Cheaper gourmet coffee

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Week in review 10/27/07 to 11/03/07

1) I found the coffee at On the Run (Mobile gas station) is as good as Panera. I used to get a cup of coffee at Panera every morning, it costs me about $1.70, now I’m paying $1 for similar thing.

Even at this price, I believe “On the Run” is still making money. Now I seriously think Starbucks is in trouble, at least in the US, because I think many Starbucks customers will do as I do: save the money. Note McDonald and Dukin Donuts also offer gourmet coffee at competitive prices.

2) My portfolio update: as you may know my portfolio got a big hit this Thursday (Nov. 1) as one of my core holdings, CROX, did not report a strong quarter as the street wanted. I certainlly was not happy with it, but strangely, I did not feel upset as I did on Feb 27, in which my portfolio also got a big hit due to “Chinese crash”. At that time my portfolio heavily weighted on HMIN and MR.

Since then I have rebalanced my portfolio, recently I trid to be more focused, because I don’t want to run my little portfolio like a mutual fund. I was hoping for a better return that way. Of course I am aware I’m taking more risk from individual stocks.

Talking about risk, recently I am hearing my dad, who is very conservative and never buys stocks, started pay attention to the stock market. As Warren Buffett says, when the stock news is on the front page of the newspaper everyday, you know there is bubble.

3) How Crocs made Mammoth: I was going to buy a pair so we went to mall and check it out yesterday. I found they just put the warm stuff inside a pair of regular Crocs cayman or beach, and that’s it. So the shoes will be smaller than the original one. I could hardly fit into a size 8 pair while normally I could easily fit into size 7. The mammoth costs $39.95, vs. $29.95 the Crocs original, i.e. cayman or beach. I heard it’s already No. 1 seller in Amazon. Interesting…


  1. I think the bubble can be real if the majority of Chinese in the market use over 50% of the savings. I wonder if you had the feeling the majority using big portion of the savings to invest in A shares in your stay in China recently? Or, how can the info are found the Chinese internet sites. I do not know how to search in Chinese.

  2. Sean,
    I don’t have exact number. I have read that Chinese has RMB 2.5 trillion Yuan in savings, and about 20% to 30% are invested in the Chinese A share market.

    This seems right, when we measure the savings against the the total Chinese stock market value, which is also around RMB 2.5 trillion. Keep in mind the floating shares are worth about RMB 700 billion.

    So in summary, I don’t think Chinese are using more than 50% of their savings in the stock market. Also China economy is still growing at 10% annually, and the saving rate is about 40% (vs. US -2%). So I don’t think money is a big problem at this time.

    A related issue, is when the RMB will float freely, and at that time people can buy stocks overseas. I believe lots of money will flow into Hongkong market (as it already happened), because the valuation is more attractive for many of the state-owned companies there.

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