Cheah Cheng Hye dubbed "Goldfinger" and the "Asian Warren Buffett" is the co-founder and chairman of Hong Kong-based Value Partners Group. Born in Malaysia in 1954, he wrote for the Asian Wall Street Journal before becoming head of research and a proprietary trader at Morgan Grenfell in 1989. In 1993, he co-founded Value Partners with $5m in assets under management. The company listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2007.
What is his strategy?
Cheah is an old-fashioned value investor. He uses the "Graham-Dodd" approach to buying stocks, implementing religiously the principles in Benjamin Graham and David Dodd's book Security Analysis referred to as the "bible of value investing". However, he stresses the importance of focusing on cash flow and corporate governance to a greater extent than Graham and Dodd, saying these considerations are crucial in emerging markets. He believes in thorough on-the-ground research: Value Partners makes over 2,500 company visits every year. The firm has grown to $14bn in assets under management and returns have averaged 15% per year. Cheah's total personal compensation in 2016 was $35m, says Forbes.
What were his top trades?
Much of Cheah's success has come from avoiding potential disappointment. When the world was chasing dotcom stocks, for example, Cheah bought none. However, he once invested $30m in Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, only to see the firm go bust withinsix months.
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
When Chinese carmaker BYD Auto's stock went into free fall, Cheah visited the firm and decided the stock had been unfairly marked down. Value Partners became the second-biggest shareholder in the company. In 2008, Warren Buffett took an interest. Overnight, the world bought in and Value Partners sold out, taking a HK$600m (£55m) profit.
What can investors learn?
Cheah advocates the "stupid- clever" approach. Ego is the investor's biggest enemy: if you think you are stupid, you can do smart things. If you think you are clever, you will do stupid things. You must remove your sense of self from the investment equation.
Ben studied modern languages at London University's Queen Mary College. After dabbling unhappily in local government finance for a while, he went to work for The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh. The launch of the paper's website, scotsman.com, in the early years of the dotcom craze, saw Ben move online to manage the Business and Motors channels before becoming deputy editor with responsibility for all aspects of online production for The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News websites, along with the papers' Edinburgh Festivals website.
Ben joined MoneyWeek as website editor in 2008, just as the Great Financial Crisis was brewing. He has written extensively for the website and magazine, with a particular emphasis on alternative finance and fintech, including blockchain and bitcoin. As an early adopter of bitcoin, Ben bought when the price was under $200, but went on to spend it all on foolish fripperies.
Will a Santa Rally provide festive cheer for investors this year?
News Equities often get a seasonal boost during December - will there be a Santa Rally in 2023?
By Marc Shoffman Published
Trading terms: The Santa Rally
Glossary Will the Santa Rally result in its traditional December effect on global markets?
By Dr Matthew Partridge Published