Friday, September 29, 2017

10 Worst Corporate Accounting Scandals (Infographic)

In the recent years, there might be lesser reported corporate accounting scandals due to more stringent corporate governance and policies, however, it doesn't means there isn't any. Just like one of the advertisement motto by National Crime Prevention Council : Low Crime Doesn't Mean No Crime

Hence, corporate accounting scandal is still a real risk that every investor (big or small) need to be aware of. Recently, I've chanced upon a very cool infographic about the 10 worst accounting scandals of all times (mostly in terms of billions).

Out of the 10 cases, top 3 are:

1. Enron Scandal (2001) - $74 billions
2. Bernie Madoff Scandal (2008) - $64 billions
3. Lehman Brothers (2008) - $50 billions

Check out the all 10 cases below:

The 10 Worst Corporate Accounting Scandals of All Time


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Factor Based Investing Course By Dr Wealth

I've known Alvin Chow, CEO of Dr Wealth, for a couple of years (since the Big Fat Purse time) and attended his Value Investing Mastery Course of which I've learnt the CNAV (Conservative Net Asset Value) Analysis, a tool that I am still using whenever I am analyzing a stock now. 

Recently, Dr Wealth have added a new course to their belt and it's called Factor Based Investing Course (FBIC), with the aim to equip the retail investors (big or small) with the fundamentals to navigate and invest in today’s markets for maximum growth and returns. Personally I've not attended this course but I have full confidence with the quality of Alvin's course (he will be the trainer for this course) and the value associated with it.  

If you are interested to learn more about Factor Based Investing Course (FBIC), feel free to attend their 2.5 hours FREE introductory course on either 4th Oct 2017 (Wed) 7 PM to 10 PM OR 21st Oct 2017 (Sat) 2.30 PM to 5 PM

For more details on how to register, click here. Oh, the last I heard, the seats were vanishing fast, so, first come first served. 


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Share Investing - Where Are You At The Cycle Of Learning ?

Time flies, it's weekend again! Soon, we will be plunging into the last quarter of 2017 and there after, saying sayonara to 2017 in just blink of eye.  

Recently, attended the NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) course and learnt quite a bit from that 2-days course itself. There is one topic about the "Cycle Of Learning" which I thought is worth sharing here. 

For easier understanding, I've re-translated them into the simple picture (see above) by added my own version of understanding for each of these 4 phases. 

In any kind of learning, be it knowledge or skills, we start with the stage whereby we "Don't Know What We Don't Know" ( Phase 1 - Unconscious Incompetent). These are the knowledge/skills OUTSIDE our Circle Of Competent and we need to constantly expose ourselves to new information or knowledge (for the first time) so that we can step into the next phase.  

Once we "Know What You Don't Know" (Phase 2- Conscious Incompetent) and deemed that the knowledge/skills is important for us to move forward (be it in career, financial or life in general), we will start to learn more about the subject by reading, attending classes/courses or simply Google it. 

After sufficient we've put in sufficient effort, we probably will reach the stage of "Know What You Know" (Phase 3 - Conscious Competent) whereby we can competently use or discuss the knowledge/skills with our peer, but still need to do it consciously. 

Finally, after further harnessing and put in even more effort, we will reach the finale phase of "What You Know Is Second Nature" (Phase 4 - Unconscious Competent) whereby we just deal with it subconsciously i.e. it just became your second nature. Think of it like learning how to ride the bicycle, once you already learnt it, you can ride the bicycle without even thinking about "how", you just did it!

So, the question is: in terms of Share Investing knowledge/skill, where would you place yourself in the Cycle Of Learning at the moment? 

For me, I am still at Phase 2 - Conscious Incompetent


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Uber and Grab Hack Through Shopback

I have installed the ShopBack app for awhile and so far only used it to make one hotel and one flight booking a couple of months ago. Recently, upon checking my account, I noticed that I've accumulated $37.45 cashback. A pleasant surprise! 

Of course, this is not the main point here, I noticed that Shopback has a feature called Rides whereby user can instantly compare the transportation fee from Uber, Grab and normal taxi within a screen. Gone are the days where you need to check the estimated fee of each of these service providers, one app at a time. I did a cross-check against the Uber and Grab apps and confirmed that the fees indicated are correct.

Not only that, some of the trips also eligible for small cashback (take note of the red text underneath the options in the following images) if you make the booking through ShopBack app. 

Following are the sample screen shots of my recent search:

Screen 1 of 3

Screen 2 of 3

Screen 3 of 3
So, looks like ShopBack went one level up in their game, besides providing cash-back for everyday online shopping, it also provide price comparison feature which is cool. To check out more details of what ShopBack can offer, click here.

Conclusion? Looks like it's time for me to use more ShopBack app. 


Saturday, September 16, 2017

3 NLP Presuppositions Which Are Useful In Investing

For the past 2 days, attended the 2-days NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) For Professional course at SIM. This kind of course is more experiential i.e. you need to be there and be part of it to really appreciate the new skills/tools. 

There are plenty of games, role plays and interaction. Overall, I am very happy with what I've learnt and it does provide me with different perspective in seeing the world. In gist, we all have our own "map of world" and most of the time it doesn't represent the real world, just our own version of seeing/interpreting it.

Among many skills/tools that I've learnt, one of the most powerful one (in my view) is the NLP Presuppositions. Basically, NLP Presuppositions are assumptions, attitudes, beliefs that are useful for creating/facing with change. It allows us to stay in control of our choices. They might not be true for all situation but it sure will help us act in a way that gets the result we want. Out of the 20+ stack of cards (NLP Presuppositions), I've hand picked 3 which I think will be useful in Investing context.

Here we go :

1. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback : I am pretty sure that most of us, retail investors, will try many different approach/methods of investing when are are starting out. Being a green horn at the initial stage, we do make mistakes and experienced loss trades, which are quite common. Just like this presupposition said, there is no such thing as failure (loss trade), just feedback that the way to trade is not working, it's time to learn from the feedback and move on. I also believe another similar quote "we fail only when we stop trying".  

2. If what you are doing is not working, do something else : On first sight, this might seems to be contradict with number 1 (this is what I debated with one of the participants when we are trying to dish out the NLP presuppositions card in of the the exercise). However, when you dig deeper, this presuppositions is looking at another perspective. For example, we are talking about investing here, initially you are investing through Technical Analysis (TA) and somehow doesn't yield the returns that you are expected or worst, constantly at a loss. Instead of totally give up investing, you can learn/choose another approach like Fundamental Analysis (FA). Or to be more extreme, investing in other vehicles like Property, Cryptocurrencies etc... As the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome.

3. When people know better, they can do better : I think this is quite clear among the retail investors, whom are mostly avid readers too.  

Of course, these presuppositions might seem like common sense, which I kind of agree too, but many a time, things work out best when we apply sufficient common sense. Don't you agree? 


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Steemit - My First Real Life Blockchain Experience

Recently, I've been doing some reading and research on the Blockchain Technology as well as its key counterpart, cryptocurrency, along the way, I discovered Steemit. Hence, Steemit is my maiden real life blockchain experience. 

What is Steemit? 

Effectively, Steemit is a Blockchain-based Social Media platform (very similar to Reddit) which allows the users to publish content (blog), engage/interact with other users through comment and Upvote (equal to Facebook's Like button with a twist, more of this later). 

What is uniqueness of Steemit?

The unique selling point of Steemit is that it is integrated with their very own Cryptocurrency (STEEM) of which it form their very own Social Media ecosystem whereby users who are contributing to the site through their blog, comment, Upvote got to share the "revenue" of STEEM (mainly from mining as well as the Upvotes garnered, this is the twist that I am talking about earlier). STEEM can be converted to more popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum via the designated Exchanges.In fact STEEM is of of the trade-able alt-coins.    

In fact, this "revenue sharing" platform is nothing new, not too long ago, there are a couple of popular US sites like Hubpage, Squiroos etc.. provides such feature too (but their business model is through the advertisement revenue).  

What is my maiden Blockchain site experience like? 

In fact, I can't really tell the difference (in terms of User Interface) between a normal site and a Blockchain-powered site. However, I do noticed some key areas which are worth mentioning:

1. Since it's a Blockchain-based and the data/transaction is immutable (i.e. cannot be deleted/changed), the side effect is as follows:
a. The password (which is a long chain of characters/numbers) is auto-generated and you need to make sure that you keep it somewhere and not to lost it (there are triple reminders to warn you that once you lost it, there is no way you can get it back, not even Steemit). 
b. Once you've submitted your post/comment, you cannot un-do it. 

2. Not sure whether it is due to the Blockchain technology used, the system response time seems to be a bit lag (but still bearable) especially when committing transaction like "Post", "Upvote" etc..

That's all from me for now. I will continue to use it for a while and see anymore new discovery.

Do share your Blockchain/Cryptocurrency experience in the comment section, if any.


Friday, September 1, 2017

What Has Ubin Got To Do With Singapore's Blockchain Technology Adaptation?

As per my earlier post (click here for details), I am currently trying to read up more on the revolutionary technology called Blockchain Technology, which might not be new to some of you. So, this is a follow-up post on some of the stuff that I've read so far. 

Even with the massive hype of the cryptocurrencies in the past few months/years (especially Bitcoin and Ether), of which Blockchain in the underpinning technology, I do believed that Blockchain (as the foundation of future peer-to-peer transactions) is still at its infancy stage. Every Regulators and Financial Institutions  (including Singapore) are busy grappling with this new distruptive technology and see how they can/should deal with it.  

This bring me to what I am going to share today. 

Do you know that our very own Central Bank, MAS (Monetary Authority Of Singapore) has engaged Deloitte and a group of financial institutions to study the way of implementing tokenized Singapore Dollar (e-Currency) by using the Blockchain Technology (Ethereum)? Yes, the project has started and the project name is Project Ubin. For those who are interested to read more about Project Ubin, you can download the Paper (PDF) from MAS site here.

My focus is not so much about the tokenized SGD, but rather the Ethereum (Blockchain Technology) that allow us to develop Decentralized App, also called DApp, which has potential to facilitate any kind of peer-to-peer values/assets exchange, without the middleman. Hence, lower or zero cost.  

So, this Ubin is no ordinary Ubin! It sets to change the Singapore's financial ecosystem (for a start) and steer the adaptation of Blockchain technology to a wider scale in the future (i.e. not restricted to the financial industry). 

I think the future of Blockchain is bright and looking forward to be an early participant to this whole new world.

My final view is: You need not go banana about Cryptocurrency but you definitely need to know the potential of Blockchain 


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