April 10, 2017

Source: Urban Dictionary

Suckerpunch sums up the entire week. Suckered into a mind warp for the better part of the week, watching in disbelief as pessimism built up, that amazing economic data could not dislodge as more voices grow louder for a stock market correction with calls that US treasuries are headed for a massive rally, in spite of Fed warnings for 2 to 3 more hikes, and that stocks are headed for the cliffs which is not so hard to believe now especially when we have been rooting for a collapse since Trump took the reins, said so many stupid things and the insufferable Trump-13%-in-5months-rally!

S&P 500 Index

Any correction will do, inner voices call out in silent prayer. For those compelled to buy, the hedge would be to buy those bonds as well or the “safer” emerging markets which are the only option for yield and there is not a precious day to waste.

And we have arrived in April Fool month with the results that only what QE4 could have possibly achieved, beyond wildest imagination, looking at the performance of the various asset classes that have all rallied in unison for the 1Q17, with the exception of just small losses in isolated assets like Japan (the global punching bag).

Source: Zerohedge

Retail investors in the American Association of Individual Investors have never been less bullish since the US elections last November and the number of bears are growing as US treasuries short positions are reduced to a minimal.

Chart of % Bulls, Bears, Neutral against the S&P 500

Yes, there are many stock market bears out there, judging from Trump’s record breaking unpopularity ratings, all thirsting for some diabolical collapse of the markets (and perhaps order) for some personal gratification or perhaps because they feel they are better than Trump or Hillary is, without realising that it would not be Trump’s fault more than it would be for the other market players or even regulators.

Yet the dearth of criticism in the face of the Syrian missile strike on Friday only served as a reality check, that it will be a decisive sort of presidency, prompting the thought of what if Obama had ordered the same strikes in 2013, and if the recent catastrophe could have been avoided? It just tells us that we will not be having the same luxury of time in our investment decisions because Trump will not be surveying for endangered centipedes before he orders that highway built.

End of bash.

Singapore and The Future in eSports

I know some kids and there are 2 starkly contrasting ones that come to mind as I write – a girl who is “dying” (or the child’s sense of the concept) because she has a Tiger-mom and the other, a boy, who would not kill himself or “die” over studying because he has a hands-off new-age mother. Understandably, the girl has been exposed to more punishment of the corporal sort in a week than the boy ever did in his entire existence.

The girl is striving to be ballerina of national standard because her mom was a contortionist gymnast of sorts, while the boy is not striving too hard to win those occasional medals that he has amassed for his “accidental” victories in sports.

And I think of Joseph Schooling, Singapore’s self-motivated Olympic champion and I wonder. For the efforts some Singaporeans are putting into their potential mini “Schooling’s” in their “home-schooling” for Singapore’s next Olympic champion, with or without the bone-test (to determine potential height), if any one of them bothered to look into their mirrors?

And I say this, with all due respect to those Facebook posts of swimming victories of friends’ children.

There arises the misplaced question of whether we should drive them towards those green Olympic swimming pools of Brazil or if our efforts are better spent keeping up our investment time on the new revolution that is gripping the youth of these times.

For our bunch of mostly bespectacled batch, that we have been feeding and clothing at home, all hope is not lost, minus those warnings we read about video game boxes on motion sickness, for I would confess that I did puke more than once for my victories on those Call of Duty levels, when parental duty was called upon in the past, victories impossible to repeat these days, as age sets in.


Sample of warnings we find on game boxes.

New-age mom is struggling as kid flunks Math, lives on Twitch (not to be confused with Twitter or Periscope), nearly gets scammed on Steam for his Steam Wallet and talks in memes and gifs.

Instead of dissing, we began digging and unearthed a whole minefield of information on a whole new undiscovered segment of the market and a bagful of investment ideas.

e-Sports versus Real Sports

Back in 2015, it was reported that the e-Sport tournament for DOTA 2 (Defence of the Ancients) outstripped that of the US Superbowl!

The 2014, League of Legends (e-Sport) championship broadcasted on ESPN was watched more than the US World Series finals and the NBA finals of the same year.

It gets better now that major celebrity sports stars like legendary Shaquille O’Neal and Rick Fox of LA Lakers have both formed eSports teams to compete in tournaments, bank-rolling players for tournaments, like owning a football club of their own.

Broadcasters are fighting for a share of the global eyeballs, evidenced in the graph below, with YouTube making their biggest investment into e-Sports last month, signing a multiyear broadcasting deal with FACEIT to stream their championship series, according to Reuters.


FACEIT does not even run their own tournaments but provides a platform for organisers to create their own competitions.

Youtube is somewhat late in the game because in 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch, the leading online gaming broadcaster, which started as an online broadcaster but found itself becoming the main resource for the be-spectacled youths of these times.

Singapore’s Stance

So much for the eSports teams and the broadcasters that Singaporean parents diligently shield their children away from, over those laps in the pool and track because video games do not fit into Singapore’s NurtureSG Healthy Living Masterplan.


Yes. As long as our children are out of it, even as we root for the success of the first Singaporean multi-billion dollar start-up, Garena, South East Asia’s largest, which is a distributor of League of Legends for South East Asia, gunning for a U.S. IPO.


Source: Forbes


Source: BT


Source: Bloomberg

So much for the Singaporean skeptics and my poor friend, the new age mom, who is struggling with failing grades as her peers sneer at the gaming habits that are no doubt the root cause, and for her lack of Tiger mom instincts even as they enroll their precious tots into those coding classes for the headstart into the new economy.

Suckerpunch me, we have not even gotten around to talking about the investment ideas because we are too excited about the prospect of bank rolling our first teenage e-Sports team.

Watch out for part 2.