skill. You can’t, you can’t really learn along the way. Then the next option in stock market.

There’s something called ETF, which is basically you, you are investing in some index of particular stock market. For example. It can be index off of a certain price movement. Maybe the detail. I think Joo Parn can explain about it, I think this is a very good to start off iwth. For example, uh, maybe now  a time to talk about it, but then two to three years back, uh.

In a very, uh, layman term, you think, uh, India, India maybe is one of the good developing country that have a lot of growth potential, for example. And then, uh, if you don’t know what to invest on or what to take advantage in this country on particular stock, then why don’t you just invest in the index?

And then if the entire India, stock market growth, you would think of returns and sort of diversify in that sense, it is basically tied to the development of the country. So I will say there are a lot of, a different, different way of doing investment. Not no particular in one, uh. None of the traditional ways where you invest in multiple stocks, then you diversify yourself.

Now there’s some way that people diversify for you. Then you just put your money into it. So this is some thoughts.

Norman Chella: [00:24:36] Just to clarify, can you just explain to me what is an index.

Choon Beng: [00:24:39] Uh, Joo Parn maybe you want to take. Okay.

Joo Parn: [00:24:42] Yeah, so basically an index is where it’s like this basket where you have your vegetables, your tomatoes, and meat and fish.

So each of these small items or grocery represent a stake in a company. So when you invest in an index, you’re basically putting your money into a basket of all of these are good quality stocks. Usually the good quality stocks, uh, chosen to represent the economy growth of a certain country. When I say, ah, that’s it, just now Choon Beng touched on a country like in India.

So you have your Indian index where you will have good companies all at the proportionate value. Oh, inside this basket. And you think that, uh, India is a good growth market, say five to 10 years time, you just put a sum of it to buy the whole basket. Regardless of. Uh, not just, just targeting specific stocks or specific items inside the basket.

Every day the price goes up and down, but, uh. At the end of the day, if a country is growing, if economy’s growing, uh, it will be reflected in the index and it will be, eventually reflected into the, uh, personal or individual stocks as well. So it’s more about having the patience. Uh, looking at something and you think that something is going to increase in value over a timeframe and, uh, just put the money there.

And that is the so-called basic, uh, understanding of basic thesis, of actually investing in an index fund.

Norman Chella: [00:26:06] It’s a group of chosen, vetted companies and entities. Uh, I as an investor don’t have to choose them. Right? They are already done, like they’re on a board somewhere online and I can check and then I can, you know, search for it myself and decide on my own whether or not I should put money into it.

Seeing as how, I guess from all the info on that market or on that industry. Cause I think there’s different kinds of index indices, I believe, um, or different. Um. With different industries. So, uh, there’s that to consider, but I guess that is one way to maybe have a good start. If we are stuck with choice overwhelm, and there’s like a billion companies out there, what should we choose?

This might be a good way to start with, but I like that there are more options to make it easier for someone who may not be so technically inclined to even want to start investing. Because it is, once again, a very overwhelming and intimidating word. Is there anything that I should learn about besides investing that works well as like a complimentary to it?

Joo Parn: [00:27:08] Of course, investing, it’s itself, it’s just a word, but if you go deeper, yeah, a lot of aspects to it. Of course. Uh, looking at the so-called financial returns, growth potentials is one part of it, but I think the one special thing that, uh, that could really pivot your so called the investing skills is to just be more observant of our surroundings.

Take, for example, most of the timewe may take things for granted. Like if we go through our entire daily routine every day, from the moment we wake up, we brush our teeth with, with toothpaste. So have you ever, Oh. Come through your mind that toothpaste could be produced by a listed company or even a toothbrush.

Then after that, uh, we had a breakfast, so maybe it’s, it could be cereal or coffee or milk. So these are products of list of companies as well. Eventually, um, getting started into investing really is being more observant and trying to be more. Uh, curious of the things that are around you so, once you have that basic instincts, then you’ll be like, I wonder, I wonder what other brands of, toothpaste people are doing are using.

So you would go down to the nitty gritty part. You’re trying to find out, uh. Oh, the market share, but maybe, uh, 60% of people are using this. And why is this toothpaste brand better than its competitor? And then you find out which company is producing it. And, uh, what are the core strengths, uh, the company’s having, do they produce either products as well that compliment with the toothpaste. uh, once you get into that, I think it’s like a one way to get where you are practically having this kind of thought running every time you see a new product. Well, every time you go to someplace new. Yeah. And that’s how I really got stuck into investing.

Norman Chella: [00:28:59] I guess that’s like one of the first few signs of you trying to dive into investing and thinking everything that you consume is like, Oh, how much is this on the market? Or how is this compared with other competitors, a Choon Beng. Is there anything you’d like to add in terms of. Any other kind of skill that helps you understand investing or helps you practice the model of investing more?

Choon Beng: [00:29:18] I think the important, for me, myself, um, um, uh. Working as an individual in IT consulting field. I also own, uh, a small business, uh, online eCommerce business about urban farming. I think this investment, uh, activity that has been practicing last two years, I think it, it helped to help me on how I look into the account of my business which financial, uh, ratio that you can use to adjust a certain thing.

It really, really helped because ultimately, uh, Joo Parn would tell me one thing, uh, you invest in the stock is like, you are owning a small portion of it. If you are to do a business or to own a portion of the business, of course you understand how it works. What is the potential returns? Is it financially, uh, healthy?

Are they having a lot of debt, do they have a very good management, or even whether they have a top. Buy ins that contribute a lot of seals or this thing is owning a business of it. Of course, people with some experience running a business, and it will be easier to pick up when we talk about this, but for layman, I think it’s also a good practice that you are working individually.

You try to pick up the skill eventually. If you wanted to start a business on your own, this can be a. Uh, crash course that, that, that, uh, you can I think you can, you can onboard your business in a very fast manner compared to the one that have no investing knowledge or, and they try to start their own business.

Norman Chella: [00:30:43] I never thought about it that way actually. The fact that you could have business skills applicable to investing. Now this is a great endeavor, and what I mean by great and I mean it is going to be a very long journey, so I really do respectable for you for trying to educate not only Malaysians, but pretty much those who are interested in value investing all around the world.

You did mention that there are, I don’t want to sound bad, shall we say, flaws with some investing gurus. Here in Malaysia. I’m not sure about what you think about investing gurus around the world, but let’s focus on Malaysia for the time being. Joo Parn can you tell me what’s happening with investing gurus nowadays?

What’s wrong?

Joo Parn: [00:31:24] If you look at the general, uh, investing population in Malaysia, because I’m coming, I’ve been in Singapore for the past few years. Of course, I, I am aware of the so called investing. Uh. Knowledge and capability or understanding of Malaysians and Singaporeans and being a into groups respectively in Malaysia or Singapore, we tend to feel that, um, Singaporeans due to the environment due to the, uh, education.

When it comes to investing, they have a higher level of understanding on what should be done. Uh, compared to Malaysias where, um, it’s relatively is lower. Uh, we feel that there’s a gap to address, to put Malaysians on par or even better than Singapore. Um, but the thing is Singapore, Singaporeans are well-versed of the basic analogy of investing is you find good companies and then you hold it.

For a certain period of time. But in Malaysia. Well, I don’t know for what reasons.  A lot of them don’t tend to be more off oppotunitists. They tend to, uh, tend to look at the prices too much. Uh, if the price is low, we, regardless of the country, the companies, they’ll be like, ah, maybe this company might go up.

So here’s, uh, a part of my money and I hope it comes up. I hope it goes up. It becomes like a, some sort like a, like a online casino and certain gurus, uh, in the market actually take advantage of this, um, mentality or the, uh, so called personality of the Malaysian investors and they amplify it. They actually give unsolicited tips, which can be harmful.

And, uh, that’s we think that, um, it has to change or at least improve in a certain way. And that’s why, uh, we are standing at the other side of the spectrum and trying to like adjust the mentality back to the correct way of actually investing in the stock market.

Norman Chella: [00:33:15] Is there anything that we can do to help change that mentality?

I’m not sure where it can come from. Maybe it’s a psychological thing, but, uh, taking advantage of opportunities and maybe rationalizing it as, Oh, I can make quick money, right. Like that, that extremely short term growth. And then hoping it, hoping that it will grow is based on wild speculation, which is what we were talking about earlier in this conversation.

And not being much more rational about it, or much more technically inclined, or at least be knowledgeable. You know, on a basic level, it should be more than enough. Is there anything that we can do to combat that mentality for those around us?

Joo Parn: [00:33:53] Yes, definitely. We can do a lot. Um, of course. Um. Let’s just not talk about the whole world.

I think in terms of Malaysia, we have enough of a population to, to, to be educated too, that needs to get this addressed as soon as possible with X, Y, uh, we mainly started up Kaya Plus. And, uh, if you look at our contents as currently, uh, we share it out without a single cent. So we are still much growing our way, presence in the current markets, and hopefully, uh.

I wouldn’t say that, uh, what we write on, the articles that we write, it’s already a solid proof to get your understanding up to us. And then it’s like just getting you to understand that this is how investing should be. This is like a brief introduction of how I would analyze a company and I hope that when you read it, you’ll find some logic into it and not just treat something like as an online casino for you to make quick bucks.

Norman Chella: [00:34:45] Okay. And, uh, Choon Beng. I’m not sure if you have observed this maybe amongst fellow Malaysians, this, this opportunist mentality or trying to treat the world of investing as an online casino. Uh, as someone who is not as technically knowledgeable about investing, you come from a position where you are someone who looked at it from outside the box and you’re trying to tap into it because you know the benefit.

But through Joo Parn’s guidance, you started learning more about investing. Is there anything else that we should do to combat that mentality coming from someone who could have been exposed to that kind of mentality in the first place?

Choon Beng: [00:35:20] I think the reason why, uh, if you take an example to compare between Singapore and Malaysia, I think it’s also because, uh, the fact is that the financial exposures are to most of the people in Malaysia, it’s not that high.

And then when they graduates and start going to business and start going into the working there, just want to find a way to generate passive income and there are so many other ways that they can, can be badly practice. Previously it can be MLM, multilevel marketing, all those things. Then. These are the, they used to make money.

They used to lose money. They would just associate stock is another playground like MLM where I can throw in some money, make quick returns, then I’m happy with it, I sell the stocks and the fact is, I don’t know why I got, this is something that I found out after I have been chatting with Joo Parn is, Malaysia is very into Facebook live, not about.

Facebook live doing shopping, uh, promoting about some products. Uh, they are, a lot of people doing Facebook live are in investment-related to our industry. And you can find out when you go into live, there just one thing that people will ask, Oh, what happened to this stock? Will it go up, will it go down.

This is the common thing. And I believe, uh, it also sort of become a very, uh, not so good feedback loop, to the investing uh. coach or whatnot, because they want to, gain that attention from all these people. They start to create more clickbait kind of titles. Uh, I think AirAsia will go up.  Do you not want to know why? This become a bad cycle to keep on going on, uh, on. uh,

I don’t think this is very healthy, but, but. I believe it takes time to actually correct it. And I think the best lesson is all these people, I think the advise, the invest, and then they burn their hand and there’s a time they start to look for a proper gurus or proper coach or appropriate channel to learn about it, and then they pay the price.

Norman Chella: [00:37:28] And yeah, definitely. Especially trying to break that cycle of I want to learn about investing and the opportunities just happen to be sort of abusive, right? Like you want to be like, great speculation. You just name a big company and you’re like, I think it’ll go up. This is why it’s unsolicited.

Lots of bad practices. I see this a lot myself. It’s all because I used to be in FinTech and I know quite a few financial bloggers, so they would, uh, let’s just say that they will share with me similar sentiment. So I understand it.

I understand. I understand the, I understand the question of investment gurus being a little bit, maybe shady is the right word, or at least not completely honest with why they’re sharing this kind of content. Uh, and I wish you all the best for trying to tackle that with Kaya Plus, could you tell me, so could the both of you tell me what are your future plans for Kaya Plus.

Joo Parn: [00:38:24] Choon Beng, maybe you want to start first?

Choon Beng: [00:38:25] Yeah. I think, uh, we, we started this off without having a very clear, uh, product roadmap. I mean, we have our end goals. Um, but, but then in term of product roadmap on, on this quarter, uh, achieve this milestone. We don’t really have that. It’s more of learning from the response of, of, of uh, audience, of course, also associate to what the market need then.

Then we start to align what is the thing that we should, that will look next. But ultimately we wanted to have our own, uh, Academy kind of thing where it’s like a closed group space where we can have a private session are always with the member in it, where we can do active sharing in a weekly or even daily basis.

And now, of course, before they enter into this kind of, uh, membership, uh, they, they can participate in our course. It’s quite similar with others. Other bloggers are doing it, but I believe this is a proven model that can let us too copy or reference for us to to move more further. But until that happens, we don’t dare to dream a bit yet.

This is the first thing that we should achieve before we can talk about it in a few. I think that will be something bigger in the future.

Norman Chella: [00:39:43] Joo Parn, anything to add?

Joo Parn: [00:39:44] yeah. I think, uh, pretty much what Choon Beng said. Uh, we know that there’s a deficit or a weakness that the current market actually shows us and to rethink.

Yeah. Uh, with our effort, then we follow up. Uh, so called um, direction and perspective, we can actually make it better. Of course, everything would be online at the moment, and since then the internet is actually making everything international. Um, of course, we are not going to just solely target Asian markets um, we also also targeting Singapore markets and also US markets.

Uh, at the end of the day, anything is on the internet. It has to be on a global scale so that you not only so. The attention or the demand of somebody is your market, but if someone from the US is interested to investing in the Malaysian market and they don’t know where to find information, Oh, we are here to actually help bridge that gap, to let them understand more and for Malaysians as well.

If you’re looking to invest outside the market. We also here had to actually give you a brief insight on how to actually look for, opportunities outside of Malaysia as well. So we are on actively on social medias, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Yeah. We’ve been work a bit more on YouTube since video is one of the good mediums to get our message, spread it out.

Norman Chella: [00:41:03] And of course links to all, uh, the websites, social media links, and as well what Joo Parn and Choon Beng’s. Mmm. Links to contact each other will be in the show notes to this episode right below. I do have a few segments to close off this conversation with the both of you, which will be pretty interesting because now that we’re going to be a little bit more personal.

Okay. Uh, with the both of you, uh, it’ll be a little bit off topic from value investing, but I’m still curious. So this segment is called mementos. Do you have a memento that represents you, that you always carry around with you? Choon Beng do you have any memento in mind?

Choon Beng: [00:41:41] Maybe Joo Parn can start?

Joo Parn: [00:41:44] Mementos, must it be a physical object?

Norman Chella: [00:41:49] Uh, only your interpretation of what a memento should be. So it doesn’t have to be physical, it’s up to you. Okay.

Joo Parn: [00:41:56] Let me think. Um, I think, um, , um, spending his past two years in Singapore, away from family, away from my loved ones, um, the so called memento or the so-called, it’s not a physical one. It’s more of like a thoughts and a, actually. Uh, I do hold, uh, huge emphasis. Uh, well, my family and my close loved ones. So, um, every now and then I think about them. And, uh. Partially also a why got sold into investing is that, um, I firmly believe that if one day let me to the freedom that I want, I can eventually go back to Malaysia to be close with my family’s and my loved ones.

So, uh, it’s not the physical, yeah. Okay. It’s more of like a mental thought, mental look. Every time I face some difficulties. Mmm. I will always think about them and be like, uh, you see you have work to do. You still have so much not to achieve yet, and you are going to work on it until, uh, you get. Back to Malaysia to achieve the freedom to do the things you want to be with the close, uh, ones in your, in your life.

That really matters more. So that is my so called mental load or mental mental. To me,

Norman Chella: [00:43:05] that is beautiful. And Choon Beng, do you have a memento?

Choon Beng: [00:43:11] I think it’s very similar with the Japan both cause, uh, I’m, I’m here in Malaysia, staying with my wife. Uh. It is, or I mean, but back to the very fundamental side.  I was always trying to be someone that is reliable.

And along the way I’m able to achieve something. I would call it a personal achievement. I mean, I mean, you said being reliable to the families. I wanted to create something special and, and has been trying to do this, uh, at a younger stage. I say in,during uni or high school time?

I studied hard, but I, I’m not the best saying you, you, you, you are not the top three of five or even top 10. So what why I did is I, I typically will find something unique to, venture into it. So yeah, I’m not the top, but five thought then. No, it’s just one, but I have something else. So it’s the same way I might go into uh, career step my world. Yeah. Maybe not the super, uh, high flyer in this, uh, a position. But, but, but then I have my side business that’s doing well. I started doing investing and then, uh, this is something that keep me motivated. And then. I think they say that the family members are in my hometown and my wife.

I’m going to have my first daughter, uh, soon. So I think this is actually motivated me, uh, much further to, to do a lot more thing, pick up the skill much faster, a view of a more stable side income or build more businesses. I think this will be my future memento, that I will stick to it for the very long years.

Norman Chella: [00:44:52] Fantastic. And congratulations on your first daughter.

Choon Beng: [00:44:55] Thank you. Thank you.

Norman Chella: [00:44:57] And if that is the essence of what Kaya Plus will be helping out with you, I’m sure that the website, not only on its mission to try to educate people more about the concepts behind value investing and trying to ease people into it, but I think that’s the biggest.

Yup. Um. Unique selling point is that it’s not, it’s just trying to break down the walls of investing being an intimidating thing to do, but it’s not. It can be fun. It can be funny. It can be simplified. Uh, and we have the both of you to help with that. And the last segment, it’s something called walkaway wisdom.

Say that we walk away from this conversation. Now, the three of us. And I meet up with someone, I connect with them and they become my friend and I become vulnerable. Then I connect with them more intimately. I share with them a part of my life, and part of that is this conversation right now. Is there a piece of wisdom that I can tell them that represents the both of you?

Probably separately, because it’s the first time I’m asking this question to two people at the same time, so we can get pretty, uh, intimate here.

Joo Parn: [00:46:05] Let me think about it. Uh. Okay. I think maybe I’ll share. Um, I th I think I’ll share a quote or threes that, um, from Warren buffet, he’s one of the greatest investors ever known to us, and a lot of, uh, so-called true-minded value investors actually look up to him for his advice. And Paul has principles as well. So there was this excerpt or clip.

Where he actually referenced investing as buying a house and selling a house. So he said that a lot of people when they go into investing, they do not know the value of the company they’re buying. But uh, yeah, very simple terms. They are really, they are really buying a house at the 200 thousand  valuation. Okay. Uh, I’m willing to sell it out at a 150 thousand evaluation. So they’re willing to take a cut or something that they own which is 200,000 and sell it at 150,000 because, uh, they do not know the true value of it. They happily pay the price. And if the market goes down, they also happily sell it off. That is what is happening in the stock market, but right when it comes to property, you won’t really sell a house.

Now, if the valuation is lower than the banks validation, because you know that that’s a loss. But when it comes to investing. That is not that same kind of, um, understanding when it comes to investing into stock markets. So people happily cash out on losses and that is why, um, actually lost interest or don’t believe in the investing.

Choon Beng: [00:47:29] I think for me personally, I also share a quote. Maybe not very much, 100 percent related to investing. It’s sort of my ersonal quote where. I always, uh, I know when I first met  this quote, I think it resonate with me a lot. I don’t know if it’s a quote from who, I think I forget about it already. Uh. It is a quote called we are what we repeatedly do and excellence is not an act but a habit.

I think this resonate with me a lot is regardless of what thing you are into, whether investing, uh, your, your personal career or personal business, your personal family development. Uh, ultimately, uh, you, you are the result of what you repeatedly do and, and then, uh, you can see people achieve good.

Oh, Oh, excellent result. Or they have a very good, uh, a family that will, it’s not an act, it’s a habit they really repeatedly do learn from mistakes, have a good feedback loop, came on looking into those, and then eventually turned into the act that people are looking up to. So, so this is what I wanted to share.

I think this resonate to me a lot, couldn’t remember who is the guy that come on.

Norman Chella: [00:48:49] Don’t worry. I’ll try to find, uh, I’ll try to find who set that quote. It sounds like something James Clear would say in his book, Atomic Habits. It sounds like that. Uh, but I will clarify, of course, this quotes as well as the links to Kaya plus.com will be in the show notes right below.

And I guess. Uh, the best way to reach out to you guys would be Facebook, LinkedIn, Facebook. Okay. So Facebook is the big one. So I will of course link the Facebook page for Kaya Plus so you can check out all the different kinds of value investing contents from videos to infographics to posts, Joo Parn and Choon Beng.

Thank you so much for coming up to the show and I will chat with you soon.

Choon Beng: [00:49:29] Okay, thank you. Bye bye.

Norman Chella: [00:49:33] And that is, it mychat with Joo Parn and Choon Beng of KayaPlus.com the website where you can learn all about value investing, that it’s simplified it for the average person who is wanting to get into trying to save their wealth.

But when you’re considering investing as a potential way to do that, it might be a little bit intimidating, but they are doing their best to help out with you. To help you out with your situation, whether it be videos, articles, infographics, and memes and fun stuff like that. Much more. You can always reach out to them and ask more about the craft of value investing links to all these will be in the show notes right below.

Investing is scary. I know I’ve done a few things myself, but even committing to such decisions is scary, but. We do have to do that. If we want to preserve our wealth, sometimes we have to really take it to account a certain level of self-introspection in what kind of investor are we? Are we willing to look past the risks and invest into a company that we believe in?

Uh, are we more conservative in that manner? Do we want to dive into this completely or do we just want to step back and let somebody else manage it for us? There is no right or wrong way. There is just an informed way and uninformed way, of course. And I hope that when you are making your own investing decisions that you are well informed before you do anything and commit to it.

And if you’re doing that, then all is well. I’m sure you’ll do fine. Stay warm, stay lovely, stay informed. And I will see you in the next episode. Your foolish friend. Norm.

Tags

Norm

Norman Chella is the Podcast Rainmaker, Polymath in Progress and a very strange writer. His creative pen name is N.T. Cloever. You can find his words right here.

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.