Quick Thought Of The Week: Puck!

“What on earth is this?” asked the boss of an electronics company.

It’s what you asked for – a new phone that folds”, replied his head of development.

So, how much is it?” asked the exasperated boss.

It should retail at only around $2,000”, brimmed the proud techie.

TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS! Are you nuts? I told to design me an AFFORDABLE phone – not A FOLDABLE phone” barked the enraged boss.

The above conversation between the boss and his staff is just a figment of my imagination. But it highlights the point that change is happening around us all the time.

And, sometimes, people at the top may not always be in touch with what is happening at grassroots level.

Take Kraft-Heinz (NASDAQ: KHC) as an example. The food producer was fixated with cutting costs. But it forgot to ask consumers what they really wanted….

…. It would have been horrified to find out that the answer wasn’t more tinned macaroni cheese, regardless of how cheap it was.


Consumer tastes have changed. We have more disposable income. We don’t want instant coffee out of a jar, anymore. We also want to eat healthily. We want to live longer.

And it’s not just the suits at Kraft-Heinz that were short-sighted. We are all guilty of myopia, sometimes.

As you may be aware, my latest investing project is Malaysia. Yes, I fully understand the concerns about the CLOB saga. Yes, I understand it has a new government for the first time in 60 years….

…. And yes, I know the Malaysian ringgit has fallen against our Singapore dollar since the two currencies were interchangeable at parity.

But it is important to not miss of the woods for the trees. As investors we need to be forward-thinking. We need to focus on the future – not the past.

Canadian former ice-hockey player, Wayne Gretsky, said: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.

Question is whether we want to be good investors or great investors? I know which camp I want to belong to.

A version of this article first appeared in Stock Advisor.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Director David Kuo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.