Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Rise And All Of Leicester City In The EPL (Guest Post)

I predicted before the start of the season that Leicester would get relegated before they ever won the EPL again but I didn’t expect my prediction to come true so quickly. Leicester have all always been a bit of a yo-yo club but at least this time when they go down, the can say they won the EPL, something only 5 other clubs have done. Whatever Leicester players achieve in the rest of their careers, they'll never top last season. All the energy was put into winning the title last season and there's no fight or hunger left anymore. Changing manager would help but it would be a difficult and harsh decision considering what Ranieri achieved last season.

Though all the signs are there, Leicester are yet to be officially relegated. Many people on online betting facebook pages are predicting Leicester to go down but are they making the right assumption? Leicester still has some very good players at the club and the club doesn’t currently sit in the bottom 3 so basically everything is still in its hands. Add to this the fact that the club has still got fixtures against teams below it in the table including games against Sunderland, Bournemouth, Palace, and Hull. The flip side is that Leicester has Arsenal, Everton, Man City, and West Ham away plus home ties against Liverpool and Spurs. The aforementioned clubs are either fighting for the title or CL/Europa places so I don’t expect Leicester to pick many points from the games mentioned above. Nonetheless, the club has enough opportunities to take points off relegation rivals so if I was a Leicester fan I would't be throwing the towel in just yet.

Contrary to what many people are saying, I do consider Ranieri worthy of the credit and praise he got for Leicester winning the EPL last season. Ranieri did an amazing job last season. He did a great job of building on Learson’s success. He made Leicester tactically brilliant and took them to their first ever EPL title. For that, he will always be a legend. What is happening this year is a shame but you cannot put all the blame for it on the manager. Many people have contributed to the debacle and there is a collective responsibility. Also, it is apparent that there is something the players aren’t happy about. As they’ve already given their backing to the manager, the problem is probably with game prep or wages. This clearly points to one thing: the owners and not the manager are responsible for Leicester’s fall from greatness this season.

Last season, Ranieri took over the team and managed it well but his real test was this season. Though he tried everything in his locker, Ranieri couldn’t prevent Leicester from hovering just above the relegation zone for the majority of the current season. The good thing is that Leicester’s fall from grace and abysmal performance will be quickly forgotten if Ranieri manages to save the club from relegation.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Bid Farewell To UMS Temporarily

This is will be a rather short post. 

Finally, made my first transaction in 2017 yesterday. I have decided to release all my UMS shares at 70 cents yesterday. In fact, UMS is one of my best performing stock so far (about 27% capital yield, excluding dividend). 

The reason for my selling? Because it has met my threshold and its P/BV (Price over Book Value) is at a higher side now (at 1.55). 

I strongly believed that I will get back into it again in the near future as the business is still in good shape and the dividend yield (8.8%) remains tempting. UMS has been paying me 6 cents annually for the past 2 years.

Are you vested in UMS? If yes, are you considering realizing some profits from the recent price hike too? 

Cheers!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Ladies have Earrings And Gentlemen Have Cufflinks (Guest Post)

When come to fashionable accessories, ladies have the the upper hand as compared to gentlemen. Of course, nowadays there are many accessories which are unisex, like wristband, necklace and even earrings, especially for the youngsters. 

If you asked me, one of the more masculine and yet fashionable accessories is cufflinks. My first encounter with cufflinks was during my engagement ceremony umpteen years ago (> 15 years). In fact, that was the first time I get to know that there is such a miniature functional thing in the world and I wore it during my engagement ceremony for the first time. Yeah, I got to admit that fashion is not my cup of tea then, in fact, even till now :-) 

I remember during that time, online shopping is unheard of and we got to go around a couple of big departmental stores to look for the right design that match my shirt/coat. 

Nowadays, you can get your favorite cufflinks at the comfort of your own home and get it delivered to your door step within the same day (free of charge). One of the local online stores providing such specific service is Eminence Cufflinks

There are plenty of designs to choose from and one of my favorite is called Heterodoxe, a mini-watch movement mechanism (industrialist steampunk theme) with a balance wheel that oscillates when wound. It is suitable for business-wear as well as casual occasion.   

Heterodoxe cufflink 1
Heterodoxe cufflink 2
Oh yeah, Valentine's Day is just around the corner, for ladies, maybe you can consider getting cufflinks as the Valentine's Day gift for your man.      

Cheers!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Brief Take Away from My Recent Eastern Europe Trip

I am back and HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR to everyone!

Time flies, just back from my 10 days trip to Eastern Europe, covering 5 countries (Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria) and brief stop over at Slovakia for lunch. So, theoretically should be covering 6 countries. :-)

It is winter at Europe and our first time experiencing the brain-freezing, limbs numbing sub-zero temperature (the lowest was -8%), which is no fun if you are outdoor for an extended hours. Overall, it was a great experience and we (me and my wife) thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

There are a few take-away from this trip which I would like to share here...

1. Always do homework before the trip, even though it is a group tour. Just like in investment, even though you are going to invest in some unit trusts or ETF (which are supposed to be "managed" by the pros), you still need to do some homework about what you are getting yourself into or finding out something that you can't do without (e.g. minimum dividend yield). For our trip, I did an extensive research for the pre-paid data plan(s) and I think I managed to get a really value-for-money deal (in my opinion) from our very own provider, Changi Recommends.

It's called "Pay As You Go" from three.co.uk @ SGD 48 (with 4 GB data and validity period of 30 days, upon activation. The best part is that it is covering almost all the European countries, including UK). My tour manager told me that it is not advisable to get it from Europe as usually their plan only restricted to one or few countries only. Highly recommended if you need to be in always-connected mode. Note: most hotels and restaurants in European countries do have wifi service but the network stability is of no guarantee.    


2. Always get yourself covered! I am referring to the Travel Insurance here. Even though I didn't make any claim out of this trip (touch wood) but there was a pick pocket incident happened to one of our travel mate. A police report was made and hope he can get some compensation from his Travel Insurance. For Travel Insurance needs, I usually go to gobear.com.sg  

3. Most important thing to do during travelling is to ENJOY ourselves. For long-haul group tour, usually there will be few optional tours (i.e. we need to fork out additional $ for the tours). For example, in our case, there is an optional tour to the Wieliczka Salt Mine (one of the UNESCO site) at Krakow, Poland @ Euro 55 per person. Prior to the trip, we already made some research (related to item #1) and decided to go for this must-visit place of interest and we all did! It was a great experience walking down (via wooden staircase) 320+ meters underground, witnessing the marvelous salt sculptures as well as tasting the really salty stream. We thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Wieliczka Salt Mine
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Wieliczka Salt Mine
  
4. Keep an open mind. You may be surprise at the inferior level of customer service at some of the European countries, and many of the servicing staff at the shops or malls cannot converse well in English. So, just need to be patience, speak slowly and open your ear big big :-)

Cheers!

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