Why You are Better Off than WestLife... Financially

After posting about stock markets and how they fare for quite some time, I wish to deviate from there and start talking about how we can get rich by starting from the basics first...

I read about this article (Westlife - Shane Filan going bankrupt) around 2 weeks ago (http://sg.entertainment.yahoo.com/blogs/singapore-showbiz/westlife-shane-filan-declared-bankrupt-debts-18million-065545687.html) and was not surprised at all.

In fact, i feel quite sad for the celebrities who after going through all the luxuries in their lives, in turn, have to lead a life of poverty (& debt) in their aftermath usually after their careers have nearly ended.

Some more examples including Mike Tyson, Michael Jackson can also be found in the links below:

All these boils down to one fact - They are not living within their means!

If you have read Financial Self-Help Books like "Rich Dad Poor Dad" or "Secrets-of-self-made-millionaire", you would have learnt the what Wealth really stands for...

Wealth is defined as "how long a period of time You can sustain your current lifestyle if you stop working".

In fact, none of the celebrities who went bankrupt are RICH! Although they are earning A LOT MORE than the average person, they SPEND EVEN MORE than you!

And by the basic accounting standards:
Equity = Assets - Liabilities

Thus, their Equity becomes Zero or -ve once they stopped working! How sad a life for them... and for many average income earners out there...

Most people are fixated upon the idea that they just need to study hard, work hard and retire well with a pension fund supporting their old age. How wrong can that be!?

The truth now is that healthcare are becoming more advanced than ever and people are living longer than ever! If you retire (or forced to retire) at 60, you have 20 more years to live your old age based on the average 80 year old lifespan now... Can your savings cover the 20 years without you working at all?! I doubt so if you put your savings in a bank giving tiny paltry 0.05% yearly!!

The Key to Financial Freedom or a Comfortable Lifestyle is to 1) Live within your means and 2) Invest for higher returns. With compounding effect, you can exponentially generate a much bigger, fatter retirement nest egg than your peers.

Hope you like my post and can do me a favour by "Like"-ing my facebook page at www.facebook.com/kissinvesting. Thanks & HUAT AH!


STI + Stocks Chart Analysis 06/24/2012

Though Fundamental Analysis is important for long-term investment, i personally prefer to combine it with Technical Analysis for better precise entry-exit positions.

I have time to go through the charts of STI and other Singapore stocks like Sakari, Noble, Breadtalk etc... and they are all trending up after hitting a bottom (see charts below)

Yeah, you may be wondering if all the Euro crisis or China under-performance will drag down the markets again.. but as i said in my previous blog post; the worst is already priced in, and it can only get better with all the leaders doing something about it (specifics which i don't really care).

Thus, i believe we can capture some gains now just like January rally... :)

Hope you like my post and can do me a favour by "Like"-ing my facebook page at www.facebook.com/kissinvesting. Thanks & HUAT AH!


How much to give on wedding dinner guide

Recently, many of my friends (close to my age) are getting married and i am getting stressed out as well... both mentally and financially.

Mentally like i have really matured and its time for me to enter the second stage of my life - with my partner and many responsibilities will fall onto me as well.

Financially - The Ang Pows / Hong Bao that i will have to fork out regularly for all my friends holding their joyous once-in-a-lifetime event.

Thus, i went to research a bit and i remembered that i saw this table below somewhere and i found it! So decided to share with all my readers:

Besides the "how much to give for wedding" guide, here are also four handy tips to work out your hongbao amount.

The wedding banquet venue
If you’re unsure of how much to put in your red packet, call up the establishment hosting the event and ask for its table rates, then give 20 per cent more than what you’ve been quoted. 

So, if the meal costs $100 per head, be prepared to fork out at least $120. And don’t think outdoor wedding dinners cost the happy couple any less. These are more likely to have additional hidden costs, like fees for the tent’s set-up and insurance for the lawn in case it gets damaged by guests. Give the same amount as you would for an indoor affair.

You can check the table rate here.

The day of the week
The day on which the event is held makes a difference. If it’s on the weekend or a public holiday, the couple will have to pay about 10 to 20 per cent more for their dinner tables. 

So, inflate your hongbao accordingly. The time of the event matters too. If you’re headed for a lunch or afternoon tea, expect to give about half of what you’d normally pony up for a 10-course Chinese dinner.

Your relationship to the couple
The closer you are to the couple, the deeper you should dig into your purse. Those with a special role to play, like being one of the bride’s “sisters”, should cough up more. 

So, if you’re headed to a dinner banquet at a five-star hotel on a Saturday night, consider giving your colleague a $120 hongbao and a close friend $150. If you’re the bridesmaid, bump it up to between $150 and $200.

Numbers matter
A final hint: If you’re raking in big bucks at work, just shell out a little more. You wouldn’t want to be known as Amy’s cheapskate lawyer friend, would you? 

Trust us – word gets around. It’s also worth knowing that if you’re going for a Chinese dinner, auspicious red-packet amounts are $88, $108, $128 and $188.


On a closing note, I will be setting aside a regular pool of money to give out ang pow money from now on.. i believe things are going to be more "hectic" from now on... hahaha! 


Outcome of Greece election

Now that the new democracy has won, there is no more lehman-like incident again..

Although it is not to say that peace will prevail now, i think things are going to get better from here on.

Look at the 3 big regions - U.S., europe and China.


will be undergoing an election soon and the odds of Qe3 or simply put - printing more money - are very high..

Printing money will lead to lower inflation, more exports and $$ for U.S.! And indirectly enable obama to secure another 5 year term..


A 17 member union holding on to the Euro in which different leaders all have different opinions on how things should be run.

The policies are always slow and ineffective.. And adding to the troubles are many countries requiring bail-outs to survive..

There will never be a short term solution to it and people have gotten used to them.. What people will focus is areas which are growing - China.


The funny thing about media is that they always like to say china is having many difficulties and growth is slowing etc..

From what i see, china is blessed with a growth rate those developed countries like U.S. and europe can only dream of!

They have also a centralised govt with huge surplus of money and they are able to boost the economy when the economy turns sour...


I therefore believe that stock markets are cheap now and we should focus on investing in undervalued stocks rather than worrying about this and that.. Which is part n parcel of investing :)


Greece Election Impact on the whole world

The question in many people's minds is what impact will Greece election have on the Europe region and the whole world?

First of all, let's break it down simply for people to understand why a small country's election got to do with everyone.

Greece has 2 major parties now... right-wing New Democracy and left-wing Syriza.
They are at odds over whether broadly to stick with the tough EU bailout deal (right wing), or reject it and boost social spending (left wing)

The main concern now is that if the hard-left bailout-denouncing Syriza party wins, it could set off a cataclysm in the markets, a chain reaction that would set neighbors and then the whole world on fire - similar to the Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy incident.

The possible result?

A Long, Slow Exit It Would Be (adapted from http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daniel-gross/sunday-greece-elections-prove-lehman-brothers-moment-maybe-172918499.html )

  • This Sunday's elections are unlikely to prove a similar event. 
Whatever the result, given Greece's parliamentary system, it will take several days to sort out who will run the government and which policies will prevail. It's even possible that no clear result will emerge, as was the case after the last election. That's a process that will take place over a series of weeks and months, not instantaneously. 

And even assuming that's the end result, there will be all sorts of feints, brinksmanship, negotiations and false solutions before then. -> Forex players take care!

  • A second important difference between Lehman and Greece is the relative component of surprise. 
Lehman was thought to be a safe investment in the months before its collapse. In fact, its debt still carried in investment-grade rating when it went bust. That's part of what made the fallout so toxic. If Lehman, heretofore thought to be a safe harbor in a storm, wasn't safe, then who else was? 

But nobody has thought Greece is a safe place to invest for years. Even after the bailouts and the debt write-downs, Greece's bonds trade at highly distressed levels. How many conservative savers and companies do you know that have their money in funds that contain Greek bonds? To a large degree, markets and investors have been discounting and anticipating the failure of Greece's government to meet its financial obligations.

  • After being largely unprepared for the 2008 crisis, large banks in the United States & London are determined & have been taking measures to deal with instability in Europe for over a year.
According to the article ( http://www.cnbc.com/id/47840486 ), 
The banks are on high alert. Hundreds of employees at big firms, some part of special teams, will be on standby this Sunday, awaiting the results of Greece’s pivotal election. They are preparing for the worst case. The fear is that the vote will heighten the chances of Greece exiting the euro and the global financial system will be shaken when the markets open on Monday.

Large banks that have substantial exposure to Europe have been doing tests to see if important functions like moving money for clients between nations could handle a country leaving the euro.

If the Greek elections prompt market instability, banks are likely to have another source of support, perhaps overshadowing any of their own efforts to date. In a period of severe weakness, central banks will most likely step in and provide cheap loans to bolster the financial system.

My Opinion

All in all, i believe that the end result is not clear and Greece is just a preview glimpse of what the Euro region can do to the entire world and the steps that can be taken to resolve them. And all these information i put up here is not to suggest that we should shrug off the election results like they didn't matter.

I personally think that Europe woes have finally started to unfold and that may prompt more action from the Europe leaders where in the past; Europe's political, financial and monetary leadership has displayed that they are dilly-dally and only want solutions to their own benefits.


Maxi Cash IPO - To Buy or Not

Michelle Chia, the spokesperson for Maxi Cash!

Amid the Chaos of Europe and US, there is one catalist listing that caught everyone's attention and familiar to us Singaporeans - Maxi Cash! You can see a press release here.

I have seen many forums and read up a bit on the news and its prospectus; and the views are inconsistent on whether this IPO will soar on its debut...

Let's look at its corporate profile:

Pawnbroker Maxi-Cash Financial Services Corporation Ltd Operations are concentrated on 2 business segments - Pawnbroking and Retail and trading of pre-owned jewellery and

Maxi Cash is a subsidiary of mainboard-listed jewellery retailer and property developer Aspial Corporation - formerly Lee Hwa Holdings.

And the Summarized Financial Statements are here below:

Now lets talk about the Pros and Cons of this company and finally an opinion by myself.

The Pros:
  1. Well established market position (13%) of the whole industry; 24 locations islandwide near amenities such as Bus Interchanges and Mrt Stations.
  2. Strong Brand Name - thats why all the people in the forums are talking about it!
  3. Experienced Management Team in Jewellery Industry; Parent company is aspial corporation too.
  4. Different Feel - A "bank-like" modern feel sets it apart from its competitors & thus, more likely to attract youngsters and business people.
  5. Anti-cyclical industry -
    People poor people have to pawn = Earn Interest!
    People rich people buy jewellery = Earn Capital gains!

The Cons:
  1. Short period of time from startup to listing (not enough time to analyse it thoroughly)
  2. Stigma against such slow moving stocks where Operations are in Singapore (Old Chang Kee, Mary Chia etc)
  3. 33% Premium to NTA -> Fundamentally overpriced
  4. Subject to Gold, Jewellery asset prices + low interest rate changes
  5. Competitive environment with many old established pawnshops around.

An Independent Opinion

I think despite the global woes, Maxi Cash is a well-known company and the price may soar in the first few days. 
I will rate it as a short term Buy and Sell within days or even 1 day because of many uncertainness behind it + everyday you may have bad news from whichever region that will come crashing down the stock.

Hope you like my post and can do me a favour by "Like"-ing my facebook page at www.facebook.com/kissinvesting. Thanks & HUAT AH!


STI chart 06/07/2012

After falling off the consolidation period from End Feb to around the start of May, 

STI has been on a continuous downtrend due to the Euro woes, China slowing growth and US un-impressive economic outlook.

However, we are seeing a Positive divergence with respect to RSI just like the last year Aug to Oct. The technical indicators may show that it is a sign of optimism that stock markets have tanked enough and will go up from here.

My opinion:

I will adopt a wait-and-see approach until the Europe has settled their stuff and more hints as to whether  Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will set the policy to loosen monetary policy to help kickstart the world's biggest economy.

Once these two major uncertain events are confirmed, we will be able to see a firm trend... and thats where we pounce!

Hope you like this post and can Like my Facebook page here!

~Let's all Huat Ah!~


Stocks Mkts Down, down & Down... How to Capitalize on them?!

Total Massacre out there! Who have not been spared?!

Anyway, an idea came to my mind... Why do we only think of buying when stock markets go up? Why not capitalize on them when they come down?

According to my past experiences.. There are 3 methods to do that in stock markets:

  1. Short - Selling: It is to borrow and sell. From the singapore context, i think that Short-selling can only lasts for T+3. Which means you have to close the position within 3 days and your technical analysis or hunch must be damn zhun!
    An example will be like today - Monday 04 June 2012. If you see how the US stock markets fare last friday [A near 300 point drop for Dow Jones], you can roughly guess the impact it will have on stock markets on Monday.
  2. Buying Put warrants / options: To be honest, i am not familiar with Warrants although i know they function like Options. I done a little research and it seems that Warrants are bought directly through the same portal where you buy/sell your stocks.
    More information can be found here:  http://www.dbsvickers.com/warrants/Pages/default.aspx#3
  3. CFD trading: I think this is by far the most popular tool used to go short the market. They are offered by many providers like phillip-securities, city index, igmarkets.com.sg etc..
    The bad point about CFD is that the number of stocks you can short is limited to the selection they offer you & they are mainly blue chip stocks.
    Despite paying a daily fee for shorting CFD, the blue chip stocks don't usually fall much in value within a short period of time. Thus, you really need to also time the market well in order to maximize the winnings with minimum costs of holding to the short position.
I believe the list is not exhaustive... I have quite limited knowledge on this field and would appreciate greatly if someone can also share their experience here! Thanks!


The Most Popular Trade Is Going to Explode… Again

I got this article written by a well-known trader in my inbox and it makes lots of sense to me so i wanted to share with everyone...

About every year at this time, currency traders lose their minds… Then they lose their shirts. It's going to happen again this year.
The most popular trade in the currency market right now is to be long the dollar and short the euro. At first glance, this seems like a reasonable trade. After all, Europe is on the brink of collapse. And as the continent dissolves, investors flock to the safety of the U.S. dollar. It's the ultimate "risk-off" trade.
But here's the thing… the world has a habit of not coming to an end.
Think about it. Back in May 2010, Greece was threatening to default on its debts. Spanish banks were in trouble. Ireland, Italy, and Portugal were facing liquidity issues. The dollar rallied 7%-plus that month alone. That's an enormous one-month move for a currency. The most popular trade on the planet was to be long the U.S. dollar and short the euro. 
And it did. The dollar fell 10% over the following two months as traders realized the world wasn't going to end.
Fast-forward to this time last year. The financial disaster in Europe took over the headlines. Greece was threatening to default. Spanish banks were in trouble. Yada yada yada. Once again, traders swarmed to the dollar, and the greenback gained 5% in May.
It gave up all the gains, though, just one month later.
Now, it's the same old story. Once again, the long dollar/short euro trade is the most popular position on the planet. The dollar has rallied 5% this month, and everyone is talking about the euro collapsing.
Yes, it is 2012 – and maybe the Mayans were on to something – but I just don't see Armageddon happening while everyone is looking for it. Financial markets do not reward popular trades. (This month's disastrous Facebook IPO is a good example of that.) So while everyone is looking for continued dollar strength and euro weakness, I think the better idea is to do the opposite…
I'm not quite ready to buy the euro yet. Its downtrend is extended. But it hasn't quite reached the oversold levels it hit in 2010. And with the Greek election coming up in mid-June, there's plenty of time for some more downside volatility… but probably not much more.
Over the next two weeks, I'll be looking for opportunities to put risk back on. Everything that sold off this month as the dollar rallied is going to rally when the "long dollar/short euro" trade blows up. Get ready for a hard bounce in commodities and stocks and a hard fall in bonds and the dollar.