Saturday, 31 December 2011

Pocket Frogs - it's froggy business

Just like there is no fun in games without goals / purpose, there is no fun in life without goals / purpose. Even when playing a seemingly goal-less game for example The Sims, you would still need to create your own goals or housing grand plans to keep the game moving - unless you are happy just staying in the same sized house with the same couple of friends leading the same lifestyle. So... sometimes games can reflect real life in minis-cure scale, but that is another story that I will leave to another day to blog about.

Being easily addicted to games - and am not happy till I complete all the levels, I am now addicted to Pocket Frogs! Collecting frogs to get awards uses the old card-game concept, just that instead of relying entirely on sheer luck, it takes a bit of planning and organising as to the way you keep and breed your frogs. It is also something like a permutation and probability game (how that reminds me of Emaths haha). I even self constructed an excel sheet to track my frog catalog so that I know which frogs to keep for breeding and which frogs to sell. And in the process learnt a few functions such as combining different column's data into a new column and using VLookup to find matches.

For further tips about the game refer here: http://www.thonky.com/pocket-frogs/


It occurs to me that buying stocks is the same way. You need to exercise your due diligence to chart and standardise things to reach your goals, rather than relying on sheer luck. What is the chance that by random breeding, you will get the frog set you want? It is extremely low.

In playing any games, play smart. The key word here is STRATEGY.

***

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Looking at Tavi Gevinson

I vaguely recall seeing her name in the paper but I have never really bothered much, looking at the headlines, I thought she is just another materialistic teenage star-wannabe. Yesterday as I was browsing through some fun web videos on celebrities 'real age vs dress age', I came across the name "Tavi Gevinson" once again and was taken aback by her dress sense (FYI real age 15, dress age 75 - cos she was shown in gray hair wearing some tavern blanket-like clothes which made her look very much like a small granny). So I decided to check out this 'girl-next-door turned celebrity' fashion blogger.



There is absolutely nothing I admire about her dress-sense, or rather, aesthetic sense. I am not talking fashion here cos I know noths about fashion trends and brands (except maybe for the world famous ones which I probably owned none), but from my humble aesthetic point of view she has a warped sense of colour-combi and proportion. It's like a topsy-turvy kind of mix-match she donned, which looked almost comical and sensationally... geeky on her (at least in pictures). She can say she wears Prada or Miu Miu but to me good brands do not necessarily equate good look - when too many good things are put together, there will be some shine taken off each one of them so you end up with some kind of Christmas tree effect. And if I say 'wow' to such a thing, the price tag would be the only reason. I am not condemning branded things here if you get what I mean.

Contrary to what I have said earlier, there are some things that I admire about her - her poise for her age and her courage for self-expression, which created a style that is uniquely hers. Everybody can do a topsy-turvy mix-match but not everybody can carry it off like her and also the eloquence to justify 'the fashion'.

If you dare to be different, create something different or do things differently, people will get drawn to you whether in a negative or positive way. If there are more positive attentions than bad ones, viola~ you are on your way to something bigger.

I sincerely hope that she can keep up on her unique style and not get carried away by the waves of the big brands. She's just so young.

My conclusion in this post - "THINK different. BE different."

***

Saturday, 10 December 2011

I love my Cloud

Not the kind of clouds above my head - I am talking about the cloud in my android phone and computers... and of course the internet. Just the thing I need. Now I believe if you want something, search and you will get it. If you searched and you don't get it, then maybe you should try creating it.

A 'cloud' is, in a nutshell, a virtual storage space for you to put your files and folders in, the one I used is an online cloud which I have to sign up an account for. It saves me from bringing around a thumb-drive or repeatedly attaching files into my email's draft message and then get them sorted out when I download them into another of my computer. It syncs to my mobile device too. Sweet! (Yes 'sync' is another new word I have learn from my smart phone.) In a way it also helps to back up these files so there is no worry that they would get accidentally deleted, because you can sync them to and fro.

The only flip side is the limited storage space from the free account - 5 GB. I will use it sparingly and only on important files that I need review often. And being an online thing, security is another issue, so I make sure I have no very confidential information to be hacked from. Another worry is for the cloud not to rain (that is if it suddenly decided to make me pay a subscription fee or threaten to empty all my backed up files), I will for damn sure throw a fit.

I wonder if Google has its own Cloud app for its loyal android users, any idea?

***

Thursday, 8 December 2011

My new android keyboard


In my earlier post I mentioned that I have been quite frustrated with my Samsung Galaxy S's default dictionary because there are many strange spelling of words in it. One fine day by pure chance, as I was browsing through the Android market, I found out about 'keyboard apps' (which I initially thought are just for changing keyboard layout and skin) which come along with dictionaries. I have now downloaded it's Pro version which is a paid app. :)

It is simply amazing how the advancement of hand-phones to smart-phones like iPhone and Androids open up a whole new market for apps developers and so much more options as well as convenience for its user.

~Dare to dream.

***

Sunday, 27 November 2011

孙子兵法之投资策略

钱犹如士兵, 市场犹如战场, 将领犹如投资者。 你要如何在这战场上夺取胜利呢?

I shall visit the library to borrow a copy of Sun Tzu's Art of war when I am free. Below is some gist from a finance blogger (external link). -->

Applying Sun Tzu's Art of War to Trading by BigFatPurse

***

Android smart keyboard

The good thing about android over iPhone is none other than it's flexibility in apps and programming. I have been frustrated for months over the phone's build-in dictionary for typing and messaging because it has got a lot of ridiculous words that pop up as word choices (some are not even English I suspect) and is not 'smart' enough to differentiate which word is most used. So I finally got down to downloading a smarter keyboard for my phone with a proper english dictionary.

Initially I was afraid that an external interface program might lag or slow down the phone, but no it works fine. Best of all, the skin can be changed so my liking so I no longer have to stick to a black coloured keypad (there's even an iPhone keyboard skin!). The only minus point is the lack of Swype, which the original android Galaxy S has. Efficient as the swype function is invented to be, the lack of a good dictionary greatly reduced it's efficiency when I have to filter out the word from the long list of pop-up words and sometimes it just automatically give me the word I didn't want. Another negative point is if I want to input number lets say for time, when I press on 2, it will give me a '2b' by default selection from it's ever-so-clever dictionary. This new keyboard has no problem with just giving me my single number at all.

I shall continue to use the trial for a couple more weeks. If it works smooth as it is now with no glitch or lag, I would buy it to get rid of the 'buy me' pop-up.

***

Sunday, 20 November 2011

"Seeing is believing."

This is a very good quote indeed. What it means is - do not just believe in hear-says and your own assumptions, you need to SEE the FACTS before you can really believe them and make your decision.

In the many turmoils, dilemmas, and hear-says that my fam have been through these few months, I am glad that most instances we did not rely on hear-says for making decisions. But then again, the trouble actually started off with hear-say. Hearing alone often is not good enough because what you hear are people's thoughts and perceptions and sometimes could be misinterpreted or outdated information. Search and dig - reports, official information, authority's websites, verify the info and then formulate your own thoughts and judgments. If you base your decision on arbitrary information, you are taking a risk, you are putting the ball in someone else's court, you are playing on luck.

However, seeing with your heart is different from seeing with your mind. Some things can be made up to appeal to your visual sight, some things are deliberately made seen to deceive (eg. not what it is seen to be), so one will have to link things up and view them objectively in the mind and not be too stunned emotionally.

Have faith, trust your facts, trust your instincts, do not be swayed by others, fight on!

***

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Steve Jobs's inspirational speech - my thoughts

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intu­ition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Every­thing else is secondary.” — Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement speech, June 12, 2005

In this society of material pursuits, our inner voices are easily drowned out by the many noises of others - so much so that we may even get confused and thought that's our own voice. You just get convinced that you are destined to do this or that and that it is only right. I think I am one fine example myself. Still confused as ever of what I want out of life.

I chose to study science cos that's the mainstream. I chose Pharmacy cos that's the next hardest course to get in and graduate from besides Medicine. I chose to work where I am now cos of the higher-than-average pay and avenue for acquiring a license. Now looking back, I must have been quite nuts. Then I thought I might be nuttier if I do arts or music or sports. So I ended up with a fraction of a talent in everything and a master of none. One thing I can be sure about is I am never clinically inclined. I hate memorizing, I love creation. I am no good with figures, better in visual. If I should pursue art then, what would my career be now? Would it be a waste if I give up what I have achieved so far in doing science?

Before I could sort out the answers all these questions, I am once again swept up by the whirlpool of my current work affairs. Temptations of money, fear of change and maintaining of status quo.


Steve Jobs ended his commencement speech  with "Stay hungry, stay foolish." So what are you hungry to learn?

One must first know what one is hungry for. Don't end up with indigestion and being truly foolish.

***

Friday, 23 September 2011

简单的幸福

有时会想,幸福其实很简单。只要 -

身体好,

吃得饱,

睡觉时不烦恼


仅此想, 生活有多美好。

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Troubleshoot singnet email on my Android

Here's the solution to the connection problem when setting up Singnet email on Galaxy S's default mailbox:

(incoming settings)
email add: xxx@singnet.com.sg
username : xxx
passwoed: xxxxx
pop server: pop.singnet.com.sg
security type : none
server port: 110

(outgoing server settings)
Username: xxx
password: xxxxx
SMTP server: mail.singnet.com.sg
security type: none
server port: 25
* uncheck sign-in required option


Related posts:
http://rainbowcoin.blogspot.com/2014/03/battery-life-rescue-for-my-galaxy-siii.html
http://rainbowcoin.blogspot.com/2011/11/android-smart-keyboard.html


Find out more about Financial literacy by viewing my other posts.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Lesson from Mouse Trap

Advancing in life is not just about charging forward aimlessly but looking at things the other way round (by a different perspective) and moving backward sometimes to go around obstacles.

Sometimes you may find yourself back at the starting point, but fret not, the solution is to keep moving. Time wait for no man.

~ me

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

A take on gaming

I used to play a lot of computer games. Much less now, as I have come to realise it can be quite a waste of time. Neopets, SGS, Castle Age... and so on. Now I ask myself "so what if you are the top scorer?", "so what if you reach level 100?". There will just be never-ending new quests and levels to beat as the game developer attune the games such that you can never attain the highest.

Gaming is a never ending cycle of time wasting hobby. High energy input, variable satisfactory output, momentarily high mood, and low work output. The only times when I think gaming is beneficial is when it evokes thoughts and make you learn something (or perhaps games which help to improve one's reflexes). I mostly prefer the strategic games.

For instance, I have been blindly playing this game call 'Dragon Fly' which is a game of reflex to make you fly your baby dragon as far away as possible, later on I realised that I need to accomplish certain task for my little dragon to level up eg. collect one speed vial before reaching realm 4. No wonder I haven't been able to level up. Just like in life, if we want to level up, we gotta identify our life objectives and achieve them. Just going about your daily life blindly with no goals in mind is like playing a game and forever not leveling up - wasting time.

In Seven Kingdoms, I have learnt the power of monopoly. When one can monopolize and utilize the resources, conquering is only a matter of time. The winning objective of the game is to eliminate all the other ruling powers in the same land and you can play with up to 7 kingdoms.

In San Guo Sha, I have learnt the importance of teamwork and what is call synergism. Every character has their own special abilities. Some special abilities work particularly well with that of another character eg. Zhen Ji can get more card drawing turns with the card swapping ability of Sima Yi. Huang Gai can do multiple suicide attempts wih Hua Tuo around to save him. It is a game of wit and luck but needs more wit. With the right combination or 'gui ren', a character with seemingly insignificant ability can also become a powerful kingpin. The same can be applied in work and life as each of us also has our own special talents and strengths.

If life is a game, what is your life goals and strategies?

***

Sunday, 21 August 2011

What I learnt about doing sales

In sales you need to be extroverted, humble and polite. Certainly not for those who refuse to 'stoop down'.

Very often sales person like to show off all their products, describing the good points for each of them, try to hard-sell, or work from their own perspective eg. selling the pricey one. These are actually WRONG.

1) First, you need to work from your CUSTOMER's perspective. Find out what is it they are looking for. Test their intention to buy. If they have no intention to buy or have no idea what they are looking for, telling them everything about your products is probably going to be futile and meaningless. These group of customers are what I call "Browsers". Ask questions, waste time, then say "I will think about it". But browsers may become potential buyers in future.

2) Next, emphasize or reflect the desired properties that they want in the selected product. Address any concerns that they may have which hinder their decision to buy.

Things that they might be concern with are:

- Price
- Suitability
- Durability
- After sales service

3) Lastly, close the sales. Ask if they want to make the purchase. If not, repeat Step 2. After addressing all their concerns they should be satisfied customers. :)

***



Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A new worse - STI Aug 11

STI has broken the 3000 pt to a 2884 following the pessimistic market outlook on US debt issues and the PIIGS debt.

Suffering from biggest portfolio plunge ever.

Lesson One learned is - 见好就收

Lesson Two is - wait out the storm and buy only when things stabilize and not during the plunge point.

Lesson Three is - buy only stocks that give dividends or the bluechips

Lesson Four is -  look at figures with 平常心, don't panick


Investing really takes much Patience and Discipline.

***

Monday, 4 July 2011

Quick Tips on Saving - Part II

Identify Wastage

Do up a monthly self-budget report with breakdowns on the spending- loans, transport, food, household, bills, insurance, etc.
Identify what are the necessary expenditures and what are the unnecessary expenditures by reviewing your receipts, credit card bills and saving account details. It is useful to keep the receipts of large expenditures or uncommon purchases so you would not forget 'where the money goes'.
Make a list of items that you have spent on which you can actually do without, or the spendings that make you feel guilty or regret afterward.
Recording may take some discipline, but gradually it can become a habit.

Reduce Wastage


After you have reviewed and identified a list of 'wasteful' spendings, use that as a reminder. What could you have done to avoid them? Methods that you can adopt to reduce $ wastage include:

- Borrow it
If you know you are not going to use that item often or keep reading that book, why not borrow it?

- Sales and discounts
Wait for them if you do not need the item urgently or it is not a limited edition that you badly wanted, why not wait for a sales or a promotion before buying?

- Dig up the old stuff
If you have lost track of what you owned, it's time to open up that storage cupboard and start tidying up. You might just find the thing that you need. Don't end up having multiple of the same functional item - well, unless you are a collector.
Sell or giveaway the items you don't need.

- Avoid impulse buys
Especially for big tickets, weigh the pros and cons. Not forgetting to compare prices.



Say 'I can't do it.' - but not without trying.

***

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Quick Tips on Saving - Part I

Step 1: Identify your saving goal - what is the purpose of your savings.

Step 2: Calculating how much money do you need to save.

Step 3: Calculate current income and proportion to set aside in order to save X amount in X time.

Step 4: Plan how you can set aside this sum of money.

(Bonus Step 5: Think about where you can park the money for optimal returns yet keep them safe.)

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Caught by surprise MMS charges

I was caught by surprise when see that my latest phone bill has got a freakin 20 charged MMS (at $0.30 each). I realised that my very 'smart' Galaxy S phone has absolutely no noticeable alert, symbol or restriction, whatsoever, when I send multimedia messages... This probably happened when I mass send intended-SMS to my colleagues. I do so by simply selecting and adding their names to my msg contacts. Unless I scroll through every contact that I have added, otherwise I would have no way of knowing if I accidentally selected email instead of phone numbers.

That's how I unknowingly incurred these charges. *Annoyed* I doubt there is any apps around to warn against MMS messaging.

I could only get around this by deleting all my stored email contacts and re-sync my email account with my phone so that it would be cleared of all email adds. Then I un-sync my email account with my phone's contact so that it will not 're-import' these emails into my contact list when messaging. What a hassle! I wished the contact list would show the contact details instead of just showing the names so that I would not unknowing click on it thinking it's only the phone number.

Let's see if this month's bill is MMS-free after my special measure.

***

Waiting for stabilization

Selling sentiment is still high as STI has plunged further again today. Now is the time to wait out and observe for the market to stabilize eg. lowering of selling pressure, before picking up the bluechips with good P/E and NAV ratio. Let's hope that there won't be any really bad news to cause a major upsetting of the market. Things are gloomy but asian economy should be picking up.

Using the strategy of 'buying down', I have foolishly attempted to catch a falling knife last week but luckily it was one instead of two. Lesson learnt: I ought to watch out for reversal signals to confirm the pit and NOT try to guess when it is hitting the pit. The silent descent... lurks danger?

Funds are generally holding up well despite the market downturn. If they get more impacted by the STI plunge, picking up funds would be a viable choice.

Bond is by far the safest among all the investments. Fixed deposit interest is crap unless we are looking at foreign currency's interest (that comes with risks though not as high as the stock market in this bleak season).
------------------------------------------------

A good article here by Music Whiz on Averaging up or Averaging down.

***

Monday, 2 May 2011

What is "Levered Free Cash Flow"?

While looking through the key statistics on YaHoo finance, I came across this term which sets my curiosity to search it out. If you are unfamiliar with this term as I was, here is an explanation of what is "Levered Free Cash Flow".
It is the amount of cash available to pay shareholders after a company has paid its debt. See http://www.stocks-simplified.com/levered_free_cash_flow.html
Levered Free Cash Flow = Cash Flow from Operations – Capital Expenditures

And there's a very good read here. So negative levered free cash flow would imply that the company is spending more money than it generates from its operation.

In case you do not know what is Operation Cash Flow, it is "the cash generated from the operations of a company, generally defined as revenues less all operating expenses, but calculated through a series of adjustments to net income." (Source: Investopedia.com)

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Hoohaa on Preference Shares - What are they?

Many companies seemed to be in a money-raising flurry lately in the growing Asia economy, thus providing various investment opportunities eg. bond issues, preference share issues, rights issue etc for eager investors. In attempt to find out more, I came across this article good for a casual read http://www.moneytalk.sg/2009/01/case-study-of-ocbc-preference-shares.html. So what exactly is Preference Share?

Here is the definition from Investopedia.com:

What Does Preference Shares Mean?

Company stock with dividends that are paid to shareholders before common stock dividends are paid out. In the event of a company bankruptcy, preferred stock shareholders have a right to be paid company assets first. Preference shares typically pay a fixed dividend, whereas common stocks do not. And unlike common shareholders, preference share shareholders usually do not have voting rights.
Also referred to as preferred stock.
There are four types of preference shares: Cumulative preferred, for which dividends must be paid including skipped dividends; non-cumulative preferred, for which skipped dividends are not included; participating preferred, which give the holder dividends plus extra earnings based on certain conditions; and convertible, which can be exchanged for a specified number of shares of common stock.

A company may choose to issue PS because of
  • Flexibility of payments: Preferred dividends may be suspended in case of corporate cash problems.
  • Easier to market: The majority of preferred stock is bought and held by institutions, which may make it easier to market at the IPO.
******************************************************************************
What are the differences between the two fixed income securities - Bond and Preferred Shares? Here's a chart I made to compare the two:


BondPreference Share
TypeDebtEquity
Maturity dateYes, but co may choose to redeem earlierNo, but there may be a call-back date which co may bring forward at their discretion
Traded on ExchangeYes (low liquidity)Yes (low liquidity)
PayoutFixed interest rate till maturityFixed / unfixed dividend

-subjected to the TYPE of preference share bought
- if no dividend is declared in the event of loss making, PS holders would not get any dividend (for non-cumulative PS)
- will get dividend before common shareholders
Sensitive to market interest rateYesYes
Voting rights to companyNoNo

Personally, I would prefer buying bonds if I am going to make long-term investment, simply because of the fixed payouts and maturity date given that both instruments have low liquidity.

***

Friday, 15 April 2011

Coaching for coach-to-be

Today I went for a "basic leadership for new trainers" course which is very useful and enriching. To sum it up, I have learnt these things:

1) Get to know your student

- Everyone has different values and different perspectives. Get to know them through casual interviewing and see how from there you can build rapport. Trust --> Cooperation --> Change.


2) Always be positive

- If you want your student to follow, be a role model. Even if you think certain things are stupid but has to be done. Don't say they are stupid, don't say you disagree, otherwise it will leave a negative impression. Put it in a 'matter-of-factly' way and tell them they have to do it.

3) Be encouraging

- Appreciate the good things that your students have done, give them a 'pat-on-the-back' if they have done something right / good once in a while. In times they did wrong, don't say "You are wrong" but coach them. Get them to check the things that they have done again.

4) To be specific in coaching

- Don't tell them what qualities/skills are expected of them. Tell them exactly WHAT are expected. To be 'responsible', 'to be independent', 'to be friendly'... these are too vague. Tell them the ACTIONS and behaviors that would lead them to exhibit the qualities you want to see.

Very simple concepts, ought to be useful as well. Need to practice on them. This coming June heh...

Another thing which I have learnt from HAP which I finally went for is Motivational Interviewing. It is a very challenging technique to master but widely applicable in many situations. Empathy by reflective listening, don't get into an argument, throw the ball back in the other party's court so that he would think for himself, ask permission before giving advice... Bits and pieces that I have picked up but yet to fully grasp.

Going for courses can be rewarding. There's a lot more to coaching than I thought and it's not just about sharing of knowledge. Makes me reflect on what I have gone through during my short relief teaching stint and tuition lessons. My favourite technique in the past was - nag.

***

Monday, 11 April 2011

Short update - STI rebounded after quake

I wonder where's the next resistance point. Just realised my portfolio is kinda weak. It's really peanuts compared to some investor-bloggers like Wealth Buch. Amidst the uncertainty, I divested some money into bond (F&N) which is supposed to be giving a more stable but lower yield as compared to stock. I was looking into buying more of the fund I am vested in but ironically it dropped but not low enough to add to more sum.

Missed the opportunity to buy in more BakerT at 0.30 (support level) during the Japan earthquake stock plunge. Now it has risen back to 0.43c. Oh well lalala.

Have been receiving annual reports from my various invested companies. Looking forward to dividend time... Not much to speak of but better than nothing.
------------------------------------------------------------

My simple $ principles:

~ Simple lifestyle - don't indulge and become a brand slave.

~ Work & save regularly - that's no-brainer

~ Invest smart - diversity. you may fail, win or learn.

~ Minimal loans - don't be trap in debt mud.

~ Spend smart - always keep an eye out for good deals.

***

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Angry Birds chatter

After waiting and waiting, I have FINALLY bought my new android phone - Samsung Galaxy S Super clear LCD. =D At a bargain! It costs me only $98 after the $100 Singtel voucher discount (just too bad Starhub, your marketing tactic and prices failed to attract me). Got a fairly good monthly price plan too with corporate discount in place. *Beam*

It is indeed a whole new world of experience. Now my phone is becoming a more important gadget than my computer because it is not only useful for calls and sms anymore - it simply encompasses everthing! Task alarm, cool games, surfing, reading references, watching videos, listening to music... Brilliant conveniences. Only a bit troublesome to have to keep charging due to the high power consumption and I am still trying to get use to the Qwerty keypad. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the Andriod Swype is REALLY cool. That's another reason to why I am not getting iphone despite all that hype going around.

One game app that I must really commend is Angry Birds. It is one popular game that my colleagues have been crazy about and I only get to play it now.


Other than being free (on android), cute and fun, it is really simple to play and has got good graphical effects that made it more addictive then it seems. All that physics behind the projectile momentum and the graphical effects of the kinetic reactions triggered by the catapulting of funny-looking birds are worth marveling at. Although seriously I must admit it can get me quite angry and frustrated at times when I couldn't figure out the right angles to shoot to get those darn green pigs. Green pigs? If you don't know this game, you must have thought it is absolutely absurd. Well, players like me might have found it hilarious, especially when it smirks at you when you fail the level. Oh please don't ask me why green pigs because I haven't any clue either. What's more amazing is they even got the Season versions for it!

Bill gates, Steve Job, Mark Zuckerburg... Angry Birds founder next? Haha.

***

Monday, 21 March 2011

Online tool - Savings Calculator

Here is a link to the Savings Calculator that is useful for one to calculate compound interest earned.

However, the limitation of this is that it assumes same day length for every month. Some interest are calculated by the bank on an accrued-daily-interest basis and each month length vary so the interest amount reported by your bank may vary slightly with this.

Nevertheless, this is able to give you a quick calculation and estimate of how much interest you will earn with your regular saving deposits in X years. Happy calculating! :)

***

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Failing the tango... the stop-loss logic

I have failed in my stocks lesson... Despite still remembering what Mr Hu Li Yang said from Money Weekly and what I wrote in my previous entry - Knowing when to 'breakup' with your stock.

Stop loss at 10%, stop loss at 10%, stop loss at 10%... darn.

Bad news (market, earning growth...), multiple "black crows", issu-ing of bonus shares, and other technical indicators are some signals of imminent price drop.

However, many of us are over-confident in our stocks. It is not easy to let go - greed and disillusions often over-ride rational decisions. I wonder when is it considered too late...

To sell at 20% gain or do a selling-up to garner slow profits. That is the 2nd part to the lesson.

The problem is - the tango seems to be one-directional thus far.

One important thing I have come to realise is - learning to harvest is just as important as learning to stock-pick. It's just like picking the right seed to plant, then watering it daily, then harvest before it starts to rot.

It takes years of skills and experience to do as what Uncle8888 says:"Make hay while the sun shines and also pull out the weeds."

***

The market also got "shaken"

STI has fallen to 2,951.07. Market outlook is not at all optimistic following Japan's major earthquake. Although Singapore is far, but companies with investments in Japan would be impacted more or less. I am seeing many reassurance news popping up by such companies.

1) SPH now at $3.85, is this going to be a support?

2) Bakertech has managed a rebound from my predicted support point at $0.30

3) Capmallasia hits new low at $1.73, Capitamall seems a safer ground


"Do not attempt to catch a falling knife" - so I decided to stick by this practice, wait and see if market would stabilize or get worse...

As compared to making small market losses as market turned bleak, it is really nothing compared to those who have lost their home and families in the recent disaster. Be glad that we are safe and living in peacefulness. If you are Singaporean reading this blog, donations to the Japan Earthquake can be made via Red Cross, refer to link - http://www.redcross.org.sg/Japan-Disaster-2011.phtml

***

Thursday, 10 March 2011

A little thoughts about Mistakes - learn your own

People often boast about their achievements, profits, gains but how many people can you find out there who publish their mistakes and reflections? Not many, it would be fortunate if you can read one. Why? Because they would rather appear like gurus so that you will visit their blogs more and believe in what they say, of course! Besides, people don't like to read laments and people get turned off by negative things.

However, if you look at it from another perspective, looking at others' mistakes would give you a more realistic view of how things are and learn that not everything is 'a bed of rose' - without having you to go through it yourself. Of course, the flip side is that ultimately whatever reflections there are would be HIS and not yours. As a Chinese proverb says "if the knife doesn't cut your flesh, you would not be aware of pain". It is sometimes a little difficult to have an understanding of others' mistakes without experiencing it yourself really.

So learn from your own mistakes. Don't tread on others' mistake (if you are fortunate enough to learn them) and most importantly don't tread on the past ones of your own.

***

The surprising truth about what motivates us

This is a video about what are the motivating factors in work. Traditionally, it should be monetary reward. Interestingly, this video claimed otherwise. After watching this video, sit down and really mull over it, seems that what the video says actually make sense. Motivation is less about the monetary reward especially of those involving more complicated result-oriented tasks but less mechanical tasks. So what is the true motivational factor for you? Think about it.

The 3 motivating factors mentioned are (my input in blue):

Autonomy

Although too much could be deemed as 'bad' in our traditional workplace... Who likes their bosses breathing down their neck anyway? But too much autonomy would it mean that the task might end up not being performed to expectations or to become misaligned to the corporate goals.

The best solution to this might be to become your own boss then.

Mastery & making a contribution

When you perfect your skills in the process and wow people with your creation, it gives you a sense of satisfaction. That's inarguable.

The video says that people pursue mastery and do certain tasks willingly for little or no money. Could it be that using ($$) reward to motivate work, people get stressed up and as a result find their task less enjoyable, which in turn lead to poorer performances? On the other hand, if a task is something that you enjoy doing, naturally mastery becomes your motivation and ultimate objective.

Purpose

Purpose is a much generalized idea. I supposed 'purpose' got to align with one's personal values in order to serve as a motivation factor. One must first agree with the purpose of an organization in order serve its purpose well.

Of course doing things with purpose in mind save us from going round in endless circles and
also from frustrations.

***

Thursday, 24 February 2011

STI @3001 - consecutive falls in the past few days

It is difficult to determine the support levels as Middle East situation has yet to settle. When will STI stop falling? Has the bull run come to an end?

Don't wanna catch a falling knife...

Current stocks watch:

1) SPH - support at $3.90?

2) Bakertech - support at $0.30?

3) Capmallasia - support at $1.83 just broke. Newest low at $1.77.

4) First Reit - Strong support would be at $0.66.

5) LippoMapleT - support at $0.50. Next support at $0.46. Current price @$0.53.

6) Hyflux - Price dropped in Dec after bonus share distribution. Current lowest @$1.92. Support indeterminable.


I think the charts at http://www.shareinvestor.com/ is better than Yahoo!'s.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Happy CNY 2011 and resolutions

Will this 兔 year bring good fortune?

I think this year will be a challenging year. Probably would be staying out of new investment but would be reviewing my current holdings to sell when opportunity arises. It is still true to date based on my portfolio that Blue Chips are more worthy and higher dividend stocks rule. Forget about stats analysis and reading blogs /forum, it's all just speculations. Career wise needs reviewing too. Not like I have much of a career to speak of anyway... Courage to lose sight of the shore how bout that?

In one of my previous post, I mentioned about setting goal as the first step in achieving something and then full stop. Things are of course not as easy as simple. Here are the SMART way to setting one's goal, which should be...
  • Specific (what?)
  • Measurable (in figures)
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time bound (by when?)
Okay that said, these are the things that I should start thinking about...

- a realistic exercise regimen
- money to be accumulated and allocated this year
- my career goals

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As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
-Albert Einstein
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In my opinion, although we can't be certain of what life would bring, we should not just succumb to whatever that has been thrown upon us. Overcome the challenges, strive towards our goals and cherish whatever we have achieved thus far. :)
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