Posted by: donmihaihai | May 24, 2021

I am so old tech

After ending of my news and magazine subscriptions, I live with feed news, blog and forum and I think my thinking got narrowed or at minimum, stop expanding. Not healthy at all. Look like it is about time to start some digital subscriptions. But my cheapo mindset is still having the upper hand, why pay when I can get them free. Freebies do come with a price.

I live in a googled world which unlike the world when I was a kid, where Iot of time were spent on seeking information (I seldom do), in the current world, information is abundance and getting it without effort. And in investing, information is not about speed, it is about thinking.

With the Pandemic, digital have become like the “god” word. Everyone flock to anything digital like a lemming. Not just investing, startup, news and even older generation start to do more with their smart phone than just calling. Yes, if company doesn’t have a digital strategy, it is doomed when its competitors are upgrading or future proof themselves. But does it mean that having a digital strategy will transform your company and create competitive advantage? I don’t think so. I think it just shift the bar upward, like the good old stories of installing air-con in barber shop. People flock to barber shops with aircon initially but after some time all barber shop has aircon. Well, nowadays which stupid ass will open a new barber shop with fan or which barber ship is competing with installed aircon?

The god like digital word is where the money is. The able and fakes rush to start something digital, AI or whatever. Those with capital but not able enough rush to send money to the able and fake. In my world, the biggest the crowd, the bigger the competition, the higher chances of losing money in long term. In short term, who care as long as the music is playing. For betting on some of these companies to become the next Alibaba/Amazon, good luck on picking a few from the mass orgy. More so if you are unable to think about businesses, industries and competition, etc and being feed from the news.

 In the last year of so, I see quite a few bright industries. One of company in shipbuilding wrote in their outlook on 2 results announcement, ie 6 months that say the global new shipbuilding orders decreased to from lowest since 2004 to lowest since 1996. Mean high cost shipyards were sitting idle! You can be pretty sure no one will start a digital shipyard! There will be more exit than entrant. Then, you got the sudden order book explosion, along with share price but current share price is still more dead than alive.

Another subset of shipping industry is as gloomy as you can imagine. Such as below Q&A reply.

the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant plunge and volatility in oil price stemming from the sharp fall in oil demand. Our group suffered a stop work situation in 2020 which lasted three to four months during which most of our foreign workers were restricted to their dormitories. Production levels therefore fell with the reduction in available production manpower. As such, where relevant, we notified our clients of the force majeure situation. There was also a slow-down in market enquiries, tenders and potential contracts as end clients suspended or delayed projects. Contract values were also reduced. Vessel charter opportunities also fell away as exploration activities slowed and charter periods were shortened. Activities in relation to servicing and certification of offshore equipment were halted due to travel restrictions.

. Even as recent as April 2021, there are countries in Asia which are suffering significantly from COVID-19 and their unfortunate escalating situation impacts many companies in Singapore within the construction, marine and process sectors. Over the last year, despite the COVID-19 situation, we have suffered a reduction in manpower as a number of workers have resigned to return home to be with family and only in recent weeks, have we been able to secure approvals to bring in existing and new employees to Singapore to strengthen our workforce to enable the Group to take on more fabrication work. Although we have managed to bring in a handful of new workers in recent weeks, the new travel restriction in relation to India will now delay the remaining plans for a month or more and we will continue to suffer from a limited workforce. Although we have enlarged our sub-contractor base to reduce manpower shortages, as travel restrictions continue or escalate, manpower shortages become more of an issue. Our Malaysian employees have returned to Singapore and are occasionally returning back to Malaysia under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement.

Tell me who is going to put their money in here! Which is why I think the future is very bright here. Everyone want to leave this industry and which twenty-something is going to start some digital whatever here?  

The Q&A also touch on a very unfortunate but interesting development. Migrant workers in construction, marine and process sectors. I believe that the current situation will do what the Singapore government has been trying to do for many years but without success. Change the way you do or die off. And of course money is not flowing into these places and with their valuation, the future can be very bright. Bright future grew out of desperation and leftover players enjoy the future.

Ahhh I am so old tech.


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