Double Digit Dividends

J#55: The Benefits of Our Journey So Far and the Concluding Journal to my E-Book

The Benefits of Our Journey So Far and the Concluding Journal to my E-Book

This is the 55th journal since I commenced writing in June 2020, some 2 years ago.  Time flies and this is a good point in time to consolidate all preceding journals to form an e-book, which I’ll publish.  

Our journey, through these journals, were unscripted but with two objectives in mind:

  • The first was to “build a concentrated portfolio of stocks that can provide a solid passive dividend income stream for the long-haul.” – Journal #1, 3 July 2020

  • The second objective was to pass forward to my children important life lessons.

“You see, I have two young children and they are estranged from me.  We live in the same home, but they are currently on non-speaking terms with me as I go through a divorce.  

With the estrangement from my children, my journals are a way for me to convey, now and in future years, what I had hoped to have discussed with them.  It is all about investments (I make), life’s lessons, and for them, hopefully, to get to know their father a bit better.”  –  Journal #3, 6 July 2020

Looking back and rereading my journals, I think we have met these two objectives
plus much, much more, in spades!


    1. We have built a portfolio and opened it up to other investors via the Double Digit Dividends Fund. It is up and running with 1 year of investment performance documented in 4 quarterly letters to investors. It has an annual return of 8.0% (comprising 4.2% of capital gains and 3.8% of dividends) and a pipeline of expected yields of 9% (based on assets under management) from its dividends over the next 12 months. A copy of the latest letter to investors can be read here.
    2. We have 10 investors with total assets under management (AUM) of USD3.3million.
    3. We have invested in 9 countries: China/Hong Kong, Egypt, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. We have invested in 18 different companies and along the way, documented some of the companies we researched but decided not to invest in.
    4. ST Funds Management, a non-listed public company owned 50/50 by my business partner and me, is profitable. The company holds the Australian Financial Services licence that both the Double Digit Dividends Fund and the African Lions Fund operate under. Being profitable, it provides a low overhead of compliance costs to our investors. The corporate structure of the Funds and how it absorbs the high compliance costs can be read about here.
    5. We have opened accounts with EFG Hermes and Interactive Brokers to give us access to 61 different markets providing us a global reach in our investments. We have appointed Bolder Investment Services to be the Fund’s Administrator. The front and back-office infrastructure and communication lines are therefore in place for the fund to invest for and to grow our investor base.
    6. I have made new friends, starting with the sales, analysts, order and trade execution guys and gals at EFG Hermes (certainly, a trip to Cairo and sub-Sahara African countries is on the cards), and also the Fund’s new investors and, the readers of these journals to mention a few. It is through the depth of our relationships with people where true wealth is found and made.
    7. As a personal investor in The African Lions Fund (the sister fund of the Double Digit Dividends Fund) it has been lucrative. Using cricketing parlance, observing Tim Staermose “hitting it for 6” was inspiring. A 42.75% return on investment in 19 months, growing AUM to more than USD17million and with over 100 investors is a huge accomplishment.

      It goes to show, how success can come from not following peoples’ deep-rooted and preconceived cognitive biases about Africa as a place (not) to invest in (see J#18) and the benefits of “taking the road less travelled” (refer to J#22).

      As Tim says, “Most people would rather fail conventionally than take a risk on unconventional success.”
    8. We have a rich repository of 55 journals (including this one) to pass forward to my children (and you). The journals detail:
      1. My approach and philosophy to investing to help you become better investors in your journey to becoming financially independent.
      2. My life’s lessons ranging from the importance of independent thinking and not following the herd (J#4), the value of a having a clear conscience in what you do (J#29), how to treat money for what it really is (J#41), how to make difficult decisions, mental health, perseverance, the importance of building solid relationships and having the right people around you such as my late Father (J#20) and business partner, Tim Staermose (J#17), etc., etc. The list of lessons is long.

    Looking back and rereading my journals, I think we certainly have achieved a lot over two years. It is amazing what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it, apply the right resources and have some patience and persistence.

Moving Forward

From time-to-time, it is important to look backwards, as we have done above, to reflect on, and assess our progress. It is equally important to look forward to our future priorities. In my case, there are 3 areas of focus for me. They are:

    1. The Fund: One of the greatest compliments you can provide me as a Fund Manager is to allocate your hard-earned capital to be invested under my stewardship. It goes without saying, the primary focus must be to continue to build a concentrated and safe portfolio of stocks that provides a solid passive dividend income stream for the long-haul.
    2. Writing: This 55th journal forms the concluding journal for the e-book. This does not mean that the journals come to an end. Moving forward, however, my writing is likely to take a different form in that there are fewer messages to my children.

      Writing forms the basis of quiet, and enjoyable (especially with a whisky and cigar in hand), thinking time to shape and test content before the pen’s ink hits the paper. Importantly, it makes me accountable not only to myself but also to you, my readers. You are motivators and gate-keepers in helping me build and maintain a highly profitable investment portfolio (refer J#1). Lots of good things happen when you write!

    3. Directing for a Good Purpose That Fire in My Belly: As readers would be aware, my children and I are estranged. The reasons for an estrangement in families vary from case-to-case. Take for example my friend Simon (not his real name) that I wrote about in J#39. Despite having a warm and meaningful relationship with his young adolescent daughter, his relationship took a sudden turn, like a light switch, that went from “on” to “off”. He has now not seen his daughter for 5+ years. There is a fire in my belly to help Simon and others like him. Let’s see how my efforts pan out with the help of other individuals in a similar situation.

    Until my next journal, and as they say—onwards and upwards on our journey ahead.

A Message for My Children

Whilst this is the concluding journal to the e-book, it is not the end of our journey. Your Father is not giving give up on us (sic: not just “you”). It is important to trust the process in this long-term journey of ours.

Attached on my bedroom door is a letter of appreciation to the parties that brought us together last year for several meals and get-togethers. I pinned it there to constantly remind me that there is plenty to be grateful for. An extract of the letter reads:

“I have read that in circumstances such as mine, it is not just about ensuring that children have a ‘normal’ parent/child relationship that they deserve, but intervention is necessary to ensure that there are no long term adverse psychological effects the children may develop if intervention did not occur. I therefore have plenty to be grateful for …. Both, xxxxx and xxxxx, demonstrated situation awareness, initiative and the skill sets to intervene and place my children and I back on a road towards reunification.

This letter is a small token of my appreciation to you. You have had a large positive and important bearing on my children’s childhood and development.”

I hope that our meetings last year have left you with an indelible memory of the bonding time that we had, and as you reach adulthood, a greater understanding of why what we have gone through occurred.
In the meantime, this e-book, is to impart to you (and my readers) some of my life’s lessons and investment skills sets which I hope to share in person with you throughout your adolescent years. Our journey continues ….

 Yours sincerely,

Peter CL Tan
Double Digit Dividends Fund, Ltd.

27 May, 2022