I found some time recently and was trying to catch up on the Singapore stock market by reading blogs. I was quite disappointed however because there has been a lack of good posts. Not unlike Rockson Tan, some of the good bloggers to read on and off have gone into cold storage mode. Music Whiz has sworn off blogging at the start of the year, Donmihaihai posts as infrequent as ever, while Wealth Buch is slowing down because he is concentrating on his tuition business. Ghchua still posts his portfolio on a monthly basis but due to the sheer size of his investments, he offers not much in depth analysis. Most of what I can find is mainly day to day posting of videos and link, without much company analysis (SGX-listed companies!).
What constitutes a good blog? There are four things that I look out for, namely, relevance, regularity, research and revealing. As I have named myself, I am most interested in companies listed on the Singapore Exchange because that is the extent I can invest my small amount of money. Having said that, I recently acquired NYSE-listed shares as part of my company's performance bonus. Secondly, regularity in posting is always good in general and by that, twice a month would be a good frequency. This is related to the fact that I am more interested in the medium and long term (anything from two years out) horizon and daily postings will not bring much value. This leads to the third point, the research content of the post. Simple charts and some opinion would be good enough. This would involve revenue and earnings from the past five years and just a paragraph in the investment thesis. Finally, a good blog or post should reveal a lot about the blogger's personally life. When we can relate to someone even if he is anonymous, we stay a bit longer on the person's blog. Which is why I tend to follow WB's post as he is about the same age as I am and of almost the same educational background. But if you do boast of a 500 k portfolio I think there will still be a stream of followers, both good and bad, like for this guy.
Most of the good blogs I know out there done by Singaporeans are mainly on food and politics. I do no read food blogs but blogs on politics tend to be better because they are highly relevant and have a constant stream of material to focus on. But why are there so many crummy blogs on stocks. I think the proliferation of not so good blogs on investments is due to one main issue, the lack of an incentive. There are very few identified financial bloggers and most have remained anonymous. Those that are out there tend to already have a business giving financial advice. Those that are not out there, such as myself, can attest to the fact that the "passive income" from Adsense and Nuffnang. Therefore, there is not much incentive for anonymous bloggers to write extensively on a company (other than for the love of it). And as a result, one of the tactics to drive traffic and clicks on a blog is to re-post links. I am guilty of this sin about 50% of the time and my defence is that there are blogs that exists wholly to re-post content without adding any of their insight.
Why am I saying all these? I guess the main reason is that I am looking for investment ideas and need someone to seed my investment thesis. There use to more bloggers with good analysis but sadly, the longer you are into it, you just cannot be as enthusiastic as you used to be.