Thị trường 17.4.14

By , April 17, 2014 7:20 pm

Một SV đặt câu hỏi "vì sao thị trường xanh lè thì khoai lang chém giết nhau và thị trường đổ máu thì khoai tây vô hốt lấy hốt để?" Biết là hỏi vậy chỉ là hỏi tu từ thôi chứ chả cần câu trả lời nữa.

Cách để đánh trong đợt vừa rồi có 3 bước.

1. Từ trước Tết đặt câu hỏi là Trâu có dai sức không. Khi giá trứng tăng nhanh hơn fundamentals ví dụ tốc độ hồi phục của kinh tế thì miếng đệm cho sự vênh đó là dòng tiền. Là dòng tiền đầu cơ thì kiểu gì chả đến lúc cắt tiết.

Vì đầu cơ là cho mình không nộp cho ai cả nên không cần tính, chỉ cần dùng speculator sense. Tuy nhiên nếu muốn bốc mùi nguy hiểm thì bảo là ứng dụng cách nghĩ của giáo sư Robert Shiller Nobel Kinh tế 2013 cũng được.

2. Timing

Để timing dòng tiền của NDT tổ chức & nước ngoài chỉ cần dùng logic: Ngay cả khi không có thông tin về chốt lãi thì cũng suy ra điểm rơi của xả hàng gần với công bố BCTC sau kiểm toán. Khi mà cổ có độ vênh với fundamental thì có 2 hiệu ứng (i) điều chỉnh tài chính kiểm toán (ii) overreaction của thị trường. Đây chỉ là sự trùng hợp, nhưng không ngẫu nhiên.

3. Chọn mã

Thật ra đã đánh theo β thì bốc đại con β nào cũng được.

ETF vs. Index Fund

By , April 11, 2014 4:46 pm

Among many differences between the two, this is the core characteristic that I pay most attention to:

Index fund is a contract based on an index. ETF is a portfolio based on an index.


You can trade ETF as if it were a stock. You can’t trade index fund intraday, but instead use closing price to alter your position.

Scalping techniques can be used on ETF but not index fund.

"The smart guy uses other people’s money" in theory and practice

By , April 8, 2014 6:53 pm

I’ve seen this argument from wantrepreneurs, enthusiastic young professionals, jaded middle-aged white-collars, magazine articles, self-help blogs…

What’s the story behind?

There are two major categories one can use others’ money.

1. Operating with negative Net Working Capital

This is Accounting 101:

Net Working Capital = Account Receivables + Inventory – Account Payables

When a firm sells things but collects cash later, the sale proceed is booked to Revenue, Account Receivables, and no cash. If you collect cash at sale at all times, Account Receivables from sale will be zero. So less Account Receivables normally equates happy.

When a firm finishes a product but hasn’t sold it yet, the accountant books the product value in Inventory. Firms must constantly balance between "having stuffs ready to sell when customers place order" and "limit finished goods collecting dust in our warehouse". Entrepreneur school usually teaches Just-in-time inventory, the Japanese process. Technology can help with the fulfillment process. Amazon does. Many orders placed at Rocket Internet Vietnam companies achieve JIT. Theoretically, if you only need to manufacture or buy the product after customers place the order, it’ll be good. That’s theory.

When a firm buys stuffs from suppliers but hasn’t paid cash, the value is booked to Account Payables. Now you can imagine that if you theoretically delay paying for a long time it’ll be good that you’re using resources for your manufacturing for free. Assuming you can pay off the payables when they due, you theoretically want the Account Payables to be as high as possible.

So NWC is the capital of yours but perpetually gets stuck in the process of operations. If you manage to limit Account Receivables and Inventory, and increase Account Payables, you’re using other people’s money.

The latest (in)famous business model that achieves negative NWC is that of Groupon: collect cash first, and pay suppliers (Account Payables) much later.

2. Take advantage of Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists

What most wantrepreneurs more frequently mean by "using others’ money" is starting a company using money from others.

College Entrepreneur schools persuade students to Bootstrap. Bootstrap means using your own money until you hit the upper limit. Why: you control your own fate. Then, funds raising skills are taught.

College Finance schools teach students to invest, invest, invest. Then they discuss Corporate Governance i.e. exercising shareholder’s control power.

Disclosure: I teach both views and set of skills to my MBA students.

Perhaps the most well-known case study of losing power because of giving up control is the struggle between Steve Jobs and John Scully. In 1983, Jobs invited Scully, then Pepsi president, to be the CEO of Apple with the famous quote "Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?" Scully then sided with Apple BoD and removed Jobs from the company Jobs had founded. Apple plummeted to near-bankruptcy under Scully.

In Vietnam, we have had a highly-publicized and sensational precedent.

From my experience with thousands entrepreneurs I have talked to, the majority hate sharing power. I find the pecking order holds in reality, the majority of business owners I’ve met would rather borrow at a high interest rate than selling their stake to outsiders.

Theory of pecking order: firms should use capital in this descending order: Retained Earning, Debt Instruments, Preferred Share, Common Equity.

Still, many entrepreneurs invite investment early on. I detected some common patterns in this group: Western-educated U35 (thus more open to the idea of investment), or work in the Tech industry which enjoys vibrant VC.

In this case, the entrepreneur team bring on the table their own assets: skills (through prior training), experience (including prior entrepreneurial failure), time, network, idea, and opportunity cost. All sum up to some value that is converted to money through the mystical process known as "valuation".

The easiest way to justify this is to assign a value to the working Prototype, or at least a full-pledged Business Plan.

Then the company needs to justify with regulators in its accounting.

Let’s say the company has $10,000 in total asset, but is valued $1 million post-money by the VC. The Prototype and commitments specified in the Term sheet will be worth $990,000 post-money. The excess after booking to Shareholder’s Equity will be booked to Capital Surplus.

In sum, I work with both the argument and the counter-argument on a daily basis in both theory and practice to be any impressed by sheer enthusiasm for the sake of arguments. But an occasional good fund raising pitch always sparks a delightful (and productive) day.

Image source: Dilbert

Korea Stock Exchange, Australian Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ; Fragmentation & Market Quality

By , March 26, 2014 5:58 am

A few roles in the equity market and their corresponding existential questions

By , March 25, 2014 7:04 pm

In my short equity career I’ve experienced 6 roles, to each the most important question is:

  1. The Academic: what is it and what should its fair price be?
  2. The Corporate finance manager: how do I manage the firm’s money?
  3. The Funds manager: which ones to buy and how will I exit?
  4. The Investment banker: how do I best underwrite this security?
  5. The Mid-term investor: if I buy at this price what will this year’s profit be?
  6. The Speculator: what will its price be after 3 days?

Each is vastly different from the rest.

As one grows incrementally (assets under management, time in the industry, age, position), the risk of confusing the role being assumed grows factorially.

Image source: Dilbert

Flappy Bird through the eyes of a financier

By , February 15, 2014 7:01 pm

Since I believe Flappy Bird is a Black Swan case, I tried not to give an opinion about the game. What’s more I don’t think I’m qualified to give comments on mobile games since I had never coded a proper game (besides projects for my bachelor).

But an investor recently asked me about Flappy Bird and I felt I had to give an opinion anyhow. Attracting investment is my job, after all.

So here it is, Flappy Bird through the eyes of an investment person.

Is it easy to create a game like Flappy Bird?

No, Dong Nguyen claimed he coded the game singly-handedly in 3 days. But we never got to see the conceptual process behind the games he creates.

Is it easy to create mobile games?

No. It took Rovio close to a decade of resilience before Angry Birds.

Mobile games are very hard to make because

  1. All gameplay, visual, audio need to be better than good.
  2. Technical constraint: mobile phone resources cannot afford being wasted by unoptimized code.
  3. Fragmentation of Android: there are so many models with different screen sizes it is very hard to make games or apps that work on all models.
  4. The battle to the top of the app store: it is a Big Head, only a few top games attract 95% attention. Marketing to reach the top is costly and uncertain.

Why is Flappy Bird so successful?

Luck, a typical Black Swan case. But besides luck let me give you the best explanation I can think of in one diagram.

Besides, Dong Nguyen already explained his secrets on his Twitter.

What about marketing?

I personally believe Dong Nguyen’s story that no pre-burst marketing was involved. It was all viral via influencers and peer recommendation.

Why aren’t clones successful?

Clones are only successful if they are local clones: local language, local community. All Facebook and Twitter clones are dead except Chinese clones. Mobile games are nothing local.

But why can’t people just play the clones now that Flappy Bird is dead?

I guess I have to blame authenticity and originality. Everyone talks about Flappy Bird, if you play a clone, you may fear being judged.

Secondly, it is hard to replicate every exact detail of the game. Horizontal spacing, vertical spacing, movement, arc, the algorithm of sewer generation, haptic response. One tiny subtle difference and the whole experience is altered. It is just not the same.

Vietnam Dong joins Big Mac Index

By , February 12, 2014 12:50 pm

More on Economist

What the case of Flappy Bird means to me, personally

By , February 12, 2014 10:56 am


The case is a validation of the notion that success is stochastic, or in other word more random than we want to believe.

Procint for success, believed by many, is not as random. It takes decades of resilience, self-improvement and blind hope.


The opposite, unfortunately, is not true. Years of hard work and wishful thinking don’t necessarily guarantee success.


In my humbly short career of investment management, I’ve lost count of the times being humiliated by entrepreneurs. But this fanatical case of bootstrap is doubtlessly a prodigious insult.


The worlds beyond Blizzard, Square-Enix, Valve and EA is a vast uncharted and barbaric universe.


Nobody can really be certain about j-u-s-t a KPI. Right, the analyst is left alone in the jungle again, helpless.

Vietnam stock market after Tet 2014: products and players

By , February 4, 2014 5:46 am

It’s not only cash flow, but structural changes are coming about: corporate bonds, open-ended funds, more ETF, reduced constraints on foreign ownership.

Regulators have variety of tools they case use to support the market. It’s just the matter of time.

Local funds are betting on riskier assets including pennies, low liquidity stocks.

My concern is fundamentals in the long run. What’s in there in the economy to support a sustainable rally?

Saddleback Leather marketing

By , February 3, 2014 6:02 pm

  1. Focus & reinforceingly repetitive on its selling point: durability due to leather quality, even to the level of RDF
  2. Consistency of message
  3. Personal (Dave’s POV), narrative (Dave’s stories), questionably authentic
  4. Online presence on influential sources e.g.
  5. Easy to navigate website
  6. Detailed videos on YouTube
  7. Free bags to influencers
  8. Contests: photo upload
  9. Utilize WoM

The only backlash I found was on Reddit.

Panorama Theme by Themocracy