Sunday, August 29, 2010

Marketocracy Portfolio As At 27 August 2010

price history right curve

[download spreadsheet]

graph of fund vs. market indexes
SMF m100 S&P 500 DJIA Nasdaq

Graph Period: [7 Days] [30 Days] [90 Days] [6 Months] [1 Year] [2 Years] [3 Years]
[4 Years] [5 Years] [Since Inception]

left curve recent returns vs. major indexes right curve

Beating Today MTD QTD YTD
-0.23% -3.55% 4.16% -4.53%
S&P 500 -0.77% -4.75% 1.92% -4.86%
DOW -0.74% -4.59% 2.17% -4.24%
Nasdaq -1.07% -6.03% 0.45% -6.63%

recent returns right curve

Last Week -3.57%
Last Month -4.81%
Last 3 Months -6.04%
Last 6 Months -4.36%
Last 12 Months 0.78%
Last 2 Years 28.52%
Last 3 Years N/A
Last 5 Years N/A
Since Inception 20.59%
(Annualized) 9.38%
Last Week -3.53%
Last Month -5.15%
Last 3 Months -3.87%
Last 6 Months -3.54%
Last 12 Months 4.74%
Last 2 Years -12.67%
Last 3 Years N/A
Last 5 Years N/A
Since Inception -11.85%
(Annualized) -5.86%
Last Week -0.03%
Last Month 0.35%
Last 3 Months -2.17%
Last 6 Months -0.82%
Last 12 Months -3.96%
Last 2 Years 41.19%
Last 3 Years N/A
Last 5 Years N/A
Since Inception 32.44%
(Annualized) 15.25%

left curve alpha/beta vs. S&P500 right curve

Alpha 17.21%
Beta 1.16
R-Squared 0.77

left curve turnover right curve

Last Month 13.02%
Last 3 Months 28.99%
Last 6 Months 66.53%
Last 12 Months 167.19%

Symbol Price Shares Value Portion of Fund Inception Return
NYB $15.60 6,000 $93,600.00 7.78% 42.39%
QSII $56.77 1,500 $85,155.00 7.08% 13.93% Details
SUN $33.75 3,000 $101,250.00 8.41% 12.99% Details
BP $35.42 3,000 $106,260.00 8.83% 11.48% Details
FMC $61.15 1,500 $91,725.00 7.62% 8.92% Details MIDDLE
C $3.66 25,000 $91,500.00 7.60% 19.46%
GE $14.50 4,000 $58,000.00 4.82% -2.09%
PLD $10.56 8,118 $85,726.08 7.12% -4.28%
F $11.17 8,000 $89,360.00 7.43% 35.78%
WFMI $35.75 2,500 $89,375.00 7.43% -12.63% Details
UCO $8.78 6,000 $52,680.00 4.38% -14.56% Details
BAC $12.47 9,000 $112,230.00 9.33% 9.72% Details

Close Date Type Symbol Shares Net Avg. Price Net
Aug 17, 2010 Sell POT 1,000 $140.3169 $140,316.93
Aug 12, 2010 Buy F 8,000 $12.4259 $99,407.51
Jul 29, 2010 Sell NVDA 9,000 $9.1826 $82,643.21
Jul 22, 2010 Sell C 5,000 $4.0199 $20,099.65
Jul 22, 2010 Buy UCO 6,000 $10.2768 $61,660.69
Jul 12, 2010 Sell BP 1,750 $36.6356 $64,112.22
Jun 25, 2010 Buy BP 800 $27.55 $22,040.00
Jun 14, 2010 Buy BP 1,500 $31.4431 $47,164.65
Jun 11, 2010 Buy BP 2,000 $34.1535 $68,306.95
Jun 11, 2010 Sell GS 700 $133.7412 $93,618.86
Jun 11, 2010 Buy BP 450 $34.05 $15,322.50

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tanah Pusaka by The Solianos

Readers of this blog will be aware of my strong support for Leslie from pop pop music label. His stable of artists have churned out excellent audiophile recordings by JZ8, 2V1G, Roger Wang and Gina Panizales. I have been a fan of The Solianos through the years, but mainly listening to their interpretations of jazz standards and the occasional Malay songs.

Don't get me wrong, I love Gadis Idaman Ku, which was composed brilliantly by Alfonso Soliano. During a night session at No Black Tie, I heard them play Tudung Periuk, followed by Gadis Idaman Ku, and a few songs later Tanah Pusaka. It clicked in me that this is a great concept of an album. For my life, I never could fathom why The Solianos never got an album out.

I dragged Leslie to their next gig and he was sold. Pure talented slogging Malaysian musicians with such a storied family, which has contributed immensely to the very fabric and development of modern Malaysian music culture and legacy. I said this album must be an all Malay songs album. There is certainly room for a great jazzy Malay album that reflects their talent and heritage.

Hence their song list below has a few songs composed by Alfonso Soliano, and the rest given the special Solianos treatment. The harmonies and virtuosity of The Solianos shine through the grand guidance of Ador as well.

As an appetiser, they have released a video of their superb recording of Tanah Pusaka, which will be in the album, but is brought forward to all ahead of Merdeka Day. We all love our country, we may hate the politics or some of its policies now and then, but let's be clear, most of us love our country. We all know in our hearts we really want a 1Malaysia, the one that is promulgated is still "in the works it seems", but we know the vision of the one we want in our hearts. Happy Merdeka everyone ...

p/s please do post / link / embed the video onto your blogs and facebook ... knowing that many offices have banned youtube, we have added the megavideo link as well ha-ha.

The Solianos Project - Why!!!???

This will be in a series of articles on The Solianos Project. Why them? Although I begged Leslie to have a listen to The Solianos, although it seems like I "discovered" them as a recording potential, the truth is not so exceptional on my side. How do you discover a group that has been around for twenty thirty years?

Listening to the live, doing these 3 songs convinced me that there is something "big" ... Tudung Periuk, Tanah Pusaka and Gadis Idaman Ku. The Solianos have been plying their trade at various venues and even corporate events, and while most of their repertoire were in English jazz standards, I was convinced they had to do a Malay album which will totally encapsulate their brilliance, musicality, musicianship and melodious harmonies. It had to be a Malay album because it reflects their heritage perfectly (Alfonso Soliano and Tony Soliano).

The final song list is equally distributed with numbers composed by Alfonso Soliano and emblematic Malay songs through the years (with the Solianos treatment, they were given a fresh breath of vibrancy again - you didn't know that some Malay songs could actually sound so good).

In many ways, The Solianos represent the music culture for the past 60 years and the Pusaka album is more "1Malaysia" than anything I can imagine. If you are between 35-75 you will really feel that you lived through these songs, in your own country, cause nowhere else on earth will you get an album like this or get to appreciate one like this.

Both Tony and Alfonso were greats in their own rights. Alfonso was behind many artistes in the 70s, in fact he was the music arranger / director for Sharifah Aini's Pasir Roboh, Damak Ku Sayang, Serampang Laut, Dodoi Si Dodoi, etc... and thats just one artiste. I like Kartina Dahari a lot, and she also sang one of Alfonso's composition, Tunas Kasih. Tunku Abdul Rahman sought help from Radio Malaysia – Alfonso Soliano, Lanthall, Croft, Bert Read, Dol Ramli and Datuk Ahmad Merican to create the national anthem, Negaraku from a love song, Terang Bulan. Alfonso was always top of the list even then.

Alfonso's better known compositions include: Gadis Idaman Ku and Airmata Berderai. Hence the album which they are doing has almost half of them songs that linked the Soliano name to this group of talented musicians.

This great article was written by errol de cruz for NST and was published on merdeka day august 31, 2007,

IF there's one family that stands above all others in Malaysian music-making, it must be the Soliano clan.

There's an often-used joke which says that if you don't want to become a millionaire, all you need do is become a jazz musician. It's probably what used to happen in the early 1900s what with so many talented jazz and blues musicians succumbing to "occupational hazards".

In today's musical climate, however, jazz musicians have come a long way and several have made a big name for themselves, the Malaysian list includes Michael Veerapen, Lewis Pragasam, Andy Peterson, David Ah Wah, Julian Chan, Vincent Ong, Josie Thomas, David Gomes and many others.

Jazz itself has come a long way, finding its way into pop, rock and ethnic fusion; it's not surprising to find pop artistes who have matured, so to speak, turning back to their roots and hitting jazz joints with sets that include songs by Cole Porter, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Last week, for example, at popular jazz joint No Black Tie, patrons were pleasantly surprised to find evergreen artiste Khatijah Ibrahim at the mike, belting out her own originals and also jazz standards like Don't Rain On My Parade, Luck Be My Lady Tonight and Fever.

Accompanying her was an ensemble starring a renowned music family - the Solianos, arguably the only family in Malaysian showbiz who can claim a heritage of jazz that dates back well into the nation's history, well past the inaugural Merdeka celebrations, thanks to their forefathers, the legendary Alfonso and Tony Soliano.

The Soliano name hails back to the days of the British occupation, when Rufino Soliano and Dominado Tirona were brought in from the Philippines to play in the Constabulary Band.

Later, Alfonso and his nephew Tony came into the picture. Alfonso was the serious one, leading and writing for the orchestras of the time, while Tony was happy being the live wire, leading local musicians in one jazz ensemble or another on both sides of the Causeway, and in the heady Bangkok scene, too.

"Those were the days," many say, "when we had talented artistes like Ahmad Wan Yet, Zain Azman and Julie Sudiro entertaining us."

Alfonso and Tony died, months apart, in 1990, and it has been up to their children and families to keep things going.

Today's Soliano clan remembers the days of yore well, especially Valentino "Tinoy" Soliano who was the only one who performed with his father Alfonso. "I was the lucky one and yes, those were the days," he said.

"If you went to any of our homes after he passed away, there'd be a portrait of him above the piano and as we practised, we'd get that echo that said: "No bluffing, ah."

"Dad's talent was his wealth," Tinoy said. "He'd always bring himself down to the playing level of other musicians and make them sound good."

The Soliano Brothers picked up the flag from Alfonso and performed all over the country for more than 15 years, until individual talent and creativity nudged them into forming their own groups.

Now, instead of just one family ensemble plying the trade, there are at least six outfits pushing the Soliano envelope, from Langkawi to Singapore.

* Tinoy's sister, Isabella, leads one band at the Datai in Langkawi, with Conrado playing trumpet.

* Brother Rizal and niece Rachel have two bands, now performing at No Black Tie.

* Sister Irene sings with the Soliano Brothers whenever she can.

* Cousin Daniel Guerzo leads his Nine Lives in Langkawi.

* Tony Soliano Jr has a band in Johor Baru.

* Cousin Louis Tan Soliano plays drums at Jazz At Southbridge in Singapore.

* Older brother Remy had an accident recently and is currently bed-ridden.

* Tinoy and Tristano are session musicians. "We're the family mercenaries," Tano laughed.

The entire family gets together at Christmas and last year, they more or less took over Langkawi island for two whole weeks. And when they do get together, it's Salvador Guerzo who leads them.

Ado, pianist Rachel's dad, is the elder that the Solianos look up to nowadays. Like Alfonso in his time, Ado writes and arranges for the RTM Orchestra and also plays as often as he can with any of the Soliano outfits. Another "mercenary", yes, but this saxophonist is rather devoted to his daughter's band.

"Times have changed," Rachel chipped in. "I used to follow him; now it's the other way around."

It's a tough job, leading the entire clan when they get together, but Ado wears the mantle well, and his big hope is that he will one day be instrumental in making some Soliano dreams come true.

Rachel has plans to organise the Alfonso Soliano Jazz Festival and is hoping to acquire enough sponsorship over the next two years, and Ado wants to establish what they would all like to see - the Soliano School of Music.

"These are our dreams," Ado said, "and I know we can do it if we put our heads and talent together."

In this case, however, Rachel has the level-headed voice. "What we really need is someone with the business acumen to run it."

Considering the reputation the Soliano clan has earned over half a century and more, the realisation of such dreams would only be fitting.

Or as Rizal put it: "Dad didn't leave us any wealth because making music was more important than making money. But he did leave us with a big name, and it's up to us to do something with it."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Country Market Cap As A Measure

It is popularly known that emerging markets as a percentage of total listed market cap in the world was a dismal figure. I don't have the exact number but I believe it was under 30% 10 years ago. That figure has been rising steadily as emerging markets got bigger, and more companies get listed in emerging markets.

Just think, as emerging markets companies grow bigger, and thanks to the last couple of financial crisis, emerging markets have made more inroads into that equation. The other factor is the recycling of petrodollar and massive trade surpluses - much of that went into buying big banks and mining firms.

It is foreseeable within the next 10 years that the BRICs plus another 10 emerging markets should overtake the old guard (US, Europe) in terms of percentage of market cap. It is almost inevitable, they keep spending beyond their means, and the trade surpluses keep going the other way. The main way to pay down their debts is actually via these emerging markets to buy out large stakes of their companies, as that would recycle back the funds.

Bespoke Investment Group:

One of the main headlines on The Drudge Report this morning is that China has overtaken Japan as the world's second biggest economy. Looking at Bloomberg numbers of equity market caps for countries, China is getting very close to second biggest as well.

As shown below, Japan's stock market capitalization is currently 7.97% of world market cap. China ranks second at 6.89%. Five years ago, Japan accounted for 10.34% of world market cap, while China accounted for just 1.10%. Back in 2005, China ranked just 17th in terms of market cap, behind countries like Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, South Korea, Taiwan, India, and the Netherlands. Now with the world's second biggest economy and third biggest stock market, it's hard to classify China as an emerging market, but it is indeed still emerging in terms of growth.

In the bottom chart we highlight the change in percent of world market cap over the last five years. As shown, China has had the biggest growth in percentage points, while the US has had the biggest fall. Hong Kong, India, and Brazil have seen pretty big increases in share, while the UK, France, and Japan have all lost the most ground after the US. It will be interesting to see how things look in another five years.

It is heartening to see Malaysia's percentage jumping from 0.49% five years ago to 0.77%. That was quite a jump in terms of absolute percentage. Somehow I think that was more because of the calamities the developed markets went through rather than through "actual initiatives" undertaken by ourselves. Singapore rose from 0.63% to 1.11%, also remarkable. If we strategise better, take better care of how we allocate our resources, we should be hitting 2% by now, seriously.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

GDP and IQ

This is not new, the study on a country's average IQ and how that correlates to GDP growth and/or per capita income. In any study that implies intelligence with citizenship or race - it is bound to be controversial. I think there is some merit to the study, but seriously, you do not need the entire population IQ to be high to be successful. We have to take into consideration how some populous countries have a large rural population (which may not get ready access to education).


Central to the book's thesis is a tabulation of what Lynn and Vanhanen believe to be the average IQs of the world's nations. Rather than do their own IQ studies (a potentially massive project), the authors average and adjust existing studies.

For 104 of the 185 nations, no studies were available. In those cases, the authors have used an estimated value by taking averages of the IQs of neighboring or comparable nations. For example, the authors arrived at a figure of 84 for El Salvador by averaging their calculations of 79 for Guatemala and 88 for Colombia. Including those estimated IQs, the correlation of IQ and GDP is 0.62.

To obtain a figure for South Africa, the authors averaged IQ studies done on different ethnic groups, resulting in a figure of 72. The figures for Colombia, Peru, and Singapore were arrived at in a similar manner. For People's Republic of China, the authors used a figure of 109.4 for Shanghai and adjusted it down by an arbitrary 6 points because they believed the average across China's rural areas was probably less than that in Shanghai. Another figure from a study done in Beijing was not adjusted downwards. Those two studies formed the resultant score for China (PRC). For the figure of Macau, the average IQ is 104 which is obtained from the score of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and in such a way transformed into an IQ score.

In some cases, the IQ of a country is estimated by averaging the IQs of countries that are not actually neighbors of the country in question. For example, Kyrgyzstan's IQ is estimated by averaging the IQs of Iran and Turkey, neither of which is close to Kyrgyzstan—China, which is a geographic neighbor, is not counted as such by Lynn and Vanhanen. This is presumably because the ethnic groups of the area speak Iranian and Turkic languages, but do not include Chinese.

To account for the Flynn effect (an increase in IQ scores over time), the authors adjusted the results of older studies upward by a number of points.

Rank↓ Country↓ IQ estimate[3]↓
1 Hong Kong 107
2 South Korea 106
3 Japan 105
4 Republic of China (Taiwan) 104
5 Singapore 103
6 Austria 102
6 Germany 102
6 Italy 102
6 Netherlands 102
10 Sweden 101
10 Switzerland 101
12 Belgium 100
12 China 100
12 New Zealand 100
12 United Kingdom 100
16 Hungary 99
16 Poland 99
16 Spain 99
19 Australia 98
19 Denmark 98
19 France 98
19 Mongolia 98
19 Norway 98
19 United States 98
25 Canada 97
25 Czech Republic 97
25 Finland 97
28 Argentina 96
28 Russia 96
28 Slovakia 96
28 Uruguay 96
32 Portugal 95
32 Slovenia 95
34 Israel 94
34 Romania 94
36 Bulgaria 93
36 Ireland 93
36 Greece 93
39 Malaysia 92
40 Thailand 91
41 Croatia 90
41 Peru 90
41 Turkey 90

Rank↓ Country↓ IQ estimate[3]↓
44 Colombia 89
44 Indonesia 89
44 Suriname 89
47 Brazil 87
47 Iraq 87
47 Mexico 87
47 Samoa 87
47 Tonga 87
52 Lebanon 86
52 Philippines 86
54 Cuba 85
54 Morocco 85
56 Fiji 84
56 Iran 84
56 Marshall Islands 84
56 Puerto Rico 84
60 Egypt 83
60 Saudi Arabia 83
60 United Arab Emirates 83
61 India 81
62 Ecuador 80
63 Guatemala 79
64 Barbados 78
64 Nepal 78
64 Qatar 78
67 Zambia 77
68 Congo 73
68 Uganda 73
70 Jamaica 72
70 Kenya 72
70 South Africa 72
70 Sudan 72
70 Tanzania 72
75 Ghana 71
76 Nigeria 67
77 Guinea 66
77 Zimbabwe 66
79 Democratic Republic of the Congo 65
80 Sierra Leone 64
81 Ethiopia 63
82 Equatorial Guinea 59

In several cases the actual GDP did not correspond with that predicted by IQ. In these cases, the authors argued that differences in GDP were caused by differences in natural resources and whether the nation used a "planned" or "market" economy.

One example of this was Qatar, whose IQ was estimated by Lynn and Vanhanen to be about 78, yet had a disproportionately high per capita GDP of roughly USD $17,000. The authors explain Qatar's disproportionately high GDP by its high petroleum resources. Similarly, the authors think that large resources of diamonds explain the economic growth of the African nation Botswana, the fastest in the world for several decades.

The authors argued that the People's Republic of China's per capita GDP of roughly USD $4,500 could be explained by its use of a communist economic system for much of its recent history. The authors also predicted that communist nations whom they believe have comparatively higher IQs, including the PRC, Vietnam, and North Korea, can be expected to gain GDP by moving from centrally-planned to market economic systems, while predicting continued poverty for African nations. Recent trends in the economy of the People's Republic of China and Vietnam seem to confirm this prediction, as China's GDP has grown rapidly since introducing market reforms. South Korea has a higher average IQ and a market economy. However, South Korea still has a lower GDP/Capita than many Western nations (but relatively high overall), but South Korean economic reform started in 1970s and it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Contrary to the theory of correlation between IQ and economy type many planned economies had higher literacy rates than most market economies. Still, South Korea went from amongst the poorest nations in the world to advanced economy by recording among fastest growth rate in the world. Despite a supposedly higher average IQ and a market economy since the Meiji Restoration in 1867, Japan still has a lower GDP/Capita than many Western nations.

The two most striking exceptions, however, may be Ireland and the United States. Ireland, whose average I.Q. is listed at 93, had the fourth highest per capita GDP (PPP adjusted) of any country in the world (after tiny Luxembourg, Norway and the United States). The United States, with an average I.Q. of 98, has the third-highest per capita GDP (PPP adjusted), and is by far the most populous of the richest 10 countries. Both of these countries have I.Q. averages considerably below those of countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany, but have per capita GDPs about 1.5 times higher.

In the case of The United States, there is a striking contrast existing within its cultural sectors of the population. Several aspects must be hold into account. The African American population scored on average 87 while the Latino population scored 88, leaving the Asian and Caucasian population with an average IQ of 106. Although it is undeniable that some of this is due to cultural, educational and historical factors, there is also strong evidence that there is a genetic component to these observed differences

Erich Weede and Sebastian Kampf wrote that "there is one clear and robust result: average IQ does promote growth." Edward Miller wrote that "the theory helps significantly to explain why some countries are rich and some poor." Michael Palairet wrote that "Lynn and Vanhanen have launched a powerful challenge to economic historians and development economists who prefer not to use IQ as an analytical input." In a reanalysis of the Lynn and Vanhanen's hypothesis, Dickerson (2006) finds that IQ and GDP data is best fitted by an exponential function, with IQ explaining approximately 70% of the variation in GDP. Dickerson concludes that as a rough approximation "an increase of 10 points in mean IQ results in a doubling of the per capita GDP."

Whetzel and McDaniel (2006) conclude that the book's "results regarding the relationship between IQ, democracy and economic freedom are robust". Moreover, they address "criticisms concerning the measurement of IQ in purportedly low IQ countries", finding that by setting "all IQ scores below 90 to equal 90, the relationship between IQ and wealth of nations remained strong and actually increased in magnitude." On this question they conclude that their findings "argue against claims made by some that inaccuracies in IQ estimation of low IQ countries invalidate conclusions about the relationship between IQ and national wealth."

Voracek (2004) used the national IQ data to examine the relationship between intelligence and suicide, finding national IQ was positively correlated with national male and female suicide rates. The effect was not attenuated by controlling for GDP.

Barber (2005) found that national IQ was associated with rates of secondary education enrollment, illiteracy, and agricultural employment. The effect on illiteracy and agricultural employment remained with national wealth, infant mortality, and geographic continent controlled.

Both Lynn and Rushton have suggested that high IQ is associated with colder climates. To test this hypothesis, Templer and Arikawa (2006) compare the national IQ data from Lynn and Vanhanen with data sets that describe national average skin color and average winter and summer temperatures. They find that the strongest correlations to national IQ were −0.92 for skin color and −0.76 for average high winter temperature. They interpret this finding as strong support for IQ-climate association. Other studies using different data sets find no correlation.

Kanazawa (2006), "IQ and the wealth of states" (in press in Intelligence), replicates across U.S. states Lynn and Vanhanen's demonstration that national IQs strongly correlate with macroeconomic performance. Kanazawa finds that state cognitive ability scores, based on the SAT data, correlate moderately with state economic performance, explaining about a quarter of the variance in gross state product per capita.

Hunt and Wittmann (in press) use data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to conclude that "in spite of the weaknesses [in] several of their data points Lynn and Vanhanen's empirical conclusion was correct, but we question the simple explanation that national intelligence causes national wealth. We argue that the relationship is more complex".

The book was followed by Lynn's 2006 Race Differences in Intelligence, which expands the data by nearly four times and concludes the average human IQ is presently 90 when compared to a norm of 100 based on UK data, or two thirds of a standard deviation below the UK norm, and Lynn and Vanhanen's 2006 IQ and Global Inequality.

Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel instead argues that historical differences in economic and technological development for different areas can be explained by differences in geography (which affects factors like population density and spread of new technology) and differences in available crops and domesticatable animals. Richard Nisbett argues in his 2004 The Geography of Thought that some of these regional differences shaped lasting cultural traits, such as the collectivism required by East Asian rice irrigation, compared with the individualism of ancient Greek herding, maritime mercantilism, and money crops wine and olive oil.