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Why I suggest people give Value Investing Summit a miss

Value investing after some time becomes very popular so much so that a few courses in Singapore (and perhaps around the world) use it to sell their own brand of deviated investing.

And like Spa, Slimming and property seminars, these events primary aim is to firstly sell tickets, and to increase the number of people to subscribe to these expensive investment course.

I was contacted by 8 Investments to market their course for a promotion fee. As much as I am reluctant to reject good money, I have to decline (even though this post will actually expose them to publicity!)

I have put up other seminars here for publicity and have gain very little financial reward (mostly tickets which I don’t really go) in exchange for it. But they are usually use to market seminars that appropriately name their seminar.

If its general investing, we call it general investing. If you put your name as a value investing seminar you better teach something on Graham, Fisher and what Buffett really practices.

To top it off, the names that they bring in are really dubious when it comes to value investing.

Non of them sans my previous professor Sebastian Chong (I have respect for his investment style) seems to be known for being a value investor.

My friends that have attended have told me 8 Investments are quite the hard sell when they come to drumming their course.

Sorry, but the whole thing reeks the furthest from the behaviors of value investors.

If people want to learn about this I would suggest they pick up a book from Graham, Phillip Fisher, or go to Geoff Gannon’s site which explains things much better.

Very Aggressive Sales Tactics Used

One aspect since this post in 2012 that I hear from friends, readers and acquaintance were very aggressive sales tactics used.

The founder in many instance, would use heavy psychological pressure to goad the attendees to signed up for their paid workshop.

I am not sure whether you are comfortable with this.

I always believe good things need to be sold, but equipping each person with stock prospecting skillset is very subjective and the value you get in the end might not make up the cost.

I think people should be given more free will here.

The heavy pressure does not give your brain time to back out.

If you want to attend any of 8I’s preview or talks in the same vein, do keep this in mind and don’t force yourself into making snap decisions.

Update: I received word from 8 Investments that this summit should be known more as a general investing summit and not so much a value investing gathering.

As such if you are still interested in bright minds talking you can pay to attend it. Hope you guys gain something out of it.

Update (Mar 2017): Since the first posting, there are folks that went to the Summit and also the workshops that the company market that provides more insight on whether there is value for the Summit or Workshop. You can review them in my comments section below. (Do note that they are from someone’s perspective so it might be skewed to one side as well)

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Melvin

Sunday 31st of May 2020

ya! attend the 5 days bootcamp too! they are just very good at catching people's interest & heart at the snap of a finger. At the end ken chee does appear, mentioned that sunday was family day, very important to him but he make effort to turn up. Ken also appeared very pissed when clueless people posted questions regarding investment in his profile or in the chat function. I personally think they have some sort of schemes to group up with them for investing, just like many other courses out there. I guess in life, you do need to pay to learn a lesson. Whether it adds value ornot, it depends on individually consistent efforts & determination.

Kyith

Monday 1st of June 2020

Hi Melvin,

Thanks for sharing. What would be some of the questions regarding investment posted in his profile?

Investor

Wednesday 20th of May 2020

Yesterday just finished a 2 hour session with them. Ken chee appeared as special guest and then start selling their 3999 program which last for 3 full days.

Super ex....over 250 ppl was in yesterday final session of the 5 part series.. and I think easily half the ppl sign up.

Junhao

Monday 25th of May 2020

Hi Investor,

I'm not sure if the 5 day program is the same as the bootcamp they held as a webinar session last week. I attended that one after paying a pretty hefty US$499 for a very brief intro into value investing. (Most of the material centred around their expensive stock analysis app rather than the meaty subject of investing.)

In a way, I was fooled/misled into thinking that the webinar would be similar to their actual full 2 or 3 day course. I thought because of the Covid-19, they would fast--pace the 5-day (2 hour session each) to cover at least 80-90% of what is typically taught in their full day course. That's why it's called a "bootcamp" right? I thought wow ok, good deal. So I paid US$499 instead of the few thousand dollars full course.

I WAS SO WRONG!

After the 5 days, Ken Chee himself appeared to really hard sell. He said he doesn't normally appear in front of students any more. Well, anyway, appear he did. Man.... What a marketing to begin with! He can talk really well. I also sense he has that arrogant tone of voice and a sinister laughter. He seemed to be so happy at his past investments making him so much money that he told us "Come me, laugh if you want by typing HAHAHA!!! Or type WOWWW...."

Yes, there was a frenzy and many people appeared to sign up. I'm not sure how many of those who said "I HAVE SIGNED UP!" are real strangers or maybe part of their own staff???

The total full day complete course costs S$5349! Wow. That's rather expensive. But Ken promised that if we sign up, we would earn our money back from the dividends and stocks we buy. Really? I'm not so sure.

What irritated me was the fact that they made us pay US$499 for the bootcamp. And then at the end, they hinted that what we have learned are only the basics. If we want to be better at it, we have to sign up for the full program.

Damn! If that's the case, why did they even charge us US$499 and then make us pay another S$5349?!! There will be an overlap of teaching materials. I feel like the US$499 is just an intro session which will be covered in the full course anyway.

I was so tempted to sign up for the full program because Ken claimed that if we successfully do "10 things" that he tells us after the course, he will refund the full course fees. Then he showed 2 past students who collected their large cheques.

I guess many were temped by this bait. Some asked him what the 10 things are but Ken was tight lipped. He only hinted one of them is to open a trading account. That's counted as 1. Then you have to do a trade. That's 2. Simple Right? But he ended there.

I feel something is not quite right. What if part of the deal is that you must bring 2 or 3 friends to sign up for his future courses? There goes your $$$.

Kyith

Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Hi Investor, there are some sales tactics used at webinars that you have to be careful about. Firstly, they try to foster interaction by asking for small responses in the chat, or in a real-life one to put up your hand. This is to make you respond to things more easily. This is also to make you agree.

All these is to prep you for the eventual pitch.

You should also be wary how many of the participants in a webinar are really participants. What they will do is often "Hey XXX, I have signed up!". some will drizzle questions like "XXX, so are we going to get all the materials?" These may be their own people asking and the presenter responding themselves.

And then the important one is that they create scarcity. They limit to 20-50 slots and they kept telling you how many slots left.

Just be wary. I shall not say too much but if you wish to google the performance of 8I, Ken Chee, Digimatic, Velocity holdings. There is a hardwarezone thread on this topic as well.

Stay Safe.

sucker

Tuesday 14th of April 2020

bloody hell just found this page... i'm still paying for their fees still on my credit card installments..

D

Saturday 22nd of February 2020

K... no choice brother... i'm still paying for the damned installments. take it as an expensive lesson. fucking scammers.

Junhao

Wednesday 20th of May 2020

Hi D,

How was the course? Have you made back the course fees through buying the stocks recommended by VIC?

Winston Koh

Friday 1st of March 2019

Kyith,

Read this blog man. An expose on the S$100M man! :-)

K

Saturday 22nd of February 2020

Omg I wish I read this post earlier. I went for the seminar last week and fell for it. It’s priced exorbitantly at $5499 now. So I paid through 36 month installments as I’m studying part time. The course will only start in March. Any chance of cancelling it and getting a refund? Regretting signing up. Would appreciate any advice from anyone. Thanks so much!

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