Author: Yew Jin, Aaron, Wen Ting
| 24th February 2018 | SGX Centre 1
Excitement brewed as the first NTU-IIC flagship event of the year finally opened its curtains. After months of hard work by our members, Nanyang Business School’s Alternative Investment Symposium (NBS AIS) was held at the SGX Auditorium on the 24th February 2018. NBS AIS attracted like-minded individuals from various backgrounds and experiences interested in alternative investments. Our Chairperson, Tan Shao Kang Francis started off the event by giving a short introduction of our club and the event was graced by the presence of six highly regarded industry professionals who shared their views and insights on alternative investments.
Our very first speaker was Peter Douglas, the Director of CAIA Foundation, who presented an overview of alternative investments. He shared five useful principles of successful investing: (1) invest for absolute returns; (2) focus on evaluating and monitoring risk; (3) understand and monitor return drivers more than returns; (4) invest in under-researched or less understood assets or strategies and lastly; (5) diversify the deep structure of one’s portfolio. Peter’s speech provided us with a comprehensive view of alternative investments to kick-start the subsequent sharing.
Next, we had the charismatic Emmanuelle Norchet, Associate Director of Golden Equator Capital. A veteran in Venture Capital (VC), she shared her insightful thoughts with regards to the emerging trends and the ecosystem in Southeast Asia. Her comprehensive view on how start-up funding works and the fundamentals of VC on what do they do was enlightening to our participants. One particularly memorable takeaway was her ‘dinosaur’ analogy on the results of VC fund returns.
The third speaker was Chua I-Min, a trainer from SGX Academy. He introduced the fundamentals and basics of Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs). He also demonstrated how they could be an attractive investment option by sharing tips on how to select a right REIT coupled with a few guidelines on understanding it.
As an SGX academy trainer, Wong Kon How illustrated how rebalancing one’s portfolios can be a good defence against bearish markets. He provided the audience with an in-depth analysis and emphasised the importance of understanding the volatility and market direction to better manage one’s portfolio. He pointed out the merits of regularly reviewing our portfolio as a bull market could die on euphoria.
Following that, we had Lance Low, the co-founder of JEDTrade. He presented the hottest topic currently on the market: cryptocurrencies. He started off by giving a concise overview of the history and developments of cryptocurrencies and why this field received so much attention in recent times. Lance also shared his personal views and predictions for cryptocurrencies in 2018.
Lastly, we had Ernie Teo, a research scientist at the IBM Center for Blockchain Innovation and an adjunct lecturer at the National University of Singapore. Ernie explained the foundations of blockchain and cleared up common misconceptions about the enigmatic technology. He followed up with a discussion regarding the blockchain’s prominence in the banking and finance industry, enhancing our understanding of its potential.
During our mini-activities, we were honoured to have Regina Chia Hui Mei, a CFP holder and Associate Estate Planning Practitioner from Great Eastern to share with us on hedging against health risk via insurance. Many of us are aware of how alternative investments could be a useful hedging tool and yet overlook on hedging our own health risk. Regina shed light on how insurance as one of our risk management tools, would provide a comprehensive individual portfolio. Her informative sharing allowed our participants to bring home unique insights on how risk management could be viewed on insurance too.
After the presentations, the audience was treated to a panel discussion moderated by Professor Bryan Low, a private banker and adjunct lecturer at the Nanyang Business School. During the panel discussion, there was a rich exchange of diverse ideas, and the speakers generally expressed an optimistic outlook on the market. The burning questions of the audience were also answered during the Q&A session. It was highly interesting to learn from the different perspectives offered across the different age groups of our participants.
As the event reached its closing in the evening, many stayed back to network with the speakers and with each other. It was heartening to see so many like-minded peers gathering at our event. We were also delighted to have Asia Finance conduct an interview with our participants on their personal thoughts on alternative investments and their investment strategies. The NBS Alternative Investment Symposium 2018 was a great success and we received numerous positive feedbacks for the event. We thank all our participants and look forward to hosting the event again next year. See you in NBS AIS 2019!