Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What Is Your Inclination In Making This Investment Decision?

As retail investors, we are making decision all the time, decision slike :

What stock(s) to pick for review/analysis?
What stock(s) to buy?
What stock(s) to sell?
How much cash to hold as war chest?
How to diversify your portfolio to minimize the risks?
When to do NOTHING? (yes, doing nothing is also a decision) etc..

Today, just like to throw out an hypothetical question and hope to see some response/reaction from the readers in such situation. Of course, there is no right or wrong answer, just inclination and perspective.

The scenario is like this : If you are currently holding 2 equal size stocks, one is making 50% paper profit (let's call it Stock A) and the other is making 50% paper lose (let's call it Stock B) , for some valid reason, you need to sell one of the stock (in full), which stock will you sell? Stock A or Stock B?

1. Both stocks have equal chance of making further profits (or losses) in the near future. In short, Stock A might turn into loses and Stock B might turn into profit in the future.
2.  You cannot hold the stock and must sell ONE (and only ONE) of the stock in FULL.

This is a JFF (Just For Fun) question, if it intrigues you, do join in the fun by sharing with us your inclination (to sell Stock A or B?) and why (your thought/rationale) in the comment section.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

3 Things That You Should Do While PSI Is Hovering At An Unhealthy Level

At the time of writing this post, the 3-hour PSI reading is at 106, which is the lover end of unhealthy level (to check the latest PSI readings, you can download the app from NEA or visit their site here). Air pollution affect everyone, whether you are rich or poor, successful retail investors or investing newbies, like me. We all breathe the same air! 

Of course, unless you are willing to take the trouble and incur the expenses to get away from Singapore during this period, if not, I guess we all need to accept it and keep going. Life goes on, here are the 3 things that you probably should do during this period :

1. Do Indoor Programs/Activities with Families or Friends
We consider ourselves lucky that there are so many indoor programs/activities that we can do in Singapore. To name just a few:
- Indoor sports like badminton, table tennis and indoor swimming. 
- KaraOK session with friends. SG Budget Babe has published a post on the cheapest Karaok (KTV) places in Singapore, you can check it out here.  
- Shopping or just window shopping at malls scattered all over the island
- Pay home visits to families or friends just to chill out etc..

Talking about indoor program, this evening, am going to have a social mahjong session with a couple of peer bloggers! So long never play the game already, it's time to drill my brain cell harder to prevent early senile dementia. I am sure it will be a fun gathering... 

2. Drink More Water And Standby the N95 Masks
Staying hydrated is crucial during this period. Also, it is important to standby a few N95 marks on hand just in case the PSI reading is getting from bad to worst. Prevention (for getting sick) is always better than cure.   

3. Catch A Movie
To be frank, this one is a bit bias as I am a movie buff, watching a movie came so naturally to mind ;-) Amidst the humid and hazy day, it's godsend to be able to spend 2 hours or so in a dark and air-conditioning room to watch your favorite movie.

If you need some recommendation, here are my top pick for the week:

1. Don't Breathe - Genre : Horror, Thriller:
Don't breathe

2. Shin Gadzilla (Japanese) - Genre : Action, Adventure:
Shin Godzilla

3. Train To Busan (Korean) - Genre : Action, Horror, Thriller:  
train to busan

What other tips you have to "fight" against the hazy air particles?


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

When Breath Becomes Air - A Memoir And Also A Beautiful Gift From The Author

I first chanced upon the book, When Breath Becomes Air (by Paul Kalanithi) was a couple of months ago at the Kinokuniya Orchard. After browsing through a couple of pages, I've made up my mind that I will get hold of this book (or memoir) one day.

Recently, I've gotten hold the book and finished reading it within 1.5 weeks. I must give myself a round of applause for this "mini achievement", you see, I am a slow reader and this is one of the book that took me shortest time to complete, from cover to cover. Of course, the key reason is that I was intrigued by the book from page one, a page turner as they called it, not by the mysterious events or twisted plots but by the beautiful recount of the last few years of the author (Paul Kalanithi passed away before finishing this memoir and his wife, Lucy, has to step in to finish it up on his behalf). 

Paul Kalanithi is a successful neurosurgeon, due to the terminal illness (lung cancer), he switched from the role of doctor to patient at the young age of 30+. Down but not out, he made his last few years count by writing this memoir (I would rather call it gift) for the world. He is teaching us how to live, from a dying soul!

Even though the book contains quite a fair bit of medical lingo (because of his profession), but it makes me wanted to understand every single words written and finding out the meaning of the words is a joy in itself. If you can only read one book for the balance of the year, this is the book to pick. Highly recommended!

Following is the short trailer of the book:


Friday, August 19, 2016

Wongamania Banana Economy - Financial Board Game Reloaded

Wongamania Banana Economy
Courtesy of the private invitation by the owner of Wongamania Board Game, managed to play the revamped Wongamania - Banana Economy game with a bunch of financial bloggers (you know who you are) 2 days ago at the Big Fat Purse office. This is not the first time I have played the Wongamania game but this "evolved" version (if you are a Pokémon Go players, you will know what I meant when I said evolved!) has more blast with plenty of fun.

In fact, this is the third time that I've played the game (click here and here for my recount of the previous 2 games). This time round, it is a bit special as we have the privileged to enjoy the yet-to-be-officially-launch revamped version : Wongamania - Banana Economy (HINT : The game will be officially launched in Singapore on 9th September 2016 at Kinokuniya @ Ngee Ann City, 1 to 6 PM).

So, what are the major attraction in this evolved version?

1. The materials (including the cards, the "banana" dice, the token and the board) are with higher quality (as compared to the original version). Think along the line of a "Power Up" version of the Pokemons that you caught in Pokémon Go ;-)

The "Banker" is demonstrating the rules of the game
Within 2 rounds, most of us have gotten the hang of it!
2. There are more dimension and variety of the cards being introduced, for example, previously there is only one type of "Bond" but now it has "Bond", "Junk Bond" and "Convertible Bond", also, it has the "Insurance" cards which are getting closer to the real financial environment.
"I am a Value Investor, I am sure I will win!"
3. There are slight change to the game rules but I like the introduction of the modular variation of the game e.g. you can remove certain category/color of game cards (deemed to be more "cheem" [difficult] for the youngsters) to make it more suitable for young adult/teenagers to enjoy the "Power Down" version of the game. Same same but difference!
"YES! The game is on my hand"
All in all, Wongamania - Banana Economy is a great social board game that you can have tremendous fun and laughter with your friends and family while picking up some financial knowledge along the way. It is best suited for 4 to 5 players for a session of the game (which usually lasted for about 40 mins to 1 hour).


P/S : Am still waiting for my Wonagamania - Banan Economy board game (supported them via Kickstarter) which is supposed to be in the shipment now.  

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Top Of The Singaporean's Major Concerns Is NOT About Money!

Yes! This is true! 

At least according to the recent survey by HSBC Bank (Singapore), as published in today's The Sunday Times. If not money, what else? I believed some of you might have guess it right, it is about our HEALTH! As the saying goes, Health is Wealth, without good health, you can't really do much with the money. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying money is not important, like the Chinese saying 钱不是万能,没钱万万不能 (loosely translated as : Money is not everything; But everything needs Money). That's why money came out as a close second in the survey. 

As per the survey, following are the top 15 Singaporeans' Major Concerns:

Source : The Sunday Times
Come and think of it, when we are getting older, our health will get deteriorate sooner or later due to wear and tear, so, personally think that it (health problem) will happens, just like death. The key is how long we can maintain our healthier state of body/mind and prolong it from happening. Besides, stress is the key source of most sickness, so, let's worry/concern less and live our life NOW! ;-)

Personally, I don't usually worry/concern a lot, maybe it's due to my peanut size of brain, my simple mind or just plain poor memory but I do believe everything will be 船到桥头自然直! (loosely translated as : when the boat reach the peer, it will turn straight automatically!)


Friday, August 12, 2016

How Much Time Are You Willing to Invest in Trader Training and Working? (Guest Post)

There is no denying that learning how to trade can open up exciting new financial possibilities for you. However, perhaps you are worried that it is something that might need more of your time than you are willing to give.

The truth is that you can carry out this task successfully without it taking over your life. 

Get the Right Professional Training

You might think that it is a good idea to save some time by skipping the training and just plunging right in to make your first deals. The problem with this approach is that it is going to take you longer to get going in the first place.

A better idea is to set aside sufficient time to get your training sorted out right at the start, to find out about common investing terms and to feel really comfortable. In this way, you will be able to hit the ground running feeling confident and ready to make some smart investments.

By arranging a trader trading session at the start you can make the most of your time spent trading and feel good about doing it in the best way possible. You certainly don’t want to waste your time and energy by getting started when you don’t really know what you are doing.

Once you have learned the basics you will be keen to find out more and become a fully-fledged trading expert. It is clear that the more time you spend doing research and making trades the more experience and knowledge you will carry on gaining.

Don’t Rush In

One mistake that some new traders make is to rush right in and start to invest all of their money as quickly as they can. While you will be keen to use your new-found knowledge and to get some results, you don’t want to do this too quickly and risk making bad moves.

Instead, you should look to set aside enough time to get start gently and in a relaxed way. By taking your time over your first few investments you can wait until you are completely sure that you are making the right moves.

On the other hand, if you rush in then there is more chance of you making a bad investment decision and living to regret it. This means that you really need to wait until you have enough time to get going in a way that suits you and without cutting any corners.

If this means holding off until you have enough time to do things properly then you will benefit from this in the long run, even if it is mildly frustrating to have to hold off at the start.

Fit It Around Your Life

One of the biggest advantages to trading stock on the market is that it is the kind of job or hobby that you can fit around your life. If you want to do it as a part-time hobby and just spend a few hours a week on it then this is possible.

Alternatively, if you want to make this your new career then you could easily do it on a full-time basis instead. It all comes down to how much free time you have and how much of it you want to dedicate to doing this.

Of course, you can also do this wherever you are. If you want to trade on the beach, at home or anywhere else then the power of online trading makes this entirely possible. If you are serious about trying this as a new hobby or as a new career then you should think about how you would prefer to fit it around your life.

It doesn’t matter how much or how little time you have spare to get trader trading and then to start working. Once you decide to give this a go then finding the time to do it right is going to be easier than you might have imagined it would be.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Weekend Sharing - Anything But Investing!

Suicide Squad
This week alone, there are a couple of major events that has happened and will (or has) affect me directly or indirectly. No, none of them are related to investing, so, let me list them down below.... 

First and foremost, it is the recent announcement by CPF Board in introducing more option to their already quite complicated product, CPF Life. I am sure the intention is a good one i.e. to provide more flexibility or option to the members, however, personally think that much more effort is required to educate the members in gaining their support/trust in the basic CPF Life scheme. Just like watching a movie, if you don't like the main cast(s), regardless how strong is the performance of the supporting cast(s), you will still don't like the show ;-)

Secondly, the long awaited anti-hero blockbuster, Suicide Squad hits the big screen this week. It has been receiving very negative/bad reviews from the US movie critics (many of them are unwarranted, in my humble opinion). The Rotten Tomatoes rating is sitting at 26% at the time of writing (which is very bad) and it even spin-of an online initiative to ban the Rotten Tomatoes site by the movie fans. Personally, I am a movie fan and not a movie critic fan, I am still so gonna watch the movie, especially Harley Quinn. I've booked the IMAX 3D tics for next Tuesday, so, s*** the movie critics! ;-) 

Lastly, just today, the hell breaks loose as the long-awaited Pokemon Go game (app) is officially available for download in Singapore and Malaysia this morning! Personally, I am not a fan of gaming but still downloaded the game/app in my iPhone just to have the fun of it. To be frank, it is quite fun and I think it can be a very good tool to boost bonding (especially between parents-kids) and exercising aka walking. As at now, I am still at level 3, with 6 unique Pokemon Monsters in my bag. Loooooong way to go. 

Oh, have you watched the movie, Suicide Squad? If yes, please keep me posted on your review in the comment below. 


Monday, August 1, 2016

What Forex Traders Need To Know About The Yen (Guest Post)

For those of you interested in forex trading, you will have learned that the foreign exchange market is not just hugely competitive, but it is also rather complicated. Learning about the major currencies is vital if you ever want to succeed. When you consider the forex market, you can’t forget about the yen. It is one of the largest currencies in the world, so studying it is essential.

Learning About the Yen

If you want to learn to trade forex, then you will have heard how essential it is that you educate yourself on how forex trading works. Use online resources to gain a better understanding of the fundamentals, technical analysis, market trends, and everything else there is to know. After all, forex trading is not for the ignorant or unprepared. You need to know about the major currencies of the world, and that includes the Yen.

The Japanese yen (JPY) is one of seven major currencies that dominate the forex market, with these seven accounting for 80% of the market. Japan has one of the largest economies in the world, so it comes as no surprise that the yen is one of the biggest currencies regarding forex and international trade.

The central bank behind the yen is the Bank of Japan, and it has the directive to conduct in a manner that will minimize inflation and encourage economic growth. It is important to note that since deflation has been a big issue for Japan for several years now, the central bank has kept very low rates to encourage demand and stimulate growth.

These low rates drive global carry trades, which is where you borrow money in an environment with a low-interest rate, and then invest this in assets from other countries that offer higher yields. For this reason, any talk of an increase in rates can affect the rest of the forex market.

The Japanese Economy

The state of the economy plays a big part in how a currency is valued. In the case of Japan, it is important to note that despite being one of the largest economies, it has considerably lacked growth since the collapse of its real estate bubble. On several occasions, growth rates have been zero or negative between 2001 and 2011. For much of the last decade, it has also experienced deflation.

What Drives the Yen?

The general belief is that several factors influence the value of currency, including things such as price levels and relative interest rates. These models may not work that well in real markets, however, since supply and demand determine these rates and are in part affected by market psychology factors.

As a trader, you should pay attention to major economic data; this information is readily available from sources such as Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal. Look out for the release of data such as trade balances, inflation, GDP, industrial production, and retail sales. These will all have an impact on the forex market.

Of course, other factors will have a significant impact on exchange rates. These include things such as interest rates, employment figures, and local and global news. Look out for scheduled meetings held by the Bank of Japan and keep your eye on the news. Things such as elections, natural disasters, and changes in government policies can all influence the value of the yen.

For Japan, in particular, you should look out for the Tankan survey, a quarterly reported economic review of Japanese business released by the central bank. This document is used to prepare monetary policy and will often move trading in Japanese stock and currency.

Staying Current

If you want to be a successful forex trader, then you need to stay up to date with your knowledge. Don’t expect to be able to thrive off the basics. You will need to continue to learn about what is happening with the major currencies and what we can expect in the future. Stay up to date with the news and be sure to read forex forecasts, such as USD/JPY forecasts.

This technical analysis will provide you with a review of major events that are expected to move the Japanese Yen and dollar/yen, but you can focus on the currency of your choice. While short-term traders are less likely to use economic-based models to predict currency rates, they are useful for shaping long-term trades.

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