Sunday, 28 November 2010

Life and How to Survive It - a NTU Convocation Address by Adrian Tan

"I must say thank you to the faculty and staff of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information for inviting me to give your convocation address. It's a wonderful honour and a privilege for me to speak here for ten minutes without fear of contradiction, defamation or retaliation. I say this as a Singaporean and more so as a husband.

My wife is a wonderful person and perfect in every way except one. She is the editor of a magazine. She corrects people for a living. She has honed her expert skills over a quarter of a century, mostly by practising at home during conversations between her and me.

On the other hand, I am a litigator. Essentially, I spend my day telling people how wrong they are. I make my living being disagreeable.

Nevertheless, there is perfect harmony in our matrimonial home. That is because when an editor and a litigator have an argument, the one who triumphs is always the wife.

And so I want to start by giving one piece of advice to the men: when you've already won her heart, you don't need to win every argument.

Marriage is considered one milestone of life. Some of you may already be married. Some of you may never be married. Some of you will be married. Some of you will enjoy the experience so much, you will be married many, many times. Good for you.

The next big milestone in your life is today: your graduation. The end of education. You're done learning.

You've probably been told the big lie that "Learning is a lifelong process" and that therefore you will continue studying and taking masters' degrees and doctorates and professorships and so on. You know the sort of people who tell you that? Teachers. Don't you think there is some measure of conflict of interest? They are in the business of learning, after all. Where would they be without you? They need you to be repeat customers.

The good news is that they're wrong.

The bad news is that you don't need further education because your entire life is over. It is gone. That may come as a shock to some of you. You're in your teens or early twenties. People may tell you that you will live to be 70, 80, 90 years old. That is your life expectancy.

I love that term: life expectancy. We all understand the term to mean the average life span of a group of people. But I'm here to talk about a bigger idea, which is what you expect from your life.

You may be very happy to know that Singapore is currently ranked as the country with the third highest life expectancy. We are behind Andorra and Japan, and tied with San Marino. It seems quite clear why people in those countries, and ours, live so long. We share one thing in common: our football teams are all hopeless. There's very little danger of any of our citizens having their pulses raised by watching us play in the World Cup. Spectators are more likely to be lulled into a gentle and restful nap.

Singaporeans have a life expectancy of 81.8 years. Singapore men live to an average of 79.21 years, while Singapore women live more than five years longer, probably to take into account the additional time they need to spend in the bathroom.

So here you are, in your twenties, thinking that you'll have another 40 years to go. Four decades in which to live long and prosper.

Bad news. Read the papers. There are people dropping dead when they're 50, 40, 30 years old. Or quite possibly just after finishing their convocation. They would be very disappointed that they didn't meet their life expectancy.

I'm here to tell you this. Forget about your life expectancy.

After all, it's calculated based on an average. And you never, ever want to expect being average.

Revisit those expectations. You might be looking forward to working, falling in love, marrying, raising a family. You are told that, as graduates, you should expect to find a job paying so much, where your hours are so much, where your responsibilities are so much.

That is what is expected of you. And if you live up to it, it will be an awful waste.
If you expect that, you will be limiting yourself. You will be living your life according to boundaries set by average people. I have nothing against average people. But no one should aspire to be them. And you don't need years of education by the best minds in Singapore to prepare you to be average.

What you should prepare for is mess. Life's a mess. You are not entitled to expect anything from it. Life is not fair. Everything does not balance out in the end. Life happens, and you have no control over it. Good and bad things happen to you day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. Your degree is a poor armour against fate.

Don't expect anything. Erase all life expectancies. Just live. Your life is over as of today. At this point in time, you have grown as tall as you will ever be, you are physically the fittest you will ever be in your entire life and you are probably looking the best that you will ever look. This is as good as it gets. It is all downhill from here. Or up. No one knows.

What does this mean for you? It is good that your life is over.

Since your life is over, you are free. Let me tell you the many wonderful things that you can do when you are free.

The most important is this: do not work.

Work is anything that you are compelled to do. By its very nature, it is undesirable.

Work kills. The Japanese have a term "Karoshi", which means death from overwork. That's the most dramatic form of how work can kill. But it can also kill you in more subtle ways. If you work, then day by day, bit by bit, your soul is chipped away, disintegrating until there's nothing left. A rock has been ground into sand and dust.

There's a common misconception that work is necessary. You will meet people working at miserable jobs. They tell you they are "making a living". No, they're not. They're dying, frittering away their fast-extinguishing lives doing things which are, at best, meaningless and, at worst, harmful.

People will tell you that work ennobles you, that work lends you a certain dignity. Work makes you free. The slogan "Arbeit macht frei" was placed at the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps. Utter nonsense.

Do not waste the vast majority of your life doing something you hate so that you can spend the small remainder sliver of your life in modest comfort. You may never reach that end anyway.

Resist the temptation to get a job. Instead, play. Find something you enjoy doing. Do it. Over and over again. You will become good at it for two reasons: you like it, and you do it often. Soon, that will have value in itself.


I like arguing, and I love language. So, I became a litigator. I enjoy it and I would do it for free. If I didn't do that, I would've been in some other type of work that still involved writing fiction ?C probably a sports journalist.

So what should you do? You will find your own niche. I don't imagine you will need to look very hard. By this time in your life, you will have a very good idea of what you will want to do. In fact, I'll go further and say the ideal situation would be that you will not be able to stop yourself pursuing your passions. By this time you should know what your obsessions are. If you enjoy showing off your knowledge and feeling superior, you might become a teacher.

Find that pursuit that will energise you, consume you, become an obsession. Each day, you must rise with a restless enthusiasm. If you don't, you are working.

Most of you will end up in activities which involve communication. To those of you I have a second message: be wary of the truth. I'm not asking you to speak it, or write it, for there are times when it is dangerous or impossible to do those things. The truth has a great capacity to offend and injure, and you will find that the closer you are to someone, the more care you must take to disguise or even conceal the truth. Often, there is great virtue in being evasive, or equivocating. There is also great skill. Any child can blurt out the truth, without thought to the consequences. It takes great maturity to appreciate the value of silence.

In order to be wary of the truth, you must first know it. That requires great frankness to yourself. Never fool the person in the mirror.

I have told you that your life is over, that you should not work, and that you should avoid telling the truthr. I now say this to you: be hated.

It's not as easy as it sounds. Do you know anyone who hates you? Yet every great figure who has contributed to the human race has been hated, not just by one person, but often by a great many. That hatred is so strong it has caused those great figures to be shunned, abused, murdered and in one famous instance, nailed to a cross.

One does not have to be evil to be hated. In fact, it's often the case that one is hated precisely because one is trying to do right by one's own convictions. It is far too easy to be liked, one merely has to be accommodating and hold no strong convictions. Then one will gravitate towards the centre and settle into the average. That cannot be your role. There are a great many bad people in the world, and if you are not offending them, you must be bad yourself. Popularity is a sure sign that you are doing something wrong.

The other side of the coin is this: fall in love.

I didn't say "be loved". That requires too much compromise. If one changes one's looks, personality and values, one can be loved by anyone.

Rather, I exhort you to love another human being. It may seem odd for me to tell you this. You may expect it to happen naturally, without deliberation. That is false. Modern society is anti-love. We've taken a microscope to everyone to bring out their flaws and shortcomings. It far easier to find a reason not to love someone, than otherwise. Rejection requires only one reason. Love requires complete acceptance. It is hard work ?C the only kind of work that I find palatable.

Loving someone has great benefits. There is admiration, learning, attraction and something which, for the want of a better word, we call happiness. In loving someone, we become inspired to better ourselves in every way. We learn the truth worthlessness of material things. We celebrate being human. Loving is good for the soul.

Loving someone is therefore very important, and it is also important to choose the right person. Despite popular culture, love doesn't happen by chance, at first sight, across a crowded dance floor. It grows slowly, sinking roots first before branching and blossoming. It is not a silly weed, but a mighty tree that weathers every storm.

You will find, that when you have someone to love, that the face is less important than the brain, and the body is less important than the heart.

You will also find that it is no great tragedy if your love is not reciprocated. You are not doing it to be loved back. Its value is to inspire you.

Finally, you will find that there is no half-measure when it comes to loving someone. You either don't, or you do with every cell in your body, completely and utterly, without reservation or apology. It consumes you, and you are reborn, all the better for it.

Don't work. Avoid telling the truth. Be hated. Love someone.


You're going to have a busy life. Thank goodness there's no life expectancy."

Stocks holding review [Nov]

Total stocks holding down 5%. =(

STI declined from a peak of 3300 to 3159 due to tension between North and South Korea resulting in liquidity outflow.

Should have done a trader stance since my point of entries was rather high...

Friday, 26 November 2010

Saying "no"

Not trying to be a disagreeable person here, but I have come to realize how a big "no" done properly can be such a day-saver. Bottom line is - there is no way to keep pleasing people, because you will just be repeatedly being taken for granted.

Saying a big and firm "no" in the appropriate situation to friends, customers or even your bosses need some guts and practice, I admit. Perhaps even some negotiation skills has to come into play. Don't go "erm, I think...", "but..." or "Let me consider...", because hesitation would just let the negotiation goes on.

So when is the 'right' situation you may ask? It may differ from cases to cases, but as long as you have valid reason(s) and you know you have the rights to do so, draw in that deep breath and say - NO.

Now I have almost mastered the art of doing "no" with an all-serious look and flat tone. Brilliant.

Stop leading life of quiet desperations

"Most men live lives of quiet desperation" is a quote from Henry David Thoreau of which I saw towards the end of a book I recently read - "Earn more, Stress less". It is a quote I find rather intriguing. The meaning of 'quiet desperation' can be interpreted as bottling up the feelings of desperation and dissatisfaction. Someone also suggested that it could be describing people who just wanna follow the flow and fit into the society, they might be too polite to complain and too busy to think about it much. I am sure there are many of us out there who fits the bill, including myself.

How many of us are daring enough to voice out our dissatisfaction? How many of us are brave enough to pursue our dreams and set high goals? How many of us are leading the kind of life we truly want? How many of use live lives for ourselves, not for others? It really makes me ponder.

Then I must ask these questions to myself. Sadly, I have to admit I AM right now living a life of quiet desperation. I have no clear goals in mind, I am not doing the job I most loved, I am just going with the flow with 'what's right' and what I ought to be doing with my qualifications. And amidst all these, I have no quiet time to myself to really think about what is it I want and plan how I can achieve that.

Maybe we are just too afraid to take the leap. We thought quiet desperation is just fine, staying in a spot would means nothing can possibly go wrong. And how WRONG could that be.

Friday, 29 October 2010

A few good inspirational quotes...

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.
- Andre Gide
Trust your hopes, not your fears.
- David Mahoney
Success is never final and failure never fatal. It's courage that counts.
- George F. Tilton


To achieve something, basically just need three steps:

1) Set your goal
2) Plan your actions
3) Do it

Sometimes along the way when we are tired, think of something that can motivate us and push us along. When we are afraid, summon our courage but be prepared for the worse. Don't be overly pessimistic but also don't be overly optimistic. Sounds simple eh? Maybe not.

***

Techinical charting tips

  • Drawing trendline from right to left may give a more relevant prediction of support / resistance

  • Bullish reversal bar (dip but close at high) after several periods of falling prices --> buying opportunity

  • Bearish reversal bar (dip and close at low) after rising trend --> time to close long position

  • 3 black crows (blue candles) consecutively --> bad sign

Reference: Trading for Dummies

Useful ratios - debt and profit

Debt ratios

Current ratio = Current assets / Current liabilities

*Look for current ratio close to the industry average

Quick ratio = (Current asset - Inventory) / Current liabilities


Profit ratio

Gross margin ratio (indicates efficiency at making profit) = Gross profit / Net sales

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Savings on shopping

Girls love to shop, yes and that includes myself. I couldn't figure out why, but it is just innate that we can't resist anything that looks pretty on the shelves. On top of earning money and making money work for you, I realized that saving money is just as important. Here are some quick tips on how to save when shopping.

  1. Ask yourself if you really need that item before you buy on impulse. Think about what you already have and if they are functioning just as good.

  2. Can you foresee yourself using this item that you intend to buy frequently? If it is just another collection to your wardrobe of white elephants, then forget it.

  3. Maximize cards discount. Credit cards are hot on promotion these days and if you happened to have the right card for a discount on something you really wanted, that's good for you!

  4. Wait for the Sales. You may be able to get just what you wanted a few months ago at a fraction of the price now. Seasonal sales, Great Singapore Sales, End-year sales...

  5. Quality vs Price. Many a time I find myself buying something just because it looks nice or it's selling cheaply, which ended up not lasting very long on use. Good brands that not always equate to good quality but if the brand really deliver the quality it deserves, then part with that little extra cash for it.

  6. Compare prices. Common sense isn't it?

  7. Keep records of large purchases so you can keep track of your budget and spend within it.

  8. Make a note on things that you think you have wasted money on. And don't repeat it again.
That's 8 shop savvy tips for now. =)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Stockwatch: Ship building & shipping co




Top dividend yielders -

Golden Ocean div yield = 5.30%
Cosco div yield = 1.58%

***
2015: I was not vested in any of them from then till now. Cosco suffered tremendous price drop due to earnings not hitting target and the oil crisis. What happened to Golden Ocean? Merged with Golden ocean group?

Interest rate and stock market

The relationship between interest rate and stock -->

Government lowers interest rates to help stimulate the market, so falling interest rate would typically cause the market to change from a bearish to a bullish market. On the other hand rising interest rate would do the opposite to cool down the economy. The transition may be slow but nevertheless interest rate can be a hint.

Knowing when to 'breakup' with your stock

  1. Short-term traders would use MACD as a guide for change in trend direction. Buy signals when the MACD crosses above signal line, sell signals when MACD crosses below signal line.
  2. Using stoch indicator, sell when stoch goes above 80 indicating an overbought condition
  3. Spotting price gap that is significantly lower accompanied by high trading volume (spelling trouble ahead)
  4. Setting a target price for minimizing loses can be done with a few methods using stock charts:
  • Simply setting a stop loss at 10% loss from current price or adopt the trailing stop-loss strategy as your stock price goes up
  • Exit if the stock price falls back below the resistance level after breaking through resistance - which gives smaller financial risk but prone to whipsaws (getting out of a potentially winning trade too soon)
  • Exit if the price falls below the mid-point of the trading range - gives a higher risk but less prone to whipsaws

Thursday, 7 October 2010

STI on the climb

STI is climbing. It closed at 3190 today.

BUT why is my only blue-chip showing a blue candle? I really can't figured out what's wrong with it. I know I have bought it at an overprice. It is a mistake. If only I had been more patient... Looking on the bright side, it is still some way from analyst's target value. I guess one problem is that the company has too many competitors, further research needs to be done. Hindsight analysis - it was the operating cost / oil price causing the down price of the share.

Oceanus and MIIF is showing gains. Good signs. It was a good tightening of the bollinger bands for MIIF. =)

Let's observe if STI can climb past the 3300 mark.

---------------------------------------------------
Had some streaks of good luck today - won $100 Choice vouchers from GSK draw. Woot!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Summary notes on investing with CPF money

  • CPF monies are allocated into 3 sections - Ordinary account (where you can use the money for properties, study loan etc), Special account (for retirement) and Medisave account (for hospitalisation expenses and medical insurance) Refer here for the allocation rate

  • Current interest rate: OA 2.50%, SA & MA 4%, Retirement account 4%
    See rates

  • You can only invest if you have more than $20,000 in your Ordinary Account or more than $40,000 in your Special Account
*Note that the first $60,000 in your combined CPF account earns an extra 1% interest
  • Charges are applicable for the various instruments you invest in. Read more.
For more details, please refer to the CPF website under my links section.

***

Before you make any investment or fixed deposit arrangement, weigh the risks and benefits involved and ask about the charges. Compare your investment return rates with the prevailing CFP account rates to see whether you are better off just leaving your money in the CPF account which earns you guaranteed interests or putting your money elsewhere. I don't really see the point of putting the CPF money into other fixed deposits because the CPF interest is by far better than most banks'. If you want additional interests, might as well transfer your money from OA to SA, but note that this tranfer once effected is irreversible.

***

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Advice from the guru and lessons learnt

In the Money Week (TV show on Channel 8), the stocks guru Mr Hu Li Yang mentioned that if a stock you chose drops while overall stocks in the market are rising, that would imply your stock is 'sick' and you should be alarmed by this signal.

I do not agree with all of his statements, one of which is about buying up and selling down. If the statement he made above is true then I have to re-look at two of my stocks, which failed to break their resistances since I bought many months back, despite the market doing better than then. I should know better than to buy on gut instinct and reading some optimistic posts about the company. I regretted not following my gut instinct that time about Genting SP when it dropped to 0.80+ the commentaries were all against it rating it's support at 0.60. Suddenly it emerged as a multi-bagger stock. I wondered if any guru would have guess it can hit a whooping $2. After a period of over-chase, it's price is finally cooling off - closed today at 1.90 with 197,451,000 in volume. I wonder what will be it's new support price in the days to come...

The 2nd lesson I have learnt (from MIIF) is not to chase a rising stock and be PATIENT. Once again, I failed to buy at the support level.

While looking at TA (technical analysis), one should also be aware of market sentiments and human psychology because there is NO SUCH THING as a rational market. The technical charts are just guides (some people believe in using those to gauge entry and exit prices) but what will become of a stock in the future is hard to trendline. Moreover, how a stock performs would depend on the macro-environment, which is the market / industry outlook, and the micro-environment, which is how the company manages and runs its business.

***

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

6 of Asia's most expensive homes

Skyscraper for a home? See this link http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/none/6-asias-most-expensive-houses-820027

Now, which is the one you aspire to live in the most if you have that kind of money?

These homes seem more like museums to me really. Find them too extravagant to be called homes... well, maybe not for these billionaires who are overflowing with monies in their banks. For somebody like me who have been staying in a small Singapore flat all my life, it's hard to imagine how living in HUGE spaces like those would feel like.

Shiok or not? Would people lose their way in there? Do they truely qualify as cozy and comfy?

To me, I would think that living with a warm close-knitted family in any decent housing would very much suffice as cozy and comfy. =)

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Current phone plan

I probably have one of the most economical phone plan around - Starhub 3G Power Now 160 (don't think it's available for subscription anymore) and am quite happy with it. the basic charge is only $20 prior to GST which includes 160 minutes talk time that can be rolled over, 500 free SMS, free incoming voice calls on weekend and recently I discovered that Data usage within Gee! is FREE. Woohoot!

I only discovered this after I started logging on to MSN via mobile and the bill indicated that the data usage are uncharged. I tried to find which are the websites that fall within Gee! and which are those that fall outside Gee! (charged) but couldn't find any useful information on the Starhub website. Does anybody know? Hmm maybe I would call up to check with them.

My contract is ending next year. Contemplating whether I should get the all-famous iphone. That would mean I have to give up this plan and get a 30 over dollars monthly iphone plan... wonder if it's worth it. Alternatively, is to get an iphone without the mobile plan which would means paying the FULL price for it. The basic iPhone 4 16 GB handset will cost $480 through SingTel's iFlexi Lite plan, with a monthly fee of $39. Starhub's 3G SmartSurf 100 prices the same model at $500, with a monthly fee of $38. M1's Value plan for $480, plus the lowest monthly fee of $36. Apple selling without plans at $888.

From what I observed when I am outside, about 4 out of 5 people I see with a mobile are using iphones. Is it just a hype? Another time-consuming device that get you hooked? Or is it, as my partner at work says, a life-changing experience? It leaves me pondering... perhaps it's just those free Apps that make it oh-so-attractive, but will Apple decide to convert them to payable services one fine day?Another option would be to get an Android phone if I want more 'sophisticated' functions than just calls and SMS, although I haven't much of an idea how fantastic it is (I still haven't figured out what a Blackberry does btw). Saw an article here. Since I figured it would have WiFi, then I can use Wireless@SG to surf free anyway which means I do not have to get some expensive data plan. =)

***

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Will the new support level stay?

STI exceeded 3100 pts today.
MIIF and Oceanus looking good. ComfortDelgro still sluggish at 1.54.


Support at 0.85

Support at 3.90, resistance at 4.20

Monday, 20 September 2010

Wise quotes (Warren Buffett) series #1

The line separating investment and speculation, which is never bright and clear, becomes blurred still further when most market participants have recently enjoyed triumphs. Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible people drift into behavior akin to that of Cinderella at the ball. They know that overstaying the festivities -- that is, continuing to speculate in companies that have gigantic valuations relative to the cash they are likely to generate in the future -- will eventually bring on pumpkins and mice. But they nevertheless hate to miss a single minute of what is one helluva party. Therefore, the giddy participants all plan to leave just seconds before midnight. There's a problem, though: They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands.

- Berkshire Hathaway 2000 Chairman's Letter
***
The key to investing is not assessing how much an industry is going to affect society, or how much it will grow, but rather determining the competitive advantage of any given company and, above all, the durability of that advantage.

--Warren Buffett, Fortune magazine, 11/22/99
***
The most common cause of low prices is pessimism - some times pervasive, some times specific to a company or industry. We want to do business in such an environment, not because we like pessimism but because we like the prices it produces. It's optimism that is the enemy of the rational buyer.
***
Time is the enemy of the poor business and the friend of the great business. If you have a business that's earning 20%-25% on equity, time is your friend. But time is your enemy if your money is in a low return business.

--Warren Buffett, 1998 Berkshire Annual Meeting
***
Only those who will be sellers of equities in the near future should be happy at seeing stocks rise. Prospective purchasers should much prefer sinking prices.
***

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Be an INVESTOR and not a TRADER

Some TIPS gathered from the book Techinical Analysis Demystified:

  • Do not be influenced by other's views, make independent decisions
  • If the market cannot move up on good news, sell fast. If the market cannot move down on bad news, buy fast.
  • It takes patience to wait for trends to be established or to wait for the correct setup to enter. You must have a precise entry level and reason for entering. Jumping in for dear that you'll miss out is not a good enough reason to buy.
  • Knowledge of human nature: Market hate to sell at even numbers. Keep stop orders just short of round whole number as well.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And some good advices read from Createwealth8888's post:

To not GAMBLE in the stock market, you can do one or more of these
  1. Leave your capital invested and focus on collecting stock dividends and likely over a long period you will finally recover all your capital plus more.
  2. Periodically recover your capital plus some capital gains and re-invest when stock market presents another opportunity.
  3. Periodically collect both stock dividends and some capital gains and re-invest when stock market presents another opportunity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In a nutshell, 3 most important things an investor should possess are time, skill and discipline.

Appropriate allocation of capitals, not afraid to wait out the tough tides and the discipline not to be overly greedy. I like this quote from Warren Buffett-

"Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy".

Read his post too on a 'Touchstone' story: Opportunity in the stockmarket?

***

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Bear trend continues - The Euro (PIG) crisis

The Euro crisis has caused another wave of dip in STI. Watch out for the next support level at 2650 points (BT). With the World Cup kicking in, it is believed that STI will continue to fall in the wane market conditions...


Source: The Business Times May 22 2010
***

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Bidding websites - big business in small world

Speaking of innovative business, gimmicks aside, the Online Bidding business looks like a lucrative business which worked almost like the casino concept. It plays on basic human elements like competition, luck & gamble and the evil of all evils - GREED. If cleverly designed with a user-friendly interface less bug issues, it would work perfectly as a money machine.

The blog-shops that I have been so intrigued with seemed to have paled much in comparison. For one, many shoppers still prefer to buy clothes at boutiques where they can try the clothes all they want, feel the textiles and check for imperfections before drawing out the wallets. (I tried purchaing a dress online once during a blog-shop sales. Although the workmanship is not up to mark and some alterations has got to be made, I can't complain much for a $15.00 buy can I? Purchase-smart is the key.)

Just to clarify, online bidding businesses I am talking about here is not ebay or yaHoo auction because those serve mainly as a platform for sellers to sell their goods and they do not earn commission from these sales. I am talking about the websites that 'sell' their goods through letting people bid for them. In actual fact, what they sell or earn by are their bid packages because users cannot bid without these bid credits. The goods they carry are usually high-end products or gadgets. Of course that's logical because they are the main attraction!

The bidding game is like a war once it goes live and all eager eyes are set on the attractive prize, the battle commence. More often than not the winner goes to the 'darer' among the 'unawarer' or to the most persistent one who hasn't gone bust. Although it is said that the smart gadget Bid Monkey will bid for you at the last moment before the auction close thus increasing the chance of winning, it doesn't discern the intervals you want between each bid so it will eat up your money in no time amidst hardcore bidders. It is hard to fathom how high the price can go by studying the pattern of bids and human psychology. Who will put the next click when?

I played a few bids so far with the few free bids that I am give through signing up just for the fun of it. I don't think I will ever purchase those bid packages because the minimum buy is 50 bids, which sells for S$42.50. It is kind of like the arcade games whereby you pay a certain amount of money to get game credits. Doing the maths, it amount to about 80 cents per bid placed.

Assuming its a fair game, for every 10 bids placed the website owner would earn $8 and every hundred bids would be $80. May not be such a bad deal if you trust 80% to your luck and 20% to your judgemental skill.

After following a few bids of expensive items from Apple, I kinda give up cos every bid increase the price of the product by $0.02 and usually given the fierce bids, it can go up to more than $10 which is too time-consuming to watch. Oh the Apple iPod Touch 64GB Auction #11343 has just closed at $4.50 by a persistent last min bidder, those earlier ones who didn't persist were no where in sight on the final bidders list. That was quite a number of bids down the drain.

I wonder is there any proof of evidence that staff and immediate family members of these bidding sites are not allowed to participate in those bids. And who would monitor against any gimmick or cheat?

I shall continue to try my luck on one of those bidding packages... and if I did win then I shall have a few more rounds of this game. Strangely, the pinch of losing a bid that you hesitated on clicking on seemed more painful than one of throwing in 80 cents...

***

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Invest in one that grows!

This is where fundamental analysis comes into play. Investing in a stock (company) that grows is probably more important than one that gives out high % dividend (but does not earn much profit).

On the other hand, there's an article saying that companies that give good dividend yield are generally less volatile than those that don't because fund managers in times of bad market would rather sell off the shares of the company that give less dividend before the one that do if both trades at the same price.

See this article.

Now the difficulty lies in spotting the good 'chicken' to lay your golden eggs.

In choosing the golden chicken, here's some pointers picked up from What To Look for In Dividend Stocks for an Income Investing Portfolio:

- The company should have 3 consecutive years of positive margin.

- Companies that earn a profit can do one of three things: pay that profit out to shareholders, reinvest it in the business through expansion, debt reduction or share repurchases, or both. The company should pay out 50% or less of profit as dividend to use the rest in business growth.

Note that the percentage of net income that is paid out in the form of dividend is known as the dividend payout ratio. This ratio is important in projecting the growth of company because its inverse, the retention ratio, can help project a company’s growth.

- Dividend yield 3-6%. Dividends are dependent upon cash flow, not reported earnings.

- High ROE with little or no corporate debt.

***

Friday, 23 April 2010

Pros and cons to singlehood

Pros:
1) FREEDOM
3) Money spent to yourself
4) No family burden

Con
1) Lonely on Vday --> envy of couples?
2) No cosy shoulders to lean on
3) No romantic surprises

Ok singlehood doesn't seemed that bad afterall... No matter which it is, most importantly is still to cherish what you have got at the moment and be happy. From the many failed marriage that I have heard and seen, it seemed that even when you are not single you may not necessary get that supporting shoulder and all that so-called romance.

I have a friend who once said that marriage is like an investment. That was a guy friend so he is speaking in terms of taking a wife. Maybe the modern generation are starting to manage relationship like an investment, so when it does not seem to be paying off then they would break-up / divorce. So when you have multiple relationships, it means 'portfolio diversification'? I think throwing in emotions is definitely not as easy as throwing in money... unless it is not true emotions you are investing.

At the end of the day it not about how well you get along with your other half but the mean of getting along with him/her. Of course both should also shares the same trust, passion, commitment and chemistry. Talking about relationship between opposite genders, John Gray's book have been very enlightening. A worthy read.

***

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Cash flow quadrant



I came across this quadrant from Wealth Buch's blog. The simplest being E, which is the one that I am in now. Hardest being B i think. S would be something like taking up a tuition job or being a hawker... I is what i aimed to be in my free time haha.

STI went below it's break point of 3000, probably due to the volcanic hit. MIIF just dropped below 0.50, if it dropped to 0.47 or less i will take in some lots. It is currently slightly below previous support lvl. Stoch at its lowest, RSI weak.

***

Friday, 2 April 2010

Scrutinizing SG stock market

I have been lazy for the past year. Investing has always been on my mind but I am too lazy to get an account, and didn't bother to do any research nor studying... that is why I am lamenting every time I see a new peak in STI... I think I always 'man ren yi pai'. haiz.

Just started going into TA for the past few days. Wasn't as difficult as I thought. In fact it seemed quite interesting. Stoch, RSI, MFI, MA, Bollinger bands, SAR blah blah... tools that I never thought of using previously. I have been just stupidly looking at volume which is not that informative, it's just like looking at the tip of an iceberg. I still need to learn more about support and resistant and how to pin-point them.

I predict that current STI will continue to climb to hit above 3000. In '07 it almost hit 4000. Now it's still a time of fluctuations.

About parabolic SAR
The parabolic SAR is a fairly good tool for traders looking for a strategic method of gauging a stock's direction or for portioning a stop-loss order. This indicator proves to be extremely valuable in trending environments, but it can often lead to many false signals during periods of consolidation. This indicator is simple to implement into any strategy, but like all indicators, it is usually best if it is used in conjunction with other indicators to ensure that all information is being considered.

Another good tool for trending is Bollinger bands. It's said to tighten before a big move. Tight bands mean low volatility, vice versa. It also gives info on whether a stock is overbought or oversold (also seen with RSI) if plotted with a middle line of MAd20. However it does not predict the direction of movement.

Ref: Investopedia.com

What I am reading now:
Handbook for Stock Investors by Goh Kheng Chuan

Start of working life

Looking back at my 9 mths of training now seems like a flashback. There are times of pain (from long hours of standing and walking), stress (when we need to meet documents and project deadlines), joy (when my group won the project presentation and how i survived delivering it in the auditorium first time wearing a blazer), and last but not least the rapport built with my preceptors and fellow trainees.

Now that I have started work (been almost a year counting), it is very different. Like a load lifted off my shoulder, even though there are still small loads thrown to me along the way. Very much learning is dependent on self, nobody to push me at the back. Work everyday is very routine, except when i get rostered to work overtime elsewhere. Not too bad for now considering the current benefits and pay. I can foresee myself staying on and looking for opportunities to develop in the co for the next 2 years. My work scope may not be very much of my interest but it may be close if I trying viewing it in a different perspective.


***
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...