Asking More Meaningful CNY Questions!

lion dance


To many the Lunar New Year period is a joyous occasion, with all the food, drinks and celebration. However, some meetings with once-in-a-year relatives can also be awkward and uncomfortable.

Here Are Some Awkward Questions

This list tends to vary by stages but the general idea is there:

  1. For those in the early 20s:
    1. “Are you still studying?”
    2. “Got boyfriend/girlfriend already anot?”


  1. For those above 25 that are attached:
    1. “Getting married soon?”
    2. “Where are you working now?”


  1. For those above 30:
    1. That are single: “Why no boyfriend/girlfriend?”
    2. That are attached: “Why not married yet?”
    3. That are married: “Why no kids yet?”


I think you get the drift by now. However, we do not have to end up conversing on such ‘boring’ topics where we all know that we would only get the run-of-the-mill politically correct replies. Most of the times both parties tend to prefer more meaningful conversations and not just on-the-surface pleasantries.

Hence in 2015 – the year of the goat, we will explore how to turn this awkward situation to a more meaningful experience potentially aiding in your investing journey!


How Do I Turn An Awkward Situation Into Something Meaningful

More often than not, you cannot escape from the above questions but you can follow up on them to be able to learn something useful.


  1. Medical Field

raffles medical


For example, if you have an uncle that is in the medical field and seeing that you are interested in the healthcare sector in Asia which includes companies like Raffles Medical Group Ltd (SGX:R01), IHH Healthcare Bhd (SGX:Q0F) – listed on both SGX and Bursa and maybe even the dental and specialist service provider Q & M Dental Group (Singapore) Limited (SGX:QC7) which other than dental also has their hands in the aesthetic field!



After the normal pleasantries, you can ask him about any new development or trends in the medical field. For example, he might be in the know if any big players have recently had a huge investment in a specific field or are very interested in any drugs or medical devices. For example the da Vinci Surgical System developed by Intuitive Surgical, Inc (NASDAQ:ISRG) was a rather significant improvement in certain medical procedures awhile back and if you were interested in such medical equipment companies, the end users (Customers) – the doctors themselves, would be the best people to ask on them!


Or maybe there is a new drug in the market and the company’s management is raving about it but if you ask your uncle (The doctor) and his view of it isn’t that optimistic, you might need to dig deeper. However, you cannot just base your conclusion on a sample size of ONE (Your uncle)! This is just one of many ways to counter check management’s word or as Philip Fisher calls it – Scuttlebutting!


  1. Food & Drinks

Say maybe now that you are interested in some of the consumer companies in Southeast Asia and you start to take a look at your surroundings.

You would tend to see a variety of food and beverages and for discussion sake let’s say that we are interested in the beverage space in Southeast Asia. You can start by observing what everyone is drinking and if you feel a little more adventurous, you can even go a step further to take a peek into their refrigerator!

yeos asian drink


Maybe some brands that you might see include Yeo Hiap Seng Ltd’s (SGX:Y03) line of Asian packet drinks (We previously explored some of YEO’s consumer products HERE), Fraser and Neave Limited (SGX:F99) or better known as F&N’s line of soft drinks. After visiting a couple of houses over the CNY period, you should have a decent sample size to work with!



Another type of beverage could also be the type of beer consumed! Maybe you can explore if  more of your relatives prefer a particular brand of beer like Tiger Beer, Heineken or Chang Beer by Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (SGX:Y92) and why was this the case?

tiger beer


If you didn’t already know both Tiger and Heineken are ultimately owned by Heineken N.V. (AMS:HEIA) after they bought over the previously SGX listed Asian Pacific Breweries over the period of 2012-2013.


Value In Action

We hope that we have given you some inspiration to get through the small talk and in the process get some investment value out of your conversations during this period. Remember, you can get investment ideas from ANYWHERE, all you need to do is to observe the right things and ask the right questions!

Again, all of us here at VIA wish YOU a Happy Chinese New Year!


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All views and opinions articulated in the article were expressed in Mun Hong’s personal capacity and do not in any way represent those of his employer and other related entities. Mun Hong does not own any shares in the companies mentioned above.

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