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Showing posts from June, 2012

Thought For The Day

Thought For The Day

This Will Be A Great Concert

When Liu Chia Chiang meets Li Zhong Shen. I was not brought up on Mandarin popular music, if anything, I am more a Canto-pop kind of guy. However, if you examine the musical landscape of Mandarin music, no greater giants can you find other than the two names mentioned, from the 70s right up to the 90s. Naturally I prefer Li Zhong Shen, his lyrics already kills me most of the time and the melodies are superb as well.

Leslie Loh the producer has this to say when I asked him to elaborate why this concert is unmissable:

1) this is winnie ho's latest concert, and her only major concert in 2012, fresh from her sensational solo album! like her or not, you can't deny she can sing and very well at that! 

2) it has two fantastic guest male singers in ah worm and ah fei

3) it has tay cher siang yet again. who doesn't know TAY CHER SIANG by now? 

4)  we are singing songs from the two most respected and legendary composers in the chinese pop history: jonathan lee and liu jia chang. together…

Buffett's Most Realiable Indicator ... Not For Us

Buffett has said before that the total market cap vs. GNP is one of his preferred valuation metrics. The current reading of 89% is still above his preferred buying range (70-80%), but well off the highs we've seen in the last 15 years. Buffett has previously explained his thinking behind the indicator:

"For me, the message of that chart is this: If the percentage relationship falls to the 70% or 80% area, buying stocks is likely to work very well for you. If the ratio approaches 200%-as it did in 1999 and a part of 2000- you are playing with fire." So stocks aren't cheap, but they're also not terribly expensive based on this measure. If the recent trend holds we could be nearing Buffett's preferred buying range in the coming years…. (click to enlarge)

Yes, its a good indicator, but a very basic indicator akin to above or below NTA. If you are buying below 100%, you are "safer", its not rocket science. This indicator ranges from 60%-140% of GNP owing to …

Thought For The Day (Week, Month, Year ...)

Peut-etre Le Best Breadmaker In The Country ....

Pardon my attempt at basic French, went for a nice and easy Saturday morning hunt for the bread maker that has been given rave reviews by some of my friends. So it is with guarded expectations and muted anticipation that me and my special friend went searching for this little gem. We were not disappointed.

Its a tiny place but from what I know, they already have established a solid reputation and is supplying excellent breads to many restaurants and luxury hotels. We tried two of their four most popular breads for sandwiches, very good to excellent. A warning, their portions are generous to a tee.

The story goes that Tommy went backpacking to France but stayed on for years to learn how to make bread, so romantic, passionate ... how not to fall in love with his products.

To get a full sense of Tommy's vision, passion and motivation, let him speak for himself:

"My passion for baking and the desire to revive the traditional values of craftsmanship in…

Social Media - The World Is Never The Same Anymore

Colour Me Blue

There is black and white
but we know no one can be completely unblemished or the other extreme
Knowingly or unknowingly, we take on shades of grey
Some start from white while some tries to lighten from the dark side

Politics and business, you cannot have one without the other
We all can be different shades of grey
but there is a difference when you knowingly keep adding black to the mix
We all can be shades of grey
but there is a difference when we keep trying to move towards white

The really sad part about my country is when grey is the colour of choice
and I see no outcry when there is injustice and unfairness
Grey silences us all
Grey locks up our integrity and do not allow our true values to come to the fore
Grey shuns difficult paths
and takes the safest and easiest path to myob

When your grey keeps taking on black
you start to forget about the sanctity of white
The balance of powers reside too close to the power magnet of black
Is this how a society loses its soul

Colour me blue

What Is Your Investing Values' System

Like it or not, we all practice some sort of value system when we buy and sell shares, knowingly or otherwise. If you have no value system, then you are among a small group of people, your mantra would be: "As long as I can make money, then its my value system".

At the one extreme is Zero Value System, whereby anything goes, you don't care whether its syndicated ramping or the owner is a bastard, or anything, as long as you can buy and sell at a profit, thats all that matters. Anything beyond that is superfluous to you.

Legality - This should be first level of screening. Most of us would not touch something even if it makes us money if its illegal, e.g. money laundering, Ponzi schemes, etc.

Religion - The most well known is the Shariah compliant investing, self explanatory, no harm industries. We may not see this is Asia but its popular in the US, Christian based funds. Generally, they stay away from porn, tobacco, liquor, gaming and firearms. There are also Catholic Funds,…

What If Unemployment Hits 20% In Asia? (Revisited)

As usual, the employers are the ones opposing the much needed unemployment benefits plan by the government. Any additional costs will always be frowned upon by employers. But what are the key issues here:

a) a more cohesive, inclusive society, that tries to lessen overall burden during hard times
b) the lack of safety nets for Malaysian workers in the labour markets, we are left to fend for ourselves the moment we are out of a job, that is not the sign of a developing caring nation
c) cost will rise, but some cost are necessary to achieve higher goals, we cannot keep a low cost structure all the time as that will only keep fostering low yield, sunset industries for the economy
d) although 20% is scary, we will be in pretty tough waters even if it just goes to 6%-7%
e) we have a "too structured civil service", if we employ the scheme, we may be able to do strategic "staff attrition" without as much fallout or displacement in the future



When Dining Out, This Is Ambience....

Shanghai Index Shaming China's Government?

This is uncanny. Can this be tweaked? Now there should be a big crackdown to look for "culprits".

China's share benchmark has fallen foul of the country's internet censors by appearing to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

In an unlikely coincidence certainly unwelcome to China's communist rulers, the stock benchmark fell 64.89 points on Monday, matching the numbers of the June 4, 1989 crackdown in the heart of Beijing.

In China's lively microblog world, 'Shanghai Composite Index' soon joined the many words blocked by internet censors.

Coincidence ... China's share benchmark fell 64.89 points on Monday, matching the numbers of the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. 

In another odd twist, the index opened Monday at 2,346.98. That is being interpreted as 23rd anniversary of the June 4, 1989 crackdown when read from right to left.

Public discussion of the Tiananmen crackdown, which the Communist P…

Commodities Correction - Something Sinister In The Works?

We can all appreciate stock markets correcting with the E.U. crisis somehow managing to find more things to worry about. However, the smarter ones would have been asking why the commodities have been falling way before stocks, and now seems only going stronger in its downfall together with global equities. 

Commodities have been a good gauge of the strength of economic recovery. Hence are we saying the global economy is headed for a tailspin? A minor correction is understandable but the way they have been correcting implies there is something graver in the works. 

Price of oil has fallen into a hole, so much so that it is below some of the OPEC members' production cost even. Other commodities have done likewise. What was interesting was that although gold did perk up, it did not reflect a stampede to get out of all assets with the fear of inflation in mind.

The negative yield into German papers indicate that people are rushing to solid currencies. Before we venture further let's …