Nov 21st, 2007 Posted in Intelligent Investing
ICAP is listed in the KLSE as a company under the Closed End Fund section. All companies listed in the KLSE will belongs to a section, i.e. plantations, hotels, properties, financial, etc.
It used to have only 2 stocks listed under the closed-end fund section – ICAP and AMANMFB. But funny enough, AMANMFB has closed shop a few weeks ago. AMANMFB performance sucks from day 1 and they looked even uglier when ICAP is launched 2 years ago. So instead of keep hiding their head under the table, the fund manager decided to terminate the fund.
Most people are not familiar will a closed end fund because most funds that we buy are open-ended funds. Please read the article “Closed End Fund vs. Unit Trust Fund” to learn more about them in details.
To make a quick explanation, an open-ended fund doesn’t have a fixed amount of units. Today it can have 13 million units and tomorrow it can have 10 million units, depending on how many people have bought or sold the funds. The price that you buy or sell an open-ended fund is based on the NAV of the fund, which is calculated daily by the fund companies and is published daily on the newspaper. [NAV = Net Asset Value = how much the fund is worth = the exact price of the fund]
As opposed to an open-ended fund, a closed-end fund has a fixed amount of units. For example, ICAP has a fixed 140 million units available. Tomorrow, it will still be 140 million units no matter how many people sell or buy it. The bid and ask price do not depend on the NAV but actually depends on supply and demand.
When you buy a Public Mutual fund, you are buying from Public Mutual directly at the NAV + entry fee (6.5%). If you sell, you are selling to Public Mutual directly at the NAV. You don’t need to worry whether there are buyers or sellers available, Public Mutual will always buy or sell to you.
Since ICAP only has a fixed 140 million of units, you can only buy from an existing ICAP holders who wants to sell to you (sorry, AhYap is not selling his to you). And so the price is determined by supply and demand.
The above image shows that there are 152 lots available for sale at RM2.40. If you are already holding ICAP and want to sell them, you can sell 148 lots at RM2.39 right now. A lot means 100 units/shares.
Where do you buy and sell ICAP? You do that exactly the same way you buy or sell other stocks such as GENTING or DIGI. That’s either through a reminsier or do-it-yourself via a discount broker such as HLeBroking.com. You need to pay brokerage fee, stamp duty & clearing fees when you buy or sell ICAP just like your buy or sell other stocks in KLSE.
Since ICAP is also a fund, it also has its own NAV. But instead of being calculated and published daily like other mutual funds. ICAP NAV is calculated on every Wednesday and will be published end of Thursday on icapital.biz and klse.com.my (’Listed Companies’ Menu -> Company Announcement -> Announcements -> Current -> ‘By Company’ Tab -> ‘I’ Button -> ICAPITAL.BIZ BERHAD).
From website iCapital.biz, it will look like this
Latest NAV – RM2.10
(as at 14/11/2007)
From klse.com.my, the announcement will read like this
On behalf of the Board of icapital.biz, we wish to announce that the NAV per share of icapital.biz as at 14 November 2007 was RM2.10.
If you are smart enough, you will notice that ICAP is actually selling at RM2.40 right now while the NAV is only RM2.10! What does that means? Demand is so strong that there are actually idiots trying to buy it at RM2.40 (Yes, I mean Idiots).
Logically, ICAP should be bought or sold around the NAV. So if the NAV is RM2.10, buy and sell should be around that amount. As a buyer, you want to buy it as low as possible. If you are a seller, you want to sell it as high as possible. If the NAV is RM2.10 and you pay RM2.20 to buy it, you are actually paying a premium to buy it. It is OK to pay a premium to buy a good fund. When you buy a mutual fund, you need to pay 6% to 7% entry fee as well which is also a premium. However, paying 19% of premium to buy a fund is ridiculous to me.
The reason why idiots bid it so high right now is due to the lack of understanding to ICAP and the ignorance of a bunch of traders. A lot of trading software (including IntegraStocks promoted heavily by Bursa Pursuit) are giving buy signals to ICAP because it keep on breaking new high. So these traders, who know nothing about ICAP other than its s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g thought that this stock is the next stock that will go up 500% in the next few weeks. They will be proven wrong and burned hard.
ICAP is a registered company but it doesn’t has its own ‘business’. It’s ‘business’, is to own other businesses that is listed in the KLSE (they buy stocks!). ICAP is owning around 15 stocks right now, including PARKSON, PETDAG, UMW, PIE, BSTEAD, etc.
ICAP doesn’t has a single employee! Everything is outsourced. The decisions on what stocks to buy and sell are outsourced to Capital Dynamics Sdn Bhd, which is run and operated by Tan Teng Boo (the fund manager). The annual management fee paid to Capital Dynamics yearly is 1.5% of the NAV. Almost all mutual funds that you buy will will have such management fee paid to the fund manager ranging from 1% to 2%, 1.5% is most commonly used.
Tan Teng Boo publish an investment newletter weekly since 1988. And everyone can subscribe to this newsletter (of course you need to pay lah). The gem of this newsletter is that is contains a paper portfolio where he will tell you exactly what stock to buy and sell. He called this portfolio “Section C”. The performance of this portfolio is amazing, it has averaged a 21.73% compounded return since it is started in 1991! Remember that a 20% compound rate will grow your money 6 times in 10 years. Click here for the complete track record details with yearly breakdown and chart. Since this portfolio is make public to all subscribers since 1991, everything can be traced back to 1991 and thus the track record cannot be faked.
What makes ICAP so interesting when compared to other mutual funds in Malaysia?
The core philosophy of typical mutual funds is diversification. A typical fund will own a lot of stocks, probably hundreds or even thousands of them! What they do is buy a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Their reasoning behind this is that the risk can be reduced by ’spreading’ it over a lot of counters. What they are thinking is, if the fund own 300 stocks and 1 of them go down 100% to 0, the fund overall net loss is only 0.33%. This is known as “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.
Unfortunately, sword has a double edge. If your fund buy 300 stocks, 1 of them go up 100%, the effect of the superior performance of this stock only net to 0.33% to the overall fund performance! So there is nothing to be proud of when one of the stock go up 100%!
Warren Buffett, the world’s most successful investor (the #2 richest man in the world) who runs Berkhshire Harthaway that is worth over USD 200 billion ($200,000,000,000) owns only 39 stocks! So for a typical mutual fund that is worth RM100 million to diversify as much as 300 stocks is meaningless.
When mutual funds owns too many stocks, their performance will be much or less same as the overall market! So if you read the headline and the stock market tumbled 3%, most probably your fund will also tumbled 3%. This is because the fund owns so many stocks that it is actually the stock market itself! If KLSE has only 1,500 stocks and your fund owns 500 of them, it is very logical that your fund price will drop when the overall market drop.
Look at Public Growth Fund (red) vs the KLSE Composite Index (blue). Look how close they mimic each other. This is because they own too many stocks. So they will have a high correlation to each other.
As ICAP owns only 15 stocks, its performance will not rely too much on what the overall market is doing. So it has lower correlation when compared to typical mutual funds. This can be seen clearly on the ICAP performance beginning at April 2007. While the market is going flatline, ICAP is able to appreciate continuously.
Performance of a value investor doesn’t depends on the market but the earning performance of the underlying companies. The companies that ICAP owns keep making good earnings on that period and thus the price is reflecting that. Note that I am using the NAV of ICAP and not the stock price of ICAP because NAV is the real value of the fund and not the price (which is insane right now).
* A mutual fund that holds too many stocks will not be able to outperform the market in a large margin for the long run. But an intelligently value investing portfolio that focus only on a few well researched stocks can easily outperform the market by a large margin in the long run. *
Before I continue, I will now write my responds to Boyboycute’s comment. He takes a great effort on researching more about ICAP which I salute (a lot of people either listen and forget, or listen blindly).
Icaptal.biz was listed 2 years ago on 19 Oct 2005. Whatever ICAP is doing, it will be under scrutinized by Bursa starting from that date only. Before the listing, ICAP self-claimed in http://www.icapital.biz/english/trackrec_1.asp about the performance of Capital Dynamics without any supporting documents or evidence. No one can certify the performance of Capital Dynamics before the listing of ICAP. Since ICAP has two years of track record only, I cannot make any good judgement about the fund. By the way, did you read the disclaimer in the website? Past performance is not an indication for future performance. See it here: http://www.icapital.biz/english/disclaimer.asp