About Chris Lee Susanto, Founder at Re-ThinkWealth.com
Chris Lee Susanto
My Background: My name is Chris Lee Susanto and I am the Founder at Re-ThinkWealth, a value investing and options selling blog established in 2015 and based in Singapore (a country with one of the highest GDP per capita in the world).
I am very passionate in stocks investing and have been managing a six-digit portfolio of United States, Singapore stocks from various sectors and various market capitalization since the age of 23 with the goal of a positive absolute return every single year.
By the age of 25, the six-figure equity portfolio that I manage utilizing value investing and options selling had achieved an 18.21% annual compounded return since inception. I publish free weekly investment insights. To get it, click here.
So far, I have been blessed that with the correct investing system in place focusing on buying good businesses that I understand (with long-term prospects) and ran by trustworthy and able management at a good price, I managed to accomplish that.
My goal is simply to achieve a good absolute return of 10% – 20% every single year through capital gains, dividends, and options premium and keep doing what I enjoy doing, which is investing in stocks.
Here’s My Story
Wanting to find the best way to invest in the stock market, I have attended expensive investment courses, read countless of books and watched countless of videos.
I have since concluded that the best way to make money consistently from the stock market, in the long run, is by using the art of value investing.
Value Investing is essentially an investment strategy that selects stocks that trade for less than their intrinsic values.
People who practice Value Investing are called Value Investors.
Value Investors actively look for stocks that they believe the market has undervalued and sell the stocks only when it is overvalued.
We are able to do this because the stock market is not efficient all the time.
That means that there is always opportunity in the stock market that allows us Value Investors to buy a particular stock at a price below its true value.
Value Investing takes a lot of time to learn and you will lose a lot of money if you do not have the right teachings which give you the right foundation for Value Investing.
With the right help, Value Investing will create a passive income to fund whatever you want whether it’s that family trip you’ve always wanted, a new car, retirement savings or a college fund.
Your wealth will grow at a steady and stable rate every year only because you manage your investment risk extremely well when investing in stocks, using Value Investing.
The most successful investors in the world such as Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, Seth Klarman and Benjamin Graham uses value investing strategies.
My Role Model
There are a couple of famous investors that I modeled after for The Art of Value Investing:
1. Warren Buffett
“Be greedy when others are fearful and be fearful when others are greedy.”- Warren Buffett
The first one on my list is none other than Warren Buffett, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha”. He also happens to me my favourite investor of all time— what he says simply makes sense.
Warren was born in Nebraska in 1930. From a young age, he demonstrated a remarkable ability in business.
At the age of 26, he formed Buffett Partnership Ltd utilising the techniques he learned from his mentor Benjamin Graham to pick undervalued company’s stocks.
By the age of 35, he controlled Berkshire Hathaway, a textile company via accumulating enough of its stocks to gain majority control since the age of 30.
Even though Buffet Partnerships Ltd was successful, by the time Warren was 39 years old, he dissolved the firm to focus on developing Berkshire Hathaway.
In Berkshire Hathaway, Warren phased out its textile manufacturing division and started buying assets in insurance (GEICO), Media (The Washington Post) and oil (Exxon Mobil). He also bought a huge stake in Coca-Cola and became its director from 1989 to 2006.
Undoubtedly, he is one of the most respected investors of all time and he has a kind heart as well.
Since 2006 till 2016, Warren had donated more than $24.3 Billion. And he has pledged to give away 99% of his wealth to philanthropic causes.
83% of it will go to Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a lot of the rest will go to foundations set up by his children.
The biggest key takeaway that I learned from Warren is his absolute control in the price he pays for his investments.
2. Peter Lynch
“I’ve found that when the market’s going down and you buy funds wisely, at some point in the future you will be happy. You won’t get there by reading ‘Now is the time to buy.’”- Peter Lynch
Peter Lynch is a famous investor who has generated annual returns of 29% from 1977 to 1990 when he was the head at Fidelity Magellan. When he took over Fidelity Magellan, the firm only had $20 Million but in 13 years, he increased it to $14 Billion.
He started off as a caddy to the president of Fidelity Magellan and other investment bankers at the Brea Burn Country Club. After being friends with the president, he was provided with the opportunity to intern at Fidelity Magellan in 1966, a year after he graduated from Boston College.
From 1967 to 1969, Peter joined the army to serve the United States. In 1969, when he returned from the army, he was awarded a permanent job at Fidelity Magellan.
After working hard for 6 to 7 days a week, 8 years later in 1977, he was a portfolio manager for Fidelity Magellan.
The biggest thing that I learnt from Peter is simply to invest in only what you know.
3. Seth Klarman
“Value investing requires a great deal of hard work, unusually strict discipline, and a long-term investment horizon. Few are willing and able to devote sufficient time and effort to become value investors, and only a fraction of those have the proper mind-set to succeed.”- Seth Klarman
Seth Klarman founded the Baupost Group in 1982.
By 2013, it is considered one of the top hedge fund companies in the world with nearly $30 Billion in assets under management.
It has a return of nearly 20% per year and its success rate is considered remarkable. So remarkable that even Warren Buffett is rumored to be a big fan of his work. Because like Buffett, Seth too is a value investor.
Seth believes that the stock markets are inefficient. He looks for investments that trade below its intrinsic value.
He is also very patient in waiting for stocks to be cheap before buying in. For example, it is reported that at times his personal portfolio has over 50% cash while he is waiting for a good investment opportunity.
For every investment, he believes that a margin of safety has to be incorporated.
4. Benjamin Graham
“An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and a satisfactory return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative”- Benjamin Graham
In 1894, Benjamin Graham was born.
He did not have a perfect childhood as his father passed on after migrating to America from London not long ago and his mother lost a lot of money in 1907 during an economic crisis.
Graham was always a smart student. He got into Columbia University and was even offered to teach there after graduation.
He declined and instead, he worked as a chalker on Wall Street. Not long after that, he began to do investment research for the firm that he worked in– as his natural gift for finance began to shine.
In 1926, Graham and Jerome Newman decided to create an investment partnership.
By 1929, the financial market crash happened and it almost demolished the partnership.
It was so bad that Graham’s wife at one point had to return to work as a dance teacher.
The 1929 crash taught Graham a valuable lesson which was being penned down into a book called Security Analysis.
The book proposed that it is entirely possible to invest in stocks profitably as long as we use the concept of ‘intrinsic value’ and buying stocks at a discount to that ‘intrinsic value’.
Value Investing Strategies Coupled With Theory Of Inversion
I believe that stocks are not just ticker symbols with numbers going up and down and looking at charts. Behind every stock, there is an underlying business.
I believe in buying great businesses with superb competitive advantage at a good price.
This strategy comes together with my core theory of inversion. Inversion meaning that in every investing idea, we have to scrutinize on why it would fail. This will result in us being more conservative, and being conservative is the key to protecting and growing wealth in the long run.
Inversion meaning that in every investing idea, we have to scrutinize on why it would fail. This will result in us being more conservative, and being conservative is the key to protecting and growing wealth in the long run.
The meaning behind my blog name is to remind everyone to always rethink our investment ideas and question traditional assumptions- to be conservative in order to grow wealth over time.
Therefore, I have never used leverage in investing in equities and options.
You May Ask, Does Value Investing Really Work?
The Father of Value Investing is Benjamin Graham and one of his Disciples, Warren Buffet is the best investor of all time (and richest).
These men really understood how to implement Value Investing strategy and they have done so for nearly 100 years.
I have carefully studied countless of their books and their teachings over the years.
In fact, Warren Buffett has shared his criteria of picking stocks using Value Investing as early as from the year 1977 in one of his Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letter.
“We select our marketable equity securities in much the same way we would evaluate a business for acquisition in its entirety. We want the business to be:
1. One that we can understand,
2. With favorable long-term prospects,
3. Operated by honest and competent people, and
4. Available at a very attractive price.”
These 4 criteria for selecting stocks using Value Investing is consistently repeated by Warren many times over the years and I understand this particular Value Investing strategy very well.
Charlie Munger once said, “Invert, always invert: Turn a situation or problem upside down. Look at it backward. What happens if all our plans go wrong? Where don’t we want to go, and how do you get there? Instead of looking for success, make a list of how to not fail instead – through preventing sloth, envy, resentment, self-pity, entitlement, all the mental habits of self-defeat. Avoid these qualities and you will succeed. Tell me where I’m going to die, that is, so I don’t go there.”