Almost 20 years ago, The Edge Media Group’s founder Tong Kooi Ong initiated a meeting with me at Westin Plaza to discuss fund raising for our alma mater, Simon Fraser University of Canada. Mr Tong was a big supporter of the school while I was then the president of the alumni association in Singapore.
Our session did not take long as he had to rush off for the official launch party of The Edge Singapore. I congratulated him before we parted ways, but in my mind, I was sceptical if The Edge Singapore could take off.
The Edge Malaysia found instant success in the mid-1990s with its indepth and investigative reporting that easily trounced the competition. It helped that the founder was an established insider, and getting scoops was probably a cinch. I heard that investors across the Causeway would grab copies of the weekly right off the press on Friday, read them cover to cover, and trade on the featured stocks the following Monday.
But Singapore was different. We already had well-established financial dailies and magazines with renowned backers. Content was rapidly moving online, and competition was stiffening.
During that period, SPH was incidentally engaged in a very bruising battle with MediaCorp following the government’s liberalisation of the broadcast and print media. An upstart entering the fray could result in a lot of spilt blood. Perhaps Mr Tong may need to rethink his donation to the school, I thought.
As the 1,000th issue goes to print, I am glad to be proven wrong. It was love at first sight with The Edge Singapore, as the newspaper and I share a common DNA.
I like the fact that the stories come with a human touch. We learn not only about the company, but also about the people behind it. This gels well with my investment philosophy. I, too, pay close attention to the management of listed companies, especially those in the small cap space as they can make or break the companies.
I always tell investors: “Don’t simply face the figures; know the faces behind the figures.” This is exactly what I get when I read company features in The Edge Singapore.
I used to be the head of research of RHB Securities Singapore (formerly known as DMG), which had consistently been ranked #1 for small cap research. Our team covered over 100 stocks, which was the most for any brokerage in Singapore. The Edge Singapore was and remains a must-read for my analysts to scour for new ideas and get updated on sectors or companies that they cover.
The intimate and analytical style of reporting shouldn’t be a surprise, given that the pioneer group of writers came with an equity research background. I knew a couple of them even before they joined The Edge Singapore.
Goola Warden, executive editor, was already a well-known veteran in OUB Research when I started out as an analyst. Over the years, readers have benefited from the seasoned marathoner’s in-depth articles on banks, property companies, technical analysis and funds.
EdgeProp editor Cecilia Chow, an old friend since her time in OCBC, inspires me to work hard so that I can one day afford the houses that she writes about every week.
Editor Chan Chao Peh, another veteran of this newspaper, likes to look at odd corners and uncover under-researched small cap companies. I enjoy coffee sessions with Chao Peh, especially the times when we exchange market gossip. Warning to wayward management: You are likely fodder for our kopitiam chats.
The Straits Times is known as the “newspaper of record”, tracing the history of Singapore since 1845. In my opinion, The Edge Singapore is the newspaper of record for the financial markets in Singapore. It has chronicled every major financial event since March 2002. It has also charted my career journey, featuring some of my professional milestones — my book launches, keynote speeches, panel discussions, the launch of my funds, along with quotes on stocks and the equity market.
I would like to thank photo editor Samuel Isaac Chua and photographer Albert Chua for taking such instagrammable pictures of me over the years, despite me packing on the pounds. They seem to have a special skill in hiding my “other” chin.
Thank you everyone at The Edge Singapore, both past and present! Chao Peh, Goola, Cecilia, Ben Paul, Joan Ng, Sunita Sue Leng, Frankie Ho, Michelle Teo — you are the research team I never had! E
Terence Wong is CEO of Azure Capital