It has been quite a while since I wrote a post about updates on the US Markets.

This is because in the last couple of weeks, the US market as been moving more or less sideways with not much conviction on either side (bulls or bears). Once in a while, there was a brief rally after some good news here and there (e.g. Ben Bernake’s indication that interest rate rises will pause). However, volume was low as so there is nothing really significant to report. The market is still in a short term downtrend BUT we are in an overall long term uptrend (if you look at the S&P 500 1yr-3yr chart).

As a result, I have been focusing purely on value stocks and picking up some good deals along the way. I have liquidated ALL my momentum stocks (once they hit 8% below buy point) and taking very insignificant losses (only 10% of my total stock holdings are in momentum plays). I will resume the momentum hunt once the US market turns back into a confirmed uptrend. August-Oct have traditionally been lousy months for the US market so I don’t see any significant pick up until after October. Again, always remember that no one can really predict the market and it is just a hunch so I won’t bet anything on it. I am always on the constant watch every night to watch for price and volume turnarounds.

Anyway, I just did my usual Quarterly updates for the core Value stocks I am holding and made a few new purchases today…

Singapore Stocks
1) HTL’s 2006 half year report will be out 10 Aug so I will be keeping a watch on whether it is still maintaining its strong earnings and cash flow growth. As some of you would remember my earlier posts, I picked it up at about $1.09 and more at about $1.16. It is currently trading at $1.16 (Intrinsic value is about $2.34 based on 10% cash flow growth rate). If the report is shows earnings on track, I will probably pick up even more.

2) JEL Corp. As some of you may know, popular value investor Curtis Montgomery ( has invested $1.9 million of his own money into JEL. This represents about 79% of his total portfolio. Now, when someone invests 98% of his portfolio into ONE STOCK. It either means that he is nuts or he knows something that the market doesn’t. Initially, I hesitated in buying a lot of JEL stock (I bought relatively little) as for the last 3 years, revenue has increased dramatically, but costs have been rising dramatically & margins have been dropping just as fast, and as a result profits hardly grew!

Now, usually this is BAD NEWS. However, management’s explanation was because in the last 3 years, they made a lot of new acquisitions and built lots of new offices and hired lots more staff. However, it takes at least a year for sales to kick in to their new outlets. Hence ,costs increased but new sales have not kicked in. Inside sources have hinted that 2006′ first half earnings have already shown a dramatic increase, which will be officially announced on 14 Aug. Since, Intrinsic value is roughly $0.90 and stock is trading at $0.26, I added more lots today on top of my initial purchase a few months ago at $0.22

3) My core holding Osim is still mainatining its growth forecast very well having risen to $1.70 since I re-bought it at $1.45 a few months back when the Singapore market had a bad knee jerk reaction to Wall Streets downtrend. I initially sold off all my OSIM stock at $1.80 after holding it for 4 years (at an average cost of $1.20).

US Stocks

All my main US holdings like AIG, BUD (Anheuser Busch), PFE (Pfizer) and BRK (Berkshire Hathway) have been rising amidst the screwed up US market though increase has been very little. The good news is that value stocks tend to hold up even during bad market conditions.

Only two of my holdings dropped slightly over the last few months. They are TYC (Tyco) and WMT (Wal-Mart). The very weird thing is that WMT’s earnings INCREASED by 14.67% and 8.62% in the last two quarters! Also, TYC’s last quarter results INCREASED by 444% (yes, there is no typo). Since both stocks are way below intrinsic value (I value TYC $36 at and WMT at $58) and growth is still on track based on cash flow forecast, I decided to take advantage of the market’s stupidity and increased my position in these two counters, buying TYC at $25.45+ and WMT at $44.61.

For those of you who have read my book ‘Secrets of Self Made Millionaires’, you would be familiar with my Value Investing Strategies (of which 90% of my investments are based). I only teach Momentum Investing at Wealth Academy. Momentum Investing is only used when the market is in confirmed rally and when you are looking at hot stocks that will jump 50%-300% within 6 months-year.

Note: This post merely reflects my own personal opinions and is NOT a recommendation to buy or sell any of the above mentioned securities.