June 20, 2021

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Scam Artist, Conmen & Charlatans Are Almost Always Charming

I have thought long and hard whether to write a sensitive topic like this especially on a public forum. This is because it would most definitely ruffle feathers. However, the reason I press ahead is because of the impending total lockdown in June which would likely once again draw large retail investors participation in the stock market. When that happens, I am 100% certain shady characters and opportunist would definitely start spinning fake stories to promote stocks once again to trap retail investors. I do not wish to see retail investors lose their hard earned money once again.

Scam artist, conmen and charlatans come in all shapes and sizes. There are various levels of them in Bursa. On the lowest level, these bunch mask themselves as "Gurus". Next level, they mask themselves as "prominent investors". The highest level, would be "shareholders & directors" of listed companies themselves. Let me break this down in parts.


Level 1 - Gurus

Recently, a Facebook post criticising a "stock market Guru" which sold RM 13,888 platinum package to its students went viral. Those who bought will have access to this "Guru" advice. Based on the scathing viral FB post, it detailed all the stocks promoted by this "Guru". In short, most stocks promoted by the "Guru" performed badly and brought huge losses to this students. If the FB viral post is true, authorities should re-look into this because the "Guru" was flagged on SC investor alert list since 2019. A real Guru never refer to themselves as Guru. 

Level 2 - Prominent Investors

Prominent investors are notable public figures who conduct retail investing with large amount in the stock market. The position taken by prominent investors are so huge sometimes they end up being the Top 30 shareholders. There are a handful of prominent investors in the country but one in particular stands out. I have written an open letter to him once last year with a sincere plea towards being responsible in his writing due to his overarching influence. Clearly, he couldn't care less. What one does in his free time is none of my business. But Peter Parker's Uncle Ben once said, "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibilities". After a string of questionable track record like Sendai, Hengyuan, Xingquan, Jaks, Dayang, Dominant, AT etc, irresponsible comments still goes on. This is a great disservice to the retail investors who respect and look up to him.

Level 3 - Shareholders & Directors

The fiasco of Serba Dinamik sprung a huge surprise to the investment community. However, some chatters have already been swirling in the financial / banking industry for sometime. Multiple rounds of placements, various new ventures announcements, countless MoUs, associated individuals acquiring controlling shareholding in other listed companies were red flags. As a lawyer myself, one of the most important legal principle I learnt in the first year of law school is the "Presumption of Innocence". One is innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law. So, if Serba Dinamik is indeed innocent, KPMG which has been their external auditors since 2013 should be given the mandate to complete the auditing process instead of being asked to resign or fired in the coming EGM. I strongly agree with Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group (MSWG) that all shareholders should vote against firing KPMG, let them finish what they started. EPF & KWAP which are shareholders and custodian of the Rakyat monies should also reject the firing of KPMG. 


A wise Chairman of a listed company once told me "Charlatans are always charming, otherwise how do they make a living?". I am not a regulator nor am I trying to be a moral police. I am just a believer in self-empowerment of retail investors. I shall leave it to retail investors to ponder and make their own judgment when investing or relying on sources. After all, things that are too good to be true, often are. 

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For link to my new book - "Once Upon A Time In Bursa", please click HERE :

Pic source: WSJ 

Insights 2 : Media Chinese International Limited (...
OFI Holdings Berhad - Long Term Value Stock (Q4FY2...
 

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This  information should not and cannot be construed as or relied on and (for  all intents and purposes) does not constitute financial, investment or  any other form of advice. Any investment involves the taking of  substantial risks, including (but not limited to) complete loss of  capital. Every investor has different strategies, risk tolerances and  time frames. You are advised to perform your own independent checks,  research or study; and you should contact a licensed professional before  making any investment decisions.

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