Wednesday, 26 April 2017

It's harvest time again

Here comes the time of the year for harvesting dividends. Yay!
I wonder if that is why people 'sell in May and go away' other than the summer holiday...

Just a refresher on what is ex-dividend date:
http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/06/exdividenddate.asp

Where can you find the ex-dividend date on SG stocks?
Here http://www.sgx.com/wps/portal/sgxweb/home/company_disclosure/stockfacts
Find the stock and click on the Dividend tab.

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I shouldn't have sold some of my Keppel shares so early on the rebound and now I missed those dividends. Even though Keppel's dividend has been going south, it's better than nothing since my holdings are still in the red.  THAT is the problem of buying on the decline. Haiz.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Thought processes & problem solving

I finally discovered how to utilise pivot tables for data analysis. It looks cheem to me when I first looked it up (I only know pie charts and line graphs for the sake of presentations), until I discovered the 'woah' moment with trial-and-error and things suddenly fall into place like magic. 
Not without some data chewing that was quite frustrating initially as I have 800+ lines of data with assorted information such as timing, category etc.

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When it comes to problem solving, many times we tend to fall into the trap of focusing on 'What I can do?' instead of "What is the ideal solution to this?". If there is more than one possible solutions, choose the best one. The best pick should be the ideal solution to the problem, although that may not necessarily be the most achievable. 

With that in mind, we proceed to brainstorm on 'HOW to achieve it'. During which we can list down all the possible methods and pathways.



When problem solving starts with "What can I do?" before everything else, we set a limit on the possibilities based on our current ability. It is like looking through a peep hole instead of opening a door to the solution. When an action is taken it may lead to taking a roundabout path, winding around with no end point in sight or circling on the same spot. At times, it will make us want to 'escape the problem' because 'I just can't do anything about it'.


So instead of 1, 2, 3 in the above flowchart, it became 1, 3, stuck.

We need to keep our focus on the solution / outcome and be as specific as possible.

The complete cycle of problem solving in a clear picture:
Source: http://www.humorthatworks.com/learning/5-steps-of-problem-solving/


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Back to my problem. I have to first see what are the data I have on hand and which part of it to analysis so that I can draw a conclusion for my boss on this question xxx. 
In order to analyse it, how should I organise the data. Then I ask what is the most efficient method to display the results and give the answer.

The formula - no need formula. Just pivot table.

Actually that is not the end to the problem, it's only the end to my data analysis problem. 

Back to the problem solving cycle. 😫

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Insights from interviewing candidates

Being the sai kang Ops Manager, my new add-on duty currently is to hire for a HR generalist position for the company I am working at (before I get a new add-on duty of HR manager too). Here are some interesting takeaways from the interviews I have conducted.

1) Those who don't know how to give 'model answers' for the standard questions asked, I know they have little or no experience in interviewing and recruiting people, as well as being interviewed.

"What do you know about our company xxx?" *stumped* 
"Thank you, exit is over there."

2) "What makes you leave your current position?"

Ah, I have to watch out for complainers. Those who talk a lot of 'bad' stuff about their current work. You know? I know.
Most standard answer - "I want a change of environment / industry." (The nicer way of saying I don't like my current workplace.)
Ok... so what kind of environment are you looking for? What makes you want to join our industry? Many of them don't have a clear answer.

3) "What makes you state your expected pay as such, which is... $xxx more than your last drawn?"

One epic answer was -
"From what I observed in the candidates that applied (this person works in a recruitment agency), typically they will put down a 20% pay increment for expected." (WL, this I really don't know wor. Shhh... am I being short-changed? Cos I always put less than 10% rise in my expected! =.=)
My reply in my heart was -
You are most welcomed to price yourself out of the market.

4) I have not seen a single applicant who graduates from either NTU, NUS or SMU specializing in HR. Rare breeds?

5) The candidates can write in perfect England when they send in their resume and cover letters, BUT somehow the writing standard dropped drastically when tasked to write a simple paragraph of answer.
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Sometimes I just switched off in the midst of the interviews...

Somehow, I think I am not quite a seasoned interviewer as I have been asking mostly standard questions. Any 'old ginger' around who can share some tips on effective recruitment and interviewing?

I am so guilty of not blogging any financial stuff these days, no time for more financial learning. Haiz.

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