Recently, I attended a 1 day investment course conducted by Big Fat Purse. This post will share my takeaways about the course so that you can have a better idea of what it is like, if you are considering attending. I hope this will be useful, for I was similarly searching for such information before I attended.
Details of the course:
Teachers: there are 2 main trainers, Alvin and Louis. They are supported by the other 2 partners, Jon and Alex, and Jenzel, one of their support staff.
Costs: $98, but add $10 more for an investment game that happens during the course. If you win, you will get some money back (estimated at about $50 for 1st prize).
Venue: near bugis mrt for my course, but place will change, depending on where BFP decides.
Time: from 830am to 630pm. Breakfast starts at 830am, Alvin starts formally at about 9. I left at about 7pm as I was chatting with some of the trainers after the class.
Refreshments: food was provided. Menu will change but for that day, breakfast was nasi lemak, and lunch was a bento set. Food is from Neo Garden catering. 2 breaks when you can get complimentary coffee, tea or water.
Class size: 42 for that day. It was full.
What does the course teach?
1. The course focuses on CNAV, which is “conservative net asset value”. Alvin started the class with some background of why he uses the CNAV valuation method. He also shared the history of value investing.
2. Louis, who is CFA trained, spoke about financial statements. Using the income sheet, balance statement and cash flow statement, he taught the class how to calculate CNAV. He also taught on how to assess the POF score, which is a form of quality control check on the company.
3. The next part of the lesson was more qualitative, where Alvin showed the class where to find stocks to buy, using information found on SGX and Google. Once a stock is purchased, Alvin shared on how to monitor the stock and when to sell it off.
4. The investment game was organised by Louis. The participants were more excited and could make use of what they learned in the course for the game.
5. Alvin invited a broker from UOB K.H. to speak to the class. Opening accounts was obviously free but the broker seemed to be able to provide some value-added services for his clients.
6. The class ended with Alvin talking about the products BFP is selling. Alvin also shared about his own financial journey. The investment game came to an end and the prizes were given out.
My reflections about the course
Alvin and Louis seemed passionate about their cause, and both were friendly and approachable. The class ended at 630pm, but all of the staff stayed back to chat with the participants and to share their knowledge and information.
Although the trainers were relatively young, probably in their early to mid 30s, they were sincere and patient to the participants, many of who are older than them. I like their attitude and applaud their grit and courage of starting BFP to educate the masses on financial literacy.
The CNAV valuation seemed sound and workable. It will take hard work and patience to screen the stocks and invest in them, unless you decide to subscribe to BFP’s database. But like any product or tool, no matter how accurate or useful, the results will still depend on the user’s personality and how he manages the information.
I will recommend the course. You will understand some financial knowledge, learn a useful and workable valuation method and network with like-minded people. This course is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme, or a scam. The trainers did want to sell their product to the participants, but there were no fancy gimmicks or any hard pushing. They seemed more sincere to educate, then to sell.
The investment journey is like a marathon. Short term results may impress, but it is the long-term results that really tells. And like any trade, an extra tool or more knowledge, always help.