While I did make a profit from all these 3 investments, I realise I could’ve done much better if I had waited longer with a timeframe of 4 to 5 years. Take the case of Singapore Post -- what we all thought was a dying business managed to turn itself around through the joint venture with Alibaba. Perhaps even with QAF, after a few quarters of negative FCF, it still managed to revert back to normalised levels. 

The point I’m driving at is that with these long-standing businesses, there is no point trying to forecast where they may be 10 years down the road. Our main aim should just be to identify companies that are cash-rich with minimal debt, have a long company history and offering a decent margin of safety. Having taken care of our downside, our outperformance would come over time.

To end it off, I would like to share some research findings by Fidelity. The company did a study of their investors’ accounts to find out who were the best performers and their strategy in outperforming the markets. 

What they realised was that the accounts that did the best belonged to investors who had already passed away. Next were investors who had forgotten that they had an account with Fidelity.

From this we can see that investing is simple, but not easy. The secret to getting such outperformance seems to be just doing nothing. How many of us really have the willpower and patience to do nothing for 4 to 5 years?

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