How many of you still remember the famous Hong Kong show “The Greed of Man” (大時代)? The dramatic scene of the final battle between Ting Hai (丁蟹) and Fong Chin-bok (方展博) on the trading floor of the Hong Kong exchange was probably the childhood memory that triggered my interest in the stock market.

Whatever political mess happening in Hong Kong does not seem to have dampened investor’s enthusiasm at all. Nongfu Spring‘s Hong Kong IPO (Initial Public Offering) just soared to the sky on the 1st day in its Hong Kong debut. It proves again that money flow drives all asset prices.

But as we all know, there is no replay in stock investing as in a TVB drama. If you have asked me about IPOs ten years ago, I would have almost always given you a negative opinion. At that time, I was still a disciple of Warren Buffett’s value investing camp and I believed investing was all about valuing a company. If you are my blog follower, you know that I have a different way of looking at investing now.

Until last week, the seemingly non-stoppable US tech stocks rally echoed the same. Call it “irrational exuberance”, ultimately it is what makes money that matters to the investor. Holding a “valuable” stock for 5 years while it remains in red offers no consolation to anyone. The upcoming ANT IPO is getting the market more excited than ever.

1.1K times oversubscription

Eight years ago, when IHH Healthcare‘s IPO was 100 times oversubscribed, I was thinking that investors were all crazy. When we look at Nongfu Spring’s 1.1k times oversubscription today, I can only admit to my ignorance.

It seems to me that a stable stock market is bad for the economy. Yes, there is little euphoria in Singapore’s stock market, but this is at the cost of a sluggish capital market. Privatization has become a norm in the Singapore Exchange in recent years and many companies are moving their shares to exchanges in other countries to “uncover” their value.

The proof is that the SGX‘s share price has not moved for the past 10 years since the global financial crisis.

Additional Reading: how the booming property market and the success of the REIT sector killed Singapore’s capital market.

On the contrary, the Hong Kong Exchange, a direct rival of Singapore Exchange, has done very well and its share price is more than 3 times higher than its value 10 years ago.

For retail investors like us, we can’t really be bothered about the future of Singapore’s capital market. But understanding the situation can help us shape our investment portfolios.

When Facebook was first listed, I used to say that you were better off joining Goldman Sachs than buying Facebook’s shares. Well, I was right for the first year. But since then Facebook’s share rallied 855% while Goldman Sachs’s share is still lingering at 120%.

The Dunning–Kruger effect

The purpose of this article is not to tell you that IPOs are good investments. Actually, most IPOs fail badly while only a handful of them make it to the top.

My point is that we often accept and believe the wrong thing when we first learn about investing. Only if you document your investment journey, will you be able to see how foolish you were. There are many investment theories that you may believe today: value investing, ETF investing, REITs investing, etc. But you may be suffering from the cognitive bias called the Dunning–Kruger effect. You just don’t know what you don’t know.

You can look at the chart below and consider if it is how you learn new things.

I find the best way to overcome this bias is to document your investment journey and take accountability for your investment decisions. That is why I started this blog more than 10 years ago.


While you may be monitoring the ups and downs of Nasdaq every day, China’s tech sector is often overlooked by English speaking retail investors. And if you do a bit more research, you will be shocked to see the technology innovation happening in China’s market.

Additional Reading: Why should a foreigner invest in China A-Shares and How?

That is why Donald Trump is so eager to attack Huawei, TikTok, and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC). These are all attempts to block China’s technological advancement and to a certain extend, validate China’s ability for innovation.

Even amidst all the escalating US-China tensions, China’s tech IPO is in high demand. From NetEase, to the latest Fulu Holdings. Of course, the most prominent one is going to be Alibaba’s ANT IPO, potentially the largest IPO in the world.

ANT, already the world’s most valuable unicorn (billion-dollar unlisted tech firm) would be the first simultaneous listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai’s year-old STAR Market. And yes, Goldman Sachs still got a share of the fees despite Trump’s calling to decouple any business with China.

The Hong Kong leg of the IPO is being sponsored by China International Capital Corp (CICC), Citigroup, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley. Credit Suisse is working as a joint global coordinator. The Star Market listing is being led by CICC and China Securities.

If you are a Singapore investor, you have to be an Accredited Investor or put at least $200,000 for the subscription. And you may be getting much less allocation than you hope if the subscription is brutal. Nevertheless, it is time to get your account and fund ready for the IPO application.

Additional Reading: All you need to know about ANT IPO.

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About the Author

Ivan Guan is the author of the popular book "FIRE Your Retirement". He is an independent financial adviser with more than a decade of knowledge and experience in providing financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses. He specializes in investment planning and portfolio management for early retirement. His blog provides practical financial tips, strategies and resources to help people achieve financial freedom. Follow his Telegram Channel to join the FIRE community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This does not reflect the official position of any agency, organization, employer or company. Refer to full disclaimers here.

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